4 Chicago Holiday Activities to Enjoy with Your Kids
One minute you’re scouring the web for the perfect Captain America Halloween costume and before you know it you’re trying to decide where to take the kids to see Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Chicago at Christmas time offers a plethora of holiday activities, but which ones are worth your time? To make the transition from fall festivals to winter wonderlands a little easier, we’ve rounded up a handful of our favorite Chicago holiday activities both your kids and your nanny kids will love!
All Aboard! The Amtrak Gets a Christmas Makeover
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ is no longer just a beloved children’s story. The tale comes to life this holiday season at Chicago’s Union Station and includes:
- Dancing chefs serving cookies and cocoa
- A visit from Santa and his elves
- A golden ticket and keepsake sleigh bell
- Unforgettable memories with your little ones
Want to join the fun? Find tickets and schedule information here.
International Celebrations: From China to Germany, Show Your Kids How Christmas is Celebrated Worldwide
Want to see how families around the world celebrate Christmas? The Museum of Science and Industry offers a glimpse into the traditions, delicacies and decor customary to holiday celebrations around the globe. More than 50 themed Christmas trees exhibit ornaments from their respective countries. Displays range from a Chinese Christmas tree featuring paper origami and lanterns to a Hungarian Christmas tree adorned with painted heart-shaped cookies. Christmas Around the World kicks off on Thursday, November 14 and goes until Sunday, January 5. Get your tickets here!
You don’t have to travel to Germany for an authentic German Christmas experience. You don’t even have to leave Chicago. Whether visiting the Wrigleyville or downtown location, you’ll be treated to delicious pretzels and roasted nuts, German performances, music and free admission. Debating which location to choose? The Wrigleyville location offers ice skating at The Rink at Winterland at the Park, for those seeking an extra thrill.
Lights Galore! Check out Chicago’s Top Light Displays
You don’t need to wait until December to enjoy an extraordinary display of lights. The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival kicks off at 4 p.m. on Friday, November 22. Families are invited to enjoy live music and engage in holiday activities. The fun continues on Saturday, November 23 with a parade on the DuSable Bridge, being led by none other than Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The duo leads the parade, igniting more than one million lights along the way. If that wasn’t enough, the parade also features floats, marching bands and live performances and concludes with a jaw-dropping fireworks display. You won’t want to miss it!
Lincoln Park Zoo Lights celebrates its 25th year and wants you to join in the festivities! While admiring the 2.5 million lights you can also take photos with Santa, watch ice sculptures being carved, enjoy carolers and take in 3D light shows (while supplies last). Aside from these free events, ticketed events include a winding maze lit with thousands of LED lights, cookie decorating and a Ferris wheel ride.
Kid-Friendly New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Not all New Year’s Eve celebrations take place at night. Some even wrap up by 7 p.m.! Nannies and parents alike can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago is offering a New Year’s Eve Dance Party. The event kicks off at 9 a.m. and little ones will have the chance to meet and dance with their favorite characters as well as create their own LEGO® masterpieces.
If your kids are a bit too old for a LEGO® dance party, the No School Kids’ Cooking Camp might be more up their alley. Starting at 11 a.m., Whole Foods in Lincoln Park is inviting kids ages 8 – 13 to make their own New Year’s Eve feast. The menu will consist of kid favorites like cheese quesadillas, guacamole and chocolate chip cookies to name a few. Find more information here.
Whether you’ve already started to plan your Chicago holiday activities or you’re still snacking on Halloween candy, we hope your holiday planning is merry, painless and bright!
Looking for more parent or nanny wisdom? Find it here!
About the Contributor:
Kari is a Chicago resident and social media and content marketer. She works with organizations to build their online presence, increase brand awareness and generate viable leads through social media marketing, blog management and copywriting. Learn more about Kari by visiting her website and following her on Instagram (@kl_social) and Facebook (@klsocialplus).
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