Chicago events calendar for January 2015. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment in Chicago, Illinois.

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January 2015

Enjoy the best Chicago events, festivals, and things to do in January 2015 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.

New Year’s run

January 1, 2015

1.2 miles SE

Get off to a healthy new year at the New Year’s Day 5K Run/Walk, which begins and ends at the south end of Lincoln Park.

Commitment Day

January 1, 2015

Chicago suburbs

Kick off the new year in a 5K run or walk starting at 5 locations of Life Time Fitness on Commitment Day.

Cinderella off Broadway

January 1 - 4, 2015 (begins Dec. 16)

0.7 miles SW

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the Tony award-winning musical featuring fine songs, a great orchestra, beautiful scenery, romance and humor at Cadillac Palace Theatre. Discount tickets.

Rock & Roll Christmas

Jan. 1 - 4, 2015 (begins Nov. 4)

0.8 miles north

Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale is a musical that rocks the Broadway Playhouse.

Christmas lights - Lincoln Park Zoo

January 1 - 4, 2015 (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 through Dec. 23). Open Nov. 28 - 30. Dec. 5 - 7, 12 - 23, 26 - 31. Jan. 1 - 4. Free entry.

Holiday trains - Lincoln Park

January 1 - 4, 2015 (begins Nov. 28)

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

January 1 - 4, 2015 (begins Nov. 13)

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 trains - Botanic garden

January 1 - 4, 2015 (begins Nov. 28)

24 miles north

Wonderland Express features trains running through an indoor garden past miniature buildings at Chicago Botanic Garden. See the schedule of daily events.

Mary Poppins live

January 1 - 4, 2015 (begins Nov. 26)

43 miles west

Hear catchy songs and see Mary fly in family-friendly Mary Poppins at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora.

Winter WonderFest

January 1 - 11, 2015 (begins Dec. 5)

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.

Maxwell Street Market

January 4, 2015

2 miles SW

Bundle up and go to Maxwell Street Market in search of bargains and outstanding Mexican street food. It’s open every Sunday at 800 S. Desplaines St. Free.

Free science museum

January 5 - 30, 2015 (weekdays)

8 miles south

Show Illinois ID to enter the Museum of Science and Industry free during Free Days. Repeats in Sept.

Elvis birthday party

January 8, 2015 (7 to 11 p.m.)

1.3 miles north

Elvis Fest features Elvis tribute artists backed by a full band, karaoke, a look-alike contest, and a live radio broadcast from The Original Mother’s. Donation.
January 2015

Sketch Comedy Festival

January 8 - 18, 2015

5 miles north

Choose from more than 180 shows to watch during Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival at Stage 773. Cost.

Live story telling

January 9 - 25, 2015

9 miles north

Fillet of Solo Festival makes literature come alive with solo performances and storytelling in north Chicago.

Rhinofest fringe theater

January 10 - March 1, 2015

6.5 miles NW

Watch hundreds of artists perform at the Prop Thtr during Rhinoceros Theater Festival, billed as Chicago’s longest-running fringe festival. Cost.

Boat and RV show

January 14 - 18, 2015

3 miles south

The Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show at McCormick Place includes plenty of boats and RVs, seminars, camping gear, and even a trout pond for kids. Cost.

Music festival

January 14 - 18, 2015

3.6 miles north

Tomorrow Never Knows mixes up-and-coming and known local and national indie acts at Lincoln Hall.

Puppet festival

January 14 - 25, 2015

Chicago locations

Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival features 50 performances with marionettes, shadow puppets, Bunraku puppets, and tiny toy puppets. Cost.

Cubs Convention

January 16 - 18, 2015

0.5 mile east

Cubs fans will enjoy getting up close with their favorite players and broadcasters at Cubs Convention at the Sheraton. Cost.

Motorcycle show

January 16 - 18, 2015

41 miles west

Chicago Motorcycle Show & Swap Meet features bikes, parts, demonstrations, food, beer, and live music at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

Bicycle swap

January 17, 2015

28 miles NW

Buy or sell a bike, and find parts and gear, at the Chicago Winter Bike Swap at Harper College in Palatine. Entry cost, except children to age 12.

Travel show

January 17 - 18, 2015

17 miles NW

The Chicago Travel & Adventure Show brings together travelers, travel experts, and travel service providers at the Rosemont convention center. Discount tickets.

Tribute to MLK

January 18 - 19, 2015

Greater Chicago area

Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. includes a symphony, cellist, and gospel choir in Naperville Sunday and in Chicago Monday. Cost.

Sportsman’s show

January 21 - 25, 2015

17 miles NW

Chicago Outdoor Sports Show has fishing and hunting seminars, kids’ activities, and hundreds of vendors at the Rosemont convention center. Cost.

B-movie festival

January 23 - 24, 2015

14 miles north

B-Fest is 24 hours of low-budget movies with audience participation at McCormick Auditorium, Northwestern University. Cost.

Polar Bear Plunge

January 24, 2015

1 mile north

Register to join the Lakeview Polar Bear Club, and then take the Polar Plunge into Lake Michigan for charity at Oak Street Beach. Free to watch.

Audition for TV

January 24 - 25, 2015

3 miles south

Register online to audition either day for the TV show America’s Got Talent at McCormick Place. Free.

Eagle weekend

January 24 - 25, 2015

96 miles SW

Learn about raptors and birds of prey, meet a live eagle and falcons, hear about Illinois Valley history, watch native dancing, and try kids’ activities at Bald Eagle Watch Weekend at Starved Rock Lodge and Illinois Waterway Visitor Center. Free.

Northerly Island adventure

January 24 & Feb. 21, 2015

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.

Chicago Restaurant Week

January 30 - Feb. 12, 2015

Chicago locations

Get a special deal on a fixed-price lunch or dinner at 250 restaurants during Chicago Restaurant Week.

Alternative bridal show

January 31, 2015

6 miles north

Indie Wed has 100 independent businesses offering handmade items and innovative services for unique weddings at Ravenswood Event Center. Cost.

Barrel-aged beer

January 31, 2015 (noon)

6 miles NW

Dozens of wood-and-barrel-aged beers are on tap at Riverview Tavern during Festibarrel.

Winter beer festival

January 31, 2015

7 miles north

Winter Brew is a Lincoln Square beer fest that features local brew and food at the DANK Haus German American Cultural Center. Sells out. Cost.

Anime festival

January 31, 2015

9 miles south

Uchi-Con features gaming, cinema, Asian culture, vendors, speakers, panels, and workshops in the Ida Noyes buildings at University of Chicago. Free.

Dog show

January 31 - Feb. 1, 2015

3 miles south

The International Kennel Club Dog Show has prize competitions, dog fashion shows, meet the breeds, pet the dogs, and kids’ activities at McCormick Place convention center. Cost.
Next month:February 2015
January February March April May June July August September October November December

January 2015 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois.