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Chicago: Winter Wonderland

Chicago has been the host of many famous holiday movie scenes like those in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, or While You Were Sleeping.  Have a movie worthy experience of your own when you visit Chicago this holiday season and share in some of the winter magic that has taken over the Windy City.  

Start your Chicago holiday adventure at the Lincoln Park FREE Zoo.  Located just under a mile from the Days Inn Chicago, the zoo turns into a spectacle of lights for the holiday season until January 5th.  Experience the wonder of ZooLights as you ride on the carousel, watch master ice sculptures at work, say hello to your furry friends, and even get your picture taken with Santa before he heads back to the North Pole on December 23rd.  New at the zoo this year:  ice skating at the Farm-in-the-Zoo until March 2nd!  Hit the ice then warm up in the Farmhouse with festive refreshments.  

Next door to the zoo, transport yourself to another world when you visit the Lincoln Park Conservatory’s FREE Winter Flower and Train Show through January 5th.  Choo-choo lovers will delight in the active display of model trains that wind their way through the conservatory amongst colorful poinsettias and a Chicago village made from natural materials like birch and spruce woods.  Keep an eye out for landmarks like the Chicago Theatre and Water Tower Place!  


Speaking of landmarks, a visit to Chicago is never quite complete without a stop at Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier.  Share in the joy of the holiday season when you take a spin in the hot cocoa cups, on the ferris wheel, or on the indoor ice rink at Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest.  Visit Santa and take your picture in front of the 42-foot magnificent Christmas tree!  There are plenty of activities, games, and entertainment for the entire family at this indoor winter wonderland through January 12th.  


Not ready to brave the Windy City’s winter weather?  No problem, there’s another indoor attraction that’s certain to bring you some holiday cheer.  Visit the Museum of Science and Industry and experience the Christmas around the World and Holidays of Light exhibit through January 12th.  Marvel at the 45-foot Grand Tree inspired by the museums temporary Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit.  The Grand Tree is accompanied by 50 smaller trees decorated by individuals from many of Chicago’s ethnic communities to represent their various cultures and holiday traditions.  Share in the celebration of world cultures when you take in a performance at the Holiday Stage including performers such as the Austrian Mixed Chorus, Finnladies of Chicagoland, Welsh Red Dragon Dancers, and many more including local school groups!  


Ready and willing to take on the cold to share in another holiday cultural tradition?  Visit Chicago’s FREE open-air German Christmas market in Daley Plaza, the Christkindlmarket, through December 24th.  Shop from 40+ vendors of regional goods, foods, and beverages.  Get your fill of German sweets, schnitzel, bratwurst and more.   Take home a German cuckoo clock from the Black Forest, mouth blown glass jewelry from Poland, or countless treasures from other European countries at the 18th Annual Christkindlmarket. 


While you’re downtown, don’t forget about shopping on the Magnificent Mile.  Along Michigan Avenue, Chicago is alight with holiday decorations.  Pass by Millennium Park on a Friday evening and you may catch carolers at the Could Gate (“Bean”).  Hop on a Chicago Trolley Holiday Lights Tour and take in the magic of Chicago in a way you've never seen it before.  Finally, kick back and relax at the Days Inn Chicago.  Our Days Inn Chicago family is here to welcome you this holiday season and every day.


Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year!

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