There’s so much to do in Chicagoland this holiday season! We have already checked out Lightscape and can’t wait to experience more festive fun. I’m sharing some of the best holiday events in the Chicago area and will be adding to this list periodically, so check back!
CTA Holiday Train and Bus: One of our favorite family traditions is riding the CTA Holiday Train. You also have the option of riding the bus. Find the schedule on each L line. It starts running Nov. 29 and the last run is on Dec. 23. It’s on a different line each day. The bus is on various routes until Dec. 23.
ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo: The dates for ZooLights are 4:30–9 p.m.
Nov. 29-30; Dec. 1, 6-8, 13-23, 26-30, 31 (early closure on Dec. 31); Jan. 1-5. Festivities include photos with Santa, 3D displays, shopping, live ice-sculpture carving on some nights, and caroling. Ticketed attractions are $3 for one ticket, $27 for 10 tickets, and $51 for 20 tickets.
Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden: Runs 4:30- 10 p.m. until Jan. 5, 2020. A spectacular lighted pathway with a Cathedral of Lights, singing trees, ribbons of lights and more! Read my post on the magical experience. Tickets range in price. Value: Adult: $17/$20, child 3-12: $8/$10; Standard: Adult: $21/$23, child 3-12: $10/$12; Peak: Adult: $23/$25, child 3-12: $11/$13. Children under 3 are free at all times. Day of tickets are $2 more each.
Holiday Magic Experience at Brookfield Zoo: Dates are Saturdays and Sundays Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, and Thursday-Tuesday Dec. 26-31. See more than a million twinkling LED lights, a 41-foot-tall talking tree, ice skate, watch ice carvers, and more! Read about a past year’s experience at Holiday Magic Experience. Ticket prices vary; free admission for zoo members.
Winter Wonder Market at Navy Pier: Nov. 29-Dec. 24. Shop for unique, Chicago-centric gifts and indulge in seasonal treats and food specials at restaurants. Enjoy live entertainment on select dates, meet and Greet photo-ops with Santa and Mrs. Claus on select dates/times.
Christkindlmarket: Three locations to choose from, Milwaukee, Wrigleyville and Chicago. Shop products from all around the world while enjoying food and drinks like spiced wine (Glühwein). Entertainment and activities vary.
Frosty’s Christmas Bar: The holiday pop-up bar hosts Singing Santa shows and includes four bars, two dance floors, life-size toy soldiers and a themed soundtrack. Open until 4 a.m. Ticket prices vary.
Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum: 4:30-9:30 p.m. Nov. 23-Jan. 5, 2020. Stroll along a 1-mile paved path with immersive and interactive lights among the trees. Ticket prices are $13 for adults and $7 for children for members; and $18 for adults and $12 for children for non-members. Children under 2 get in free.