Celebrating luck and the color green

 

Chicago River is turned green for St Patrick's Day each year. Photo Courtesy City of chicago
Chicago River is turned green for St Patrick’s Day each year. Photo Courtesy City of Chicago

 

Writers Theatre in Glencoe is celebrating March with “Once” a wonderfully performed musical about hope and love wrapped in Irish tunes.

Grocery stores such as Sunset Foods in the northern and northwest suburbs are celebrating with pots of four-leaf clovers.

Many bakeries throughout the Chicago area are celebrating March with cakes, cookies and cupcakes topped with green frosting.

And luck is wished to everyone because the Chicago area loves to celebrate all things Irish during St. Patrick’s month of March.

So, get out the calendar to pencil in top events.  But first know that you will be welcomed with the word Fáilte, toasted with the word sláinte pronounced slahn-che (to good health) and will hear the lovely phrase, Céad Míle Fáilte: A hundred thousand welcomes.

PARADES

 

Chicago St Patrick's Day parade. (Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago, the city's tourist site)
Chicago St Patrick’s Day parade. (Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago, the city’s tourist site)

 

Thanks to the Plumbers’ Union, the Chicago River turns green the morning of March 11 at 10 a.m. followed by the Plumbers’ Union sponsored parade at 12:30 p.m. Go early to see the river dying between State Street and Columbus Drive on Wacker or along the Riverwalk. Hang out downtown until the parade steps off from Balboa at Grant Park and heads north along Columbus Drive to Monroe.  Among the largest in the country, it’s three hours of bagpipers, floats and Irish Step Dancers. (And politicians)

Two good parades are also held March 12 in Chicago neighborhoods:
Southside Irish and Northwest Side Irish.

The Southside Irish Parade is noon to 3 p.m. along Western Avenue starting at 103rd Street going south to
to 115th. It’s a family friendly parade that started in 1981 with a couple of families and has grown to where it attracts people from all over the city. It does not tolerate drinking but neighborhood pubs are open after the parade.

The Northwest Side Irish Parade, celebrating its 20th anniversary, is the same day, same time. Find official parade and after party info at Northside Irish. The parade goes along Neola Avenue to Northwest Highway to Harlem Avenue as it winds through the Norwood Park neighborhood. 

Fifth Province Pub at Irish American Heritage Center. (Photo courtesy of IAHC)
Fifth Province Pub at Irish American Heritage Center. (Photo courtesy of IAHC)

PUBS

Pubs throughout the Chicago area are ready to party. Most will have specials on Irish beer. Some pubs will feature entertainment by talented Irish Step Dancers and soulful musicians.

Among the most popular pubs celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is Chief O’Neills, 3471 N. Elston, Chicago. It will be open from 8 a.m March 11 through 2 a.m. Msrch 12 with a cover charge of $10 from noon on.  But more festiviies will be on March 12 with no cover charge. O’Neills will feature traditional Irish dishes and entertainment on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17 with a cover charge at 4 p.m. See more about O’Neills festivities. at St Patrick’s Festival 2023.

In Beverly, the Southside Irish Parade neighborhood, the Cork and Kerry at 10614 S, Western Ave., is popular.

In the northern suburbs, Hackney’s on Lake, a longtime favorite restaurant and bar in Glenview with Irish roots, celebrates with good Irish beer and an extensive menu.  The original Hackneyh’s on Harmes (more than 80 years old) is also still around as an intimate dining spot known by word of mouth. 

Where to go after the Downtown Parade March 11. (Both require tickets)

Wear green and celebrate the Irish way at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N Knox Ave. Chicago. Its St. Patrick’s Day Festival is perfect for all ages with Irish food, music, dance, children’s activities and Irish gifts on sale from 1 to 11 p.m.  Also, its Fifth Province Pub is a traditional Irish pub.

Shamrock’n the Block at Old St. Patrick’s Church on DesPlaines Street between Monroe & Adams  (700 W. Adams) in Chicago’s West Loop, does an annual Irish pub pop-up with a heated beer garden tent, food and entertainment plus shamrock craft packs for kids. from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Go celebrate and remember the popular Irish toast: “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back.”

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

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.

 

Three outdoor family activities for Memorial Day Weekend

 

Chicago skyline. (J Jacobs photo)
Old photo of Chicago skyline. (J Jacobs photo))

Chicago’s warm (finally) weather this Memorial Day weekend is perfect for a day laughing at monkeyshines at two zoos or a pirate-ship sail along the city’s shoreline. (Zoo note: both zoos require masks at their indoor animal houses).

 

Sorgum and baby calf at Brookfield Zoo. ( Photo courtesy of Chicago Zoological Society)
Sorghum and baby calf at Brookfield Zoo. ( Photo courtesy of Chicago Zoological Society)

Brookfield Zoo

Visiting the 235 acre Brookfield Zoo can be an all-day family event.

Starting May 26, visitors can see the cute tapir calf just born to his mom, Sorghum. He has been staying indoors at the Pachyderm House but mom and baby might wander to their outdoor space on the north side of the building because the weather will be warm. Now is a good time to see the calf with his white stripes. The marking fade by age six months. The South American tapir is related to the horse and rhinoceros.

Beginning May 28, the Butterflies area, closed the past two years, has reopened and includes moths. Located near the North Gate, entry is $4 adults, $3.50 seniors 65 and older and $3 children. Visitors will be able to see the transformation to butterflies in an off-exhibit space.

Monarch butterfly at Brookfield Zoo. (Photo courtesy of Jim Schulz and CZS)
Monarch butterfly at Brookfield Zoo. (Photo courtesy of Jim Schulz and CZS)

While wandering the zoo, be on the lookout for such ice-age creatures as a 15 ft tall wooly mammoth and the 18 ft long mastodon. They are among Dino Dan’s 30  life-sized animatonic animals staying at the zoo April 1 through Oct. 30, 2022.

Brookfield Zoo entrances are at North Parking Lot 8400 31st St, and South Parking Lot 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield, IL between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways. Current hours: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

There are admission and parking costs. Tickets can be purchased ahead on line and are good for the entire day of entry. Adults $24.95, Seniors 65 and older $19.95, Children age 3-11 $17.95, age 2 and younger free. Parking is $15 and can be paid upon arrival.

*Visitors who have a general admission pass with a barcode, a member guest pass, a Chicago Public Library Museum Pass or a Museum Adventure Pass, can bring that to the zoo for entry, no reservation required.

For tickets and more information visit Chicago Zoological Society and CZS-Brookfield Zoo.

 

The Patio at Cafe Brauer may be a well-kept secret of where to lunch along a quiet Lincoln Park Zoo path and entrance. ( J Jacobs photo)ell
The Patio at Cafe Brauer may be a well-kept secret of where to lunch along a quiet Lincoln Park Zoo path and entrance. ( J Jacobs photo)ell

Lincoln Park Zoo

At 49 acres, Lincoln Park Zoo is doable in half a day. Get a zoo map at the Visitor Center near the main entrance at 2400 N. Cannon Dr.

Time the visit to watch Seal Training at 11:30 a.m. or 2 p.m. near the main entrance . Then, be sure to visit the Pepper Family Wildlife Center.to see Pilipili, a recently born, African lion cub. His name means “pepper” in Swahili.

Lion cub at Lincoln Park Zoo (photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)
Lion cub at Lincoln Park Zoo
(photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)

Lincoln Park Zoo is north of Chicago’s Magnificent (shopping) Mile.There are are several entrances with East gate near the paid parking lot being the main one. View the free parking map for all entrances. Current hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The zoo is free and opened every day. For more information visit Lincoln Park Zoo.

 

On a Tall Ship sail from Navy Pier. ( J Jacobs photo)
On a Tall Ship sail from Navy Pier. ( J Jacobs photo)

Sail on  Tall Ship Windy

For a different sailing experience, take a 75 minute trip along Chicago’s shoreline on Windy, a Tall Ship docked at Navy Pier. Listen to pirate and maritime stories.

Cost is Adults (age 13 and older) $39, children age 3 to 12 $17. For more information visit Chicago Skyline Sail/Tall Ship Windy Chicago.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

Celebrate Saint Patrick and Irish culture

 

Chicago River turns Green to celebrate Saint Patrick. (Photo courtesy of City of Chicago)
Chicago River turns Green to celebrate Saint Patrick. (Photo courtesy of City of Chicago)

 

Wear something green on March 17, the date Saint Patrick died in the fifth century. But if you want to watch a parade in his honor or see the Chicago River turn green you’ll want to start celebrating St. Patrick’s Day the weekend before the anniversary date.

Chicago River Dyed Green

On Saturday, March 12, 2022, start your celebration near Chicago’s Mag Mile at the Michigan Avenue Bridge, Wacker Drive on the south bank or the  Riverwalk on the north bank.

That is where the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local Union 130 work their secret formula magic each year between Columbus Drive and Wabash Avenue, Saturday morning before Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Typically using two motor boats and usually starting about 10 a.m., union members pour and disperse gallons of an orange-colored environmentally-safe vegetable powder into the water.

The process takes about 45 minutes and draws a big crowd so if you go you’ll want to get to the area early for a good vantage point.

Originally started in 1962 using a fluorescent dye that made the water green for a few weeks, the dying process was changed to an eco-friendly powder that turned the river green for a few hours.

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Next, head to Columbus Drive for the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It begins at 12:15 p.m. at Balbo Drive and continues north to Monroe Drive.

Expect to see floats, Irish dancers, bagpipers and bands including the Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band which has been leading the parade since 1956. Then, you will hear lots of applause as representatives of the 2022 theme, Chicagoland’s Essential Workers, march into view.  Of course there will be city, state and US politicians. For more info visit  St. P:atrick’s Day Parade org.

Irish American Heritage Center Fest

Wind up at the St. Patrick Festival at Irish American Heritage Center for good food, beer and entertainment from 1 to 11:30 p.m. While there absorb Irish culture in its museum.  Find tickets and more information at Irish American Heritage Center (irish-american.org) (Children welcome and ages 11 and under have free admission.

South Side Irish Parade

The St. Patrick salutes continue on Sunday, March 13 with the popular South Side Irish Parade in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago at noon.

A family-friendly parade, it began as a really small, kids only parade by a couple of neighbors in 1979.  However, it grew and grew to become so  popular across the Chicago area attendance disrupted its Beverly neighborhood until restrictions on parking and drinking were put in place.

So go but observe neighborhood requests. The parade is on Western Avenue from 103rd Street to 115th Street. For more information visit Home – South Side Irish Parade

Northwest Side Irish

If  Northwest is more your location, consider the Northwest Side Irish Parade March 13 that also beings at noon. It goes from Neola Avenue to Northwest Highway.

A fun, community event, the parade winds through Chicago’s Norwood Park neighborhood. It begins at the William J. Onahan School, goes south on Neola venue to Northwest Highway and then heads north to Harlem Avenue. There is an after parade party at Zia’s Social.  Visit  Northwest Side Irish Parade.

You might hear Céad mile fáite  (A hundred thousand welcomes) n or Erin Go Bragh (Braugh)  roughly meaning Ireland til the end of time, there or at the Irish Heritage Center.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Fun and interesting holiday outings

 

Ice skate amid van Gogh’s swirling colors. Down a mug of mulled wine or snack on a warm pretzel. Browse artisan goods. The holiday season is back with delightful choices for all ages.

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. (City of Chicago photo)
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. (City of Chicago photo)

Ice skating

Tis the season for millions of twinkling lights to transform paths from the Chicago Botanic Garden and The Morton Arboretum to Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoos. But if looking for something different to do this year skate against a Chicago cityscape. Mask wearing is encouraged as well as social distancing.

Downtown Chicago area

Look below the “Bean” at Millennium Park at Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue where skaters move to music and can take lessons at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. Skating is free and available now through March 6. To avoid overcrowding, reservation tickets are needed. Visit  City of Chicago :: McCormick Tribune Ice Rink

Just east of the McCormick Rink is the quarter-mile Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon where visitors can skate a top of van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and “Sunflowers” thanks to a partnership of the Chicago Park district and “Immersive Van Gogh.” Open now thru March 13, 2022, reservation tickets are needed. Admission with your own skates is free Monday through Thursday and $5 Friday through Sunday and on holiday dates. Admission with skate rental is $16 Monday through Thursday and $20 Friday through Sunday and on holiday dates. Maggie Daley Park and Skating ribbon is at 337 E. Randolph St. Visit Gogh skating for more information and reservations. Maggie Daley Park

A bit further north and east (600 E. Grand Ave.), skaters will find indoor ice at Navy Pier’s Alpine Rink in Festival Hall. It’s part of the Pier’s Light Up the Lake Festival that features a beer garden and shopping through Jan. 2, 2022. https://navypier.org/

Further out

Wrigleyville

The Rink at Gallagher Way, a large community patch of lawn abutting the Chicago Cubs stadium, is frozen over for ice events such as bumper cars and curling but its main use during the annual Winterland at Gallagher Way is for ice skating and skate lessons now through Feb. 20, 2022.

Admission is free for skaters 12 years and younger and $6 for skaters 13 years and older. Visitors can bring skates or rent them there for $12. Bags can be checked for $2. For hours and more information visit Winterland at Gallagher Way

Rosemont

Parkway Bank Park, Rosemont’s fun entertainment district and the Chicago Wolves Ice Rink, hosts Skating in the Park now through Feb. 27,2022. Bring skates or rent them for $8. For hours and more information visit  Parkway Bank Park – It’s all here in Rosemont

 

Christkindl Market in Daley Plaza. (J Jacobs photo)
Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza. (J Jacobs photo)

Unique Shopping

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone leaving holiday shoppers with time to search for something different for themselves and others.

The Christkindlmarket, a traditional, outdoor German marketplace, now open downtown at Daley Plaza and north at Gallagher Way in Wrigleyville, is a fun and tasty holiday destination. In town now through Dec. 24, 2021, admission is free but there is crowd control so there may be lines to get into the market. For Chicago hours and more information visit German Christmas in Chicago | Christkindlmarket. For Gallagherway see German Christmas in Wrigleyville | Christkindlmarket

To find interesting fashion and home décor items and yummy food, go to the Chicago Artisan Market at Fulton Market West Loop on Dec. 12. For more information and ticket reservations visit About – Chicago Artisan Market.

Jodie Jacobs

Add a joyous a cappella concert to your holidays

 

 

Photo courtesy of Chicago a cappella ensemble.
Photo courtesy of Chicago a cappella ensemble.

Chicago a cappella, a versatile, talented vocal ensemble of professional singers, is back doing concerts across the Chicago area. “Holidays a cappella,” a program of beautiful Christmas and Chanukah music, runs Dec. 3 through Dec. 12, 2021.

Founded in 1993, Chicago a cappella has a subscription series and does live and broadcast-media musical content plus educational outreach programming. The group gives performances on tour and in special engagements.

Check the following schedule for a concert near you:

  • Friday, December 3 (8 PM): St Josaphat Church, 2311 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
  • Saturday, December 4 (8 PM): Highland Park Community House, 1991 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park
  • Sunday, December 5 (4 PM): Community UMC, 20 Center St., Naperville
  • Friday, December 10 (8 PM): Fourth Presbyterian Church (Buchanan Chapel), 115 E. Delaware Pl., Chicago
  • Saturday, December 11 (8 PM): Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston
  • Sunday, December 12, (4 PM): Pilgrim Congregational, 460 Lake St., Oak Park

For ticket and other information visit Chicago a cappella.

Jodie Jacobs

Holiday events now

 

Lights go on North Michigan Avenue trees during the Mag Mile Lights Festival Parade and stay on on holiday season. (City of Chicago photo)
Lights go on North Michigan Avenue trees during the Mag Mile Lights Festival Parade and stay on on holiday season. (City of Chicago photo)

It may be hard to believe we’re in the midst of the holiday season, already!

The Chicago Botanic Garden opened its paths at night for Lightscape. Santa is already listening to wishes at Macy’s where the famed holiday windows are ready for their close-ups. And, Christmas Around the world and Holiday of Light opens at the Museum of Science and Industry on its free day, Nov. 17, 2021.

But don’t miss the BMO Lights Festival – The Magnificent Mile this Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. Folks line up two and three deep to watch lights go on as the parade moves south on Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to the Chicago River and ends with fun fireworks.

A great place to view the action would be Pioneer Court, 401 N. Michigan Ave.  You need to know, however, that the DuSable Bridge (formerly Michigan Avenue Bridge) closes at 3:30 p.m. But there are activities and food (smell Garrett’s? (It’s at 625 N. Michigan Ave.) along the Mile.

If you go downtown Friday, see the tree lighting at at Wrigley Building Centennial Plaza, 410 N. Michigan Ave. 4 p.m.

Related: Around Town: Two holiday doings to know about now – Chicago Theater and Arts

Jodie Jacobs