THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Holiday Celebrations Bring a Magical Time!

Another Thanksgiving is in the books!  It’s time to partake in the many remaining holiday celebrations that bring a magical time to Chicago for an opportunity to make lasting holiday memories.  Here are the next batch of favorite Chicago holiday traditions for you, your family and friends to enjoy the magic of the season!!

Chicagoland’s largest indoor lights experience, Light Up the Lake, returns to Navy Pier’s Festival Hall (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood now through January 7, 2023.  Returning activities include Light Sculptures with over 600,000 lights featuring oversized sculptures with holiday and toy box themes, including a giant Teddy Bear, a 25-foot deer, a 60-foot light tunnel, and a 40-foot tree; and the regulation-size Alpine Ice-Skating Rink.  This year’s new attractions include a Stomp Light Activity (a collection of 100 interactive LED floor pads); a Light Memory Game (smart phone required); a Reflecting Pond (area for relaxing, reflecting, and taking spectacular photo ops); a Winter Wonderfest Forest (a maze of over 100 lighted, 8-foot birch trees); and more.  Plus, there’s a winter market, a beer garden, a train ride, and visits with Santa!  It’s the best way to spend the holidays in Chicago!!

Celebrating its 80th anniversary of a beloved Chicago tradition that began in 1942 with a single tree, the Museum of Science and Industry (5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.) in the Hyde Park neighborhood welcomes you to Christmas Around the World and Holiday of Lights now through January 4, 2023.  This event features 50 elaborately decorated trees by volunteers who represent Chicago’s diverse ethnic communities and who want to share their cultural traditions.  The centerpiece for this dazzling display is the four-story, floor-to-dome Grand Tree located in the Rotunda!  In Holiday of Lights, the museum honors the traditions of Chinese New Year, Diwali, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Vaisakha Puja Day, St. Lucia Day, and more.  It’s simply a whole world of holiday joy under one roof for a one-of-a-kind experience!!

It’s that special time of year when there aren’t enough hours in a day and anything that could go wrong does!  Well, put your holiday stress aside for a while at the Holidays from Hell as you watch Chicago’s best comedians and improvisers make light of guest storytellers’ horrific holiday stories at the iO Theater (1501 N. Kingsbury St.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on Saturdays from 10:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.!  It just may be what you need to get through this holiday season!!

If you happen to have kids in tow during the holidays, here are two possibilities to keep the little ones in awe:

Returning to the stage for this holiday season, Chicago’s beloved holiday tradition, The Steadfast Tin Soldier is a classic the whole family will treasure.  Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story about a little tin soldier who never gives up is a yearly staple at the Lookingglass Theatre Company (821 N. Michigan Ave.) on The Magnificent Mile now through January 8, 2023.  This show dazzles with a gorgeous set, whimsical costuming, and plenty of doll-like pantomime that’s surely a treat for all ages!

If your family consists of LEGO fans, then load up the car to enjoy a seasonal holiday event at Holiday Bricktacular now through January 2, 2023 (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago (601 N. Martingale Rd.) in Schaumburg.  This event offers fun holiday displays in LEGO MINILAND, activities, building events, taking pictures in a life-size sleigh built entirely of LEGOs, finding all the LEGO presents throughout the center to win a prize, and more!  It’s a brick lover’s event not to be missed!!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago