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. Your family can enjoy the magical winter season with holiday lights showsSanta visitsHanukkah events and more.

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.

City

The Steadfast Tin Soldier

Through Jan. 8, 2023

Chicago’s beloved holiday tradition returns to the stage at Lookingglass Theatre Company this holiday season for a classic the whole family will treasure! For ages 5-plus.

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light

Through Jan. 4, 2023 

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

Through Dec. 31, 2022

Enjoy a special edition of the Chicago German-American Holiday Market. Includes hot beverages, German food and gift shopping.

Christkindlmarket Chicago

Through Dec. 24, 2022

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

Through Dec. 24, 2022 (Saturdays-Sundays)

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.

The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle

Through Dec. 31, 2022

Enjoy this immersive event about the most beloved family holiday tale, The Nutcracker. You’ll see immersive projections and special effects, meet a life-sized Nutcracker, have photo ops and more.

Light Up the Lake

Through Jan. 7, 2023

See Chicagoland’s largest indoor lighting experience. It features interactive light displays, birch tree maze, skating rink, visits with Santa and more.

ZooLights

Through Jan. 8, 2023

  • Address: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago
  • Cost: $5/Tuesdays-Sundays, free/Mondays; fees for additional encounters and activities

Enjoy a twinkling winter wonderland complete with festive activities, such as visits with Santa, a holiday pop-up bar, sweet treats of all kinds and more.

CKC Presents: Mrs. Claus! A Holiday Musical

Through Dec. 23, 2022

Chicago Kids Company’s holiday classic celebrates the 23rd year of Mrs. Claus! A Holiday Musical. Get tickets early.

The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Dec. 3-27, 2022 (Fridays-Sundays)

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.

CKC Presents: Mrs. Claus! A Holiday Musical

Dec. 6-23, 2022

Chicago Kids Company’s holiday classic celebrates the 23rd year of Mrs. Claus! A Holiday Musical. Get tickets early.

A Christmas Carol

Dec. 9-31, 2022

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. For ages 6-plus.

Hershel and The Hanukkah Goblins

Dec. 11-31, 2022 (Fridays-Sundays)

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.

Christmukkah Celebration!

Dec. 15, 2022

Sing Hanukkah and Christmas songs and learn about the dreidel, candy cane and menorah. Also, there will be foods from both Christmas and Hanukkah.

Rollin’ With Frosty!

Dec. 16, 2022

Families can enjoy a fun holiday roller skating event with Frosty to Snowman. Limited number of skates to borrow. 

First Night, First Light

Dec. 18, 2022

Light the first candle and enjoy live entertainment, Hanukkah games, food and more with JCC Chicago and Gallagher Way. All ages are welcome. 

North/Northwest Suburbs

Christmas Town

Through Dec. 23, 2022 (Fridays-Sundays)

Check out Santa’s Reindeer Barn with Santa’s entire sleigh team of reindeer, then visit with Santa Claus. Kids will earn a “stable elf” diploma and take part in baby reindeer flight school training sessions.

Santa’s Rock n Lights – Drive Thru Light Show

Through Jan. 1, 2023

Enjoy more than 1,000 feet of dancing light tunnels, three larger-than-life 3D polar bears, 3D dinosaurs and hundreds-of-thousands of lights dancing to music for about a mile or more.

Vintage Holidays in Long Grove

Through Dec. 18, 2022

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.

Sparkle Light Festival

Through Jan. 1, 2023 (Wednesdays-Sundays)

Enjoy an immersive display of millions of holiday lights amongst outdoor holiday activities including free train rides, winter tubing and themed mazes. A special menu of festive food and beverage options will also be available. 

Holiday Bricktacular

Through Jan. 2, 2023

Celebrate the holidays with themed builds, photo opportunities with life-sized Lego Santa and more. Visitors can try to find all the LEGO presents throughout the attraction for their chance to win an exclusive holiday prize!

The Nutcracker

Dec. 2-11, 2022 (Fridays-Sundays)

Schaumburg Dance Ensemble’s vibrantly costumed and staged production of Tchaikovsky’s magical holiday ballet has enchanted audiences of all ages for nearly a quarter of a century. The Nutcracker brings to life a fantasy world of dancing snowflakes, waltzing flowers and battling mice.

Kohlights: A Mesmertastic Holiday Lightacular!

Nov. 25-Dec. 29, 2022

Kids can take control over the light display at different activity stations along the way at this holiday event.

Ruth Page Civic Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

Dec. 17, 2022

The Ruth Page Civic Ballet performances recreates Ruth Page’s beloved original full-length staging. Exquisite dancing, stunning costumes and magical settings in the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of the Sweets, “The Nutcracker” promises holiday joy for children of all ages.

South Suburbs

Amaze Light Festival

Dec. 24, 26-31, 2022, Jan. 1, 5, 6-7, 2023

  • Address: Odyssey Fun World, 19111 Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park
  • Cost: $36/ages 13-plus, $30/ages 2-12, free/under 2 (VIP tickets and family bundles are also available); $15/pre-paid parking

Guests of all ages can enjoy an all-immersive storybook experience highlighting its five-themed worlds of displays and activities. There will be 3D lighted decor and photo opportunities around every corner.

Western Suburbs 

Christkindlmarket

Through Dec. 24, 2022 (Thursdays-Sundays)

Provides live entertainment for their visitors. Offers a unique shopping experience, family-friendly events and intercultural activities.

Naperlights

Through Dec. 31, 2022 

Put on a pair of 3D glasses and enjoy a magical holiday lights celebration, presented by Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise. On Friday and Saturday evenings, Santa will be available to take pictures. Bach to Rock will be providing music on Dec. 17-18.

Winter Lights

Through Jan. 8, 2023

Enjoy a half-mile walk to see the holiday lights through Central Park. See inspirational signs, colorful rainbow arches, cascading snowflakes and more.

Festival of Lights

Through Jan. 2, 2023

See twinkling lights, an amazing selection of Christmas trees and wreaths and greenery at this holiday lighting event. Also, hot chocolate and holiday gifts are available to purchase in the Wild Side Gift Shop.

Holiday Magic

Through Dec. 31, 2022 (Wednesdays-Sundays)

Celebrating its 41st year, this annual event features more than two million twinkling LED lights! Advanced tickets required.

Holiday Express

Dec. 1-18, 2022 (Thursdays-Sundays)

See Lake Gregory and Blackberry Farm in all its holiday glory amid the twinkling lights and songs of Christmas. Back in the village, enjoy storytelling of the classics, festive decorations, reindeer food bar, hay wagon rides and a visit with Santa.

Holiday Lights

Dec. 4-18, 2022

Celebrate this annual holiday lights display in Lilacia Park, which features tree decorations, magical light shows, a gingerbread house and more.

Beyond the Nutcracker by School of Ballet 5:8

Dec. 17-18, 2022

It’s set to the renowned Tchaikovsky score where audience members are invited to join Emma, her Uncle Abrahms and the angel Anastasis as they embark on a journey through time and discover what Christmas is all about. Choreography is by Artistic Director, Julianna Rubio Slager.

Home for the Holidays in Oak Park

Dec. 17, 2022

Enjoy the holidays in Downtown Oak Park with a visit with Santa, different flavors of hot cocoa, sleigh rides, musical entertainment and more.

Winter Wonderland

Dec. 17-30, 2022

Test your skating skills at the Discovery Center Museum’s new indoor Sock Skating Rink and enjoy creating holiday crafts based on cultures around the world.

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