Lincoln Park ZooLights
Just when you thought Lincoln Park Zoo couldn’t get any better they go and add 2.5 million Christmas lights and a host of holiday activities! And if you didn’t already know, Lincoln Park Zoo is totally free. It’s a great place to bring the whole family for a lovely, albeit chilly, after-dark stroll. Make sure you bundle up before checking the ZooLights calendar. This week you can go from 4:30p-9:00p on December 6, 7, 8, 13.
If you’re looking for some 21+ fun, on December 12, the Lincoln Park Zoo will be hosting their sixth annual BrewLights, a beer tasting event featuring craft and seasonal beers on tap throughout the zoo. Tickets are required.
Located in the heart of Wrigleyville, the Wrigleyville Wonderland features a mini Christkindlmarket. This is a great place to go if you want to enjoy the Christkindlmarket without having to navigate your way through the crowds of Daley Plaza. In addition to the German-style outdoor market you can also find thirteen different Christmas-themed pop-up bars! Whether you’re interested in kicking it at Rudolph’s Lounge or you skip straight to the Hanukkah-themed 8 Crazy Nights, I’m positive you’ll find a pop-up that perfectly suits you.
Entry to Christkindlmarket is free, as is strolling down the pop-ups street. To enter into the pop-ups though, tickets are required.
Santa Hustle 5K
Looking to take a break from all the revelry? Sign up for the Santa Hustle 5K on December 7! What a fun way to get in your morning run while supporting such an amazing cause, the Bear Necessities, Pediatric Cancer Foundation. For just $45 you can register to run 5K and for $10 you can sign your kids up too for the Kid’s 1-Mile Run. Bring the whole family out to support a great cause! Plus, the after party, held at Navy Pier, offers all kinds of drink and food specials if you present your race bib!
Chicago Wine Fest: Winter Edition
So, you thought that just because it’s totally freezing outside that we wouldn’t be having a winter edition of Chicago Wine Fest? Well, clear any plans you thought you had for Saturday, December 7 because the wine fest is on in a big way! Even better, you get yet another excuse to sport that ugly Christmas sweater you swore would be worth the purchase. Well...now it is! I bet you the longer you spend at the wine fest, the less ugly it will look!
General Admission is $35 and trust me, it’s worth it.
Renegade Craft Fair
Where else could you find more than 250 makers from all over Chicago creating holiday-themed homemade goodies in one place? The Renegade Craft Fair is back for their holiday edition and they’re offering all kinds of things to suit everyone on your Christmas list. Even if you don’t end up buying anything (and trust me when I say you totally should), the live music and cocktails make it worth spending a couple hours here this weekend.
Entry is free!
10th Annual Tamal & Atole Fest
If you’ve ever wondered how many members of the hispanic community begin their holiday season, look no further than the annual Tamal & Atole Fest. Taking place on December 10 this year you can try the best tamales in Chicago. Did you know that they come in red, green, mole, sweet, and so many more! What else could you possibly be doing on a Tuesday?
Sonorama at Punch House
This one is for the music purists out there. Come visit Pilsen’s Punch House for a night of eclectic Latin music with absolutely no cover. Downstairs from Dusek’s you can get your fix of Latin soul, funk, disco, and more! This event takes place every second Thursday and is a great way to unwind and disconnect from all the holiday-related hustle and bustle.