Resist the urge to stay snug as a bug under a blanket this weekend and brave the chill in favor of family fun in Chicago. Holiday shows, a German Christmas market and chance to give back right before Thanksgiving just by eating an Epic burger. . . we’ve done the work to find the cold-weather activities. Read on for our Editor’s picks for this weekend’s best of the best.

photo: Goodman Theatre’s ‘A Christmas Carol’



Spend Friday Afternoon with Little Miss Ann
Swing by after school for Hungry Brain’s first concert for kids. . . with Little Miss Ann and fiddler, Anna Jacobson! Be prepared for the kids to clap, jump, dance and sing! Fri. Event details


Experience Chicago’s German Christmas Market at Christkindlmarket 
Bundle up for this outdoor market that brings the cherished tradition of the Christkindlmarkt to Daley Plaza and adds a heap of local charm. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Keep the Bah-Humbugs Away with A Christmas Carol
There are always a few versions of Marley’s thought-provoking caper across town. But, the one that’s everlasting (and tear-jerking) is at The Goodman Theatre, which was first staged there more than 40 years ago.  Sat. & Sun. Event details

Millennium Park

Open for the Season! Millennium Park’s Ice Skating Rink
Take a spin on the ice with a magnificent view at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. Once again this year, the rink will offer free ice skating lessons on weekends. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Museum Campus

Learn Something Mind-Blowing at Adler’s Community PlayLab
Adler’s newest exhibit emphasizes learning through play by providing materials and experiences that encourage young kids to make sense of the world around them. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Have a Sensory Friendly Morning at the Field Museum
The Crown Family PlayLab is opening an hour early so families with special needs kids can enjoy a crowd-free space. There are tactile opportunities and sensory tools to help ensure an enjoyable experience for all. Sat. Event details

Navy Pier

Let the Kids Climb at Cloud Busters at Chicago Children’s Museum
Take kids to play on CCM’s new 30-ton, 37-foot-tall steel dreamscape that celebrates adventure and risk-taking that are inherent to childhood. Fri.-Sun. Event details


Be Reunited with an Old Favorite with Emerald City’s Corduroy
A small bear’s quest for a missing button leads to the friendship of a lifetime. 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. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

West Town

Get the Holidays Started with The House’s The Nutcracker
This creative reinvention of the beloved tale has an original spin: It focuses on Clara’s journey to save her family from the Rat King. Both funny and heartwarming, it will remind everyone about the real reason for the season. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Various Locations

Give Back with Epic Burger
Epic Burger’s 8 Chicagoland locations will donate 20% of hamburger sales for every classic, all-natural Epic Burger purchased to Generosity Feeds, who are dedicated to shining a local spotlight on ending childhood hunger. Fri.-Sun. Event details


Glen Ellyn

See Pete the Cat at The MAC
For Pete the Cat, life is an adventure! When Jimmy Biddle, the most organized second grader on Earth, draws a blank in art class, it turns out Pete is the perfect pal to help him out. Fri. Event details


Get on Santa’s Nice List Early at Fashion Outlets of Chicago
Santa HQ offers the opportunity to experience the magic of Santa’s workshop through interactive digital activities. Use the magic mirror to transform into one of Santa’s elves and find out where you land on Santa’s list with the Naughty or Nice O’Meter. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

— Maria Chambers


Holiday Shows That Will Dazzle the Whole Family

Pinkies Up! Holiday Teas to Plan Now

Holiday Train & Sleigh Rides to Jump Aboard Now

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