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Holiday Things To Do Near You

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

The holiday season is a great time to be in downtown Chicago! Here are a few of our favorite seasonal festivities.


Holiday Treasure Hunt and Tea Party

Stop by the Art Institute for a holiday treasure hunt followed by a tea party. Attendees will make 5 stops in the museum’s galleries and Ryan Learning Center.

The event will conclude with a tea party with live entertainment in the Stock Exchange Trading Room. Each child will receive a holiday themed gift bag.

When: December 9th at 10:45am

Admission: $50 for adults, $25 for children, free for children under 2

Christkindl Market

The Christkindl Market, inspired by German tradition, takes place annually at Daley Plaza in the Loop. Unique vendors with many handcrafted and specialty goods make for great holiday gift shopping. Grab a souvenir mug of spiced wine (and bring your mug back for discounted refills)!

Christkindl Market is a primarily outdoor event. However, between the live music and traditional German fare in the food hall and the specialty ornament shop, theres plenty to do indoor whatever the weather.

When: November 16 – December 24

Admission: Free

Click here for more free things to do in the Loop this holiday season.

Lincoln Park

Zoo Lights

Each winter Lincoln Park Zoo is illuminated by over 2.5 million lights. Photos with Santa, 3D displays, warm spiced wine and snacks, holiday gift shopping, live ice-sculpture carving, carnival rides, light shows, games, and zoo animals are just some of the holiday festivities available at Zoo Lights. In addition to the regular open admission days, there are also several holiday events like Brew Lights,  a beer tasting event on December 6th.

When: Click here for a Zoo Lights calendar, BrewLights is December 6th

Admission: Free admission for Zoo Lights (all ages), $49 ticket for BrewLights (21+)


Winter WonderFest

Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest hosts music, ice skating, carnival rides, games, and refreshments. In addition to admission, tickets include a ride on the Centennial Wheel anytime before March 31st 2019.

When: December 3, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019

Admission: $20 for adults, $10 for children under 42″, free for children under 36″

West Loop

Randolph Street’s Holiday Market

Randolph Street Market is a great place to knock out your holiday gift shopping! The eclectic selection of both vintage and modern items ensures you’ll find unique gifts no one already has. Enjoy shopping through an array of housewares, clothing, art, and trinkets from over 125 vendors. Refreshments include a Bloody Mary bar, an assortment of beverages, and food from local eateries. Free parking for attendees!

When: December 15 – 16, 2018

Admission: $10 in advance or $12 at the gate, discounts available