Friday, December 18, 2015

Five on Friday {Chicago Christmas Trip}

Ah, I couldn't have packed more into this weekend if I wanted to, but it's a nice way to kick off the week of Christmas in my opinion :) 

Today we had our company wide holiday party and we volunteered at a local book bank which was such a great time. They catered lunch afterward and it was delicious!

Sammy and I are spending Saturday and most of Sunday downtown for our annual Christmas trip! It's not what we normally do as we usually like to go away for the whole weekend to a town we haven't been to before but with his police testing piling on this month we knew we couldn't really get away, so we decided to do one night in our favorite city in the world. 

Here are our top five things we're hoping to do in Chicago this weekend. Warning: food is a huge priority. Sorry if it dominates the list. I care far more about restaurants than I do ice skating.

One // Museum of Science & Industry: "Christmas Around the World" Exhibit

This is top on my list of "things to do" aside from eating, of course. I prefer to go downtown simply to enjoy being down there. My favorite thing to do is walk around the gold coast because it feels like a nostalgic Chicago to me, so typically I don't go down there with a long list of attractions I just have to do, but this is different since it's Christmas themed ;) 

As far as I know, the museum has been hosting this exhibit for the last few years at least, and my girlfriends went a few years ago and took some awesome pictures. I can't wait to see all the different trees showing how different cultures celebrate the holiday. 

Two // Millennium Park & Christkindlesmarkt

Chicago recently moved its Christmas tree to Millennium Park from the Daley Center Plaza which was not my favorite thing to hear about. We're going to save Millennium Park for late afternoon hoping we get there right in between the day and evening rush and try to ice skate, take an obligatory "bean" picture, and see the tree lit up once the sun goes down. 

Millennium Park is a nice "free" thing to do in the city (minus the skating if you need to rent skates) and it gives a nice perspective to Chicago because I always feel right in the middle of everything when I'm there. It seems to be smack in the middle of the buildings, and that city feel, while being near the lakefront and museum campus. 

We also want to try to make it to Christkindlesmarkt. It's another "free" thing to do in that there's no entry fee to get in and walk around and see all the different stands.

It won't be free for us because we'll be getting some ornaments since they're stunning and grab the annual boot mug filled with some mulled wine :) They also have amazing vendors selling authentic German food and drink and in the past it has always been too crowded for me to wait in line, so this year I'm hoping to try some potato pancakes or something! This makes me so proud to be German so I'm excited to take my Italian boyfriend there. ;)


Three // Window shopping + actual shopping

You can't beat those Christmas windows downtown this time of year so I'm definitely hoping to see the windows at Macy's even though I 1000% wish it were the windows at Marshal Fields. #MarshallFieldsForever 

I'd also like to see if we can pick up any last minute gifts since it's the last weekend before Christmas!

Four // Eating
Chicago is a foodie's dream so naturally whenever we go down there we have some places up our sleeves we've been wanting to try. This weekend I had to cap it at three. 

We're definitely hitting this dinner as soon as we get downtown for breakfast. It's a family owned diner that has been around since the 20's and they're known for their coffee and breakfast, and since I'm a sucker for any diner that's ever existed I'm really excited to start our food journey there. 

I may be most excited about this place. I looked up restaurants that decorated specifically for Christmas and this place came up as one of the first. Their menu looks incredible and seems to be mostly Italian which Sammy and I could eat every day of our lives. It has a really warm diner-y feel while not verging over onto that kitschy side (although I am a fan of kitsch ;) ). We're hoping to stop in here for dinner tomorrow night and I'm hoping to order the entire left side of the menu. 

via their website

via their website
This place is definitely on the list for brunch (their breakfast pizza looks amazing) but I was just informed by a certain someone that he had intended on cooking me breakfast Sunday morning so we may have to save Butch McGuire's for another time so I can get some breakfast in bed ;)

Five // Enjoying the condo

I grabbed this awesome condo in the west loop from airbnb for our night on the town. The owner has been a pleasure to deal with and I'm excited to stay at his property. Part of what we want to do on this trip is to really enjoy a cool condo in the city since it's a dream of ours to live there. 

We're looking forward to curling up with a good movie and some festive drinks and just enjoy each other's company. Someone has a surprise stocking waiting to be opened as well ;)

We've both never seen Christmas Vacation which I realize is like sacrilegious so I think we're going to rent that one, chromecast it, and see how we feel about it.

So there's our itinerary for our weekend! I still haven't packed, so that's great, and when we come home Sunday I have to make coworker gifts, cookies, and wrap my white elephant gift for work on Monday. Lots of stuff this weekend but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy weekend before Christmas! 


  1. Christmas around the world exhibit sounds so cool! I would love to check that out someday!