What’s New in Chicago This Winter

Posted by Christine Hancock on Thursday, January 4th, 2018 at 6:21am.

As the year starts off in the Windy City it's worth taking a look at the events that were out there for the remainder of 2017 and what we can expect with the new year.

Travel and Leisure called Chicago one of the top 10 cities for events in the county thanks to its robust collection of music festivals along with annual traditions like Oktoberfest and Christmas lights. The city is also famous for dying the Chicago River green in celebration of St. Patrick’s day and Taste of Chicago, one of the nation’s more prominent food festivals. So what do we have to look forward to in downtown Chicago this winter? 

The end of October

As the month of October winds down there are plenty of places to go get your spooks before the season it over. Here are a few events to consider for your Halloween weekend in Chicago:

  • Logan Square Halloween Parade: Sunday, Oct. 29 at 5 p.m.

People of all ages come out in costume for the annual halloween parade. It begins at Illinois Centennial Monument. Audience member are encouraged to bring anything that makes noise.

  • Randolph Street Market Festival: Saturday Oct. 28, 2017 - Sunday Dec. 17, 2017

There will be 125 vendors selling antiques, art, food and drinks. There will also be a vinyl swap for all the music lovers. 

  • Spooky Zoo Spectacular: Saturday Oct. 28 beginning at 10 a.m. 

This event offers family friendly activities for people looking to celebrate halloween around some of the world’s most fascinating animals. The Lincoln Park Zoo will have the essentials like trick-or-treating, a haunted house and a costume parade. 

  • Boos & Booze Halloween Party: Saturday Oct. 28 at 9 p.m.

SPiN Chicago, a bar known for its ping pong tables, is having a halloween party on Saturday night. A wristband gets a drink package and there will be live DJs, a costume contest and, yes, ping pong


  • Christkindlmarket: Saturday Nov. 18, 2017 - Sunday Dec. 24, 2017

This Chicago tradition is held in Daley Plaza and celebrates the city’s German ancestry. It’s brilliant light displays will dazzle and the vendors will impress with “iconic German items like nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks and beer steins,”. 

  • Thanksgiving Parade: Thursday Nov. 23

The McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade can be viewed anywhere on State Street between Congress to Randolph. The one-mile long parade expects about 5,000 people to perform in this year’s route. 

  • ZooLights: Friday Nov, 24 2017 - Sunday Jan. 7 2018 

If you love holiday lights and animals then Zoolights will scratch both those itches. There will be live ice-sculpture carving, crafts for kids, and holiday flavored wine and lager for the adults.

  • Saturday Night Live: The Experience: Now until the end of December

This immersive experience at the Museum of Broadcast Communication provides a look at how one of America’s favorite shows makes it to air and the impact it's had over the years. 


  • Christmas Around the World:  Thursday Dec. 29 - Sunday Jan. 3 

The Museum of Science and Industry might boast some of the most impressive holiday decorations in the city of Chicago. They include a four-story tree and “forest of more than 50 trees and displays decorated,” the museum says. There are live holiday performances on weekends.

  • Gingerbread House Decorating Party 2017: Sunday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m.

The restaurant Park Grill at Millennium Park will provide all the supplies necessary to become a gingerbread architect for an afternoon. One ticket = one house. 

  • Santa Booze Cruise: Saturday Dec. 9 at 8:30 p.m.

Nothing says happy holidays like a luxury yacht on Lake Michigan. Once aboard attendees can enjoy the three-story boat, including its dance floor. 

  • BrewLights at Lincoln Park Zoo: Thursday Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m.

This will be BrewLights’ fourth year in Chicago. It’s a chance for local brewer to come out and show off their beer and seasonal offerings at the local Zoo.

  • Mother Truckin' Beer Fest: Saturday Dec. 9 at 1 p.m.

If you’re still thirsty after the BrewLights event then you can head to this a couple days later. Multiple beer and food vendors will flood the Sears Centre Arena to offer good eats and refreshing brews. 

  • New Year’s parties 

And don’t forget to ring in the new year some. See some of the parties around town here

January, 2018

  • New Year's Day Hangover Brunch Booze Cruise!: Monday Jan. 1 at 12:30 p.m. 

If you’re in need of a little hair of the dog the Monday after New Year’s then this cruise might be the one for you. And since it's hosted by the same company that did the Santa cruise it will still be on a luxury yacht. 

  • New Year's Day 5K Run & Walk: Monday Jan. 11 a.m. 

There are two types of people in this world: the ones that go on booze cruises after New Year’s and the ones that run a 5K. If you fall into the latter category then checkout this race along the city’s lakefront bike path. 

  • Diva Royale -- Drag Queen Show: Friday Jan. 5 at 8 p.m.

This show is held in multiple cities across the county and features female celebrity impersonations. It will be hosted by Drag Queen Joan Rivers.

  • Beernival: Saturday Jan. 20 at 1 p.m.

If you’ve ever gone to a carnival and thought it could use a beer pong tournament then you’re in luck. Spend the afternoon at theBeernival and then head to the after party at Sully’s Place.

Chicago is the place to be this season. Be sure to see available properties or contact an agent near you today!

Written by Jeremy Alderman



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