Fun Chicagoland Events for Tweens and Teens

Make sure your older children aren’t bored this spring and summer.

It seems like teens and tweens are always looking for something fun to do. With school ending and summer approaching, you’ll want to find some activities that you approve of, too. We’ve compiled a list of fun (and safe) events that are sure to be a hit! Check out our online calendar for even more family events and things to do with teens.

Wicked

Sept. 28-Dec. 4, 2022 

Head to James M. Nederlander Theatre to see the musical, Wicked, which looks at what happened in the Land of Oz from a different angle.

Haunted History Tours

Oct. 4-26, 2022 (Tuesdays-Wednesdays)

Join Adam Selzer, author, podcaster and host of Mysterious Chicago Tours to learn about the zoo’s cemetery roots. For ages 16-plus.

Pier Pumpkin Lights

Oct. 12-Nov. 1, 2022

From jack o’lantern towers to light displays, Chicago’s iconic lakefront destination will be decked out for fall. Navy Pier will once again transform into an experiential fall spectacle with nearly 1,000 pumpkins for the month of October. Pumpkins are best experienced after dusk.

Halloween

Oct. 12-Nov. 1, 2022

Museum of Illusions Chicago has decked out the space with Halloween themed décor. See a Head on a Platter, Vortex Tunnel, Infinity and Anti-Gravity Room and more.

Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns

Oct. 12-23, 2022

Features a display of expertly carved pumpkins, returns to the Chicago Botanic Garden for 10 evenings in advance of Halloween. More than 1,000 artist-carved, real pumpkins lit with LED lights will light up the night and line the family-friendly outdoor path in a beautiful fall setting.

The Cleanup

Oct. 13-Nov. 19, 2022

Come out to Athenaeum Center to see “The Cleanup,” a show about a a woman named Nicole who joins the toy cleaning committee at The Learning Co-Op. For ages 16-plus.

Immersive King Tut

Oct. 14-Nov. 20, 2022

Immersive King Tut uses stunning visuals to tell the story of the Amduat that was depicted on the tombs of pharaohs.

Sugar Skull City

Oct. 15-Nov. 6, 2022

Aurora Downtown is honoring Day of the Dead, the beloved Mexican cultural tradition, with Dia de los Muertos art, activities, specials, videos, shopping and more.

Pinball Expo

Oct. 19-22, 2022

It will include exhibits, tours, tournaments, seminars, autograph sessions, an opportunity to buy your own pinball machine and more. Attendees have the opportunity to play over 400 pinball games for free at the show.

Blue Man Group’s 25th Anniversary Show

Oct. 20, 2022

Blue Man Group is celebrating 25 years in Chicago with a variety of special offers available throughout the month of October, including a celebratory birthday performance. Guests of the birthday performance will enjoy a few surprises during the show.

Schaumburg Halloween Carnival

Oct. 21-30, 2022 (Fridays-Sundays)

This event features spooky rides, tasty treats, trick-or-treating, seasonally themed arts and crafts and more.

Stories That Travel: Mythology, Folklore, & Diaspora

Oct. 27, 2022

At this event, the panel discussion seeks to explore the varied relationships different Diaspora communities have with the mythological & folklore stories of their culture of origin.

Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade

Oct. 29, 2022

  • Address: State St. moving south from Lake to Van Buren, Chicago
  • Cost: Free

This annual Halloween parade returns to State St. for its 8th year. See unique floats and creative performances along the way.

Blue Man Group’s Halloween Show

Oct. 29-30, 2022

See the Blue Man Group for two special Halloween-themed performances at the Briar Street Theatre. There will be pre-show face painting, Halloween-inspired surprises during the show and goodie bags for all in costume. After the performance, audience members will be invited to the theater lobby for photo opportunities with the Blue Men.

Dia de los Muertos Halloween Party

Oct. 29, 2022

This Halloween party is Dia de Los Muertos themed. Make sure to wear your costume because there will be a costume contest. Also, a live band, palm readings, DJ, stilt walkers and more.

FREE Halloween Movie: Addams Family 2

Oct. 29, 2022

Come out to Classic Cinemas for a screening of the movie, The Addams Family 2. Pre-registration is required. Seating is limited and registration does not guarantee a seat unless tickets are picked up in advance.

Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dream World

Through Oct. 30, 2022

Visitors of this exhibit can see a five-month outdoor art exhibit featuring dozens of mythical animals inspired by Mexican folklore. The installation will feature nearly 50 “alebrijes” of all sizes created by artists from Mexico City.

In-Person: Dia De los Muertos for Teens

Nov. 1, 2022

Grades 7-12 can come to Niles-Maine District Library to make a Dia de los Muertos offrenda. Limited supply. Registration required.

The Mudlark Theatre Presents: The Salem Project

Nov. 4-6, 2022

In this original play created by the actors at Mudlark Theater, actors will play both the historical young people involved and a group of modern-day students working to exonerate one of the victims.

Day of the Dead Celebration

Nov. 5, 2022

Participants will take part in a procession around the museum campus accompanied by mariachi musicians and learn about the Day of the Dead altar. Families can participate in a craft activity in the Education Center and explore the exhibits in the museum. No registration required.

Glow Yoga

Nov. 5, 2022

Join Vida Yoga and Fitness for a 75-minute flow under black lights to celebrate El Dia de los Muertos. Bring your own mat (or rent one for $2), hand towel and water bottle. Make sure to wear colorful or white clothing. Tickets include cup of hot cocoa, pan de muertos, tamale, glow bracelets and glow paint (while it lasts). Registration required.

Dia de los Muertos Celebration 2022

Nov. 6, 2022

Teens can honor the traditions and culture of Dia de los Muertos with music, food, vendors and a community alar at this event.

Harry Potter: Magic at Play

Nov. 11, 2022-May 14, 2023

Enjoy the first-of-its-kind interactive experience, which will allow fans of all ages to engage with the Wizarding World like never before. It’s 30,000 square feet of hands-on magical interactivity including games, exploration, sensory activations and more that celebrate Harry’s own journey in discovering the wizarding world.

Lightscape

Nov. 11, 2022-Jan. 8, 2023

See thousands of twinkling lights while walking through the Winter Cathedral and a reimagined fire garden.

Veteran’s Day Comedy Cabaret

Nov. 11, 2022

See a comedy show put on by veterans in honor of Veterans Day at Madison Street Theater.

Ballet 5:8 Presents Ver la Música, Oír la Danza

Nov. 12, 2022

Ballet 5:8 presents Ver la Música, Oír la Danza at the National Museum of Mexican Art on to continue celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month and give back to the community. Ver la Música, Oír la Danza is available one day only with free performances to the public.

The Steadfast Tin Soldier

Nov. 13, 2022

This performance is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story about a little tin soldier who never gives up, Ensemble Member Mary Zimmerman’s production is a gorgeous spectacle of music and movement. 

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light

Nov. 16, 2022-Jan. 4, 2023

The museum features a four-story, floor to dome Grand Tree surrounded by more than 50 other trees and displays. Each surrounding tree is decorated to represent holiday traditions in other cultures around the world.

The Lion King

Nov. 17, 2022-Jan. 14, 2023

Head to Cadillac Palace Theatre to see the musical, The Lion King, which won six Tony Awards®, including Best Musical.

Rosemont’s Sparkle Light Festival

Nov. 18, 2022-Jan. 1, 2023

Visitors can 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. 

The Mudlark Theatre Presents: The Marvelous Land of Oz

Nov. 18-20, 2022

This original musical based on the sequel to “The Wizard of Oz.” It follows young Tip as he escapes his life as a witch’s servant and sets off on a journey to find the lost princess of Oz.

Illumination: Tree Lights

Nov. 19, 2022-Jan. 7, 2023

  • Address: The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle
  • Cost: $19-$24/adult, $13-$16/kids, free/2 and under; member tickets at discounted rate; early bird specials available, too.

Surround yourselves with color while walking on the one-mile paved pathway. Enjoy seasonal music, captivating light designs and roasting s’mores on a fire at this outdoor event.

The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle

Nov. 19-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.

The Wintrust Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

Nov. 19, 2022

The annual festival happens a week before Thanksgiving. Grand Marshals Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World illuminate more than one million lights on over 200 trees along the route. 

ZooLights

Nov. 19, 2022-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, sweet treats of all kinds and more.

Naper Lights

Nov. 24-Dec. 31, 2022

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

Holiday Magic

Nov. 24-Dec. 31, 2022

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

The One Of A Kind Holiday Show

Dec. 1-4, 2022

This annual shopping extravaganza will bring together 500 talented artists, artisans and makers to offer the best in everything from fine art and handmade goods. Also, live entertainment and activities for all ages. 

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.

The Mudlark Theatre Presents : The Nutcracker

Dec. 15-18, 2022 

Join Mudlark Theatre for the Nutcracker. In this play, 12-year-old Marie doesn’t want to stop living in her imaginary world of toys.

Beyond the Nutcracker by School of Ballet 5:8

Dec. 17-18, 2022 

Beyond the Nutcracker features dancers from the School of Ballet 5:8 and guest artists from Ballet 5:8 will be presented at Lincoln-Way East High School for three performances. 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.

Sentrock: The Boy Who Wanted to Fly

Through Jan. 15, 2023

The Elmhurst Art Museum presents the first solo museum show of Pilsen-based street artist Sentrock, who uplifts and empowers youth through his murals and educational projects.

The Art of the Brick

Through Jan. 16, 2023

Lego fans can explore the world’s largest and most elaborate display of Lego art. More than 100 works include re-imagined Lego version of iconic masterpieces like Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

Vivian Maier: In Color

Through May 8, 2023

Vivian Maier: In Color is a multimedia exhibition featuring 65 color images made during her time as a suburban Chicago nanny from the 1950s to 1970s, most of which have never been on display, as well as film clips, quotations, and sound bites.

Wild Color

Through May 8, 2023 

Rooms at the Field Museum will be dedicated to different colors of the light spectrum and visitors can see how color is displayed in the natural world: gems, minerals, animals that glow under UV light and more. The presentation includes sounds, vibrant visuals and media projections.

Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories

Through May 20, 2023

Hear from Native Americans and Indigenous people about their music, dance, art and stories at the Field Museum’s newest permanent exhibit.

Millions of Moments: The Chicago Sun-Times Photo Collection

Through Dec. 31, 2023

Featuring 150 images from the Chicago History Museum’s Chicago Sun-Times collection, Millions of Moments is a first look at highlights from five million negatives spanning the 1940s to the early 2000s.  This post is updated monthly.


  Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram.  

- Advertisement -

LATEST STORIES

Indoor Rock Climbing Spots for Chicagoland Kids

Your kiddie climbers can get their wiggles out.

Benefits of a Relationship-Based Approach to Childhood Depression

Brought to you by Center for Children and Families at the Erikson Institute

Chicagoland Spots to Get Your Paczki Fix

Here are the best bakeries selling the Polish pastries for Fat Tuesday.

A New Indoor Play Space Opens at Lincoln Park Zoo

The Houston Family Play Treehouse is an accessible sensory experience that encourages children to explore nature.


- Advertisement -