When you live so close to one of the greatest cities on earth, you will visit it. Our Suburbanite’s guides help you navigate the big city with insider tips, tricks, and experiences to your favorite attractions and locations.
Guide to visiting Macy’s Chicago at Christmas
One of our family’s treasured holiday traditions started when I was just a little girl. I would get up early and miss school on purpose in order to spend the day with my mom and grandma for a wondrous winter outing. This tradition continued with me throughout my years of growing up, and now I get to share it with my own kids and their grandmother.
For the past 5 years, I have been making the trek down to Chicago to have lunch in the Walnut Room at Macy’s, visit Santa there, and see the windows with my own children.
Getting to Macy’s Chicago
Getting to Macy’s is pretty easy by expressway. Once you arrive, you’ll want to park across the street in the Randolph Street garage. It’s super easy and convenient.
Exploring Macy’s Chicago
After parking, we head in and find the Walnut Room. Since we usually have one stroller, we take the elevator, but not before stopping to admire all the decorations on the ground floor- incredible! It’s like a magical holiday wonderland made just for me, with purses, and jewelry, and makeup… Oh wait, we are here for the kids, right?!
Getting off on the 7th floor, head over to the atrium area to get a pager. The wait times at peak hours can be pretty high, so plan on getting there early. You can shop while you have your pager throughout the store, and then it will go off when it’s your turn to get in line and be seated. During that time, head upstairs to see the tree from the higher viewing area. Every year the decorations are different, so it is a treat to see what they are. The giant tree is breathtaking and a great photo opportunity.
You can park your stroller in a particular area before going into the restaurant. When seated, the kids are treated to a fairy that grants wishes. This is a special lunch, with fancy table decorations, so if you have a wee little one who is antsy, plan on bringing some diversions.
We always order a Santa cookie for dessert, because it reminds the kids that the visit to Santa is next! Check out the online menu to be ready to order right away.
Visiting Santa at Macy’s Chicago
After we eat it’s time to see Santa! While waiting in line to see Santa, kids are treated to a special area that wanders through a themed display of Christmas decorations. Once at the front, kids are ushered in, and their visit begins. I like visiting the Macy’s Santa because I don’t feel rushed, and it wasn’t all about the pictures. Of course, they are offered, it’s just not the main focus. A special free button later, we were outta there, and outside to check out the windows. Hopefully it is warmish when you visit, if not, checking out a couple of windows might have to suffice.
If you visit, have fun, stay warm, and enjoy this special bit of holiday tradition. I know every time I see the giant tree and order my lunch I can imagine my own grandma sitting with me. Maybe my grandchildren will imagine the same thing!
Does your family have any holiday outings that you have been doing since you, or your parents were kids?
Find more of our Suburbanite’s Guide on our Family Travel Page.
Find more Christmas events and activities at Christmas in Lake County.
Story was written by Becky Honaker for Little Lake County.