Travel Magazine

12 Things to Do in Chicago This December

By Urbanmatter Chicago @UMatterChicago

Make the most of 2017 while you still can

There’s another month ahead of us yet! Aside from the usual holiday madness, December is bringing just as much fun as the rest of the year already has. So, don’t poop out on 2017 just yet. There’s still PLENTY more to do here in the Windy City. Here’s what we recommend.

The Last Speakeasy

december events chicago

Photo Credit: Chicago History Museum

December 1, 2017

This blast from the past celebrates the end of Prohibition with one last night of partying speakeasy-style. Dress in your favorite 1920s-inspired outfit and head to the Chicago History Museum to party like Gatsby.

The Nutcracker

december events chicago

Photo Credit: Joffrey Ballet

December 1 – 30, 2017

The Joffrey Ballet performs this Christmas classic during the month of December, and it’s the perfect outing to get your family in the holiday spirit.

Polar Express

december events chicago

Photo Credit: Chicago Polar Express

December 1 – 31, 2017

During the holiday season, the Amtrak transforms into a magical holiday train ride that offers hot chocolate, cookies, and storytelling. Pajamas are encouraged!

Winter Wonderfest

december events chicago

December 1 – January 7, 2017

Navy Pier’s most popular holiday event returns, bringing the city’s largest indoor winter wonderland. Enjoy wintery rides, tasty holiday concessions, an indoor ice rink, and more.

Renegade Craft Fair

december events chicago

Photo Credit: Renegade Craft Fair

December 2 – 3, 2017

This independent crafts festival returns to Chicago just in time for the holidays. Head over to the Bridgeport Art Center to check out jewelry, gifts, candles, art, and more, and enjoy beverages and live music while you’re at it.


december events chicago

December 7, 2017

Enjoy local and national craft and seasonal beers surrounded by twinkling lights at this adults-only night at Lincoln Park Zoo. Music and ice sculpture carvings will also help set the holiday mood. Get tickets now because this one is always a hit!

B96 Pepsi Jingle Bash

december events chicago

December 7, 2017

B96’s annual Jingle Bash returns this year with chart-toppers like Taylor Swift, Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Khalid, Logic, and Sabrina Carpenter. Treat yourself to a night of the best in pop music at the Allstate Arena.

One of a Kind Show

december events chicago

Photo Credit: One of a Kind Show

December 7 – 10, 2017

Just as the name suggests, any and everything you find here, you won’t be able to find anywhere else! Check out this massive collection of handmade gifts at the Merchandise Mart, it’s a great way to knock out some Christmas shopping.


december events chicago

Photo Credit: TBOX

December 9, 2017

One of the largest bar crawls ever returns to Chicago this season, and you can bet it’s gonna be just as rowdy and outrageous as ever! Don your holiday gear and hop on the famous Twelve Bars of Xmas, hitting up some of the best bars in Wrigleyville.

iHeartRadio Jingle Ball

december events chicago

December 13, 2017

iHeartRadio’s KIIS-FM always knows how to put on the best parties in town. Get tickets to the Jingle Ball at Allstate Arena to see performances by The Chainsmokers, Demi Lovato, Ke$ha, and more.

Chi-Town Rising

december events chicago

Photo Credit: Chicago Flyhouse

December 31, 2017

The famous New Year’s Eve rising star of Chicago is one of the biggest city events of the year. Ring in 2018 downtown with thousands of other Chicagoans celebrating a fresh start.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Navy Pier

december events chicago

December 31, 2017

One of the most spectacular Navy Pier fireworks shows, if not the most, is the one that happens at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Be there the moment the clock strikes 12 for a guaranteed memorable moment.

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