Upcoming Chicago Winter Family Activities – Mark Your Calendars

It’s no secret I’m in love with Chicago. It’s by far my favorite city in the U.S. I knew I wanted to eventually move here after seeing Adventures In Babysitting in the 80s.

The people are friendly, the cityscape is breathtaking, you can eat your way through every cuisine known to man, the Cubs are finally winners (YAY!), and it’s very family friendly. My only two complaints would be that the traffic is a nightmare and winter after the holidays – is brutal.

The cozy days spent in by the fire are a nice welcome from the busy summers, but after a few weekends of “Netflix and chill” nights – I’m ready to move on. I didn’t want to spend this winter going stir crazy, so I lined up some family fun activities – and if you’re in Chicago, I hope you’ll join me.


Chicago Toy and Game Week – ChiTag

If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with the kiddos this weekend – look no further.

What’s ChiTag week? Every November, we produce five days packed with events that celebrate play, and the entrepreneurs who make toys and games! We are the only organization to bring together the public with play innovators and the media.

ChiTAG’s Chicago Toy and Game Foundation, which was founded in 2011, is a philanthropic foundation supporting various children’s organizations. ChiTAG works closely with Discover Games, founded in 1998 – the world’s largest co-op of board game inventors.

The ChiTAG Group is a family of industry initiatives designed to encourage and promote the power and joy of invention in social, educational, and professional environments.

Come celebrate with me and let the kids play at ChiTag!



Ringling Bros. Out Of This World

The new reimagined circus experience, Ringling Bros. Out Of This World is coming to the Rosemont & Chicago.
Out Of This World is unlike anything ever seen in Ringling Bros. history. The show captivates audiences with its first-ever character-driven storyline and ice performances that invite fans to follow a heroic quest of good versus evil on an intergalactic adventure. Find a fun sneak peek here & behind-the-scenes here.
The show dates below:
Allstate Arena in Rosemont:
  • Friday, November 4: 10:30AM, 7PM
  • Saturday November 5: 11AM & 7PM
  • Sunday, November 6: 5PM
  • Thursday November 10: 7PM
  • Friday, November 11: 7PM
  • Saturday, November 12: 11AM& 7PM
  • Sunday, November 13: 5PM
United Center in Chicago:
  • Thursday, November 17: 10:30AM & 7PM
  • Friday, November 18: 10:30AM & 7PM
  • Saturday, November 19: 11AM & 7PM
  • Sunday, November 20: 5PM
  • Wednesday, November 23: 7PM
  • Friday, November 25: 11AM & 7PM
  • Saturday, November 26: 11AM & 7PM
  • Sunday, November 27: 5PM
Chicago’s Winter Wonder Fest

Families from near and far flock to Navy Pier to surround themselves in holiday cheer.The PNC Bank Winter WonderFest returns with more than 24 rides and attractions and 170,000 square feet of entertainment. We go every year and my boys love it (ages 3 & 6). There are activities and rides for all ages, and you can usually find discounted tickets online or through Groupon.

Attractions have included the Polar Extreme, a double-sided inflatable slide and obstacle course, interactive Arctic Peaks Climbing Walls and an expanded, more challenging Winter Rules mini golf course sure to offer an additional layer of friendly competition and frozen holiday fun. There’s also a large ice skating rink!

Visitors are greeted by glittering forests of nearly 500 trees decorated with 25,000 ornaments hung on a mile of wire. In between cups of hot cocoa, visitors can drop in on Santa and his elves at the Claus residence, snap a photo on the Giant Holiday Howdy Horse or decorate a freshly baked sugar cookie. All around, some great family fun.


Dates: November 25-27, December 2-4, 9-23, 26-31 & January 1, 2-17

Time: 4:30–9 p.m.

Another family favorite and it’s free! Family-oriented holiday celebration, featuring luminous displays and holiday-season activities throughout zoo grounds. There’s also a special events calendar with special activities and appearances.

Included activities include:

  • Photos with Santa through December 23
  • Free crafts for children
  • Unique educational chats
  • 3D displays
  • Warm spiced wine and frosty lagers
  • Delicious holiday snacks
  • Holiday gift shopping
  • Live ice-sculpture carving
  • Carousel and train rides
  • Musical light shows
  • 3D holiday specs while supplies last!



The Magnificant Mile Lights Festival – Presented by Harris

The 25th annual BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival kicks off the 2016 holiday season for Chicago and the nation on Saturday, November 19. Each year, more than one million people travel to The Magnificent Mile for an afternoon of family-friendly activities and live musical performances, followed by a magical evening tree-lighting parade down North Michigan Avenue led by Grand Marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

Get there early to grab your spot!



A Christmas Carol  at the Goodman Theatre

A timeless classic. I’ve been with friends and on a work outing to see this show and have always left a little more in the Christmas spirt.

Performances start November 19 and run through December.

The Nutcracker at the Auditorium Theatre 

Another holiday classic. Performances start Saturday, December 10th.

A Charlie Brown Christmas at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place 

Performances start November 11 through January 8th.


We definitely won’t be bored this winter! What are your favorites? Please share.