Visit the North Pole without leaving the Midwest

Winter is near, which means it’s time to look at the holiday calendar and plan how to fit in some merrymaking amid the chaos. Here are three places just as jolly as the North Pole, yet closer.

Here are three places just as jolly as the North Pole, yet closer.

Wonderfest at Navy Pier, Chicago

From the Kris Kringle carousel to the Reindeer Expresstrain ride through Santa’s Workshop to the indoor Ferris Wheel,this magical indoor festival should be a yearly must-do for everyChicagoan. Plan your visit around the crowds.

Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier

The Osthoff Resort, Lake Elkhart, Wisc

During select weekends in December, this gem of a resort lessthan three hours from Chicago hosts an authentic Old World GermanChristmas market along with a host of holiday activities likemaking ornaments with Mrs. Claus, breakfast with Santa, a brunchfeaturing St. Nicholas and real reindeer, and a carolinghayride.

Galt House Hotel, Louisville, Ky.

This hotel, about five hours from Chicago, becomes North Pole’ssouthern satellite office during the holidays with a PeppermintExpress kiddie train ride, a Snow Fairy Princess Tea, the MistletoeMarketplace and the Colors of the Season Holiday Dinner Show. Ofcourse, Santa is on hand to take requests from kids on the nicelist.

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