15 Holiday Events for Chicagoland Kids

Enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with these events!

Celebrate the holidays in Chicagoland with the whole family. In 2021, there are so many holiday traditions that are making a big return. Your family can enjoy the magical winter season with holiday lights shows, Santa visits, Hanukkah events and more.

Since everyone is so excited for the holidays this year, we highly recommend you get tickets to these popular experiences before they sell out! Here are some of our favorite holiday events and make sure to find even more events on our calendar.


Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light

Nov. 17, 2021-Jan. 2, 2022

This Chicago tradition began in 1942 with a single tree. Now, the museum features a four-story, floor to dome Grand Tree surrounded by 40 other trees and displays. Each surrounding tree is decorated to represent holiday traditions in other cultures around the world.

Christkindlmarket Chicago

Nov. 19-Dec. 24, 2021

Enjoy one of Chicago’s most beloved shopping traditions in-person and online with treats and gifts from Germany and beyond.

The Beatrix Holiday Party Tea Party

Nov. 20-Dec. 24, 2021

Enjoy an interactive trunk and puppet show, which includes original music on violin, mandolin, toy piano and banjo. Hot cocoa and cookies follow the show. Best for ages 2-6. Find more holiday tea experiences in Chicagoland.

Hershel and The Hanukkah Goblins

Nov. 20-Dec. 12, 2021

In this adaptation of the award-winning book, a troupe of actors arrive to find no one celebrating Hanukkah so they put on a show. Find more Hanukkah events in Chicagoland.

A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre

Nov. 20-Dec. 31, 2021

The play is returning for its 44th production, following last year’s audio adaptation. Join Ebenezer Scrooge as he journeys through his past, present and future to discover the importance of friendship and love—with plenty of jubilant musical numbers, spectacular costumes and hilarious “Bah Humbugs!” along the way.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

Nov. 21, 2021

The annual festival features more than 200 trees lit up a week before Thanksgiving. The mile-long avenue of stunning trees is not the only attraction within this festival. You can enjoy numerous family-friendly activities such as the free zoo and family parade with Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse.

The Polar Express

Dec. 3, 2021-Jan. 1, 2022

Relive the classic story of The Polar Express. The hour-long interactive experience features a retelling of the story, famous conductor, dancing chefs, hot chocolate and a sleigh bell for those that believe. In 2021, the creative team has updated the show content to bring some new holiday magic to the train ride.

The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Dec. 4-26, 2021

Journey to Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair with Christopher Wheeldon’s holiday masterpiece. Magic is on the horizon for young Marie and her mother, a sculptress creating the iconic Statue of the Republic. As they prepare for their annual holiday celebration, a visit from the charming but mysterious Great Impresario sets off a Christmas Eve dream of whirlwind romance and adventure. Find more Nutcracker performances in Chicagoland

Swissotel Santa Suite

Dec. 4-19, 2021

As a new holiday tradition, stop by Santa’s Presidential Pad with up to 15 guests to visit the man of the season and overindulge in unlimited Swiss hot cocoa, champagne and holiday treats including Candied Orange SnoBall Cookies, Reindeer Chow, Egg Nog Truffles and more. The experience also includes cookie decorating, crafts with Make to Celebrate, face painting and letter writing, complete with a visit to Santa’s Post Office.


Long Grove Holiday Festivities

Nov. 20-Dec. 19, 2021

An old-fashioned celebration comes alive in a picture-perfect holiday setting! Victorian buildings trimmed in lights, a covered bridge and cobblestone walkways lined in luminaries in beautiful historic Long Grove. There will be costumed carolers, strolling musicians, horse-drawn carriage rides, and Santa and Mrs. Claus on weekends.


Nov. 25, 2021-Jan. 1, 2022

Enjoy this free dazzling display of holiday lights and sound as you stroll down Water Street, Foyo Plaza, Jaycees Park and the Riverwalk in Downtown Naperville. On Friday and Saturday evenings (weather permitting), grab a photo with Santa alongside the Great Tree.

Holiday Bricktacular

Nov. 26, 2021-Jan. 3, 2022

Celebrate the holidays with themed builds, ornament building, photo opportunities with life-sized Lego Santa and snowman models and more. Kids also receive a free, exclusive holiday-themed factory Lego brick.

Holiday Lights in Homewood

Dec. 3, 2021

Watch Santa flip the switch for the annual tree lighting ceremony. Throughout the downtown, costumed characters and carolers spread holiday cheer and follow a parade of brightly, decorated antique cars to Hickory Road and watch live ice sculpting demos, take photos with Santa, hot cocoa, bonfire, and holiday music.

Tinley Toyland Parade

Dec. 4, 2021

The Tinley Toyland Parade celebrates the official arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will visit the Oak Park Avenue train station immediately following the conclusion of the parade. Children are encouraged to bring an unwrapped gift for persons of any age, to be donated to a local charity. Parade begins at 175th Street and follows to Zabrocki Plaza.

Holiday Walk in Oak Park

Dec. 11 and 18, 2021

Enjoy the holidays in Downtown Park with two movie screenings — The Polar Express (Dec. 11) and The Grinch (Dec. 18) — at Lake Theatre, a Santa visit on Dec. 18, hot cocoa, choirs, carolers and more.

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