Celebrating the Holidays, 2014 Holiday Activity Guide

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celebrating the


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

This Week

In Chicago

AVOID THE LINE Friday, November 14 through Wednesday, December 24 Reserve your place in line while you shop or dine. Go to shopwatertower.com and sign up for The Club and be the first to make your reservation to visit with Santa.





ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE



happenings holiday

Christmas Around the World at the Museum of Science and Industry


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

Tilt the Season


The city’s highest Santa this year comes with a twist, or “Tilt” actually. Set 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile, 360 Chicago (formerly the John Hancock Observatory) will be transformed into a winter wonderland with sky-high views of the city and frosty lakefront. General admission $12 kids, $18 adults, Tilt $7 extra. 9am – 11pm through Jan. 1. 875 N. Michigan, 888.875.8439.

The Lincoln Park Zoo becomes a winter wonderland, illuminated by more than 2 million lights, at the annual ZooLights extravaganza. Visit the polar bears and penguins while enjoying warm drinks, cool crafts, ice carvings, visits with Santa, and carousel rides. Open Nov. 28 – 30; Dec. 5 – 7; Dec. 12 – 23; Dec. 26 – Jan 4. 5 – 9 pm. 2001 N. Clark, 312.742.2000. DON’T MISS:



Visit with Santa Claus and receive a FREE photo each weekend from 10am-2pm

Take a ride through the snowy birch forest on the Lionel Train Adventure.

Kids Tilt Free every Wednesday

Visit with Santa inside the primate house.

Kids receive a FREE one-day pass to the Shedd Aquarium with each 360 ticket purchase.

On Dec. 3, Join the Louis Glunz Beer Co. for BrewLights to sample selections from IPA’s to Stouts. $35


Publisher Walter L. West III | Account Manager Jessica Young | Contributing Writers Matt de la Pena, Mark Loehrke, Elizabeth Newhart | Production & Editorial Director Kameron West | Office Manager Nancy Vargas Chairman & CEO Wally West 222 West Ontario Street Suite #420 Chicago, IL 60654 phone: 312.943.0838 | fax: 312.664.6113 keymagazinechicago.com | facebook.com/KEYThisWeekInChicago | twitter.com/keymagazine

Holiday Lights Tour Dazzling lights and holiday sights are guaranteed with the Chicago Trolley Holiday Lights Tour. This narrated 2 ½ hour tour sets the holiday stage within the Windy City. Sights include: The Magnificent Mile, Macy’s Holiday Windows, the Daley Plaza Christmas Tree, Millennium Park and 30 minute stops at two of Chicago’s most festive holiday traditions, ZooLights and the Christkindlmarket. Tours depart Fri. – Sun. Nov. 28 – Dec. 21, everyday Dec. 26 – Jan. 4. Fri. – Sat. tours leave at 6pm, 6:30pm & 7pm. Sun. tours leave at 5pm, 5:30pm & 6pm (Dec. 17 – 18, 6:30pm departure only) $19 kids, $29 adults. Trolley “kiosk” at 875 N. Michigan, tickets must be purchased in advance on-line at chicagotrolley.com DON’T MISS: Every Holiday Tour customer will receive a free hot cocoa and cookie from the Hershey store.

Macy’s Holiday Windows “The Journey of a Christmas Wish” is this year’s theme for Macy’s Holiday windows, which combine traditional old school artistry with gorgeous new visual elements. This holiday tradition dates back to 1897 when the legendary Marshal F R EE Field’s Department Store first E V EN T ! pioneered the idea. 111 N. State, 312.781.4483. DON’T MISS: Mrs. Hering’s Pot Pie served in the Walnut Room Snap a photo with family and friends under the State Street Great Clock Bring a box (or two) of Frango Mints home for family and friends


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

Open Something Greater The Art Institute of Chicago has several fun and exciting holiday festivities this season. From the wreathed lions and intricate miniature decorated Thorne Rooms to the returning Neapolitan Crëche exhibit, this is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Nov. 22 – Jan. 6. $17 kids, $23 adults, 111 S. Michigan, 312.443.3600. DON’T MISS: No trip to the Art Institute is complete without viewing the Georges Seurat masterpiece A Sunday on La Grande Jatte Sunday Brunch at Terzo Piano, the acclaimed restaurant headed by award-winning chef Tony Mantuano

Illumination Prepare to be dazzled! Returning this season is Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum, an outdoor interactive multi sensory experience. You will forever see trees in a different “light” as these trees are not only bathed in dazzling LED lights but also respond to touch and sound. Doors open 5pm with last entry at 8:30pm, Nov. 21 – Jan. 3. Illumination is closed Nov. 27, Dec. 1, 8, 15, 24 & 25. $12 - $15 for kids, $17 - $20 adults. 4100 Illinois 43 in suburban Lisle. 630.968.0074. DON’T MISS: Enjoy hot cocoa, coffee, s’mores and other sweets at one of three warming areas along the illumination path. Stop by the Arboretum Store, the perfect spot for last minute eco-friendly gifts and stocking stuffers

Winter WonderFest th

Holiday spirits soar at the 14 annual Winter WonderFest celebration at Navy Pier. Featuring more than 170,000 square feet of awesome rides, slides and attractions, plus an indoor ice-skating rink all set within a winter wonderland. New attractions for 2014 include an indoor “snow” tubing and toboggan hill as well a 15-foot tall snowglobe! Dec. 5 – 6, 12 – 13, 19 – 20, 26 – 27, Dec. 31, Jan. 1 – 3, 10 am – 10 pm; Dec. 7 – 11, 14 – 16, 21 – 23, 28 – 30, 10am – 8pm; Dec 17 – 18, Dec. 24, 10am – 5pm; General admission $5, Activity admission $25 (includes indoor ice-skating), 600 E. Grand, 312.595.PIER. DON’T MISS: Visit Winter WonderTown and have your picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Take a break from winter and get your “island on” at Margaritaville


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

The Magnificent Mile Michigan Avenue, home of Chicago’s famed “Magnificent Mile” makes holiday shopping a breeze with hundreds of retailers ranging from local shops such as Hanig’s Footwear to flagship stores like Burberry and Gucci. The Magnificent Mile extends north from Wacker Drive to Oak Street. DON’T MISS: The Garret Mix (caramel and cheese popcorn mixed) from Garret’s Popcorn at 625 N. Michigan. Explore Chicago’s in all it’s holiday splendor in an old-fashioned handsome cab with Antique Coach & Carriage. Perfect for couples or the whole family. 820 N. Michigan Visit the Historic Water Tower, one of the few surviving buildings from the Great Chicago Fire.



Caroling at Cloud Gate Now in it’s ninth year, Caroling at Cloud Gate has become a cherished holiday tradition at Millennium Park. From classic songs like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to current pop holiday hits, visitors can sing-along with leading local F R EE Choral groups. Every Friday E V EN T ! Nov. 28 – Dec. 19, 6pm. 201 E. Randolph, 312.742.1168. DON’T MISS: Roaming Victorian era carolers every night throughout the season at Lawry’s The Prime Rib. 100 E. Ontario. 312.787.5000 Warm up with a Crimson Toddy, made with Bulleit rye whiskey, Agave nectar and Black tea at the Park Grill

Christmas Around the World It’s a cultural holiday experience at the Museum of Science and Industry’s annual Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibit. 50 Christmas trees are all beautifully decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s diverse ethnic communities representing various cultures and holiday traditions. Open daily through Jan. 4 9:30 am-4 pm; extended hours til 5:30 pm on Nov. 22 – 23, Dec. 6 – 7, Dec. 13 – 14, Dec. 20 – 23 & Dec. 26 – 30. 5700 S. Lake Shore, 773.684.1414. DON’T MISS: The museum’s Disney themed 45-foot Grand Tree with more than 30,000 lights and 1,000 ornaments. See a German 1941 Junkers Stuka dive-bomber as well as step inside an authentic WWII U-Boat


Afternoon Tea

The largest traditional German American Christmas market is right here in Chicago’s Daley Plaza. Browse more than 50 vendor booths at the 18th annual Christkindlmarket for authentic European delectables as well as one-of-a-kind handmade treasures: holiday ornaments, nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, beer steins, wooden & plush toys, and European chocolates. Nov. 21 – Dec. 24. Sun. – Thu., 11am – 8pm; Fri. – Sat., 11am – 9pm. 50 W. Washington, 312.494.2175.

The tradition of afternoon tea is elevated throughout the holiday season and nobody does it better than The Lobby located inside the Peninsula Hotel. An impressive selection of teas, scones, pastries and finger sandwiches are sure to please even the most discerning aficionado. The elegantly decorated Christmas tree is the perfect backdrop and will certainly impress family and friends. $25 kids, $55 adults. Mon. – Sat. 2:30pm & 4:30pm and Sun. 3:30pm. 108 E. Superior, 312.337.2888.


DON’T MISS: The Peninsula Hotel’s intimate 4th floor Sky Rink. This outdoor winter-wonderland is sure to create a memorable skating experience.

Warm up with a cup of Glühwein (hot spiced wine) served in a souvenir mug. Christindlmarket’s suburban outpost on the Village Green at Oakbrook Center F R EE beginning Nov. 28



2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE


Sip on decadent hot chocolate while receiving a classic pedicure utilizing scented peppermint oil and lotion

Most people think summer is the ideal time to visit The Chicago Botanic Garden, however every holiday season the Gardens are transformed into a winter wonderland of twinkling lights, garden-scale trains, miniature Chicago landmarks, exquisite horticulture displays and much more as part of it’s annual Wonderland Express exhibit. Nov. 28 – Jan. 4. 10am – 6pm. $10 kids/seniors, $12 adults. 1000 Lake Cook Rd. in suburban Glencoe, 847.835.5440. See the lights, feel the magic and continue the tradition with the Brookfield Zoo’s 32nd annual Holiday Magic winter display. Featuring over

1 million twinkling lights illuminating the zoo’s walkways, a dazzling light show, ice-carving demonstrations, singing to

the animals, live music and entertainment, magicians, Santa and Mrs. Claus and much much more. Dec. 6 – 7, 13 – 14, 20 – 21, 26 – 31. 4pm – 9pm. $11.95 kids/seniors,

$16.95 adults. 1st Ave. & 31st St. in suburban Brookfield, 708.688.8000. The cold weather won’t stop you at this “drive-thru” holiday tradition courtesy of the Cuneo Museum and Gardens. The annual Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show returns once again this year to light up the night sky and offers more than 250 festive displays – including colorful storybook characters and holiday scenes outlined in moving lights. Nov. 28 – Jan. 3. 6pm – 10pm. $5 per car Mon. – Thur.; $10 per car Fri. – Sun., Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 1350 N. Milwaukee in suburban Vernon Hills, 847.362.3042.


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

santa sightings MACY’S


Beyond the snowcapped mountains and twinkling lights of Santaland on the iconic store’s fifth floor, the big guy is waiting to hear everyone’s holiday wishes. Most days 10am-8pm. FREE. 111 N. State, 312.781.4483.

The Pier’s annual Winter WonderFest extravaganza wouldn’t be complete without the jolly man himself. Amid all the winter fun, be sure to make time to stop by and let him know how nice you’ve been this year. Dec. 5-24. Included with general admission. 600 E. Grand, 312.595.5282.



You can hardly miss Chicago’s “official” Santa – his house sits at the base of the city’s Grand Christmas tree, and right in the heart of the festive Christkindlmarket. Fri.-Sun. 11am-8pm, call for special hours Nov. 25-27 and Christmas week. FREE. 50 W. Washington, 312.744.3315

A visit with St. Nick is as much a tradition as the hustle of holiday crowds at Water Tower Place. No waiting in-line with “virtual queuing” where guests receive a text message when it’s their turn to see Santa. Mon.-Sat., Noon-8pm, Sun. Noon-6pm. FREE. 835 N. Michigan, level 4, 312.440.3166. Just across the street (and 1000 feet up in the air) 360 Chicago’s Santa in the Sky will be sure to delight children of all ages. Weekends 10am-2pm. Included with general admission. 875 N. Michigan, 888.875.8439 Further north still, Santa will be at The 900 North Michigan Shops with a gift for each child. 900 N. Michigan, level 3; 312.915.3916

For a complete list of Santa Sightings, download our mobile app (search KEY Chicago in either iTunes or Google Play)

holiday shopping Ready for Christmas? Luckily, everything you need can be found right here in Chicago! Remember, presents don’t buy themselves so bundle up and get going.

State Street in the Loop, home to several large department stores such as Marshall Field’s –

While River North is known more for its trendy restaurants, many retailers have chosen to capitalize on the vibrant audience that frequents the area.

North Michigan Avenue, stretching from Oak Street to Wacker Drive on the south is also known as the Magnificent Mile. This mile-long bastion of magnificent luxury retailers has made Chicago a shopping destination for travelers from all over the world. Chicago’s original luxury shopping district was along

Carson Pirie Scott. Marshall Field’s is now Macy’s and the old Carson’s space is a Target but visitors will still find plenty of retailers up and down “That Great Street”.

which coined the phrase “Give the lady what she wants” – and

Michigan Avenue certainly has it’s share of flagship stores but can’t match the ultra high end Oak/Rush Street shopping district home to jewelers and top fashion labels. continued on page 20...


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

the sweet life Chicago has been a confectioner’s paradise from the very beginning. In fact, the National Confectionary Association got its very start in Chicago in 1884 and many people still consider the Windy City the “Candy Capital” of the World. From Brach’s & Blommer’s to Tootsie Roll’s & Vosges and EVERYTHING in between anyone with a sweet tooth will be glad they’re here. The name many people think of when it comes to candy and sweets is Hershey’s and luckily for you Hershey’s Chocolate

World, 822 N. Michigan, 312.337.7711 has a spot just off

multi-sensory interactive experience complete with retail store and on-site Bake Shoppe serving homemade cookies, brownies, cupcakes and more. Just across the street visitors will find an equally notable sweets merchant, Ghirardelli Chocolate Co., 830 N. Michigan, 312.337.9330. This intimate shop is best known for its indulgent ice cream creations and Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa, but also carries a complete selection of chocolate squares and bars.

Crosell & Co. the Magnificent Mile. More than just a store, Hershey’s is a

adorn - design - enhance... for home, for life

900 N. Michigan Avenue, Level 5 | 312-266-4500 | crosellandco.com Mention this ad to receive(while a FREE Frasier Fur votive candle! supplies last) 18

2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

If you have a fondness for cupcakes we suggest you head north to Sweet Mandy B’s, 1208 W. Webster, 773.244.1174, in the DePaul neighborhood. Since 2002, owner Cindy Levine and her team of confectionary artisans have been serving sweet treats out of their pastel decorated storefront. Have a budding young pastry chef? The store also offers kids’ decorating classes twice a week. For some, it takes a while to truly appreciate a bitter dark chocolate or exotic flavor mixed in with their sweet. This is where Katrina Markoff and Vosges Haut Chocolat Chocolates, 520 N. Michigan, 312.644.9450, come in. Recently named one of the 10 Best Chocolatiers in the world by National Geographic,

Vosges creates chocolate truffles that include exotic ingredients such as wasabi, absinthe and curry. Holiday shoppers lucky enough to be on the east side of the street in the 600 block of Michigan Ave. will be rewarded with a scent Chicagoans know all too well… Garrett’s Popcorn Shop, 625 N. Michigan, 888.476.7267. A Chicago tradition since 1949, Garrett’s still lovingly makes each batch by hand using the original secret family recipe

(that is more closely guarded than Santa’s house at the North Pole). Whether you prefer plain, cheese, caramel or the legendary Garrett Mix that combines Caramel Crisp with Cheese corn, no trip to Chicago is complete without a visit. Don’t feel like carrying a tin around with you? Not to worry, Garrett’s ships world wide.

to their new H6 headphones. If you are shopping for a person who loves to receive beautiful one-of-a-kind gifts, then head over to Lotton Gallery, 900 N. Michigan, 312.664.6203 where you will find hand-blown glass vases, lamps and other objet d’art.


continued from page 16...

Need to find the perfect WOW present for the techie? Start your search at the Apple Store, 679 N. Michigan, 312.529.9500 and check out the new iPhone 6 Plus. The latest fad in computing is the laptop/tablet hybrid

Monday through Saturday: 11:00am ~ 6:00pm Sunday: 11:00am ~ 5:00pm

706 North Dearborn Chicago – 312-654-8100 www.marymarygis.com

Receive 15% OFF your purchase with this ad! Complimentary Gift Wrap Worldwide Shipping 20

2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

and the Microsoft Store, at the Shops at North Bridge, 520 N. Michigan, 312.836.3379, has several Surface models to “test-drive.” For those demanding technology and beauty combined, head a few blocks west to Bang & Olufsen, 609 N. State, 312.787.6006, and listen

Speaking of beauty, Atlas Galleries, 535 N. Michigan, 312.329.9339; 900 N. Michigan, 312.649.0999, has been enhancing homes with original works of art from national and international artists. Don’t miss the works of famed local artist Michael Cheney, whose paintings depicts local attractions and scenes. Beauty certainly also extends to fashion and Mary Walter,

33 W. Superior, 312.266.1094, prides itself in showcasing unique clothing from leading designers such as Amet & Ladoue and Porto, that allow customers to express their own creativity while remaining timeless. Just around the corner, resides another beautiful “Mary.” Mary Mary, 706 N. Dearborn, 312.654.8100 is an intimate gifts and furnishings boutique that is the perfect spot to pick up something special for a loved one – or yourself. Take an extra 15% off with discount on pg 20. Continue your one-of-a-kind journey at P.O.S.H., 613 N. State, 312.280.1602, where you will discover a cool selection of unique finds, from a vintage silver teapot to an authentic Italian Air Force wool blanket. While a traditional toy store might be hard to find, head to Spoil Me Kidz Boutique, inside Water Tower Place at 835 N. Michigan, level 7, 312.448.8128, for a fantastic selection of trendy toys and books. Next, head downstairs to the second level clothing store for an incredible selection of fashion forward boys and girls.

835 North Michigan Avenue

2nd & 7th Floors at Water Tower Place

(312) 448-8128 | spoilmekidz.com

Ice Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park

ice, ice baby For all the fun and frolic and endless go-go-go of the modern Christmas scene, for many the best memories of the holiday season happen on the ice – be it a quiet rink in the park or a crowded rink in the middle of the city. Fortunately, Chicago offers plenty of diverse rinks to do a few figure eights. Set to open in December, the city’s newest “rink” is actually more of an “ice trail” winding through the new Maggie Daley Park on the eastern edge of Millennium Park. The Ice Ribbon is a ¼-mile-long meandering frozen path dotted 22

2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

with trees and majestic light masts that will create a moonlit glow throughout. As of press time, specific hours and prices had not been finalized so please call first. Need a little more room to execute those figure eights? Take the BP Bridge over to the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park, where Olympic hopefuls and wobbly beginners alike slide in the shadow of the Bean. Afterwards grab a Crimson Rye Toddy at the Park Grill. If you need to get in a few laps

but just can’t handle the cold, head to Navy Pier where the Chicago Blackhawks Ice Rink is the place to be. For a break from Mag Mile shopping, head over to The Peninsula Hotel. After a stop in The Lobby for a cocktail, head to the fourth-floor Sky Rink for a cozy skate amid a winter wonderland. Finally, skate past ponies and glide next to goats at the rink at Farm-in-the-Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo. Be sure to leave plenty of time to explore the annual ZooLights installation.

Sky Rink at the Peninsula

Ice Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park Call for hours & prices. 337 E. Randolph, 312.742.7529. Sky Rink at the Peninsula Hotel Mon.-Fri. 3pm-8pm; Sat. Noon-9pm; Sun Noon-6pm. $10 kids, $15 adults includes skate rental. 108 E. Superior, 312.337.2888. Chicago Blackhawks Ice Rink at Navy Pier Dec. 5 - Jan. 11. See page 10 for specific hours. $25 includes skate rental and activity admission to Winter WonderFest. 600 E. Grand, 312.595.5282.

Chicago Blackhawks Ice Rink at Navy Pier

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park Mon.-Thur. Noon-8pm; Fri. Noon-10pm; Sat. 10am-10pm; Sun. 10am-9pm. Call for holiday hours. FREE, skate rental $12. 201 E. Randolph, 312.742.1168. Skating at the Lincoln Park Zoo Opens November 28. $5, skate rental $5. 2001 N. Clark, 312.742.2000.

Farm-in-the-Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo

McCormick Tribune Ice rink at Millennium Park

For hundreds of additional Holiday activities...

download our mobile app! Search KEY Chicago or


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

Billy Goat Tavern

870 years and counting

The Berghoff

The Walnut Room

culinary legacies The holidays are a natural time for looking back on Christmases past and reflecting on the memories of days gone by. And there’s no better place to indulge that sense of holiday history than Chicago, a modern and forward-looking city that nevertheless wears its colorful heritage proudly on its sleeve.


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

Take the city’s dining scene, for instance. While widely and justly lauded for its cutting-edge new restaurants and innovative rock-star chefs, the Windy City is also anchored by dozens of venerated establishments that have been feeding locals and visitors alike for more than half a century (in some cases, much more). We ought to know – Key has been featuring many

of these places since our own beginnings back in 1920! So as you and your loved ones enjoy this holiday season be sure to bridge the city’s past and its present at any of the our historic restaurants - each and every one of them helped lay the foundation for Chicago’s current culinary excellence.

The Old Country It should come as no surprise in a city with such a vibrant and diverse ethnic makeup that some of Chicago’s oldest and most renowned restaurants trace their history back to the “old country”. Take The Berghoff (17 W. Adams; 312.427.3170), for example. Founded in 1898, this bastion of German fare continues to thrive under the leadership of Herman Joseph Berghoff’s great-grandaughter Carlyn. A well-known fact for local history buffs is that after prohibition was repealed in 1933, The Berghoff was issued liquor license number one in Chicago – quite a designation in a city teeming with bars and taverns. After closing the legendary dining room in 2006, it quickly reopened amid public outcry with a slightly revised “Tradition with a Twist” format featuring classic favorites like Sauerbraten and Wiener Schnitzel alongside new creations. Located in the Loop, the Italian Village (71 W. Monroe; 312.332.7005) has expertly served over 9 million meals since it’s founding by Alfredo

Capitanini in 1927 and is still run today by the original family. Lauded as one of the finest Italian restaurants in the city, the Italian Village is actually comprised of three distinct dining experiences – The Village, serving classic northern Italian specialties, the lower level La Cantina that specializes in steak and the contemporary


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

Vivere featuring forward thinking cuisine. Celebrity Sighting’s are a regular occurrence but a few notable have included Al Capone, Frank SinaItalian Village tra, Luciano Pavarotti and Sting.

Holiday dining often demands a “special occasion” type of meal, and Chicago doesn’t lack for high-end eats. But for classic elegance – the kind that continues to stand the tests of time – a couple of places stand out.

Meanwhile, the city’s proud Mexican heritage is well-represented in River North. Located in a converted 1867 carriage house, Su Casa (49 E. Ontario; 312.943.4041) has stood as a longtime stalwart for Mexican comfort food since the Kennedy administration, despite

For some locals, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a traditional visit to the circa-1907 Walnut Room at Macy’s State Street (111 N. State, 7th floor; 312.781.3125). The wait times grow increasingly long as the holidays approach, but everyone wants a look at that

being founded by a guy (Ike Sewell) known more for his prowess with Chicago-style deep dish pizza.

Classic Elegance

original oak paneling and a chance to dig into a classic Mrs. Hering’s chicken pot pie at the base of the 45-foot Christmas tree. Seafood lovers, meanwhile, have been flocking to the Cape Cod Room (140 E. Walton; 312.787.2200) in the tony Drake Hotel since 1933. The décor is vintage, the service is impeccable and seafood is flown in fresh each day. Look for Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio’s initials that are carved into the wooden bar.

Deep Dish, Delis and Diners Still, not every meal has to be a big affair. In fact, it’s the everyday kind of places that truly make up the fabric of any

city’s dining scene, and Chicago has plenty of reliable options that have lived on through the ages. Nothing unites Chicagoans Connie’s Pizza (and visitors), quite like the city’s legendary pizza. Opened by Jim Stolfe (pictured with wife above) on the South Side in the 1960s, Connie’s Pizza (1030 N. State; 312.266.6437) now boasts four locations in the city (Navy Pier, Gold Coast, McCormick Pl. and Archer Ave.) and a major presence in supermarket freezer cases across the

country. But it always tastes better right here in sweet home Chicago. Our gift to you, a $10 off coupon below! Of course, if you want to truly see the full range of Chicagoans come together – from cops and construction workers to politicians and businessmen – united by a love

of corned beef and potato pancakes, the straightforward family-run Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen (1141 S. Jefferson; 312.939.2855) has been the place to be since the 1940s. The family-owned and operated Artists Café (412 S. Michigan; 312.939.7855) has been serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to the arts crowd including Jim Belushi, John Cusack as well as members of the Rolling Stones all since 1961. Housed at the base of the landmark Fine Arts Building (itself an 1885 gem) visitors will enjoy good food, a hot cup of coffee and plenty of lively conversation.

Old-School All the Way

Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner After Theatre • Food • Wine Spirits • Espresso • Desserts Open daily at 7am The Fine Arts Building 412 S. Michigan (312)939-7855 & 1150 S. Wabash (312)583-9942 www.artists-cafe.com

Feliz Navidad a todos! Mexican Cuisine since 1963

49 E. Ontario St. |(312)943-4041 www.sucasamexican.com 30

2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

Nothing says “classic Chicago” quite like a tavern, which has long been the secular equivalent of the neighborhood parish as an anchor in many enclaves. In a fast-paced modern world, time can stand still in some of the city’s old haunts. Even the Miller’s Pub bustling Loop is a considered a neighborhood, and since 1935 Miller’s Pub (134 S. Wabash; 312.263.4988) has been its local watering hole. In 1950 after pooling their money Pete, Nick and jimmy Gallios purchased the pub from the Miller brothers. The only problem they did not have the $500 it would cost to change the large sign outside. Names aside, the Gallios’ have been treating everyone like family every since. The oldest tavern in the city was founded in 1921 and later named the Green Door Tavern (678 N. Orleans; 312.664.5496) During prohibition restaurants whose doors were painted green indicated the presence of a “speakeasy”; in other words booze was flowing. Suffice it to say to this very day, the name sticks! Current patrons are

treated to solid pours, great food and lively service. No wonder the Green Door continues to be a neighborhood favorite. Stop in for a FREE fried Nutella Sandwich with ad below. Finally, while most taverns in Chicago are quiet, unassuming little corner joints, it would be hard to pin that description on one that was immortalized by the likes of Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd and John Belushi on “Saturday Night Live.” Founded in 1934 as the Lincoln Tavern by Greek immigrant Sam Sianis, the original location of the Billy Goat Tavern (430 N. Michigan; 312.222.1525) was on the city’s West Side near the old Chicago Stadium. Now with nine outlets, including one near the original site by the United Center and legendary subterranean location at 430 N. Michigan (opened in 1964), this is a great place to grab a “cheezborger” and chips and soak up some Chicago history.

YG BILL OAT Tavern & Grill est. 1934



430 N. Michigan (lower level) (312)222-1525 | billygoattavern.com


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a dilly of a tradition Stockings hanging from the fireplace. A plate of cookies for Santa. Eggnog. Some holiday phenomena can only be explained by tradition. And yet, even at their strangest, many of these quirky traditions eventually come to define the Christmas season for many folks. Bizarre eccentricities that would make little sense at any other time of year are somehow foregone conclusions in December.

those sticking to the traditional German). A distinct holiday custom for generations of

The Berghoff

Take the Pickle in the Tree, for instance (also known as Die Weihnachtsgurke for


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

Chicagoans, this odd but beloved tradition continues a

long and storied run this year at The Berghoff (17 W. Adams; 312.427.3170). This year, families will again come downtown to enjoy classic German dishes such as Weiner Schnitzel and Sauerbraten as well as new specialties like Molasses Crusted Salmon and German Gnocchi. Kids under 12 who are lucky enough to find a pickle ornament hidden in the restaurant’s Christmas tree will be treated to a free Berghoff root beer. It’s a Merry Christmas – German, by way of Chicago.

After dinner and pickle-hunting, the Christkindlmarket at nearby Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington; 312.494.2175) beckons those in search of even more European holiday tradition and festivities. Now in its 19th season, this open-air German-style market features over 50 specialty food and craft vendors, selling everything from bratwurst and Bavarian pretzels to blown-glass ornaments and Cuckoo clocks. Leave room for souvenir mug of GlehwĂŤin (hot spiced wine) and Strudel. Who knows? You might even find a pickle for your tree at home (or maybe just one to eat).

Club Lucky

Rated on Yahoo’s list of Chicago’s Top 10 Restaurants for “Best Holiday Decorations.” The eternally hip Club Lucky is the perfect spot to meet up with friends all throughout the season. Inside, diners will find hundreds of dazzling hand-

r Try ou e -Fre n e t lu G daily menu & ! specials

Serving the Lincoln Park and Gold Coast areas for over 40 Years!

2020 Lincoln Park West (Corner of Clark & Armitage) (773)929-8130 22 East Bellevue (East of Rush on Bellevue) (312)642-7917


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

made snowflakes dangling from the ceiling, garland galore, thousands of Italian lights, oversized wreaths, and beautiful ornaments. Bask in the glow, and sip one of the special holiday martinis. 1824 W. Wabansia, 773.227.2300.

on stage holidays

Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

Chicago would do well to consider the catch phrase “We Got Options.” Variety is the spice of life around these parts, and every holiday season, Chicago’s magnificent bounty of theater offerings is the gift that keeps on giving— from bounding Nutcrackers to Dickensian misers, bigticket flash to small-scale intimacy. There’s something for everyone. Chicago dishes out world-class performances the way Kris Kringle doles out jolly cheer, and whether you’re an avid or casual theatergoer, the Windy City experience is one you won’t forget anytime soon.

productions throughout the city, some old and some new. There’s lots to see and even more cost-friendly rates to keep you merry all winter long. Go forth, theater fans and enjoy. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

A Christmas Carol

Relish the talents of Joseph Jefferson Award winners, rising local stars, and a smorgasbord of critically-acclaimed

For nearly four decades A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre has

done away with convention with diverse casts and surprises unique only to the Windy City. Expect more of the same in 2014, as the Goodman debuts new set elements for your viewing pleasure. Follow the miserly curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge as he embarks on a journey of self-reflection with the ghosts of past, present, and future in search of the true meaning of Christmas. Feel-good charisma runs aplenty as local mainstay Larry Yando takes on the title role of Scrooge for yet another year. Through Dec. 28. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. Tickets $27 - $89. Call 312.443.3800.

on one crazy adventure. DJ Super Nova provides the beats, mixing everything from hiphop, reggae, dancehall and dubstep to epic rock ballads. Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale Through Hip-hop duo the Q Brothers — Dec. 31. Chicago Shakespeare AKA GQ and JQ — set up Theater, 800 E. Grand. Tickets shop at the Chicago Shake$30 – $48. Call 312.595.5600. speare Theatre in 2013 for a special work-in-progress A popular hit from the Pacific showing of A Q Brothers Northwest is making its way to Christmas Carol. The bros Chicago. The Provision Theater return in 2014 with the final cut, Company, now in the midst so to speak, a musical mashof its 11th season, presents up that pits a money-hungry the Midwest premiere of Scrooge, a Jamaican Jacob Christmas On the Air, a Marley, and Lil’ Tim together musical/drama that tells the


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

story of a live radio broadcast from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Actors portray the nativity scene and experience a modern-day lesson in giving and receiving. Nov. 26 – Dec. 28. Provision Theater, 1001 W. Roosevelt. Tickets $10 – $32. Call 312.455.0065. Heavy metal bar band Däisy Cütter aims to make a deal with the devil in exchange for fame and fortune. Just one problem: every time they try to seal the pact, their head-banging anthems turn into warmhearted carols. Former Twisted Sister front man Dee Snider produces and stars in Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale, an ostensibly semiautobiographical story of big dreams, hard choices, and the true meaning of Christmas spirit. Through Jan. 4. Broad-

way Playhouse, 175 E. Chestnut. Tickets $27 – $67. Call 800.653.8000. Sing along to hit songs “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! the Musical, both from the 1966 original animated television special. Max the Dog serves as narrator while the scheming Grinch plans to steal Christmas away from The Whos. Nov. 20 – 29. Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Tickets $35 – $125. Call 800.653.8000. You can’t deny that warm, fuzzy feeling when Chicago’s holiday El goes rumbling by. But even when the El is decked with holiday lights and decorations, your fellow commuters still have lots of adventures to share.

El Stories: Holiday Train compiles stories from actual CTA riders with a little bit of Santa spirit thrown in the mix. One hour run time, which for Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical some of a candy-riddled house put their you, is even shorter than your resolve to the test. Emerald City average daily commute. Nov. Theatre artistic director Ernie 29 – Jan 10. Greenhouse TheNolan teams with Grammy®ater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln. nominated kid-crooner Justin $10 – $20. Call 773.404.7336. Roberts for a unique telling of the fairy tale Hansel & Gretel: Reeling from the disappearA Wickedly Delicious Musiance of their mother and classcal Treat playing at the Broadmates, Hansel and Gretel way Playhouse. Through Jan. 4. venture into the forbidden for175 E. Chestnut. Tickets $24. est in pursuit of their lost comCall 312.977.1700. panions, where temptation and

American Blues Theater presents the cherished holiday tale It’s A Wonderful Life as a live and warm-hearted 1940s radio broadcast, complete with a cast of eight, original music, and live sound effects – plus milk and cookies after every show! Through Dec. 28 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln. For tickets ($19-$49) call 773.404.7336 or visit AmericanBluesTheater.com


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

Step Up Productions returns for year two of the hilariously heartwarming HoliDaze, a showcase of holiday-themed short works inspired by the zany antics and awkward family moments that only the holidays tend to bring. Through Dec. 21. at the Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago. For tickets ($15 –$30) call 312.316.8355.

From the creator of “Late Nite Catechism,” the interactive comedy Christmas Bingo: It’s A Ho-Ho-Holy Night features actual audience-participation bingo games with holidaythemed prizes, along with plenty of hilarious stories about Jesus, Santa, and why we love the holiday season! Through Jan. 4 at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted. For tickets ($30) call 312.988.9000.

Bring the family and celebrate the most joyous time of the year with Cirque Dreams Holidaze, a holiday extravaganza featuring breathtaking acts by an international cast of 30 multitalented artists performing 20 astonishing feats. Performances Dec. 17 through 21 at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. For tickets ($25-$75) call 800.745.3000.

The House Theatre of Chicago’s magical production of The Nutcracker is a moving new take on a timeless story with a brilliant combination of original music, moving dialogue, amazing puppetry and eye-popping spectacle. Through Dec. 28 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. For tickets ($15-$45) call 773.769.3832.

A Chicago holiday tradition, The Christmas Schooner tells the tale of the first Christmas tree ship and the family who risked their lives to fill Chicago with the Christmas spirit – a powerful, moving story brought to life through a wonderful original score and traditional holiday carols. Through Dec. 28 at the Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport. For tickets ($25-$45) call 773.325.1700.




Visit thechicagotheatre.com/grinch or call

at 800.745.3000

© 2014 MSG Holdings, LP. All rights reserved. TM & © 1957, 2014 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, LP.

Back by popular demand, It’s a Wonderful SantaLand Miracle Nutcracking Christmas Story welcomes all people of all faiths and denominations for a whip-smart showcase of singing, dancing, stories and interactive games tailored for the holiday season. Brian Posen directs with choreography by Matter Dance Company. Treat yourself to a


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

glass of non-holiday specific eggnog, which Stage 773 happily keeps on hand. Through Dec. 28. Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont. The Santaland Diaries Tickets $25. Call 773.327.5252. The comedians of Chicago’s world-famous Second City are back with their usual brand of brash and irreverent humor. Mix in some holiday cheer with whip-smart improv, hilarious offbeat songs, and a willingness to skewer the topic at hand, and you’ve got yourself a laugh-out-loud Holidazed &

Confused Revue — from uneven gift exchanges with clueless boyfriends to couples therapy with Joseph and Mary. Through Dec. 31. Up Comedy Club, 230 W. North. Tickets $24 - $55. Call 312.662.4562. A touring edition of this show is performing Monday's beginning Dec. 1 at Second City's Resident Stage, 1616 N. Wells. Tickets $17 - $21. Call 312.337.3992 “America’s #1 Nut” started small in 1987 and grew from there, a long way from Iowa City where it was first conceived. Today the Joffrey Ballet celebrates its 27th annual presentation of Robert Joffrey’s larger-than-life production of The Nutcracker, one of Chicago’s favorite annual traditions, featuring unforgettable characters and live music

courtesy of the Chicago Sinfonietta performing Tchaikovsky’s classical score. Dec. 5 – 28. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress. Tickets $34 – $134. Call 800.982.2787. Looking for droll, dry wit this holiday season? Look no further. David Sedaris’ wickedly entertaining The Santaland Diaries returns to Theater Wit for another year of ensuing hilarity. Based on a collection of the same name by New York Times’ best-selling author, Santaland Diaries recounts Sedaris’ days as a struggling writer, as he reluctantly takes a job as a department store elf at the expense of his dignity. Through Dec. 28. Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont. Tickets $24 – $35. Call 773.975.8150.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s merry musicians fill the air with holiday cheer during Welcome Yule!, now entering its 20th season. A delight for Welcome Yule! the eyes and ears, this annual favorite features cherished carols and musical surprises, punctuated by sing-alongs and appearance by beloved holiday characters. Dec. 13 – 23. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets $35 – $120. Call 312.294.3000. Santa’s on the naughty list in A Very Orwellian Christmas,

a noir-style comedy that imagines a dystopian future in which jolly St. Nick rules with an iron fist. Revolutionaries Dirk Action and Holly Day finalize their plot to overthrow Santa and his elfish minions, but the Big Man isn’t going down without a fight. Nov. 28 – Dec. 21. Royal George Theater, 1641 N. Halsted. Tickets $22. Call 312.988.9000.

presents perfect

Steal a smooch under the Mistletoe Kissing Crystal ($15) from MARY MARY. 706 N. Dearborn, 312.654.8100.

Watch their little eyes light up when they find this Automoblox Mini Emergency Response Line ($44) under the tree from SPOIL ME KIDZ BOUTIQUE. 835 N. Michigan, Level 7, 312.448.8128.

Bundle up against the cold with this cozy faux leather jacket ($379) and striking Amet & Ladoue scarf ($174) from designer boutique MARY WALTER. 33 W. Superior, 312.266.1094.

Add a fragrant finishing touch to your holiday dĂŠcor with the holiday classic candle ($34), holiday reed diffuser ($38) or room spray ($28) from CROSELL & CO. 900 N. Michigan, Level 5, 312.266.4500.

Complete his look with with a rugged Mainsai Leather Hook or Rope Anchor Bracelet ($55-$80) from men's store Haberdash. 611 N. State, 312.646.7870 44

2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

Reinforce your skin against the harsh winter elements and restore that natural glow with the Sea Salt Spa Trio ($25) from H2O+. 600 N. Michigan, 312.397.1243.

Watch the smiles when they find this Melissa & Doug wooden dollhouse ($53) under the tree from SPOIL ME KIDZ BOUTIQUE. 835 N. Michigan, Level 7, 312.448.8128.

Let them indulge in the warmth of the season with the Mariage FrĂŠres Black, Green or Red Teas ($35) from P.O.S.H. 613 N. State, 312.280.1602.

new year’s celebrations With preparations for Christmas consuming so much of the month of December, those all-important plans for the biggest party night of the year can sometimes slip off the social radar. But never fear – Chicago has plenty of exciting NYE options and we’ve rounded up some of the best. So slip on your dancing shoes and get ready to ring in 2015! Want to party a mile out on Lake Michigan but still dance on dry land? Then head to the Grand Ballroom of Navy Pier, where hundreds of revelers in their cocktail best will dance to the sounds of several DJs, enjoy tasty treats


2014 holiday ACTIVITY GUIDE

from a dozen different food stations and toast the stroke of midnight with a great view of the Navy Pier fireworks, champagne and noisemakers during the Chicago Resolution Gala. 8:15pm-1am. $89-$375. 600 E. Grand, 847.306.3426. To get even further out on the lake to ring in the New Year, you’ll have to hop a boat. Fortunately, the luxurious Odyssey is no average boat, and its Navy Pier Fireworks Dinner Cruise is no average NYE party. Enjoy DJ music all night long, a fabulous dinner buffet and one of the best views of the skyline and the

fireworks in town. 9:30pm12:30am. $229.90. 600 E. Grand, 866.305.2469. Back on land, the celebrations will be upscale and the crowds will be beautiful at the upscale River North nightclubs SHAY and Cuvèe. With the hottest music, the fanciest drinks and the most happening crowds going almost every weekend, it’s hard to imagine how these two pinnacles of nightlife will top their usual scenes for the big night, but the bet here is that they most certainly will. SHAY is at 222 W. Ontario, 312.654.1230. Cuvèe is at 308 W. Erie, 312.202.9221.