Best Kwanzaa Events for Kids in Chicagoland

Families can celebrate African heritage with these events.

Kwanzaa, which means “first fruits of the harvest” in Swahili, honors African heritage in the African-American culture. It lasts one week, beginning on Dec. 26 and ending on Jan. 1, with each day devoted to one of the seven core principles, known in Swahili as Nguzo Saba

Here are some of the family-friendly Kwanzaa celebrations taking place in Chicagoland this year.

Let’s Talk About Kwanzaa with Oba William King at Harold Washington Library Center

Dec. 23, 2023

Teens and tweens can enjoy a pre-Kwanzaa celebration featuring the poetic storyteller, Oba William King. For ages 10-plus.

Kwanzaa at Bronzeville Children’s Museum

Dec. 26, 2023

Celebrate Kwanzaa with crafts, music, storytelling, singing, face painting and a special visit from the BCM Kwanzaa King.

Kwanzaa Celebration at Robert Crown Community Center

Dec. 26, 2023

The city of Evanston and Fleetwood-Jourdain Theater host the annual first day Kwanzaa celebration, which will include an artisan marketplace, food, drum circle, arts and crafts and performances.

Kwanzaa Storytime at Fountaindale Public Library

Dec. 26, 2023

Families can head to Fountaindale Public Library to enjoy hearing a special story about Kwanzaa in the Children’s Storytime Room.

Family Craft Table: Celebrate Kwanzaa at Little Italy Branch

Dec. 27, 2023

Ages 3 and up visit the Little Italy Branch to create a beaded corn craft with their families for Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa Observance Program at the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center

Dec. 27, 2023

This Kwanzaa event will feature a children’s storytime, marketplace, drum call and Kwanzaa ritual.

A Poetic Kwanzaa with Oba William King at Woodson Regional Branch

Dec. 28, 2023

Join Woodson Regional Branch for an interactive “Poetic Kwanzaa” experience, including poetry, folk tales, stories, spoken word, dance, drumming and cultural songs. Oba William King will be storytelling. For all ages.

Community Kwanzaa Celebration at Oak Park Public Library – Main Library

Dec. 28, 2023

Enjoy a celebration in honor of Kwanzaa, which will include a Kwanzaa Market with local artisans, musical performances, poetry and dancing. The event will take place in the Veterans Room. Registration required.

MIA Kwanzaa 2023 at Pose Cultural Art Gallery

Dec. 30, 2023

Enjoy music, performances, candle lighting ceremony and more at this event to celebrate Kwanzaa.

This post is updated annually.

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