Find all sorts of Chicago Holiday Events and Activities for your family, from lighting events to meals with Santa to holiday plays and performances and more. Below, see some of our top seasonal picks, and visit the Holiday Guide a full range of options, including tons of holiday events and activities, a wide array of Nutcracker options, and lots of Holiday Performances.
Holiday Programs at the Menomonee Club
Menomonee Club Drucker Center, 1535 N Dayton St, Chicago, Chicago
December 24 - January 4
Join us at the Drucker Center for day or week-long camps during the winter holiday break. You will find the perfect program for keeping the young members of your family engaged and entertained over the long school break! Art, Improv, RetroActive Sports, LEGO Engineering, Chess, Mad Science, and Fencing… there is something for everyone!
Salt Creek Ballet Nutcracker
Hinsdale Central Auditorium: November 24-25
Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University: December 8
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie: December 15-16
An enchanting holiday tradition! Watch young Clara and her hero, the Nutcracker, battle the Mouse King and embark on a magical journey, encountering toys that come alive, dancing snowflakes, waltzing flowers, and the Sugar Plum Fairy. All performances feature spectacular costumes and sets and internationally recognized guest artists. Salt Creek Ballet's The Nutcracker is an exciting way to introduce young children to the power and beauty of classical ballet. Opening Thanksgiving weekend, there are eight performances at three venues: Hinsdale Central Auditorium, Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University, and North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.
Family Gingerbread Fun
Taste Buds Kitchen, 2521 Waukegan Rd, Bannockburn
November 30-December 23
Celebrate the season with family bonding and fun at one of our signature gingerbread house decorating workshops. Bring your holiday cheer, we'll provide unlimited candy for endless decorating options from frosted candy roofs to pretzel picket fences. Enjoy holiday tunes and sip homemade hot chocolate in our festive Winter Wonderland kitchen while making your house a home. Family gingerbread workshops are recommended for ages 2+. Registration includes one house, perfect for decorating as a parent/child pair. Teen and adult BYOB classes are also offered. See our full schedule of cooking classes and events including Winter Break Camps for ages 4-13 and adult BYOB workshops or plan your next private or corporate event with us!
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer the Musical
Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont 60018
In 1964, the beloved stop-motion animated television classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, made its network television debut and has been delighting audiences across the country for over 50 years. Projections, costumes, and characters are faithfully brought to the stage against a backdrop of nostalgic set designs. The 12-foot-plus-tall Abominable Snow Monster is jaw-dropping. The cast brings high energy to classic songs and dialogue, while irresistible and lovable puppets highlight the charming "roughness" from the television show's stop-motion effects. Since the special itself is a classic musical, the stage show does not feel at all like an adaptation and audiences are surprised and delighted when they see performances of songs such as "Fame and Fortune" and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" that are heard but not performed in the TV special.
A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage
Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont 60018
A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage, Schulz's timeless story of the spirit of Christmas, showcases the unforgettable music of Vince Guaraldi, performed by a three-piece ensemble on stage, as well as a concert of beloved holiday carols led by the Peanuts characters. Based on the popular Peanuts comic strip, the Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson became a holiday viewing tradition after it first aired in 1965. It was adapted for the stage by Eric Schaeffer, by special arrangement with Arthur Whitelaw and Ruby Persson.
ComedySportz: Make Laughter a Holiday Tradition!
CSz Theater Chicago, 929 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago
Join the ComedySportz Ensemble this year as they bring the house down in laughter with fast-paced, clean comedy good for all ages! Pack up the whole family from Grampa Joe to cousin Charlie for a fun night everyone is sure to enjoy! A Holiday tradition for many in the Chicagoland area for over 30 years, ComedySportz is a great place to celebrate the season!
Ken Ludwig's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
Emerald City Theatre at the Broadway Playhouse, 175 E Chestnut St., Chicago
November 3 - December 30
Go on a playful polar odyssey with Emily and her best friend Amos the mouse as they search for Santa’s missing Naughty or Nice List. Teamwork, determination, and heart save the day in this fantastic, slapstick holiday affair. A returning favorite filled with yuletide swashbuckling, this cheery production is a holiday hit for all ages!
Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Co. Holiday Lights Tour
Starts at John Hancock Center Plaza, 875 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago
November 23 - December 23
Experience the magic of the holidays with Chicago’s most spectacular light displays at the city’s most popular destinations. A pair of ZooLights 3D glasses AND a complimentary bag of Hot Cocoa CaramelCrisp® from Garrett Popcorn await each rider – our treat to you!
Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum
Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle
November 17 - January 1
See trees in a different light at Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum. You'll be surrounded by color as you walk a one-mile paved path amid interactive lighting effects that highlight the beauty of trees in winter. Enjoy seasonal music, marvel at ever-changing, interactive lighting designs, and warm up by a crackling fire with a cozy drink or roast marshmallows for s’mores.