A little cold isn’t enough to keep Chicagoans indoors. The winter is packed with holiday festivities, raucous concerts, artisan markets, must-see shows and so much more. Grab you coat and join us at one of these 20 Chicago events for winter 2018 – 2019.
Nov. 16 – Dec. 24
This Old World tradition comes to Chicago with hot wine, sweet treats, artisan gifts and more.
2. See The Nutcracker by The Joffrey Ballet
Dec. 1 – 30
The spectacular show has been re-imagined to take place during Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair.
3. Shop at Randolph Street Holiday Market
Dec. 15 – 16
Pick up gifts (or something for yourself) at America’s largest urban antique market.
4. Dine out during Chicago Restaurant Week
Jan. 25 – Feb. 7
Almost 400 local restaurants offer two weeks of dining deals for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
5. Go ice skating at Millennium Park
Open through March
Take a spin on the two free rinks on the Millennium Park campus.
Various dates through Jan. 6, 2019
Get ready to be awed by the millions of twinkling lights at one of the only free zoos in the country.
7. Sip local brews at a craft beer festival
Sample craft brews from Chicago and all over the country at these winter craft beer festivals.
BrewLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
Thursday, Dec. 6
Lincoln Park Zoo
20th Annual Christmas and Winter Beer Tasting
Saturday, Dec. 8
Chicago Ale Fest – Winter
Saturday, Feb. 2
Lacuna Artist Lofts
8. Meet the teams at MLB conventions
Get to know your favorite players at Chicago’s baseball team’s annual convention.
Jan. 18 – 20
Sheraton Grand Chicago
Jan. 25 – 27
Jan. 19 – Feb. 3
Dream of warmer days at Navy Pier’s immersive art installation, designed to mimic a day at the beach.
10. See Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah at Auditorium Theater
The joyous celebration, featuring celebrated soloists and more than 100 Chicago musicians, will have you clapping along in no time.
11. Chicago Theatre Week
Feb. 7 – 17
Get discounted tickets to more than 100 productions throughout the city during Chicago Theatre Week.
12. See SUE’s new home at the Field Museum
Opens Dec. 21
The largest T-rex ever discovered will be back on permanent display at the Field Museum. Don’t miss the unveiling of her new space.
13. Go snowshoeing at Northerly island
This lakefront peninsula is the perfect spot for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing within view of the city skyline.
14. Celebrate Chinese New Year
15. Rock out at Pitchfork Midwinter
Feb. 15 – 17
The inaugural three-night event will fill the galleries of the Art Institute with sounds from local and national musicians.
16. Sip some hot chocolate
All season long
Stay warm with everyone’s favorite winter treat at these Chicago hot spots.
17. Take a free winter walking tour
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t see the city on foot. Explore the pedway system with a free walking tour.
All season long
A snow machine ensures this 35-foot sledding hill is always ready for fun, no matter the weather.
19. Attend the 59th annual University of Chicago Folk Festival
Feb. 15 – 16
Since 1961, the Folk Festival has brought celebrated performers from all over to the University of Chicago.
20. Dine on the water with a lake or river cruise
Get stunning views of the river and lake with a brunch, lunch, or dinner cruise all winter long.