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During the holidays, there's plenty open to enjoy in the Windy City.

Jennifer Billock
December 09, 2015

Sure, many stores and restaurants are closed on Christmas Day, but visitors and locals in the Windy City have plenty to celebrate come December 25. Check out these ideas for making the most of a mostly closed holiday.

Skate the City's Rinks

If you're ready for a day on the ice, you can pick from one of three options. The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park ($12) is possibly the city's most famous. But for skating with a view, try the Sky Rink at the Peninsula Hotel, which is four stories above Michigan Avenue ($15). The curved Skating Ribbon, which winds through Maggie Daley Park, offers a unique and stunning view of the city's skyline ($12).

Browse the Holiday Windows

It's the 47th anniversary of the State Street holiday windows in Chicago this year. Check them out along the perimeter of Macy's, animated and in full sparkling holiday glory. This year, the theme is the fantastical "Santa's Journey to the Stars," about a boy named Alex who receives a magical and mystical telescope that enables him to experience the wonder of the holiday on other planets before landing back on Earth.

Sample the Christmas Brunch at Sixteen

Sixteen, the fine dining restaurant in the Trump Hotel, has a Christmas spectacular planned, complete with brunch, reindeer, hot chocolate and mulled wine, a string trio, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus ($158 per person).

Smell the Flowers

Two flower shows are open to the public on Christmas. The Garfield Park Conservatory holiday flower show decks the halls with poinsettias and winter-themed décor. Over at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, a pink and white theme comes complete with poinsettias, a miniature model of Chicago made from natural materials, and model trains coursing through the building. Both events are free.

Go to the Movies

Six much-anticipated movies are hitting theaters Christmas day, and with everyone together doing family celebrations, you may not have to fight so hard for seats. The biggest blockbusters slated for the time are Concussion, Daddy's Home, The Hateful Eight, Joy, Point Break, and The Revenant. At ARCLight Chicago, Landmark's Century Centre Cinema, and ShowPlace ICON at Roosevelt Collection there's a bar and elevated snacks on offer, making the experience feel extra-celebratory.

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