happenings

What to do in Chicago: Holiday Edition

So many things to do in Chicago around the holidays


DECEMBER 2018 – No matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa — or none at all — it’s pretty difficult to not get into the holiday spirit this time of year. Eggnog and window shopping aside, Chicago lights up throughout December with plenty of fantastic activities to tackle both inside and out. Ready to play?

Happy’s: A Holiday Pop-up Bar
What:
One of the most festive holiday-themed bars from last year is back! Come out for bountiful beverages from the Land & Sea Dept. crew while you sing karaoke, check out live music, play bingo, learn how to make crafts and more.
Where:
The Tank (first floor at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel)
When:
Thursdays through Saturdays until Dec. 22
Cost: Free to enter

ZooLights
What: The annual affair that sees literally 2.5 million lights illuminate sparkling, glittery displays set throughout Lincoln Park Zoo is back. Bundle up the family and get to the zoo. A few events, like the Dec. 6 Brew Lights, require tickets for entry.
Where: Lincoln Park Zoo
When: Through Jan. 6
Cost: Free

Christkindlmarket
What: Since 1996, fans of this German-style market — complete with glühwein (hot spiced wine to the rest of us), cuckoo clocks and beautiful ornaments — fill Daley Plaza for a bit of merriment before saying Merry Christmas the day after the market officially closes for the season.
Where:
Daley Plaza
When:
Through Dec. 24
Cost:
Free to enter

Navy Pier WinterWonderfest
What: Need to get the kids into the holiday spirit while also getting them (hopefully) exhausted? Join in on the fun at this annual 170,000-square-foot indoor winter wonderland where you can don ice skates, ogle 500 trees decorated with 25,000 ornaments, ride the 40-foot Cliff Hanger and more, including a pass to ride Navy Pier’s 200-foot Centennial Wheel.
Where:
Navy Pier’s Festival Hall
When:
Through Jan. 6
Cost: Tickets start at $15 for kids and $50 for adults.

A Christmas Carol
What: Is there a better holiday theater experience than seeing this classic? Come out to the annual showing and watch Ebenezer Scrooge’s heart melt for all the right reasons — and feel your heart fill with the holiday spirit.
Where:
Goodman Theatre
When:
Through Dec. 30
Cost: Various prices

Authors on the Lake
What:
Join executive chef Cleetus Friedman as he puts other local top chefs in the hot seat for live discussions around their books. First up: Rick Bayless discusses his book, “More Mexican Everyday.” Future talks including chefs Paul Kahan (Blackbird, Avec) and Bill Kim (Urbanbelly)
Where:
Theater on the Lake (2401 N. Lake Shore Drive)
When:
Dec. 11
Cost: $30 in advance/$40 at the door (includes welcome drink, featured bite with beverage pairing and a meet and greet with featured chef)

Il Tartufo e Il Vino
What:
If you crave white truffles like we do, you’ll want to venture to Eataly in River North. Get your fill of truffles shaved atop a variety of dishes, including a $1 Midwest farm egg, various pastas, red-wine braised short ribs and more. And pair that with a variety of specially selected Italian wines.
Where:
Eataly (43 E. Ohio)
When:
Through Dec. 30
Cost: Shaved truffles cost $32/four grams. See the Il Tartufo menu for all your delicious options.

Winterland at Gallagher Way
What:
While the Cubs take a break for the season, Wrigley is still going strong. Pop over to the park adjacent to the Friendly Confines for a round of ice skating, curling and free movies.
Where:
Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field (3637 N. Clark)
When:
Through Jan. 27
Cost: Kids under 12 skate free; everyone else is $5. Skate rentals cost $10

Cirque Dreams Holidaze
What: Get into the holiday spirit as acrobats, dancers, jugglers and more don 300 costumes during 20 acts over the course of two hours.
Where:
Chicago Theatre
When:
Dec. 12-16
Cost:
Tickets start at $28.50

Greta Van Fleet
What:
Check out the second coming of Led Zeppelin as one of 2018 most buzzed-about bands hits Chicago for three shows.
Where:
Aragon Ballroom
When:
Dec. 12, 14, 15
Cost: $47

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