Fun in the Chicago winter

Sat, 2010/11/20


As December approaches, we can all feel the winter just starting to set in. The jeans are no longer enough to protect us from the harsh coldness that surrounds us. Yes, the winter is all but here, and it brings with it this gloom and drowsiness, that is the worst enemy to every college student.

The one light at the end of the tunnel for many of us, however, is the prospect of going back home for winter break! Of course, there is the little issue of having to get through finals week before that, but let’s just skip that part for now! Unfortunately, not all of us are going back home this Christmas. But rest assured all is not lost! Chicago can be a lot of fun in the winter. So this article in the last issue of TechNews for this semester is for the benefit of the few who are going to stay back in Chicago/on campus and want things to do, which are not too heavy on the purse strings.

For one, Millennium Park is organizing a host of events in the winter:

One thing that you wouldn’t want to miss would be the McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink. The Rink, overlooking one of Chicago’s prettiest and best known sites, opened on the 19th of November 2010, kicking off the holiday season, and will stay open until the 13th of March 2011. The rink timings are 12am to 8pm on weekdays, and 10am to 9pm on weekends, with special holiday hours for Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. The rink is located at Michigan Avenue between Madison Street and Washington Street, and admission is free, though you have to pay $10 for the ice skates.

They also have the Lurie Garden Seasonal Walk on December 4th, from 10:00am - 11:00am, where one gets to walk around in the pre-winter garden, and look at native plants, and Chicago symbolism in the design of the garden, and the Lurie Garden Adult Workshop for "Green" Cleaning for the New Year on the 8th of January from 10am to 12pm, which talks about making all-natural household products that are good for you, and good for the environment.

There will be caroling every Friday from the 3rd to the 24th of December at Cloud Gate, and a cabaret at the famous Jay Pritzker Pavilion on the 20th from 7pm to 9pm.

Another majorly fun event is the Christkindlmarket, aka German Christmas Market, which will come around on the 24th of November, and will stay until the 25th of December. The Christkindlmarket is like a recreation of a German market right in downtown Chicago. Vendors sell all sorts of unique handmade items, ranging from dolls, to clocks to even jewellery and clothing. And to make sure you don’t get hungry, there are also loads of little shops selling varieties of German foods and drinks (one their most popular drinks is the Glühwein (hot spiced wine), served in a boot-shaped mug. The hours of the Christkindlmarket are roughly from 11am to 8 or 9pm, except on the first and last days, when it ends it 4pm. It is to be located at the Daley Plaza, and admission is completely free!

If none of these options attract you, you could always go to State Street, Water Tower or Old Orchard in Skokie (a little far away, but can be reached by the CTA) to make use of their crazy Christmas/Hanukkah sales! On the 12th of December, the Architectural Artifacts at 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave is to host a huge event where 75 artists get to out on display their work in ceramics, jewelry, painting, and textiles etc, followed by a benefit auction to auction off the merchandise. The event is from 10am to 5pm and admission is free!

In Foster Avenue and Clark Street, all the stores and restaurants are going to stay open from 6pm till late night, offering discounted prices on merchandise and food, in the Late Night Andersonville event on the 3rd of December, followed by a similar event on the 17th of December called the Later Night Andersonville, which will include complimentary entertainment and refreshments.

There will also be other shows running all over chicago, like the 77th annual McDonalds Thanksgiving Parade on the 25th of November from 8am to 11am on the State Street and Congress Parkway, with Jessica Beals as the Grand Marshall.

For New Year’s, the skies over Lake Michigan will be lit up with fireworks in a 15 minute diplay set to music. There will be two displays, one at 8.15pm, and then another at 11.59pm at the famous Navy Pier. Admission is free, so the crowd would probably be huge, but the more the merrier right?

Again at Navy Pier, there will be loads of fun activities like rides, ice skating and carolers from the December 3rd through January 2nd on Fridays and Saturdays. The trees will all be deorated with over 750,000 ornaments making Navy Pier look perfectly fetive for the festive season!

With all these fun events going on in Chicago, it is almost a pity that most people who come from different parts of the US (or the world) will not be here to enjoy them. But the ones who do stay back, must make sure they enjoy every possible event. Chicago looks dazzling in the winter, and with the kinds of events going on, staying here will be a pleasure.