Free Christmas Events and More Holiday Fun for Chicago Kids

The "Wonderlawn," a free Christmas event in Chicago, features "dancing" displays set to holiday songs. courtesy of the Lincoln Park Zoo
The "Wonderlawn," a free Christmas event in Chicago, features "dancing" displays set to holiday songs. courtesy of the Lincoln Park Zoo

Free Christmas events for kids and other holiday fun are everywhere in Chicago this season, including long-standing annual favorites like Zoo Lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo, Naper Lights in the western suburbs, and the city's annual tree lighting ceremony. While all of the holiday and Christmas events on this list are free, be aware that many still require tickets for time reservations.

Click through the the event listings for details, including times and location information, and keep an eye on our action-packed Event Calendar—there's always something new to do in the Chicago area. For more seasonal ideas, check out our Guide to Holiday and Christmas Activities.

While we are trying to promote safer activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a mask and maintaining appropriate distance. If you arrive at an event that appears too crowded, try using the “nearby” search feature on our event calendar to find something else to do.

Places featured in this article:


Millennium Park McCormick Tribune Ice Rink

Congregation Beth Judea Parking Lot

The Promontory (and various other locations)

Sunset Knoll Recreation Center
Midnight Circus in the Parks
Chicago Parks - various times Pick
Jack's Pumpkin Pop-Up
Jack's Pumpkin Pop-Up - various times Pick
Free Days at the Field Museum
Field Museum - 9:00 AM
Cosley Zoo Pumpkin Fest
Cosley Zoo - 9:00 AM
Free Tuesdays at the Museum of Contemporary Art
Museum of Contemporary Art - 10:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides