Things To Do This Weekend In And Around Chicago: Nov. 15-17

Shannon Blum
November 15, 2019 - 8:56 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...yes, it is that time of year where people tend to skip over thoughts of Thanksgiving and go right into Christmas. With that being said, there are plenty of holiday inspired events going on this weekend from Christmas markets and tree lightings, to holiday exhibits, shopping events, and craft shows. There is plenty to keep you busy and get you into the holiday spirit.

And as for sports, the Chicago Bulls is the only team playing at home this weekend, so if you are in the mood to attend a sporting event, the Bulls are your team.

Here's a look at things to do this weekend in and around Chicago.

Christkindlmarket 2019 Boot Mugs
Christkindlmarket Chicago/Facebook


You haven't experienced the holidays in Chicago until you've stepped into this giant open-air market inspired by a similar seasonal tradition in Nuremberg, Germany. At Christkindlmarket, guests can shop handcrafted items like nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, beer steins and glass ornaments and nibble on potato pancakes, hot pretzels, schnitzel, döner and chocolate-covered treats. And no trip to Christkindlmarket is complete without a steaming mug of Glühwein, a traditional hot spiced wine (there's also hot cocoa for the kids) – and don’t forget to order it in the keepsake boot mug!

Where: Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St.

When: Friday, Nov. 15-Dec. 24; Sunday-Thursday,11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Cost: Free

Christmas Around the World
Photo courtesy of the Museum of Science and Industry

Christmas Around The World

Every year, the Museum of Science and Industry puts up its 45-foot-tall Grand Tree and surrounds the towering pine with more than 50 trees that represent Chicago's various communities and their respective holiday celebrations. Visitors can admire the 30,000 lights that cover the trees and stick around for the "snow" that falls from the rotunda every 30 minutes. During the weekend, live performances of holiday music fill the room, lending some additional seasonal cheer to your day at the museum.

Where: Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lakeshore Dr.

When: Thursday, Nov. 14-Sunday, Jan. 5

Cost: Included in museum admission

WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller

Ice Skating in Millennium Park

Skate under the Chicago skyline and within eyeshot of the Chicago Christmas Tree at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park. Admission to the rink is free, and you can rent skates for $13–$15. The most popular time to hit the rink is in the evening, so show up earlier if you don't feel like waiting in line for your chance to slide around. Take advantage of free skating lessons on Fridays at 11 a.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 9 a.m. If it seems too warm to skate, call ahead—this rink is open through March 8, weather permitting.

Where: Millennium Park, 55 N. Michigan Ave.  

When: Friday, Nov. 15-March 8 (weather permitting)

Cost: Free, skate rentals $13–$15

WBBM Newsradio/Nancy Harty

Ice Skating at Maggie Daley Park

Situated in the heart of downtown Chicago, with the city's sweeping skyline as a backdrop, the Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park is a winter attraction unlike any other. The skating ribbon is dramatically different from typical civic ice rinks, creating a multi-sensory activity that is integrated into the landscape. Skaters can experience “alpine in the city” as they lace up their ice skates and follow a path twice the length of a lap around a traditional skating rink.

Where: Maggie Daley Park, 337 E. Randolph St.  

When: Friday, Nov. 15-March (weather permitting)

Cost: Free, skate rentals $13–$15

Gin Cocktail

Chicago Gin Fest at SX Sky Bar

Enjoy 20+ varieties of the smoothest gins of various origins and styles. Savor the fresh taste of juniper and other unique botanicals at the trendy new SX Sky Bar in South Loop.

Where: SX Sky Bar, 808 S. Michigan Ave.  

When: Saturday, 2-5 p.m. (VIP 1-5 p.m.)

Cost: $25-35 + fees

Food Tasting

USA TODAY Wine & Food Experience

The USA TODAY Wine & Food Experience presents rich and colorful moments for guests to taste, savor and explore the Chicago culinary scene, from local trends to regional traditions. Enjoy the Grand Tasting: a gourmet showcase by local chefs, emerging talent and nationally renowned culinary leaders who mix with patrons in a convivial setting. Lively cooking demonstrations, chef meet & greets, and seminars deliver unforgettable experiences for fans, connoisseurs, partners, purveyors, and industry personalities. Indulge in the VIP experience for an hour early admittance into the experience, plus a chance to mix and mingle with chefs. Elevate your experience even further with additional Meet & Greet opportunities with our celebrity talent.

Where: Soldier Field United Club, 1410 Museum Campus Dr.

When: Saturday, 1-4 p.m.

Cost: Varies

Tree Lighting

NewCity Holiday Tree Lighting Festival

Celebrate the holiday season at NEWCITY’S Annual Tree Lighting Festival featuring live entertainment, a giant tree, train rides and an Elf Workshop with face painting, balloon twisting, and ornament decorating. Meet Santa Claus and his reindeer while staying cozy with hot cocoa, cookies, s’mores and spiced rum.

Where: NewCity, 1457 N. Halsted St.   

When: Saturday, 5-7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Tree Lighting

HP Light Up the Night and Sugar Plum Shopping Spree

Highland Park will “Light Up the Night” in the downtown area on Saturday, as the city and local businesses celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with decorated storefronts and over 200 decorated trees. This year's commemorative HP150 Light Up the Night event ends with a spectacular light show at Port Clinton Square. 

Where: Downtown Highland Park (Saint Johns Avenue & Roger Williams Avenue)

When: Saturday, 1-5 p.m.

Cost: Free

Tree Lighting

An Almost Winter Day & Tree Lighting Festival

It's a family-friendly kickoff to the holiday season! Head to SEBA Park in South Elgin and enjoy a letters to Santa station, petting zoo, trolley rides, free soup station, free s’more station, free cookie decorating station, free horse drawn trolley rides, a bonfire, and much more. The tree lighting take places at 5 p.m. at Footprints in Time Plaza.

Where: SEBA Park, 151 S. Water St., South Elgin

When: Saturday, 2-5 p.m.

Cost: Free

Craft Show

Niles Senior Center Craft & Vendor Fair

Get a jump start to your holiday shopping, as you can expect 50 vendors. All donations will go to a family in need during the Holiday Season.

Where: Village of Niles Senior Center, 999 Civic Center Dr., Niles

When: Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Cost: Free

Craft Show

Rolling Meadows High School Annual Holiday Craft Fair

The Rolling Meadows High School Athletic Boosters is pleased to announce that it is hosting its 40th Annual Holiday Crafts Fair! Featuring more than 100 crafters and vendors, guests can expect boutique clothes, purses, ornaments, soaps, dishware, lamps, scarves, toys, books, jewelry, personalized gifts and beautiful handmade items, and much more.

Where: Rolling Meadows High School, 2901 Central Rd., Rolling Meadows

When: Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cost: $3

Holiday Shopping

Bolingbrook Promenade's 2nd Annual Holiday Shopping Event

Shop over 20 artisans, crafters and handmade items at the Bolingbrook Promenade's 2nd Annual Holiday Shopping Event. The event is held inside next to Apricot Lane on Sandburg Way. 

Where: Bolingbrook Promenade, next to Apricot Lane on Sandburg Way

When: Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Cost: Free

Chicago Bulls v. Brooklyn Nets

Cheer on the Chicago Bulls this weekend when they take to the court to play the Brooklyn Nets at the United Center on Saturday!

Where: United Center, 1901 W. Madison St.

When: Saturday, 5 p.m.

Cost: Varies