Neighborhood News – Lakeview, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Park, Navy Pier

With the Christmas season coming to its spectacular conclusion this weekend, this is the last chance for you and your family to experience some very special holiday events in the city. Don’t miss out on these amazing experiences for you and your loved ones!

Thursday, December 23 marks the final 2021 showing of the 38th Annual Music Box Christmas Sing-A-Long and Double Feature of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life,’ and ‘White Christmas.’ Santa welcomes the audience and, accompanied by Music Box organist Dennis Scott, leads you in the singing of the most cherished Christmas carols of all time. For tickets, click here.

 Christkindlmarket in Downtown Chicago at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington Street, closes on Friday, December 24. But it’s not too late for last-minute holiday shopping for unique, handmade and imported gifts, the smell of roasted nuts, fresh pretzels, bratwurst and hot spiced wine, family-friendly events & intercultural activities! Special holiday hours are 11am-8pm on Thursday, December 23, and 11am-4pm on Christmas Eve, December 24.

That said, Christkindlmarket continues in the Wrigleyville location at Gallagher Way through December 31, with the same delicious smells and holiday shopping opportunities! 

Zoolights continues through January 2 at Lincoln Park Zoo, with free admission on Mondays and Tuesdays, from 4pm–10pm daily. Wednesday-Sunday, admission is just $5. Thousands of twinkling lights and light sculptures greet visitors as you walk through the Pepper Family Wildlife Center, the Main Mall, and the South Lawn. Visit with Santa through December 23, make your way through the Light Maze, and make yourself a s’mores snack! And the 18-foot holiday tree is sure to inspire festive oohs and ahs!

The Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker, reimagined by Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon, ends its 2021 run at the Lyric Opera House,  20 N. Upper Wacker Drive, on Sunday, December 26. In this version, young Marie and the Nutcracker Prince are sent on a Christmas Eve journey through the 1893 World’s Fair. All attendees eligible to receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine (ages 12 and older) are required to show proof of vaccination prior to attending a Joffrey performance and/or event through December 2021 at Lyric Opera House. Patrons are also required to wear protective face coverings at all times. For tickets, click here.

It’s A Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!’ is also a live, interactive show at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, presented by the American Blues Theatre. The Chicago Tribune gives it a rave review, saying the show is “filled with original music and classic holiday carols, this warm tale is the don’t-miss show this holiday season!” Directed by Gwendolyn Whiteside, with an original score by Austin Cook, the show remains the story of George Bailey – the Everyman from small-town Bedford Falls, who falls into despair and suicidal thoughts as his dreams of escape and adventure were stopped by family obligation and civic duty. Santa visits the show on December 24, which runs through December 31. Tickets are $25-$65. Click here for more information.

And for an indoor experience you and your family won’t soon forget – Navy Pier’s ‘Light Up The Lake’  runs through January 2 and features a sprawling light garden of large-scale sculptures, with more than 600,000 twinkling lights; an Alpine ice rink; authentic holiday beer garden; kiddie train rides; Santa’s Merry Main Street and other family-friendly and date-night activities. Additionally, take a a ride on the iconic Centennial Wheel! For tickets, click here.

Alison Moran and Dean’s Team Chicago