Chicago is a beautiful city made even more beautiful by its extensive and brilliant holiday lights. With all the options for holiday sightseeing and activities, though, one wonders where to begin. Happily, Chicago Trolley’s “Holiday Lights” Tour provides whimsical transportation and entertainment as you view and visit a number of the city’s best decorated destinations.
The trolley tour, which runs through Jan. 3, is a two-and-a-half hour, lightly narrated trip on a heated, musical trolley from the Hancock Plaza tree to a sweet first stop at Sprinkles Cupcakes for a complimentary handcrafted cupcake. Next you’ll travel down the twinkling Mag Mile into the Loop, where you’ll see State Street and the Macy’s Windows before jumping off in pursuit of pretzels and cider at the Christkindlmarket, a traditional German American holiday market full of crafts, ornaments, and holiday food and drinks.
From Daley Plaza, you’ll head to Lincoln Park Zoo for perhaps the most strikingly decorated location in Chicago, ZooLights! Hop off and enjoy the decorations throughout the zoo, ride the carousel and perhaps catch a few of the more nocturnal animals by the glow of the holiday bulbs.
By the time you return to the Hancock building for the end of the tour, you’ll likely have a new family tradition. Although kids of all ages are likely to love the Trolley tour, it’s a romantic ride for a kid-free date, as well.
Trolleys depart at 6 p.m., 6:30p.m. and 7 p.m. on all operating days except Sundays when they depart at 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m.and 6 p.m. Tickets are now on sale and must be purchased 24 hours in advance at chicagotrolley.com. (A limited number may be available day of at the Delaware Street ticket booth.)