The Season To Be Jolly: December in Chicago

Indulge in the man ways to be merry in Chicago’s winter wonderland this month.

DECEMBER 2019 — From staying toasty around our fireplaces in Drawing Room to toasting festive cocktails at Happy’s (our very own holiday pop-up bar), Chicago Athletic Association transforms into a winter playground during December. Prefer to enjoy the elements outdoors? Step right outside into the dazzling display of lights and get into the spirit this month with our December round-up of events:

Happy’s: Warholidays Polaroid Portraits 
Chicago’s Warhol-mania continues at Happy’s! This time, enter a glimpse of Warhol’s Silver Factory within the pop-up, strike a pose, and have your photo taken on Polaroid film. After that, swing by the hotel’s Stubb Alley and snap a few photo-ops with our newest Warhol-inspired mural of that iconic Cindy Pritzker portrait
When: Monday, December 9; 6:30PM – 8:30PM
Where: Happy’s, The Tank (1st floor of Chicago Athletic Association, 12 S. Michigan Ave.)
Cost: Free (Complimentary photos – first come, first served)

Polar Adventure Days
Tour the new Northerly Island Natural Area this winter with a full list of activities available only 3 times this season! Interact with Siberian huskies and other live animals, create nature-inspired winter crafts, or just enjoy a leisurely walk around the prairie at this one-of-a-kind escape from the holiday hustle of the city.
When: Saturday, December 14; 12:00 – 3:00 PM
Where: Northerly Island (1521 S. Linn White Drive)
Cost: Free

Wilco at the Chicago Theater
Catch one of the most defining American rock bands as they offer a 4 night run at the historic Chicago Theater. With a deep album catalog that span an even wider pocket of genres, their stay is not one to miss. Fun fact: the “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” album depicts Chicago’s own Marina Towers on the cover!
When: Sunday, December 15 – Thursday, December 19; 7:30 PM
Where: Chicago Theater (175 N. State St.)
Cost: $85 – $105

Transport yourself to this boisterous German and European traditional open-air Christmas Market, located right in the heart of Chicago’s Loop. Add to the holiday shopping list with intricate, handmade trinkets available for purchase and top it off with a mug of warm, spiced wine at a traditional “Stammtisch” table!
When: Through Tuesday, December 24; Sunday – Thursday (11:00AM – 8:00PM), Friday/Saturday (11:00AM – 9:00PM), Christmas Eve (11:00AM – 4:00PM)
Where: Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St.)
Cost: Free

Iceskating at Millennium Park & Maggie Daley Park
Lace up those skates and glide on the ice with two of Chicago’s iconic ice rinks! Enjoy the wintry twinkle of the city with these two unique locations offering immersive views of Chicago’s skyline.
When: Through March 2020
Where: McCormick Tribune Plaza & Maggie Daley Park
Cost: Free; skate rentals available

Polar Express
Experience the magic with this interactive retelling of the classic holiday story. Hop aboard with the entire family as you journey with Santa and his elves to the North Pole, complete with hot chocolate and cookies served by dancing chefs.
When: Through Tuesday, December 31; Various Times
Where: Chicago Union Station (225 S. Canal St.)
Cost: Varies

Light up the evening with festive activities at one of the oldest free admission zoos in North America. The event celebrates its 25 years of ZooLights featuring the incredible glittering glow of 2.5 million lights, musical light shows, carolers, and joyful gift shopping.
When: Through Saturday, January 5, 2020
Where: Lincoln Park Zoo (2001 N. Clark St.)
Cost: Free