The Becovic Blog

7 Fun Activities to Embrace the Season On The Northside of Chicago

Posted December 22, 2023

Woman standing outside with holiday decorationsWith the Holiday season in full swing, Chicago lights up with winter activities (despite the cold!) and steps out to show the rest of the country how the Midwest celebrates. The city’s Northside is packed with activities and events to make this season special for the whole family. So bundle up and check out our list of our favorite events during the next few cold months. 

Christkindlmarket Chicago

Perhaps one of the best things to do during the Holidays, this outdoor market is a seasonal icon in both its downtown location and on Chicago’s northside outside of Wrigley Field. Thesavyglobetrotter.com writes about the unique experience, saying, “Christkindlmarket is an authentic German-style outdoor market. Visitors can shop for Christmas ornaments and products from around the world and try various German food and drinks such as roasted nuts, fresh pretzels, bratwurst, and hot spiced wine. You can purchase a limited edition souvenir mug to remember your trip.” The market runs at Wrigley until Dec 31st, and you can find the address, hours, and vendor information on their website here. 

Winterland at Gallagher Way 

Gallagher Way is located next door to the Christkindlmarket in Wrigley Field, which offers many winter activities for the whole family. They have a calendar of movie screenings, live entertainment, and an ice skating rink. While you’re there, you can visit the Market, the hub of all the best Holiday decor and food in the city. Winterland captures the magic of the season and provides an excellent night for all.  

Wrigley Wonderland

Adults need merriment too, so every year Wrigleyville bars transform to celebrate your favorite holiday movies, songs, foods, and traditions. WrigleyvilleChicago.org says the neighborhood “transforms into the North Pole with over 15 Holiday themed bars. These pop-ups did much more than deck the halls, they’ve decorated every square inch of their spaces to bring holiday joy to even the grouchiest of grinches.” Menus also reflect the season with food and drinks to make your heart grow three sizes. We highly recommend that you wear your finest holiday onesie.

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights

One of the city’s favorite events, the Lincoln Park Zoo puts on an excellent yearly light show that is worth the visit. Their website says it best – “Chicago’s favorite holiday tradition […] with our new Pepper Family Wildlife Center at the heart of the zoo, a new holiday lights experience on our Main Mall, and an exciting new light show on our South Lawn. Also new this year: sensory-friendly visit times and an impressive 18-foot holiday tree sure to inspire festive oohs and aahs.” Running until January 7th, they give you the entire season to make it to Lincoln Park for this incredible spectacle of lights. Buy your tickets now; this season is selling out fast! 

Chicago Polar Plunge

If you’re really brave and determined to spend some time outdoors this winter in a small amount of clothing, the Polar Plunge could be for you. An exhilarating event that embraces the intense winter weather is put on yearly for the best cause. People participating take a quick dip in the nearly frozen Lake Michigan’s icy waters to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics Chicago. This year, it’s on March 3rd, so block off your calendars now and check out their Facebook page for more info here

Music Box Theatre Annual Christmas Sing-a-long

An iconic venue, the Music Box Theatre in Logan Square is hosting its 40th annual Christmas Sing-a-long double feature this December until the 24th. You can even catch other holiday events there until mid-January, providing you with ample time to beat the cold and celebrate.

Playing White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life, their website explains the tradition, saying, “Who could have predicted on that snowy Christmas Eve in 1983 when the operator of a vintage movie theater in Chicago decided to show two old holiday movies and sing a few Christmas carols during the intermission, that over 30 years later the Music Box Christmas Show would become a 9-day extravaganza that grows more popular with each passing year? People from all around Chicagoland have made this terrific, old-fashioned event part of their family’s holiday tradition.” Santa even pays a visit! You don’t want to miss the 40th-year celebration! 

Hop over to their website for tickets now, as this event will sell out fast! If you’re in the mood for a classic holiday experience, this event is for you. 

Snow trekking in the Parks

If you want to brace against the cold weather, you can turn a snowy day into a lifelong memory by trekking out in the snow and exploring all of the local parks on Chicago’s Northside. There are even a few guided tours that go on in the winter, including North Park Village Nature Center and the North Branch Trail. If a guided tour isn’t your thing, bring a sled and gloves and spend the day making snowmen, throwing snowballs, and sliding down every incline you can find. Even as an adult, playing in the snow remains one of our favorites!

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