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If you are in Chicago during the 2014 Christmas season and looking for things to do in Chicago over the 2014 Holiday season, then we have some ideas for you! Here is our Top 10 list of things to do during the Holiday season in 2014 in Chicago. CLICK HERE to learn which museums are open and free this December….
1. The 2014 Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza in Downtown Chicago
The Christkindlmarket is a free German market place located in Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago. Christkindlmarket attracts more than half a million visitors each year. Vendors sell authentic German food and creations and the event has several activities for children. The market in open Nov 21 to Dec 24 adn open on Thanksgiving Day right after the parade ends. Christkindlmarket is located in Daley Plaza — 50 W. Washington Street, Chicago, IL 60602.
Learn more at their website… CLICK HERE
2. See a Heartwarming Holiday Play — Provision Theater Company, a non-profit equity theater dedicated to producing works of hope, ushers in the holiday season with their 2014 holiday play, CHRISTMAS ON THE AIR. A popular hit from the Pacific Northwest and a new holiday classic for Chicago! Gather around for Yolanda and Percival B. Frank’s annual Christmas radio show. As the live studio audience, you’ll enjoy the on-air magic and get a glimpse at the lessons being learned behind the scenes. Filled with classic Christmas music and stories, CHRISTMAS ON THE AIR is sure to warm your heart this holiday season!
The performances will run Wednesday, November 26 through Sunday, December 28 with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. at Provision Theater, 1001 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL, 60608. If you live in the Chicago area, or will be traveling to during the holidays, and you’re looking to create a new holiday tradition, look no more! Provision Theater Company is launching their 11th holiday season with the Midwest premiere of CHRISTMAS ON THE AIR by Lucia Frangione. A popular hit from the Pacific Northwest and a new holiday classic for Chicago, the production will be directed by Provision’s Founding Artistic Director Timothy Gregory. Gather around for Yolanda and Percival B. Frank’s annual Christmas radio show! As the live studio audience, you’ll enjoy the on-air magic and get a glimpse at the lessons being learned behind the scenes. Filled with classic Christmas music and stories, CHRISTMAS ON THE AIR is sure to warm your heart this holiday season! The cast of CHRISTMAS ON THE AIR includes Tom McElroy as Percival, Laurie Empen as Yolanda, Patrick Tierney as Danny, Elizabeth Telford as Kitty, Veronica Garza as Sylvia, and Jordan Taylor as Stage Manager
Check out the free ice skating in Millennium Park in Chicago this holiday season that starts on Nov 14, 2014. The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Chicago, now in its 11th season, is open on Thanksgiving and draws over 100,000 skaters annually. Kicking off Chicago’s winter season, the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park will open on Friday, November 14, 2014 and will remain open through mid-March 2015, weather permitting. This rink is free and open to the public. The rink, located on Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison Streets, will still offer skate rental for only $10.
4. FREE Chicago Dance-Along Nutcracker on December 7, 2014, a fun family interactive free holiday event with sugar-plum fairies and toy soldiers of all ages presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events at the Chicago Cultural Center, across from Millennium Park. There’s always something going on at this 1897 neoclassical former library, which has two spectacular stained-glass domes and is known as The People’s Palace. Audience members, young and old, are encouraged to dress in their finest tutus and hit the dance floor alongside professional dancers.
One hour before each Dance Along Nutcracker, younger participants are invited to a special free ballet workshop in the Chicago Cultural Center. “Jennifer Minkin (founder of the ARCC ballet) teaches some really basic ballet moves to the kids,” says Angela Latkowski, program manager for the Chicago Office of Tourism and Cultural Events. “During the dance-along portions, she gets up and leads everyone in those moves taught beforehand.”
Delight in the decked out Walnut Room on the 7th Floor, the beloved restaurant dining room that has hosted many a tea service since its opening in 1907. The Walnut Room evolved from the tea room, which was made famous by Mrs. Hering’s Chicken Pot Pie in the late 1890s, becoming the very first restaurant in a department store. The restaurant adorned with Circassian wood imported from Russia and Austrian chandeliers has become a tradition of dining, especially around the holidays for generations of families.
Walnut Room Holiday Schedule
- No reservations are accepted from November 8 through January 1
- Pagers for same day seating are available at store opening and can be picked up on the 7th floor near the main escalators
- A breakfast buffet will be served throughout the season. Check for available times and dates as they are updated here
A full listing of the holiday hours will be updated at visitmacyschicago.com or call the Walnut Room hotline at 312.781.3139.You’ll have to wait quite a while to get a table next to the tree in the Walnut Room, the seventh-floor restaurant inside Macy’s. But the 45-foot-tall tree, which sparkles with 3,000 ornaments and 6,000 LED lights, is also viewable from the eighth floor of the department store.
6. Chicago’s Field Museum is Open All Christmas Season
The Field Museum is open 364 days a year (Closed on Christmas). Last admission is at 4pm daily. See how we put science into action in Abbott Hall of Conservation Restoring Earth, journey through 4 billion years of life on earth in Evolving Planet, fall in love with ants in The Romance of Ants, see SUE the T. rex, climb down an ancient egyptian tomb in Inside Ancient Egypt, and so much more.SCIENCE NEWSFLASH– They are the “Mona Lisas” of meteorites – out of over 50,000 known meteorites, only 101 of them are fossilized, and four of them are now on display at The Field Museum. The meteorites, which fell to Earth nearly 500 million years ago, are typically found in one location – a limestone quarry in southern Sweden. Learn more about this discovery in our latest Science Newsflash on display in Stanley Field Hall. The Field Museum is located at 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605, 312-922-9410.
Check out their website HERE
The day after Thanksgiving, Lincoln Park Zoo kicks off their annual, free ZOOLIGHTS 2014 holiday celebration, featuring luminous displays and holiday-season activities throughout the zoo grounds. They will flip the on switch for free holiday fun on November 28, 2014. This amazing free light show at Chicago’s free Lincoln Park Zoo is a holiday favorite in Chicago and part of many family traditions.
This year marks the 101st anniversary of the Chicago Christmas Tree, so we expect a some pretty special stuff during this event. The ceremony begins at 6 pm on November 25th in Daley Plaza, although you can also watch from the comfort of your home (which you may want to do if it’s typical November weather!). Daley Plaza is located in the heart of the city, and is a great place to begin your explorations of Chicago.
Mark your calendars for Thanksgiving Weekend! Come out and enjoy an annual Chicago holiday tradition in 2014 in Millennium Park. Celebrate the holidays in Millennium Park, when Caroling at Cloud Gate returns on Friday evenings from November 28 through December 19, 2014 at 6 PM during the holiday season. This free program, presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, showcases Chicago choral groups and invites visitors to participate in a holiday sing-along. Now in its ninth season, Caroling at Cloud Gate has become a cherished tradition in Chicago, with hundreds of singers gathering each week in the Park.Following the 60-minute caroling session, everyone is encouraged to skate at Millennium Park’s McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, one of the most popular winter destinations in the city. 6pm on Friday Nov 29, Millennium Park, Chase Promenade
10. Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light at the Museum of Science and Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry
57th Street at Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 684-1414 for a schedule of events
Christmas Around the World has been celebrated at the Museum every year since 1950. Today, more than six decades later you’ll find sixty beautifully decorated trees and three crèches representing the birth of Jesus. In addition, for over ten years now the Holidays of Light has featured different customs, traditions and festivals celebrated by other cultures in various countries around the world. For example, you can learn about and experience Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan and Diwali. During the holiday season there are special performances through December. Check with the Museum for details. In 2014 this event opens on Thursday, November 13th and runs until Sunday, January 4th, 2015 and is open to the public from 9:30 am to 4 pm daily. Admission: Regular museum admission prices apply – for details click on this link.
11. BONUS — MEGA LIST OF ALL THE CHRISTMAS CONCERTS IN THE CHICAGO AREA – If you are looking for some great Christmas concerts, here is our list of both the FREE and ticketed Christmas concerts in the Chicago area.
12. BONUS — Create holiday memories with the entire family! To celebrate the traditions of Gilded Age America that continue to make our winter holidays special today, Chicago’s Driehaus Museum presents two Saturday mornings filled with family fun! NOT FREE BUT FUN, FUN Throughout the morning, Chicago’s own Aunt Holly will tell lively stories and sing songs. Enjoy festive treats and create holiday art projects. Take home a complimentary family portrait taken in the elegantly festooned Ballroom to commemorate your day. Don’t forget to see Santa Claus and share your dearest wish!
Ticket includes Museum general admission.