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Chicago’s iconic landmarks get dressed up for the holidays

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Trains, parks, and landmarks get festive for winter season

Patina lions at the Art Institute’s front entrance with giant evergreen wreaths and red bows.
The Art Institute lions are decked out.
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The holiday season makes the start of Chicago’s winter dazzling. The city takes every opportunity to get a little festive from the downtown skyscrapers to L cars and historic plazas.

Here we capture some of the city’s most well-known holiday traditions such as dressing up the Art Institute lions, lighting up a 50-foot Christmas tree in Millennium Park, and raising a giant menorah in Daley Plaza. Macy’s holiday window displays and sparkly lights along the Mag Mile are bound to bring cheer, even as the snow comes down and the cold season drags on.

The grand Wrigley Building and the hulking Merchandise Mart are beautiful on their own, however, there’s something special about wandering the downtown corridors when there’s extra sparkle. Just take a look below.

A tall evergreen tree wrapped in lights in downtown Chicago. There is snow on the ground.
Chicago’s Christmas tree in Millennium Park.
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A white stone building with evergreen garlands, red bows, and a large evergreen tree underneath an archway.
The Wrigley building, a mix of French Renaissance and Spanish Revival styles, gets festive.
Getty Images/iStockphoto
A large menorah on display in a city plaza.
The menorah in Daley Plaza next to the well-known Picasso sculpture and Christkindlmarket.
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A shot from the center of a street with blurred car lights, lighted trees and street lamps.
The trees along Michigan Avenue wrapped in twinkly lights.
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A department store’s exterior decor with wreaths, lights, and a row of trumpets and red stars.
The famed Marshall Field’s clock anchors the holiday display at Macy’s State Street entrance.
AP
A two story room with a giant Christmas tree surrounded by dining tables and a second floor balcony.
For many Chicagoans, visiting the Walnut Room inside Macy’s to get a glimpse of the massive tree and special decorations is a yearly tradition.
AP
An L train decked out in a special holiday wrapping.
Wrapped in snowflakes and window lights, the CTA holiday train rolls into the station.
Xinhua News Agency via Getty Ima
The interior of an L car with holiday decor.
Inside the holiday trains, there’s candy cane poles, colorful lights, and some workers hand out candy.
CTA
An ice-skating rink with lighted trees, street lamps and light snow fall.
Millennium Park has a skating ribbon, and then this skating rink right in front of The Bean.
AP
From across the river, a night time cityscape shows several buildings.
TheMart, built in 1930, lights up its Art Deco facade in red and green.
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Trees are wrapped in multi-colored lights as people walk around the zoo.
The city’s largest holiday light display, Zoolights, at Lincoln Park Zoo uses more than 1 million bulbs.
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