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25 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Weekend

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 18, 2016 5:30PM

Image via DCASE.

The holidays are just around the corner, and special, holiday-themed events top our favorite things to do this weekend.


CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY: The city’s 103rd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. in Millennium Park. Look out for a performance from the creators of the hit percussion show STOMP, Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas. The big man himself, Santa Claus will also make an appearance. Free.

TASTE OF RAVENSWOOD: The Taste of Ravenswood is ready for it’s 2nd annual event from 7 to 10 p.m. at Ravenswood Event Center’s Billiard Room. Try local restaurants, bakeries, breweries and distilleries including Ampersand Wine Bar, Fountainhead, Bang Bang Pie, Koval, Dovetail Brewery and more. Tickets are $70, or $100 for VIP with access to an exclusive happy hour with chefs, brewers and distillers an hour early.

Photo courtesy of Christkindlmarket.

CHRISTKINDLMARKET: The annual tradition Christkindlmarket returns to Daley Plaza with booths selling gifts, strudel, schnitzel and Gl├╝hwein in collectable souvenir mugs that either delight or disappoint us every year. The market will be up through Christmas Eve. Entry is free.

HOT HEELS SKATE NIGHT: The Chicago Athletic Association hotel dials the clock back for three nights of Hot Heels Soul Club: Skate Nights. The club’s original gymnasium Stagg Court is transformed into a classic roller skating venue with nightly local DJs. If you no longer have those roller skates hanging around, you can rent them for $3. Hot pants, tube socks, and all 1980’s attire encouraged. Admission is $12.

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. Photo via the City of Chicago.

MILLENNIUM ICE RINK: The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink is open this Friday through next March, adding to the seasonal festivities in Millennium Park. Skating is free, skate rental is $12.

VOCALO HOUSE PARTY: With as little as a $10 donation, music-lovers can attend the Vocalo House Party at their studio from 7 to 10 p.m. The station focuses on local indie, rock and hip hop without commercials, and depends on the support of a tuned-in community. The party will have food, drinks, and Vocalo's own DJ collective spinning.

CONNECT ARTS FESTIVAL: Visual + performing art, designed objects, film, music, fashion and literary culture CONNECT this weekend in Hyde Park. The three-day arts festival was conceived by Eric Williams (The Silver Room) in collaboration with the University of Chicago, and will feature pop up experiences, performances and more. Visit their website for more information.

FLOSS TRAP SHOW: Local trap music duo, Flosstradamus is playing a kind of homecoming show at Aragon at 9 p.m. They’ve been playing the festival circuit and recently kicked off their Hi Def Youth tour that features a custom “bunker” stage set up complete with real working cannons. Tickets are $32.

PRINCIPAL BELDING + PETER ENGEL: It’s a big Bayside weekend at Saved By The Max. Mr. Belding will make his triumphant return and Saved By The Bell creator Peter Engel drops by for some reminiscing and a book signing. Friday has two seatings for lunch with Engel, and Mr. Belding aka the Big Bopper will DJ Saturday evening and then hang around Sunday for a Final Exam Brunch. Tickets for lunch and brunch are $40, and Saturday’s DJ set is first-come first-served, no cover. Visit the Saved By The Max website for more info.


MAGNIFICENT MILE LIGHTS FESTIVAL: The 25th Anniversary BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is this Saturday, complete with parade, fireworks and flipping the switch of the seasonal lights lining Michigan Avenue. Activities kick off at 11 a.m. on “Lights Festival Lane” at Pioneer Court, and the parade starring Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Mr. Claus steps off at 5:30 p.m. Many Mag Mile businesses and restaurants like Ghirardelli Chocolate host ticketed viewing parties with VIP views of the free parade.

TATS FOR CATS: Insight Studios has teamed up with Tree House Humane Society to give people Tats for Cats from noon to 8 p.m. 100% of the proceeds from all tattoos, piercings and tattoo removal services will go to the local non-profit cat shelter. They’ll have refreshments and goodie bags plus a raffle for a customized Team Tree House jersey. Services will be done on a first-come first-served basis.

Image via Randolph Street Market's Facebook page.

RANDOLPH STREET HOLIDAY MARKET: Randolph Street Market gets a holiday feel this month as we head into the indoor winter season. As usual, the market will have one of a kind and vintage sellers, plus a crafts table, portraits, henna tattoos and a free gift wrapping station. Live music and a DJ will serenade the room with festive tunes. Open at Plumbers Hall from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $8 ($10 at the gate).

RECORD AND ZINE GRAB: Grab a bunch of free punk CDs, records, zines and more from local record labels and self-publishers from noon to 3 p.m. at the CHI PRC Space, and it’s all for a good cause. Stonewall, RESIDUE, Forge Again, HARMLESS and so many more are participating in the event benefiting non profits CHI PRC and Young Chicago Authors. There will also be a FLYERSIDE exhibit of the local 90s punk scene on display. A $5 donation gets you in.

MCA PRIME TIME: The Museum of Contemporary Art’s late night Prime Time series is back for another edition, this time collaborating with indie-music outlet, Pitchfork. Hip hop and rap artists Noname, Jamila Woods, RP Boo will perform at the event that mixes live music, performance art and interactive programs. The evening, themed "Ascend," also includes pop-up food and drink for purchase. 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $15 ($20 door).

THANKSGIVING CO-OP POP UP: Shop local and sustainable at the Chicago Market Thanksgiving Co-op Pop Up from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Fill the holiday dinner with eats and goods from local farmers and friends like Americano 2211, Green Acres, Organic Bread of Heaven, Meadow Haven Farm and more. Entry is free, but RSVP is required.

PERUVIAN COOKING CLASS: Head to Latinicity for a lesson in Peruvian cooking at Pata Negra from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Executive Chef Marcos Flores will lead the class as guests try their hand at Classic Peruvian Ceviche, Papas a la Huancaina and Lomo Saltado over Noodles, each paired with a popular cocktail. Tickets are $35.

HOLIDAY PUNCH CLASS: It’s a popular spot at holiday parties, right next to the punch bowl. Elixir Andersonville hosts a cocktail class focused on holiday punch from 3 to 4 p.m. Learn to make the best punch of the holiday party season for your family and friends. Tickets are $25.

Delightful pastries image by Caren Leonard/CJPR Photos

HOLIDAY BAKING CLASS: Thanksgiving calls for family, turkey and most importantly, pie. Avoid the frozen foods section and hone your pie-making skills at Delightful Pastries’ Thanksgiving Pies baking class from 1 to 3 p.m. Learn how to make simple pie dough and the fillings for apple caramel, pumpkin and pecan chocolate bourbon pies, and bake and take your own mini-pies. Cost is $65.

THANKSGIVING WINE TASTING: Another very important part of the holidays is the wine. Impress the extended family with some affordable selections with the help of Webster’s Wine Bar. Webster’s Sommelier Carl Moberg and guest Sommelier Jeremy Quinn will help to choose varieties that will please all palettes pair well with a traditional thanksgiving meal. Small plates from Chef Mike Eng also included. Tickets are $50.

HOLIDAY WINE TASTING + SEMINAR: Osteria Langhe is also hosting a wine session with the holidays in mind. Their themed wine tasting and seminar will be led by Wine Director/Owner Aldo Zaninotto and includes a reception with sparkling wine, cheeses and salumi beforehand. Cost is $50. To reserve a spot, call 773-661-1582.

SEXY ELBOWS: Split Single—Chicagoan Jason Narducy's solo project—is back. His new album Metal Frames continues his assault of power-pop, resulting in an 11 song collection that stick in your craw long after the needle has stopped skipping in that final groove. Narducy has been on the road with Bob Mould and Superchunk during the time from his last album, and he's definitely channeled some of the urgency from that experience into his songs. Split Single have an album release party at Space this Saturday and tickets will run you $20-35.


Image courtesy of Vintage Garage Chicago.

VINTAGE HOLIDAY MARKET: Vintage Garage Chicago goes holiday for Sunday’s market from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure to dress warm for the open air market inside the garage at Foster and Argyle in Uptown. As usual they’ll have Vintage furniture, clothing, jewelry, decor, art and appraisals, plus some extras for the 2nd annual holiday themed market. Admission is $5.

FRIENDSGIVING: Eat your first huge Thanksgiving meal of the week on Sunday with Friendsgiving at Floriole Cafe & Bakery at 6:30 p.m. This month’s edition of Sunday Supper takes on the holiday theme with a menu that includes squash soup, crispy kale, cider roasted turkey and gingerbread pumpkin tart or pecan pie cake. Tickets are $30 per adult and $15 per kid (special kid-friendly menu available).

DANCE YOUR FKING ASS OFF: STRFKR's new album Being No One, Going Nowhere continues their tradition of mixing winning beats with winsome lyrics. The band hits up Chicago for a rare live show this Sunday at Thalia Hall.

REALLY DANCE YOUR ASS OFF: Remember the mid-aughts? Such a simpler, more hopeful era, huh? And in that era The Sounds came from Sweden and reminded us that guitars could make you dance like mad. The Sounds came in with Dying To Say This To You, complete with an album cover nodding to the Misshapes crew, and ten years later we're still moved to boogie to its tunes. The band plays Metro this Sunday to celebrate that album's release and, believe us, we can all use a little escapism right now, and this show will provide just that.