Photography

Chicago all decorated for Christmas

Union Station, Chicago

On our recent long weekend in Chicago, the town was all decked out for Christmas. We’d never been to Union Station before, so we stepped in to see its stunning Great Hall.

Union Station, Chicago

I can’t imagine all the work the city has to put in to wrap so many trees with little lights. The trees are lit on street after street in the Loop.

Lit trees

We walked north across the Chicago River for dinner. The buildings along the river were lit in red and green, and terraces were strung with lights.

December evening on the Chicago River
December evening on the Chicago River *EXPLORED*
December evening on the Chicago River
Looking up at the Merchandise Mart

I live in a small Indiana town that seriously decorates its downtown for Christmas, and it’s charming. But it can’t touch what Chicago has done if for no other reason than its sheer scale.

Chicago Cultural Center

Come back Christmas Day and I’ll show you photographs of the giant Christmas tree in Millennium Park. It’s stunning!

Canon PowerShot S95

Last updated on 14 March 2020 by Jim Grey

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13 thoughts on “Chicago all decorated for Christmas

  1. One of my favorite holiday rituals is spending the weekend downtown. We are less than 25 miles from the Loop, but with traffic, the trip can often take well over an hour. It is a treat to see a show, to shop the Christkindl market, to visit the Art Institute or one of the museums, or just walk along the lake or Michigan Ave. Your photos make me smile.

    • We are settling into a tradition to spend a December weekend in Chicago. We drive up from our northwest Indianapolis home and stay in boutique hotels in the Loop. It’s an unpopular time to be there so we get bargains on the rooms. Then we walk all over, doing much the same things you do. Such fun. My wife is from Chicago so this is a form of going home for her.

  2. Nice night holiday shots of Chicago, a city I have only been to once and know so little about. And I am always impressed with the output of the little Canon digital–regardless of your subject matter.

  3. susanJOY Hosken says:

    Jim, thanks for sharing the city of Chicago’s christmas decorations. My city of Melbourne would be all decorated too and we have a famous store that has christmas window displays which everyone loves xoxo susanJOY

  4. Heide says:

    I join you in marveling at the hours and hours it must take to string all those lights! The result really is magical though, isn’t it?

    PS: In Minneapolis we used to go downtown to see the displays at Dayton’s, which filled not only the windows but an entire upstairs floor of the store. Macy’s does their best, but everyone here (above the age of 30) misses Dayton’s. Sigh.

    • Macy’s took over the department-store world. Here in Indiana they ate L.S. Ayres. The Chicago Macy’s store is the former Marshall Field & Co. I miss both stores terribly. Macy’s just isn’t as good.

      • Heide says:

        Sadly, I have to agree with you — and with your apt description of Macy’s “eating” other stores, too. Although Dayton’s was still a chain, it had an almost curated feel to it. You knew whatever you bought there had been carefully selected, and would be high quality. Not so much at Macy’s, alas …

        (My goodness, I’m starting to sound like my grandma, ha ha!)

  5. I have never been to Chicago but am now thinking a trip is in store next December! I will be driving the National Road through Indiana next week and am excited to see the sights there too.

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