Places to go; people to see. You’re buzzing around town like a regular holiday busy bee. In between visits with Santa and keeping things magical, don’t forget to pencil in time for family entertainment. We’ve made it easy by rounding up ideas that range from holiday lights displays and ice skating to a holiday show you can watch from home.
Pick Your Holiday Centerpiece: Your Christmas Tree
Lumberjack your way to Christmas and make cutting down your own tree a family tradition. Spend the rest of the weekend cozy in your PJs, decorating its branches. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Ice Skate with a View
The Maggie Daley Park ice skating ribbon is one of the best spots in the city to skate a figure eight. The railing that lines the loop is the perfect pick-me-up for wobbly skaters and the views are spectacular. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Visit Lincoln Park Zoo’s Zoolights
The most wonderful time of the year deserves the most wonderful event of the year. ZooLights features hundreds of luminous displays and incredible seasonal activites, all under the glow of 2.5 million lights. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Stroll Naperville’s Festive Riverwalk
The 8th Annual Naper Lights display is free and guaranteed to spread holiday cheer as you walk along Naperville’s gorgeous riverwalk. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Watch Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish – The Musical
Bring a sprinkle of holiday magic to 2020 with Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish – The Musical, streaming online. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Lace-Up the Skates at The Forge
It wouldn’t be the holiday season without this classic winter activity! Slip into some skates and glide across The Forge’s Ice Skating Shelf for family memory-making. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
See the City of Chicago’s Christmas Tree
Things will look at a bit different at Millennium Park this season, but the cheer will still be present. All are invited to see the City of Chicago’s Christmas Tree shining brightly. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
See The Nutcracker on Art on theMART
With the cancellation of The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker, a newly animated digital display will be shown as part of Chicago’s Art on theMART. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Be Dazzled by Morton Arboretum’s Illumination: Tree Lights
Returning for its 8th year, this crowd-pleaser has been reimagined as a two-mile driving experience that’s an unparalleled spectacle of color, light and synced music. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Seek Out the Best Cup of Hot Chocolate
Jack Frost has started the nose-nipping, so it’s time for us to start hot-cocoa sipping. Bundle up and warm the bellies at one of our favorite hot chocolate spots. Bonus: You’ll be supporting local restaurants! More details.
Shop a Virtual Christkindlmarket
Christkindlmarket is going virtual this year! Shop the handmade gifts, food and drinks and kids can participate in Kinder Club activities from the comforts of home, anywhere in the world. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Dig Into a Hearty Bowl of Soup
Slurp it. Stir it. Make waves. Blow on it. Nibble the good stuff and use a straw for the rest. Find a favorite bowl of soup to keep you warm and cozy while you work your way through your holiday to-dos (& support a local restaurant!). More details.
Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Luck is on your side because we have loads more to-dos on our calendar—even lots of virtual activities to connect with people, museums and businesses all over the country. Check it out!
— Maria Chambers