See Santa when you pick out your tree

tree cutting

The perfect time to see Santa is when you pick up your tree this year. See where you can do both at the same time here.

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Top 10 Christmas Events in Chicagoland and Northern Illinois 2018

The following are 2018's “Top 10 Christmas Events in Chicago & Northern Illinois”—that don’t include Santa Claus. These are all major local happenings and are some of the preeminent events of the Christmas Season that any family or visitor is sure to enjoy. Also—take a look at the "Top 10 Santa Events in Chicagoland and Northern Illinois".




                                        Opening Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza                                                                                                  photo credit Choose Chicago



A Christmas Carol - Goodman Theatre Chicago
Goodman Theatre
170 North Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 443-3800

A Christmas Carol Days and Show Times 2018

Saturday, November 17th through, December 2018
Show Days and Times - For performance days and times go to the following link

Admission: Ticket prices vary click on this box office link for prices and availability.

It’s hard to believe, Goodman’s production of the Dickens’ classic has been a highlight of the area's Christmas season for thirty eight years. Both children and adults are sure to delight in this timeless favorite which has become a cherished Chicago tradition.


                   A Christmas Carol starring Larry Yando as Scrooge - photo credit Liz Lauren


Apollo Chorus of Chicago                                                                           Handel’s Messiah                                                                                                         Harris Theater
205 East Randolph Drive
Chicago, IL 60601

The Apollo Chorus Performance Dates and Times 2018   

Click on this LINK for 2018 dates and times

Admission: Ticket prices vary - click on this box office link for individual Messiah tickets and availability.

The Apollo Chorus is a hallowed Chicago institution that has dazzled audiences for 144 amazing years. This 115 member, totally volunteer choir’s annual pièce de résistance is Handel’s Messiah. With only two performances, one at Orchestra Hall and the other at Harris Theater, tickets are a scarce commodity. This is a rare opportunity to participate in a revered local event.


Photo courtesy Apollo Chorus of Chicago - in a performance of Handel’s Messiah at Orchestra Hall


Caroling at Cloud Gate - Millennium Park Chicago
Millennium Park
201 East Randolph Street between Michigan & Columbus Avenue’s
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 742-1168

Caroling at Cloud Gate Days and Times 2018

In 2018 this event opens on Friday, November 23rd and runs every Friday  evening through December 14th.

Admission: Caroling at Cloud Gate is a FREE CHRISTMAS EVENT

Caroling at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park doesn't require expensive tickets. You don’t have to plan ahead of time, or stand in line—just show up on a Friday evening during the holiday season, November 23rd through December 145th. This is your chance to enjoy truly beautiful music from outstanding local Chicago choral groups. Different choruses are featured each week.


                              Caroling at Cloud Gate photo credit Choose Chicago                                          


Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza
Daley Plaza
50 West Washington Street (between Dearborn, Washington and Clark Streets)
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 494-2175

Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza Days and Times 2018

In 2018, this event opens on Sunday, November 16th and runs through Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24th.

Open daily Sunday through Thursday 11 am to 8 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am to 9 pm. Special hours - Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd 11 am to 4 pm, Christmas Eve, December 24th, 11 am to 4 pm

Admission: Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza is a FREE CHRISTMAS EVENT

The Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza has become a special part of the Christmas season Chicago. This traditional market going back to its Nuremberg Germany origins is Chicago’s largest open air Christmas festival. There are carolers, choirs along with many other special events. Vendors offer classic German products and handicrafts plus a wide assortment of old world favorites including Gluehwein, a hot spiced wine, sauerkraut, sausages, German beer and more. While Santa isn’t part of the Christkindlmarket market you’ll find him close by in his House also on Daley Plaza.  Also scroll down to the Naperville listing for The Christkindlmarket in Naperville.


                                         Christkindlmarket photo credit Choose Chicago


Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light at                                 the Museum of Science and Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry
57th Street at Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 684-1414 for a schedule of events

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light Days and Times 2018

In 2018 this event opens in November and runs through the Holiday season

For 2018 dates click on this LINK

open to the public from 9:30 am to 4 pm daily.

Admission: Regular museum admission prices apply - for details click on this link.

Christmas Around the World has been celebrated at the Museum every year since 1942. Today, more than seven decades later you’ll find fifty beautifully decorated trees and three crèches representing the birth of Jesus. In addition, for over ten years now the Holidays of Light has featured different customs, traditions and festivals celebrated by other cultures in various countries around the world. For example, you can learn about and experience Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan and Diwali. During the holiday season there are special performances through December. Check with the Museum for details.


   Photo credit: Scott Brownell, Museum of Science and Industry


Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Joffrey Ballet                                                                                                                      The Auditorium Theatre                                                                                              Roosevelt University                                                                                                        50 E. Congress Parkway
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 739-0120

Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker Days and Show Times 2018

Saturday, December 1st through Sunday, December 30th, 2018. Go to this link to find the dates and times for all performances this season.

Admission: Tickets go on sale August 1st and are available through Ticketmaster or Joffrey Ticketing at (312) 386-8905.

Robert Joffrey's holiday favorite has enchanted Chicago audiences since1987. Enjoy a stunning production by America’s premier ballet company, which captures the hearts of both young and old alike with Tchaikovsky’s classic score and exquisitely performed by the Chicago Philharmonic. Outstanding dancers in fabulous costumes create a magical theatrical event bringing the celebrated story to life. The Joffrey company is joined on stage by local children's choruses and more than a hundred area dancers.


                           Joffrey Nutcracker - Francis Kane (Mother Ginger) & Childrens Cast                                                                                 photo credit Herbert Migdoll


The Christmas Schooner
Mercury Theater Chicago                                                                                                  3745 North Southport Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 325-1700

The Christmas Schooner Performance Dates and Times 2018                                                                                                                                                                 Saturday, November 24th through Monday, December 31st    

Showtimes: Click on this  LINK for show times.

Admission: Ticket prices vary - to buy tickets, click on this LINK.

The Christmas Schooner is a Chicago original—this enchanting production is based on the book by John Reeger with music and lyrics by Julie Shannon. Enjoy what has become a local holiday tradition. Learn about the heartwarming story of the ship and family that braved savage winter lake storms to bring Christmas trees from Northern Michigan to Chicago’s German community. The Rouse Simmons—known as The Christmas Schooner—sank in a violent storm in 1912. Delight in a true tale of love and loss.


                                    The Christmas Schooner - Photo courtesy Mercury Theater


The Vienna Boys Choir at Symphony Center                                              Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center                                                                                  220 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 294-3000

Vienna Boys Choir Performance Date and Time 2018                                                                                                                                                                 One performance only - Saturday, ,November 24th, 2018 - 2:00 pm

Admission: Ticket prices vary - click on this box office link for prices and availability. Note: This concert is recommended for ages 8 and up; infants will not be admitted.

For one special afternoon, the Vienna Boys Choir which dates back over five hundred years, will usher in the area’s holiday season with what is sure to be a memorable performance. The concert begins with time-honored classics and winds up with holiday favorites and much beloved Christmas carols. This is one joyous recital you won’t want to miss.


                                            The Vienna Boys Choir - Photo © Lukas Beck



Wonderland Express at the Chicago Botanic Garden
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
(847) 835-5440

Wonderland Express Days and Hours 2018

Check with the Botanic Garden for dates and times            

Admission: Tickets - check with the Botanic Garden for ticket prices.

Inside the Botanic Gardens Regenstein Center you’ll find the Wonderland Express, an amazing model railroad—one of the Chicago area’s favorite holiday attractions—created with all natural materials and decked out for the season with a million twinkling lights. Recreated are some of the best loved Chicago landmarks, historic buildings and sites which have been meticulously handcrafted, along with the sights and sounds of miniature trains wending their way through this enchanting 10,000 square foot exhibition. As part of the Wonderland Express exhibition the Chicago Botanic Garden features different Chicago area carolers and other special events during the season.


                                   Wonderland Express - Chicago Botanic Garden Photo 



Christkindlmarket Naperville  
Naper Settlement
523 South Webster Street
Naperville, IL 60540

Christkindlmarket Naperville Days and Times 2018

In 2018, this event opens, on Friday, November 23rd and
runs through December until Christmas Eve, December 24th. Times to be advised. Click on this LINK for information.

Admission: Christkindlmarket Naperville is a FREE CHRISTMAS EVENT

For over twenty years, The Christkindlmarket Chicago on Daley Plaza, has become the largest seasonal holiday market in the United States, attracting over a million visitors annually. This beloved German traditional street market can now also be found in a new outdoor setting at the Naper Settlement. Christkindlmarket Naperville promises to grow into one most popular events in the area. Like its Chicago parent you’ll find wooden huts with candy-striped canopies loaded with German and European handmade ornaments and gifts. Enjoy scrumptious food, bratwurst and plenty of tasty delicacies, hot chocolate, authentic brews plus you can celebrate with Glühwein—hot spiced wine from Nuremberg, where the Christkindlesmarkt market originated in 1545. There will be plenty of old-world entertainment, brass bands, carolers and special performances throughout the season.

                                                  Photo courtesy Naper Settlement


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