Hold on to that holiday spirit for just one more weekend and let the jingling and ring-tingling continue until the very last second. From light displays and LEGO brick play to figure 8-making with a view, we have your best bets for family joy all around town. Oh! And, it’s the last weekend to cut down your own Christmas tree! Bundle up your sweet babes and get out there to enjoy these merry festivities.
photo: Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lightscape via Culture Creative / Rikard Österlund
IN THE CITY
Experience Gallagher Way’s Winter Wonderland
Gallagher Way will be decked out with holiday flare bigger and brighter than ever before! You’ll find a mini Christkindlmarket, ice skating, Santa’s workshop, a 30-foot Christmas tree and more! Make it extra special and go glamping at Hotel Zachary. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
. . . While you’re in Lakeview, there are loads of cool holiday pop-ups to grab a cocktail. . . some even allow kids! Check out our story: Over-the-Top Holiday Pop-Ups to Grab a Festive Drink
Have the Hap, Hap, Happiest Weekend at ZooLights
ZooLights features hundreds of luminous displays and incredible seasonal activities, all under the glow of 2.5 million lights. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Experience Chicago’s German Christmas Market at Christkindlmarket
Bundle up for this outdoor market that brings the cherished tradition of the Christkindlmarket to Daley Plaza and adds a heap of local charm. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Take a Holiday Lights Trolley Tour
This lightly narrated adventure shows the best of Chicago’s holiday lights, including the Mag Mile, Macy’s holiday windows, Millennium Park, Christkindlmarket and stops at Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Act Like a Big Kid at Toys “R” Us Adventure Playland
This vast indoor wonderland celebrates all the whimsy, silly and FUN of toys and play! Explore over eight mind-blowing rooms featuring brands you know and love. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
See an Old Favorite when Emerald City Presents Corduroy
Kids will learn the importance of empathy and unconditional love alongside a young girl and her mother in this sweet adaptation of the beloved book Corduroy by Don Freeman. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Figure 8 at Millennium Park’s Ice Skating Rink
Take a spin on the ice with a magnificent view. Once again this year, the rink will offer free ice skating lessons and this weekend you can listen to Caroling at Cloud Gate. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Experience Christmas Around the World at MSI
Be enchanted by the trees and displays that are decorated to represent the rich multicultural heritage of Chicago, the crown jewel being the floor-to-dome Grand Tree with 30,000 twinkling lights and sparkly ornaments. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Get Your Winter Thrill at Winter WonderFest
The indoor Winter WonderFest features 170,000 square feet filled with rides, giant slides, ice skating and holiday decor that is sure to get you into the holiday spirit. While you’re there, burn off energy at Chicago Children’s Museum’s Cloud Busters. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
See Santa at Chicago French Market
The Chicago French Market will host a free JingleFest with complimentary visits with Santa, holiday gifts and special deals from over 30 vendors and onsite balloon artists. Be sure to bring your own cameras for photos with Santa. Sat. Event details.
Walk in the Glow of Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden
Wander into a festive world of wonder and light along a mile-long path, as the night comes alive with color, imagination, and sound, from a playful choir of singing trees to a spectacular waterfall of light. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Return to an Old Favorite: Illumination at Morton Arboretum
Walk the mile-long path and gaze in amazement at the LED-lit trees through the winter woods. Enjoy the light shows set to The Nutcracker music and glowing trees that respond to touch and sound. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Holiday Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Discovery
Join the holly-jolly fun as LEGOLAND Discovery teams up with their Master Model Builder to transform into a winter wonderland with magical builds and activities! Don’t forget to stop by the LEGO Store for supercharged gift ideas. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
— Maria Chambers
. . . and check out our Events calendar for even more suggestions.