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.

1. Get a taste of Germany at Christkindlmarket

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
The Nutcracker 2017 - Joffrey Ballet

Dec. 1 – 30
The spectacular showhas been re-imagined to take place during Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair.

3. Shop at Randolph Street Holiday Market
Randolph Street Holiday Market - Image

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 ParkNighttime Ice Skating

Open through March
Take a spin on the two free rinks on the Millennium Park campus.

6. Admire the luminous display at ZooLights
Lincoln Park Zoo ZooLights

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
Chicago Ale Fest

Various dates
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
Chicago Cubs versus Chicago White Sox

Various dates
Get to know your favorite players at Chicago’s baseball team’s annual convention.

Cubs Convention
Jan. 18 – 20
Sheraton Grand Chicago

Sox Fest
Jan. 25 – 27
Hilton Chicago

9. Take a dip at The Beach Chicago
People The Beach at Navy Pier

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
A singer at Too Hot to Handel: Auditorium Theatre

Jan. 19
The joyous celebration, featuring celebrated soloists and more than 100 Chicago musicians, will have you clapping along in no time.

11. Chicago Theatre Week
Oriental Theatre - Wicked

Feb. 7 – 17
Get discounted ticketsto more than 100 productions throughout the city during Chicago Theatre Week.

12. See SUE’s new home at the Field Museum
SUE at 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
Northerly Island Chicago

Various dates
This lakefront peninsula is the perfect spot for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing within view of the city skyline.

14. Celebrate Chinese New Year
Argyle Lunar New Year Celebration

Various Dates

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

“Hotter Chocolate” Bombobar

All season long
Stay warm with everyone’s favorite winter treat at these Chicago hot spots.

17. Take a free winter walking tour

Through March
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.

18. Go sledding near Soldier Field
A boy goes sledding

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
Odyssey Valentine's Dinner Cruise

Various dates
Get stunning views of the river and lake with a brunch, lunch, or dinner cruise all winter long.