Last weekend officially launched the holiday season for me when I took my granddaughter Zoe for a Christmas weekend in Chicago. We stayed in a one-bedroom apartment I found on Airbnb and spent most of our time shopping while taking in a few sights.
Our girls weekend was something I’d been promising her for a while and I thought November would be the perfect time to go when decorations are up but before the sidewalks get crazy with holiday shoppers.
Since I wanted Zoe to experience what it’s really like to live in the city, I chose a one bedroom apartment to rent in a prime location – just a few blocks to the Michigan Avenue Magnificent Mile but also within walking distance of the iconic Macy’s store on State Street.
I’m kicking myself now for not getting night shots inside the apartment so you can see how pretty the nighttime view of Chicago is. The daytime view is pretty spectacular, too.
The city apartment has a kitchen but we didn’t use it. We ate all our meals out. Just beyond the kitchen is a balcony where you can get an even better view of Chicago streets. We could see the Hard Rock Cafe’s famous guitar sign from the apartment.
The bedroom is super cute but I wasn’t used to the city sounds. I swear a siren could be heard every hour through the night. Plus the first night there were political protesters a few blocks away chanting for about an hour.
Kitty corner from our apartment building is the Holy Name Cathedral. I love all the architecture I saw during our Christmas weekend in Chicago. I’ve seen a lot of it on previous trips – I need to go back just to take more photos of everything.
I told Zoe’s mother to pack comfortable shoes because I planned to walk everywhere during our Christmas weekend in the big city. Like I said, I wanted her to see what it was like to actually live there. We crossed the famous Chicago river while making our trek to Macy’s store on State Street. The river is dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day. Zoe says she’d like to see that.
One of the big four skyscrapers surrounding the Michigan bridge crossing the river is the LondonHouse Hotel. It was sporting a big festive wreath for Christmas.
About a mile later we made it to Macy’s (formerly Marshall Fields) on State Street. If you’re going to spend a Christmas weekend in Chicago, Macy’s is a must see with their holiday windows and decorations!
I promised Zoe a few new clothes so we stopped in the girls’ department before making our way to my favorite place in the store – the Walnut Room with its incredible Christmas tree! You can dine in the Walnut Room by the tree. We were going to have lunch here but Zoe begged for Subway’s instead. I gave in since this weekend was more about her than it was about me.
Note how the roof and room changes color.
The theme of Macy’s Christmas decorations this year is “Believe.”
After leaving Macy’s we visited a new-to-me store that I absolutely loved. It’s called P.O.S.H. and had the most wonderful assortment of Christmas decor and vintage finds.
This is my new favorite store in the city. Zoe wanted a book about manners that she found here – which totally took me by surprise but I did get it for her. I should ask her if she’s learned anything yet!
Saturday night we visited the Disney store where she picked up Pua from Moana. From there we went to dinner at Harry Caray’s restaurant in Water Tower Place. Of course, once she had Pua, she had to take him everywhere.
We took the train to and from the city for our Christmas weekend. Except for the Uber ride to and from the train station, we walked everywhere.
Next weekend hubby and I are headed to the Chicago Botanic Garden for their holiday lights tour. We’re staying at another Airbnb place just down the street from the famed house in the Home Alone movie. I’ll be sure to get more pictures!
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