Chicago events calendar for December 2014. Festivals, fun things to do, Christmas events, Christmas lights, Christmas market, New Year’s Eve parties in Chicago, IL.

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December 2014

Enjoy the best Chicago events, festivals, and things to do in December 2014 with this calendar of events.

Events are listed by starting date, and all dates are confirmed. Mileage is from the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Christmas market

Dec. 1 - 24, 2014 (begins Nov. 25)

1 mile SW

Christkindlmarket is an open-air European holiday market on Daley Plaza featuring traditional art, handmade gifts, German foods, choirs, carolers, and an opening ceremony. Free.

Holidays of light

December 1 - 31, 2014 (Nov. 13 - Jan. 4)

8 miles south

See trees decorated to represent many cultures plus weekend ethnic song-and-dance performances during Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light at the Museum of Science & Industry. Cost.

Holiday music

December 4, 2014

8 miles north

Student musicians & singers perform secular seasonal hits and jazz variations at Joyola! at Loyola University.

Gift show

December 4 - 7, 2014

1 miles west

One of a Kind Show and Sale has 600 juried artists selling handmade gifts at Merchandise Mart. Cost.

Hinsdale Christmas Walk

December 5, 2014

21 miles SW

Christmas Walk features Santa's arrival, carolers, giant storybooks, ice carvers, a trackless train, and a tree lighting in Hinsdale’s Burlington Park.

Giant gift fair

December 5 - 7, 2014

29 miles NW

Holiday Lights Gift and Craft Fair offers 500 booths for holiday shoppers at Arlington International Racecourse. Cost.

Nutcracker ballet

December 5 - 28, 2014

1 mile south

Joffrey Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition that features brilliant costumes, fanciful scenery, entrancing storytelling and Tchaikovsky’s famous score played by the Chicago Philharmonic at the Auditorium Theatre. Cost.

Christmas lights - Lincoln Park Zoo

December 5 - 31, 2014 (dates below)

2.5 miles north

ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo features millions of holiday lights, ice carvings, music, carousel and train rides, food and gift shopping, plus photos with Santa (some days). Open Nov. 28 - 30. Dec. 5 - 7, 12 - 23, 26 - 31. Jan. 1 - 4. Free entry.

Christmas liturgy

December 6, 2014

8 miles north

Lessons and Carols tells a story in nine short Bible readings and adds Christmas carols, hymns, and choral music in the chapel at Loyola University. Cost.

Cookie walk

December 6, 2014

11 miles west

Collect a cookie, treat, or hot drink from 40 shops and see entertainment at Winterfest in Oak Park. Cost.

Craft fair

December 6 - 7, 2014

6 miles north

Shop from independent artisans and chefs at the Renegade Craft Fair at Bridgeport Arts Center. Free.

Swedish bazaar

December 6 - 7, 2014

7 miles north

Julmarknad is a Christmas bazaar of Scandinavian food and gift items plus traditional entertainment at the Swedish American Museum. Cost.

Christmas lights - Brookfield Zoo

December 6 - 31, 2014 (dates below)

14 miles SW

Holiday Magic is a million twinkling lights, a laser light show, a magic show, animal visits, and songs at the Brookfield Zoo. December 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. Cost.
Chicago, Illinois
December 2014

Family treasure hunt

December 7, 2014

1 mile south

Kids make four activity stops then have a tea party with entertainment and party favors at Treasure Hunt and Tea Party at the Art Institute. Cost.

Motorcycle parade

December 7, 2014

12 miles south

Bring a toy to donate (except a stuffed animal), then watch or join the Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade led by Santa at W 83rd St. and Western. Free.

Toy sale

December 7, 2014

29 miles south

Browse new and vintage toys from 250 vendors at Tinley Park Annual Holiday Toy Show at Tinley Park High School. Cost.

Wine & beer tasting

December 10, 2014 (6 to 8 p.m.)

24 miles north

Holiday Cheers! is a seasonal tasting of local spirits, wines, and winter brews at Chicago Botanic Garden.

Holiday market

Dec. 13 - 14, 2014 (also Nov. 22 - 23)

2 miles west

Randolph Street’s Holiday Market offers a mix of affordable antique, vintage, and modern goods in an indoor market at W Randolph & Washington. Cost.

Model train show

December 13 - 14, 2014

27 miles west

LEGO Train Show & Party features a huge diorama of trains that run past skyscrapers, brick mania, and kids’ crafts in Wheaton. Free except parking.

Anime convention

December 19 - 21, 2014

16 miles NW

Con Alt Delete celebrates Japanese animation and nerd culture with games, panels, vendors, and dances at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont. Cost.

Japanese dance & drum

December 20 - 21, 2014

0.7 mile north

Taiko Legacy features Japanese drumming, dance, and street theater at Museum of Contemporary Art.

Austrian music & dance

December 28, 2014 (2:30 p.m.)

1 mile south

Costumed dancers and singers bring the waltzes of Strauss to life, as a full orchestra plays at Salute to Vienna at the Symphony Center. Sells out.

New Year’s Eve - a day early

December 30, 2014

1.5 miles SW

Enjoy an open bar, appetizers, live music, dancing, and a silent auction at the black-tie-optional charity benefit EVE of the EVE, Chicago Union Station. Cost.

New Year’s Eve - restaurants

December 31, 2014

Chicago locations

Find a list of restaurants that offer special menus and celebrations for New Year’s Eve at OpenTable.

New Year’s Eve - fireworks

December 31, 2014

1 mile east

Welcome the new year with New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Navy Pier at midnight. Free.

New Year’s Eve - Navy Pier #1

December 31, 2014

1 mile east

Crystal Gardens New Year’s Eve Party has dancing to mainstream music, party favors, an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, champagne toast at midnight, and a terrace to watch the fireworks, at Navy Pier. Cost.

New Year’s Eve - Navy Pier #2

December 31, 2014

1 mile east

Resolution Gala is a formal affair in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier with an open bar, buffet stations, live DJ, champagne toast at midnight, and views of fireworks over the lake. Cost.

New Year’s Eve - Drake Hotel

December 31, 2014

1 mile north

NYE 2015 has 4 ballrooms with DJs, 45 bartenders, and a balloon drop at the Drake Hotel. Cost.

New Year’s Eve - Palmer House

December 31, 2014

1 mile south

NYE Soiree has 4 ballrooms with DJs, 80 bartenders, and a lavish buffet at Palmer House hotel. Cost.

New Year’s Eve - Waldorf Astoria

December 31, 2014

1 mile north

Enjoy a night of upscale fun and celebration at Entrepreneur’s Eve to benefit charity. Cost.

New Year’s Eve - Monster’s Ball

December 31, 2014

5 miles north

New Year’s Eve Monster’s Ball is a costume party with drinks, appetizers, a zombie band, and a haunted house at Stage 773. Cost.

New Year’s Eve - InterContinental

December 31, 2014

17 miles NW

New Year's Eve Rock ‘N’ Roll Ball features three music stages in three rooms (rock, party, and club) at the InterContinental Chicago O'Hare. Cost.

Northerly Island adventure

December 2014 (undated)

3 miles south

See birds of prey and coyotes, hear folk music, watch dog sledding, walk on snowshoes (if there’s snow), make a craft, and have cocoa (while it lasts) at Polar Adventure Days. Free except parking.

Flower and train show

December 2014 (undated)

3 miles north

Model trains wind their way through a miniature village among Poinsettias during the Winter Flower & Train Show at Lincoln Park Conservatory. Free.

Winter WonderFest

December 2014 (undated)

1 mile east

Festival Hall at Navy Pier becomes an indoor Winter WonderFest for the holidays, with music, carnival rides, and entertainment. Expect crowds. Free entry.

Handel’s Messiah

December 2014 (undated)

Chicago locations

It’s a holiday tradition to hear the joyful Handel’s Messiah sung by the Apollo Chorus of Chicago. Cost.
Next month:January 2015
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homeBest events for 12 monthsevents12

December 2014 calendar of events in Chicago. What to do in Chicago for Christmas, holidays, New Year’s Eve. Parties, events, festivals, things to do in Chicago, IL.