Do you have family in town visiting for the holidays? Here are some neat things to do this weekend to truly celebrate: Chicago style!

person in blue denim jeans wearing ice skates
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on

The Peninsula Sky Rink

Situated on the terrace of The Peninsula Chicago, the Sky Rink spans 2,100 square feet and provides a unique ice skating experience amidst the towering structures of the city. Enjoy showcasing your skating prowess against the backdrop of Michigan Avenue, surrounded by enchanting snowflake lighting and festive tunes. For a cozy break, indulge in a hot beverage and snack at the Chalet.

person walks outdoor during night
Photo by David Guerrero on

Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum

Ready to embrace the festive atmosphere? The Morton Arboretum is bringing back its annual holiday light show for its 11th year. This mile-long, walk-through extravaganza features a mesmerizing display of LED lights and music, set among 50 acres of trees, blending both new and beloved light exhibits. Returning favorites include “Electric Illumination,” hosting late-night parties with DJ-curated playlists syncing progressive house and ’80s dance beats with the dazzling light displays. Additionally, there’s “IllumiBrew,” a special evening allowing guests to sample beers and ciders from local breweries. Timed entry tickets for Illumination, running from November 18 to January 6!

person wearing white gloves holding cup of hot cocoa
Photo by Jill Wellington on

Santa Baby Christmas Bar

Dive into the holiday spirit at this immersive, multi-level Christmas-themed pop-up bar that completely transforms Wrigleyville’s Bamboo Bar into a festive wonderland. The venue is adorned from floor to ceiling with holiday decorations, providing plenty of opportunities for memorable photos. Indulge in specially crafted drinks adorned with festive garnishes and garlands, including delightful large-format cocktails such as the Tropical Sleigh Ride and Moët Mistletoe. If you’re feeling peckish, the menu offers festive treats like Santa’s Sliders, Grinch Shake, and Nacho Tree. Keep in mind to secure a reservation before visiting Santa Baby—while families are welcome during the day, the venue transitions to a 21+ age requirement after 8 pm. For the complete holiday schedule, be sure to check out Santa Baby’s website.

shallow focus photography of wooden nutcracker
Photo by Luis Quintero on

“The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle”

This half-hour immersive reimagining of The Nutcracker combines scenes featuring professional ballet dancers with animated characters projected across an expansive space of over 500,000 cubic feet. This unique presentation guides the audience through a condensed version of the classic tale, accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s renowned score, featuring iconic numbers such as “The March of the Toys” and “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

Enjoy Chicago!