Best Things To Do in Chicago in December with Kids

t's a twinkling wonderland at Lincoln Park's Zoo Lights. Photo courtesy of the Zoo
t's a twinkling wonderland at Lincoln Park's Zoo Lights. Photo courtesy of the Zoo

Christmas lights and holiday activities are back this December, and that's just the beginning of things to do in Chicago this month. Sing-a-longs have returned in Millennium Park and at the Music Box Theater, bringing cheer to the holiday season as carolers sing among the beautifully decorated park or along with their favorite films. Live performances, including perennial favorites like the Joffrey Ballet's Nutcracker and the Goodman Theater's A Christmas Carol are joined by fun newcomers like Cirque du Soleil's 'Twas the Night Before. Light shows are expanding to bring wonder to the cold winter's nights, with Let It Shine expanding from last years Northbrook location to include shows in Schaumburg and Aurora, and the new Amaze Light Festival popping up in Rosemont. 

Socially distanced Santas have popped up across the city and suburbs. There's at least 16 places to go see The Nutcracker in the city or within an hour drive. And opening this month are plenty of outdoor skating rinks to glide across. But don't forget, your Elf on the Shelf is watching, so wear a mask and keep your distance!

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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:

The Promontory (and various other locations)
Movies on the Lawn at Oakbrook Center
Oakbrook Center - 7:00 PM Pick
Art on the Mart
Merchandise Mart - 8:30 PM Pick
Grant Park Music Festival
Jay Pritzker Pavilion - various times Pick
Grant Park Music Festival
Harris Theater at Millennium Park - various times Pick
Summer Fireworks at Navy Pier
Navy Pier - various times Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides