Snow Fooling: Chicago's Coolest Events and Activities in December

It may be all about the Kringle mingle in smaller towns but in a world class city like Chicago, there's a sleigh-full of events and activities no matter what holiday you celebrate. 

There are certainly traditional snow and glow options from BrewLights  at Lincoln Park Zoo plus seasonal Instragram worthy opportunities at the new (and free) Art on theMart.  In between dodging ice patches, ornery shoppers and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), you can pop into one of the local venues offering live music (Old Town School of Folk Music) or uplifting theater like the legendary Goodman Theater  presenting family-friendly and better-for-adults seasonal shows. Still have some shopping to do? Hopewell Brewing's Holiday Bazaar couples it with adult beverages. 

Check any winter listicle and you'll be scolded about surrendering to the sofa. For easy cold weather exercise, choose among the burgeoning number of public ice rinks or join a group tour peppered with corny jokes and stops at seasonal sites. Tours offered through Chicago Detours, especially the Chicago Holiday Tour of Drinks, Daleys and Dead Guys, is a winner. 

Say "ta-ta" to 2018 laughing all the way. 

Lincoln Park


The taste for cold beer doesn't leave with warm weather so if your December will be cheerier with 12 beers a brewin,' get to the annual BrewLights, a one-night-only beer sampling at Lincoln Park Zoo. The fifth annual BrewLights, presented by ...  Read More



Typically, the RiverWalk is not as busy in winter for obvious weather related reasons, but it's worth a bundled-up stop as Art on theMart adds winter holiday imagery to the inaugural program of the largest permanent digital art projection on the...  Read More



Swissôtel Chicago welcomes the man in red who has booked the hotel's Presidential Suite to serve as his rock star crib during the month of December. Starting Dec. 1, local and visiting families and hotel guests can visit the extravagantly...  Read More



Who says Wrigleyville gets sleepy after October? Santa Baby, an immersive pop-up Christmas bar from Electric Forest, opens this holiday season between Nov. 21, 2018 through Jan. 6, 2019. Expect over-the-top Christmas décor and more than a...  Read More



See the skyline and holiday lights from way above the city during an exhilarating helicopter ride. Chicago Helicopter Experience, also known as CHE, provides private and group tours of the city in its fleet of helicopters. Guests of all ages...  Read More



Those who loathe holiday shopping amid the throngs will do well at Hopewell Brewing's Holiday Bazaar. Browse the wares of local artisans with with a Swift IPA, Family Saison or a Fun Punch in hand. On Saturday Dec. 15 between noon and 5 p.m.,...  Read More



Goodman Theatre offers two seasonal choices in December –Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol, now in its 41st year, and the Goodman debut of David Sedaris' contemporary, irreverent The Santaland Diaries. A Christmas Carol appears...  Read More



While it has folky performers, this excellent, intimate concert hall offers shows ranging from African music to holiday entertainment. How about The Nut Tapper which recreates the holiday classic Nutcracker with rhythms of tap, Spanish flamenco...  Read More



"A Holiday Tour of Drinks, Daleys and Dead Guys" is a downtown walking tour that explores classic and off-the-beaten-path sites and stories. You'll see, for example, the city's official Christmas tree but also discover hidden corners of the...  Read More



Adjacent to Wrigley Field, Gallagher Way offers locals and visitors another reason to visit Wrigleyville when the Cubs hibernate. The open-air destination has an ice rink, holiday tree, Santa's workshop, outdoor chimes exhibit and events at ...  Read More


Meet Jacky Runice

Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home safety choice and not a coffee order, Jacky Runice has been knocking around Chicago as a professional print, online and broadcast journalist and...  More About Jacky