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. 21)

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.

Holiday lights on a Segway

December 1 - 31, 2014

0.8 miles south

Bundle up to see holiday lights and attractions riding a Segway on a guided tour downtown.

Flower and train show

December 1 - 31, 2014 (Nov. 29 - Jan. 4)

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.

Holidays around the world

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.

1920s party

December 4, 2014 (6:30 to 10:30 p.m.)

2 miles north

Come as a gangster or flapper to The Last Speakeasy, a Prohibition-era party with music, dancing, a casino, and cocktails at the Chicago History Museum.

Holiday music

December 4, 2014 (7:30 p.m.)

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.

Holiday comedy

December 4 - 28, 2014 (begins Nov. 16)

2.3 miles north

Holidazed and Confused is R-rated sketch comedy at Up Comedy Club. Discount tickets on certain days.

Hinsdale Christmas Walk

December 5, 2014 (4 to 8 p.m.)

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 decorations, foods, and gifts 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.

Winter WonderFest

December 5, 2014 - Jan. 11, 2015

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.

Christmas liturgy

December 6, 2014 (7:30 p.m.)

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 50 shops and see entertainment at Winterfest in Oak Park. Cost.
Chicago, Illinois
December 2014

Craft fair

December 6 - 7, 2014

6 miles north

Shop from independent artisans and chefs at the Renegade Craft Fair at Bridgeport Art 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.

Handel’s Messiah

December 6 & 20, 2014 (3 p.m.)

Downtown Chicago

It’s a holiday tradition to hear the joyful Handel’s Messiah sung by the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, the first day at Chicago Symphony Center and the second day at Harris Theater. 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.

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 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

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 surrounded by Wonderland Express train exhibits at Chicago Botanic Garden.

Scotch Tasting

December 13, 2014 (6 to 8 p.m.)

1 mile west

Scotch Tasting features malt scotch whiskey with smooth jazz appetizers at Revel. Discount tickets.

Tasting in Wicker Park

December 13, 2014 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

3.5 miles NW

Adults with tickets can buy drink specials and $3 to $5 tastes at restaurants on Chicago Christmas Crawl. Enter promotional code “events12” to save $12.

Bar crawl

December 13, 2014

4.7 miles

12 Bars of Xmas begins and ends at the Cubby Bear, with food & drink specials at other Wrigleyville bars.

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.

Basketball show

December 28 - 29, 2014

18 miles NW

Watch the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters play a game at Allstate Arena, Rosemont. Discount tickets.

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 - Palmer House

December 31, 2014

0.7 miles south

Big Night Chicago New Year’s Eve Gala includes food, drinks, 4 dance floors, 7 party bands and DJs. Cost.

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 - 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 - Hilton

December 31, 2014

1.2 miles south

New Years Eve Soiree 2015 plays top house, hip hop, dance, and top 40 at the Hilton Chicago. Cost.

New Year’s Eve - Monster Ball

December 31, 2014 (9 p.m.)

5 miles north

New Year’s Eve Monster Ball is a costume party with drinks, appetizers, a zombie band, and spooky surprises at Stage 773. 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.
Next month:January 2015
January February March April May June July August September October November December

December 2014 calendar of events in Chicago, IL: Christmas, holidays, New Year’s Eve parties, festivals, things to do in Chicago, Illinois.