Winter and Holiday Events & Activities on the Northside of Chicago in 2021
With winter quickly approaching, we’re all filling up our calendars with fun winter and holiday-themed activities for the rest of the season. You might be thinking, “it’s only November; it’s not winter yet!” And you’re right, but we all know how quickly the leaves change and the weather shifts, and right before you know it, we all will be freezing our butts off yet again. Why not enjoy the cold a little more with some fun activities on the northside of Chicago. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite events happening this season that you don’t want to miss.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Rightfully at the top of this list, 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 is back and better than ever in 2021 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 from November 19th to January 7th, they give you the entire season to make it to Lincoln Park for this incredible spectacle of lights.
Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit
Run, run, run to this event! Closing November 21st, this extraordinary exhibit brings Van Gogh’s most famous works to life with stunning projected lights in a 360 environment, really putting you into his paintings. Time Out Chicago invites you to “Step inside of Starry Night and The Bedroom in Arles with the help of more than 50 digital projectors in this high-tech exhibition that explores the work of Vincent Van Gogh. […] “Immersive Van Gogh” covers 35-foot walls with animated versions of the Dutch painter’s work, accompanied by a score that blends electronic and classical compositions.” A stunning and magical experience for the whole family, get your tickets now for the last leg of its run.
The Office Pop Up Bar
While everyone is stacking their calendars with holiday events, the real party is at Chicago’s plethora of pop-up bars, including the unique experience of going to an Office themed party. Located on the mag mile, the pop up is running through January 17th and Time Out Chicago says its “Spread across two floors, the pop-up features 17 rooms that recreate sets from the show, including the Scranton Business Park workplace (which features Michael’s office, Pam’s reception desk, and Ryan’s closet) and Schrute Farms. Guests will be able to recreate moments like Kevin’s chili spill and the Dundie Awards—and you’ll also find a few original props and costumes on display.” If you’re a fan of The Office, this is an event you can’t miss.
With multiple locations around the city, the Christkindlmarket is an awesome Holiday event that happens yearly and draws a massive crowd over its run. This place is truly a winter wonderland with Christmas-themed booths selling knitted sweaters to ornaments to wooden Santa’s. Their website talks about their rise in popularity and their origins – “The German-style outdoor market has become so popular that it expanded to other locations in Illinois and Wisconsin. The unique shopping experience, cheerful live entertainment, and authentic food and beverages like the imported mulled wine from Germany, called Glühwein, make the Christkindlmarket a preferred and popular destination.” Running November 19th to Christmas eve, make sure to mark this event in your calendars!
Millennium Park Ice Skating
If you’ve lived in Chicago for any amount of time you know that visiting Millennium park and Maggie Daley plaza to skate during the winter months is truly a right of passage. One of the most fun and inexpensive events in the city, less than $20 can rent you a pair of skates and the time of your life on Chicago’s unique skating courses. And if you have your own skates – it’s completely free! Open November 19th through March 6th, you have all winter (and the start of spring) to make it to this awesome, kid and adult-friendly Chicago tradition. Check out their prices and rinks here.
Music Box Theatre Annual Christmas Sing-a-long
An iconic venue, the Music Box Theatre in Logan Square is hosting its 38th (!!!) annual Christmas Sing-a-long double feature this December from the 10th to the 23rd.
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.”
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.