A Guide to Magnificent Mile Lights Festival 2013: What to Do and Where to Stay for This Year’s Holiday Season Kick Off by ChicagoTraveler.com

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Every year, something magical happens on Chicago’s iconic Magnificent Mile, fondly called the “Mag Mile” by locals, and this year’s display will be nothing short of awe inspiring. The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is ringing in the 2013 holiday season in a very special way, so come join the festivities and see what everyone’s talking about.

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Today, ChicagoTraveler.com released its guide to this year’s events, including lodging ideas to help plan the big weekend.

Considered one of the nation’s largest holiday season celebrations, The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival will bring Chicagoans and visitors to The Windy City together on November 23, 2013. Today, ChicagoTraveler.com released its guide to this year’s events, including lodging ideas to help plan the big weekend. Find out what to expect and which Chicago hotels still have availability for this year’s big day.

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival kicks off at 11 am on Saturday, 11/23 and ends with a fireworks display brighter than a whole herd of Rudolphs. Below is the ChicagoTraveler guide to what’s going on throughout the day along with a cheat-sheet list of hotels that are all within a comfortable walking distance of the festival.

What’s Going On

-Lights Festival Lane: 11 am - 5 pm
Get a refund on that pricey ticket to the North Pole, because Santa is coming to Chicago for the holidays. Taking place in Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan Ave.), the Lights Festival Lane will have treats to taste, booths to explore, and Disney stars to meet.

-BMO Harris Bank Stage: 11am and on
Come enjoy this year’s musicians at The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. The day will bring stars to the stage such as Justin Roberts, Radio Disney Road Crew, Megan Nicole, Deborah Gibson, and a much anticipated surprise guest. The BMO Harris Bank Stage will be located in Pioneer Court, so come with those jingle bells and rock out.

-Tree Lighting Parade: 5:30 pm - 7 pm
Hosts Mickey and Minnie Mouse invite everyone to come feel the magic of the holiday season at the annual tree lighting parade. Parade begins at Oak Street and Michigan Avenue, and will be traveling south on Michigan Avenue to Wacker Drive. All of the Disney favorites will be there, along with live marching bands, incredible holiday floats, and giant helium balloons.

-Fireworks: 6:55 pm
The parade finishes with a bang. A fireworks extravaganza begins as the streets clear out, and will be firing over the Chicago river at Michigan Avenue. Fireworks are the perfect end to a joyous beginning of the holiday season.

Where to Stay

Walk to the festival from:

-Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
Walk to the festival from the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, and make it an easy trip. With availability for the weekend, the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower is one of the best options and provides guests with sophisticated lodging only a block away from the festival.

-Best Western River North
Best Western River North gets guests the best bang for their buck on downtown Chicago hotels. Enjoy the convenience of the location and walk a mere six blocks to the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. The best of all? This downtown Chicago hotel offers the most rare and precious gem: free downtown parking.

-Fairmont Chicago
Located in iconic Millenium park, Fairmont Chicago offers guests easy access to the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. A five year $60 million transformation makes this fashionable downtown Chicago hotel a classy option for a weekend getaway.

-MileNorth Chicago
MileNorth offers rooms and suites with beautiful views of the city. Located a short walk away from the festivities, MileNorth is a perfect option for the big weekend. Book by November 22nd and receive 20% off 2+ nights. Why we love it? MileNorth is a dog friendly option, so Fido can join the holiday fun.

-Inn of Chicago
Inn of Chicago is located in the heart of Chicago, and is a great launching point for the weekend’s events. Walk to the parade from the Inn of Chicago, which is only a half a block from Mag Mile. This chic boutique hotel boasts a rooftop skyline terrace and comfortable guest rooms.

-Hilton Magnificent Mile
With rooms offering incredible views of Lake Michigan, Hilton Magnificent Mile offers suites and rooms ready for tired heads after the day is over. Take advantage to the Park & Stay package and don’t fret about the impossible parking throughout the weekend.

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Lindsey Skinner
ChicagoTraveler.com
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