The holiday season is in full effect! Get ready for all the markets and late fall/early winter events popping up! So whether you’re looking from a winter-themed experience or want to catch an awesome show, this coming weekend is ready with some excellent events!
It’s feeling a little more normal to go out since Chicago dropped the masking and vaccination proof mandates (for better or worse) and events are rolling in. While it may seem like we’re at the tail end of things, many venues still have their mask and vaccination requirements for the foreseeable future. So if you do plan to go out this weekend, make sure you check out the venue’s policies and take initiative. Wear a mask, social distance, and get your vaccination shots and your booster even if the venue/event doesn’t require it. And if you still feel that wearing a mask is a must (like many still do), then please wear one. Protect yourself and those around you. If you still don’t feel entirely safe to go out (and quite honestly, who can blame you?) you can always stay in and support these places from home.
Now, let’s get on with your Chicago Curated Weekend!
- Support Local Venues
- Kingston Mines is open with some great lineups this weekend
- Fitzgerald’s is also back in full swing
- Evanston Space‘s shop is open and you should consider donating to help the venue during these weird times. They are also having lower capacity shows at the venue!
- Head over to the Hideout’s regular shop and get yourself some great merch! Their 2020 Holiday Sale page is also still up with links to great local artists!
- Metro shop is full of fantastic concert posters from yesteryear and cool merch
- Lincoln Hall/Schubas always has great items in their shop waiting for you! Plus Schubas/Tied House is open and events are on their way back!
- Same goes for Thalia Hall’s merch store (those holiday socks? *chef’s kiss*)
- Let’s not forget Empty Bottle’s fantastic merch shop! Plus they just added some new stuff designed by some awesome people that is sure to catch your eye! Shows are going on now as well, so head over to their venue site and go to some concerts if you’re comfortable
- Art Galleries and Special Events
- Chicago Gamespace is the perfect spot to check out the hairy present and future of the gaming realm! They are currently showing 50th Anniversary of Magnavox Odyssey
- All Star Press is constantly putting up new prints for you to decorate your space with! Plus you can check out some of their prints from last year’s Vertical Gallery collab, which you can purchase here!! There is also a virtual gallery featuring all the works! You can see their previous show “Saturday Morning Fever” featuring the works of Griffin Goodman through their virtual gallery! And don’t forget to check out the virtual edition of JC Rivera’s new exhibition “Still Undefeated” !
- Galerie F has a fun stock of prints from concert posters, pop culture prints and more!
- Rotofugi is the perfect nexus of art and toys! Head over to see what new pieces of art they have in stocks and on display in their gallery space! They are currently showing The Sad & Horrible Show 2 Sadder & Horribler New Works by Sad Salesman & Horrible Adorables.
- “Prince: The Immersive Experience”
- WNDR Museum is an ever-evolving immersive art and technology experience designed to ignite your curiosity! See exhibits like the Light Floor, Try to Get Higher, and the Digital Gallery. Plus Keith Haring!
- Garfield Park Conservatory is open! Book a reservation to see all the beautiful gardens safely!
- Lincoln Park Conservatory is open! Book a reservation to see all the beautiful gardens safely
- SPECIAL EVENTS!
- “Mold-A-Rama™: Molded for the Future” @ Museum of Science and Industry
- Lightscape @ Chicago Botanic Garden
- “The Twenty-Sided Tavern” @ Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place
- A Very Harry Christmas at Replay Lincoln Park
- Ice Skating at Maggie Daley Park
- Wicker Park Winter Market Series @ the Robey
- Winterfest @ West Town
- Sparkle Light Festival @ Impact Field
- Happy’s: A Holiday Pop-Up Bar @ Chicago Athletic Association
- Tinseltown @ Pink Squirrel
- Aurora Festival of Lights
- Frosty’s Christmas Bar
- Christmas Inn @ Hubbard Inn
- Shine Light Show
- Santa Baby Christmas Bar
- Amaze Light Festival
- “Harry Potter: Magic at Play” @ Water Tower Place
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8th
Friko / Cafe Racer/ Lifeguard @ Metro, 3730 N Clark St., 6:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Metro continues their 40th Anniversary Celebration with a fantastic show!
SO WHAT: Metro turned 40 this year and their are celebrating with a slew of shows showing just how fun and diverse the venue’s lineups can be. This evening with feature three local acts dishing out some incredible jams. Opening up the night will be Lifeguard with their noisy punk rock antics and the dreamy psychedelic sounds of Cafe Racer. Headlining the night will be bright and undeniably dancey pop of Friko. They been releasing a steady stream of track throughout the opandemic and this show is set to show off just how great they are!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $15 for this incredible lineup of local acts! Don’t miss this show!
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9th
Millennium Park Holiday Sing-Along @ Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., 6:00pm – 7:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Sing out and celebrate Chicago’s diverse holiday traditions
SO WHAT: The new Millennium Park Holiday Sing-Along series near Cloud Gate (previously “Caroling at Cloud Gate”) will invite Chicagoans and visitors to come together and sing their hearts out. This series has been reimagined to be more inclusive of Chicago’s many faith backgrounds, cultures and holiday music traditions. Each night will feature a different theme and musical group. Tonight will feature Windy City Gay Chorus and Treble Quire
NOW WHAT: It’s free! Head over to their website for more info! Face masks are required for all Holiday Sing-Along guests and masks will be available at the event while supplies last.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $33 per car for these movies, so bring the family for a safe movie watching experience
New Talks and Video Archives @ Various Locations & Chicago Humanities Festival YouTube channel, your favorite browser or YouTube app, any time you want some inspiration, All Ages
WHAT: Interesting conversations with interesting people!
SO WHAT: Chicago Humanities Festival always brings some of the best ideas to the surface with entertaining programming that captures your imagination. Be on the lookout for updates to the upcoming season as their website is constantly updated with new talks. Here is a taste of what coming in September!
FRIDAY – SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9th – 10th
Sauced: The Night Market Before Xmas @ Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, 12 S Michigan Ave, 5:00pm – 10:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Merry whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year from Sauced and the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
SO WHAT: It’s the Night Market Before Xmas and Sauced knew exactly what to get everyone! A fantastic event with amazing art and retail vendors taking over the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel for your shopping enjoyment! DJ Johnny Walker will be on hand to help the festivities get going! Check out their event page for a full list of vendors.
NOW WHAT: Admission is free and it’s all ages! Go out, shop, and party!
FRIDAY – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9th – 11th & BEYOND
A Mexican Christmas @ St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (939 Hinman Ave in Evanston, 8:00pm), St. Alphonsus Church (1429 W Wellington Ave, 8:00pm), Mother of the Americas Catholic Church (2226 S Whipple St, 3:00pm),
WHAT: A great opportunity to hear some traditional Mexican Christmas tunes!
SO WHAT: The Newberry Consort, directed by Ellen Hargis, and guests from EnsAmble Ad-Hoc led by traditional and early music specialists Francy Acosta and Jose Luis Posada will be delivering a beautiful program of music this weekend. The program is drawn from The Newberry Choirbooks, music from the Puebla Cathedral Archives, and treasures from many other manuscripts. Check out their website for more details and ticket links are below!
- 12/9 A Mexican Christmas @ St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – 8:00 PM
- 12/10 A Mexican Christmas @ St. Alphonsus Church – 8:00 PM
- 12/11 A Mexican Christmas @ Mother of the Americas Catholic Church – 3:00pm
ChiTown Movies @ Pilsen Neighborhood, 2343 S. Throop St, Various Times, All Ages
WHAT: An old school experience for the modern age
SO WHAT: Take a trip back in time and head out to a drive-in movie with ChiTown Movies. Ever since the pandemic started and shut down traditional movie screening, a few pop up drive-ins have arrived and ChiTown Movies has persevered, offering up modern movies in this retro setting. Check out their lineup below for showings this weekend and in the future!
- 12/9 The Muppet Christmas Carol– 7:30pm
- 12/9 Us– 9:30pm
- 12/10 The Polar Express – 5:00pm
- 12/10 Home Alone 7:00pm
- 12/10 Nope– 9:30pm
- 12/11 Elf 5:00pm
- 12/11 The Grinch with Jim Carrey – 7:00pm
The Neo-Futurists’ The Infinite Wrench @ The Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N Ashland, Friday and Saturday 10:30pm, Sunday 7:00pm, 16+
WHAT: Quick plays live and online!
SO WHAT: The Neo-Futurists are back! Their Infinite Wrench is an ongoing, ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes for a live audience. Now it’s actually a live audience that will be enjoying the performance in person! With plenty of COVID precautions in place, you’ll be able to enjoy the funny, disgusting, profound, terrifying, irreverent, and downright entertaining show with friends! Plan ahead as vaccination cards will be checked and booster will be required to be fully vaccinated.
NOW WHAT: Join the Neo-Futurists this weekend for $10! Head over to their website to see all they have planned now that in-person audiences are a thing again! If you’re still a little anxious about going out, The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral will be continuing til February (and possibly beyond) over at their Patreon
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10th
Handmade Market Chicago @ Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western Ave, Noon – 4:30pm
WHAT: Shopping, eating, and drinking all in one place
SO WHAT: Grab some food next door at Bite Cafe, maybe a drink from the Empty Bottle Bar, and start shopping the Handmade Market Chicago! They will bring over 30 makers of beautiful and unique items to the Empty Bottle! Join in and see what all the sellers will have to offer. You can check out some of the sellers that will be featured over on their Facebook page.
NOW WHAT: This event as always is free!
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10th & 11th & BEYOND
Winterglow @ the Salt Shed, 1357 North Elston, Friday 5:00pm – 10:00pm, Saturday & Sunday Noon – 10:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Two weekends of this exciting market at the Salt Shed!
SO WHAT: Celebrate the start of the holiday season with the Salt Shed’s Winterglow! This winter market will feature tons of artisan vendors with gifts ranging from jewelry, vintage clothes, home goods, and more. You can also stop by the cold-weather beer garden with hot cocktails and treats to keep you warm this season. Plus there will be S’mores kits available to purchase and use at the Salt Shed’s riverfront fire pits.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $6 and children 12 and under are free!
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11th
Krampus Takeover/Pop Up Launch @ DMen Tap, 2849 W Belmont Ave, 7:00pm, 21+
WHAT: Celebrate the darker side of the holidays
SO WHAT: That fiendish holiday stalwart Krampus is coming to town and setting up shop at DMen Tap! The festivities start with a parade where his followers are encouraged to don their own Krampus outfits! Then once inside enjoy the return of Fist of Krampus from Revolution Brewing! The flowing weeks will feature D&D campaigns, cool jams, and events that you can bring the kiddos to! Check out the lineup of Krampus events below!
- 12/9 – Krampus Cage DJ Trevor Shelley de Brauw Of Pelican – 9:00pm
- 12/11 – Kids Krampus Craft day – 1:00pm
- 12/12 – Krampus Dungeon Crawl – 3:00pm
- 12/16 –Krampus Cage DJ Grant from Bucket O’ Blood – 8:00pm
- 12/18 – Kids Krampus Dungeon crawl – 1:00pm
NOW WHAT: Participation is free, but be sure to bring some dough for the bar!
THE WHOLE SELF-DISTANCING WEEKEND & BEYOND
Christkindlmarket @ Daley Plaza (50 W Washington St) & Gallagher Way (3635 N Clark St) & RiverEdge Park (360 N. Broadway, Aurora), Various Times, All Ages
WHAT: The Chicago Christmas time tradition is back in person!
SO WHAT: After going digital last year, Christkindlmarket is back with all the familiar foods, music, and ornaments you expect! Head over to their website for info on special events, hours, and more! If you’re still not feeling up to the crowds, their online marketplace will be up and running for those who want to stay home!
NOW WHAT: It’s free! Mask up and stay safe as you experience the wonderful marketplace!
Winterland @ Gallagher’s Way, 3635 N Clark St, various times, All Ages
WHAT: Some more winter festivities
SO WHAT: Enjoy the return of Gallagher Way’s Winterland with the fun expanding into Wrigley Field itself!! Enjoy fun rides (Wintertube, Infield Express, Hot Cocoa Cups, and Winter Whirl), games (Chiney Toss, Tree Topper, & Snow Pitch), and of course the usual ice skating, ice bumper cars, and the Christkindlmarket will be on hand!
NOW WHAT: Entry to the Wrigley Field portion starts at $5 and attraction tickets are $4 (10 for $36 & 20 for $69)! Ice Skating + Skate Rental is 5 attraction tickets or $20, rink access only is 3 tickets or $12.
Holiday Magic @ Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st Street (1st Avenue and 31st Street), Brookfield, IL, 3:00pm – 9:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Add some holiday cheer to your zoo visit!
SO WHAT: Celebrate the holiday season as over two million lights wrap around Brookfield Zoo! Entering its 40th season, Holiday Magic lets attendees explore the zoo as the synchronized lights dance to the music. You’ll have fun discovering all the enormous illuminated animal structures, finding all the hidden Gnomes in a Game of Gnomes, taking a trip to the skating rink, taking some special holiday photos, and so much more!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $24.95 for adults 12- 64, $17 for children ages 3 – 12, $19.95 for Seniors. Parking is $13.39
ZooLights @ Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N Clark St, 4:30pm – 10:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: One of the largest displays of the season’s lights!
SO WHAT: ZooLights, Presented By ComEd and Invesco QQQ, at Lincoln Park Zoo makes the most wonderful time of year even better with the most wonderful lighting event. The one-of-a-kind experience offers fun family-oriented holiday celebrations that feature beautiful displays and incredible seasonal activities all under the glow of millions of lights! Check out their event page for a full rundown of all the fun that is waiting for you at the annual ZooLights event!
NOW WHAT: Entry is free on Mondays and Tuesday, $5 every other day! Tickets for the Winter Experiences, including the carousel, Lionel Train Adventure, Ferris Wheel, Light Maze, and S’mores at Snowy’s will be available on site for $4 each, a package of 10 for $36, or a package of 20 for $69.
Light Up the Lake @ Navy Pier, 600 E Grand, Various times, All ages
WHAT: Winter festivities without all the cold!
SO WHAT: Navy Pier will be putting on Chicagoland’s biggest indoor, temperature-controlled winter celebration! Light Up the Lake will feature a light garden, featuring large-scale light-sculpture displays; an Alpine ice rink, kiddie train rides, gift market—and, of course, a chance to visit with SANTA!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are available now and range from $15 to $26.
Weekend Shows @ Lincoln Hall & Schubas, 2424 N Lincoln Ave & 3159 N Southport Ave, various times, 18+
WHAT: A full weekend of amazing shows at Schubas and Lincoln Hall!
SO WHAT: Lincoln Hall and Schubas are some of our favorite venues in the city and they always have something great going on. Check out what’s going this weekend at these great venues!
- December 8 –Laura Elliott / Morgan Powers @ Schubas
- December 8 – Schubas Open Mic Hosted by Naomi Spungen, Adrienne Stout, and Suz Ballout @ Schubas
- December 10 –Covers For Cover @ Lincoln Hall
- December 10 – Azizi Gibson / Kev Sinatra / Will Cherry @ Schubas
- December 11 – Ruby Haunt / Harvey Waters @ Schubas
- December 11 – Phony Ppl @ Lincoln Hall
NOW WHAT: Head out to Schubas & Lincoln Hall and enjoy this great lineup of shows! Please note: proof of vaccination is required for entry to all shows at Lincoln Hall and Schubas in Chicago. Click here for more information on this policy.
Back on the Big Screen and Virtual Cinema @ Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave and at your home, any time you want to watch a movie
WHAT: A great way to support a great local theater
SO WHAT: The Music Box Theatre is really to fill that art house need in you with some excellent movies including with Decision to Leave, White Noise, Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio, Leonor Will Never Die, The Sound of Music and more! But if you want to watch some first-run movies at home, you can still watch great movies and support them online! They are currently screening films via their The Music Box Direct series! There are also tons of select titles available on their new platform!
NOW WHAT: Digital tickets are $12, in person screenings vary, so sit back and enjoy!
Masque of the Red Coronavirus! @ Black Button Eyes Productions, Any time on your computer or mobile device. For 18+.
WHAT: Written by Black Button Eyes Productions producing artistic director Ed Rutherford, this short satirical piece is available online free as a combined script-and-video experience.
SO WHAT: In addition to reading the play, you will see various Chicago artists act out portions of the script on video, recorded remotely. The event includes puppets, burlesque, original music, fire dancing and more in a brief, darkly comedic confection.
With the Red Coronavirus running rampant across the countryside and a vaccine still months away, what’s a Prince to do? Lock himself in a secure bunker in an undisclosed location along with a cohort of his top donors, of course. To prevent him and his rich supporters from becoming bored, the Prince has also brought a few artists into the bunker to entertain the crowd. But as the hour grows later and the night grows weirder, it’s clear that something else has also invaded the party.
NOW WHAT: Settle down for an evening of magical weirdness. Click here and begin reading and watching the videos