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Chill out in the Middle of Everything! Discover the best places to take a cozy, cold-weather getaway and spend the season going to all the can’t-miss winter events.

Dash through Illinois

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City with tall buildings

Be merry in Chicago

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See bright lights near the big city

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The middle of holiday vacation

'Twas the holiday season and a former Midwesterner rediscovered its magic at Chicago's dazzling lights shows, outdoor holiday markets, other festive classics.

The middle of the holiday cheer

Dashing from light festivals to star-studded shows, enjoy the wonderful activities that are happening all around Illinois.


The middle of making holiday memories

Have a jolly good time with family and friends at festive events found all across the Middle of Everything

The middle of hand-made gifts & stocking stuffers

From bladesmithing classes to hand-carved platters and sugar scrubs, Illinois artisans make something nice for everyone on your list. Check out this holiday guide to Illinois Made gifts.

Eat, drink & be merry!

Check out the 9 best holiday activities in Illinois

Illinois is brimming with cozy, lighthearted diversions to help you get into the holiday spirit. From wine tasting to ice skating, here are 10 destinations that are guaranteed to have you dashing through the snow this holiday season.

  1. LondonHouse Rooftop, Chicago | This iconic holiday experience guarantees festive fun high in the sky with heated igloos, whimsical décor, sparkling lights, and breathtaking Chicago skyline views
  2. Christkindlmarket, Chicago | A German-style Christmas bazaar – replete with gift vendors, food trucks, plenty of spiced glühwein, and heavy doses of holiday cheer
  3. Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon, Chicago | A magical, urban winter experience and a staple of Chicago that features a 40-degree climbing wall set against the backdrop of the iconic city skyline
  4. Hardy's Reindeer Ranch, Rantoul | Over 5,000 Christmas trees and a herd of bonified Alaskan reindeer create a novelty seekers’ wintery paradise in Rantoul  
  5. Ski Snowstar, Andalusia | An all-in-one terrain park that’s 28 acres of skiing, snowboarding, & snow tubing fun for the whole family
  6. Walnut Room at Macy's, Chicago| A world-famous holiday landmark housing Circassian wood paneling, The Great Tree and the first restaurant ever opened in a department store
  7. Lightscape, Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago | The magic and whimsy of nature in winter come alive in this acclaimed after-dark, illuminated holiday event
  8. Galena Cellars, Galena | It’s easy to stay merry this holiday season when visiting this family winery that produces over 40 varieties of award-winning, Illinois-grown wines
  9. East Peoria Festival Of Lights, East Peoria | The largest nighttime-lighted holiday festival in the Midwest – featuring the famed Folepi’s Winter Wonderland drive-through display

Find unexpected ways to enjoy Illinois in this biannual inspiration guide that explores every corner of the state. Each issue offers a mix of travel stories, stunning photography and timely trip ideas that'll help you make the most of each season.

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