Monday, December 10, 2012

Chicago Wonderland

 Last weekend, a few friends and I decided to hit the city and enjoy as many holiday festivities as we could in one. I had such a great time; I thought I would share it with our fellow readers so you could go out and enjoy your holiday break on the town.

Our adventure started at Millennium Park. We got hot chocolate and admired the lit up skyline reflection on The Bean. Now, I have seen The Bean many times before, but never in the evening. The darkness brought a whole new dimension to the skyline, which practically took my breath away.

 After taking many pictures with my friends, we decided to see what the ice skating was all about. The line wrapped around the outdoor rink but we stepped in line anyways. It was great to watch and interact with so many strangers. Behind us in line was a friendly middle-aged couple who gave us great advice on how to appreciate your blessings while you are away from home. In the rink, we saw a young lady fall and a complete stranger helped her back to her feet. It is experiences like this that make you realize how great people can be, and how the Holidays can really bring out the best in us. Unfortunately, after a half hour of waiting, we were told we would not be able to skate before the rink closed. Which leads me to my first piece of advice: If you are going to ice skate at Millennium Park, get in line before 8 p.m.. We did not let this be a setback for our festive evening, so we decided to go to Navy Pier. After much debate, we chose to walk there because of the great weather. So, the two mile walk began. Now this is where my second piece of advice comes in. The best way to make a two mile walk go by fast is to carol with your friends the whole time. We were able to get others to join along in our festive singing and even gained a small crew as we caroled down Michigan Avenue. I never knew that six silly people could bring together a large community in such a positive way. I am not sure if we can thank the Holiday atmosphere or the great people who we happened to be walking by that night. On our walk, we saw the grand Christmas tree standing in place of the famous Marilyn Monroe statue. The number of white lights on the tree gave a bright and joyful view and stood for a great place to take a break from walking. Of course, this is not the only Christmas Tree Chicago has put up. Another well-known Christmas tree viewing location is at the Daley Plaza. The remarkable tree is filled with colors and Holiday activities all day. Each tree really gets you in the Holiday spirit, and makes you wish you could fit a giant tree in your own living room. After admiring the tree, we booked it to our final destination, Navy Pier. Upon entering, the Pier is lit up vibrantly with snowflakes surrounding the entrance, but this is only the beginning.

You enter the boardwalk and can see the whole city lit up, with many buildings having messages in their windows! Once you reach the convention center, Navy Pier is transformed into a Winter WonderFest. The giant room is filled with blue carpets, lights, a giant (along with many smaller) Christmas tree, rides, attractions, great food, ice skating, and numerous chances for a good photo-shoot. We stayed at the Winter WonderFest until it closed so we could admire all of the festive decorations and activities. The families, teens, and adults enjoying the Winter WonderFest all had smiles on because of the wonderful atmosphere provided. Your children will be lit up with joy with the lights, decorations, and festive food and activities.

We had such a great time on our Holiday adventure. I would say that if you get a chance to go celebrate the season, I would recommend any and all of the events above. Some of the upcoming Holiday Events can be found HERE. Most of these events are family friendly, and the little kid inside of me was rekindled during my adventure. Also, it is a great break from school and work, so I encourage you to fill your yuletide season with as much joy as possible, because there truly is no time of the year quite like it.

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