A warm, cozy mug of hot chocolate at Christkindl market in downtown Chicago

Happy Holidays from the Student Recruitment and Global Outreach (SRGO) team at Harris!

The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy will be closed December 23, 2023—January 2, 2024, and your Admissions team will have limited access to email during that time. Before we leave for winter break, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite ways to celebrate winter in Chicago.

Ranjan Daniels — We go to dinner at Francesca’s on Chestnut Christmas Eve to then go to church.

Blake Edwards—I've been riding in the Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade for the past 18 years: it's a great cause (donating toys for children) and the folks watching seem to have a blast as well!

Jessica Gagle— Whenever we travel, my family gets an ornament for the tree from wherever we are. Decorating the tree with the kids, it’s fun to walk down the memory lane of where we’ve gone.

Rebecca Hou— I love seeing all the lights in parks and zoos, especially Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Devon Reber Drehmer—  The Old Town School of Folk Music’s Songs of Good Cheer concert is such a fun, festive way to celebrate the season!

the christmas house of tinley park
The Christmas house of Tinley Park

Will Gossin — The night of Christmas eve, we pile into the car with the decadent hot cocoa my grandma makes and look at the Christmas lights in the neighborhood.

Sam Johnson— Near my house in Tinley Park, there’s a family whose Christmas lights have become a tourist attraction. We went to see it this year and was quite a sight to behold.

Meghan Kerby — I try to find CTA holiday train and ride it at least once.

Gezelligheid concert with Andrew Bird - vibrant lights in a cathedral
The Gezelligheid concert with Andrew Bird at Fourth Presbyterian Church

Jay Landau — I like to go see the Lincoln Park Zoo Lights and enjoy latkes with family and friends!

Karen McCleary —  Andrew Bird does this concert – “gezelligheid” which most closely translates to “coziness.” It’s a lovely Chicago tradition with folk music and beautiful lights in Fourth Presbyterian Church in downtown Chicago. 

Absera Melaku — Since I was five years old, I would go to see The Nutcracker every year, and that tradition has continued. The Joffrey Ballet’s version in Chicago is wonderful!

Mauricio Villacres — I enjoy the Latin American “Años Viejos” tradition  in which you symbolically burn bad things from last year and welcome in good things in the new year.

Hillary Werner — My cousins, aunts, and I make latkes for Hannukah and just gab while we cook. It has become a sweet tradition.

Madison Zaccardelli — When family from Ohio comes to visit me, I like taking them to Christkindl market, which is an open-air market downtown with traditional German crafts and food.

Lingyang Zhang— Ice skating with my daughter at the Skating Rink at Midway Plaisance (right in the middle of UChicago campus).

Happy holidays from your Harris admissions team!

Members of SRGO visiting Christkindl
A few members of SRGO visiting the Christkindl market downtown this year
(left to right: Karen McCleary, Devon Reber Drehmer, Madison Zaccardelli, Hillary Werner, Elaina Mack, Jessica Gagle)