Holiday Guide: Things to do in Chicago this winter

Annie Bruce, Reporter

Take a break from your study frenzy in the cozy corner at the library and venture to Chicago for some holiday fun before the quarter ends. Here’s your handy guide to the best holiday-themed activities to experience in the city during reading week and finals week.



Where: Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago

When: Through Dec. 24, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Cost: Free admission, but bring cash for hot chocolate, German delicatessen and adorable holiday decorations

Based on the traditional Christkindlmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, this Chicago tradition features cute shops that sell hand-made gifts and vendors selling authentic German food such as potato pancakes, sausages and Gluehwein, a spiced wine.


Santa Hustle 5K

Where: Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago

When: Dec. 6, starting at 9 a.m.

Cost: $50, registration still open

Help raise money for the American Cancer Society by taking part in the Santa Hustle 5K. Participants receive a Santa hat, beard and sweatshirt to wear during the run along a route that includes cookies, candy and holiday music.


Lincoln Park ZooLights

Where: 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago

When: Select dates through Jan. 4

Cost: Free admission

Featuring a musical ice show and ice rink, along with more than 2 million lights brightening up the sky, this can’t-miss holiday event is available in the evening on select dates throughout December.


Mindy’s HotChocolate Restaurant and Dessert Bar

Where: 1747 N. Damen Ave., Chicago

When: Open 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., open for lunch and brunch on select days and closed on Mondays

Cost: $7 for most hot chocolate drinks

If you’re looking for a more low-key city excursion, hop on the El to Wicker Park and try Mindy’s HotChocolate, the ultimate winter treat. The sugar buzz is sure to help you power through some late-night studying.


McCormick Tribune Ice Rink

Where: Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago

When: Daily, hours vary

Cost: Free admission, skate rental is $12

Before the Northwestern ice rink officially opens in January, travel to Millennium Park to ice skate with the Chicago skyline in the background. Bring your own skates and avoid lines and rental fees. On Dec. 5 and 12, you can also catch carolers performing at the Bean at 6 p.m.


One of a Kind Show and Sale

Where: The Merchandise Mart, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago

When: Dec. 4 to 6, hours vary

Cost: $12 for all four days

Find a truly unique gift at the 14th annual One of a Kind Show and Sale. More than 600 artists sell items ranging from ceramics, fashion, furniture, photography and more throughout the four-day sale.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @anniefb13