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A Minnesota-based motherhood, lifestyle, and home décor blog created by Kelly Zugay — Founder of Made by Motherhood.

Christmastime in Chicago

Every year, just before Christmas, Ben and I travel to Chicago for a long weekend. For both of us, Chicago feels like a second home; I went to college just north of Chicago, and Ben’s family is from Chicago. Being so familiar with such a big city is really fun for both of us, especially because we live in, and are so used to, a smaller city. Over the years, we have created our list of Chicago must-dos (There is nothing more magical than Christmastime in Chicago!) which I’m excited to share with you today!

Kelly Zugay - Chicago, Illinois Travel Guide - Christmastime in Chicago

Christmastime in Chicago

River North. Our favorite place to stay is at Hyatt Place Chicago River North. The River North neighborhood is really cute, really walkable, and whenever we explore, we find the most beautiful holiday decorations. Everything listed below is within walking distance of River North — so long as you’re bundled up. (This is my go-to for staying warm!) 

Millennium Park. No trip to Chicago would be complete without a visit to Millennium Park. Last year, Ben and I visited the bean and carolers were caroling under the bean. You can see Millennium Park’s beautiful Christmas tree, you can go iceskating, or you can simply explore the park. Anything you do at Millennium Park will be magical.

Watertower Place. Watertower Place Mall is especially cheerful during the holiday season. Even if you’re not an avid mall shopper, there’s always a lot of Christmas cheer in the air at Watertower Place. 

The Museum of Science and Industry. The Museum of Science and Industry has a “Christmas Around the World” and “Holidays of Light” experience. If the outdoors are too chilly, the museum is the perfect place to go, while still experiencing the city and Christmas in a fun, new way.

The Christkindlmarket. Lastly, our absolute favorite holiday experience is the Christkindlmarket. With so many amazing little shops and the oh-so-delicious glühwein, the Christkindlmarket is like being immersed in Christmas. I recommend the Christkindlmarket most of all! 

Affiliate Disclaimer: Some links shared are Affiliate Links — which means I may earn a commission when you click or purchase at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support of my small business!

A Minnesota-based motherhood, lifestyle, and home décor blog by Kelly Zugay — Founder of Made by Motherhood, Co-Founder of With Grace and Gold and Host of Brand It, Build It Podcast.

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A cozy, functional nursery glider.

Gentle wipes for messy baby meals.

I start every day with a Vitamix smoothie.

The nursing pillow I use daily!

Nursing-friendly skincare.

Our humidifier, plus essential oils. 

Our go-to sound machine.

My everyday hyaluronic acid.




The cozy cropped crewneck sweatshirt I've been confidently and proudly wearing since Ollie's birth!

Made by Motherhood Signature Cropped Crewneck Sweatshirt


Perfect for the farmer's market, grocery store, or for carrying everyday odds and ends. 

Made by Motherhood Signature Tote Bag


Founded by Kelly Zugay, Made by Motherhood offers a curated collection of products and resources — creating balance, ease, and comfort for multifaceted mothers. Visit the Shop