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Things to do in Chicago the weekend before Christmas


There’s plenty to do at Daley Plaza Christkindlmarket this weekend, and not everything here is geared towards the holiday among us.

This musical is a north suburban production by Music Theater Works. Based on the hit animated film, this Tony Award-winning musical follows the antics of Princess Fiona, Shrek, and Donkey. Some of the characters will be available for meet and greets and photos at select performances.

Dec. 22-31, North Shore Performing Arts Center, 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie; tickets musictheatreworks.com

If you want to see some Christmas lights but don’t want to go out in the cold, check out this drive-thru light display. Guests can drive comfortably through the resort environment full of bright arches and facilities.

5-9 p.m. daily through Jan. 3, 2024, Guaranteed Rate Space, 3326 S. Wentworth Ave.; tickets are $39.99 per vehicle lightofchristmas.com

The Emmy-winning comedian is bringing his latest solo stand-up comedy tour to Rosemont. His latest Netflix special, “BABY J,” was released in April.

7 p.m. Dec. 22, Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont; tickets start at $97 Biletmaster.com

The new title in Chicago’s seasonal holiday shows is based on the hit book and TV Christmas special, featuring the kind of puppets that made the Jim Henson company famous. In a pre-Broadway tryout at the newly restored Studebaker Theatre, this family friendly show Features music and lyrics by Paul Williams (“The Muppet Movie”).

through Dec. 31 at Studebaker Theatre, 410 S. Michigan Ave.; tickets start from $43 fineartsbuilding.com/studebaker

British DJ Dumont, aka Adam George Dyment, promises a long set for his night in Chicago.

Dec. 22 at 8 p.m., Salt Shed, 1357 N. Elston Ave.; Tickets starting at $48.50 (ages 17+) www.saltshedchicago.com

This year, the 40th annual Music Box Christmas Carol and Double Feature series features the titles “White Christmas” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Because it wouldn’t be the holidays without a little Bing Crosby and Jimmy Stewart.

through Dec. 24 at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave.; Tickets start at $14 and call 773-871-6604. www.musicboxtheatre.com

Tafadzwa Diener and Larry Yando 2023 production "Christmas Carol" at the Goodman Theatre.

Larry Yando portrays Ebenezer Scrooge in his 15th year. 45th annual production Charles Dickens’ classic tale of a wealthy businessman who is visited by a series of ghosts who persuade him to change his ruthless ways.

through Dec. 31 at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.; Tickets $25-$159 at 312-443-3800 and www.goodmantheatre.org

Shop Christmas decorations, candles, figurines and more at the annual German holiday market. Vendors also sell plenty of food and drinks, including mulled spiced wine.

through Dec. 24 at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St.; through Dec. 24 at RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway in Aurora; and through Dec. 31 at Wrigleyville, 3635 N. Clark St., outside Wrigley Field. Admission is free, call 312-494-2175 for more information and christkindlmarket.com

American Blues Theatre’s 21st annual production transforms Frank Capra’s 1946 film about a small-town man who needs a miracle to save him from despair into a live ’40s-style radio play featuring holiday songs and original songs. Arrive early for an interactive pre-show.

through Dec. 23 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St.; tickets $35-$55 at 872-205-9681 and americanbluestheater.com

Snow falls as people walk past holiday displays during Light Up the Lake at Navy Pier in Chicago on November 27, 2023.

Thousands of lights line Chicago’s lakefront tourist attraction, as well as ticketed outdoor ice skating ($20), the heated Centennial Ferris Wheel ($18) and other attractions. Winter fireworks at 9 p.m. on Saturdays and on Sunday, December 31st for New Year’s Eve.

through Dec. 31 at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave.; More Navypier.org

Cirque du Soleil’s downtown holiday show returns to the Loop. It’s based on Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and centers around a jaded young girl who rediscovers the magic of the holidays with the help of some circus performers.

Through Dec. 28 at Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St.; tickets $36-$111 www.cirquedusoleil.com

This season there are a number of productions of the classic holiday ballet in the city, with different variations of the story of ETA Hoffmann and the music of Tchaikovsky. Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s “Nutcracker” for Joffrey is perhaps his best-known, and according to Tribune dance critic Lauren Warnecke, good value your annual visit.

through Dec. 27 at the Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive; tickets are $36-$198 and call 312-386-8905. joffrey.org


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