Top 10 things to do over Winter Break in Chicago

Winter break is coming up after finals on December 21 through January 3. If you are looking for some fun activities to do with friends or family during this long and relaxing break here are our top 10 recommended things to do. 


Light display at Lincoln Park Zoo lights


  1. Lincoln Park Zoo Lights-If you are looking for some beautiful Christmas holiday lights make sure to go visit Lincoln Park Zoo to see the Zoo Lights. It is free admission but make sure to bundle up since it is outside.
  2. Christkindlmarket in Downtown Chicago Visitors can explore vendors’ products from all around the world and enjoy the unique shopping experience while enjoying international food, beverages and performances at the outdoor market that is always free of admission.
  3. Ice Skating in Maggie Daley Park or Millenium Park– Make sure to dress warm and enjoy some ice skating while looking out into the beautiful city. You can bring your own ice skates or rent them there. Throughout Friday, December 20- Sunday January 12 it will be open everyday 10am-10pm. Skate rental is $15. 
  4. New Years Eve Fireworks at Navy Pier- Go on down to Navy Pier to see a spectacular firework display to bring in the new decade with friends and family.
  5. Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier– Fun packed indoor place to bring the family to get in the mood for the holidays. Tickets cost $20-$28 and it is open every weekend from 10am-10pm. 
  6. Visit Macy’s on State Street- The holiday season is not complete without seeing the iconic holiday window displays and decor of the Walnut Room on the 7th floor of Macy’s.
  7. Go to a Chicago Blackhawks Game- Between the competitive fans (and players) and the atmosphere of the United Center, attending an NHL game is one of the most exciting things to do in Chicago during December.
  8. Watch some classic holiday movies- Stay warm on your couch this break and match some good movies to get into the holiday spirit. Home Alone, Elf, The Santa Clause, Christmas with the Kranks, and The Grinch that Stole Christmas are all holiday movies worth watching!
  9. Go shopping on Magnificent Mile- need to finish your last minute holiday shopping go visit the stores along the Mag mile!
  10. Bake some Christmas or holiday cookies- get creative and make some delicious cookies and decorate them for the holiday season. Here are some recipes.