The following are 2019's “Top 10 Christmas Events in Chicago & Northern Illinois”—that don’t include Santa Claus. These are all major local happenings and are some of the preeminent events of the Christmas Season that any family or visitor is sure to enjoy. Also—take a look at the "Top 10 Santa Events in Chicagoland and Northern Illinois".


                                                                                               Opening Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza                                                                                                 

photo credit Choose Chicago




A Christmas Carol - Goodman Theatre Chicago
Goodman's Albert Theatre
170 North Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 443-3800

A Christmas Carol Days and Show Times 2019

Saturday, November 16th through, December 29th, 2019
Show Days and Times - For performance days and times go to the following link

Admission: Ticket prices vary click on this box office link for prices and availability.

It’s hard to believe, Goodman’s production of the Dickens’ classic has been a highlight of the area's Christmas season for thirty nine years. Both children and adults are sure to delight in this timeless favorite which has become a cherished Chicago tradition.

A Christmas Carol photo courtesy Goodman Theatre


Apollo Chorus of Chicago                                                                                                                                                                                Handel’s Messiah                                                                                                                                                                                   Harris Theater                                                                                                                                                                                          205 East Randolph Drive
Chicago, IL 60601

The Apollo Chorus Performance Dates and Times 2019   

Click on this LINK for 2019 dates and times

Admission: Ticket prices vary - call the box office at 312-334-777 

The Apollo Chorus is a hallowed Chicago institution that has dazzled audiences for 144 amazing years. This 115 member, totally volunteer choir’s annual pièce de résistance is Handel’s Messiah. With only two performances at the Harris Theater, tickets are a scarce commodity. This is a rare opportunity to participate in a revered local event.

Photo courtesy Apollo Chorus of Chicago - in a performance of Handel’s Messiah at Orchestra Hall


Caroling at Cloud Gate - Millennium Park Chicago
Millennium Park
201 East Randolph Street between Michigan & Columbus Avenue’s
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 742-1168

Caroling at Cloud Gate Days and Times 2019

In 2019 this event opens on Friday, November 29th and runs every Friday  evening through December 20th.

Admission: Caroling at Cloud Gate is a FREE CHRISTMAS EVENT

Caroling at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park doesn't require expensive tickets. You don’t have to plan ahead of time, or stand in line—just show up on a Friday evening during the holiday season, November 23rd through December 145th. This is your chance to enjoy truly beautiful music from outstanding local Chicago choral groups. Different choruses are featured each week.

Caroling at Cloud Gate photo credit Choose Chicago


Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza
Daley Plaza
50 West Washington Street (between Dearborn, Washington and Clark Streets)
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 494-2175

Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza Days and Times 2019

In 2019, this event opens on Friday, November 15th and runs through Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24th.

Open daily Sunday through Thursday 11am to 8pm, Friday and Saturday 11am to 9pm. Special hours - Thanksgiving Day, November 28th 11am to 4pm, Christmas Eve, December 24th, 11am to 4pm

Admission: Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza is a FREE CHRISTMAS EVENT

The Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza has become a special part of the Christmas season Chicago. This traditional market going back to its Nuremberg Germany origins is Chicago’s largest open air Christmas festival. There are carolers, choirs along with many other special events. Vendors offer classic German products and handicrafts plus a wide assortment of old world favorites including Gluehwein, a hot spiced wine, sauerkraut, sausages, German beer and more. Also scroll down to the Naperville listing for The Christkindlmarket in Naperville.

Photo courtesy Christkindlmarket Chicago


Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light at                                
The Museum of Science and Industry
57th Street at Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 684-1414 for a schedule of events

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light Days and Times 2019

In 2019 this event opens in November and runs through the January 5th

For 2019 dates click on this LINK

open to the public from 9:30 am to 4 pm daily.

Admission: Regular museum admission prices apply - for details click on this link.

Christmas Around the World has been celebrated at the Museum every year since 1942. Today, more than seven decades later you’ll find fifty beautifully decorated trees and three crèches representing the birth of Jesus. In addition, for over ten years now the Holidays of Light has featured different customs, traditions and festivals celebrated by other cultures in various countries around the world. For example, you can learn about and experience Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan and Diwali. During the holiday season there are special performances through December. Check with the Museum for details.

Photo credit: Scott Brownell, Museum of Science and Industry


Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Joffrey Ballet The Auditorium Theatre                                                                                                                                                    Roosevelt University                                                                                                                                                                                    50 E. Congress Parkway
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 739-0120

Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker Days and Show Times 2019

Saturday, November 30th through Sunday, December 29th, 2019. Go to this link to find the dates and times for all performances this season.

Admission: Tickets go on sale August 1st and are available through Ticketmaster or Joffrey Ticketing at (312) 386-8905.

Robert Joffrey's holiday favorite has enchanted Chicago audiences since1987. Enjoy a stunning production by America’s premier ballet company, which captures the hearts of both young and old alike with Tchaikovsky’s classic score and exquisitely performed by the Chicago Philharmonic. Outstanding dancers in fabulous costumes create a magical theatrical event bringing the celebrated story to life. The Joffrey company is joined on stage by local children's choruses and more than a hundred area dancers.

Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center 


The Vienna Boys Choir at Symphony Center                                                                                                                                      220 South Michigan Avenue                                                                                                                                                                    Chicago, IL 60604                                                                                                                                                                                (312) 294-3000                                                                                                                                                                               

Vienna Boys Choir Performance Date and Time 2019                                                                                                                             One performance only - Saturday, ,November 30th, 2019 - 2:00 pm                                                                                               

Admission: Ticket prices vary - click on this box office link for prices and availability. Note: This concert is recommended for ages 8 and up; infants will not be admitted.                                                                                                                                                                      For one special afternoon, the Vienna Boys Choir which dates back over five hundred years, will usher in the area’s holiday season with what is sure to be a memorable performance. The concert begins with time-honored classics and winds up with holiday favorites and much beloved Christmas carols. This is one joyous recital you won’t want to miss.

The Vienna Boys Choir - Photo © Lukas Beck



Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville  
3635 N. Clark St. - Gallagher Way next to Wrigley Field
Chicago, IL 60613

Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville  Days and Times 2019

In 2019, this event opens, on Friday, November 23rd and
runs until December 31st. Hours: Open Daily,  Sun 11am - 7pm, Mon - Thu 3pm, - 9pm, Fri - Sat 11am - 10pm 

Admission: Christkindlmarket Wrigleyvillei s a FREE CHRISTMAS EVENT

The Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville is excited to be back at Winterland at Gallagher Way! Visit us between November 22 and December 31 to experience the authentic German-style outdoor market - you don't want to miss out on this unique shopping experience, holiday entertainment, and much more.

Photo courtesy Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville




Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
(847) 835-5440                                                                                                                                   

Lightscape November 22nd - January 5th, 2019

Check with the Botanic Garden for times            

Admission: Tickets - check with the Botanic Garden for ticket prices.

Spectacular New Magic for the Holidays. You’ll wander into a festive world of wonder and light. Along a mile-long path, the night comes alive with color, imagination, and sound, from a playful choir of singing trees to a spectacular waterfall of light. At times, you’ll find yourself in the center of it all — stepping inside a cathedral of golden light, walking down an avenue of luminous linden trees, moving through colorful ribbons of light.



Illumination - Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 968-0074

Illumination Days 2019

In 2019 this event opens on Friday, November 22nd through January 5th, 2020.

Admission: For tickets and times available check with the Morton Arboretum

Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum will return for a seventh year this November to The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. This one of-a-kind interactive spectacle of color, light and sound will awe and delight visitors with all-new features and returning favorites.

From November 23, 2019, through January 5, 2020, 50 acres of the Arboretum’s majestic trees will be transformed with lights and music. Embracing the Arboretum’s tree-focused mission as the champion of trees, this exhibition will take visitors on a journey along a winding, paved path through light-filled experiences that highlight the many ways trees are a gift to people and communities.

Prior to the public opening, Illumination will kick off on Friday, November 22, with IllumiBrew, a ticketed, pre-opening event that allows guests 21 and older to be among the first to see the 2019 exhibition while enjoying beer tastings along the trail.

In addition to family favorite features such as Treemagination and Symphony Woods, this year’s exhibition will offer several new experiences such as Tree Fascination, a brilliant digital projection of immersive color and pattern on a grove of eastern white and scots pine trees. This year’s event will also debut a new route with a  with a more spacious pathway.

Photo courtesy the Morton Arboretum