Chicago, IL

Chanukah Lightings and Festivities in Chicago

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Chanukah starts tonight and there are a number of Chanukah lightings and events in Chicago throughout the 8-day festival.

Chanukah, the festival of lights starts tonight and runs for 8 nights. The festival celebrates the miracle that happened when there was only enough oil to light the Menorah for 1 night but it burned for 8 nights, which was long enough to find more. Since oil has a lot to do with the holiday, foods fried in oil are commonly eaten, most frequently potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiot (jelly donuts).

If you are looking for a lighting or event to attend in Chicago, there are many to choose from. Try some of these to make your Chanukah fun and meaningful.

Chanukah Celebrations in Chicago

Second Night, Second Light Hanukkah Celebration

Date and Time: November 29th, 5:00pm

Location: Jewish Community Center-Chicago. 30 South Wells Street, Chicago

Drop off your Toys for Tots, then take part in a dreidel competition while enjoying some hot chocolate. If you feel handy, join the cookie decorating, then relax as the candles are lit and sit around the cozy bonfire.

Chanukah Giant Menorah Lighting

Date and Time: November 29th, 2021 at 5:30 PM

Location: Fountain Square, 1601 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL, 60201

This Years Chanukah Celebration features some local political celebrities including Evanston Mayor Festival of Lights Chanukah Soiree at The Loft will join to light Evanston's largest, 10-foot tall Menorah. There will be music, refreshments and a guest appearance by LEO ROBOT.

Festival of Lights Chanukah Soiree at The Loft

Date and Time: Dec 1st, 9:00pm

Location: 1142 W Madison St, 1142 West Madison Street, Chicago

Join old friends and meet new ones at one of the biggest Jewish Singles parties of the year.

Inaugural Kenilworth Community Menorah Lighting

Date and Time: Dec. 4th, 5:45 pm

Location: Kenilworth Avenue & Green Bay Road, Kenilworth, IL, 60043

  • Enjoy the lighting of the new 6-ft village menorah
  • Watch the exciting performance by an 8-ft LED Robot
  • Taste Delicious Holiday Donuts
  • Free Giveaways
  • Lively Music

This Little Light of Mine: A Hanukkah Havdalah | Families

Date and Time: Dec 4th, 4:00 pm -5:30 pm

Location: JCC Chicago - Bernard Weinger JCC 300 Revere Dr, Northbrook, IL

Complete Shabbat with a Chanukah Havdalah. Families will explore and examine different properties of light at various light stations. This will be followed by Havdalah candle lighting and a community sing along around 5:15pm. The program is free an aimed towards families with children who are 8 years old and younger, but older siblings are welcome.

Mega Chocolate Gelt Drop

Date and Time: December 5th, 10:30 am

Location: Chabad Jewish Center of Naperville, 1935 Brookdale Rd, Naperville,

This is an actual chocolate gelt drop when chocolates and dreidels will be dropped from a helicopter. There will also be Menorah making, hot chocolate and cider, latkes, donuts, music and much more.

Hanukkah Celebration & Grand Menorah Lighting

Date and Time: December 5th, 4:30 pm

Date and time: Sun, Dec 5, 2021, 4:30 PM CST

Location: Roosevelt Collection Shops. 150 Roosevelt Road. Chicago, IL

Chanukah celebration featuring a Grand Menorah Lighting. music, refreshments & fun for all ages.

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If you do choose to attend any of these events, make sure to wear a mask, and observe social distancing and other COVID-19 Prevention measures to keep your family and others safe.

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