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Here Are Some Safe Things To Do Around Chicago For the Holidays

If you're looking for a way to celebrate the holidays safely around Chicago, here are some options for you:

Visit Santa Claus In-Person or Virtually

Several malls across the Chicago area are continuing the tradition of hosting Santa Claus in-person this year with social distancing protocols in place.

Some area shopping centers are moving the visits virtually, along with several websites, encouraging families to chat with Santa and Mrs. Claus online.

Here's a list of some malls and their plans for the holidays.

See ZooLights in Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park Zoo announced the facility will remain open throughout December for Zoolights and close staring Jan. 4, 2021.

In its 26th annual event, ZooLights opened to Chicago on Nov. 20 for $5 a person. The event continues to run nearly every day starting at 4 p.m until Jan. 3, 2021.

The following five days will be free of charge for Lincoln Park ZooLights: Nov. 24, De. 9, Dec. 17, Dec. 21 and Dec. 29.

"ZooLights will feature hundreds of luminous displays and incredible seasonal activities, all under the glow of millions of illuminated lights, plus reduced capacity admission to keep your family safe," the zoo's website reads.

All holiday events will have limited reservations or tickets available, the zoo said. Tickets are available at

Art on theMART Along the Chicago River

Though live performances were put to a halt this year due to the coronavirus, Chicagoans can still see a show along the river on Wacker Dr. between Wells and Lake St.

Art on theMART features 25-story-tall colorful videos on the front of the Merchandise Mart, which people can view free of charge each night at 7 p.m.

Though tickets are not required, all visitors are required to wear face coverings and comply with social distancing regulations. Based on the City of Chicago's COVID-19 guidelines, no more than 100 people can be on the Riverwalk jetty.

According to the website, Art on theMART is the largest permanent digital art projection in the world.

Catch Illumination at the Morton Arboretum

The annual Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum walk-through light show will be reimagined this winter due to coronavirus precautions.

The 30 to 40 minute-long light show will incorporate a new drive-through experience featuring color, light and music, according to the Morton Arboretum.

This winter, the show will remain open until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, along with allowing visitors Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Tickets are $39 for members per car on a "peak night" and $29 on a standard night. Guests can expect to pay $49 per car on a peak night and $39 on a standard night.

Tickets can be purchased for members here and guests here.

Enjoy Macy's Christmas Tree and Holiday Windows

Though Santa will not make an appearance at Chicago's Macy's storefront, shoppers can still enjoy the "Great Tree" up again for the holidays.

Macy's Christmas tree will remain the centerpiece of the Chicago State Street location where customers can take pictures through Jan. 3, 2021.

Macy's 53rd annual holiday window theme will honor first responders and essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic as a "thank you," a press release said.

"This holiday season, Macy’s will celebrate the undeniable spirit of first responders, essential workers, marchers for equality and Chicagoans who showed their grit, good humor and hopeful spirit during a tumultuous year in a series of window displays taking the form of a thank you letter," the company said.

Macy's announced their holiday message this year is "Thank You, Gracias, Merci," providing multilingual expressions of gratitude.

The windows will remain on display through Jan. 3, 2021.

Attend Virtual Christkindlmarket

With crowds unable to gather for Chicago's annual Christkindlmarket, visitors can still hold the tradition from the comfort of their own homes.

For the first time ever, the marketplace will host a virtual Christkindlmarket "Home for the Holidays," which includes online shopping, family-friendly events and activities through the end of December, according to the website.

Visit here to shop and participate in events at the virtual marketplace this holiday season.

There are a lot more things listed HERE.

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