Underground Railroad Exhibit

 

From Darkness to Light exhibit of photos along the Underground railroad (Dunn Museum photos by Jillian Getter)
From Darkness to Light exhibit of photos along the Underground railroad (Dunn Museum photos by Jillian Getter)

 

An old-time schoolhouse room, Civil War uniforms, farm equipment, dinosaur bones and a resort-style lake boat are all reasons to wander through Lake County Forest Preserves’ Dunn Museum.

But on view now to March 19, 2023, an Underground Railroad exhibit is added incentive to put the museum on the visit list. Just don’t be surprised it is shrouded in darkness. That was the safest time to escape slavery.

Titled “Through Darkness to Light – Photographs along the Underground Railroad,” the exhibit is how photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales captured the ways and paths slaves escaped to freedom.

 

Dress of the period is at start of the exhibit
Dress of the period is at start of the exhibit

 

Her photos were taken on pathways from southern plantations to north of the Canadian border.

The exhibition which also includes relevant items from the period and an interactive structure regarding lights, was organized by ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance.

 

Jodie Jacobs

 

Celebrating Mozart at Lighthouse Immersive

 

Visitors get a sneak peek of Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius, Opening March 10, 2023 at Lighthouse Immersive. (Photo Credit: Reno Lovison)
Visitors get a sneak peek of Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius, Opening March 10, 2023 at Lighthouse Immersive. (Photo Credit: Reno Lovison)

Lighthouse ArtSpaceChicago, known for its presentations of visual artists, celebrated Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 267th birthday with a sneak-peak kickoff of “Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius,” The birthday celebration included complimentary treats of Prosecco and Eli’s Cheesecake.”

Past Artspace presentations featured the works of such artists as Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo by utilizing cutting-edge projection techniques to create a 360-degree immersive visual experience.

The Mozart presentation is the first to feature a musician. To craft dream-like 18th century inspired imagery, the producers partnered with the creative team of Massimilliano Siccardi and Vittorio Guidotti.  

Mozart Immersive’s world premiere is currently scheduled to open March 10, 2023 at the Lighthouse ArtSpace at the corner of Clark Street and Germania Place with no immediate plans for the exhibit to travel. All the more reason to be sure to check it out.

Terri Hemmert of WXRT Radio hosted the birthday bash with live music by the Ryan Center Ensemble featuring Wm Clay Thompson (Bass) singing an aria from Don Giovanni with Chris Reynolds on piano.

The excellent young basso and pianist duo were followed by an expert chamber ensemble comprised of four string players from The Music of the Baroque performing two Mozart compositions, the ever popular “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” and “Divertimento in D Major.

The experiential projected images thoughtfully incorporated the monochromatically painted architectural interior features of the former Germania Club that is now the home of Artspace.

For instance, the inside frames of what had been windows were replaced by projected vintage images of the Austrian countryside.

They added to the enjoyment of the string ensemble by transporting us back in time to a place that might have hosted an elegant soiree, perhaps in a stately home or castle of one of Mozart’s benefactors.

The final production, a retrospective with highlights from Mozart’s short life, integrates video re-enactments with live actors alongside the animation.

Mozart Immersive (Photo credit Kyle Flubacker.)
Mozart Immersive (Photo credit Kyle Flubacker.)

Many visitors will be delighted to see legendary dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov in the heart-rending role of Mozart’s father, Leopold, who is credited for launching his son’s early career. They became estranged later in life.

Constantine Orbelian, New York City Opera’s music director and principal conductor, joined Hemmert onstage to discuss the production.

The music, arranged by composer Luca Longobardi, will accompany Mozart Immersive.  It was recorded by the Lithuanian Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra led by Orbelian.

Before the doors opened, I had an opportunity to interview the Maestro for my ChicagoBroadcastingNetwork.com podcast. The four-time Grammy-nominated musician shared that he had not yet seen the visuals associated with the music and was as eager as the rest of us to get a sneak peek.

Details: Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago is at 108 Germania PL. For tickets visit Mozart Immersive.

Reno Lovison

 

 

 

Photo: Reno Lovison (R) recorded a podcast interview with Maestro Orbelian (L) which can be heard at ChicagoBroadcastingNetwork.com (Photo Credit: Julie Lovison)

Photo: Julie Lovison, Director of The Lake Shore Music Studio with Constantine Orbelian, Director and Principal Conductor of the New York City Opera celebrating Mozart’s birthday at Lighthouse ArtSpace in Gold Coast / Lincoln Park. (Photo Credit: Reno Lovison)

Photo: Visitors get a sneak peek of Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius, Opening March 10, 2023 at Lighthouse Immersive. (Photo Credit: Reno Lovison)

Everywhere Everything All At Once tops Oscar nominations

 

Oscar Nominees announced. (Photo of Oscars courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for news sites.)
Oscar Nominees announced. (Photo of Oscars courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for news sites.)

 

If tuning in to Good Morning America at 7:30 a.m.Jan.24 or watching GMAlivestream, you heard the 95th Academy Awards nominations for movies released in 2022.

There are 23 categories ranging from Best Picture and Best Actress to Best Costume Design and Best Original Score. Oscar winners will be announced March 12 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

 

 But if you watched the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Global Awards Winners & Nominees 2023 | Golden Globes earlier in January which often reflected what the Oscars would look like, you might not be surprised that “Everything Everywhere All at Once” led Academy Awards announcement with 11 nominations and “The Banishees of Inisherin” followed with 9 as did “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

To sort of understand “Everything Everywhere,” think of the world, our universe, as a unified entity, then think of what it might be if it were a multiverse made up of parallel universes. Conceived and directed as a drama-com by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert and produced by them with Anthony and Joe Russo, the center figure is an elderly Chinese American immigrant (Michelle Yeoh) who has to connect to her multiverse selves.

 

Here are some of the category nominees that propelled “Everything Everywhere” and “The Banishees.”

Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front
Avatar: The Way of Water
The Banshees of Inisherin
Elvis
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Fabelmans
Tár
Top Gun: Maverick
Triangle of Sadness
Women Talking

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Hong Chau, The Whale
Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin
Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Original Score

Volker Bertelmann, All Quiet on the Western Front
Carter Burwell, The Banshees of Inisherin
Justin Hurwitz, Babylon
Son Lux, Everything Everywhere All at Once
John Williams, The Fabelmans

Best Costume Design

Jenny Beavan, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
Ruth Carter, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Catherine Martin, Elvis
Mary Zophres, Babylon
Shirley Kurata, Everything Everywhere All at Once

For more information visit Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For the entire list of nominations visit 2023 | Oscars.org | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Jodie Jacobs

Winter months are more than the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day

 

What if your team doesn’t make Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12. Or you crave a fun event to brighten winter. Around Chicago found four events. At least one should appeal.

 

Chinatown celebrates Lunar New Year with a parade at it Gateway. (Photo courtesy of Chinatown Community.)
Chinatown celebrates Lunar New Year with a parade at its Gateway. (Photo courtesy of Chinatown Community.)

Celebrate Chinese New Year

Also called the Spring Festival and a celebration of the Lunar New Year, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit and goes from Jan. 22 through Feb. 5.

 Chicago’s Chinatown and Uptown (Argyle) neighborhoods hold lion and dragon dances, parades and other Lunar New Year events.

Uptown celebrates Jan. 28 from noon to 4 p.m. with the parade stepping off at 1 p.m. from Argyle Street and Winthrop Avenue. For details visit Argyle Lunar New YearChinatown’s parade is Jan. 29, 1 p.m. at 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue. See details at Chinatown Community Lunar New Year.  

Or celebrate with dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Most decorate in red and some hand out red envelopes.

 February starts with a fun, fanciful forecast in Woodstock, IL, northwest of Chicago. “Groundhog Day,” a movie that celebrates a rodent’s telling when Spring will come, was mostly made in Woodstock, IL. The town subbed, sorta, for Punxsutawney, PA. The month continues with the country’s largest auto show, followed by the Chicago Botanic Garden’s famed Orchid Show.

 

committee asks Woodstock Willie his forecast of when Spring will come. (J Jacobs photo
A member of Woodstock’s groundhog committee holds Woodstock Willie and asks his forecast of when Spring will come. (J Jacobs photo)

Go to Woodstock for Groundhog Day

The tiny town of Woodstock celebrates its “Groundhog” film locations and continually show the movie beginning Feb. 1, 2023. But the main event is early morning Feb. 2, when their groundhog, Woodstock Willie, forecasts the coming of Spring.

Released in 1993, the movie reappears every year similar to its theme of caught in a time warp. Directed by Harold Ramis with screenplay by Ramis and Danny Rubin it stars Bill Murray as cynical weatherman Phil Conners and Andie MacDowell as local TV producer Rita Hanson who wants “world peace.” 

Woodstock celebrates every year with do-it-yourself tours, film showings and other events through Feb. 5. For the full schedule and directions visit Woodstock Groundhog Days.  For info on the Punxsutawney Phil groundhog in Pennsylvania visit  Home | The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

 

Guests view an unveiling in 2020. (Photo courtey of CAS)
Guests view an unveiling in 2020. (Photo courtey of CAS)

Check out the Chicago Auto Show

Take a look at today’s and tomorrow’s vehicles from SUV’s to concept cars. Use the simulators. Eat and just have fun. Held at McCormick Place, Chicago’s huge convention center, 2301. S. King Dr, Chicago, the show runs Feb. 11- 20, 2023. For the schedule, pricing and list of things to do visit About the Show | Chicago Auto Show and its links.

 

Chicago Botanic Garden put on a colorful orchid show in 2022. (J Jacobs photo)
Chicago Botanic Garden put on a colorful orchid show in 2022. (J Jacobs photo)

Discover beautiful, even bold, colors at the Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show

Stroll through CBG’s Greenhouses, Feb 11 through March 25, 2023 to see different sizes and colors of orchids. Garden notes predict 2023 will have even more color than 2022. In addition, orchid specialists and vendors will be on hand to answer questions and sales. The Illinois Orchid Society will also be there March 11-12.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, east of Edens Expressway. For more information, tickets and hours visit The Orchid Show | Chicago Botanic Garden.

Jodie Jacobs

Celebrate MLK Day

Born Jan. 15, 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr Day is celebrated the third Monday of January with community service and art projects, retelling his famed “I Have A Dream” speech, films and singing.  

MLK and Civil rights. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives)
MLK and Civil rights. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives)

These celebrations are a few of the gatherings Jan. 16, 2023 in the Chicago area plus one that is in Philadelphia, but also online.

In Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood the Chicago History Museum is celebrating from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with an opening ceremony followed by a sing-along then a fair. For the schedule and other details visit Chicago History Museum, MLK Day.  The museum also has a temporary exhibit called “Remembering Dr. King.” The Chicago History Museum borders the park at 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago.

In Evanston, Diverse Communities United is holding a youth led multimedia showcase and celebration of Dr. King’s legacy called “It Starts With Me.” The event runs from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Ave., Evanston. It’s free but find it and reserve a spot at Eventbrite Diverse communities United

In Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood the Hyde Park Art Center is hosting “Southside Stories” from 11 a.m. through 3 p.m. in collaboration with South Side Spaces, Arts + Public Life, Court Theater, Intonation and Lumpen Radio.  The Hyde Park Art Center 5020 South Cornell Avenue Chicago. The event is free but check reservations at Eventbrite Southside Stories.

Online find a Martin Luther King Jr. Day program at the National Constitution Center.  There is a look/discussion of his speech at 11:45 a.m and 1:45 p.m. ET and a family concert at 12:45 and 2:45 p.m. ET. The programs are free but need registration. The Constitution Center and Museum is 525 Arch St. Philadelphia, PA (215) 409-6600.

Register Here for 11:45 a.m. ET program Register Here for 1:45 p.m. ET program. Register Here for the 12:45 p.m. ET performance and Register Here for the 2:45 p.m. ET performance.

For more Martin Luther King, Jr. background visit MLK Memorial National Park Service.

Jodie Jacobs

A few shows to add before toasting a new year

 

Music Theatrer Works cast of White Christmas at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. (All photos by Brett Beiner.
Music Theater Works cast of White Christmas at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. (All photos by Brett Beiner.

Certainly, holiday shows such as Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker,” on stage to Dec. 27, and Goodman Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol,” up through Dec 31, were on our calendars two months ago to plan the outing. Both are traditional go-to shows for many Chicagoans.

But the season for holiday shows won’t be over until the last toast hails a new year. So here are a few shows that may not have caught your attention. One is a good-old standby that still merits a seat while one is a startling new take on an old stand-by and one is fun for youngsters. They can fit into the remaining count-down days of 2022.

 “White Christmas” just opened at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie with Irving Berlin’s music and lyrics and a new book by David Ives and Paul Blake. it’s a post WWII feel-good, rom/com with joyous music and such lasting melodies as “Blue Skies,” “Count Your Blessings,” and “How Deep is the Ocean.” Presented by Music Theater Works which used to use Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, “White Christmas” continues through Jan. 1, 2023 at 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie. For tickets call (847) 673-6300 or visit musictheaterworks

 

Lizi Breit and LaKecia Harris in "Manual Cinema's Christmas Carol" at Writers Theatre (Liz Lauren photographer)
Lizi Breit and LaKecia Harris in “Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol” at Writers Theatre (Liz Lauren photographer)

Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol” at Writers Theatre is not a  Goodman Theatre-style production although it mostly uses Dicken’s storyline.  Aunt Trudy has been asked by her late husband Joe’s relatives to do the “Christmas Carol” puppet show that he did annually. She says she’s not really an aunt to the relatives watching on zoom since she never married “husband” Joe and her unhappiness comes across at the start of the show. A storm arrives, the power goes out and ghostly “puppets” intervene until  Trudy realizes she has no choice but continue the Christmas Carol story with shadow puppets and ghosts. She, as was Scrooge, is a different person by the end of the play. Manual Cinema’s “Christmas Carol” is at Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, through Dec. 24. For tickets and more information visit Writers Theatre.  Masks are highly recommended. (Audience most be age 6 and older).

 

“Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins” is playing at Strawdog Theatre in the Edgewater neighborhood. Based on the Caldecott Honor award-winning book by Eric Kimmel and adapted by ensemble member Michael Dailey with music and lyrics by Jacob Combs, the play follows a traveling troupe of actors who find no one in a town they visit are celebrating Hanukkah because goblins haunt the old synagogue. The production continues through 31, 2022 at The Edge Off-Broadway Theater. Tickets are free with reservations at www.strawdog.org. (COVID protocol: Audience members aged 2+ years must wear a mask covering their nose and mouth. Audience members aged 5+ years must provide, before entering the venue proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or proof of negative PCR test.)

 

Jodie Jacobs

For more shows visit Theatre in Chicago

Fun Chicago ice skating downtown

 

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink attracts visitors to Millennium Park in winter. (City of Chicago photo)
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink attracts visitors to Millennium Park in winter. (City of Chicago photo)

If guests are in town for the holidays or enjoying Chicago’s festive downtown before the season ends is on the do list, think skating near skyscrapers, colorful lights, holiday trees. Think Downtown Chicago. Two ice rinks are in or next to Millennium Park and one is a short distance away at Navy Pier. Bring skates or rent them.

 McCormick Tribune Ice Rink

Operated by the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and special Events, the Millennium Park Foundation and presented by Hilton, the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink has free admission. However, skaters need to reserve a time. Very few time slots may be available at the last minute. Sessions are 90 minutes.

The rink has been up since mid-November and continues through March 5, 2023, weather permitting. It’s at 11 N. Michigan Ave. between Randolph and Monroe Streets.

Skaters are requested to arrive 45 minutes before their reserved admission time. Snacks and hot drinks are available in Momentum Coffee and Millennium Hall. For Thursday through Sunday and holiday sessions at 5 p.m. and later, entrance is at a Security Checkpoint. For weather closure updates check Millennium Park’s facebook and twitter pages.

Skate rental is $20. More info and visit planning at Chicago.gov/millennium info and Dept. Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

 

Skat the Ribbon in Maggie Daley Park (City of Chicago photo)
Skat the Ribbon in Maggie Daley Park (City of Chicago photo)

Maggie Daley Park

 Run by the Chicago P:ark District, MDP’s Skating Ribbon is at 337 e. Randolph St. and is also accessible from a bridge crossing Columbus Drive and the nearby bike path.

Skate rental with admission is $16 on line and $18 walk-up Monday through Thursday. Sessions are free those days if b ringing your own skates. But prices are higher weekends and holidays.

 For more info, time slot reservations including rolling ticket release dates and costs visit Ice SkatingRribbon. Park & Ice Ribbon Management: 312.552.3000 · Fieldhouse: 312.742.3918.

 

Navy Pier Alpine Ice Skating Rink

The Pier’s ice rink is part of “Light Up the Lake” festival on now through Jan. 7, 2023.. Bring skates or rent them, There’s no charge beyond the festival admission of $15 for adults and children. Lockers are also available. Area is not for photo and flashing light sensitive visitors. Online tickets needed.

For more information visit Light up the Lake/Navy Pier.

Jodie Jacobs 

 

Around Town eyes One of a Kind and Swedish Andersonville

 

One of a Kind Show at the Mart (J Jacobs photo)
One of a Kind Show at the Mart (J Jacobs photo)

With so many fun, tasty and sparkling events now happening post COVID shutdowns it’s easy to miss a couple that should be on the calendar, this year.

One of a Kind

It’s an art show, a gourmet gift show and a stuffing-stocker show.

Wear comfortable walking shoes here because One of a Kind’s holiday show takes up an entire floor of The Mart. It’s that gigantic building on Wacker Drive and the Chicago River (222 Merchandise Mart Plaza).

Held Dec. 1-4, there are more than 500 booths to peruse ranging from photography, glass, wearable art jewelry, paintings and woodwork to tasty spices, chocolates, candies and sauces.

For tickets and more information visit One of a Kind

 

Andersonville

Home to the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St., Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood is holds a Julmarknad holiday market, a St. Lucia Festival of Lights and a Julmiddag, the traditional Swedish Christmas smörgåsbord.

 The Julmarknad , a holiday bazaar of Scandinavian and other crafts plus Santa and entertainment is Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Dec. 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m..  

 The St. Lucia Festival of Lights is Dec. 13 with its crowning down in the Nordic House at the Wrigley Building (400 N. Michigan Ave.) at noon and the candle-lit procession in Andersonville on Clark Street beginning at 4:45 p.m. Visit St. Lucia Festival of Lights.

 Then the Julmiddag smörgåsbord is at the Museum Dec. 18, 2022 at 5 p.m. It includes a St. Lucia procession, a visit from Tomten (Santa) and dancing around the Christmas tree. Make reservations at julmiddag. by Dec. 13.

 For additional information on the Museum’s Christmas events, visit swedishamericanmuseum.org. For details on other holiday events in Andersonville, visit the Chamber/Andersonville.

 

 Around town finds three Thanksgiving weekend fun doings

 

Art Institute of Chicago Wreathing of the Lions. (Photo by AIC)
Art Institute of Chicago Wreathing of the Lions. (Photo by AIC)

Mark the calendar or add to the mobile phone places to go the day after Thanksgiving. One event is only Friday. The others start that day but go for a few weeks to just over a month.

 Wreathing of the Lions

Be at the Art Institute of Chicago at 9 a.m. Nov. 25, 2022 to celebrate when the museum’s two famed lions are adorned with their holiday wreaths. The event is at the 111 S. Michigan Ave. entrance 

 Millennium Park Sing Along

Join groups and visitors at Cloud Gate (The Bean) on Fridays from Nov. 25 through Dec. 16, 2022 to celebrate holiday and other songs from 6 to 7 p.m. supported by the Millennium Park and Pritzker Foundations.

 Group dates include the Oakdale Christian Academy Choir on Nov. 25, Chicago High School for the Arts Chorale Ensemble,   Dec. 2, Windy City Gay Chorus and Treble Quire, Dec. 9  and BYNC Music Project, Dec. 16. For more information visit DCASE. Millennium Park is on the east side of Michigan Avenue between Monroe and Randolph Streets.

Light Up the Lake at Navy Pier

An indoor lights festival that includes a winter wonderland forest, Santa, animated lights display and skating rink, Light Up the Lake runs Nov. 25, 2022 through Jan. 7, 2023. Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information visit   Light up the Lake. Navy Pier is at 600 E. Grand Ave.

Jodie Jacobs

Holiday Festivals Around Town

Chicago Botanic Garden celebrates the season with Lightscape. (J Jacobs photo)
Chicago Botanic Garden celebrates the season with Lightscape. (J Jacobs photo)

 

Around town Holiday festivals

Plan now because it seems everything from tree lightings and light festivals are starting early this year.

Remember when we used to think the holiday season began with Chicago’s Thanksgiving Parade early on “Turkey Day?” Then the Mag Mile pre-empted that with Mickey and Minnie Mouse turning on Michigan Avenue’s lights north of the Chicago River, accompanied by Santa. Meanwhile, Macy’s was following Marshal Field’s tradition of a Great Tree, lunch in the Walnut Room and wonderful holiday windows.

Chicago area’s two big zoos soon added to the holiday places-to-visit calendar with lights and animation. More recently gardens and nature walks such as the Morton Arboretum and Chicago Botanic Garden, got into the holiday spirit with color, lights and movement. Germany said, why not, so entered Chicago’s holiday season with the Christkindle Market.

 Macy’s liked Marshal Field’s tradition so continue the Great Tree, lunch in the Walnut Room and wonderful, story-telling holiday windows.

Keeping track of what is around, when and where in the Chicago area can be challenging even when suburban and neighborhood residents mark their calendars with local tree lightings and events.  So here is a short guide to the main holiday happenings.

Macy's holiday windows in Chicago (Photo courtesy of Macy's)
Macy’s holiday windows in Chicago (Photo courtesy of Macy’s)

 Already started early November

Macy’s came out with their Great Tree Lighting, Santa visits, Walnut Room availability and windows theme the first week of November.

What to know: The Great Tree is 45 feet tall and is decorated on a toy-shop theme and is up through Jan. 8 2023. Santa Claus photo ops and wish whispers have to be reserved in advance. Santa is in his toy workshop on the Fifth Floor and reservations to visit him go through Dec. 24, 2022. The windows are already decorated and good for photos through Jan. 1, 2022.  For reservations and more information  visit Macy’s Holiday Celebrations: Visit Santa & More – 2022 (macys.com)

 Macy’s is at 111 N State St., Chicago.

Second week in November

The switch went on and the last installation was done when Lightscape opened to Friends and Family at the Chicago Botanic Garden Nov. 9. Opened to the public (advance tickets needed) Nov. 11, Lightscape casts a fantasy vision over paths, trees, ponds and plantings with lights and music. It continues through Jan. 8, 2023. For tickets and more information visit Chicago Botanic/Lightscape

Christkindl Market downtown Chicago. (Photo by J Jacobs)
Christkindl Market downtown Chicago. (Photo by J Jacobs)

Third week and weekend in November

This is a very busy time for holiday events ranging from the city’s tree lighting and a European holiday market to zoo lights and lit paths at an arboretum.

Go downtown for Chicago’s tree lighting Nov. 18 in Millenium Park. It’s scheduled for 6 p.m. with a pre-program at 5 p.m. The action is near Cloud Gate on the Grainger Stage. Visitors should enter at the South Promenade on Monroe Street east of Michigan Avenue. Don’t expect the lighting to happen until 6:30 but stay because fireworks follow the ceremony. For more information visit City of Chicago :: City of Chicago Christmas Tree 

The German village-style Christkindl Market opens Nov. 18 a few blocks west of Millennium Park on Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St. A fun place to find gifts or take a yummy break from work or shopping, the Market is up through Dec. 24. For Chicago information visit Christkindlmarket | Holiday Market 2022 | Chicago

This German market is also happening in Wrigleyville at 3635 N. Clark Street at Gallager Way so visit German Christmas in Wrigleyville | Christkindlmarket and in Aurora in River Edge Park, 360 N. Broadway so visit  German Christmas in Aurora | Christkindlmarket.

 

Lincoln P:ark Zoolights(Photo by Jodie Jacobs)
Lincoln Park Zoolights (Photo by Jodie Jacobs)

Lincoln Park Zoo spreads out just west of Lake Michigan between downtown Chicago and Wrigleyville so visitors sometimes try to couple its Zoolights with another holiday goodie.  Presented by Com Ed with Invesco QQQ,, Zoolights is an impressive display at the city’s free zoo and costs only $5 a ticket for this holiday event. Zoo lights is Nov. 19, 2022 through Jan. 1, 2023. For hours, dates and more information visit ZooLights.

Also opening Jan 19 is the Morton Arboretum’s Illumination. Running through Jan. y7, 2023, Illumination transforms a mile long path among trees, meadow and gardens into a fairytale land of light, sound and color. The event combines old favorites such as the Enchanted Forest and Treeimagination, with new installations such as Late Nite Electric Illumination, tall, mirrored towers and a finale in the new Grand Garden. For more information visit Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum | The Morton Arboretum

Wait, as the commercials say: There’s more.

Last but not at all least this week is the Magnificent (Mag) Mile Lights Festival’s parade and day of activities starting at 11 a.m. at 401 N. Michigan Ave. Sponsored by Wintrust, the parade begins at 5:30 p.m. Mickey and Minnie Mouse (from the Walt Disney World Resort) lead the parade as they magically turn on one million lights along North Michigan Avenue.

What to expect: floats, helium balloons, marching bands, musical performances, Santa Claus ending with fireworks at the Chicago River. The event will also stream on Nov. 20 on ABC. For more information visit MagMileLights.

 

A giant helium baloon floats over State Street during a Chicago Thanksgiving Parade. (J Jacobs photo)

A giant helium balloon floats over State Street during a Chicago Thanksgiving Parade. (J Jacobs photo)

Fourth week and weekend in November

Chicago’s Thanksgiving Parade brings the sounds of cymbals, blares of trumpets and the sight of giant helium balloons and beautiful floats to State Street, that main street, Nov. 24.

The parade goes from Ida B Wells Drive at the south end to Randolph on the north. Figure that bands and entertainment from some of Chicago’s theaters could start as early as 8 a.m. and go to 11 a.m. For more information visit Chicago Thanksgiving Parade.

Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo starts Nov. 25 and continues on specific dates through Dec. 31 from 3 to 9 p.m. Presented by ComEd and Meijer, the zoo is a blaze with two miles of lights and colors moving to synchronized music. A new feature is a 600-foot “Tunnel of Lights” by Xfinity.

For parking, entrance and other information visit CZS.org/HolidayMagic.

Have fun

Jodie Jacobs