While our visit to Chicago for Christmas wrapped up as one of the coldest ever, it was fantastic. The lights and scenes of the city made being bundled up against the cold worthwhile.
A quick drive over to Burnham Park gave a seasonal perspective of the classic skyline view, minus the boats, but with frozen water instead.
The Tribune Tower’s Nathan Hale statue was decked out for the season.
A different view – the Willis (aka Sears) Tower looking north.
With the extreme cold Lake Michigan iced over in the just few days we were there.
Meanwhile up at Wrigley Field they had set up a Christmas Market, complete with an ice rink.
Our final evening was spent walking along the (now frozen as well) Chicago River.
And a walk along the Magnificent Mile.
The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a classic old building that has both indoor and outdoor gardens, exhibits, and a glass studio. During the holiday season they have a lighting event called Merry & Bright.
As you make your way through the 4 main indoor garden areas they have interesting lighting casting unusual looks and shadows on the plants. On the way home we stopped by downtown to check out the lights, of which there were few, but the view off the Town Street Bridge was very nice.
This holiday season brought something new to Columbus, the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival, featuring 39 beautiful lantern displays ranging from a 200 feet long illuminated dragon to glowing tulip-lined walk ways. The lanterns are created by hand using silk fabric, steel frames, and tens of thousands of LED lights.
In addition there were performers displaying amazing balance and skills as they featured traditional Chinese acts featured include: jar balancing, kicking bowls on a rolling board, Chinese face-changing (thoroughly amazing display of slight of hand), martial arts, and umbrella juggling.
This event far exceeded the Wild Lights at the Zoo, and was one of the best light displays I have ever seen.
Each Christmas season the Columbus Zoo has a lighting display called ‘Wild Lights‘. Having never been there, we decided to check it out. Unfortunately we decided to go on a night where you had free admission with canned food, and most of Columbus made the same decision.
The lighting displays were ok, most seemed the same, and it was insanely packed with strollers. I always hope to have a good time at the Zoo and always seem to come home disappointed.
Having said that, here are the highlights of the lights.