Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Lights
For all you Chicagoans, did you know the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere is located in your own backyard? If you haven’t been yet, now is the perfect time to remedy that! Housed in the only remaining building from the 1893 World’s Fair, the Museum of Science + Industry Chicago is teeming with cool stuff for the whole family. If you make it to the museum between Thursday-Sunday through January 5 you might even get to see Santa himself! Just make your way to the decorated Holiday Studio so you and your family can get a picture with Santa (assuming you’re on the Nice List). Take home a souvenir from this special event that you’ll keep for years to come!
Tickets are required for this event and are not included with museum entrance. Their website recommends booking online as space is limited.
Winter Solstice Festival
Even though the winter solstice isn’t technically until December 21st, who’s to say we can’t celebrate a little early with some warm drinks, live music, and outdoor activities for the whole family? This event is totally free and fun for everyone! This is especially great if you’re starting to feel a little overwhelmed with all the holiday hubbub. The North Park Village Nature Center is somewhat of an oasis for city folks who are looking for a little reprieve. Consider this your little bit of self-care for the week. And I don’t know about you but my self-care ALWAYS includes some type of hot drink in my hands!
Registration for this event is not required.
Chicago Vegan Test Kitchen: Holiday Market
This is a great activity for the whole family! Yes, I know, it’s located in a bar but it’s not just any bar...it’s an ARCADE bar! Only the coolest thing since gluten free, cruelty free, vegan friendly sliced bread. The Chicago Vegan Test Kitchen has been putting on events every month and this month, apptly, is their Holiday Market. Here you can try out foods from local plant-based chefs as well as shop from cruelty free vendors. They have everything from beauty products, to wellness, sweet or savory treats, craft beer, and even a kid’s activity corner. If your kiddos aren’t entertained by the activity corner just remember, you will be completely surrounded by fully-functioning arcade games. There is something for absolutely everyone!
Tickets are not required but everyone is encouraged to RSVP online and possibly score some free goodies.
Broadway in Chicago: Potted Potter
This one's for the die-hard Potter fans out there. Make your way to the Broadway Playhouse to see Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience, a hilarious take on all seven Harry Potter books written and performed by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner. This may sound silly but Potted Potter has garnered rave reviews all over the country as well as Critics’ Picks from the New York Times, New York Magazine, Time Out London, Boston Globe, Chicago Daily Herald, and the New York Post.
When else will you be able to see such an acclaimed parody show AND be surrounded by other Harry Potter fans? I think you just found your tribe!
Tickets are required.
Santa Claus at Summer House Brunch
Guess what? Your Sunday brunch plans just got doused in Christmas cheer! If you can’t catch Santa at the MSI Holiday Studio (scroll back up) well then, by the magic of Christmas, he’ll also be brunching it up at Summer House Santa Monica. Because even Santa makes time for brunch. Santa will be passing out little treats for the little ones so feel free to bring your family, too. And who knows, maybe Santa will even go halvsies with you on Summer House’s huge cinnamon rolls!
This event is for all the patrons of Summer House Santa Monica on the available days. Make reservations now so you don’t miss out!
BYOB Holiday Lights Trolley
If you’re having a hard time deciding whether to visit the Christkindlmarket, the Millennium Park Tree, or Lincoln Park ZooLights, why not try taking the Chicago trolley? This BYOB Holiday Trolley will take you through some of Chicago’s most popular holiday spots all in one night! Plus, they even set you up with dinner (a chili bar) before embarking on a night of yuletide carolling aboard a Chicago trolley with total strangers, or as I like to call them, pre-friends. No drinking on an empty stomach here, and you even get a souvenir gift to take home with you! The whole ride is about 3.5 hours and they give you plenty of time to get out and walk around at some of the coolest of spots to explore like ZooLights or Christkindlmarket. If you time it just right you might even catch Caroling at Cloud Gate (Fridays at 6:00PM) while stopping by the Millennium Park Tree!
This event is happening everyday from now until December 23rd so you’ve got plenty of time but don’t wait too long as tickets are likely to sell out. Tickets are required.
Joffrey Ballet - The Nutcracker
Since 1987, patrons all around Chicagoland have gathered to enjoy the Joffrey Ballet’s annual performance of The Nutcracker. Featuring a critically acclaimed reinvention, the new storyline pays homage to the city of Chicago and even visits the 1893 World Fair, held right here in Chicago over 100 years ago. This is an absolute must see and who knows, maybe you will find your newest holiday tradition!
Tickets are required.