clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Holiday Entertainment Guide 2019: Fun things to do and see throughout the Chicago area

From concerts and outdoor fun to festivals and holiday craft fairs, we’ve got your guide to the season’s biggest events.

Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier
Nick Ulivieri Photography

There’s so much to see and do throughout the holiday season across the Chicago area. Music, family fun, craft bazaars, museums, zoos — where to start?

We’ve got a whole lot of suggestions.

The Christmas season in Chicago “officially” begins Nov. 22 with the 106th lighting of the city’s always very large and very pretty holiday tree in Millennium Park. Holiday-themed activities in the park include the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink and the Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon (both to mid-March) and Caroling at Cloud Gate (Fridays, Nov. 29-Dec. 20). An Art Market with items from student artists is Nov. 22-24. Admission is free to all park events; millenniumpark.org

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival returns with a full lineup of activities beginning at 4 p.m. Nov. 22 with a parade and tree lighting; family friendly activities and music begin again at 11 a.m. Nov. 23. On N. Michigan Ave, Free; themagnificentmile.com

Daley Plaza becomes festive with the annual Christkindlmarket (Nov. 15-Dec. 24), which brings a European tradition to Chicago. Inspired by a 16th century market in Nuremberg, Germany, it is know for its wide array of quality gifts and food vendors. It’s a great spot for a hot beverage on a chilly day or to find a unique gift for that person who has everything. Cuckoo clock anyone? There’s also a Christkindlmarket location (Nov. 22-Dec. 31) at Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field, Free; christkindlmarket.com

Now in its 19th year at Navy Pier, Winter WonderFest features lots of indoor family fun with 500 decorated trees, carnival rides, giant slides, holiday themed activities, ice-skating rink, obstacle course, climbing walls, train, acrobatic performances, a market place, rides on the Centennial Wheel and more. Dec. 6-Jan. 12 at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, admission prices vary; navypier.com

Carnival rides are among the fun indoor attractions at Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier.
Carnival rides are among the fun indoor attractions at Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier.
Nick Ulivieri Photography

Gallagher Way at Wrigley transforms into a winter wonderland for the holiday season with a tree lighting ceremony (Dec. 2), an ice skating rink (Nov. 22 to Feb. 16), Christkindlmarket (Nov. 22-Dec. 31), Santa’s Workshop (Nov. 29-Dec. 22), wreath making (Dec. 1-15; $50), outdoor movies (Dec. 5-26) at Clark and Addison; gallagherway.com

MUSEUMS

Museum of Science and Industry will open its annual “Christmas Around the World and Holiday of Light” on Nov. 14.
Museum of Science and Industry will open its annual “Christmas Around the World and Holiday of Light” on Nov. 14.
©2017 JB SPECTOR / Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light at Museum of Science & Industry: An annual tradition began in 1942, Christmas Around the World features a 45-ft Christmas tree covered in 30,000 lights, surrounded by 50 smaller trees and displays representing holiday traditions from cultures around the globe. Holidays of Light is a display that celebrates enlightenment including the Chinese New Year, Diwali, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Hanukkah and St. Lucia Day. Nov. 14-Jan. 5 at the Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., included with museum admission; msichicago.org

Holiday Happenings at the Art Institute of Chicago: Christmas events begin with the annual “Wreathing of the Lions” plus the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus and an art activity in the Ryan Learning Center (Nov. 29) and continue with Holiday Choirs (Dec. 4-6), Holiday Thorne Rooms (Nov. 22-Jan. 20, member lecture Dec. 7) and Neapolitan Creche (Nov. 23-Jan. 6, member lecture Dec. 12), Build Your Own Gingerbread House (Dec. 14, $65, $80) at Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan, included with admission except where noted; artic.edu

Richard H. Driehaus Museum: The museum is adorned with vintage decorations for the season. Holiday music performances (Fri-Sat, Dec. 6-14), visit with Santa includes holiday games, performances and sing-a-longs (Sat-Sun, Dec. 7-15, $8, $15; under 2 free); Gilded Age Traditions includes tea in the museum’s historic ballroom (Dec. 8, 15, $85) at Driehaus Museum, 40 E. Erie; driehausmuseum.org

The Shedd Aquarium Winter Wonderland: At this overnight event explore how animals survive in chilly temperatures and how living things illuminate the icy depths; plus explore exhibits, a scavenger hunt and more. Dec. 20 at Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr. $40-$130, children under 3 free; sheddaquarium.org

Elmhurst History Museum Holiday: Traditional carols performed by the Damenchor and Mannerchor German choirs plus other festivities. Dec. at Yorkfield Presbyterian Church, 1099 S. York, Elmhurst, Free. A screening of “The Polar Express.” Dec. 14 at York Theatre, 150 N. York, Elmhurst, Free; elmhursthistory.org

ZOOS

Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights: The zoo grounds are transformed into a land of twinkling lights Nov. 29-Jan. 5. There are also photos with Santa, 3D displays, strolling carolers, ice sculpture carving and musical light shows. Other events include a Holiday Market (Dec. 3, $10) features local artisans; Holidaze (Dec. 5, $15), an after-hours event for adults with music and cash bar; Brewlights (Dec. 12, $20-$40), an evening to enjoy seasonal and international craft beers; Breakfast with Santa (Dec. 15, $20, $45, under 12 months free); Chris White Trio with a tribute to Vince Guaraldi’s “Charlie Brown Christmas” (Dec. 15, $25) at Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark, Free unless otherwise indicated; lpzoo.org

 A 38-foot-tall Talking Tree near the north entrance greets guests to Brookfield Zoo’s “Holiday Magic.”
A 38-foot-tall Talking Tree near the north entrance greets guests to Brookfield Zoo’s “Holiday Magic.”
Chicago Zoological Society

Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic: The zoo is lit with more than one million twinkling lights, animated light displays and a video light show (Nov. 30-Dec. 31). Plus there’s entertainment in the Holly Jolly Theater, magicians, Zoo Chats, caroling to the animals, ice carving demonstrations, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W. 31st St., Brookfield, Free with admission; czs.org

GARDENS

The Morton Arboretum’s Illumination — Tree Lights celebration.
The Morton Arboretum’s Illumination — Tree Lights celebration.
© 2017 Michael Hudson

Morton Arboretum’s Illumination — Tree Lights: Enjoy a festive walk through the woods where tree lights respond to your touch and voice; the path is surrounded by trees decked out in bright LED lights with treelike sculptures that spread intricate designs that highlight the many ways trees are a gift to people (Nov. 23–Jan. 5); IllumiBrew, sample seasonal beers, ciders and meads (Nov. 22, $25-$60); Santa Visits (Dec. 3, 10, 17) and a daily Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum, 4100 IL Route 53, Lisle, $12-$23; mortonarb.org

Chicago Botanic Garden — Lightscape: A new holiday nighttime light show features a mile-long path of wonder and light ranging from a playful choir of singing trees to a waterfall of light (Nov. 22-Jan. 5, $8-$25) at Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook, Glencoe, $8-$13, children under 2 free (parking $25); chicagobotanic.org

The “Cathedral of Light” at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lightscape nighttime light show.
The “Cathedral of Light” at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lightscape nighttime light show.
Courtesy Chicago Botanic Garden

MUSIC

Oak Park Concert Chorale: A festive Christmas concert. Nov. 17 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1025 W. Lake, Melrose Park; Nov. 24 at St. John Lutheran Church, 305 Circle, Forest Park; $12-$20; oakparkconcertchorale.org

A Very Rialto Christmas — Making Merry Music: Kick off the holiday season with a holiday concert with a 75-member choir. Nov. 25 at Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago, Joliet, $10, $20; rialtosquare.com

Michael Londra’s Celtic Yuletide: The singer presents an Irish Christmas as told in song, dance and stories. Nov. 29 at Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, $30; irish-american.org. Dec. 9 at Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago, Joliet, tickets start at $33.50; rialtosquare.com

Irish Christmas in America: Fiddler Oisin Mac Diarmada’s holiday show features Irish song, music and dance with singers Niamh Farrell and Seamus Begley. Nov. 30 at Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln, $28; oldtownschool.org

The cast of “Amahl and the Night Visitors.”
The cast of “Amahl and the Night Visitors.”
Lisa Howe-Ebright photography

“Amahl and the Night Visitors”: Gian Carlo Menotti’s opera about a young shepherd boy whose life is forever changed when he follows a very special star. Performed by Chamber Opera Chicago with dancers from Ensemble Espanol and Ruth Page Center. Nov. 30-Dec. 1 at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, $12-$23; athenaeumtheatre.org

Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna: The choir performs popular folk songs, classical masterpieces and holiday favorites. Nov. 30 at Chicago Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, $25-$85; cso.org

The Vienna Boys Choir
The Vienna Boys Choir
Lucas Beck Photo

A Million Dollar Christmas: Heartwarming holiday tunes meet rock ‘n’ roll. Dec. 1 at McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn, $45-$65; atthemac.org

A Cherry, Cherry Christmas: A selection of songs by Neil Diamond plus holiday favorites. Dec. 2 at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights, $35; metropolisarts.com

Cirque Musica Presents Holiday Wishes: Circus acts and holiday music. Dec. 3 at Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River, Rosemont, tickets begin at $27; ticketmaster.com

A Chanticleer Christmas
A Chanticleer Christmas
Provided

A Chanticleer Christmas: The male chorus presents its annual concert of holiday classics from medieval to modern. Dec. 3-4 at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut, $39-$61; cso.org

The 12 Dames of Christmas Starring Angela Ingersoll: The singer captures the festive sounds of a dozen divas from Judy Garland to Brenda Lee and Julie Andrews to Edith Paif. Dec. 4 at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights, $45, $50; metropolisarts.com

Ceelo Green headlines the Rialto Square Theatre for a holiday show on Dec. 4.
Ceelo Green headlines the Rialto Square Theatre for a holiday show on Dec. 4.
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Ceelo Green Holiday Hits Tour: The Grammy winner puts his creative spin on favorite holiday songs. Dec. 4 at Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago, Joliet, tickets start at $34.50; rialtosquare.com

Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus - Holidisco: The annual holiday concerts featuring seasonal favorites. Dec. 6 at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, $15.50-$43. Dec. 7 at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie, Skokie, $25-$40. Dec. 8 at Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th, $28; cgmc.org

WXRT Holiday Jam: With X Ambassadors, Mondo Cozmo (Dec. 6), The Lumineers, Joseph (Dec. 7), Alice Merton, The Strumbellas (Dec. 8) at Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield, prices vary; eventbrite.com

Chicago a cappella Holiday Concerts: Beloved carols plus others from around the world. Dec. 6 at Wentz Concert Hall, North Central College, 171 E. Chicago, Naperville; Dec. 7 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago, Evanston; Dec. 8 at St. Clement Church, 642 W. Deming Place; Dec. 13 at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut; Dec. 14 at Church of the Holy Spirit, 400 E. Westminster, Lake Forest; Dec. 15 at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake, Oak Park. $20-$43; chicagoacappella.org

Bret Michaels Christmas Party: The Poison frontman celebrates the holidays. Dec. 6 at Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main, St. Charles, $69-$125; arcadalive.com

St. Charles Singers: The chamber choir performs seasonal songs. Dec, 6, 8 at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 307 Cedar, St. Charles. Dec. 7 at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut, $10-$40; stcharlessingers.com

The Newberry Consort – A Mexican Christmas: A performance of 17th century Mexican Christmas music. Dec. 6 at Grace Lutheran Church, 7300 Division, River Forest; Dec. 7 at St. John Cantius Church, 825 N. Carpenter; Dec. 8 at First United Methodist Church, 516 Church, Evanston, $25; newberryconsort.org

Katy Perry is among the lineup for the B96 Jingle Bash on Dec. 7 at the Allstate Arena.
Katy Perry is among the lineup for the B96 Jingle Bash on Dec. 7 at the Allstate Arena.
Getty Images

B96 Jingle Bash: With performances by Katy Perry, Camila Cabello, Marshmello, Normani, Monsta X, Lil Tecca, AJ Mitchell and NCT 127. Dec. 7 at Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Rd., Rosemont, $85-$175; ticketmaster.com

Chris and Heather’s Country Calendar Show: Chris Ligon and Heather McAdams celebrate Heather’s new 2020 calendar (featuring her great drawings of singers and musicians) with a live show featuring a variety of music acts including Kelly Hogan and Andrew Sa, The North Berwyn Rhythm and Soul Organization, Jodee Lewis, The Amazing Heebie Jeebies and more. Dec. 7 at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt, Berwyn, $25; fitzgeraldsnightclub.com

Northbrook Symphony: With the Lira Singers. Dec. 7 at Our Lady of the Brook Church, 3700 Dundee, Northbrook, $30-$35; northbrooksymphony.org

Chris Isaak Holiday Show: Holiday tunes mix it up with rockabilly and ballads. Dec. 7 at Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee, Waukegan, $40-$90; geneseetheatre.com

Harry Shearer & Judith Owen’s Christmas Without Tears: A reverent and irreverent antidote to the most stressful of seasons. Dec. 7-8 at Space, 1245 Chicago, Evanston, $20-$75; evanstonspace.com

Top of the World…A Carpenters Christmas: A tribute to The Carpenters plus holiday tunes. Dec. 8 at Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main, St. Charles, $29-$59; arcadalive.com

Evanston Symphony Holiday Concert: Performing with area instrumentalists, singers and dancers. Dec. 8 at Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge, Evanston, $10-$40; evanstonsymphony.org

The Lira Ensemble: Singers, dancers and chamber players present Polish and American carols and folk dances. Dec. 7 The Lira Singers with the Northbrook Symphony at Our Lady of the Brook Church, 3700 Dundee, Northbrook, $30-$35; northbrooksymphony.org. Dec. 8 the entire ensemble at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie, Skokie, $40-$75; northshorecenter.org

Wizards of Winter Holiday Rock Show: Performing “The Christmas Dream,” a holiday rock opera. Dec. 8 at Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main, St. Charles, $29-$79; arcadalive.com

The Lakeside Singers Present It’s the Best Time of the Year: Classical and contemporary choral music. Dec. 9 at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights, $25, $35; metropolisarts.com

Musician Andrew Bird performs on the Sycamore stage during Arroyo Seco Weekend at the Brookside Golf Course at on June 25, 2017 in Pasadena, California.
Andrew Bird
Getty Images

Andrew Bird’s “Gezelligheid”: Intimate performances concentrating on instrumental violin pieces. Dec. 9-12 at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut, Sold out; jamusa.com

BenDeLaCreme & Jinkx Monsoon — All I Want for Christmas Is Attention: The duo returns with an all-new two-queen holiday extravaganza filled with songs and fun. Dec. 10 at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, $30-$100; thaliahallchicago.com

Old 97’s Holiday Hoopla!: Featuring Casey Magic (a rock magician) and a solo acoustic set by Rhett Miller. Dec. 11 at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, $25, $40; thaliahallchicago.com

A Café Carly Christmas: Holiday tunes and more with Carly Stocking, Kim Green, Amanda Walsh, Nicky Mendelsohn, Joe Giovannetti, and Kevin Pollack. Dec. 11 at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail, Arlington Heights, $15-$25; heynonny.com

WKQX’s The Nights We Stole Christmas: With Cage the Elephant, Angels and Airwaves (Dec. 11), The 1975, Bob Moses (Dec. 12), Twenty One Pilots, Idkhow (Dec. 13), Mumford & Sons, Local Natives (Dec. 14), 311, Highly Suspect, The Glorious Sons (Dec. 15) at The Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. Lawrence, ticket prices vary; aragonballroom.org

Chris Tomlin Christmas — Christmas Songs of Worship: The performer remembers what the season is all about. Dec. 12 at Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, $33-$103; ticketmaster.com

Anthony Bruno Christmas Spectacular: Bruno and his orchestra offer a dose of holiday swingin’ spirit. Dec. 12 at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail, Arlington Heights, $15-$30; heynonny.com

Ron and Naomi’s Christmas Special: One part Andy Williams, one part Garrison Keillor, one part Pee Wee’s Playhouse, this is a holiday party you won’t want to miss. Dec. 12-13 at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt, Berwyn, $15; fitzgeraldsnightclub.com

Ana Gasteyer — Sugar & Booze: The actress performs songs from her new holiday album of original and classic holiday tunes. Dec. 13 at Space, 1245 Chicago, Evanston, $24-$48; evanstonspace.com

Dave Koz at Christmas
Dave Koz
Antonio Dixon Photo

Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Show: The holiday show promises fresh renditions of holiday classics as well as a Hanukkah medley and hits from Koz’s songbook. Dec. 13 at Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, tickets begin at $33; ticketmaster.com

Eileen Ivers — A Joyful Christmas: The Irish-American fiddle player and her band celebrate Christmas with music and dance. Dec. 13 at Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, $30; irishamerican.org

Cimorelli & Voiceplay — A Night of Holiday, A Cappella & Hits: Holiday tunes and more. Dec. 13 at Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee, Waukegan, $35, $49; geneseetheatre.com

Brave Combo Holiday Spectacular: The Texas quintet’s annual rollicking holiday party. Dec. 14 at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt, Berwyn, $20; fitzgeraldsnightclub.com

Christmas with The Congregation: A soulful Christmas with eight-piece Chicago band. Dec. 14 at Tonic Room, 2447 N. Halsted, $10; tonicroom.ticketfly.com

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” with the Chris White Trio: A performance of Vince Guaraldi’s holiday music from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” plus holiday favorites. Dec. 14 at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail, Arlington Heights, $15-$25; heynonny.com

Ides of March Christmas Show: Jim Peterik welcomes the holidays with his classic tunes and seasonal favorites. Dec. 14 at Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main, St. Charles, $49-$79; arcadalive.com

Conducted by Emil de Cou, the CSO’s “Merry, Merry Chicago!” program features nembers of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Chorus directed by Duain Wolfe.
Conducted by Emil de Cou, the CSO’s “Merry, Merry Chicago!” program features nembers of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Chorus directed by Duain Wolfe.
© Todd Rosenberg Photography

Chicago Symphony Orchestra ’s Merry, Merry Chicago!: Conducted by Emil de Cou, the family friendly program features members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Chorus directed by Duain Wolfe performing festive favorites. Dec. 14-23 at Chicago Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, $55-$150; cso.org

Jane Lynch’s “A Swingin’ Little Christmas”: The singer/actress/comedian rings in the holidays with songs from her Christmas album. Dec. 15 at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph, $55-$78; citywinery.com/chicago

An Unforgettable Nat King Cole Christmas: Evan Tyrone Martin celebrates the iconic artists signature songs and yuletide favorites. Dec. 7-15 at Mercury Theatre, 3745 N. Southport, $65; mercurytheatrechicago.com

Handel’s “Messiah”: The oratorio performed by the Apollo Chorus of Chicago. Dec. 14-15 at Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph, $30-$70; harristheaterchicago.org

Chicago Soul Spectacular — Soul Xmas Party: Soul classics and holiday hits you can dance to. Dec. 15 at Space, 1245 Chicago, Evanston, $18-$27; evanstonspace.com

Sing! An Irish Christmas: Keith and Kristyn Getty perform carols and modern hymns. Dec. 16 at Chicago Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, $39-$127; cso.org

Christmas in Ireland: Irish tenor Emmet Cahill performs holiday favorites and classic Irish songs. Dec. 16 at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights, $40, $50; metropolisarts.com

Do-It-Yourself Messiah: Now in its 44th year, amateur volunteers are joined by a professional orchestra for a DIY version of the choral masterpiece. Dec. 16-17 at Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph, $15; harristheaterchicago.org

103.5 Kiss FM’s Jingle Ball: With performances by the Jonas Brothers, NF, Niall Horan, French Montana, Why Don’t We, Zara Larsson and Lewis Capaldi. Dec. 18 at Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Rd., Rosemont, $35-$125; ticketmaster.com

Rob Parton’s Big Band Christmas Reunion: Performing the music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington and seasonal favorites Dec. 18 at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt, Berwyn, $15, $5 (17 and under); fitzgeraldsnightclub.com

Elisabeth von Trapp — Home for Christmas Concert: A joyous celebration of holiday music from around the world plus stories about Christmas in the von Trapp household. Dec. 18 at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights, $40; metropolisarts.com

Pentatonix performs during the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting in 2015 in New York City.
Pentatonix performs during the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting in 2015 in New York City.
Getty Images

A Pentatonix Christmas: The a cappella group celebrates the holidays with modern and classic seasonal tunes. Dec. 18-19 at Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Rd., tickets begin at $35; jamusa.com

JD McPherson’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas: Holiday tunes from McPherson’s holiday album “Socks” plus guest Joel Paterson. Dec. 19 at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, $50-$22; thaliahallchicago.com

Chicago Blues Super Session Holiday Show: With Jimmy Johnson, Deitra Farr, Billy Flynn, Bob Stroger, Dave Katzman, Melvin Smith, Brother John Kattke, Kenny Smith and Amy Lowe. Dec. 19 at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail, Arlington Heights, $20-$45; heynonny.com

Merry Christmas Darling: Heidi Kettenring Sings Karen Carpenter: The singer-actress performs timeless holiday songs plus the hits of Karen Carpenter. Dec. 20-29 at Mercury Theatre, 3745 N. Southport, $65; mercurytheatrechicago.com

“Deck Them Halls Y’All”: Emmy Award-winning actor Leslie Jordan looks behind-the-scenes at his childhood at Christmas as well as his long career. Dec. 20-22 at Chicago Theater Works, 1113 W. Belmont, $40, $55; chicagotheaterworks.com

The Fixxmas Tour: The rock band digs into its songbook and sprinkles in a few holiday tunes. Dec. 20 at Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main, St. Charles, $29-$49; arcadalive.com

Sarah Eide & the Oh Yeahs’ Holiday Show: Holiday tunes and more. Dec. 20 at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail, Arlington Heights, $15-$30; heynonny.com

Martina McBride — The Joy of Christmas: The country singer performs holiday tunes and others from her songbook. Dec. 20 at Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago, tickets start at $44.50; rialtosquare.com

Sequence Chicago — A Blues Christmas: Toronzo Cannon, Lil’ Ed, Lynne Jordan and Matthew Skoller perform classics from the Alligator Records’ Christmas collection. Dec. 20 at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, Free; navypier.org

Brandenburg Concertos: Bach’s six masterpieces performed by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Dec. 20 at Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph, $30-$70; harristheaterchicago.org

The Redmonds Holiday Show: Featuring rock and holiday tunes with The Redmonds, Petty Union and 24/7, a kid rock band. Dec. 20 at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt, Berwyn, $12; fitzgeraldsnightclub.com

Annual Mobetta Holiday Party/Jam: Maurice “Mobetta” Brown brings a blend of jazz, blues-rock and hip-hop to the holiday season. Dec. 20 at Martyrs’, 3855 N. Lincoln, $30; martyrslive.com

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas: This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Christmas tour which features classic Christmas hits as well as a selection of compositions from Mannheim Steamroller, along with dazzling multimedia effects. Dec. 20 at the Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River, Rosemont, tickets begin at $39; ticketmaster.com

Levi Kreis — Home for the Holidays: Holiday favorites infused with gospel, country, rockabilly and jazz. Dec. 21 at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph, $25, $30; citywinery.com/chicago

Michael McDermott’s Mischief and Mistletoe: The popular local singer rings in the holidays with tunes new and old. Dec. 21-23 at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph, $32-$42; citywinery.com/chicago.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra, pictured in 2015.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra, pictured in 2015.
Getty Images

The Trans-Siberian Holiday Show Starring Infinity: Holiday music, classical music and rock music in one show. Dec. 21 at Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main, St. Charles, $25-$45; arcadalive.com

The Heavy Sounds Stax Holiday Revue: Soul, funk and holiday tunes with guests Renaldo Domino, Gina Bloom and Theo Huff. Dec. 21 at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt, Berwyn, $15; fitzgeraldsnightclub.com

An Evening of Holiday Cabaret Magic featuring Anne and Mark Burnell: The husband-and-wife duo performs holiday classics and cabaret tunes. Dec. 21 at Chicago Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, $33-$131; cso.org

A Very Merry Christmas Concert with Mariachi Herencia de Mexico: The Grammy-nominated group performs Mexican and American holiday favorites. Dec. 22 at National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th, $25; eventbrite.com

Gaudete Brass Holiday Tunes: The brass band performs carols and other sacred tunes. Dec. 22 at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail, Arlington Heights, $20; heynonny.com

The Rock and Roll Playhouse Holiday Party with Motown for Kids: The family concert series that allows kids to “move, play and sing.” Dec. 22 at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, $15; thaliahallchicago.com

The Oak Ridge Boys – Down Home Christmas: A mix of traditional and contemporary songs for the holidays plus personal thoughts from each band member about Christmas. Dec. 22 at Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago, tickets start at $43.50; rialtosquare.com

Merry and Bright with Chicago Philharmonic Brass: A holiday-themed concert for the whole family. Dec. 22 at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph, $25; citywinery.com/chicago.

Anderson Family Holiday Jamboree: With proceeds going to Ascend Together, a charity that operates in Gambia. Dec. 22 at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt, Berwyn, $15; fitzgeraldsnightclub.com

A Night of Entertainment — Holidays, Broadway and Beyond: Featuring the DeTogne Trio. Dec. 23 at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail, Arlington Heights, $20; heynonny.com

Salute to Vienna Concert: Celebrate the holidays with a program featuring Strauss waltzes and melodies performed by the Strauss Symphony of America featuring the Chicago Philharmonic. Dec. 29 at Chicago Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, $33-$131; cso.org

Trans-Siberian Orchestra — Christmas Eve and Other Stories: A holiday story, which takes listeners around the world to help reunite a young girl with her father. Dec. 30 at Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim, Rosemont, $49-30; ticketmaster.com

CRAFT FAIRS/BAZAARS

Millennium Park Art Market: One-of-a-kind items by students from the School of the Art Institute and Columbia College Chicago include jewelry, paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings and more. Nov. 22-24 at the heated tent on the Chase Promenade North, Free; millenniumpark.org

Holiday Market at Randolph Street Market: An three-level indoor market featuring 125 vendors with an array of new and vintage items, free kids activities and more. Nov. 23-24 at 1341 W. Randolph, $8, $10; randolphstreetmarket.com

The Holiday Market at Randolph Street Market.
The Holiday Market at Randolph Street Market.
Provided

Made in Chicago Market: Local vendors with everything from clothes to candles, stationery to snacks. Nov. 30 at Plumbers Hall, 1340 W. Washington, Free; madeinchicagomarket.com

Lincoln Park Zoo Holiday Market: Local artisans, shops and boutiques sell their wares. Dec. 3 at Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark, Free; lpzoo.org

Lambs Farm Holiday Lights Gift & Craft Fair: Hundreds of vendors selling a wide array of items for holiday shoppers. The event benefits Libertyville’s Lambs Farm, an organization that serves people with developmental disabilities. Dec. 5-8 at Arlington International Race Course, 2200 W. Euclid, Arlington Heights, $8 (parking $7); holidaylightslambsfarm.com

One of a Kind Holiday Show: The popular market is the place to find unique gifts with more than 600 artists selling jewelry, household items, food, clothes, art and other items. Dec. 5-8 at Merchandise Mart, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, $12; oneofakindshowchicago.com

Krampus Fest: An artisan market featuring local artists, crafters and bakers plus German food and beer. Dec. 7 at Martyrs’, 3855 N. Lincoln, Free; martyrslive.com

Renegade Holiday Craft Fair: One of the best holiday markets where you can find affordable, handmade items for everyone on your Xmas list (including yourself). Dec. 7-8 at Bridgeport Arts Center, 1200 W. 35th, Free; renegadecraft.com

Christmas Bazaar: Craft and bake sale plus music, dance, children’s activities and photos with Santa. Breakfast is also offered ($5, $15). Dec. 8 at Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, Free for sale and activities; irishamerican.org

EVEN MORE HOLIDAY DOINGS

Macy’s Great Tree & Windows: The iconic holiday tradition in Macy’s Walnut Room where a 45-foot tall tree is decorated with 2,000 ornaments and 6,600 lights plus check out the decorated holiday windows. Through the holidays at Macy’s, 111 N. State; macys.com

Vintage Holidays in Long Grove: Enjoy a Christmas tree parade, costumed carolers, sleigh rides and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Nov. 14-Dec. 22 in downtown Long Grove, 308 Old McHenry, Long Grove, Free; longgrove.org

Bobby’s Bike Hike’s Holiday Hike: Check out downtown Chicago during the holidays from Macy’s windows to Chirstkindlmarket plus stops at restaurants. Nov. 18-Dec. 24, $10.75-$57.75; for more information, visit bobbysbikehike.com

Cornelia Arts Building Holiday Open Studios: Explore studios and purchase artwork directly from the artists. Nov. 22 at Cornelia Arts Building, 1800 W. Cornelia, Free; corneliaartsbuilding.com

Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade: The annual holiday parade includes marching bands, floats equestrian groups, cultural organizations and more. From 8- 11 a.m. Nov. 28, on State from Congress to Randolph, Free; chicagothanksgivingparade.com

Disney Junior Holiday Party: A musical wonderland where children and families can sing along to their favorite Disney songs and holiday classics. Nov. 29 at Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River, Rosemont, tickets begin at $27; ticketmaster.com

“Twas the Night Before…”: A Cirque du Soleil production, an acrobatic spectacle, which takes a new spin on the holiday classic. Nov. 29-Dec. 8. Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, tickets start at $30; chicagotheatre.com

Light Up the Park: Holiday tree lighting plus Santa, horse-drawn sleigh rides, carolers, ice carving (Nov. 29) and the Chicago Wolves Ice Rink (Nov. 29-Feb. 23) at Parkway Bank Park, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont, Free; rosemont.com

Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Co. Holiday Lights Tour: Showcases the holiday lights at popular destinations up and down the Magnificent Mile and State St. with two stops at Christkindlmarket and Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights. Nov. 29-Dec. 23, tours begin and end at John Hancock Plaza, 875 N. Michigan, $20-$35; chicagotrolley.com

Christmas Bingo — It’s a Ho-Ho-Ho-Holy Night: Vicki Quade’s holiday trivia game tackles the wackiest myths and most outrageous facts about Christmas. Nov. 15-Dec. 29 at Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted, $30; theroyalgeorgetheatre.com. Nov. 29 at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights, $30; metropolisarts.com

Teddy Bear Tea: The holiday tradition includes a brunch, an appearance by St. Nick and a keepsake teddy bear. Nov. 29 at Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago, Joliet, $22.50, $25; rialtosquare.com

Holiday Movies: “The Polar Express” Nov. 30, “Miracle on 34th Street” (Dec. 14), “Elf” (Dec. 23) at Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago, Joliet, $5; rialtosquare.com

Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade: The annual toy drive culminates in Chicago’s biggest motorcycle parade bringing gifts to children across the city. Dec. 1, beginning at Dan Ryan Woods, 83rd and Western; chicagolandtft.org

A Drag Queen Christmas — The Naughty Tour: Holiday visit with contestants from the reality television show. Dec. 2 at Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield, $35-$150; eventbrite.com

A John Waters Christmas: The legendary filmmaker, raconteur and author offers his take on the holidays. Dec. 3 at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, $35-$55; thaliahallchicago.com

“It’s a Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre”: Frank Capra’s classic film in a 1940s radio style adaptation. Dec. 3 at Metropolis Performing Arts Center, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights, $30; metropolisarts.com

Elf Invasion Pub Crawl: Dress like an elf and visit five of Highwood’s drinking establishments. Begins at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at 28 Mile Vodka Company, 454 Sheridan, Highwood, $20; celebratehighwood.org

Lara Carling (from left), Ray Rehberg and Kay Kron perform “The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse,” one of three classic tales that make up The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party at Chicago Children’s Theatre.
Lara Carling (from left), Ray Rehberg and Kay Kron perform “The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse,” one of three classic tales that make up The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party at Chicago Children’s Theatre.
Charles Osgood

Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party: A puppet show starring Peter Rabbit and his favorite animal friends plus photos with the cast, cookies, cocoa and coloring activities. Dec. 7-29 at Chicago Children’s Theatre, 100 S. Racine, $45-$55, chicagochildrenstheatre.org

Uncle Larry’s Holiday Humbug Comedy Show: Comedian Larry Reeb skewers the holidays. Dec. 10 at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights, $30, $35; metropolisarts.com

“White Christmas” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” screenings: Sing-a-long with the classic Irving Berlin tunes in “White Christmas” and enjoy the heartwarming tale of Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Dec. 12-24 at The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport, available in double feature or single screenings, advance tickets $10-$20, day of show $10-$24; musicboxtheatre.com

TBOX 12 Bars of Xmas Pub Crawl: Wrigleyville’s claim to fame after the Cubs? This pub-crawl said to be the world’s largest. Dec. 14 at various locations, $18-$39.99; tbox.org

“It’s a Wonderful Life – Live Radio Broadcast”: Local radio talent performs the holiday classic, which will be aired on WJOL-AM (1340). Dec. 14 at Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago, $10; rialtosquare.com

MADE, a hand-made art and gift show comes to Morgan Manufacturing, 401 N. Morgan on  Dec. 15.
MADE, a hand-made art and gift show comes to Morgan Manufacturing, 401 N. Morgan on Dec. 15.
Provided

MADE — A Hand Made Holiday Market: Featuring art, jewelry, clothing, food, furniture and more. Dec. 15 at Morgan Manufacturing, 401 N. Morgan, Free; amdurproductions.com

The Hideout’s Last Chance Holiday Sale: Features handmade items by local handcrafters including edibles, hand-knit items, books, artwork, jewelry, home goods and clothing. Dec. 16 at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, Free; hideoutchicago.com

”It’s A Wonderful Life”: A screening of the classic Christmas movie with themed drinks; period costume encouraged. Dec. 22-23 at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt, Berwyn, Free but reservations are suggested; fitzgeraldsnightclub.com

Christmas for the Jews: An evening of humor with Joel Chasnoff, Jason Suran and Sohrab Forouzesh. Dec. 25 at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph, $28; citywinery.com/chicago

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.