My Favorite Winter Activities in Chicago

Once Halloween’s over, Christmas mode starts in Chicago and DePaul. Here are my favorite winter and holiday activities to do in the city. 

To start off the holiday season, I went to go watch the City of Chicago’s Christmas tree lighting in Millennium Park, as well as the DePaul tree lighting. This year the DePaul tree will be lighting up on November 9th at 4 PM so don’t forget to stop by to kick off the holiday season and even get a free ugly Christmas sweater and scarf!

One of my favorite places to visit in Chicago is the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza. It’s a German-inspired market where you find delicious food and fancy ornaments/gifts to buy. The hot chocolate was a hit and we got to keep the cute mugs it came in as well. From there, you can also go ice skating in Daley Plaza or Millenium Park. Remember to reserve tickets in advance, Just make sure to dress accordingly. It was the first time I had experienced weather under 30 degrees and I was freezing! Don’t worry, I learned my lesson, so now I’m prepared. 

If you really enjoy shopping, I recommend walking down Michigan Avenue and looking for holiday deals. State Street also has a ton of great stores, especially if you’re looking for gifts for friends and family. Block 37 is a great indoor mall to walk around when it’s cold outside, you can also access the Pedway system underground to explore even more. The Pedway is a system of underground tunnels and overhead bridges linking more than 40 blocks in the Central Business District, covering roughly five miles. Used by tens of thousands of pedestrians each day, the Pedway connects to public and private buildings, CTA stations and commuter rail facilities, making it really convenient to explore the city, even when the weather is not so pretty.

This one isn’t specific to the holiday season but DePaul’s basketball games do run throughout the winter. Last year, I went to most of the games with my friends on the very convenient & stylish coach bus shuttle service. I also got free goodies at almost every game. There are always cool photo ops and great halftime shows to enjoy and I can’t wait to go to the games this year as well.


Lastly, because it often snows all the way until April, there’s plenty of time to participate in a snowball fight in the Quad! My friends and I walked through the quad and gathered snow to throw snowballs at each other, while building snowmen and making snow angels on the ground. Coming from California, last year was the first time I experienced a true winter and I had the greatest time ever! Although Chicago winters may be a bit harsh, you can make the best of it by joining in on these fun activities! And don’t forget — summer will be back before you know it!

~ Saira

Join the fun at DePaul!