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Holiday Traditions in Downtown Chicago


READ TIME 2 MINThree weeks until Chicago’s German Christmas Market celebrates its 25th Anniversary! Can you believe it? We are so close – we can almost taste the roasted nuts and see the red and white striped huts… wait… we really DO see the huts! That’s because we started building the market on Daley Plaza this morning! We, sadly, will still have to wait a little longer to welcome you, but there is so much happening in downtown Chicago, our beloved hometown, so that the time will fly by in a blink. The magic and excitement continue to build as we approach the Holidays.

Here are a few of the Chicago holiday downtown activities you can take part in this season, all in walking distance of the Christkindlmarket Chicago at Daley Plaza:

  • Enjoy Live Performances! Chicago’s theatre community has many in-person shows coming up this holiday season. There’s something for everyone. Find a gerne and show that you like and experience a unique live performance this fall and winter:

  • Feel the Christmas Magic! The Joffrey Ballet brings back its holiday class, “The Nutcracker” from December 4th– December 26th, 2021. Be dazzled by this alluring spectacle of sights, sounds and enchantment:

  • Experience German Classical Music! From November 3 – November 27th, the Lyric Opera of Chicago presents “The Magic Flute.” You can have a whole German-style day, starting at the Christkindlmarket and ending with watching this musical piece, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, sung in German with projected English text. More information at:

  • Be Festive! The Christkindlmarket isn’t the only holiday tradition that’s celebrating an anniversary! For the 30th time, the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival® returns to downtown Chicago in 2021, shining bright to kick off the holiday season the weekend before Thanksgiving. See all the details at

  • Hit the Ice! The Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon will be open for several months, starting the same day as the Christkindlmarket, November 19th. Located in the heart of the Chicago Loop, ice skaters can enjoy the city’s skyline as a backdrop while skating this ribbon of ice winds through a rolling landscape:

  • Admire Outdoor Holiday Dep Art! The beloved Art Institute Lions will be decked out in their festive holiday attire from November 28th through January 7th. Check them out, take some pictures, and then head inside to see some more awe-inspiring art:

  • See Things Larger-Than-Life! The largest permanent digital art projection in the world, Art on the Mart, will also show its versions of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker.” Starting on November 25th, the performance will run nightly at 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and can be viewed for free from the jetty section of the Chicago Riverwalk on Wacker Drive between Wells Street and Franklin Street.

Chicago might be known for its long and cold winters – but also for its special holiday activities and beautiful décor and art all over the city.  The hometown of the Christkindlmarket shines brightly with all the lights, sights, sounds and fun, and we are excited to be part of it!

Share your market experience in your Instagram story or as a TikTok video this season, and tag @thechristkindlmarket – we can’t wait to see how much fun you are going to have and might repost some of them!



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