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Skaters enjoy the McCormick ice skating rink in Millennium Park. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Free and cheap things to do in Chicago this week: Dec. 14-20

SHARE Free and cheap things to do in Chicago this week: Dec. 14-20
SHARE Free and cheap things to do in Chicago this week: Dec. 14-20

Make no mistake — Christmas is just a little more than a week away.

If you got all your shopping done, and you’re looking for something fun to do before next weekend makes way for traveling and family time, you could go ice skating or take a dance class. Both would burn a few preemptive holiday feasting calories.

For those who haven’t gotten all the gifts they need just yet, the Randolph Street Holiday Market and the Christkindlmarket both offer some unique ideas.And guess what? It’s free and cheap!

Plus, we’ve got some suggestions for winter/holiday fun if you want to go ahead and splurge a little, too.

ICE SKATING IN THE PARK — FREE

People ice skate around the McCormick rink in Millennium Park. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

People ice skate around the McCormick rink in Millennium Park. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

What: Go ice skating this weekend at the ice rink in Millennium Park. Skate rentals and sharpening are available for a fee.

When: Mon.-Thurs. noon – 8 p.m.; Fridays noon–10 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Where: Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph

CHRISTKINDLMARKET — FREE

People browse the souvenirs available at the Bavarian Workshop in the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

People browse the souvenirs available at the Bavarian Workshop in the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

What: Only two more weekends remain to browse all the beautiful handmade Christmas trinkets and grab a bite of German food at this annual favorite.

When: Every day until Dec. 24

Where: Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington

THE HIDEOUT’S LAST CHANCE HOLIDAY SALE — FREE

What: This sale offers handmade gifts from local makers like art, edibles, hand-knit items, books, jewelry and more.

When: 5 p.m. Tuesday

Where: The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia

RANDOLPH STREET HOLIDAY MARKET — $10

What: Get some holiday shopping done at this market packed with decorative objects, housewares, clothing, and unique gifts.

When: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: 1341 W. Randolph

FULCRUM POINT — $15-$30

The JuJu Exchange | Rene Marban Photo

The JuJu Exchange | Rene Marban Photo

What: Fulcrum Point New Music Project celebrates its 20th anniversary with the annual concert for peace titled “Peace in Chicago: An Intergenerational Celebration,” a festive melding of art music, poetry and hip-hop. Fulcrum Point is joined by The JuJu Exchange and the Chicago Children’s Choir in a performance of “Price of Peace,” an oratorio by Julian Reid and Nico Segal. The program also features hip-hop artists Loona Dae Rick Wilson and Victor! backed by trumpet and drum duo the Burns Twins, poets KM Burroughs and Ed Roberson and new music from Scott Johnson and Jessie Montgomery. Tickets, here.

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19

Where: Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph

‘BARNEY THE ELF’ — $20-$30

In “Barney the Elf,” Chicago drag queen Dixie Lynn Cartwright stars in this cheeky musical twist on the holiday favorite at the Pride Arts Center. | Carin Salkaitis

“Barney the Elf” the Pride Arts Center. | Carin Salkaitis

What: In Bryan Renaud and Emily Schmidt’s LGBTQ-themed musical satire, Chicago drag queen Dixie Lynn Cartwright takes the lead in a cheeky musical twist on the holiday film “Elf.” After Santa retires and his son begins a tyrannical reign, Barney (Roy Samra) leaves his longtime home at the North Pole and travels to a nightclub in Chicago where he befriends Zooey, a drag queen, and begins a journey of self-discovery. Tickets, here.

When: Dec. 14, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019

Where: Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway

UGLY SWEATER DANCE CLASS — $25

What: Learn to swing dance to Christmas songs while wearing an ugly Christmas sweater. The ugliest sweater will earn a prize by the end of the class.

When: 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Dec. 14

Where: 2412 W. North, #201

*******

If you feel like splurging…

‘FIDDLER ON THE ROOF’ $25-$98

The cast of “Fiddler on the Roof.” | Joan Marcus

The cast of “Fiddler on the Roof.” | Joan Marcus

What: Winner of nine Tony Awards when it debuted in 1964, “Fiddler on the Roof” is the creation of Broadway legends Jerome Robbins (director/choreographer) and Harold Prince (producer). With a book by Joseph Stein and music and lyrics by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, the musical tells the story of Tevye, a poor milkman who tries to impress upon his five daughters the importance of tradition in a time of change in Czarist Russia. Songs include “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” and “Matchmaker, Matchmaker.” Tickets here.

When: Dec. 18, 2018-Jan. 6, 2019

Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph

DEEPLY ROOTED DANCE THEATER

Pierre Clark of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. | Photo by Ken Carl

Pierre Clark of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. | Photo by Ken Carl

What: A combination of ballet, modern and African contemporary dance enhanced by storytelling and eclectic music is the calling card for this troupe. The company presents a new program, “An Inspired Past. A Jubilant Future,” featuring Kevin Iega Jeff’s “Nia Keii — A Gift of Life” and “Flack,” Gary Abbott’s “Parallel Lives” and “Somewhere,” and Jeff and Abbott’s “Heaven.” Tickets, here.

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 and 2 p.m. Dec. 16

Where: Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th

‘CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE’— $25-$125

“Cirque Dreams Holidaze” is now playing at the Chicago Theatre. | Courtesy Cirque Dreams

“Cirque Dreams Holidaze” is now playing at the Chicago Theatre. | Courtesy Cirque Dreams

What: A blend of Broadway musical and a Cirque adventure with singers, illusions and gravity-defying feats. The production boasts more than 300 spectacular costumes, 20 of the world’s jaw dropping acts, singers, original music and seasonal favorites. Tickets, here.

When: Through Dec. 16

Where: Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State

Contributing: Mary Houlihan

If you have a suggestion for free and cheap things to do in Chicago, email us at freeandcheap@suntimes.com and we may include your event in a future roundup.

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