Weekend 101: Nov. 16-18

Weekend 101: Nov. 16-18 (Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light at Museum of Science and Industry)

The holiday season is officially here now that annual favorites like the Museum of Science and Industry’s Christmas Around the World exhibit, The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, and Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum are making their much-anticipated return to the Chicago area. Plus, don’t miss a wood- and barrel-aged beer festival and the latest production at Lyric Opera of Chicago this weekend.

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light

Weekend 101 (Chicago): Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light at Museum of Science and Industry
Photo courtesy of the Museum of Science and Industry.

Opens Nov. 15

The Museum of Science and Industry’s annual holiday exhibit is back with more than 50 trees and displays showcasing holiday traditions around the world. For a grownups-only experience, visit Nov. 16 for MSI After Hours: Naughty or Nice, featuring treats like spiked hot chocolate and candy cane marshmallows. Find a complete list of exhibit-related events on MSI’s website.

Festival of Wood & Barrel-Aged Beer

Weekend 101 (Chicago): Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash.

Nov. 16-17

More than 200 of the country’s top craft breweries will showcase their rare and inventive wood- and barrel-aged beers while competing to be the best of the best in the National Barrel-Aged Beer Competition.

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

Weekend 101 (Chicago): The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
Photo courtesy of The Magnificent Mile Association.

Nov. 16-17

Kick off the holiday season with this parade and festival along Michigan Avenue. Highlights include BMO Harris Bank’s Kid’s Zone tent, AT&T’s Holiday Magic Truck, complimentary cheesecake slices from Eli’s Cheesecake, complimentary popcorn from Garrett Popcorn, tacos and Mexican Hot Chocolate from Pink Taco, and a pop-up gallery from Shedd Aquarium. Plus, you can watch all the festivities at Raised, an Urban Rooftop Bar. The bar’s family-friendly Festival of Lights on Nov. 17 will feature live entertainment, hot drinks, and a build-your-own s’mores box.

“Il trovatore”

Weekend 101 (Chicago): "Il Trovatore" at Lyric Opera
Photo by Robert Kusel.

Opens Nov. 17

This weekend, Lyric opens Verdi’s “Il trovatore,” which will run through Dec. 9. “‘Il trovatore’ is full of ‘primary-color’ emotions and contains some of Verdi’s most darkly intense music,” says Lyric General Director Anthony Freud. “It is unforgettably tuneful and powerfully dramatic. From Manrico’s thrilling ‘Di quella pira’ to the ‘Anvil Chorus,’ one of the most famous choruses in all opera, ‘Il trovatore’ is the epitome of Italian grand opera: stirring and spectacular.”

Illumination: Tree Lights

Weekend 101 (Chicago): Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum
Photo courtesy of The Morton Arboretum.

Opens Nov. 17

It’s once again time for The Morton Arboretum to glow with a kaleidoscope of color. New this year is Crown of Light, an exclusive five-piece sculpture by HYBYCOZO, and Woodland Wonder, where visitors can step inside a grove of trees to be surrounded by thousands of rotating lights. Explore it all with an adults-only opening night event, IllumiBrew, on Nov. 16.

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Anna Carlson writes the weekly Weekend 101 column and monthly Recommended Events. A graduate of the University of Missouri, her work has been published in Chicago Parent, Inside Columbia Magazine, and Central California Parent Magazine. She is a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital