Get in the Holiday Spirit!
The countdown to Christmas is on, and a lot is happening before the big day. December is full of activities to keep you, your friends, family, and houseguests entertained. Looking for something to do? Read on for our ultimate list of holiday activities in December.
1. Sip a cocktail. Savor classics, like spiked eggnog and hot chocolate, or something new. Try a Holiday Gin & Tonic, which adds dry vermouth to the traditional mix.
2. Meet Santa. We’re not sure how the man does it, but Santa is visiting over 200 towns in Illinois. Catch him at Brookfield Zoo, Millennium Park in Chicago, and or his Berwyn workshop.
3. Take a holiday train ride. In Illinois, climb aboard the Polar Express at Chicago’s Union Station or visit any Chicago Transit Authority El stop for a chance to ride the Holiday Train.
4. Wear an ugly Christmas sweater. Dress to impress on National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, December 21st. Sweaters with turtlenecks, built-in lights, and cats are encouraged.
5. Write down your New Year’s resolutions. Most people give up by February. This year, put pen to paper for a better chance of success. What do you want to accomplish and why?
6. Bake cookies. At the very least, master the most popular holiday cookie in your state. Illinoisans favor mint chocolate chip, folks in Pennsylvania prefer traditional sugar, and New Jersey residents like anything Italian.
7. Watch a classic holiday movie. We love Elf as much as you do but kick back with a classic this year. These films scored 100% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes:
Meet Me in St. Louis
The Shop Around the Corner
Babes in Toyland
Remember the Night
8. Kiss under the mistletoe. Who decided it’s fun to kiss under a hanging plant? The Celtic Druids of the 1st century A.D. They saw mistletoe as a sign of liveliness and gave it to humans and animals to boost fertility. The romance link stuck, and mistletoe became part of Christmas celebrations in the 18th century.
9. Send out holiday cards. If you don’t mail a photo of your family wearing matching holiday PJs, what are you even doing?
10. Choose a Christmas tree. For folks not interested in picking up pine needles, go with an artificial purple, upside down, or multi-color fiber optic tree. Cat owners will appreciate this tree, which has a bare bottom half that cats can’t climb.
11. Make ornaments. By “make” we mean buy candy canes and hang them on your tree. How’s that for DIY?
12. Go sledding. No sled? No problem. Cookie sheets, boogie boards, and dog beds can do the trick.
13. Make a gingerbread house. Whether you build it from scratch or a kit, making a gingerbread house is no easy task. Refer to the first activity on this list (sip a cocktail).
14. Host a white elephant gift exchange. Everyone brings an inexpensive, wrapped gift. Each person takes a turn: unwrap a present or steal someone else’s. Just don’t get stuck with the worst one.
15. Create a holiday playlist. If you’re tired of the radio rotation, make your own. Consider adding underplayed songs like “Little Drummer Boy” by David Bowie and Bing Crosby or Blondie’s “We Three Kings.”
16. See a Christmas light display. Too lazy to put up holiday decorations? Enjoy someone else’s. Many cities publish guides to the most elaborately decorated houses. Zoos, botanical gardens, and parks also create impressive displays.
17. Volunteer. In the spirit of the season, set aside time to give back. Play games at a senior living home, cook a meal at a homeless shelter, or organize donations for a toy drive.
18. Go ice-skating. There are lots of places to ice skate in Illinois. Brave the cold at Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park in Atkinson or Maggie Daley Park in Chicago. For indoor skating, head to Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge.
19. Build a snowman. For #SnowmanGoals, be sure to:
Build your masterpiece in the shade, so it lasts longer.
Flatten the top and bottom of each snowball before stacking.
Lift with your legs, not your back. #Adulting
20. Attend a holiday show. Almost every town hosts a holiday production, like The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol. Check with local theaters and community centers to see what’s playing near you.
21. Visit family. Is there such a thing as too much family time? Oh yeah. But that’s what the holidays are about. Pack your bags, remember your sense of humor, and make the most of togetherness with loved ones.
22. Pay it forward. Make someone’s day by shoveling their driveway or just spreading good cheer with a smile and happy “hello.”
23. Enjoy a cuppa something. Every coffee shop has a holiday special. Sip on a nutty/chocolatey roast at Peet’s Coffee, a smooth and spicy blend at Starbucks, or Almond Joy flavored hot chocolate at Dunkin’ Donuts.
24. Go caroling. ‘Tis the season when it’s acceptable to sing loudly in public. We suggest belting out our rendition of the most annoying Christmas carol.
25. Download the SlotDawg app! Wherever holiday activities take you, bring the SlotDawg app. Use it to find bars, restaurants, and gaming cafes where you can warm up, kick back, and play some slots.