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December 2012 in Chicago

The Holidays Come Alive in Chicago in December


December 2012 Chicago Weather:

Average High Temperature: 47°F (8°C)
Average Low Temperature: 32°F (0°C)
Average Snowfall: 2.9" Average Precipitation: 2.7"

December in Chicago is one of the city's best with holiday events, festivals, and more. It's hard not to find something fun to do in Chicago this month.

(Suggested Reading: Cold Weather Camping Tips l ABCs of Hosting Thanksgiving l Christmas Decorating Ideas)

Here is a sampling of some of Chicago's best December events:

December 7 - 9, 2012: Lincoln Square Christkindlmarket - More than 30 merchants will sell German crafts and foods, including sausages, jam-filled doughnuts called krapfen, potato pancakes and apple streusel at Lincoln Square's annual Christkindlmarket that also includes visits from St. Nicholas and ornament and cookie decorating. Admission is a $3 donation.

Beginning December 1, 2012: Holiday Magic at the Brookfield Zoo - More than a million lights will shine at the Brookfield Zoo during their annual Holiday Magic event, which runs each weekend in December, and include holiday choirs, special shows, and visits with Santa.

Through December 24, 2012: Christkindlmarket Chicago - The Christkindlmarket is Chicago's largest open-air Christmas festival and includes European arts and crafts, as well as brats, spiced wine and other German specialties. The only downside to this year's market will be the city's Christmas tree. Due to budget cuts, the tree will be considerably smaller this year. Normally, the tree is comprised of several large Christmas trees. This year, it will just be one tree, at least that is what I have heard. The Christkindlmarket is open daily through December 24, 2012 at Chicago's Daley Plaza.

2012 Dates TBD: A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre - Goodman Theatre's A Christmas Carol, a Charles Dickens' classic story is a holiday must. Tickets range from $16 - $45.

Through December 27, 2012: Nutcracker with the Joffrey Ballet - This holiday tradition performed by Chicago's Joffrey Ballet is a Chicago holiday tradition. 2012 dates are to be determined but daily shows are usually 2 and 7 p.m. at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress Parkway. Tickets range from $15 - $125.

Through January 6, 2013: ZooLight at the Lincoln Park Zoo - Each year the Lincoln Park Zoo decorates its grounds and trees with mult-colored lights and animal figures. ZooLights is free and is sponsored by ComEd. Activities include ice carving demonstrations, a Holiday Express Train, and more. ZooLights runs through January 6, 2013. Admission is free. (The Brookfield Zoo also has holiday lights.)

Beginning November 24, 2012: Shedd Aquarium Holiday Breakfasts - The Shedd Holiday Breakfasts are back, Saturdays usually starting Thanksgiving weekend. Treat the family to a special holiday experience where after a full breakfast, it’s “All aboard!” for a private viewing of the 15-minute The Polar Express 4-D Experience, followed by a drawing for special prizes. The holiday fun continues during a visit with Santa. Snap a photo with him and receive a gift. Explore Shedd’s Polar Play Zone and finish your special day with reserved seats to A Holiday Fantasea. Tickets are $44.95 for adults and $34.95 for children (ages 3-11), which includes a Total Experience Pass, breakfast, Polar Express bell, photo with Santa, and reserved seating for A Holiday Fantasea. Shedd members receive a $5 discount on tickets. Other holiday events at the Shedd Aquarium include the A Holiday Fantasea where the Shedd's Pacific white-sided dolphins leap, beluga whales breach, and a sea lion saunters showcase their natural behaviors set to a festive soundtrack from around the world. Santa makes a special appearance too.

Through January 6, 2013: Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier - Navy Pier's winter festival that includes a castle, ice skating, and holiday entertainment. Tickets start at $15.

Through January 6, 2013: Christmas Around the World and Holiday Lights at the Museum of Science and Industry - This holiday exhibition features over 50 trees and displays that are decorated by members of ethnic communities across the city to reflect holiday customs from all over the world. The exhibit includes performances from multiple dance and chorus groups, as well as a 45-foot tree in the museum's main hall that is decorated with more than 30,000 lights and 1,000 ornaments.

Through March 2013: Ice skating at Millennium Park - Come out and skate for free under some of Chicago's most impressive skyscrapers. This outdoor skating rink is open daily through usually mid March. Skate rentals are available for $10. Tip: Afterwards have lunch or dinner at the Park Grill located behind the rink.

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