Chicago holidays

Chicago Announces 2021 Christmas Tree Lighting, Ice Rink Reopening

Chicago's annual tree lighting date has been revealed, along with details surrounding the city's upcoming holiday events and festivities.

The 108th Annual City of Chicago Christmas Tree will be illuminated at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Washington Street on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. with holiday performances running through 7:45 p.m.

The tree will shine in Millennium Park through Jan. 9, according to city officials. The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily with face coverings and social distancing encouraged.

Though this year's event will be in person, Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events said the tree lighting will be expanded and include multiple viewing screens to allow for increased social distancing.

Also opening Nov. 19, the McCormick Tribute Ice Rink will return to Millennium Park until March 6 after being closed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials announced.

Admission to the ice rink will be free, though reservations will be required, DCASE noted. Snacks and hot drinks will also be available.

Free skating lessons will additionally take place this season on most Saturdays and Sundays from 8 to 9 a.m. with a reservation, officials added. DCASE will provide beginner and intermediate ice skating and hockey lessons.

The Millennium Park Art Market will return to Chicago the weekend of Nov. 19 to 21 after taking a year off due to the pandemic, DCASE said.

Kicking off the holiday shopping season, the art market can be found in the Chase Promenade North tent, featuring 30 Chicago-area artists selling jewelry, pottery, drawings and paintings, among other items.

Here are the hours of the art market:

  • Friday, Nov. 19: 3 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 20: Noon to 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 21: Noon to 5 p.m.

New to the city in upcoming months, the Millennium Park Holiday Sing-Along, previously called "Caroling at Cloud Gate," gives Chicagoans a chance to carry a festive melody from the end of November through December.

Here is a the sing-along schedule:

  • Friday, Nov. 26 at 6pm: Chicago Latino Theater Alliance presents Destinos al Aire: Posadas y Parranda
  • Friday, Dec. 3 at 6pm: Dexter Walker & Zion Movement
  • Friday, Dec. 10 at 6pm: The Chicago High School for the Arts Chorale Ensemble
  • Sunday, Dec. 12 at 4pm: Kol Zimrah Jewish Community Singers
  • Friday, Dec. 17 at 6pm: Chicago Community Chorus
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