The 2012 Anti-Holiday Go Guide

The holiday season is magical. The holiday season is wondrous. The holiday season is … overwhelming!

It doesn’t take too long to grow weary of mall Santas, festive bunting and the continuous chorus of “Ho ho ho!” You want to enjoy the season, so make sure you take a break from it once in a while by partaking in decidedly un-holiday fun:


Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit

Museum of Science and Industry
57th St. and Lake Shore Dr., Chicago

This is a bit of “At Your Own Risk” kind of anti-holiday fun. Sure, the museum has their “Christmas Around the World” exhibit you’ll have to navigate. But once you enter Charles Schulz’s world, you can enjoy a different kind of magic that comes from putting pen to paper and creating some of the cartoon world’s most memorable characters.


Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts

Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago

Fanciful in its own right, this exhibit is a testament to the wonder of India’s royal palaces and all the pomp and circumstance that goes with them. Treasures, jewelry, costumes and more are all on display.

Steve McQueen

Through January 6
Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

No, not THAT Steve McQueen. Enjoy the work of this acclaimed artist whose work does in fact center around moving images. Fabulous installations allow you to escape the holiday humdrum.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Through January 6
Kohl Children’s Museum
2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview

Fun for the kiddos—life-size pop-up pages bring L. Frank Baum’s story to life and the last time I checked, there’s no sign of Rudolph, Frosty or even the Grinch.



The cup of holiday theater opportunities runneth over, but have no fear—there’s plenty of regular, and equally entertaining theater options as well:

Potted Potter

Broadway Playhouse, Chicago

The Odd Couple
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie

Broadway Playhouse, Chicago


Little Women

Citadel Theatre, Lake Forest 



Chick Corea and Gary Burton
December 6
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie

Great for jazz fans and an excellent date night option when he or she has had enough holiday cookies and caroling.


Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound and Sam Llanas

December 14
SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston

Another great date night option when paired with dinner at Union Pizzeria.

All American Dueling Pianos

December 19, 20 – 22
Laughing Chameleon, 1830 Tower Dr., Glenview

Get your giggles with a trip to The Glen Town Center, where Dan Gillogly and Ted Oliver will tickle the ivories all night long.


Outdoor Fun

Winter Solstice Campfire

December 21
Edward Ryerson Conservation Area, Riverwoods
Register by calling 847-968-3321

Poor, poor Winter Solstice—it never gets the same kind of love. Here’s a great way to enjoy the spirit of the season without all the adornments.


Weekly Fun Runs
Evanston Running Club

If you think you may be coming down with a case of the holiday blues, beat it back with an outdoor run. The Evanston Running club offers a variety of options, and it’s also a great way to get a head start on any fitness resolution you’re about to make.

Leave No Child Inside
December 15
Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd., Evanston

Everyone needs a little fresh air, and that includes the kids. Evanston Ecology Center offers great programming, including a nature ornament activity for this event. (Okay, yeah, it’s a little holiday. But it’s outside, and fresh air trumps the holiday aspect in this one case!)

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