Zoo Lights

Hope you're having a great Thanksgiving! Once you're done eating, here are some top events you'll want to check out this weekend. We're right around the corner from Christmas, and Chicago is the perfect place to get yourself in the spirit, from shopping vintage in Fulton Market to singing along to your favorite carols downtown!



25th Annual Wreathing of the Lions at the Art Institute of Chicago
November 25 @ 10 a.m. // FREE

Wreathing of the Lions

Kick off the holidays at the 25th anniversary of this Chicago family favorite—with this year's special guests, the Chicago cast of the hit musical Hamilton. This free event starts on the historic Michigan Avenue steps as the Art Institute adorns the beloved lions with their traditional holiday wreathes. Hamilton cast members will lead everyone through the ceremony full of special treats including complimentary hot chocolate and a live performance from Soul Children of Chicago.



Caroling at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park
November 25–December 23 (Fridays) // FREE

Caroling at the Bean

Bundle up and get ready to belt out some holiday classics during Caroling at Cloud Gate. This festive series is part concert, part sing-along on Fridays at Cloud Gate, also known as "The Bean." Participating choral groups include After School Matters: The I.A. Music Program, Chicago Children's Choir and more.



ChillFest Acoustic Music Festival
November 26 // FREE

Chill Fest

The Wicker Park/Bucktown Chamber of Commerce is excited to bring back this acoustic music festival for a fourth year in a row! This annual event features over 60 musicians performing in storefronts throughout WPB. This day of music intends to celebrate the neighborhoods' creative roots while simultaneously driving traffic into local businesses.



Randolph Street Holiday Market
November 26–27 // $8 in advance, $10 at the door

Randolph Street Market

Randolph Street Market transforms Plumbers Hall into the ultimate shopping, eating, drinking and people-watching experience in the West Loop/Fulton Market District, which is just west of downtown. Check out 125 vendors of vintage, antique, indie designer, global and fancy goods while you enjoy live music, libations and local eateries while you shop.



ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
November 27–January 1 // FREE

Zoo Lights

Join Lincoln Park Zoo for the brilliance of this fun, free, family-oriented holiday celebration, featuring luminous displays and holiday-season activities throughout zoo grounds. The event includes free crafts for children, 3D displays, live ice-sculpture carving, warm spiced wine and frosty lagers, delicious holiday snacks and much more!


Prepare for the holidays with our 2016 holiday guide for the top happenings along with our list of the perfect places for holiday shopping in Chicago. Find more top December festivals in our 2016 events calendar.