Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to concentrate on the holiday seasonfree programming headed to Millennium Park this year. Here are somekey dates to consider as November and December approach:
Nov. 18: the 103rd annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonyfestivities begin at 6 p.m. at Washington and Michigan, where the 69-foot Norway Spruce, donated by the Scholla family of far north suburban Wauconda, will take center stage. Musical performances by percussion sensations “STOMP,” cast members from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the Musical, and a special appearance by Santa Claus are also on the bill. The tree will be lit at 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 18: Santa will officially open the door to his Midwest “home” at the Chase Promenade (northeast corner of Millennium Park) beginning at noon for visits with the kiddies and photo opps. Visits will continue Nov. 19 and 20 from noon to 6 p.m., and on Thanksgiving Day from noon – 3 p.m. Santa’s regular visiting hours are Saturdays and Sundays from November 26 – December 18, noon – 6 p.m. The complete schedule can be found at cityofchicago.org/holiday.
Nov 18: Ice rink at Millennium Park opens at noon and will be open through March 5, 2017, weather permitting. Visit millenniumpark.org.
Nov. 25-Dec. 16: Caroling at Cloud Gate. The annual music extravaganza at “The Bean” will feature the following choral groups: After School Matters: The I.A. Music Program (Inspiration.Aspiration.Music) on Nov. 25; the Chicago Children’s Choir on Dec. 2; the British International School of Chicago on Dec. 9; and St. John Berchmans Holiday Pops Chicago Chorus on Dec. 16. All concerts are free; 6 to 7 p.m., weather permitting.
Dec. 4: “Dance-Along Nutcracker.” The annual participatory production for kids of all ages at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, begins with optional lessons at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.,with performances at noon and 3 p.m. Admission is free.
For complete details on all these events, visit cityofchicago.org/holiday.