Visit Chicago's coolest, biggest, and best indoor winter playground as the PNC Bank Winter Wonderfest returns with more than 24 rides and attractions spread out over 170,000 square feet. New attractions this year include the Polar Extreme—a double-sided inflatable slide and obstacle course—interactive Arctic Peaks Climbing Walls and more.
When: Saturday Dec 5 - Sunday Jan 10
Where: Navy Pier (600 E Grand Ave)
Hours: Sun-Thur 10am-8pm, Sat-Sun 10am-10pm
Admission: $10 general admission, $25 activity tickets
Join Acrobatica Infiniti Circus as it pays tribute to its favorite Star Wars fandoms in this exclusive themed show. The show only runs for 60 minutes so the event can be part of a bigger Friday night—go see the movie before, or after, get dinner and drinks, and then party with these nerdy circus artists.
Since 1974, tuba, sousaphone, euphonium and baritone horn players from across the nation play Christmas carols, first with instruments only and then with everyone singing along, dashing through the snow and bringing Christmas cheer to the crowds gathered at the Palmer House at this annual event.
HANDEL'S MESSIAH AT MILLENNIUM PARK'S HARRIS THEATER
The Apollo Chorus of Chicago celebrates its 140th season with a performance of Handel's Messiah, a holiday tradition since 1879. The 125-voice chorus, including soprano Amanda Majeski, presents the monumental celebration of faith and the human experience that stands as one of the most beloved works in all of classical music.
When: Saturday Dec 19 - Sunday Dec 20
Where: Harris Theater for Music and Dance (205 E Randolph)
WEEKEND FAMILY CLASS: JOYFUL GINGERBREAD AT THE BOTANIC GARDEN
The Botanic Garden offers classes for adults and children (ages 4-10) to explore cool things about how plants connect to science, art, history, and culture—and this class demonstrates the plants that make delicious holiday treats like gingerbread! Take home a future ginger plant, decorate cookies, and mix up a batch of gingerbread to bake at home.
When: Saturday Dec 19
Where: Botanic Garden (1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe)