My Merry Weekend

My Merry Weekend

With finals week quickly approaching, my friends and I knew this was the last weekend of the fall semester we would be able to let loose in the city. We had high hopes for a fun-filled, holiday-themed weekend and boy did the Windy City deliver! With plans for an ugly Christmas sweater party on Saturday, a few girls and I set out after classes on Friday in search of ugly sweaters at Ragstock on West Belmont Ave, a quirky, fun resale-type shop in the Boystown neighborhood of the city. I was looking for something sparkly and unnecessarily festive– I found a kooky, comfy, white pullover sweatshirt with Christmas teddy bears on the front. It was very ’90s and perfect for the party, and only $10!

Later Friday evening, like my fellow blogger Raven, my friends and I headed to the Lincoln Park Zoo for the opening of the ZooLights event. The zoo puts on all kinds of events all year round– one of the greatest things about this is that admission is always free. During the month of December, ZooLights is open in the evenings from 5:00-9:00 p.m. with all of its colorful lights on display.We watched a man carve an ice sculpture right in front of us, got some popcorn, and ran into Santa in the Kovler Lion House next to the king of the jungle himself! If you want to check it out, head over this coming weekend (December 9th-11th), or any night between December 16th and January 1st (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).

On Saturday, the following day, we rolled out of bed and took the Red Line to Millennium Park to ice skate at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. A few friends rented skates from the park for $10, but I brought some old skates from home so I got to skate for free. It rained a little on us, but it was still a blast. The rink wasn’t too busy because of the questionable weather, so we had lots of room to ourselves!

Every year, the CTA runs a Holiday Train that travels across the whole city. After leaving Millennium Park and grabbing hot chocolate from Starbucks, we headed over to the L stop at Madison and Wabash to catch the Holiday Train on the Brown Line. It was magical– it was like we were riding the real life Polar Express. It smelled like cinnamon and was decorated with all kinds of lights and ornaments inside and out. You can find detailed schedules of where the train will be at what times on the CTA’s website— I recommended tracking it down before it’s gone for another year!

I finished my Saturday with friends at our ugly sweater party. It was put on by Cru, a Christian student organization I’m involved in on campus. A bunch of us dressed up in overly festive garb and hung out and listened to Christmas music. In my opinion, it was a pretty great way to spend our chilly Saturday night.

There are so many fun and festive things to do in the city this time of year, and the best part is, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great weekend with friends. I am looking forward to heading home at the end of next week for the holiday break, but definitely not looking forward to leaving behind the beautiful lights and sparkle of the city during the holiday season!

All photos were taken by me!

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