Jewish High Holidays Guide for Chicagoland Families

Here's how to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with your kids.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the Jewish holidays that arrive each fall. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and a celebration of new beginnings, and Yom Kippur is known the Jewish day of atonement.

While these holidays both look a little different in a COVID-19 world, there’s plenty of fun to be had! From socially distanced shofar blowing events to virtual cooking classes featuring holiday staples – apples and honey – we’ve rounded up best family-friendly ways to mark these special holy days.


High Holy Fest

Sept. 6-8, 15-16, 2021

  • Address: Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark Street, Chicago
  • Cost: Services start at $60, High HoliDAY Camp is $72 per child, live-stream access is $15. In person fee includes full access to the Chicago History Museum’s exhibits.

Join Mishkan Chicago for four days of fresh air, music, prayer and inspiration. Choose from a full suite of programs designed just for families (nature walks, picnic lunches, family singalongs), or drop off the little ones (ages 4-11) for a High HoliDAY Camp experience. Can’t make it in person? All events will be live-streamed.

Socially Distanced Outdoor Shofar Blowings

Sept. 7, 2021

  • Address: Various locations and times listed below
  • Cost: Free

Hear the Shofar – or the ram’s horn – blown on Rosh Hashanah. According to Jewish tradition, the shofar signifies saving us from our mistakes and sins. The following times and locations include:

High Holidays for Tots

Sept. 12, 2021

Celebrate the Jewish High Holidays with stories, songs and activities especially for young children, led by Rabbi Adam Chalom of Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation.

A Sweet New Year Concert

Sept. 12, 2021

Savor all the sweet moments and celebrate the new year with JUF Young Families. Join them for a family friendly concert, delicious treats and so much fun.

Celebrate at Home: A Virtual Cooking Class & Kit – Apple Galette

Sept. 17, 2021

  • Hosted by: JUF Young Families
  • Cost: $25 per family  

Create an apple galette with a flakey, buttery crust and delicious apple and honey filling. All ingredients along with additional crafts and fun are included in this kit.

Celebrate at Home: A Virtual Cooking Class & Kit – Cinnamon Rolls

Sept. 19, 2021

  • Hosted by: JUF Young Families
  • Cost: $25 per family  

Create apple cinnamon rolls made of a sweet, buttery dough filled with brown sugar, cinnamon and apple filling and topped with cream cheese frosting. All ingredients along with additional crafts and fun are included in this kit.

Carryout Meals

Leave the feast cooking to these restaurants while you gather safely with family and friends for the holidays.


Order a la carte from the deli counter at Kaufman’s or opt for complete meal carryout with special menus for both holidays.

L. Woods

L. Woods in Lincolnwood has a special Rosh Hashanah menu. Family-style items include housemade chopped liver, gefelte fish and beef brisket.

Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen

Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen, famous for its corned beef and matzo ball soup, is offering carryouts and a number of pick ups in various zip codes.

Max and Benny’s

Max and Benny’s in Northbrook is serving up family-style meat, lox and dairy platters for the whole tribe to enjoy.

Eleven City Diner

The Lox Box from Eleven City Diner is the perfect meal (housemade lox, bagels, schmear) to break the fast after sundown on Yom Kippur.

More Activities

PJ Library Family Guide to the Fall Holidays

Download the free PJ Library Guide to the Fall Holidays, where you’ll find a variety of hands-on activities, rituals, recipes and more.  Kids can learn to make their own shofar, how to braid a challah and read step-by-step blessings all aimed at making the holidays meaningful, memorable and fun.

Coloring Pages

Make some coloring masterpieces ranging from apples dipped in honey to the blowing of the shofar.

Rosh Hashanah Bingo

Entertain the holiday crowd with Rosh Hashanah bingo while the kiddos learn what the holiday symbols mean. 

Jewish New Year Greeting Cards

Use these Rosh Hashanah images to cut out and decorate your own Jewish New Year greeting cards and pass them out to friends and family.

Blessing for Lighting Candles

Practice the high holiday blessings over the candles.

Rosh Hashanah Placements

Color your own Rosh Hashanah placemats for your dinner celebration.

Even Higher: A Rosh Hashanah Story

Enjoy an engaging read aloud of Even Higher: A Rosh Hashanah Story by I.L. Peretz, set to music.

A Book of Jonah Song

Rock out to a sing along and see an interactive video of how the story of Jonah relates to Yom Kippur.

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