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5 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays at Chicago’s Historic Palmer House

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For more than 140 years, Chicago’s Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel, located in the heart of the Loop at the corner of State and Monroe, has been treating guests to opulent and gracious hospitality. Retail and real estate magnate Potter Palmer considered Palmer House his crown jewel; hence he named the extravagant hotel after none other than himself. Once touted as the largest hotel in the world, the Palmer House lobby has seen dignitaries, celebrities, and royalty come and go since the hotel was established in 1871. During the holidays, Palmer House is even more spectacular. Here are five ways to celebrate the holidays at Chicago’s historic Palmer House hotel.

Experience a classic afternoon tea

Traditional afternoon tea service is offered daily from 2 to 4 pm in the lobby. There’s no better way to rest your feet after a morning of State Street shopping than with hot tea and buttery scones by the grand holiday tree. Reservations are required and may be made by calling (312) 917-3404.

Have a holiday inspired cocktail near the grand Christmas tree

The Palmer House’s 18-foot tall tree, decorated with 7,000 lights among its 15,000 branches, is located in the grand, historic lobby. Enjoy a holiday cocktail from the Lobby Bar. The Hot Toddy features warm Seedlings apple cider cooked with cloves and cinnamon and Calvados brandy. Hot Buttered Rum is made with Myers Dark Rum, homemade vanilla ice cream mixed with butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and brown sugar topped off with vanilla hand-whipped cream and sprinkled cinnamon. Mulled Red Wine is warmed with orange and lemon zest, nutmeg, star anise, cloves, vanilla bean, brown sugar and honey. Or keep it non-alcoholic and opt for the premium hot chocolate or spiced hot apple cider.

Take a family baking class with the hotel’s pastry chef

Executive Pastry Chef Fabrice Bouet and the hotel’s pastry team plan to show families how to create signature holiday treats at their holiday baking classes. On Saturday, December 12 from 2 to 4 pm, you can make and decorate Christmas cookies. On Saturday. December 19 from 2 to 4 pm, learn how to make and decorate gingerbread cookies and houses then taste gingerbread treats with glass of milk. Reservations may be made at the Lockwood Restaurant’s host stand or by calling (312) 917-3404. Participants meet at the Lockwood Restaurant & Bar, in the Palmer House lobby and are escorted to the baking class.

Palmer House Hilton Holiday Baking Class

A baking class at Palmer House is a fun way to celebrate the holidays in Chicago.


Nearly 400 tuba and euphonium musicians of all ages dash through the snow to bring Christmas cheer play holiday favorites for the crowds gathered at Palmer House during TUBACHRISTMAS on December 19 at 12:30. This event is free to the public with no tickets or reservations required, and it’s a holiday musical experience like no other. Palmer House asks that audience members bring a donation of a non-perishable food item for the Chicago Food Depository.

Enjoy Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner

The hotel’s Lockwood Restaurant & Bar will be offering a four-course prix fixe dinner menu in celebration of Christmas on Wednesday, December 24 and Thursday, December 25. Recommended by the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Vettel, the menu at Lockwood’s for Christmas Eve is available from 5 to 10 pm and Christmas Day from 5 to 9 pm. The dinner for adults is $76 and for children (ages 4 to 10) is $30.

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Amy is an avid traveler and enjoys exploring the world with her two travelin’ kids, ages 5 and 13. Based in Chicago, Amy has voyaged as far…

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