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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November:

 

Christkindlmarket
Nov. 20 to Dec. 24

Daley Plaza 

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

Free

 

 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
 Nov. 21
 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. 

 

 Free

 

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
Plumbers Hall,

1340 W. Washington

Chicago


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

Nov. 24
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.
Free

 

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
 Nov. 26
 State Street, beginning at Congress and moving northbound to Randolph

 

 Parade begins at 8 a.m.
 Free

 

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.
 

Free

 

 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
Nov. 29
 Michigan Avenue entrance to the Art Institute of Chicago,

located at 111 S. Michigan Ave.

 

 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Free

 

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.

 

 

 

December:

 

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.

 

 Brookfield Zoo
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

January: 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show

 

 Jan. 14 to 18
 McCormick Place,

2301 S. Lake Shore Drive 

Chicago, Illinois


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
Jan. 18
 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
 McCormick Place

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.

 

 

 

Lale Ketcham

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