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gold ornaments hanging on christmas tree

12 Chicago Holiday Events Kids Will Love

Come November, Chicagoland is transformed into a web of twinkly lights and festive markets. Holiday lovers across the country flock to Chicagoland to experience a truly immersive holiday. Though some events focus specifically on Christmas, many events simply emphasize community and the beauty that the winter brings. 

For families especially, the entire Chicagoland area becomes a playground in which to make memories and capture stunning photos. These events will take you through lighted forests, heartwarming plays, and even to the zoo. Explore Chicagoland during the holidays by way of these 12 Christmas events both downtown and in the greater Chicago area.

Chicago-Area Events

people toasting champagne while wearing christmas hats

Tree Lighting

November 29, 2019

This holiday spectacular has been an Elk Grove Village favorite since 1998. Head to this neighboring town for a special performance of the Ides of March, followed by the tree lighting and refreshments. 

kids looking at book with santa

Photos with Santa

November 7, 2019, - Ongoing

Woodfield Mall, the largest mall in the Chicago metropolitan area, kicks off it's holiday season with Santa's Arrival, a spirited processional through the mall. After taking a photo with Santa, you can puruse the 234 stores and restaurants and see for yourself why this mall attracts more than 27 million visitors per year.

arboretum with christmas lights

Holiday Magic

November 30 - December 31, 2019

More than just a zoo lights, the Brookfield Zoo takes the holiday season to new heights. Visit on select dates throughout the season for nightly attractions like the Holly Jolly Theater and a 41-foot talking tree. 

little girl wearing red sweater biting into gingerbread cookie

Brunch with The Grinch

December 7, 2019

Dine alongside the Grinch himself at Cantigny's annual Brunch with the Grinch. Come for brunch, watch The Grinch movie, then smile wide for a photo with this popular Christmas villain. 

two white horses pulling carriage

Holiday Festival

December 7, 2019

'Tis the season for celebrating with the entire party. Cantigny Park transforms for the Holiday Festival, offering carriage rides, face painting, and even storytime with Mrs. Claus. 

santa giving wrapped present to little boy

Brunch with Santa

December 22, 2019

Celebrate the season with community events right up until Christmas itself. Cantigny Park is once again hosting their annual Brunch with Santa, featuring a full spread, face painting, and photos with the man himself. 

Holidays in Downtown

Venture a little farther from Eaglewood Resort and you'll discover endless enchanting Christmas experiences. From the bedazzled Magnificent Mile to holidays at the zoo, you won't be missing out on holiday cheer. Hop in the car and drive to downtown or take the Metra train.

Stop by our front desk for directions to any of these events. 

family shopping at christmas market


November 15 - December 31, 2019

You'll have not one but two chances to visit this holiday market. Shop Daley Plaza Nov. 15 - Dec. 24 or the Wrigleyville pop-up Nov. 22 - Dec. 31. 

christmas tree lit up at magnificent mile

Lights Festival

November 22 - 23, 2019

The Magnificent Mile lights up to kick off the holiday season. Watch the parade culminate in the lighting of the Christmas Tree in the heart of the shopping district. 

Descriptionyoung girl shopping at holiday market

Holiday Market

November 23-24, 2019

Randolph Street transforms for this annual market. They usher in the holidays on the third weekend of November with early holiday shopping. 

botanic garden with christmas lights


Nov. 23, 2019 - Jan. 5, 2020

Arboretum by day, light-up wonderland by night. During the holiday season, The Morton Arboretum invites guests to walk a one-mile lighted path. 

buck made out of christmas lights


Nov. 29, 2019 - Jan. 5, 2020

Say hello to all your favorite animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo plus a healthy dose of holiday cheer. See hundreds of lighted displays and festive activities. 

christmas tree made out of lego blocks arranged on light green background


December 7-29, 2019

The holidays come to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in the form of winter wonderland activities, like building a LEGO® Ornament or Candy Cane.