Top 10 Fun Family Events and Things to Do in Chicago This Weekend

Fun family events and things to do in Chicago this weekend — If you are visiting Chicago or just out and about and looking for some free things to do in Chicago this weekend, why not check out our list of free things to do in Chicago?



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Chicago is home to some of the greatest museums in the world.  If you are looking for some indoor fun, this would be some of the best activities — and make sure to check out the likss for FREE DAYS.  For indoor fun, check out the seasonal exhibits at some of the city’s incredible museums. The Art Institute of Chicago, adjacent to Millennium Park,has ome great holiday themes, with this year called “Open Something Greater.” Among the offerings: A rare Neapolitan crèche, from 18th century Italy, which is making its museum debut and features more than 200 figures, including 50 animals and 41 items of food and drink; and the Holiday Thorne Rooms, 11 small-scale creations decked out in their seasonal finery. At the Museum of Science and Industry, the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives will surely put you in a cheery mood, with 300 Disney artifacts, including clips of early animations, props, costumes, drawings and more (through May 4). And don’t miss the museum’s popular Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibits, with dozens of trees decorated by the city’s ethnic communities.


Live performances are in abundance in Chicago this season (and every season), including “A Christmas Carol” at the Goodman Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” “The Little Prince” at the Lookingglass Theatre Company and the HIGHLY RECOMMENDED A Christmas Visitor at Provision Theater.


Our readers are always asking — What are the Top 10 or Top 25 fun things to do in downtown Chicago?  So we have compiled our list of top 25 fun things to do in downtown Chicago, one of the great cities of the world.  And  if you need help deciding what to do on your vacation, check-out some of our favorite attractions and activities.

Maybe you’d like to head over to Navy Pier, home of the Winter WonderFest, an indoor fun-fest featuring amusement park rides, inflatables, ice skating, visits with Santa and more. The activities continue through Sunday, Jan. 12, inside the pier’s Festival Hall (New Year’s Eve fireworks will, of course, be held outside).


Farther north, the Lincoln Park Zoo is aglow with its annual free  ZOOLIGHTS spectacular with 2 million colored lights, plus ice carving, outdoor skating, carousel and train rides and visits with Santa. ZooLights is free, and continues nightly through Jan. 5 (closed Dec. 24 and 25).

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights Festival


Check out the free ice skating at the outdoor ice rink at Millennium Park, which is a cold-weather classic, in its 12th year on Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison streets. The rink is open daily through March 9 (hours vary). Skating is free; rental skates are $10.


Chicago’s Christmas time Christkindlmarket, in its 18th year, is one of the largest and longest running holiday markets in the United States. The outdoor market is modeled after a traditional German holiday fair, and includes dozens of vendors, more than half of whom travel here from Europe. Among the merchandise: gorgeous handmade ornaments, cuckoo clocks, beer steins and wooden toys, as well as strudels, sausages, schnitzels and more.


FREE CHRISTMAS CAROLING to the sounds of Christmas Carolers each Friday evening in November 2013 and December 2013 at 6 pm for an hour during the holiday season (starting Nov 27). Chicagoans and visitors alike are invited to Cloud Gate (the Bean) for free caroling to hear the beautiful voices of different Chicago choral groups, including the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, the Chicago Children’s Choir, the Old Town School of Folk Music and the Wooten Choral Ensemble and participate in a holiday sing-along. Admission is free.


No Chicago shopping experience is complete without a stroll down the Magnificent Mile, the eight-block strip of Michigan Avenue lined with some of the nation’s most iconic retailers. Among the top stops: American Girl and Disney, Cartier and Chanel, Nike, Bloomingdale’s and the flagship location of Crate & Barrel. During the holidays, the avenue is illuminated by millions of white lights decorating the trees and walkways.




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