9 Ideas for Your Family Holiday Trip

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November 27, 2017

The holidays bring a magic that is unparalleled the rest of the year. Between holiday treats and great meals, time spent with loved ones, and the overall warm feeling that presides, there’s nothing like that time late in the year to bring about the best of season.

One of the things that makes the holidays the most special, of course, is the time spent with family and loved ones. Taking a trip or simply getting together is a wonderful way to commemorate the season and create incredible memories.

If you are looking for a destination for your family’s holiday trip this year, look no further than the magical city of Chicago. Filled with lights, activities, shopping, and general wonderment for the holiday season, it’s the perfect place for you and your family to visit. Here are 9 ideas for your family holiday trip this year in Chicago.

1. Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier

Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier is a festive, fun-filled way to celebrate the holidays with your family.

This annual indoor winter carnival is now in its 17th season and includes 170,000 square feet of fun inside the Chicago Blackhawks Ice Skating Rink from December 1, 2017 – January 7, 2018. You and your family will enjoy rides, slides, and plenty of holiday fun. Buy your tickets today!

2. Christmas Around the World

From November 16, 2017 to January 7, 2018, your family can enjoy a Chicagoan holiday mainstay: the Museum of Science & Industry’s annual Christmas Around the World.

In an exhibit displaying over 50 trees – each decorated to represent different cultures and holiday customs – you and your family can get in the holiday spirit and learn about holiday culture all over the world. Buy your tickets today!

3. Christkindlmarket

Featured as the largest open air market and inspired by a Nuremberg, Germany market, you and your family will enjoy plenty of holiday cheer at Christkindlmarket.

Visit the market in Daley Plaza from November 17 – December 24, 2017 and enjoy crafts, authentic food, beer and hot spiced wine, and other treats!

4. ZooLights

Lincoln Park Zoo is transformed by a brilliant array of lights during the annual ZooLights celebration. Guests will enjoy nightly ice carving demonstrations, food and drinks, ice skating, and more.

See the schedule and learn more about ZooLights here.

5. Chicago Trolley Holiday Lights Tour

With stops at the Christkindlmarket and ZooLights, a free Sprinkles cupcake, and so much more, you won’t go wrong with the Chicago Trolley Holiday Lights Tour.

You and your family will not only get an inside look at our beautiful city, but also the splendor of all the holiday season has to offer. Book your ticket today!

6. Macy’s Holiday Windows

An iconic tradition, the Macy’s Holiday Windows will please and delight all who look upon it. Themed “Reasons to Believe,” Macy’s continues their tradition of the “Make a Wish” campaign for the 10th season.

This display will be available until January 7, 2018, so be sure you don’t miss it!

7. Maggie Daley Park Ice Skating

The skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park is a unique way to celebrate the season and brings fun for everyone.

Unlike traditional circular rinks, you’ll love the lap (twice the length of a traditional rink) and your ability to enjoy downtown Chicago from a whole new perspective.

8. Chicago Polar Express Train Ride

From December 1 – January 1, you and your family can hop on the Chicago Polar Express Train Ride and bring your children’s’ dreams to life.

Wear your pajamas for the full experience and get ready to make the book and movie a reality! Tickets are on sale now…get yours today!

9. Mag Mile Lights Festival

If you’ve ever visited Chicago, you know the Magnificent Mile for all the incredible shopping to be had. Enjoy this festival on November 17th and 18th for a grand tree lighting, lights festival lane, shopping deals, and much more!


With just 9 of the ways you can plan your holiday trip to Chicago, the possibilities are endless for you and your family!