A time for wonder: the best of the Loop this holiday season
The holidays are a time of wonder in the Loop. It's a time for honoring some of Chicago's best-loved traditions. A time to be dazzled by the myriad flickering lights of the season. A time to reconnect with old friends, like Defiance and On the Prowl, the bronze guardians of the Art Institute. A time to linger in front of shop windows, their animated displays aglow. A time to hum along to holiday tunes all along State Street. A time to step out on the Ledge (just maybe, this one time). The holidays in the Loop, in short, are unlike any other time, any other place.
This year, Chicago Loop Alliance teamed up with the Time Out Chicago editorial team to highlight some of our favorite Loop traditions -- the 10 Wonders of the holidays:
Window Shopping at Macy’s
Admire Macy’s iconic seasonal window displays as you walk down State Street. Macy’s on State Street, 111 N State St (312-781-4483, visitmacyschicago.com).
Holiday Music on Lightscape: A Multisensory Experience on State Street
As you search for that last-minute gift, let the music of the holidays, choreographed to lights, lift your spirits.
Do a bit of shopping or just revel in the quaintness of it all as Daley Plaza transforms into a picturesque German marketplace for the holidays. Daley Plaza, Washington and Dearborn Sts (312-744-3315, explorechicago.org). Nov 21–Dec 24, Sun–Thurs 11am–8pm, Fri–Sat 11am–9pm; free.
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink and Plaza
Catch an eyeful of the gorgeous Chicago skyline as you whiz around the rink. 11 N Michigan Ave (312-742-5472, millenniumpark.org). Nov 16–Mar 10, Mon–Thurs 12pm–8pm, Fridays 12pm–10pm; free.
Tune into some live music from around the world every week at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Randolph Café. On Dec. 9, don’t miss the Dance Along Nutcracker. Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St (312-744-6630, explorechicago.org) Alternating Tue, Thurs, Fri 12:15pm.
Wreathing of the Lions at the Art Institute of Chicago
Watch the big cats in front of the Art Institute get decked out in their holiday finest. Don’t worry if you miss the ceremony—the lions and their wreaths will be available for photo ops all season long. Art Institute, 111 S Michigan, (312-443-3600, artic.edu). Nov 23; 10am; free.
Caroling at Cloud Gate
Celebrate the season with song. Cloudgate, Millenium Park, N Michigan Ave & E Randolph St, (explorechicago.org). Nov 23–Dec 21, 6–6:50pm; free.
Winter Garden at Harold Washington Library
Take a breather and warm up inside the beautiful Winter Garden. Harold Washington Library. 400 S State St, (312-747-4300, chipublib.org). Open daily, 9am-9pm; free.
Do-it-Yourself Messiah at Harris Theater
Sing Handel’s masterpiece along with the pros at the annual Do-it-Yourself Messiah. Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph St, (312-334-7777, harristheaterchicago.org). Dec 17, 18, 7pm; $10.
It’s a winter wonderland 103 flights above Chicago. Willis Tower, 233 S Wacker Dr (312-875-9696, theskydeck.com); $17.50, kids ages 3–11 $1, Oct–Mar 10am–8pm.