Free and cheap things to do with kids on Winter Break in Chicago. Most Chicago museums don’t offer free days when kids are off school (Shame!) so I’ve searched everywhere and here’s what I’ve come up with. All locations and events are free unless otherwise stated.
When: December 24-January 6, 2019
Discount tickets to Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier
Get discount tickets to this wildly popular attraction through January 6, 2019.
Go to the movies
Go to the matinee at your local theater, AMC offers $5 Tuesdays or purchase discount tickets through various outlets including here.
Go to the theater
Check out discount theater tickets for kid-friendly shows including:
Dickens’ Classic “A Christmas Carol” at Goodman Theatre at Goodman Theatre
Blue Man Group at Chicago’s Briar Street Theatre at Briar Street Theatre
Kids’ Musical “Go, Dog. Go!” at Merle Reskin Theatre
Ken Ludwig’s “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” at Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.
Maggie Daley Park
Bundle up and run around the kid friendly park. Guide to Maggie Daley Park.
$5 Snow trekking Northerly Island
First come, first served and requires at least three inches of snow. More info here.
Chicago Public Library Kids Museum Pass
CPL card holders can get a free pass to select museums. Hurry these will be snapped up. Do it now!
Harold Washington Library Center, Thomas Hughes Children’s Library, 400 S. State Street,
The 24,620-square-foot Thomas Hughes Children’s Library was remodeled and reopened in July 2017 as an active learning center. The newly remodeled Thomas Hughes Children’s Library, offers customized learning experiences for early learners, elementary learners and tweens, is on the 2nd floor of Harold Washington Library Center. The children’s library features materials, computers, events and much more for kids through eighth grade. Check here for events.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Make and Take Art Workshop
When: Thursday, December 27, 2018 11am to 1pm
Where: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 North Cannon Drive, 773-755-5191
Celebrate favorite local critters and the winter season through creative make-and-take art projects. Illinois residents can enjoy free admission as part of our Suggested Donation Thursdays.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Money Museum, 230 S. LaSalle Street, 312-322-2400
Free all days. Free certified guide tour Monday-Friday 1PM.
Lincoln Park Zoo (Always free)
Lincoln Park Conservatory
Check out the train layout at the annual holiday flower show.
North Park Village Nature Center (Always free)
Hike through family friendly trails and learn about nature in the Nature Center building at the Chicago Park District’s North Park Village Nature Center.