Seven Things to Do in Chicago on Black Friday (Besides Shopping)
Our Windy City shopping alternatives for after Turkey Day.
Don't spend the day after Thanksgiving fighting for steep discounts on merchandise; instead check out these things to do in Chicago that deserve much more hype.
1. Ice Skating and Hot Chocolate
View Michigan Avenue from the ice with a public skating session on Millennium Park's ice rink. Afterwards, step into the Park Grill next door and indulge in some rich hot cocoa topped with homemade marshmallows.
2. Get in the Spirit at Christkindlmarket
Get a peek inside Chicago's German heritage at Christkindlmarket, the annual Christmas market held in Daley Plaza. While you're browsing, pause for some sauerkraut soup and chocolate-covered fruit kabobs— both are local favorites.
3. View the Downtown Window Display
Always free and one of the most-beloved parts of the Chicago holiday season, the window displays at Macy's are opulent, automated, and a twinkling reminder of the season's joy.
4. iFly Indoor Skydiving
Take a cab a little out of the city to Rosemont, where you can don a skydiving suit and fly in an indoor wind tunnel. iFly brings the skydiving dream to the masses—even on cold winter days when the real thing isn't an option.
5. Wreathing of the Lions
Have kids? Take them to see the annual Wreathing of the Lions, when the statues that sit outside the Art Institute get outfitted in their holiday greenery. Afterwards, head into the museum to make wreaths of your own.
6. Devil in the White City Tour
Fans of the book will love this tour put on by Weird Chicago that takes guests to all the major remaining sites of H.H. Holmes' reign of terror during the 1893 Columbian Exposition.
7. Play a Game of WhirlyBall
This is a unique chance to participate in Chicago's favorite everyman sport: WhirlyBall. Score points for your team with a handheld scoop and whiffle ball while traversing the field from the comfort of a rickety bumper car.
Jennifer Billock lives in Chicago and covers the city for Travel + Leisure.