2 MIN READ – This is a holiday season unlike any other. But there’s still plenty of joy to be had #BackInTheLoop. Check out the 6 best holiday activities you can enjoy outside and at a safe social distance. Don’t forget your mask!
Check off everyone on your list with a simple stroll up and down State Street in the Loop. This historic shopping corridor—“that great street”—is home to retailers like Macy’s and Target, housed in gorgeous, architecturally significant buildings, as well as the shops at Block 37 and more. It’s impossible not to fall in love with your city all over again when you shop on State Street.
While the city’s official tree lighting took place virtually this year, Chicagoans are encouraged to visit the festive site in Millennium Park on their own through January 7, 2021. This year’s Christmas tree is a 45-foot Blue Spruce donated by the family of Catherine Townsend of Chicago’s Morgan Park neighborhood (19th Ward).
Seven artists have painted festive windows at five businesses around State Street in order to spread holiday cheer at a safe social distance. Chicago Loop Alliance commissioned local artists Roho Garcia, Barrett Keithley, Missy Perkins, Dwight White, Jae Webb, Cookie Kwan and Blake Lenoir to paint windows at theWit Hotel (201 N. State St.), The Joffrey Ballet (10 E. Randolph St.), Macy’s (111 N. State St.—Wabash side), Staypineapple Chicago (1 W. Washington St.) and 130 S. State St. Holidays in the Loop Painted Windows can be viewed through January 8, 2021.
Enjoy a larger-than-life experience of the Joffrey’s magical holiday tradition, set to the music of Tchaikovsky’s beloved score. This projection runs nightly at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., in partnership with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The projections — displayed on theMART’s 2.5 acre river-facade — can be viewed for free from the jetty section of the Chicago Riverwalk on Wacker Drive between Wells Street and Franklin Street.
In the 1870s, Macy’s was the first store to feature holiday windows created for the pure fun and joy of the season and, with that, began a tradition that still lives on today. Be sure to go inside the store to see the Macy’s Christmas Tree, too, and pick up a bite to eat from the Walnut Room, to-go! The world-famous Walnut Room was the first restaurant ever opened in a department store. With Circassian wood paneling imported from Russia and Austrian chandeliers, the restaurant is both elegant and comfortable—a sight to behold even if we are unable to dine in this year.
Come and skate the quarter mile Alpine inspired ice skating ribbon, while taking in the magnificent views of the Chicago skyline. Masks and reservations are required this year, even if you bring your own skates. The ribbon is open through February 28, 2021, but don’t wait to make a reservation! Slots are filling up fast, and there’s no better time than the holiday season to partake in this joyful activity in the Loop.
Find a full guide of more holiday activities in the Loop here.
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