Christmas has been in the air since before Thanksgiving here in Chicago. I don’t like to cross my holidays, though, so I always insist on waiting until after Thanksgiving to partake in anything Christmas related. one of my favorite holiday traditions is going to a light display at one of the two zoos in the Chicago area. This year, we ventured to Lincoln Park Zoo for a holiday date night that will be difficult to beat.
The evening started at a lovely little Thai place called Noodles in the Pot. They have a particularly delectable Panang noodle curry that involves deep fried noodles, tofu, and veggies smothered in Panang curry sauce. It is a heavenly dish that I will travel to this specific restaurant to get.
Full of delicious food and ready for a holiday adventure, my lady and I set out on the short jaunt from the restaurant to the zoo, admiring the gorgeous Lincoln Park houses on the way, musing about living in them, enjoying seeing everyone’s Christmas trees in their windows, and generically getting into the holiday spirit. It may have been chilly but our chatter and holiday excitement kept the cold at bay.
Practically on the Lakeshore, Lincoln Park zoo offers gorgeous views of the skyline, some amazing animals (though many were elsewhere hiding from the cold and the massive amounts of people — can’t say I blame them), and during December, simply stunning holiday lights.
We stumbled around the main strip for a while, taking in the lights and meeting a friend with a particular proclivity for pink.
With something new to discover, we couldn’t just hang around in any one particular spot. We had to jump everywhere!
They had an ice sculptor doing some demonstrations. His work was stunning! The sculptures sparkled even in the night like massive diamonds.
We wandered through some houses in hopes of meeting a big cat. Instead, we got to see this massively gorgeous tree!
We stopped and looked at some other beautiful lights- some of which were actually light shows timed to 30 second snippets of holiday songs — just long enough to keep an excited child’s attention.
And then we made our way to the most exciting part of the evening- the ice skating. The rink was on the complete opposite end of the zoo so we paused for some shots of our stunning skyline. I was reminded, if for a brief moment, that while I live where the air sometimes hurts my face, the beauty of it all really makes up for frostbite from time to time.
And then we made it to the rink. I’ll be the first to admit that, while I like to think I have balance, all bets are off when it comes to putting me on two thin strips of metal and shoving me onto a surface of frozen slippery water. The mere act of staying upright was pretty difficult but I managed to only actually fall once. There were more than a few close calls, though!
We huddled up with some hot cider to warm up after looping the rink countless times, went back out for a few more loops, and returned our skates before looping back to the rest of the zoo to see more lights before the end of our night.
We made our way back home after a fantastic evening, ready to cuddle up under some warm blankets.