Travellers looking for a festive US city break are being encouraged to consider Chicago, which is set to offer a range of Christmassy experiences which will leave visitors “dazzled”.
Chicago’s culture and tourism office has highlighted a variety of reasons to visit the city over the winter period, starting with that most essential of Christmas ceremonies, the lighting of the city’s tree. The 98th annual tree-lighting event will take place on 23 November in Daley Plaza, attracting thousands of visitors. The Plaza also offers a traditional German-style Christmas market, allowing visitors to pick up some handmade Christmas gifts, ornaments and treats while enjoying festive food and drinks from the varied stalls. Goulash, potato pancakes and mulled wine were all said to be available, keeping shoppers toasty while they browse the markets.
Chicago’s Millennium Park will be offering skating fans a free rink over the festive season, opening between 11 November and 11 March, depending on weather conditions. Although the rink itself is free, skaters without skates will be charged $10 for rental. The rink in Millennium Park is now in its 11th year and is visited by over 100,000 open-air skaters every year.
Another festive event in the city well worth a visit is the annual Winter Wonderfest, also running in its 11th year. The 170,000 square foot attraction boasts inflatable slides, rides, seasonal displays and a range of other attractions. The Winter Wonderfest will be open between 2 December and 8 January at Chicago’s Navy Pier.