Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in a Nutshell:
The City of Chicago and UL are kicking off the start of the holiday season with the 99th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, Tuesday, November 20, 2012. The Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will include musical performances and holiday music, which begin at 4:30 p.m. and the tree lighting at 5 p.m. The tree will be decorated with multi-colored lights and ornaments. The Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will also include performances by Gentleman’s Rule and the Goodman Theatre's A Christmas Carol, as well as a visit from Santa.
Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Admission:
Admission to the Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is free.
Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Location:
The Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place at Daley Plaza
,Washington and Dearborn, in Chicago's Loop area. (Due to the expected crowds, consider taking public transportation to the event. Check out our Chicago Public Transportation Guide
for more information.)
About the Chicago Christmas Tree:
This year's tree comes from Prospect Heights, Illinois, which was chosen earlier this year by the city after people voted online. The tree was donated by Barbara Theiszmann and is a 64-foot-tall Colorado Spruce and has 15,000 lights. This is the fourth straight year Chicago is using a single tree rather than a series of smaller trees that are put together to make one large tree formation. Good news is that year's 12,000 pound tree is a roughly nine inches taller than last year's tree, another Colorado Spruce, from Western Springs.
Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Date and Time:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012; program begins at 4:30 p.m. and the tree lighting ceremony is at 5:00 p.m. (weather permitting)
Visits with Santa:
Santa's Workshop will be in a hut at the base of the tree. Santa is available during the following days and times to take gift requests and photos:
- November 20; 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
- November 22 (Thanksgiving Day); 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
- November 23 - December 23; 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (Monday - Friday); 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
- December 24; 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
**Between 3:00 - 4:00 p.m., Santa takes a break and enjoys some cookies.**
Don't forget: Chicago's annual Christkindlmarket opens on November 21, 2012 at 11 a.m. and will be open through December 24. Check out our Christkindlmarket 2012 Guide for more information.