By Lauren Victory

CHICAGO (CBS) – The Christkindlmarket is underway in Daley Plaza.

For many families it’s a Black Friday tradition: grabbing a brat after Black Friday shopping.

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And with temperatures in the low 60’s it’s not so bad walking around outside.

It’s also wonderful night to be dazzled by holiday happiness.

CBS 2’s Lauren Victory reports from the especially festive Lincoln Park Zoo.

The crowd is growing for the first official night of Zoo Lights.

On this gorgeous Black Friday, a double take on the lake.

Out flashing a smile: a jolly old man that should be getting to work!

“This is beautiful. This is the first time that the reindeer aren’t playing in the snow,” says Santa Claus. “They’re out on the sand.”

Santa Claus is booked solid for holiday pictures, starting even before the turkey was served.

“We’ll be here, today, tomorrow and the next day,” says Michele Wagner of Michele Wagner Photography. “This is our busy time!”

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Also out in full holiday hustle: The Soul Children of Chicago.

They and some cast members from “Hamilton” helped with the annual wreathing of the Art Institute lions. Getting Michigan Avenue ready for the season.

“Jellybean the Elf ” has been working a few blocks over since November 1st.

“I try to come out, walk up and down State Street, say ‘Merry Christmas’ and it works,” says Sharon “Jellybean the Elf” Cartledge. “I always get people that say ‘Hey, you just lifted my spirits!’”

More warmth at new hot holiday spot: The Christkindlmarket at the park at the Wrigley.

Visitors filled the German-themed festival within an hour of opening.

Food, drinks and convenience are likely a big draw for the next few weeks.

“We were very excited that this was right around the corner and the ice skating rink seemed like a good option,” says Christkindlmarket visitor Karina Alexander. When asked if she’ll return a few more times, Alexander says absolutely.

Two and a half million lights are sparkling across the zoo.

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The flip switched at 4:25 this afternoon and will turn on around the same time for the next five weeks.

Lauren Victory