3 “Must-dos” This Christmas Season in Chicago

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 | Posted in: Apartment Living

1. The Nutcracker Ballet

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Photo Credit: chicagocritic.com

What’s Christmas without the magic of The Nutcracker Ballet? Every since I was a little girl, my parents would dress my sister and I up and we would go to the theatre for a ballet performance of The Nutcracker.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see Robert Joffery’s version of The Nutcracker for the last time! This performance has been a Christmas tradition for many different Chicago families. According to The Chicago Reader, “this year is the last time that Joffrey’s choreography will grace the Chicago stage. The company, now in its 60th season, has decided to retire the work, and next year Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon will give the beloved but dusty ballet a creative overhaul.”

The traditional performance will run from December 4th until December 27th, 2015. Tickets range from $35 all the way up to $136. Words used to describe this performance include: breathtaking, joyful, wondrous, and classic. The music accompanying the performance will be presented live by The Chicago Philharmonic. The ballet will run for two hours with an intermission in between.

One visitor to the Windy City reviewed the performance, “This was our 1st time viewing of the Joffrey Nutcracker and we may make it an annual event. We’ve seen it many times at small regional theaters and I didn’t realize how great a performance could be with a world class ballet company. Simply incredible!”

For tickets, visit Ticketmaster. The Nutcracker will be held at the Auditorium Theatre, located at 50 East Congress Parkway. The Box Office number is 312-386-8905.

2. The Polar Express

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Photo Credit: https://www.chicagothepolarexpressride.com/theride/

Did you fall in love with the movie The Polar Express? If so, or if you have children, you should mark this special event on your calendar! The Polar Express Train Ride in Downtown Chicago is something that you can’t miss! From December 19th through January 3rd, Amtrak and Rail Events Productions will be offering this memorable experience.

Leaving from the historic Union Station downtown Chicago, The Polar Express will take you on a trip through downtown Chicago. The ride lasts about an hour and is roundtrip. The train will be decorated to recreate the movie experience. Even those aboard are invited to come wearing their pajamas! Included in the experience is a souvenir mug with hot chocolate, a treat, and a silver sleigh bell to take home.

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Photo Credit: https://www.chicagothepolarexpressride.com/faqs/

The Polar Express website says, “THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is a re-creation of the classic children’s story on board a real train. Passengers are served hot chocolate and a treat by dancing chefs, enjoy a reading of the book by Chris Van Allsburg, and guests receive the first gift of Christmas (a silver sleigh bell) after Santa boards the train to greet families. Chefs lead passengers in caroling on the return trip to Union Station. Each passenger also receives a souvenir tumbler with their hot chocolate to take home.”

Even though the train ride takes about an hour, the entire event will take about two hours. Tickets are $55 for adults and $43 for children ages two to eleven. You’re encouraged to bring your own copy of The Polar Express book or you can purchase one when you purchase your tickets.

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Photo Credit: http://www.polarexpress.com/the-book

Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 312-471-2501. I’ve heard the tickets sell out quickly, so get yours right away and begin making fun holiday memories!

3. ZooLights

 

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Photo Credit: http://www.lpzoo.org/events/calendar/zoolights

What’s better than beautiful Christmas lights? Christmas lights decorating the Lincoln Park Zoo of course! This free family event is a tradition for many and for good reason. From November 27th until January 3rd, you and yours will be able to walk around the zoo and enjoy the beautiful lights.

So, what kind of things can you expect from ZooLights? A lot! There’s enough for more than just one evening of fun. To begin, the entire park will be lit up and you’ll get to see some of your favorite animals. There will be 3-D displays and musical light shows. Free holiday crafts, animal encounters, and live ice carving will also be taking place.

For adults, you can enjoy holiday gift shopping while sipping warm spiced wine and frosty lager. Some activities will cost money. Those fun things include pictures with Santa, dinner and snacks, ice skating, rides on the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel, and rides on the Lionel Train Adventure.

Free 3D glasses will also be given to those who come first! You can pick them up at Wild Things! gift shop and Cafe Brauer. Three specific Family Nights will be on December 14, 21, and 28th. On these special nights you can enjoy unlimited free train rides, unlimited free carousel rides, unlimited free holiday wagon rides, and kids can eat free at Park Place Cafe.

ZooLights will be open only on weekends until December 13th. For the entire schedule, make sure to visit the zoo’s website. For more information, click here!