2011 Holiday Go Guide

Is your house home base for the family over the holidays? We’ve got the goods on where to go—for everyone in your family:


Arts & Music

For kids of all ages: Try Dr. Suess & The Art of Invention at the Museum of Science and Industry. 40-somethings will enjoy the trip back in time and younger kids will be in awe of their favorite characters up close!

A quick dose of culture: There are plenty of seasonal offerings on North Shore stages this season, including “Season’s Greetings” at Centre East, The Second City’s “Holidays in the Heights,” and Citadel’s “A Christmas Carol” in Lake Forest.

Get Scrooged: Don’t miss the Goodman Theatre’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol”—a Chicago classic!

College kids: For theater buffs, Commedia Beauregard’s “A Klingon Christmas Carol” is the perfect alternative to holiday kitsch.

Catch a concert: The holidays also means access to some really good concerts, including:

The Hooks, Lincoln Hall, December 29

Ezra Furman, SPACE, December 30

The O’Jays, Chicago Theatre, December 31

The Jill and Julia Show, SPACE, December 31

JC Brooks and The Uptown Sound, Schubas, December 31

Sports & Outdoors

Strap on the skates: The North Shore is home to many outdoor skating venues, as well as sledding hills. If you have older kids looking for a more urban experience, they should head downtown to Millennium Park’s ice rink, open through early March.

Time to Get Wet: Is this the year you follow through on that bar bet to do a polar bear plunge? Waukegan’s is New Year’s Day.

Holiday magic:
A surefire way to embrace the holidays, the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Wonderland Express opens Thanksgiving weekend and runs through New Year’s Day. This is a fantastic venture for older guests as well as kids, who’ll love the holiday-themed miniature train display. ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo is another, family-friendly experience that won’t be soon forgotten.

Just for Fun

Holiday fun, old school style: Want to step back into the past? Take a trip to Long Grove and soak it in, complete with carriage rides and strolling carolers. Or try one of Libertyville’s Dickens weekends!

Hot Chocolate:
Out and about? Treat the kids to the North Shore’s best in hot beverages.

A shopper’s delight:
Try the Lincoln Square Christkindl Market, North Shore Flea Holiday Pop Up Show, 2011 Bucktown Bazaar, or the Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale for the best in funky, eclectic styles!

On The Move: Try Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest. Something a little quirky and fun? Try a Chicago Trolley Company holiday light tour. You’ll be able to catch the Mag Mile, ZooLights, Buckingham Fountain and more all in one trip!

Need more ideas? Visit our events calendar.


Photo credits: Chicago Botanic Garden; Robin Carlson; Millennium Park, City of Chicago.