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Christmas Family Activities in Chicago

Chicago is a family friendly destination getaway just about 4 hours away from Detroit, MI. There is so much to see and experience especially in this holiday season. We visited Chicago last week and had so much fun. If you are looking for Christmas Family Activities in Chicago, then check out some highlights of what to do and see at the popular windy city.

Christmas Family Activities in Chicago

1. Shedd Aquarium

https://www.sheddaquarium.org/

Shedd Aquarium offers 50% off admission tickets for up to 2 people if your local zoo is listed in the reciprocal membership program i.e. Toledo Zoo.

Shedd offers various aquatic life exhibits from underwater beauty, wild and Carribean reefs, Abbot Oceanarium, the Amazon, river, ocean, the Great Lakes and polar play zone.

We enjoyed the beluga whales animal spotlight in Abbot Oceanarium. It’s a daily show that introduces you to select animals that call Shedd home. Animals vary between dolphins, penguins, sea lions or beluga whales. You can also experience touching the sea stars & sturgeons, however, stringray touch is temporarily closed. Kindly check their daily calendar for events update before your visit.

Shedd Aquarium in Chicago
Christmas Family Activities in Chicago

2. Field Museum

https://www.fieldmuseum.org/

Field Museum offers free admissions for family with ASTC reciprocal membership program i.e. Ann Arbor Hands On Museum.

We explored billions years of history and science in Field Museum. My dino loving toddler really adored all the dino fossils that he saw including Sue the T-rex. You can tour the exhibits about dinosaurs, gems, meteorites, science hub, Egypt, ancient Americas, Pacific and Africa, also the nature center.

Field Museum - Chicago Christmas Family Activities in Chicago

3. Skydeck Chicago

https://theskydeck.com/

Skydeck is located at 103rd floor of Willis Tower with spectacular views spanning up to four states and The Ledge, a glass balcony extending four feet outside the 103rd floor of Willis Tower, eighth-tallest building in the world, providing breathtaking view of the city. 

We also experienced interactive 30-60 minute Chicago experience shares Chicago’s best and rich history prior to our 103rd floor Skydeck visit. 

Skydeck offers special holiday season event such as photo with Santa in the L train replica from December 18 – 24 from 12pm to 4pm.

Skydeck in Chicago

4. Christkindlmarket Chicago

https://www.christkindlmarket.com/

The German Christmas Market is back this year for their 25th anniversary in heart of downtown Chicago and Wrigleyville, IL. It’s free of admission daily from November 19-December 24. It’s an unique outdoor Christmas shopping and dining experience while enjoying the lights, pretzels, bratwurst, hot spiced wines Gluhwein, festive music and sparkling Christmas ornaments and products from all over the world. Collectible mugs are available every year that can be filled with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Christmas Family Activities in Chicago - Christkindlmarket

5. Millennium Park & The Bean

https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/millennium_park.html

This is a must visit park in Chicago. It is beautiful any time of the year with Cloud Gate ( The Bean ) as the center of tourist attraction. 

The park lights up every holiday season with giant Christmas tree and ice rink. 

6. Maggie Daley Park

http://maggiedaleypark.com/

We made it by crossing the bridge from Millennium Park to this park. It’s a great space for everyone to take a walk, play at the playground and even to ice skate in winter. The playground includes navy theme structure, wooden bridge, swings, slides, perfect for my toddler to burn some of his energy. 

7. Navy Pier

https://navypier.org/plan-your-visit/buy-tickets/

Navy Pier is home to popular Chicago attractions and events, including Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Chicago Children’s Museum, Centennial Wheel, fireworks and more. It also offers seasonal sightseeing and dining cruises.

For the holiday season event, Light up the Lake runs from Nov. 26 through Jan. 2. It will be closed on Christmas Day. 

It’s Chicago’s newest holiday adventure with biggest indoor light-sculpture displays; an Alpine ice rink, authentic holiday beer garden, kiddie train rides, Santa’s Merry Main Street and gift market and a visit with Santa. 

light up the lake navy pier chicago

8. Museum of Science and Industry

https://www.msichicago.org/

This museum is great for any age. It includes life size U-505 submarine, airplane and train with viewing deck. You can also enjoy exhibit about space, farm tech and science. 

It also consists of enormous Great Train system for my toddler to see. 

For the holiday season, the museum annually holds Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light celebration that provides a festive display of cultural traditions. The exhibit runs now til Jan 3rd. It features a four-story, floor-to-dome Grand Tree, surrounded by a forest of more than 50 trees representing the holiday traditions from cultures all around the world.

museum of science and industry
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