THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Holiday Events to Help You Unwind!

Are you over-stuffed from your Thanksgiving meal?  Are you exhausted from your Black Friday shopping spree?  Then take advantage of these holiday events that will help you to unwind this weekend!

Returning for its 5th year in support of local small businesses, artists, and musicians, Chillfest will take place at various shops in the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods this Saturday (2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.).  Each business will host 3-4 artists in a dedicated portion of their space, with musicians playing 20- to 60-minute sets, that are paired to the venue’s ambiance and requested genre as closely as possible.  So, as you take a stroll from venue to venue doing some of your holiday shopping, take some time to chill and unwind!

Join in the wonderment of dazzling light displays at this year’s ZooLights held at the Lincoln Park Zoo (2200 N. Cannon Dr.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood from 4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  It’s a free, fun, family-oriented celebration with various holiday activities throughout the zoo grounds.  Activities include photos with Santa, 3D displays, live ice-sculpture carving, musical light shows at Winter Wonderlawn, Candy Cane Lane with over 100 giant, themed displays, and much more!  You can also do a little ice-skating among the ponies and goats at the neighboring Farm-in-the-Zoo!!

Chicago’s holiday season also brings festive productions for the whole family, or adults-only, to enjoy and unwind from the craziness this season can bring.  Check out these productions –

The Second City is hosting their Holidazed & Confused Revue: Mandatory Merriment at the UP Comedy Club (230 W. North Avenue, 3rd Floor) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood through December 30th.  Take the edge off by laughing your jingle bells off and putting some holly back in your jolly with The Second City’s legendary flurry of sketch comedy and improv!  It’s naughty, it’s nice, it’s mandatory, and it’s all-new for 2017!!  (R-rated)

Other Theatre continues its 4th season with the third revival of its holiday hit Barney The Elf at the Greenhouse Theater Center (2257 N. Lincoln Ave.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood through December 31st.  After Santa Claus retires, his wicked son begins a not-so-jolly reign as the new head of Christmas!  This production brings pop-infused musical numbers galore and plenty of queer holiday cheer, and it also brings the return of Chicago’s drag sensation Dixie Lynn Cartwright!!

The American Blues Ensemble has treated Chicago audiences for 16 years to a live 1940s radio broadcast of It’s A Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago at Stage 773 (1225 W. Belmont Ave.) in the Lakeview neighborhood.  The cast is incredible at recreating the entire town of Bedford Falls with Foley sound effects, an original score, and holiday carols!  And, don’t forget to have your cookies and milk afterwards served by some of the cast members!!

Hell in a Handbag Productions closes it’s 15th season with its most popular show Rudolph The Red-Hosed Reindeer at Mary’s Attic (5400 N. Clark St.) in the Andersonville neighborhood through December 30th.  Chicago’s favorite cross-dressing reindeer is back and he’s 21 years old!  Come join Rudolph and all his misfit friends as they struggle with fitting in and being normal in an ever-increasing abnormal world!!

How Will You Unwind This Holiday Weekend?