christmas chicago adventure featured image

My 2018 Christmas Market Adventure!

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Blogmas! Today I’m sharing my 2018 Christmas Market Adventure as the newest addition of my Christmas Mug collection. I’m also going to share the 17th Blogmas Advent Calendar item! 


I was so worried I was going to miss out on the Christkindlmarket this year but managed to get downtown for it in the end! 

christmas chicago adventure featured image

So the day started pretty early with me getting up and doing a full face of makeup! I’m going to probably do a post on my makeup of the day later this week (so look forward to that!). I absolutely refuse to drive into the city, especially in the winter and so close to the holidays because TRAFFIC, and DANGER, so I took the train down. I love that public transportation is a great thing in Chicago. My dad dropped me off and I would have left my car at the station but I wasn’t sure which station I’d come back to since not all the trains go to all the stations, especially on weekends. On the train there were a million Packers and Bears fans so I soon realized that there was a Bears and Packers game that day.  

My train arrived in Chicago about ten minutes. It was amazing. I quickly went off to the closest Starbucks but since it’s a Sunday nearly every one was closed. I finally found one that was open in the opposite direction of the market (of course), grabbed breakfast as fast as I could, and then headed back towards the market. 

sister christmas market pillow me

Once I was at the market it was a few minutes to 11 so the lines were forming, as the market wasn’t open yet. I met up with my sister and one of her roommates, who was celebrating his birthday! One of the other people in the line overheard me say since he was the birthday boy he could pick what stall to see first and she wished him a happy birthday too! The holiday season I tell you! Anyway, during that time they did say their other roommate (my sister’s friend and the birthday boy’s girlfriend) was baking 200+ cookies for a homeless shelter’s staff and bake sale, which is an excellent reason to miss the market I would say, so I did miss her but she recently visited over the Thanksgiving weekend with my sister so it was okay. My sister then invited another of her friends who immediately got ready and headed towards the market to meet us. While waiting I got my mug (more on that later), snacks, and walked around! I have gone for years, about I’ve only missed one since 2009, so I’ve seen it all and I didn’t need anything from the market besides the mug so we only walked around a bit. 

christkindlmarket chicago

Once my sister’s friend arrive we walked around a bit more but at that point it was nearly 1pm and the market was extremely crowded. I hadn’t gone before this because it was so cold and so the 40 degree weather (practically feels like summer I tell you) and the proximity to Christmas means there was a ton of people at the market. We decided to leave after another round because it was just impossible to see anything anymore. 

2018 christkindlmarket chicago mug

Now for the mug! I was so excited to get this one because it’s so cute! This year the mug is green and in the shape of a heart. There was also a blue version for Milwaukee and a pink version for Naperville (a Chicago suburb) where remote markets take place, but I only have the Daley Plaza in Chicago version. It’s so cute! The design was apparently inspired by the gingerbread cookies that they sell at the market and do say “Ich liebe Christkindlmarket” (which I do remember means I love Christkindlmarket from my one semester of college German). The mugs also all had different backgrounds depending on the location so the Chicago one has the city skyline (a very accurate one I’m happy to say) and the Ferris wheel. You can get the wine or the hot chocolate in the mug. I actually got one without either because I’d just had a grande chai. 

They also had a new snowman mug this year. This mug is meant to be for kids, so only hot chocolate can go into it. This year the mug was a grandmother! I didn’t get the kid mug this year as I already have two but I did feel bad because I have a grandfather mug and not a grandmother one now. I feel like it’s fitting because I only have one grandfather left though so that’s why I felt pulled last year to get it. This year I thought the grandmother was so cute but I just couldn’t justify another kinder mug! 

millennium park christmas tree

So after leaving the market my sister’s roommate left and the remaining three of us headed towards the Art Institute. At first we considered the Museum of Science and Industry because they have their Christmas trees up but it’s in Hyde Park which is quite a journey through the city to the south. It’s worth the trip for sure, but we’d seen it before and had been to MSI earlier this year so we wanted to try something else. (Also why we didn’t pick the Field or Shedd, and the Planetarium is more for children so we also passed on that one.) We went to Millennium Park first where we saw the Christmas tree! Apparently the tree is donated, which I learned from a coworker who knows the family that donated this one! The family is from the same town as my college, which is such a fun little thing to think about! We also walked by the ice rink, which is smaller than I thought it was! 

art institute of chicago

Since I hadn’t been to the Art Institute in literally years, and my sister has connections (she works for a museum in the city so she gets some free tickets), we thought it’d be fun to go! I ended up getting a student discount as my sister only had two free tickets at the Art Institute (one for her and one for a guest – each museum is different!) and so I had to pull up my school email to show that I had sent my final assignment for my finance class in a few days ago since I didn’t have my student ID on me. I guess that class was good for something! 

Above are just two of the amazing art pieces that I loved (I loved so many of them!). The one on the left is one that I think was my favorite in the entire building, and one of my favorites that I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen quite a bit of art). It is “Visions of Eternity” by Salvador Dali. I couldn’t stop staring at it, even though there was a hot guy nearby. I guess that’s why I’m single. But the painting was absolutely mesmerizing and I loved it. I am so upset I didn’t go to the Dali museum in Barcelona when I studied abroad as I do love his art. Someday I will go though. In the meantime, the modern wing of the museum has tons of Dali, Pablo Picasso, and Joan Miro paintings to make me smile. 

The painting on the right might look familiar in a way. It’s “A clear unspoken granted magic” by Amy Sherald. She’s the painter that did Michelle Obama’s portrait at the Smithsonian earlier this year. A museum employee had directed us to the contemporary section and mentioned this piece which I searched and searched for. The museum is like a maze! I can’t say I like contemporary pieces that much but this one I loved. 

We also saw the impressionist area which was phenomenal. It included some Vincent Van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Georgia O’Keefe to name a few artists. I loved that section a lot and none of my photos do that one justice! We also did the Thorne room which is full of little doll houses of rooms in homes through the world and through the ages. Some were even Christmas themed! It was amazing! 

I think the Art Institute has gone a little too contemporary for my taste but I only saw a small section. We didn’t even get to see any of the American art section because we ran out of time (a shame because I’m sure we would have loved it) and we speed walked through the South Asia portion, as well as missing so many others. It’s a large museum and has plenty for everyone to see. It is a bit pricey which is a downer as I really think art and learning should be accessible to everyone. But, like I said, it’s really large and I’m sure it’s also expensive to run the museum as they have to constantly change their exhibits and displays to attract people as well as the high amount of security.

Oh, another thing, the security was so kind and sweet! I remember them being sort of grumpy when I was younger but maybe because kids are loud and it did used to be more, um, stuffy I guess. But they’re so friendly! One saw me smile openly at a painting and remarked that she loves to see people enjoy the museum and art which made me smile even more. Another asked us twice where we were headed, each time we had no idea, and he gave us great suggestions. 

millennium park christmas tree

I do hope we can go again, as we didn’t get to see at least half of the museum. I’ll probably wait until it has a special exhibit though that I’m really interested in. 

After that we headed out so I could catch my train. My sister went all the way to the train station with me, which was so lovely of her! She is planning to come home for Christmas so it’s not like we’re not going to see each other soon (plus its easy to get to her) but it was still so nice. I can’t wait to see her for the holiday and I can’t wait for another city adventure! 

Advent Calendar Item #17

So the 17th item of the advent calendar item is…

blogmas advent calendar pink starbucks cold drink cup

A drink cup! This one is for cold drinks. In particular, this one is from Starbucks and I love the color so I’d love to have something similar to it, but maybe in assorted colors so it’s a surprise what color everyone gets. The only other thing I’d want to add is maybe extra straws for them. I’d definitely want a larger cup, so more will fit into it!


So that was my Christmas market day in Chicago! Let me know if you go to any Christmas events such as this or anything else holiday themed. I’d love to know! 

Thanks for reading!

Pamela Silva 

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