Enjoy your stay-cation

Don’t feel bad if you aren’t going anywhere this winter break.  There are plenty of fun things to do around both Evanston and Chicago.  Here are our top picks.

Ice Skating at the Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon

In the center of downtown Chicago the new Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon provides an entirely unique ice skating experience. Patrons can skate twice the length of a traditional skating rink, stopping occasionally to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. Admission is free, skate rentals are $12 and locker rentals are $2. For more information please click here.

The Christkindlmarket

Inspired by the traditional German Christkindlesmarkt the Christkindlmarket Chicago brings international flair and local charm to Chicago. You can purchase anything from hand-blown ornaments to jewelry to cuckoo clocks, making sure to stop and sample various sweet and savory treats. Admission is free and the market runs from Nov. 20 to Dec. 24 on the Daley Plaza in the Chicago Loop. For more information please click here.


Head to Lincoln Park Zoo for the annual, fun free, family-oriented holiday celebration known as ZooLights. It features luminous displays made of hundreds of strings of holiday lights and holiday-season activities throughout zoo grounds. Admission is free from now through Jan. 3.  For more information please click here.

“The Nutcracker”

A beloved holiday tradition continues with Robert Crown Community Center’s 41st annual “The Nutcracker on Ice,” 7:30 p.m. Fri., 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sat., and 2:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 11-13, at 1701 Main St., Evanston. Tickets begin at $15. For more information please click here.

The Museum of Science and Industry

Experience the 74th Museum of Science and Industry’s annual display, Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light. This year’s theme is inspired by the exhibit Robot Revolution, supported by Google. The 45-foot Grand Tree holds court in the Rotunda, decked out with thousands of glittering lights, ornaments and trimmings. It is surrounded by more than 50 dazzling trees, beautifully decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s ethnic communities, offering insight into their diverse cultures. For more information please click here.