(WTTW News)

Much of the country was back at work Monday after the long holiday weekend. But along with whatever else they were doing at their job, there’s a good chance they were doing something else ... shopping.

American shoppers are expected to spend close to $12.4 billion online today during what’s known as Cyber Monday, according to Adobe Analytics. Black Friday spending was also stronger than expected, up 7.5% from last year.

These spending numbers are a relief for retailers, who feared inflation might put a damper on holiday spending.

(Courtesy Chicago Transit Authority)

The wildly popular Holiday Train is back for a 32nd year, running Nov. 24 through Dec. 21. Here’s when and where to catch it.

The annual “Christmas Around the World” exhibit at Museum of Science and Industry. (Heidi Peters / Museum of Science and Industry Chicago)

Whether you’re interested in theater or light shows, ice skating or shopping, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this holiday season. We’ve rounded up some of the season’s highlights in Chicago and the suburbs.

Finishing touches are put on the tree representing Puerto Rico at the Museum of Science and Industry on Nov. 11, 2023. (Angel Idowu / WTTW News)

Families and organizations from all over the Chicago area came to the museum bright and early to decorate their country’s Christmas tree. This year, the trees represented a total of 57 countries, including Austria, Puerto Rico, Kenya, Switzerland, and France, to name a few.

The De La Cruz family with the 45-foot Colorado Blue Spruce that will light up Millennium Park this holiday season. (Courtesy De La Cruz family; City of Chicago)

The 45-foot Colorado Blue Spruce will take centerstage during an official tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m.

(Pixabay / neelam279)

Love it or hate it, the stunt works for the station. In 2022, the LITE’s ratings doubled between November and December.