Kids can control the light show at Kohlights. Photo courtesy of Kohl's Children's Museum
Kids can control the light show at Kohlights. Photo courtesy of Kohl's Children's Museum

Best Things To Do in Chicago in January with Kids: New Year's Eve, MLK , Jr. Weekend

2020 has (mercifully) come to a close! Whether your family is a group of winter warriors or more into cozying up at home, there's something for everyone to enjoy this January. While many venues are still closed, families can bundle up and do tons of fun things outside with kids in Chicago. Kids can listen to a story presented by the Chicago Children's Theater while taking a guided walk in several neighborhoods, or wander through one of these light shows (before they vamoose like 2020). Outdoorsy families might enjoy some pond hockey at The Forge's Winter Classic Shinny Tournament, or take advantage of the chilly weather for some ice skating, skiing, or snowboarding.

When you need a break from the cold, reserve a time slot for an indoor play space in Bucktown or on the South Side. Or simply stay home and watch the Rose Parade or enjoy a virtual presentation of The Snow Queen.

This is the month when we kick off a new year with celebrations from all around the world, send the kids back to school (however that may be), honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and even watch history happen as a new President is sworn in. January is giving families an action-packed start to what promises to be a much better new year.

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.


Clauss Recreation Center
555 W. Bryn Mawr
Roselle, IL 60172

Trailside Museum of Natural History
738 Thatcher Ave
River Forest , IL 60305

Trailside Museum of Natural History
738 Thatcher Ave
River Forest, IL 60305

The CORE
16050 127th Street
Lemont , IL 60439

McDonald Woods shelter
19611 W. Grass Lake Road
Lake Villa, IL 60022

Goose Island
1265 W Le Moyne St
Chicago, IL 60642

The Morton Arboretum
4100 IL-53
Lisle , IL 60532

Northbrook Court
1515 Lake Cook Road
Northbrook , IL 60062

Adams Park
Main Street and Wesley Street
Wheaton, IL 60187

Wilder Park
175 S. Prospect
Elmhurst, IL 60126

Crestview Park
245 E. Crestview Ave.
Elmhurst , IL 60126

Lincoln Center
935 Maple Avenue
Downers Grove , IL 60515

Clauss Recreation Center
555 W Bryn Mawr Ave.
Roselle, IL 60172

Red Oak Nature Center
2343 S. River Street
Batavia , IL 60510

Purple Monkey Playroom
2040 N. Western Avenue
Chicago, IL

Dan Ryan Woods
S Western Ave & W 87th St
Chicago, IL 60620

North Park Nature Sanctuary
2610 N Cannon Dr
Chicago, IL 60614

Sand Ridge Nature Center
15891 Paxton Ave
South Holland, IL 60473

Central Park
1450 Forest Gate Road
Oak Brook , IL 60523

Joy District
112 W. Hubbard Street
Chicago , IL 60654

Naperville Humane Society
1620 W. Diehl Road
Naperville , IL 60640

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022

Warrenville Recreation Center
3S260 Warren Ave.
Warrenville, IL 60555

Heller Woods Nature Center
2821 Ridge Rd.
Highland Park, IL 60035

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink
1 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago , IL 60602

Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park
337 E. Randolph Street,
Chicago, IL 60602

Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field
3635 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60613

Wicker Ice
1425 N. Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622

Warren Ice Rink
6601 N. Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 60645

The Peninsula Sky Rink
108 E. Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Midway Plaisance Ice Rink
1130 Midway Plaisance
Chicago, IL 60637

Watts Center
305 Randolph Avenue
Glencoe, IL 60022

Winter Wonderland Ice Skating Rink
15600 West Avenue
Orland Park , IL 60462

Brookfield Zoo
8400 31st Street
Brookfield, IL 60513

Parkway Bank Park
5501 Park Place
Rosemont, IL 60018

Lake Ellyn Boathouse
645 Lenox Road
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Centennial Park
500 W. Jackson Street
Naperville , IL 60540

Cicero Community Park
3400 S. 53rd Avenue
Cicero, IL 60804

Central Athletic Complex- Ice Rink
500 S. Naperville Road
Wheaton , IL 60187
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