If last week’s first dusting of snow wasn’t enough to get you excited for winter’s impending arrival, a pair of seasonal Chicago classics returning this week are sure to do the trick. Starting at noon on Friday, November 17th, Chicago’s Maggie Daley Park will welcome skaters to its meandering, quarter-mile ice ribbon. Since 2014, the landscaped circuit beneath Chicago’s famous downtown skyline has provided skaters a unique alternative to a regular oval rink.
Like in years past, admission to the ribbon is free. Skate rental runs $12 Monday through Thursday and increases to $14 on weekends. New this year is an option to skip the typically slow-moving rental line by purchasing a $40 limited-availability “fast pass.” For more information on pricing and hours, be sure to check out the Maggie Daley’s official website. Friday is also the start of the season for the nearby McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park.
Another beloved Windy City wintertime staple—Chicago’s famous Christkindlmarket—also returns this Friday. Featuring dozens of European food and craft vendors, the open-air holiday market returns to its traditional home under the steely gaze of Picasso’s Daley Plaza sculpture in the Loop.
In addition to its traditional locations at Chicago’s Daley Plaza in the Loop and suburban Naperville, the holiday market will also debut this season at The Park at Wrigleyville. Chicagoans hoping to sip hot spiced wine and shop for holiday knick knacks in the plaza next to the “Friendly Confines,” however, will need to wait a little bit longer. The Wrigleyville Christkindlmarket location isn’t expected to open until November 24th.