It’s officially December which means I can no longer be shamed for talking about the holiday season! Chicago at Christmastime is pretty magical, and there’s just so much to do! You’ve probably heard about some of the most popular Chicago holiday attractions- Christkindlmarket, Lincoln Park Zoo Lights, lunch at the Walnut Room, skating at Millenium Park, and the Museum of Science and Industry “Christmas Around the World.” If we’re being completely honest… I’ve never done most of these things. I KNOW. I’m a terrible Chicagoan. The thing is, I hate crowds, and I’m also not partial to the whole “Let’s have fun outdoors even though it’s 25 degrees.”
Instead, I compiled a list of the things I actually have done and would highly recommend!
Flowers for Dreams Wreath-Making Workshop- My mom and I did this last year, and it was so much fun! I mean, I was terrible at the actual wreath-making and the employees had to help me- but still fun! I love everything Flowers for Dreams does, and you also get to learn a new skill. I think this would be so fun to do with a group of girlfriends or female family members.
Holiday Flower Market at Lincoln Park Conservatory– I’m partial to spring flowers, but the winter blooms are growing on me. Plus, it’s nice to be inside surrounded by beautiful plants when everything outside is cold and dead. Bonus- this one is completely free!
The Gold Coast/Lincoln Park- Another freebie, and not so much an event but just one of my favorite holiday traditions. Grab a coffee and walk (or drive) around the Gold Coast or Lincoln Park admiring all the holiday decorations. You can also get some pretty good snaps for your IG feed which is always the priority, right?
Covet Market– I actually missed out on this one last year and was so bummed! I’m planning to attend the one next Sunday (December 9th), and I’m excited to see all the local vendors. It’s a great quarterly event that features tons of female entrepreneurs selling clothing, jewelry, home goods- you name it! You can also grab some food and an adult beverage while browsing all the booths.
Hot Chocolate at Bombobar– You have to see a photo of this to believe it. It’s insane, over-the-top, and the perfect cure for cold hands. Bombobar is connected to Bar Siena in the West Loop, and the lines are usually long but worth the wait.
Tea at the Allis– The afternoon tea at the Drake tends to get all the attention, but you’re missing out if you don’t try the one at the The Allis! There’s a regular option with, you know, tea, or there’s an option that comes with a glass of rosé. Plus, they’re all decked out in their holiday decor right now, and it’s a destination in itself!
Baita– Baita is the new winter Alps-themed restaurant from Eataly, and it’s been getting rave reviews! I just made reservations for later this month, and I’m pretty psyched to try all their melty cheeses and pasta dishes.
So there you have it- my list of non-traditional Chicago holiday activities! Let me know if you end up visiting any of them. I’d love to hear your thoughts! If you’re looking for more places to visit in Chicago, you can also check out my posts on what I’d do with a free day in Chicago, my favorite West Loop restaurants, my favorite coffee shops, and the best Chicago donuts.