Chicago comes alive with holiday fun

Updated: 2014-12-08 16:24

By Xu Lin(

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Winter is one of the best seasons to visit Chicago, with its downtown and neighborhoods shining brightly to show the joyous holiday spirit.

A few weeks later, there is plenty of excitement for Chinese New Year, too. Visitors will find various exhibitions and performances, and popular traditions such as Christmas tree-lighting festivals.

Some free holiday events at this time include:

* Macy’s Holiday Windows and Great Tree Lighting will presents a large Christmas tree adorned with 42 LED star ornaments and twinkling lights until Jan 11.

* Christmas Market in Daley Plaza is a bustling village full of stalls such as delicious food and wine, where you can enjoy the holiday spirit. It ends on Christmas Eve.

* Millennium Park: Caroling at Cloud Gate will offer the beautiful voices of different Chicago choral groups until Dec 19. After the holiday sing-along, everyone is encouraged to enjoy a free skate at Millennium Park’s McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. The rink is open until Mar 7, with skate rentals available for those who do not bring their own skates.

* ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo will last until Jan 4. ZooLights is a unique holiday celebration that makes Lincoln Park Zoo into a winter wonderland, with more than two million lights illuminating the sky. Visitors will see larger-than-life lighted animals, holiday crafts, sweet treats and activities, and play with Santa Claus at the Helen Brach Primate House.

* You can see the amazing New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Navy Pier at 7 pm and midnight respectively on Dec 31. Later, Chinese visitors can join Chicago Chinese New Year 2015, which will have special events from Feb 19 to March 5, including a kickoff fine-arts event on Feb 19 at the Chicago Cultural Center and a Chinese New Year Parade on Feb 22.