Baby It's Cold Outside! Navigating Chicago's Kid Friendly Winter Activities!
After last weeks Indian Summer temps its is a real eye opener that winter is upon us! Not to mention my neighbors have started decorating (seriously?) and the stores are stocked with decor & presents.. and YES CHRISTMAS MUSIC! Im all for Christmas- I love it! The house smells like balsam and cinnamon apple pinecones and warmth! BUT- it is also a reminder- baby needs warm clothes, baby needs hat(s)- we all know the first one gets lost). And all the mama mind banter of "is this jacket too thick for the car seat", "will he outgrow his boots before winter is over" "does he ACTUALLY need snowpants?".
Yep its here.
It also forces us to think of creative ideas for how to keep our littles busy through this cold but FUN time of year!
With that being said I have highlighted a list of fun activities to keep you and your littles busy this winter!
Enjoy! Let me know your favorites by commenting below!
Nov. 20 to Dec. 24
50 W Washington St,
Chicago, IL 60602
(between Washington, Clark and Dearborn streets)
11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, the Chicago Christkindlmarket celebrates German and European tradition with food, drink and gifts.
Perfect for the kiddo's!
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue,
between Wacker Drive and Oak Street
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the interactive holiday wonderland,
a tree-lighting parade from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
and fireworks at 6:55 p.m.
Each year before Thanksgiving, the Magnificent Mile lights up with more than 1 million lights adorning 200 trees. A parade and a fireworks show over the Chicago River accompany the lighting event.
Randolph Street Market Festival
Nov. 21-22, Nov. 28-29, Dec. 12-13
1340 W. Washington
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
General admission for individuals is $8 online or $10 at the door. The family package for two adults/two drinks and up to four kids, including a kid's snack, is $25 online. The "four girlfriends" package is $30. Student admission is $3, and the three-for-two student ticket special is $6. Senior discounts for $5 are available at the gate. Kids under 12 get in free.
With more than 200 vendors, this European- style, indoor-outdoor urban market offers shoppers opportunities to buy everything from furnishings to collectibles to clothes.
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Millenium Park
at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Washington Street
Program begins at 5:30 p.m. with the official lighting at 6 p.m.
This is the first year the tree is located in Millenium Park, and spectators can watch officials light the giant Christmas tree to kick off the holiday season. Visitors can view the lit tree through the end of December.
McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade
State Street, beginning at Congress and moving northbound to Randolph
Parade begins at 8 a.m.
The annual Thanksgiving Day parade through downtown Chicago kicks off the long holiday weekend with marching bands, balloons and floats from groups around the city.
Lincoln Park Zoo’s Zoolights
Nov. 27-29, Dec. 4-6 and nightly from Dec. 11 to Jan. 3 (excluding Dec. 24 and 25)
Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 N Clark St,
Chicago, IL 60614
4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Lincoln Park Zoo will display more than 2 million lights as it transforms into a winter wonderland. Some days will feature a Santa, holiday crafts, food and an assortment of other family-friendly activities.
Wreathing of the Lions at the Art Institute
Michigan Avenue entrance to the Art Institute of Chicago,
located at 111 S. Michigan Ave.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kick off the holiday season by watching the annual wreathing of the iconic lions at the Art Institute of Chicago and enjoying complimentary hot chocolate and music.
Brewlights Brings Craft Beer to Zoolights at the Lincoln Park Zoo
aHHH FINALLY a Zoo event just for us!
December 2nd 2015
Lincoln Park Zoo
5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Ticket prices start at $40
An assortment of 12 breweries will participate in this fundraising effort where all proceeds go to keeping the zoo free and open to the public. Explore the zoo with its Zoolight decorations while you sip a dozen sample pours of craft beers.
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
Opening ceremony on Dec. 5 at 5 p.m. Show continues every Saturday and Sunday in December plus Dec. 28-31.
10 a.m. to 9 p.m., festivities begin at 4 p.m.
General admission is $16.95 for adults, $11.95 for seniors 65 and older and $11.95 for children ages 3 to 11. Zoo members get free admission and parking. Military personnel also get free entry with valid ID.
The Brookfield Zoo features over a million LED lights, new polar lights, an interactive light extravaganza, a 41-foot talking tree, interactive tic-tac toe, a train display, carolers, ice carvers and more. Santa will also make an appearance on select days.
Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier
Dec. 5, 2015, to Jan. 10, 2016
Festival Hall at Navy Pier
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. On Dec. 5 and 24 and Jan. 4 to 7, it’s open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it's closed Dec. 25.
General admission tickets are $9 online and $10 at the door. Activity tickets are $23 online and $25 at the door. Admission is free for children 2 and under.
This popular indoor fest has dozens of rides, slides, ice skating and music as well as a wide assortment of entertainment, from family karaoke and dance lessons to a community cultural series.
Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show
Jan. 14 to 18
2301 S. Lake Shore Drive
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday
Ticket sales begin Nov. 20, and tickets are $14 for adults 16 and older, $10 for seniors 62 and older and free for kids 15 and younger.
This is Chicago’s biggest marine and outdoors sales event. It features boats, RVs, campers, fifth wheels, marine engines, electronics, camping gear, fishing gear and much more.
MLK FREE Museum Day
Adler Planetarium, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago History Museum, Museum of Science and Industry and the Shedd Aquarium
Regular museum hours
Free with a valid ID that shows an Illinois address
Visit these museums for free on Martin Luther King Day.
Chicago Auto Show
Feb. 13 to 21
2301 S Lake Shore Dr,
Chicago, IL 6061
Begins at 9 a.m. every day
Tickets cost $12 for adults and $6 for children and seniors.
What It's About: Calling all motorheads! The annual Chicago Auto Show features nearly 1,000 different cars on display as well as new technology and accessories to go along with them.