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Monday, December 31, 2012

Celebrate Christmas in Chicago - 10 Fun Things to Do During TheHolidaySeason!

10 Fun Things to Do in Chicago During The Holiday Season

1. Have lunch at The Walnut Room at Macy's, but make sure to get there early because the lines can be very long.
2. View the window displays at Macy's.  People come from all over to view Macy's window displays at Christmas.
3. Visit Christkindlemart - The German inspired marketplace with holiday ornaments, food
And more.
4. Navy Pier Winter Wonderfest with an indoor ice rink, Ferris wheel and several small rides for kids along with many other Christmas activities the children would enjoy.  There is also a build a bear workshop located in the building.
5. Ice Skating at Millenium Park.
6. Horse & Carriage Ride with a cup of hot cocoa.
7. Magnificent Mile light display.
8. Holiday Cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory.
9. Shopping Water Tower Place with stores like American Girl, Lego Land, Forever 21
And just down the street The Disney Store, Crate & Barrel and much more your sure to
your sure to find all the items on your list with so many stores to choose from.
10. Christmas Trees From around the World at The Museum of Science and Industry.

Our Trip to Chicago Christmas 2012

We decided to take the Amtrak from Pontiac, Il to Chicago instead of driving there.  We figured it would be less stressful this way and we also wouldn't have to pay for parking.  Our train was to leave at 7:59 a.m., so we had to wake the kids up early to be there on time.  The kids were not exactly happy about that.

We arrived at the Amtrak station at about 20 minutes till 8:00 so we sat and waited, and waited and waited, needless to say we waited until 9:00 until the train finally showed up...

They apologized for our wait and explained of a broken train track which caused the delay.  We got on the train and got settled into our seats and the trained pulled away from Pontiac.  We were finally on our way.  The next stop was Dwight which was about 15 minutes away.  When we arrived at Dwight we were told there was another set of broken tracks and it would be about another hour wait.  It was a good thing I brought crossword puzzles, magazines, coloring books and our ipods for entertainment because what should have been an hour and a half train ride ended up taking us 5 hours.

Even through all of this I still recommend taking Amtrak when ever possible, sometimes there are situations we can't control no matter what form of transportation we choose. 

We had a nice view from our hotel window of the River and the beautiful old building with a clock tower on it.  We stayed at the Hyatt Regency, which was a very convenient location.  We were able to walk almost every where that we wanted to go and the beds were absolutely amazing, I felt like I was sleeping on a cloud.

Our view out our hotel window.
Trumpets adorn the facade of the Macy's building.

Macy's Window Displays

inside Macy's

Looking into the Walnut Room at Macy's

The beautiful Christmas tree that stands in the center of the Walnut Room.

Christkindle Mart at Daley's Square

You will find many horse and carriages on the streets of Chicago.  What a romantic way to spend an afternoon or evening with a cup of hot cocoa and a carriage ride with the one you love enjoying the beauty of the Christmas season.

                                               We ate dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.  It is one of my favorite places to eat in Chicago.  The building is whimsical and fun, it reminds me of icing on a cake.  There is a large selection of food to choose from on the menu.  The only problem is trying to save room for dessert. 

The next morning the plan was to eat breakfast and then go ice skating at Millenium Park.  We ate breakfast at Wild Berry Restaurant, which was conveniently located right across the street from Millenium Park and just a couple of blocks from our hotel.  The food was delicious and they also had a wide variety to choose from.

We finished our breakfast just before 10:00 and then walked over to the ice rink, which opens at 10:00, talk about perfect timing.  We got there just early enough to see the ice rink before anybody set foot on it, it was so beautiful.

The cost to skate was $40.00.  The skating is actually free, but there is a $10.00 charge for ice skate rental.  So if you own your own skates you would pay nothing.

After ice skating we took a cab to The Museum of Science and Industry to view the Christmas Trees around the World.  The cab cost us about $15.00 from Millenium Park to the museum, and for the four of us to get into the museum it was $60.00 for general admission.

The museum has a really cool miniture train display.  There are several different scenes and each
one goes into great detail.

If you look close enough at the picture below you can see that there is a black grizzly bear that is about to attack a man
right outside the cave.

We took another taxi back to Millenium Park and then walked from there.  We had about 2 and half hours before our train was going to leave so we decided to go take a walk down by the river.  

We walked back to our hotel to get our luggage.  The hotel was right across the street so it was convenient.  We had checked out earlier, but asked the hotel to hold our luggage for us until we were ready to leave.  We held a cab and headed to Union Station.  The cab from The Hyatt Regency to Union Station was only about $8.00.  We were plenty early for our train, but it gave us time to grab a quick bite to eat and look at some magazines for a little while.  It was a great weekend.  I love Chicago at Christmas time.  It's magical!!

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