Illinois December 07, 2017
It’s Not Christmas In Illinois Until You Do These 11 Enchanting Things
The holidays only come around once each year, and you only get about a month to make this the most enchanting Christmas ever. These are the 11 activities all Illinoisans love to do this time of year, and they are sure to put you in the holiday spirit right away.
It just doesn’t feel like Christmas without these festive activities. Keep scrolling for your Illinois holiday bucket list.
1. Trim the tree
Nothing makes for a more enchanting Christmas than decorating a beautiful fir with lights, tinsel, and precious family ornaments. The warm glow and twinkle brings holiday cheer to any home and is a staple in most Illinois households at this time of year.
2. Go ice skating
Most Illinoisans still think of snow when they think about Christmas, though that may not always be the case anymore. Still, there are many places around the state to show off your skills on the ice. You can play hockey or figure skate around any of these
nine magical ice rinks.
3. Drink egg nog
This classic beverage is great spiked or as is. Though typically served cold, there's something about the creamy taste and texture that warms your heart. It really begins to feel like Christmas once this stuff starts flowing.
4. Listen to Christmas music
Around the end of November, many radio stations start switching over to festive, joyful holiday tunes. Sure, there are those few tearjerkers (looking at you, "Christmas Shoes"), but it's mostly sleigh bells, trumpets, and the voices of angels (aka Bing Crosby).
5. Drive by a neighborhood light show set to music
Ilinoisans really love to decorate their homes for the holidays, and there are some who very obviously love it more than others. The Larsen Christmas Lights Show is one of the most popular and impressive displays set to music. Videos of these epic creations can be found all over the web.
6. Play in the snow
Whether it's snow angels, snowmen, snowballs, or snow forts, playing in the snow is a sure-fire way to make you feel like a kid at Christmas. Everyone remembers using holiday break to spend the day tromping through snow and bringing imaginations to life.
7. Meet Santa Claus
Some of the most enchanting Christmas events in Illinois are meet-and-greets with Santa (and maybe even his wife and elves). For many children, especially, it just isn't Christmas until they've whispered their deepest desires into an old bearded man's ear. It's the smiling for the camera that isn't always everyone's favorite.
8. See a holiday lights display
One of the most magical ways to spend an evening this holiday season is by going to a wonderland of lights. These dazzling displays awe and inspire visitors. Even on the coldest nights, Illinoisans love visiting brilliant attractions like
9. Attend a German Christmas market
Forget Black Friday. For many Illinoisans, the shopping event of the year is the local Christkindlmarket. These old world shoppes are filled with handmade goods like Russian stacking dolls, ornaments, mugs and steins, as well as pastries and delicious drinks. One of the best is this
Belleville Christmas market.
10. Ride a holiday train
Illinoisans love trains, so what better than a holiday-themed one? Often decorated with garland, lights, and other trinkets, it's an exciting opportunity for all ages to board a festive locomotive. There are several places throughout the state to find this sort of wild ride, but one of the best is this
Aurora Holiday Express.
11. Attend a Christmas performance
Whether it's the Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, or any number of holiday-themed orchestra shows, a festive performance is one of the things that makes for an enchanting Christmas. Get lost in a world of mystery, love, and cheer at these fabulous shows.
If you aren’t familiar with these fun Christmas attractions, then maybe you aren’t really from Illinois. Here are
10 more tell-tale signs you’re not a true Illinoisan.
What else really makes it feel like Christmas for you? Share your favorite pastimes with us in the comments below!