On the doorstep of NEMA Chicago this season, there's a sleigh-load of festive activities you can safely enjoy—from light shows to skating and gift shopping. There's even a pop-up Christmas hotel!

Let There Be Lights!

The city is awash with light shows to gaze at while socially distancing. There are no tickets required for the Art on the MART spectacular. It's the biggest permanent digital art projection in the world—and right now, it features 2.5-acre-large projections of the Nutcracker ballet, paired with Tchaikovsky's enchanting score.

A "symphony of sight and sound" is promised at the North Shore's drive-through "Let It Shine" show; the family stays put in the car while cruising through a wonderland of light tunnels and illuminated forests.

The Morton Arboretum brings a whole new dimension to Christmas trees, thanks to its two miles of illuminated woodlands, and dancing lights aplenty, to drive through—all soundtracked by a festive playlist.

Over at Lincoln Park Zoo, the lights take the form of crabs and bears as part of the ZooLights seasonal makeover. There's also a light maze, candy cane lane, and Santa with a snow carriage.

Ice, Ice, Skaty

Don your blades of glory and take to one of Chicago's outdoor ice rinks. Maggie Daley Park's ice ribbon is a whirly-twirly twist on the average skating experience; hold onto someone you trust as you whizz past winter spruces and admire the glimmering skyscrapers above.

Alternatively, take a 30-minute drive from your NEMA Chicago apartment and take to the ice in Mt. Greenwood Park. There's no fee, and in line with COVID-19 restrictions, there's a maximum of 50 skaters on the ice at any given time.

Shop Till You (Snow) Drop

As for gift ideas, why not stay put on the sofa and order cute penguin mugs, cable-knit mittens, and handmade soaps from the first virtual Christkindlmarket? (There's also a host of fun decorations for sprucing up the tree in your apartment.)

Check into a Pop-Up Hotel

If you're looking to treat yourself this December, make a reservation at Frosty’s Hotel near Millennium Park—a socially distanced pop-up, exclusively for Christmas. As a guest, you can binge on classic Christmas movies and board games while sipping signature Frosty cocktails. You can even bring your dog along—they can be "Santa Paws" for the night.

However you decide to celebrate the holidays this year, NEMA Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood has options that will be sure to get you in the spirit!

Contact us today to learn more about life at NEMA Chicago.