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Playing off what is perhaps the greatest Christmas-movie line ever uttered (let?s take a moment), Duck Inn has a creamy rum cocktail laced with minty flavors. Most importantly: The stiff drink is served in a Marty the Moose glass mug. Seriously.
2701 S. Eleanor; 312-724-8811 or theduckinnchicago.com
Hey, we’re celebrating this month. Which means a boozy gabfest at 3 p.m. is the norm. Meet up with friends at the Virgin Hotel’s cheeky tea service, which includes gin-infused sips from Rare Tea Cellars. Can you imagine a cup of “Freak of Nature Oolong” spiked?
203 N. Wabash Ave.; 312-940-6600 or virginhotels.com. $45 the "non-boozy way"; $55 the "boozy way"
Andersonville’s rustic shop Pastoral specializes in top-notch breads, cheeses and wines. And experts are on hand to help guide your choices, like which wine to pair with organic Camembert or small-batch flatbreads. The store also has an in-house catering department that whips up on-point spreads. And, there’s Champagne on tap.
5112 N. Clark St.; 773-358-7181 or pastoralartisan.com
The Peninsula?s pop-up skating rink has all the cozy comforts you?d expect from a super-luxe hotel. There?s decor inspired by an Alpine village, heated lounges and a little ?Chalet? slinging hot chocolate, Champagne and German spiced wine. A suggested donation at the door ($15 per adult; $10 for kids) benefits local children?s charities.
108 E. Superior St.; 312-337-2888 or chicago.peninsula.com
Fact: Visitors to Chicago need an architectural tour, and the boat cruise isn’t happening this time of year. But the Chicago Trolley Double Decker’s Holiday Lights Tour is a fine (and sparkly) substitution. Starting and ending at the John Hancock Plaza, the two-and-a-half-hour tours travel past lights decking the Mag Mile, Macy’s holiday windows, State Street and nearby neighborhoods. It also stops at two must-see holiday events: the German-style marketplace Christkindlmarket and ZooLights. Sweeter yet, each guest gets a free Sprinkles cupcake.
Holiday Lights Tours run through January 3; tickets must be purchased 24 hours in advance at chicagotrolley.com
Let’s do the math: Three more days till Christmas. Four family members crashing with you. Line for the bathroom: three deep. Just breathe. There’s so much merriment going on in the city right now, you can check out any of these things and up your jolliness instantly. (Not to mention, get a breath of fresh air.) Here’s how to renew your holiday spirit, right now.
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