The holidays are a magical time in the city, especially with little ones in tow. There are so many fun things to do with kids in Chicago, and each one is an opportunity to make a lasting holiday memory. The whole family will be awed by the city’s massive Christmas tree, historic zoo covered in millions of lights, and whimsical holiday parade starring both Santa and Mickey Mouse. Here’s Part II of your bucket list of the best kid-friendly holiday activities and events in Chicago. (For Part I, click here.)
Kick off the holidays with the 110th annual lighting of the official Chicago Christmas Tree in Millennium Park, complete with music, special guests, and fireworks. The towering tree, decked out in thousands of twinkling lights, will be sure to wow kids of all ages. Catch it shining brightly near the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Washington Street from November through January.
Celebrate the season at iconic Wrigley Field in Lakeview. Winterland at Gallagher Way is held both inside and outside the ballpark and includes an ice rink (with skating and on-ice bumper cars), an ice slide, rides, Santa’s workshop, a miniature version of Christkindlmarket, and more. Enjoy plenty of family-friendly holiday activities, including wreath-making workshops, a menorah lighting, and holiday movie screenings.
The annual wreathing of the lions has taken place outside the Art Institute of Chicago for more than 30 years. This beloved Chicago tradition involves giant holiday wreaths being placed on the monumental lions that flank the museum’s grand entry on Michigan Avenue. And if you’re thinking of visiting the Art Institute, take advantage of free admission opportunities. All children under the age of 14 and Chicago teens age 17 and younger can enjoy complimentary tickets year-round.
Make unforgettable holiday memories with a trip to one of Chicago’s iconic theatres. And there are plenty of winter and holiday shows for the whole family, from classic Christmas plays to mesmerizing ballets.
- A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre
- Hershel and The Hanukkah Goblins at Strawdog Theatre Company
- The Nutcracker by Joffrey Ballet at Lyric Opera House
- It’s A Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago at American Blues Theater
- The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party at Chicago Children’s Theatre
Come back tomorrow for Part III.