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 23-January 3, 2020
Discount tickets to Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier
Get discount tickets to this wildly popular attraction through January 12, 2019
Go to the movies
Go to the matinee at your local theater, AMC offers $6 Tuesdays or purchase discount tickets through various outlets including here.
Go to the theater
Check out discount theater tickets for kid-friendly shows including:
Imaginative Family Adaptation of Classic “Corduroy” Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, Chicago
“James and the Giant Peach” Big Noise Theatre at Prairie Lakes, Des Plaines
“Peter and the Starcatcher” Big Noise Theatre at Prairie Lakes, Des Plaines
“The Land of Forgotten Toys” Greenhouse Theater Center, Chicago
Joys of Reading in “Bunny’s Book Club” Lifeline Theatre, Chicago
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.
When: Thursday, December 26, 2019 11am to 12pm
Where: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 North Cannon Drive, 773-755-5191
Illinois residents can enjoy free admission as part of our Suggested Donation Thursdays. The Talon and Raptor show is $5.
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.