Chicago Free Holiday Trolley

Easy Way to Get Around the Windy City During Xmas Holidays

Chicago offers a free holiday trolley serving the many major points of attraction in Chi-town during the Christmas season.

Chicago attracts millions of visitors during the busy holiday season. Like most large cities, Chicago can be difficult to navigate in for the uninitiated. Public transportation is recommended when visiting Chicago. The Metra trains travel from the surrounding suburbs. Once in the city, visitors have a number of transportation options, including; walking, bus, subway, and taxi. During the summer month and the holiday season, Chicago offers free trolley rides.

The City of Chicago Holiday Trolley is a free trolley that stops at the major attractions in Chicago. The free trolley is a convenient method of getting around the city.

There are four different trolley routes that run in a circuit. Therefore, if you get off and on the same line, you end up at the point where you started. The trolley runs every twenty to thirty minutes. There is a sign at the trolley stop. People form a line, so the stop can often be spotted by the line of people.

The Holiday Trolley runs on weekends until December 21. From December 22 through December 31 service is provided daily. There is no service on Christmas or New Years Day. Hours of service are: Monday through Saturday 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday noon to 6 pm.

When making plans to travel around the city on the free trolley it is a good idea to study the routes. Some of the stops, such as Macy’s on State Street, are served by more than one line. The lines are identified by color and include Red Circle, Yellow Star, Green Triangle, and Blue Square.

Stops included on each line:

  • Red Circle: Metra LaSalle Street Station, Metra Union Station, Metra Ogilvie, Macy’s and Millennium Park, Boulevard Towers/Illinois Center, Tribune Tower, Nordstrom North Bridge, Cultural Center, Office Depot and Millennium Park, Palmer House.
  • Yellow Star: Metra LaSalle Street Station, Metra Union Station, Metra Ogilvie, Macy’s and Millennium Park, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Navy Pier Headlands, Behind, Office Depot and Millennium Park, Palmer House.
  • Green Triangle: Metra LaSalle Street Station, Metra Union Station, Metra Ogilvie, Macy’s and Millennium Park, Art Institute and Millennium Park, CTA Orange/Green, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, CTA Orange/Green, Grant Park, Art Institute and Millennium Park.
  • Blue Square: Grand/State CTA subway station to Navy Pier with stops along the Illinois/Grand corridor.

Most of the holiday highlights of Chicago can be accessed from the free trolley. The German Christkindmarkt at Daley Plaza is one block from Macy’s, so travel on one of the lines that stop at Macy’s to enjoy the charming Old World Market.

Water Tower Place is a prestigious shopping center on Michigan Avenue Magnificent Mile. The Magnificent Mile is famous for Christmas decorations, holiday lights, and upscale shopping. The John Hancock Center and Observatory is located in the center of this busy shopping and entertainment area. The John Hancock Observatory offers views of up to four states from the sky. The Red Circle Line has various stops on the Magnificent Mile.

Chicago is home to well-regarded museums and institutions, including Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, and the Art Institute. The Green Triangle Line stops at all of these institutions.

Visitors can ride the free Holiday Trolley to their heart’s content. The Holiday Trolley is a stress-free way to enjoy the Holidays in the City of Chicago.

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