Not to toot our own horn, but, wow, do we have fun things planned for you this weekend! First up, Winter WonderFest is still rocking the Pier . . . but for just one more weekend. Actually, it’s a weekend full of last chances that’ll lead to weekends of new beginnings. What are you waiting for? Read on and bring a whole lotta smiling to 2020.

photo: Filament Theatre’s ‘Forts: Build Your Own Adventure’



Experience Gallagher Way’s Winter Wonderland
Gallagher Way is decked out with holiday flare bigger and brighter than ever before! You’ll find ice skating, curling and skating lessons and more! Make it extra special and go glamping at Hotel Zachary. Fri.-Sun. Event details

. . . While you’re in the neighborhood, there are loads of cool holiday pop-ups to grab a festive cocktail. . . some even allow kids! Check out our story: Over-the-Top Holiday Pop-Ups to Grab a Festive Drink

Lincoln Park

Last Chance to 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.

Have a Fab Storytime with Drag Queens
Back by popular demand! Join Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum for a fun-filled sing-a-long storytime with Kiki Queens. Be sure to stop by Green City Market’s indoor market, too! Sat. Event details

Mag Mile

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.

The Curtain Is Closing on 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.

Museum Campus

Final Weekend to 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.

Navy Pier

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. While you’re there, burn off energy at Chicago Children’s Museum’s Cloud Busters or see their temporary Mo Willems exhibit. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Portage Park

Build a Magnificent Fort with the Family
Enter a world of play and creation as Filament Theatre transforms into a playspace to build new worlds. Using cardboard boxes, sheets, clotheslines and more, families build adventures of their own devising. Sat. & Sun. Event details.



Walk in the Glow — ONE LAST TIME! — of Lightscape
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


Visit Great Wolf Lodge’s Snowland
Great Wolf Lodge invites families for their annual Snowland celebration, which turns their resort into a winter wonderland. This festive celebration features dashing décor and fun activities for both kids and adults alike! Fri.-Sun. Event details


Say Goodbye to 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.


Have Sensory-Friendly Fun at LEGOLAND Discovery
LEGOLAND Discovery Center and Austim Speaks have teamed up to provide a sensory-friendly LEGO experience for Chicago families the first Saturday of every month. Sat. Event details

— Maria Chambers


Over-the-Top Holiday Pop-Ups to Grab a Festive Drink

Staycation Spotlight: Hotels with Amazing Kid Amenities

. . . and check out our Events calendar for even more suggestions.