Adapted from all the listings I have collected this is the 25 best things to do in Chicago this Christmas. Take note, many of these Christmas activities are free and fun for the whole family. Whether it is a showing of the Nutcracker, Christmas Caroling, shopping at ChristkindleMarket, seeing A Christmas Carol or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer show, seeing Winter Wonderfest or Zoolights, there is plenty to plan your weekend with this holiday season. As always call the phone numbers listed for more information, addresses an times. If you plan on attending these holiday events in Chicago please take public transportation on your way there to minimize traffic and avoid the cost of parking downtown ($25+). Chicagoweekendfun.com wishes everyone the warmest and most fun holiday season yet!
A BREAKFAST WITH SANTA- Fun for kids! This breakfast with santa features a special appearance by Chicago Bear Jerry Azumah and if you bring a handmade ornament you can enter to win prized. Bring an unwrapped gift to donate to the Walter and Connie Payton foundation. United Club at Soldier Field, 1410 South Museum Campus, (312)235-7162. December 5th @ 10 AM. $50, $25 best for kids 3-12, An RSVP is required.
THE 11TH ANNUAL BUCKTOWN HOLIDAY ARTSHOW - All kinds of local art at many price levels including photography, jewelry, watercolors and more. The creativity in the art is beyond what you can find in a big box store for christmas. Holstein Park Fieldhouse, 2200 North Oakley St, (312)742-7554. December 12th and 13th, 11am to5pm, $2 entry fee.
CHRISTMAS CAROLING AT THE CLOUD GATE (the bean) – Join groups of carolers for a weekly sing-along @ Millennium Park, 201 East Randolph St, (312)742-1168. Fridays through December 18th @ 6pm. Free!
The 14TH ANNUAL CHRISTKINDLMARKET @ DALEY PLAZA – This outdoor German market on Daley Plaza offers vendors selling authentic German food, drinks and handmade goods like ornaments and clothing. Some favorites are Beer, Potato pancakes and Christmas Ornaments. Daley Plaza, 50 West Washington St, (312)494-2175. November 25th through December 24th. Free!
68TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD/14TH ANNUAL HOLIDAYS OF LIGHT Museum of Science and Industry – A tradition at the Museum of Science and Industry, see where Christmas is celebrated around the world with Christmas trees, music, dancing and some exhibits of other winter holidays, including Diwali, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. At the Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 South Lake Shore Drive, (773)684-1414. November 20th through January 3rd. Free with general Museum of Science and Industry admission of $9-$13.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL Theater – The classic tale of mean ol’ Ebenezer Scrooge turned around by the Goodman Theater. See what Christmas is really supposed to be about and bring the whole family. At the Goodman Theatre, 170 North Dearborn St, (312)443-3800. Now Showing from November 20th through December 31st. Tickets are $25-$74, or $10 for students.
The 26TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS SING-ALONG AND DOUBLE FEATURE MOVIES – Come see two favorite classic Christmas Movies and sing some carols too —“It’s a Wonderful Life” and “White Christmas”— at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 North Southport Ave, (773)871-6604. December 18th through December 24th. Tickets are $16 for the double feature, or $11 for the single.
Christmas HOLIDAY FLOWER SHOW – Garfield Park Conservatory has more holiday flowers than you can dream of. Fields of poinsettias and other holiday plants are in their vast and amazing greenhouses for viewing. Come see this horticultual treasure in Chicago. The Garfield Conservatory, 300 North Central Park, (312)746-5100. Open November 28th through January 10th. Free, but donations appreciated.
MILLENNIUM PARK ICE SKATING – We have already written about the fun of skating downtown among the skyline, but I will say it again, grab your skates and head over to the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink on Michigan Avenue in Millennium Park. The 2009-2010 season runs from November 20th through March 14th. (also fun around Valentine’s day)
THE JOFFREY BALLET PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER – The exclusive Joffrey Ballet “The Nutcracker” is only here for two weeks. Don’t miss the amazing ballet dance troupe performing this Christmas classic at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress, call for more info (800)982-2787. December 11th through December 27th. Tickets are $25-$100.
RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR HOLIDAY SALE – 150 local, national and international artists show their unique creations Come browse the handmade jewelry, clothing and comics, among a plethora of other goodies. Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk, (773)227-2707. Dec 5 and Dec 6, 11am-7pm. Free.
RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER – The classic tale of Rudolph in a funny, family-friendly retelling of said story. The Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway, (773)561-4665. Nov 27-Dec 18. $15, $10 for kids under 12.
SANTA’S HOUSE & Photos With SANTA – Sit on Jolly Ol’ St. Nick’s lap, tell him what you want for Christmas and get a picture. Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington, (312)744-3315. Nov 26-Dec 24. Free.
SONGS OF GOOD CHEER – Chicago Tribune’s Eric Zorn and Mary Schmich and musicians head a caroling party at the Old Town School of Folkmusic. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 North Lincoln, (773)728-6000. December 18-December 19 @ 7:30 pm, and December 20 @ 5 pm. Tickets are $36-$40.
32ND ANNUAL TOYS FOR TOTS MOTORCYCLE PARADE – This annual event is beneficial to the greater community with thousands of motorcycle riders delivering toys of all kinds so they can be donated to families in need. You can donate toys at any of the many stops along the routes. Dan Ryan Woods, 8300 South Western Avenue, (708)771-1062. December 6th @ 9:30 am. Free, toy donation required (no stuffed animals please).
VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS HOME TOURS – Tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park home, decked out for the holidays, and learn about the Wright family’s Christmas celebrations. Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, 951 Chicago Avenue in Oak Park, (708)848-1976. December 12th and December 19th at 9am-11am. Free!
WELCOME YULE! – A holiday concert featuring members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, as well as the Welcome Yule! Children’s and Dance Ensemble. Symphony Center, 220 South Michigan Avenue, (312)294-3000. December 18th through December 23rd. Tickets: $20-$98.
WINTER WONDERFEST NAVY PIER – Keeping the tradition of elaborate holiday tourist traps alive, Navy Pier transforms itself into a winter wonderland complete with a skating rink, inflatable games and a bungee run. Santa and his elves will be on hand every day ‘til Christmas to listen to kid’s holiday wishes. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, (312)595-PIER. Dec 4-Jan 3. $16-$19.
WONDERLAND EXPRESS MODEL TRAINS – Eighty model trains travel through Chicago landmarks, waterfalls and holiday trees in this 10,000-square-foot exhibit, tiny trains wind through more than 80 miniature Chicago landmarks, waterfalls, holiday trees and more. New on the map this year is Barack Obama’s Hyde Park home and Michelle Obama’s childhood home. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook, Glencoe, (847)835-5440. Nov 27-Jan 3. $6-$10.
ZOOLIGHTS @ LINCOLN PARK ZOO – More than two million lights add beautiful holiday cheer to the Lincoln Park Zoo. The activities include visits with Santa, kid’s activities and ice carving demonstrations. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 North Cannon, (312)742-2000. November 27th through January 3rd. Free!