Winter is the perfect time for togetherness. The cold weather pushes people inside, around a fire, or otherwise huddled together for warmth. That combined with the overall feel of the holiday season tends to promote a stronger sense of friends and family, spreading warmth beyond fireplaces and spices. This winter keep that togetherness going and visit one of these local spots with your friends and family.
1. Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is a fantastic place for the entire family year round, but like many things it’s even more magical in the winter. Bundle up and walk through the Tree Lights through the first of January, wander down a one-mile paved path surrounded by interactive lighting effects and seasonal music. If you’d rather stay out of the cold you can marvel at the Enchanted Railroad, an intricate miniature model railroad winding through two levels of scenery.
2. Brookfield Zoo
From the Chicago Wolves skating rink, to Chicagoland’s largest lights festival, to Zoo Year’s Eve and more, Brookfield Zoo is the place to be this winter. Their state-of-the-art skating rink is made out of a synthetic material that doesn’t require water or electricity for use, and the lights festival includes over one million LED lights and a 41-foot talking tree!
3. DuPage Children’s Museum
Looking for something to do with the family that doesn’t involve bundling up in several layers of clothing? The DuPage Children’s Museum offers events all throughout winter, no puffy coats needed! They even have a family fun NYE the morning of December 31 so you can celebrate the end of the year with the family before heading out to your adult festivities.
4. Drury Lane Theatre
Drury Lane Theater is just a short drive away, in Oakbrook Terrace, and has performances going year round. You don’t have to go all the way to downtown Chicago for a nice evening of off-Broadway shows! Make a day of it and get reservations for one of the many restaurants in the area then enjoy a production such as Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, or The Color Purple.
5. Naperville Christkindlmarket
With locations in both downtown Chicago and Naperville, Christkindlmarket is a German tradition that has become a Chicagoland holiday season staple. Eat and drink traditional German fare while perusing the many vendors and enjoying the diverse entertainment. Best of all? Admission is always free!