Christmas in Chicago

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

As it is only my second year in Chicago,I haven’t really taken the time last year to enjoy the city during this season. But this time, I was able to find my way downtown and finally check out the popular Christkindlmarket! I love Christmas markets. No matter how overrated they may seem. There’s just something about being surrounded by all the good holiday vibes.

Christmaskindlmarket Chicago

Christmaskindlmarket is a cute Christmas market in the heart of Chicago, located in Daley Plaza, the one with the big Picasso sculpture. I went on a Sunday afternoon and let me tell you: It. Was. Packed. Too crowded for me. Hence, I still had fun trying to find my way through the crowd and stand in line for a hot cider. All because I want this overpriced mini stein. Sigh.


“All because I want this overpriced mini stein. Sigh.”









I expected the market to be a little bigger though. I felt it was too cramped and the stalls too small. I mean, I unfairly compared it to my favorite market – Bryant Park’s Winter Village – in NYC. So, there’s that.

Most of my local friends and coworkers told me the market is overrated and that they haven’t been in years. But that doesn’t mean other locals feel the same way. The place was packed!



I’m not a big shopper and I actually hate shopping. I’m too impatient especially when it’s crowded. I do like the experience and the holiday vibes I get from Christmas markets.

My friend Kelsey and I didn’t linger long at the market, but we did walk around the Loop and enjoyed the holiday window displays, specifically of Macy’s. Eventually, we found our way to the new Nutella Cafe on Michigan Ave., where we had some crepes and hot coffee.

Christkindlmarket has another Chicago location at Wrigleyville. I haven’t been to that one yet, but maybe next year?

If you’re not into markets or if you want to do other activities, you can always head out to Millennium Park or the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink for ice skating.



McCormick Tribune Ice Rink

Downtown Chicago

I won’t be in Chicago for Christmas again. I usually spend it in Connecticut with my family. That is the one tradition that we like keeping since we are Christmas people. Except this year, I got a pass to spend it elsewhere since my family will be going to Disney in Orlando again. That’s what happens when you have cute little nieces and nephews!

So this year, I will be spending Christmas up north….waaaay up in the Arctic Circle! I already feel closer to Santa.


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Jen is a Chicago-based traveler and a full-time Director of Development for an arts & culture organization. Originally from Connecticut, she created JetsettingJen as a place to share her travel stories and photos with friends and family. Now, it is a place for adventurers, explorers and dreamers. Its purpose is to inspire and encourage people to see the world and achieve a better work-life balance.