This year, Hanukkah happens from sundown on December 24-January 1. Chances are it will be white (as in, lots of snow) and light (bring on the candles that glow!). And that’s the perfect recipe for fun and togetherness. Here are family events — from baby play dates to concerts — that will get everyone in your brood Hanukkah-happy.
photo: Menorah lighting at Westfield Old Orchard
Candle Lightings, Dancing & Music … in Skokie
Have a few last minute holiday gifts to grab? Want to have some holiday fun while you’re at it? Westfield Old Orchard and Lubavitch Chabad of Skokie are teaming up once again for highly anticipated Hanukkah events! These events will include menorah lightings, Dreidel house activities (crafts for children, complimentary donuts and beverages) and festive music.
Held Dec. 26-Dec. 31
Admission is free
Westfield Old Orchard
4905 Old Orchard Center
Hanukkah Ultimate Play Date (x2)
Join jBaby, a pioneering conduit for Chicago’s Jewish and interfaith families to build a community by providing access to resources, for two very special Hanukkah playdates — one for the city folk and one in ‘burbs. Enjoy an evening of music, menorah lighting, dreidel crafts and snacks as you celebrate the festival of lights! Best for kiddos under 2.
Held Dec. 17, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
1809 W. Webster
Held Dec. 18, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
430 Asbury Ave.
Hanukkah Baking Class for Kids
Tasty treats? Yes, please! Join The Kids’ Table, the charming kiddie cooking school, for baking classes with menus that include Hanukkah sugar cookies and Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream. Little chefs will enjoy eats while you ring in the season in an appetizing way.
Held Dec. 19, 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. & Dec. 23, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
The Kids’ Table
2337 W. North Ave.
Held Dec. 22, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. & Dec. 26, 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m.
The Kids’ Table
2864 N. Lincoln Ave.
Tickets are $20+/family member
photo: Maxwell Street Klezmer Band at Chicago Botanic Garden
Get down at this Hanukkah concert that features traditional music from Maxwell Street Klezmer Band. As a bonus, each ticket includes access to Chicago Botanic Garden’s incredible Wonderland Express exhibition, a miniature train that winds through a re-created Chicago.
Held Dec. 29, at 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Advance tickets are $20 ($17 for members); day-of tickets are $23 ($20 for members); free for ages 2 & under.
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Rd.
Family Chanukkah Shabbat and Dinner
Congregation Beth Judea invites the community to join the Congregation to celebrate Hanukkah with dinner and both a children and family service.
Held Dec. 16, 5:45 p.m.
$36/family; $12/adult; $10/ages 6-12; $5/ages 5 & under
Congregation Beth Judea
Ill. Rt. 83 at Hilltop Rd.
photo: Beth Emet
This is Chanukah!
Take in a free concert for families with young children featuring the Beth Emet Junior Choir and their madrichim (teacher assistants), conducted by Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman and Stefanie Greene. Come hungry because there is an option to break bread with friends following the concert
Held Dec. 11, 4 p.m.
Concert is free; dinner is $5/person or $20/family (parents with children)
Beth Emet the Free Synagogue
Know of any Hanukkah events around town? Let us know about them in the Comments!
— Maria Chambers