Lincoln Park Zoo
During the month of December, Lincoln Park Zoo sponsors Zoo Lights, which is one of the most popular winter events in the city and is totally free of charge. The entire zoo is decorated with colorful Christmas lights, often in the shapes of various animals, and the indoor exhibits are all open later into the evening so that visitors can see what the animals are doing once the sun goes down. Bundle up when you walk from building to building, but spend as much time as necessary in the lion house or reptile house if you need a few minutes to warm up.
Lincoln Park Zoo 2001 N Clark Street Chicago, IL 60614 312-742-2000 www.lpzoo.org
Millennium Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Chicago, with huge sculptures and green spaces. It's suited for an evening stroll, but during the winter an ice rink opens to the east of Michigan Avenue. Skate rentals are available at a reasonable price, but availability is limited. Ice skating at Millennium Park can be very romantic as couples hold hands while they skate. The magnificent skyline can be viewed from one side of the rink, and frosty Lake Michigan from the other.
Millennium Park 201 E Randolph Street Chicago, IL 60601 312-742-1168 www.millenniumpark.org
During the day, Michigan Avenue is one of the busiest shopping streets in the country, but a walk down the Magnificent Mile on a winter evening is especially romantic. The street is adorned with white lights, from Water Tower Place to the Chicago River. Every Saturday in February at 6:30 pm, champagne and fireworks take place at Toast on the Magnificent Mile. If you want to get off your feet, rent a horse and carriage ride to take you around downtown. You can snuggle up under blankets while admiring the skyline lights and each other.