The Mix: ‘Merry, Merry Chicago!’ and more cool things to do Dec. 12-18

Night at the Museum, and the annual “White Christmas”/“Wonderful Life” sing-along at the Music Box Theatre, are also among the fun in the week ahead.

SHARE The Mix: ‘Merry, Merry Chicago!’ and more cool things to do Dec. 12-18
“Merry, Merry Chicago!” at Symphony Center.

“Merry, Merry Chicago!” at Symphony Center.

© Todd Rosenberg Photography

Looking for some cool things to do in Chicago in the week ahead?

Here are some suggestions:

Holiday notes from the CSO

“Merry, Merry Chicago!” returns for its fifth year at Symphony Center. The celebration of holiday music features members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Chorus. Festive songs and carols such as “Joy to the World,” “White Christmas” and “Angels We Have Heard on High” are featured alongside classic choral works (the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah”) and orchestral selections (Suppe’s Overture to “Poet and Peasant”).From Dec. 14-23 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets: $55-$150. Visit

Film classics of the season


Bing Crosby (from left), Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney in “White Christmas.”

Paramount Pictures

For the 36th holiday season, the Music Box Theatre presents its Christmas sing-along and double feature with screenings of “White Christmas” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” What began as a simple one-night Christmas Eve event has now morphed into a nine-day extravaganza of fun for all ages. From Dec. 12-24, Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. Available in double feature or single screenings; advance tickets $10-$20, day of show $10-$24. Visit

A final collaboration


“First Life Takes Time, Then Time Takes Life (Purple Mountains),” by Friedrich Kunath, is part of the “Songs Build Little Rooms in Time” exhibit.

© Friedrich Kunath

In the months before his death in August, musician David Berman, frontman for the indie rock band Silver Jews, was at work finishing his new album, “Purple Mountain,” while also collaborating with artist Friedrich Kunath on an exhibit inspired by his writing and his friend’s art. Now the results of that partnership are on display in “Songs Build Little Rooms in Time,” an exhibit named after a lyric in Berman’s song “Snow Is Falling in Manhattan.” To Jan. 24 at Soccer Club Club, 2923 N. Cicero. Admission is free. Visit

Comedy at The Den


Jon Dore

Caitlin Cronenberg

Canadian comic Jon Dore is comfortable with finding the humor in moments of discomfort on stage. He brought his offbeat humor and unique bait-and-switch style to a Comedy Central stand-up special, the mockumentary series “The Jon Dore Show” and HBO Canada’s “Funny as Hell,” as well as the late-night talk shows. Second City alum Matty Ryan opens at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13-14 at The Den Theatre, 1311 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: $20. Visit

Lego wonderland


Lego Train Show

Cantigny Park

Children who love Legos will want to catch the Lego Train Show, a unique holiday experience at Cantigny Park. Produced by the Northern Illinois Lego Train Club using 3.5 million Legos, the display transforms the Cantigny Visitors Center into a colorful landscape of trains, town and cityscapes. Visitors are encouraged to bring a new and unwrapped toy for the Marine Toys for Tots program. From 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 14 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 15, Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield, Wheaton. Free; parking $5 (donate a toy and get free parking). Visit

Fancy footwork


“In the Wurkz”

Wills Glasspiegel

“In the Wurkz,” a multimedia dance project, shines a light on footwork, the local dance style known for its speed and dexterity. Presented by the South Side collective Era Footwork Crew, the show traces footwork’s development beginning with “the holy ghost,” the first of its dance moves inspired by the motion of ghosts and spirit possession in church, to its creation of a citywide black teen dance culture. At 7 p.m. Dec. 14-15, Links Hall, 3111 N. Western. Tickets: $20. (A workshop/panel discussion is at 7 p.m. Dec. 16, $15). Visit

Fun for a good cause


“A Night at the Museum” returns to the MSI this weekend.

Adeleine Sinsabaugh

SocialWorks, the organization founded by Chance the Rapper, hosts its annual A Night at the Museum, a kid-friendly event featuring activities, performances and interactive spaces plus access to the museum’s exhibits. Attendees are encouraged to bring an item to donate to the foundation’s Warmest Winter Initiative, which seeks to provide help for the homeless. From 6-10 p.m. Dec. 19, Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore. Tickets: $10, $30 for 4. Visit

Holiday happenings

The “Do-It-Yourself Messiah” at the Harris Theater.

The “Do-It-Yourself Messiah” at the Harris Theater.

Elliot Mandel Photography

  • At the Do-It-Yourself Messiah, amateur singers join a professional orchestra for a performance of the choral masterpiece. Dec. 16-17 at Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph. Tickets: $15. Visit
  • Christmas with The Congregation features holiday classics by the soulful eight-piece Chicago band. Dec. 14 at Tonic Room, 2447 N. Halsted, $10;
  • Find handmade items by local handcrafters at The Hideout’s Last Chance Holiday Sale. Dec. 16 at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. Free. Visit
  • Celebrate A Pentatonix Christmas with the a cappella group’s rendition of modern and classic seasonal tunes. Dec. 18-19 at Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Rd., Rosemont. Tickets: $35+. Visit

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