Things To Do In Chicago Winter 2018

Do not let the cold temperatures hold you back this winter, there are plenty of activities to do and a lot of lights to see in Chicago. Here are six popular indoor and outdoor Chicago activities that fit every taste and budget.

Outdoor Fun


Since 1996, the Christkindlmarket has been a favorite Chicago tradition.The market is located in the Daley Plaza and features traditional German food and drinks as well as holiday entertainment. The market opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and is open an extra hour on Friday and Saturday night. Admission to the market is free and the event runs until December 24th.

Millennium Park

Ice skating at the McCormick Tribune Rink in Millennium park is a great, free winter activity in Chicago. If you do not own a pair of skates, rentals are available at a low-cost on a first come, first serve basis. The rink is open until March 10th. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Zoo Lights Festival 

Every year, Lincoln Park Zoo hosts the Zoo Lights Festival through January 6th. The festival features 2.5 million lights and family-orientated activities like pictures with Santa, live ice-sculpture carving, holiday snacks, carolers and a lot more. The festival is free and open to the public. The zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Indoor Fun

A Christmas Carol

For more than 40 years, the Goodman Theatre has performed Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” for more than a million visitors. The iconic Chicago tradition plays until December 30th. The play runs two hours and 10 minutes with an intermission. Prices range from $25 to $119. For show times, click here.

Christmas Around The World and Holidays of Light

The four-story display at the Museum of Science and Industry features more than 50 trees decorated  to represent traditions from different cultures worldwide is open through January 6th. The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and has live entertain on Saturday and Sunday. The entrance fee is $12.95 for children ages three to 11 and $21.95 for adults. Visitors can also save on admission costs by purchasing their tickets online. Active military, veterans, Illinois POWs, Chicago firefighters, Chicago police officers and Illinois teachers through the 12th grade have free entry.

Winter Wonderfest

Winter Wonderfest by Fifth Third Bank indoor exhibit features nearly 500 trees, 25,000 ornaments, amusement rides, visits with Santa Claus and even an indoor skating rink. General admission is $28 and junior admission for children between 36 and 42 inches is $13. Children under 36 inches are free. Tickets also include a free ticket to Centennial Wheel. The fest runs through January 6th. Click here for operating hours.

*Holidays may affect business hours.