If you’re anything like us, the moment late November and December hit, all you can think about are the holidays. Chicago transforms into a winter wonderland full of festive lights and decorations. The kind of ambiance that takes us out of our day-to-day routine and delivers us to a fleeting moment of pure enchantment. There are so many fun activities that come along with this season that make it as wonderful as it is. Contemporary or classic, do yourself a favor and add these spots to your “Must-See Holiday List” in Chicago to relish the very best the season has to offer.
FAIRMONT CHICAGO, MILLENNIUM PARK
Guests at The Fairmont Hotel Chicago may be surprised to find the property looking more like an alpine ski lodge than a downtown hotel. The main lobby has been transformed into a most inviting winter escape dubbed “The Lodge.” Upon entry, guests make their way through clusters of snow-covered pines to a chic cozy lounge area outlined by rustic timber beams trimmed in seasonal greenery. Lounge groupings, featuring plaid and pelt accents, are awash in the amber glow of a thousand twinkling lights. A collection of stylish, faux deer mounts and a giant burgundy bear keep the ambiance fresh and modern. Fondue tables, a custom curling rink, and a retro ski lift photo op round out the realistic yet dreamy lodge experience.
JOJO’S WINTER WONDERLAND
Joy to the World…it’s back! JoJo’s Winter Wonderland is Chicago’s go-to spot to satisfy not only your sweet tooth but your holiday photo op needs. The whimsical display features a larger-than-life, 17 ft. tall decorated Christmas tree, a vintage red Ford truck, and a fleet of silver and gold-plated reindeer soaring through a flurry of fluffy white snowflakes. Say hello to the jolly nutcracker, Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, and delightful snowman as you make your way into one of the lit-up igloo domes in the heated tent. You won’t want to miss warming up in JoJo’s pop-up this year while sipping on a featured holiday treat (Peppermint Shake topped with a Christmas Tree Cookie, Snowman DoDo, & Marshmallow Present, yes PLEASE!) as you immerse yourself in this magical Winter Wonderland.
WALDORF ASTORIA CHICAGO
Find yourself on a holiday stroll through Chicago’s Gold Coast?! Pass by (and stop in) at the Waldorf Astoria, and you’ll swear you’ve been transported to an enchanting, European courtyard on Christmas Eve. Silver, gold, and red ornaments hang like precious jewels against the ample and verdant branches, while a canopy of café lights seems to harness the wondrous night sky. The evocative design aesthetic seamlessly continues inside, where slender trees and stylish swags accent the hotel’s sleek and marbled lobby.
Located across the street from the iconic Wrigley Field, Hotel Zachary takes a decidedly more playful direction with its holiday décor. Traditional Christmas decorations are featured throughout the property, dialing the volume based on the specific room and theme. In some areas, seasonal arrangements and minimal décor allow for conversation and contemplation. While in other areas, the traditional is served up with an overlay of tongue-in-cheek camp. At the bar, Hush Money, the hotel’s vibrant social hub, Naughty takes the lead from Nice as scrolls flank the bar’s main entrance calling out the names of those making Santa’s list. A kitschy wreath hung prominently over the main bar showcases holiday Barbie’s frolicking with mischievous elves, with tiny shot glasses littering the background.
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL CHICAGO
This year, sleek and chic is the holiday aesthetic for the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. In keeping with the contemporary reimagined property — the unexpected color palette of amethyst, emerald, turquoise, and gold punctuates the space with bold and beautiful pops of color. A pale, blackberry carpet flanked by a row of Christmas trees of multi-hued orbs in metallic gold cubes introduces guests to the design scheme. The visually riveting décor continues throughout the property. A ceiling of suspended disco balls in the main lobby and color-matched accents bring the back bar to life in a seamless fashion.
THE PENINSULA CHICAGO
The holidays return to The Peninsula Chicago. With opulent splendor once again, with touches of whimsy to capture the wonder in a child’s eye. The entire property is transformed into a holiday dreamscape from entrance to rooftop. Many decorated trees anchor the space while wreaths, roping, seasonal greens, and florals delight every possible sense. Playful, oversized gingerbread men stand at the ready to welcome guests. The rooftop skating rink, complete with its own chalet, sleigh-like lounge groupings, and the sweetest of snowflakes, projected onto the building. This activation will be what dreams are indeed made of this holiday season.
HOLIDAY INSTALLATION CREDITS:
Design + Production + Décor: KEHOE DESIGNS
www.kehoedesigns.com | 312.421.0030 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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