Tag Archives: Winter

Luminous Date Night with Luftwerk’s Luminous Field at the Cloud Gate

Luftwerk is the collaborative vision of Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero. New media installations merge video and light with material, surface, and structure, shaping content into an immersive sculptural experience. Their work illuminates the realm of special events, live performance, gallery and public venue, in locations as diverse as MASS MoCA, JFK Airport, Emirates Palace, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Robie House.

This February, Millennium Park is transformed into a digital canvas of light and geometrical form with its first-ever site-specific video and sound installation by the Chicago-based artistic ensemble Luftwerk. Created specifically for Millennium Park, the installation will illuminate Cloud Gate – known by many Chicagoans as “The Bean” – and its surrounding AT&T Plaza with dramatic images and colors set to music composed by Owen Clayton Condon, of the local avant-garde classical ensemble, Third Coast Percussion.

Luminous Field will be on view on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6 – 10 PM, and Sunday – Thursday evenings from 6 – 9 PM.

Interactive Performances at AT&T Plaza
Fridays, February 10 & 17, at 7, 8 and 9 PM
Join local theater company Collaboraction for performances and interactive games inspired by Luminous Field.

Related Programming in Nearby Heated Tent

A heated tent is available nearby at the Chase Promenade North location for warming up with fun family activities, dancing and a variety of international performances. The Park Grill will offer concessions for purchase.

More informationat Explore Chicago

Luminous Field
Luminous Field concept rendering

Light Up Your Date Night with the 98th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

The City of Chicago and UL are proud to present the official start of the holiday season the 98th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, Wednesday, November 23, 2011! The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is a highly-anticipated event drawing people of all ages to the heart of Chicago’s downtown “Loop.” Musical performances and festive holiday music begins at 4:30 pm and the holiday season officially commences at 5:00 pm, when the switch is flipped and the lights begin to dazzle in Daley Plaza.

Spangler Tree
The Winning Tree donated by the Spangler Family

Chicago has spoken! The 55-foot Colorado Spruce from Western Springs nominated by the Spangler Family will serve as the City’s official Christmas Tree on Daley Plaza this holiday season. This is the second year the City has held a contest encouraging residents to vote on the winning tree. Chicago’s Christmas Tree is presented by Safety Partner, UL.

The stately Colorado Spruce sits in the family’s front yard next to their home of 18 years. As a runner-up in last year’s contest, they decided to enter once again after much encouragement. “Our ‘celebritree’ status from last year brought much excitement and support from family, friends and neighbors,” said owner Klaudia Spangler.

As part of their contest submission, Mrs. Spangler wrote this about their tree: Over the years, the tree has served us well. It has been a fort for our kids when they were younger, a great source of shade and an ideal marker when directing people to our home. Now their “celebritree” will be a marker in the heart of Chicago, shining brightly for all to enjoy on Daley Plaza.

The tree will be removed by the Brickman Group on Thursday, November 3. On Friday evening November 4, it will be delivered to Daley Plaza and installed sometime after 7 pm Klaudia and Don Spangler as well as their children Aidan and Hope, will attend and take part in the Tree Lighting Ceremony on Wednesday, November 23 beginning at 4:30 pm on Daley Plaza. Following a musical program, they will join Santa Claus, program emcees Valerie Warner of Windy City LIVE and Mike Caplan of ABC 7 Chicago to light the tree promptly at 5 pm. Additionally, the Spangler family will receive decorative LED lights courtesy of UL.

The Christmas Tree Contest began in early September and 38 trees from Chicago, northern Illinois and Indiana were submitted for consideration. With the assistance of The Brickman Group (landscaping/tree professionals) and the Chicago Sun-Times, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events selected the top three finalists.

Ice Skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink

Kicking off Chicago’s winter season, the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park will open on Friday, November 18, 2011 and will remain open through Sunday, March 11, 2012, weather permitting. The rink, now in its eleventh season, draws more than 100,000 skaters annually and is free and open to the public. Skate rental is available for $10. The ice rink is located on Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison streets.

Ice Skating

Regular Hours for the season are as follows:
Mondays through Thursdays: 12 p.m. — 8 p.m.
Fridays: 12 p.m. — 10 p.m.
Saturdays (through Dec.17): 10 a.m. — 10 p.m.
Saturdays (beginning Jan. 7): 10 a.m. — 9 p.m.
Sundays: 10 a.m. — 9 p.m.

Holiday Hours:
Thursday, November 24 (Thanksgiving): 10 a.m. — 4 p.m.
Saturday, December 24: 10 a.m. — 6 p.m.
Sunday, December 25: 10 a.m. — 4 p.m.
Saturday, December 31: 10 a.m. — 8 p.m.
Sunday, January 1: 12 p.m. — 9 p.m.

Chicago Snow Days at Navy Pier

Although we typically turn snow into slush here in Chicago, the weekend of January 28th through 30th we are inviting some of the best sculptors from around the world to come and transform our snow into art at the Gateway Park at Navy Pier.


Plans are being finalized for teams of artists from the U.S. as well as China, Canada, Mexico, Bulgaria and Russia to sculpt in snow for the 3rd Annual Snow Days Chicago, January 28-30, 2011.

Last year’s first place winning sculpting team, which created “Chinese Opera,” will return from Harbin, China to provide an exhibition piece demonstrating the art of snow sculpting. Often confused with ice carving, Snow Sculpting involves three person teams carving 6 ft x 6ft x 10 ft tall blocks of snow to create masterpieces

Sketches of the artists’ plans for this year can be seen here and sculpting will begin two days prior to the festival on January 26. The snow sculpting portion of the festival is produced in conjunction with Snow Visions, Inc.

Other activities include Dog Sled Racing Demonstrations from Green Valley Dog Drivers, a Snowboard Rail Jam and family entertainment inside Navy Pier.

Festival hours are 11am-8pm, Friday and Saturday (January 28, 29) and 11am-6pm on Sunday (January 30.)

Navy Pier offers special winter parking rates: Before 5pm – $18; After 5pm – $10

The festival is FREE admission and is presented by the City of Chicago and Navy Pier.

Wicker Park Choral Singers Caroling at the Cloud Gate

Celebrate the holidays in Millennium Park on Friday evening. Chicagoans and visitors alike are invited to Cloud Gate to hear the beautiful voices of the Wicker Park Choral Singers, and participate in a holiday sing-along.

Friday, December 17
Wicker Park Choral Singers
Wicker Park Choral Singers has quickly grown from a grassroots effort in the spring of 2008 to an established performing arts ensemble in the Chicagoland area. Its approximately forty members are passionate about making world-class choral music accessible to the community, and are committed to producing concerts that are free and open to the public. With repertoire ranging from Renaissance motets to contemporary works of today’s foremost composers, WPCS aims to provide something to excite and engage each and every audience member.

Admission is free. Caroling at Cloud Gate is supported by the Comer Foundation, with complimentary warm beverages courtesy of Caribou Coffee.

* Date 12.17.2010
* Time(s) Fri, 6:00pm – 6:50pm
* Location Chase Promenade Central
* Note Performance may be shorter due to extreme cold conditions