My top 3 favorite things to do during the Christmas season in Chicago…so far

Hello friends! Happy holidays and Merry Christmas! I am (once again) sorry for the blogging hiatus. The beginning of December was busy for me with finals exams and getting everything in order for my graduate school transfer in January. Yet, in between the craziness my boyfriend and I took a break to decorate. We bought most of our decorations during a 50% off sale at Michaels during the first week of December! It’s not much, but we hope to accumulate more Christmas decorations throughout the years!

christmas tree 2014

(Our small tree and stockings)

So, now my news that I promised last blog post: I am not continuing my study of nutrition in the spring. While I did decent on my final exams and in my classes, I realized that the dietetics field is not for me. I want to pursue teaching and become a high school teacher. It would also be cool to coach cross country! Starting in January I will be working on a master’s of education degree. I could not be more excited! I will never, ever lose my passion for nutrition and healthy eating though. This will continue to be a blog about vegetarian food/recipes, running, and random musings from my life.

Well, now onto what this blog post is really about-Christmas! In between work shifts, workouts, and post finals relaxing I have had some time to enjoy Christmas time. Today I am going to share my three favorite Christmas activities  in Chicago…so far. I say so far because this is my first Christmas in the city, but certainly not my last! These are activities that a perfect for students or people who are on a budget!

1. The Christkindlmarket

It’s a tiny German market located on the Daly Plaza.  I have already been to it three times! The admission is free, but you could end of spending a lot of money if you are not careful.  😛 There are tons of booths and tents full of German toys, decorations, trinkets, and food. Some of the things are very pricey (they have $1,000 clocks and $100+ beer steins), but I managed to find an adorable Santa ornament for only $10! The food booths are full of a variety of things from the delicious smelling spiced pecans to bratwursts to Nutella filled crepes. They were giving out samples of some of the food items too. I also noticed that there were several vegetarian options, which surprised me.

I did not try any of the food, but I did try the hot spiced wine and it was amazing! For $7 you get wine and a mug, which you get to keep. You do not have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the market. I only spent $17 between my three trips for the ornament and spiced wine. The other two times I just looked around. I recommend visiting this market if you have not and are in town. It stays open through Christmas Eve! 🙂

Chriskindlmarket

(The giant tree, spiced wine, nutcracker display, and my Santa ornament)

2. Zoo Lights at the Lincoln Park zoo

This is another event with free admission! If you want a souvenir, a snack, or something to drink you have to shell out a bit of cash, though. The spiced wine at Zoo Lights was only $6. I am not sure about the prices on snacks, beer, or hot cocoa.  Zoo Lights was cool and fun! I loved everything from the Christmas music and light show to the ice sculptures. My descriptions and my pictures cannot do Zoo Lights justice. You will just have to go and visit it for yourself! 🙂  If I’m not mistaken it even stays open past Christmas for a week or two.

zoo lights dragon

(Dragon display near the entrance)

zoo loigths ice sculpture

(Ice sculpture of Olaf from Frozen)

zoo lights snow globe

(Life sized snow globe)

zoo lights star wars globe

(Star wars snow globe)

3. Macy’s on State Street

My boyfriend and I went to Macy’s to look around and do some last minute Christmas shopping. The Macy’s on State Street goes all out when it comes to Christmas decorations. Each of the floors are decorated for the season and there are display windows you can view outside. I unfortunately did take many pictures, but the store is better in person anyway. I went again a few days ago with one of my friends just to look around, show her the Walnut room tree (she had not seen it before!), and get a cup of coffee. The café and coffee shop area was surprisingly a nice place to catch up! Macy’s on State Street is another place that you can enjoy without spending a lot of money.

Christkindlmarket tree

(Walnut Room Christmas tree)

Now, I know that I have missed several Christmas events/activities in Chicago  such as the Winter Wonder Fest, the annual Christmas bar crawl in Wrigleyville/Lakeview, holiday themed races, and the CTA holiday train. Hopefully I can go to those in the future. I’d also love to learn about lesser known holiday events around the city!

Well, have a wonderful day everyone! Take some time to enjoy some holiday activities/events with your families and friends. 🙂

If you are live in/near Chicago or visit it, what is your favorite Christmas/holiday activity to do? If you are from somewhere else,what is your favorite holiday activity to do there?

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