The parade down State Street features live performances, equestrian units, marching bands and the sky-high balloons.
Discover a traditional centuries-old holiday market in the heart of downtown Chicago. Christkindlmarket features German and international vendors who display hand-crafted ornaments, toys and unique gifts as well as traditional German foods, sweets and beverages. School groups, professional singers and dance groups perform. Special events include appearances by the Christkind and the annual Children’s Lantern Parade, which celebrates St. Martin’s Day. Nov. 21-Dec. 24.
Hear a variety of choral groups and join them in a holiday sing-along at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. Runs Fridays from Nov. 28-Dec. 19.
Hear the story of blue jeans and then try your hand at
tie-dyeing a bandana in an indigo pot. Please bring kitchen gloves
and a plastic shopping bag. Preregistration is required.
Families take a special post-holiday hike on the scenic Forest Preserve trails around Trailside Museum with a naturalist. Registration required. No strollers.
Families can usher in the holiday season at an afternoon reception where Santa and his trusty Elves will welcome the festive season. In addition to a gourmet buffet and kid-friendly mocktails, there will be opportunities to have photos taken with Santa Claus, to write a holiday wish list with one of the Elves, and to decorate and enjoy holiday cookies.
Award winning choreographer, Gilles Brinas, has adapted two
Malambo styles featuring powerful foot stomping. The rhythms are
echoed by "bombos," large, fat, rustic drums, "boleadoras" or bolas
(long, thin ropes with two or more stones attached at the ends) and
accompanied by passionate song and guitar.
This fair offers families, teachers, toy and game enthusiasts the chance to preview new toys and games, meet Toy and Game Inventors, have a picture taken with Star Wars characters and more.
In addition to seeing sharks up close as a diver swims and interacts with these awe-inspiring animals, attendees will experience “everything aquatic under one roof” including displays of fish from around the world, educational seminars with industry experts, a free Kids Aquarium Contest and thriving show floor of exhibitors showcasing the latest in aquatic trends and products—for advanced hobbyists and first-time aquarium keepers alike.
Join a celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of light.
Create a work of art inspired by Indian traditions, visit the
galleries of Southeast Asian art with a family self-guide,
participate in a dance workshop, and more.
Write an encouraging letter of support to a veteran or current
member of our armed forces. Letters will be sent to the local VFW
post to be sent along with care packages for the holidays.
Enjoy indoor and outdoor lighted displays, designer wreaths and trees, and Garden-scale trains that wind their way over bridges and through tunnels, and past more than 80 miniature versions of Chicago landmarks, all handcrafted with natural materials.
There's a lot going on in this world-class city we live in, and the options can be overwhelming. So every week, we'll pick our not-to-miss events. Chances are, you'll see us there, kids in tow. If none of these suit your schedule, browse our full calendar to find events near you.
Why not get our recommendations in your inbox? Sign up for our Weekend Scoop newsletter, delivered every Thursday with our suggestions for a rock-star weekend. Sign up today!