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Things to do Downtown this Christmas Season

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink (photo courtesy of Millennium Park)
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink (photo courtesy of Millennium Park)

The Christmas season is the best time of the year, especially in downtown Chicago.
There are lots of fun activities to do during this holiday. One of the best things to do is to go downtown and walk through the streets to see all the beautiful decorations.

“I love going downtown during the Christmas season. I go every Christmas Eve with my family. It is so beautiful and so much fun with all the things I can do,” says freshman Leah Treacy.

One option is the holiday zoo lights at Lincoln Park Zoo. They have over one million beautiful Christmas lights from November 17 through January 7.

“I love going to see the zoo lights every year! They are so cool and mesmerizing to see,” says junior Abbie Osborne.

Ice skating is another fun activity. There are multiple ice rinks downtown but the most
popular one is the McCormick Tribune ice rink in Millennium Park. This ice skating rink has been around for 21 seasons now. It attracts more than 100,000 people every year. While ice skating, you will be mesmerized by the amazing views, including the city’s skyline, and the giant magical tree.

“I have been going here for years. There are always so many people there, but it is still so much fun,” says junior Maddie Gurtich.

The tree lighting ceremony at Millennium Park has been around for 110 years. This
year’s Christmas tree is a 45-foot Colorado Blue Spruce donated by the De La Cruz family of Darien, IL. The tree has been one of the most famous spots to visit downtown.

“I have brought my family here every year to see the tree, we love it,” says Gina Gutrich mother of student Caroline Gutrich.

Another popular attraction is the CTA holiday train, which has been a Chicago tradition for more than 30 years. The CTA Holiday Train will make its way all through the city this December. It is a six-car train decorated with holiday scenes and thousands of sparkling lights. On board are elves that hand out candy and of course Santa, whose sled replaces the head car. The decorated train brings so much joy and cheer to neighborhoods throughout Chicago.

“I have never ridden the holiday train but I’ve seen it in action. It looks so cool,” says Gutrich.

Every year the Museum of Science and Industry decorates and puts up a four-story grand tree. There are 50 trees surrounding the grand tree that represent Chicago’s various communities and their holiday celebrations. It has been decorated like this for 70 years.

“It is so beautiful and indescribable,” says Osborne.

People love the magnificent mile. It is the city’s most well-decorated strip during the holidays. Each November, The magnificent mile starts the holiday season with a parade and other festive activities along Michigan Avenue. There are more than 200 Christmas trees along the strip and a spot to take a picture with Santa. The best thing about the magnificent mile is that it’s free to visit.

“I love going to Michigan Avenue. My family and I watch the parade every year and take a picture with Santa,” says Treacy.

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About the Contributors
Kaelyn Howell, Journalism and Media 1 Writer
My name is Kaelyn Howell and I am a freshman at Marist. I graduated from Mt.Greenwood Elementary. I am on the varsity cheerleading team. Before Marist, I did all star cheer for 9 years. In my free time I like to spend time with my family, hangout with my friends, and bake.

Caroline Gutritch, Journalism and Media 1 Writer
My name is Caroline Gutrich, I am a freshman at Marist High School. I graduated from Queen of Martyrs. I do cheerleading here at Marist. In my free time I hangout with friends and shop a lot. I also do youth ministry in my free time.

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