Sure, many stores and restaurants are closed on Christmas Day, but visitors and locals in the Windy City have plenty to celebrate come December 25.Check out these ideas for making the most of a mostly closed holiday. Skate the City's Rinks If you're ready for a day on the ice, you can pick from one of three options.Until recently, there were no Christmas markets and even Christmas trees were a rarity (both, however, have gained in popularity), and plenty of restaurants, cafés, and stores are open over the holiday period.
Hop on one of its 42 climate-controlled gondolas and take in the city’s best sights, including Stone Mountain 20 miles away.
For a Southern splurge, opt for a VIP gondola with leather seats, a glass floor, and a longer flight time (30 minutes instead of roughly 12). Forget Prime Rib; Feast on Shrimp and Grits Instead At Southern Art, a Buckhead restaurant owned by Oprah’s former personal chef Art Smith, Christmas Day means jumbo Georgia shrimp served over creamy grits.
There’s no Santa here—kids get their presents from Sint Nicolaas on December 5, not Christmas Day.
And for the Dutch, Christmas dinner takes place on the evening of December 24.
Though the event launched just five years ago, it’s already an area classic, drawing some 200,000 visitors annually.
Two million energy-efficient lights illuminate the sprawling grounds filled with Southern magnolias, Chihuly sculptures, and a wide variety of orchids.
This year, the theme is the fantastical "Santa's Journey to the Stars," about a boy named Alex who receives a magical and mystical telescope that enables him to experience the wonder of the holiday on other planets before landing back on Earth. Sample the Christmas Brunch at Sixteen Sixteen, the fine dining restaurant in the Trump Hotel, has a Christmas spectacular planned, complete with brunch, reindeer, hot chocolate and mulled wine, a string trio, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. The Garfield Park Conservatory holiday flower show decks the halls with poinsettias and winter-themed décor. Go to the Movies Six much-anticipated movies are hitting theaters Christmas day, and with everyone together doing family celebrations, you may not have to fight so hard for seats.
Over at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, a pink and white theme comes complete with poinsettias, a miniature model of Chicago made from natural materials, and model trains coursing through the building. The biggest blockbusters slated for the time are Concussion, Daddy's Home, The Hateful Eight, Joy, Point Break, and The Revenant.
It's cooked "low and slow" on a Big Green Egg, an Atlanta-made kamado-style cooker with a huge cult following.