There are always plenty of winter-related activities or holiday celebrations in Illinois. Every year, local communities host fun for the whole family, from breathtaking lighting shows to classic Christmas shows. If you like shopping at craft fairs during the Christmas season or observing light displays, Illinois has something for all during winter. The winter activities listed below can distract you from the cold winter days and keep your spirits in good stead.
Some Beautiful Things to do in Illinois during Winter
Ice skating on the Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon in downtown Chicago is similar to a walk through the hills however with a backdrop of a city. The ice skating facility, which is free to use, is among the top in the nation and typically opens in the latter part of November. Skates for hockey and figure skating are available, along with hot chocolate is available to round off the winter getaway.
Geneva is a town of just a few hundred with lots of festive spirit in the winter months. In the early week in December is when Geneva hosts the traditional Christmas Walk for visitors and residents. Visit Santa and watch him light the tree, visit the Holiday House, take a carriage ride, and take in other winter celebrations.
The Morton Arboretum is known for its annual holiday celebrations. In winter the visitors are able to stroll through the woods to admire the stunning trees lit up with vibrant lights. The award-winning display of different trees lit up with glowing lights is an absolute must-see every year.
Visit visit the Museum of Science and Industry to discover holiday traditions across the globe. The first time it was held in 1942, this annual holiday celebration has grown into an annual ritual among Chicago families. There’s no better place to see the huge Christmas tree with four stories as well as a variety of Christmas displays that showcase different cultures across the globe, as well as other celebrations during the holidays.
The free holiday show at Lincoln Park Zoo has been popular with families for many decades. ZooLights includes luminous displays and musical light shows, 3D shows, and other activities for the holidays throughout the grounds of the zoo. Take photographs with Santa and other crafts, festive snacks, ice sculpture trains, rides on the train, and even the carousel.
Enjoy the classic holiday show “A Christmas Carol” at Goodman Theater in Chicago. This spectacular annual performance is a touching tale of love and hope. The festive music and a plethora of stage magic are sure to make you feel in the spirit of Christmas.
If you’ve ever dreamed of getting an inside winter park complete with playgrounds for your children, it’s time to go. Winter WonderFest is a must-see. This Chicago family event features skaters in the indoor rink with giant slides and train rides along with ice peaks, as well as festive decorations in abundance. Children can meet Santa and visit the ice rink “snow” tubing (no gloves required) and many other winter-related activities.
Take a look at the Christmas flower display at Garfield Park Conservatory. Garfield Park Conservatory without freezing outside. The indoor exhibit includes more than 100 trees of fir that is illuminated by more than 15,000 sparkling lights. The poinsettias and other winter-related flowers are displayed beautifully in addition. The annual Christmas show can be like walking in wintery woodlands without the cold winter air.
If you are a fan of making crafts at home The Christmas Crossroads Craft Show should be on your bucket list. Since its inception, this huge Christmas craft show is a showcase of homemade products designed by local craftsmen. The profits go to local charities like food pantries and scholarships.
The Larsen’s Light Show in Pingree Grove is designed to make memories for families. A local landscaper creates an elaborate show each year to bring the Christmas spirit to the community. The mansion is illuminated and draws thousands of people every year, as it truly is an amazing sight to see.
If you’ve ever dreamed of the possibility of an unending chocolate feast, now you can turn that dream into reality at the Galesburg Historical Society Chocolate Festival. Enjoy a variety of chocolate-based treats, including cakes, tortes and pies and candies, drinks, and much more. The festival is scheduled for February and tickets start at $10.
There’s nothing better than an inviting bakery on a cold winter’s day. Bennison’s Bakery is in our family since and has perfected the holiday snacks. They create gingerbread homes by hand Christmas-themed cupcakes, snowman cakes, pie pies, brandied fruit cake Petit Fours, Florentines as well as other traditional European sweets.
Grant Woods Trail offers so many options for those who love nature during the winter months. Explore cross-country skiing or hiking along six miles of trails made of gravel and access to over 4 miles of trails for snowmobilers. The gently rolling landscape and the year-round view of wildlife make this a peaceful getaway.
Where better to sing than the stunning Millennium Park in downtown Chicago? Caroling at Cloud Gate is a festive occasion where thousands of carolers sing out holiday songs. Santa is also present to spread holiday cheer.