Although winter has a tendency to be my least favorite season, this year I have a long list of fun festive things I’d love for Shawn and I to do.
These last several weeks has been a whirlwind for Shawn and our family. In a matter of two weeks, we’ve lost both Shawn’s dad and stepdad. It’s been a tough time, but I know we can get through anything so long as we are together.
Because we both need a break from it all, I have such a fin stay-cation planned for he and I think weekend in the city. I cannot wait to share the details with you all this week! Be sure to follow along on Stories for all of the really fun details!
I plan to check off a number of my 2018 winter bucket list items off our list this weekend alone!
City Winery Heated River Domes
City Winery is bringing back their popular heated and transparent domes, allowing patrons to enjoy the scenic Chicago Riverwalk in a luxurious way. Since last spring, the famous riverfront winery and music venue has erected seasonal dome-like structures for guests to view the beautiful Riverwalk scene while being protected from the weather in a private couple or group setting. Dine under the shelter of the City Winery domes in Marina Plaza this season between Wednesday, October 10 – Sunday, December 16.
They look absolutely divine and such a fantastic way to enjoy the city with close friends and family!
Each dome is outfitted with a Bluetooth® speaker, a heater, gorgeous lighting, and plush seating and furniture by Wayfair Professional. Whether it’s raining, snowing, or just too chilly to eat outside, City Winery will keep you protected, warm, and cozy inside their weather-proof, climate-controlled structures.
Sessions in the domes last for two and a half hours as guests enjoy tap wines and an alfresco-style menu, plus live performances, all while taking in the breathtaking Chicago skyline.
Guys, I have been dying to visit the Christkindlmaret here in Chicago for the last several years and have no idea how we haven’t made it happen. This weekend, thought, I am planning to get Shawn there for an afternoon of holiday festivities, fun photos and festive cocktails!
Each year, people from all over the world visit the Christkindlmarket. The outdoor market in the Chicago Loop has become so popular and loved that any Chicagoan will tell you that they could not imagine the city without it. The Christkindlmarket is no longer just a German tradition, it has become a Chicago institution.
The unique shopping experience, typical German food and drinks, as well as diverse holiday entertainment make the Christkindlmarket Chicago a preferred and popular destination. In 2016 and 2017, the Christkindlmarket opened two other locations at Naper Settlement and Gallagher Way in Wrigleyville to rave reviews. 2018 marks the inaugural year of the Christkindlmarket Milwaukee at the entertainment plaza outside Fiserv Forum. Admission is always FREE!
Santa Baby Bar
You best all be checking in on Stories Saturday because I am dying to show inside the Santa Baby Bar experience! It’s a festive holiday dream come true! As soon as Shawn and I arrive in the city, we’ll have tickets in line for this fun city must-see this season.
You better watch out! “Santa Baby”, a Christmas pop-up bar, is debuting in Wrigleyville this holiday season. A multi-room, multi-level, over-the-top interactive Christmas experience featuring wall-to-wall Christmas decor, multiple bars, social experiences, Santa & character appearances and a whole lot of Christmas spirits!
Chill in the beer hall of the Alpine Village, enjoy a cocktail in the Winter Wonderland, ask the big man himself if you’ve been naughty or nice in Santa’s workshop, hit the dance floor with DJ SC or slum it with the elves in “Rudolph’s”, the local elf dive bar. It’s Christmas cheer like you’ve never seen it before – it’s Santa Baby!
Grand Geneva Winter Carnival & Ice Castles
You all know by now, the Grand Geneva (our full review here) is one of our favorite local staycation destinations. Every season that passes the Grand Geneva seems do out-do themselves with seasonal festivities.
I am really looking forward to getting Shawn up there this holiday to see their Winter Festival. Even more specifically, their Winter Carnival and rumors of Ice Castles.
With the Grand Geneva’s Mountain Top’s annual Winter Carnival, you can bring your friends and family for a day filled with skiing, snowboarding, sledding, fun snow activities and more! No holiday is complete without a visit to their annual Christmas in the Country, with holiday adventures coming to life during this six week long celebration.
You can also choose to stay in from the snow and enjoy our indoor activities going on all season long. I am literally dying to see the Ice Castles currently taking shape in Lake Geneva.
The highly-anticipated Ice Castles in Lake Geneva are taking shape! Construction is underway with crews turning water into icicles — the primary material to create the winter wonderland.
According to a news release, ice artisans will grow up to 10,000 icicles every day. The icicles will be hand-placed and sprayed with water until the castles reach heights of around 30 feet.
Ice Castles create life-size winter playgrounds entirely by hand. The team creating the Ice Castles in Lake Geneva, will spend a combined 4,000 hours to make them happen. The ice will be illuminated inside the castles at night with color-changing LED lights that twinkle to music. They’ll feature ice-carved tunnels, fountains, slides, frozen thrones and towering ice formations.
Seeing the Nutcracker here in Chicago at the Joffrey Ballet has been at the top of both Shawn and I’s bucket list for the last few years. Similar to the Christkindlmarket, I am shocked he and I have yet to go. The experience speaks Christmas and the holiday season to me in the truest form. Getting dressed by and siting along side my boo is a must this season.
Snag your tickets here, too.
Road Trip to Montana
This bucket list item is a tad more of a stretch this year, but I’d love it if Shawn and I can make it happen before mid-March. Many of you may know, Shawn and I have become big fans of road tripping. Who ever would have thought it, but I almost prefer a good road trip over a long flight these days. I can’t imagine a more stunning place to visit this time of year than Montana.
If y’all know of any great boutique hotels or resorts with an outdoor hot tub in the middle of the snow, let me know. That’s my dream!
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What’s on your 2018 Winter bucket list? Drop us your thoughts in the comments below! XO