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January 2023 events calendar for Chicago

Begin the new year with events, festivals, concerts, theater and more great things to do in Chicago in January

Edited by
Emma Krupp

We’ll be honest: January is not exactly Chicago’s finest month. But before you start to dwell on the prospect of snow, cold and seemingly endless winter, allow us to point out some of the best ways to kick off the first few weeks of 2023. Start by catching the final days of Christmas lights in Chicago (they offer a nice excuse to take a walk outside, even when the holidays have passed) and get some fresh winter air when you take a spin around the best ice skating rinks the city has to offer. Prefer to stay inside? Tour new exhibits at Chicago museums—many of which offer free days over the next few months—or check out some of the best things to do indoors, including rock climbing, bowling and soul-warming spa days. Make a resolution to start 2023 on the right foot with the help of our guide to the best things to do in Chicago this January.

1. Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade

  • Things to do
  • Festivals
  • Armour Square

Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit in Chinatown at the neighborhood’s official Lunar New Year parade, which falls after the arrival of Chinese New Year (January 22). Attendees line Wentworth Avenue to see marching bands, decorated floats and traditional lion dancers. The colorful procession begins at 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue at 1pm, traveling north to Cermak Road.

2. Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival

  • Theater
  • Puppet shows

Can’t get enough of marionettes? You’ll love the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, which brings puppeteers from across the globe to the city for 12 days of symposiums and more than 100 performances and events. This year marks the festival’s first-ever establishment of a “puppet hub,” which includes site-specific events throughout different spaces in the Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue—take a look around to find everything from a puppet-themed cafe to film screenings in the building’s massive Studebaker Theater. Outside the hub, find productions like a puppet rendition of Hamlet at The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center and a free touring production of My Night in the Planetarium. For a full list of performances, visit the festival’s website.

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  • VIP Event, 1 Night Only
From $59 per Person

A SPECIAL EVENT SAIL! Treat yourself to an Independence Day Sail from the best seat in town!

Order a cool drink from our bar, then relax, and enjoy a leisurely evening listening to patriotic music and enjoying the Chicago skyline.

The City of Chicago MAY also have fireworks on July 4th, but officially this has not been announced.

Chicago’s Fourth of July celebration is one of the best in the nation. Enjoying this event from Chicago’s Official Tall Ship Ambassador, Windy, is truly a VIP event. This event sells-out early. Sail is 9pm to 11pm.