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The official Christmas tree of Chicago in Millennium Park, covered with multicolored lights against the city skyline at night.

4 Spots Near the UIC Campus to Celebrate the Holidays


Though this holiday season might be a bit different than what we’re used to in Chicago, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy it. Arc at Old Colony has a guide to some of the local celebrations near the University of Illinois at Chicago campus you won’t want to miss.

What’s the Best Holiday Event Near Downtown Chicago in 2020?

Most Chicagoans would agree that ZooLights is the first place you should go for a little holiday fun. The Lincoln Park Zoo decks itself out every year with millions of lights and illuminated displays – and all for an incredibly affordable ticket price of just $5 per guest. You’ll also get to see the animals in their outdoor habitat and learn more about them and the zoo’s conservation efforts.

Where’s the Best Holiday Tree in Chicago?

You won’t have to go far to find it. Less than a mile away from Arc at Old Colony, you’ll be afforded a view of the Great Tree at Macy’s Walnut Room. Though indoor dining is temporarily unavailable, you can still order takeout and enjoy the tree while you pick up your order.

Also within walking distance is the official Christmas tree of Chicago, on display through Jan. 7 in Millennium Park. The park is open daily until 9 PM, ensuring you will get plenty of time to admire the lights.

What About Something More Active to Do in Chicago in December?

If you’re looking for something that will get your heart rate up, try ice skating at Maggie Daley Park’s Ribbon. This incredible trail of ice winds through the city, and is twice as long as a traditional rink is round. Known by locals as “alpine in the city,” this experience is a great way to enjoy the season and Downtown Chicago. Just make sure you make a reservation before you go.

What’s the Best Option for Performance Art This Year?

Since many traditional events and live performances have been canceled this season, The Merchandise Mart has come up with a creative solution. Already famous around the city for its Art on the Mart evening shows, now through Dec. 30, visitors will be able to watch a 30-minute show featuring animated images of The Joffrey Ballet’s version of the holiday classic, “The Nutcracker,” along with images from current exhibitions. Enjoy this show from the Chicago Riverwalk between Franklin and Wells Streets. Just be sure to check the visitor requirements before you head out.

Whether you choose to make the most of Chicago’s holiday season out and about in the city or at home enjoying tasty treats from the many nearby restaurants, Arc at Old Colony provides the perfect setting. Our incredible South Loop location, historic architecture, and sleek, modern interiors combine to make the perfect home base for celebrating with festive Chicago flair.


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