Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holiday Traditions in Chicago

Chicago is a great city 
to visit during the holidays.
Lots to see and do.

My daughter and I have a tradition
for the last five years now,
that we go to the city on Christmas Eve's
eve and spend the day (and night) running around
shopping and taking in all of the holiday sites.

We get up the next morning, 
make a few more stops,
 then grab some lunch 
and make it back home on Christmas Eve
just in time to start dinner 
and make it to church services!

Wanted to share our great windy city
with you, all decked out for the holidays!

This was the Water Tower two nights ago.

And this was the Lego version at Water Tower Place! It was about six feet tall.

Drove by the skaters at Millenium Park
but didn't have time to stop and skate.  :(

Here is a view at night with the Michigan Avenue buildings as a back drop.

We made our annual stop to see
 the gorgeous old Marshall Field's 
flagship store on State Street, 
now a Macy's.  :(

 (Sorry, not a fan --- of Macy's.)

Brunch under "the tree"  in The Walnut Room at the old Marshall Field's store.
Checked out the themed holiday windows along State Street.
Love Field's landmark clock has been helping Chicagoans keep time since 1897,
Made sure we looked up to take in the glass tiled mosaic ceiling that Louis Tiffany designed for the flagship store.

This year
we did not get a chance 
to stop by the ChristkindlMarkt 
in the heart of the city. So much fun! 
The market runs an entire month  
and for an hour or so you would
swear you are in Bavaria! 
Good food, cold beer, lively music
 and lovely European gifts.

Looking down onto the market from a building above.

 Charming booths and many vendors selling their old world wares.

Not enough hours in our day
for a trip to the Art Institute.
Love the lions and their pretty collars
in December.

We did swing by Navy Pier 
which extends out into Lake Michigan
where they host the
Winter WonderFest 
indoor carnival and holiday festival.

On Saturday morning we had the most gorgeous clear blue sky! (Navy Pier entrance)

Then we hit our favorite lunch spot, Wishbone, before heading home!  Yum! Must eat there!

My son met us there! An unexpected holiday surprise! :)

It was an action-packed 24 hours,
and we all had a wonderful Christmas too.

Hope your weekend was a great one.


Connie (aka LOU) said...

Oh Alison! Thanks for the pictures. We used to go into the city years ago at Christmas time and we haven't for so long. I have yet to see Millenium Park. The white horses and buggy rides still blow me away. The city is extra beautiful with everything decked out in holiday trim. Thanks so much for sharing your pics. Made me smile with a ping of envy. AND like a true Chicagoan, Marshall Fields all the way baby!

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

What a wonderful tradtion and spending time with your daughter.

Chicago is fun at christmas and it will always be Marshall Fields to me! Hope you had a Frango Mint for me!

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

As a native and suburban resident, I'm right there with you. It's a great place to be at Christmas. We like driving around Lake Shore Drive. Don't apologize for your Macy's remark. I practically went into mourning when it switched. Still Marshall Fields in my heart.

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

I am not a Chicago native but have lived here for half of my life so I might as well be!

Macy's handled it all wrong when they took over. It's a terrible shame. Most Chicagoans will not find it in their hearts to forgive Macy's for their insensitive and ego-driven behaviors that got the best of them in the takeover.

Too bad.

A little bit of respect for a long-time much beloved institution would have gone a long way. It's all a shame.

Thanks Connie Lou and Rosemary, for agreeing with me!! :)

Sarah said...

Alison, this post makes me want to plan a trip to Chicago next Dec. Looks like a fun place to be with lots to see and do. I'm adding this idea to my list for 2012. ;-)
Never shopped a Marshal Fields, but that flagship building looks like a must see.
Thanks for sharing. What a sweet tradition!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Alison, this looks like such a wonderful day! How great to have traditions like this! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, too! XO

The enchanted home said...

What a beautiful city and perfect day!! Only been to Chicago once but this makes me want to return pronto! Absolutely beautiful and your kids are just adorable:)
Hope you had a merry Christmas!

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

Taylor and I will be making the same trip on Thurs and Fri. I am meeting her in the city and spending the night. We will lunch at The Walnut Room and do tea at The Drake. Looks like you had a wonderful time!
Happy New Year!

Paula@SweetPea said...

Your post brought back wonderful memories of a Chicago visit years ago to see my in-laws when they lived there. The ChristkindlMarkt was one of my favorite stops when we toured the city.

Thanks for sharing your day with us.

Debi said...

What a wonderful way to spend Christmas Eve. I think it's so much fun to get into the hustle and bustle of the last minute with everyone. If I'm caught up with everything, I enjoy getting out and watch everything shunt down for Christmas Eve. Lovely pictures. I know you all had a great time.

Kelly said...

I have never been to Chicago, but hear such nice things about it. I know it is a very popular exciting city! My son's girlfriend is from there. He went with her to visit her extended family last summer. So, at least one of us in the family has been there. Ha! Thanks for sharing such awesome pics.

Richard Cottrell said...

Your Santa lanterns are new to me, so cute. Glad you found them. I spent several Christmas Holidays in Chicago with a friend, years back, it is very wonderful and exciting. It is almost as good as New York at Christmas. I had a very laid back day with me and Sissy Dog and all the other dogs at my house. Thanks so much for the sweet comment about them. I made there little hats and coats, just goes to show you, what an exciting life I have. Merry Late Christmas. Richard from My Old Historic House.

Peggy said...

Oh Alison, thank you for sharing these pictures. I miss Chicago so much, and your pics brought back so many wonderful memories. Chicago will always be my favorite US city. Maybe next year........ Peggy

IkkosStyle said...

Thank you so much for the pictures of Chicago at Christmastime! I grew up in Barrington and we always took a trip to the city to enjoy the holidays! You made one very homesick girl feel a little better today!

Kim said...

Sounds wonderful Alison! You left the sweetest comment on my blog the other day and blogger has been so uncooperative in letting me reply. So thank you and thank you for sharing your Holiday tradition. I too did a post about our traditions here in Philadelphia.
Merry Christmas!

An Oasis in the Desert said...

I've never been to Chicago, so thank you, Alison, for the wonderful photos. It looks amazing!

Blondie's Journal said...

Gorgeous pictures, Alison! You got a lot done in 24 hours!! I need good weekend of shopping in the city!


Kellie Collis said...

What a lovely city! The lights are gorgeous at night! Have a fabulous time, Kellie xx

Babs said...

Chicago looks like a wonderful place to visit.. and no snow yet. I'd love to visit the ChristkindleMarkt.
Thanks for sharing your great time with your kids.

Rachel Rose Mercantile said...

I've never been to Chicago so thank you for taking me this year! Simply amazing! Loved the pics and commentary.

Calypso In The Country said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time! Chicago really is a pretty city. I always have fond memories of it because my husband was working there when we started dating and he flew me out there to visit a few times. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!

Honey at 2805 said...

The city looks beautiful and it's such a sweet tradition to establish with your daughter Thanks for the tour!

Carole said...

What a city.....just gorgeous....reminds me so much of NYC.
Happy New Year!!!


Divine Theatre said...

I have a catalog of ornamentation you can buy from the same company that made all the elaborate details in the Marshall Field's State Street store! To DIE for and so very inexpensive!
You have such a lovely, loving family...what a blessing!
Happy Holidays!


At Home in English Valley said...

Dear Alison, You captured some of the magic which is Christmas or anyday for that matter in Chicago. I lived in Chicago for 40years before I moved to the burbs... Our city is a gem, and our Lake a true treasure. Beautiful photos and a wonderful tradition! Happy New Year! Love, Penny


Oh dear Alyson, this gorgeous post about Chicago in Dec. reminds so much of my fabulous home town New York and makes me want to be there in December! Nothing better than a tradition to spend time with your beautiful daughter, that is the best in life a mother can do. I'm so sorry about the Macy's situation and you are right, it's a darn shame when the ego takes over. Wishing you a happy, healthy and blessed New Year and thank you for sharing with me this entire year, it's been great knowing you pretty lady.