By Megan Horst-Hatch

The winter holidays are almost here, which means it’s time to take a family picture that can be shared with family and friends both near and far. So, what is your plan? Wearing matching sweaters and posing in front of a roaring fire is one thing, but consider stepping up your picture-taking game by taking the photo in front of a landmark in the Chicago area. While you could pose in front of Millennium Park or Wrigley Field, consider these additional landmarks as part of your photo shoot. Just remember to check the venue’s rules regarding photography policies before you take a photo.

Art Institute Of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 443-3600

If you’d like to take a photo in a location that’s instantly recognizable, then taking a picture of the family in front of the iconic lions of the Art Institute of Chicago should be at the top of your list. Located outside the Art Institute, the beloved lions will make for a memorable photo. As the lions are popular for photographs, you might need to wait in line before taking a family picture of your own. The museum, which is in the heart of Chicago and near a number of shopping destinations, is a great way to squeeze in a photograph or two during the holiday season.

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
(847) 835-5440

Grab your matching holiday sweaters, jump in the car, and drive out to the Chicago Botanic Garden in the suburb of Glencoe to take some family photos in front of some amazing greenery. The garden features a number of areas that are simply stunning, even under a blanket of snow. If the weather leaves a lot to be desired and you’d like to stay indoors (this is the Chicago area, after all), you still have options. Just make your way to the greenhouses, which include a multitude of plants under glass.

Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 North Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 742-2000

When was the last time your family took a photo with polar bears, lions, or  zebras? This holiday season, take a walk on the wild side when you take your holiday photos at Lincoln Park Zoo. Stop in at the Farm-In-The-Zoo and take pictures with goats, cows, and more, or stop in at the Kovler Lion House for pictures with some truly majestic creatures. If you’d like to include part of Chicago’s skyline in the background, then consider taking photos at the zoo’s Nature Boardwalk. Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights will be open on select dates through January 1, 2017, and can make for a whimsical holiday display for your photos, too.

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Museum Of Science And Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 684-1414

Add some serious sparkle to your holiday photos when you and your family pose in front of the Christmas trees on display at the Museum of Science and Industry. The museum’s famed exhibit “Christmas Around The World” has been a long-standing and beloved tradition for many Chicago families since it started in 1942. You can take a picture in front of the Grand Tree, measuring 45 feet tall, or pose in front of one of the more than 50 additional trees on display. This year’s event runs through January 8, 2017, so you have plenty of time to take a last-minute holiday photo, too.

Skydeck Chicago
Willis Tower
233 S. Wacker Drive
(312) 875-9696

Take a photo way, way, way up high when you and your family visit Skydeck Chicago. Located on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower, Skydeck Chicago offers views of the city, Lake Michigan, and beyond. Whether you take a photo on a bright, sunny day or opt to take a family photo after sunset, you’re sure to create a picture with a breath-taking backdrop. You can gather the family in front of a window, or even add a bit of adventure by stepping out on the Ledge. This location is the perfect choice if you want to include the city’s skyline without having to step outdoors.

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