Why locals love it?
For the large German community, it hearkens back to the Christmas markets that spring up all over Germany during the holidays. For others, it's a great introduction to German festivities. For everyone, it's a great way to be with friends and family and enjoy hot ciders, German pastries, bratwursts, potato pancakes, and Christmas cheer.
Why you should visit it
While the Chicago winters can be bitter, it's a great way to get outside and make the best of all the holiday festivities. There are plenty of great treats and foods to try, lots of quaint shops for cute trinkets, and of course the giant Christmas tree. Duck inside the hut for cover from the weather and enjoy some hot wine or a warm meal.
Don't drive. Take the CTA and get off at Washington on the blue line. Also, the potato pancakes are delicious. Usually opens week of Thanksgiving.