Yes, despite the current 50 (and 60?!) degree weather, we are indeed heading into the final weeks of the year. Whether or not it’s a white Christmas, there are plenty of holiday activities happening, including a Polar Express-themed train ride, a tasty tour of Humboldt Park, and some unique holiday shopping.
Holiday events & activities: Sprinkles Cupcakes has filled their Hanukkah box with red velvet, dark chocolate and vanilla cupcakes (available from Dec. 6-14). Goodman Theatre has partnered with Second City for Twist your Dickens, a satirical take on ‘A Christmas Carol (through Dec. 27). The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has a line-up of Christmas-themed music, from Handel’s Messiah to A Merry Chicago Christmas with the von Trapps (yes, that von Trapp family). Don your pajamas and jump on the Polar Express at Union Station (Dec. 19-Jan. 3) for a memorable ride through downtown. The Christkindlmarket is always a treat (through Dec. 24). The Lincoln Park ZooLights runs through Jan. 3. The DuSable Museum of African-American history is celebrating Kwanzaa with a series of free events (Dec. 26-30).
Unique holiday shopping: Andersonville’s Galleria is extending their hours on certain days leading up to Christmas. The organizers of Dose Market have curated the best local food, fashion, and more for Holidose (Dec. 13). Time Out magazine has a list of several local Christmas markets, including the Randolph Street Market Festival and the Chicago Art Girls Holiday pop-up shop.
Comedy & theater: John Oliver (host of Last week tonight) comes to the Chicago Theatre for four stand-up shows (Dec. 30- 31). Fans of The Good Wife may enjoy Domesticated, playing at Steppenwolf (through Feb. 7).
Film: Adler After Dark is hosting an unofficial Star Wars: the force awakens movie release party (Dec. 17). The Music Box Theatre is showing several Christmas-themed films (including National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and a sing-along White Christmas).
Food: Time Out Chicago has mapped out a food crawl in the Humboldt Park neighborhood.
New Year’s Eve events: The city is amping up its New Year’s Eve festivities with Chi-Town Rising, featuring three stages of live music and a big fireworks display along the Chicago River (Dec. 31). Run off all that holiday excess at the New Year’s Day 5k run/walk in Lincoln Park (Jan. 1).