Introduction

They say the nickname Windy City was coined in reference to Chicago politics, but truth be told our frigid winters keeps the term alive. Wind and 20-degree weather are probably not on the top of your must-haves for a holiday getaway, we think it should be! Picture yourself drinking hot cocoa snuggled with your loved ones while enjoying a beautiful walk through Lincoln Park Zoo’s light display or a warm tea at the Drake Hotel.

Well, if you’re looking for something different there are unlimited holiday activities to keep you jolly and warm. Curious about what you can do? Here’s a full day of experiences with some Latino influence:

Morning: Holiday Traditions

Kick off your day at the Museum of Science and Industry for the Christmas Around the World exhibit. It’s an awesome, family-friendly experience and if you’re a museum geek like us, you don’t want to miss our favorite!

Lunch: The Options are Endless

In a city that knows no bounds on providing delicious food, this one is hard for us to recommend so we’ll go with our current favorite neighborhood. The West Loop is home to so many amazing restaurants, and it helps that it’s a fun neighborhood to walk around in. Whether you’re looking for barbecue (Green Street Smoked Meats), pizza (Parlor Pizza Bar), burgers (Kuma’s), sandwiches (Nonna’s), or American (Girl & The Goat). The list of options is long and we’ve spent a lot of time exploring them. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!

Afternoon: Shop Local

There is no shortage of shopping opportunities in Chicago but some of our favorite places to check out are La Catrina Cafe, Back of the Yards Coffeehouse and the Pilsen Community Market. These local southside coffee shops and pop-ups showcase local Latino artists and makers like Hecho Con Carino by AngMir, La Selva Chicago, Las Crafty Anties and more! A cafecito is a good pick me up too!

Or experience the Christkindlmarket, a German tradition in the heart of downtown Chicago. This magical holiday village offers various shopping options like jewelry, home decor, and hand-blown and painted ornaments. While exploring keep warm with hot spiced wine in their famous souvenir mugs and try German foods like sausages, potato pancakes, and strudels.

Evening: Dinner, Drinks, and Lights!

For the past 24 years, the Zoo Lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo has been a holiday tradition for many in Chicago. Whether you’re looking for a date night or family activity, this is the place to truly see the holidays come to life – under 2.5 million lights. Best part – it’s free! Your experience will range from ice sculpture carvings, photos with Santa, music light shows, to 3D displays. All while enjoying adult beverages like warm spiced wine and frosty beers.

Best way to end the night is with festive food and drinks at local holiday pop up bars. Looking for wall-to-wall Christmas decor and a whole lot of Christmas spirit? Head on over to Santa Baby in Wrigleyville, home of the Chicago Cubs, for delicious holiday-themed drinks, food, and outdoor s’more fire pits. Or experience one of Chicago’s historic neighborhoods, Old Town, and check out Frosty’s Christmas bar nearby. Don’t forget your holiday attire for this bar covered in Christmas wrapping paper and life-size toy soldiers.

Getting Around:

There are many options for getting around the city but during the holiday season, you’ll find that many people are on the lookout for the holiday CTA train and bus!