One of the many things that help define Chicago in the summertime are all the unique festivals that fill the neighborhood streets. Food vendors, arts and crafts dealers, and all kinds of live music and entertainment make for a pretty awesome scene at many of these local events, and although the weather isn’t quite as ideal in December, the holiday season in the Windy City is also loaded with all kinds of fun-filled festivals and events that help make winter just a little more tolerable.
So instead of being stuck indoors all month long, get out there and embrace what many consider the most wonderful time of the year by checking these and other great holiday festivals and markets happening all over town:
Christkindlemarket Chicago - November 20th to December 24th
A Chicago tradition that was first inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, this open-air Christmas festival started back in 1996 and has since grown into one of the more highly-anticipated holiday traditions in town. A European-style market that’s full of arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, and that tasty spiced wine, this one is a must-hit every year if you live in the city.
Renegade Craft Fair - December 5th & 6th
Taking place on December 5th and 6th at the Bridgeport Art Center, the Renegade Craft Fair is loaded with awesome handmade goodies that are perfect for seasonal gifts. Local food vendors will also be on hand, and there will even be music and DIY workshops as well!
Randolph Street Holiday Market - December 12th & 13th
If you’ve ever been to the Randolph Street Market in the summertime, you’ll probably know what to expect at the Randolph Street Holiday Market, which also provides a unique mix of well-priced antiques, vintage goods, and other custom-made gifts that make for perfect gifts or stocking stuffers! Along with free parking, there’s also free gift wrapping too!
Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier - December 5th to January 10th
Featuring dozens of rides, slides, and a huge 170,000 square foot ice skating rink, the Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier has it all! There’s also photo ops and even a Ferris wheel , but perhaps the best part is that its all indoors, meaning you get to stay warm for the most part!