Whew! The hubbub of the holidays has almost gone silent and you still have several days of winter break to savor with the kids. Yippee! On tap this weekend: Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier, the close of holiday light shows, New Year’s celebrations and so much more. Here are your best bets for keeping things merry and bright.

Chi Town Risingphoto: Chi-Town Rising


Edison Park

The Smarty Pants Big Balloon Show
Join Smarty Pants for his famous Big Balloon Show featuring magic, comedy and totally amazing giant balloon props. Fri. Event details.


Put New Year’s to Bed with Blue Man Group
Cap off 2016 with a kid-friendly performance with the Blue Man Group. Children will be transformed into members of group with pre-show face painting.  Other festivities include a pretend midnight countdown, complete with party hats, noisemakers and a special performance of “Auld Lang Syne”.  Sat. Event details.

Lincoln Park

Last Weekend to Watch ZooLights Illuminate the Night’s Sky
With the light displays throughout the grounds your fam can stroll through the twinkling winter wonderland created by over 2 million lights. Fri. Event details.

Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
Based on the best-selling book series by Barbara Park, this holiday show follows fan-favorite Junie B. Jones as she takes part in a holiday sing-along concert at school and Secret Santa Day. “Dear Santa, I really hope you were watching me just now. That’s all I hope. Love, Junie B. –Giver.” Fri. Event details.

Millennium Park

Figure 8 with a Pretty Sweet View
Take a spin on the ice with a magnificent view at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events will present Winter Workouts with FREE skating lessons, Fri., one hour before the rink opens. Fri. & Sat. Event details.

Family Fun at Chi-Town Rising
The Chicago Cultural Mile Association is partnering with Chi-Town Rising to create the family-friendly portion of this mega-event designed to put Chicago at the top of the list as a world-class venue for celebrating New Year’s Eve. Sat. Event details.

Navy Pier

A Winter Thrill Fill at Navy Pier
Get your thrill fill at Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest, which has rides for all ages. Being Chicago’s biggest and best indoor winter playground, it features 170,000 square feet filled with holiday-spirited fun. Fri. & Sat. Event details.


Have a Charlie Brown Kind of Christmas
Christmastime is here…and Charlie Brown can’t seem to find the joy in the season. Join the Peanuts gang as they discover the true meaning of Christmas in this 1970’s tv classic turned musical. Fri. & Sat. Event details.



Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
Chicagoland’s largest lights festival, Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo features over one million LED lights. Indoor exhibits remain open for viewing of animals. Guests can take part in singing to animals and special Zoo Chats. Fri. & Sat. Event details.


Wonderland Express at Chicago Botanic Garden
Chicago Botanic Garden hosts its annual Wonderland Express presented by ComEd, with 750,000 lights illuminating the entrance of this 100% LED exhibition. Tour the magical landscape of model railroads winding through Chicago landmarks. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


16th Annual Winter Carnival at Glenview Ice Arena
Freezing Fridays!  Drop the kids off and bask in adult-only time while they enjoy playing broomball, ice skating, craft projects and lunch. Or, enjoy a little New Year’s Freeze on Saturday. Fri. & Sat. Event details.


Illumination: Tree Lights
Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum returns with more lights, sights and sounds that will transform a Chicago-area wintertime walk in the woods into a colorful, inspiring experience like no other. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Holiday Bricktacular at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center
Step into an indoor winter wonderland bursting with LEGO bricks! Young brick fans are invited to LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago’s annual Holiday Bricktacular to participate in heaps of holly jolly fun and a special New Year’s balloon drop on Saturday. Fri. & Sat. Event details.

For more ideas on how to spend your weekend, check out our Family Events Calendar.


Chat with us about how you’re going to spend your weekend in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers