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

Best events for 12 monthsevents12
January February March April May June July August September October November December
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 7 locations of Life Time Fitness on Commitment Day.

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

Flower and train show

January 1 - 4, 2015 (begins Nov. 29)

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

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.

Austrian music & dance

January 5, 2015 (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.

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.

Lifestyle fair

January 7, 2015 (uncertain)

0.5 mile SW

Get advice from health, fitness and financial experts to make those resolutions reality at the New Year LifeStyle Fair at James R. Thompson Center. Free.

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 at Lifeline Theatre and Heartland Studio Theatre. Cost.
Chicago, Illinois
January 2015

Boat, sports, and RV show

January 15 - 19, 2015

3 miles south

The Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show at McCormick Place includes plenty of boats and RVs, seminars, scuba demos, and even a trout pond for kids. 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.

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. Cost.

Tribute to MLK

January 18 - 19, 2015

Greater Chicago area

Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. includes a symphony, gospel choir, and multimedia show 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.

Sailboat show

January 22 - 25, 2015

1 mile east

Strictly Sail is a boat show that offers seminars for sailors and has 250 exhibitors of boats and gear in Festival Halls A & B at Navy Pier. 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.

Winter beer festival

January 24, 2015 (uncertain)

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.

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.

Chicago Restaurant Week

January 30 - Feb. 12, 2015

Chicago locations

Get a special deal on a fixed-price lunch or dinner at 286 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.

Dog show

January 31 - Feb. 1, 2015

3 miles south

The International Kennel Club Cluster of Dog Shows has prize competitions, dog fashion shows, meet the breeds, pet the dogs, and kids’ activities at McCormick Place convention center. Cost.

Custom car show

January 2015 (undated)

Location uncertain

See classic & custom hot rods, muscle cars, race cars, trucks, and entertainment at the Indoor Custom Car Show & Expo. Cost.

Rhinofest fringe theater

January 2015 (undated)

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.

Barrel-aged beer

January 2015 (undated)

6 miles NW

More than a dozen wood-and-barrel-aged beers are on tap at Riverview Tavern during Festibarrel.

Bike swap

January 2015 (undated)

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 under 12.

B-movie festival

January 2015 (undated)

14 miles north

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

Northerly Island adventure

January 2015 (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:February 2015
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homeBest events for 12 monthsevents12

January 2015 calendar of events in Chicago. What to do in Chicagoland today, this weekend, this month. Special events, festivals, things to do in Chicago, IL.