Chicago Airports Make Holiday Travel Actually Kind of Cheery

Or, at least they try with gift wrapping, live music, and edible holiday specials

Chicago's O'Hare Airport is well known as one of the world's busiest airports, so the unlucky travelers rushing through the terminals during the holidays may not be in the most festive of spirits.

This is probably why the Chicago Department of Aviation is scheduling a little live music in both Midway and O'Hare airports. From now until Dec. 23, Terminals 1,2,3, and 5 at O'Hare will feature local bands and musicians from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Midway's bands will perform at baggage claim.

Then again, if you lead more with your stomach, plenty of restaurants are serving seasonal specials. In O'Hare, America's Dog has a bacon bourbon dog, courtesy of guest chef Heather Terhune, with a maple-bourbon glaze and onion straws. There's also a "Christmas" dog with cider-braised leeks and apples.

In Midway, Let Them Eat Cake is offering 10 percent off cookies; Nuts on Clark in both airports are selling chocolate- and butter toffee-covered nuts at half-off.

If you need some more last-minute gift ideas, Vosges Haut Chocolat in O'Hare has a holiday truffles collection, gingerbread toffee, and something called the "Holiday Mini-Candy Bar Library." Then you can treat yourself to free sprinkles on Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

See the full entertainment schedule below, as well as where to get complimentary gift wrapping for your last-minute presents, through Friday (we'll be taking advantage of that, too).


Midway International Airport
Complimentary gift-wrapping near Harry Caray's restaurant past security, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

All Midway entertainment will be at Lower Level baggage claim.

Dec. 20
• Carolers from Redmink Productions, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Dec. 21
• Lady KT and the 22's, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Dec. 22
• Victory Travelers, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Holy Cross Choir, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Dec. 23
• Two 4 the Blues and Tom Muellner from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.


O'Hare International Airport
"Travelers can get their holiday gifts wrapped between gates B8 and B9 in Terminal 1; across from the Johnny Rockets restaurant in Terminal 2; and near gate H2, across from Garrett's Popcorn, in Terminal 3."

Dec. 20
• Strolling carolers from Redmink Productions will perform throughout Terminals 1, 2, and 3. 

Dec. 21
• Terminal 1: Perrian Jordan Band, by gates B8 and B9, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
• Terminal 2: John Kattke Band, by Wicker Park Sushi, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
• Terminal 3: Supernatural Productions, near L Concourse, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
• Terminal 5: Jetta & the Hi-Dukes, Lower Level center section, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Dec. 22
• Terminal 1: Bryant Jones and Chosen (gospel choirs), 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
• Terminal 2: Angela Johnson & Friends, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
• Terminal 3: Darwin Jackson and & Praise Ministry, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
• Terminal 5: Soul Therapy, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Dec. 23
• Terminal 1: The Elements of Sound, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
• Terminal 2: Sheryl and Tom Quartet, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
• Terminal 3: Charlie Love Band, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
• Terminal 5: Butta Butler Band, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.