15 Things to See and Do - Making Your Holidays Happy

Happy Holidays.  Read on to find places to go and things to do during this season.


Massage the stress away.

With the stress of the holiday season, last week’s record breaking snowfall, and many more inches in the coming forecast, people are already feeling the pain of seasonal changes and shoveling! Finish your holiday shopping by giving a gift that gives back to you too!  Through December 24, when you buy $100 in gift cards to Massage Envy, you receive a free $25 promo card and when you purchase $150, you get a $50 promo card!  Gift cards may be purchased at any of the 45 Massage Envy location in Chicagoland.Visit the Massage Envy website  for more details.  


Tis the Season for Gorgeous Hair


Nestled in the heart of Lincoln Park, Blown Away Blow Dry & Beauty Bar, 2167 N. Clybourn Ave, is offering a special Jingle Bells and Bombshells promotion to celebrate its grand opening. Guests looking to get styled during the month of December will enjoy 20% off blowouts while sipping on peppermint hot cocoa now through December 23 when they mention code 'Jingle Bells and Bombshells' upon booking an appointment at Chicago's newest boutique salon (Friday and Saturday walk-ins subject to availability). A dry bar and beauty boutique all in one, Blown Away's unique technique is salon-professional, allowing guests to walk out with fabulous and healthy hair. For more information on Blown Away Blow Dry & Beauty Bar, visit the blownawaystyles website or call 773.697.8528 to take advantage of the special holiday promotion.


Spend a night laughing at Stage 773

“Can Santa really get arrested for that?!” Six theatre companies from across the Chicagoland area change up the holiday classics to create ONE ACT FESTIVAL: YULETIDE GENOCIDE taking place December 1 through December 16. See them all at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Avenue, Chicago for a twisted and enchanted evening of entertainment. For additional information or to purchase tickets, please visit the Stage 773 website or call 773-327-5252.


Hobo Junction Productions presents “The Little Drummer Boy

Enjoy a winter wedding wonderland

The holidays can be the most romantic time of year, so why not join Tony n’ Tina as they get hitched! Chicago’s smash hit TONY N’ TINA’S WEDDING has returned to the stage… but this time in a real church! Be part of the couple’s special day in this interactive musical experience with tickets for the whole family through April 2017! With the wedding ceremony at Resurrection Church, 3309 North Seminary Ave, followed by the high-energy reception at Chicago Theater Works, 1113 W. Belmont Ave, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the ceremony and reception, featuring an Italian-style buffet dinner, dancing to 80’s hits and the champagne toast for only $75. Tickets for premium seating are $85. For additional information or to purchase tickets, please visit the tonylovestina website or call 312-391-0404.


Hannah Brown as Tina and Mitchell Conti as Tony

Find comfort in a holiday classic

Chicago’s oldest choir, the iconic Apollo Chorus of Chicago will be performing the time-honored Handel’s MESSIAH on Saturday, December 10 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 11 at 2:00 p.m. at the Harris Theater for Music & Dance, 2015 E. Randolph Drive. The Apollo Chorus of Chicago has been presenting this glorious masterpiece annually since 1879, a track record unmatched in the city of Chicago. For additional information or to purchase tickets, please visit the Appollochorus website or call 312-427-5620.


See a Christmas classic

The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences, 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire, is presenting the classical tale,THE NUTCRACKER, through December 30. Captivating audiences for nearly 200 years, THE NUTCRACKER is the story of a young girl named Marie and her unusual Christmas gift. For additional information or to purchase tickets, please visit the Marriotttheatre website or call 847-634-0200.


Tap the night away

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN is at the Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire through December 31st. Featuring a glorious score by Nacio Herb Brown, lyrics by Arthur Freed, and book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN is the light-hearted spoof of frantic Hollywood as the advent of sound revolutionizes the movie industry. Joined by four-time Jeff Award winning Choreographer Tammy Mader (42nd Street and My One and Only at The Marriott Theatre) and Musical Director Ryan T. Nelson, Director William Brown brings the iconic musical’s high power, toe-tapping energy to life on stage in this splashy adaptation of the beloved Oscar-winning MGM film. For additional information or to purchase tickets, please visit Marriotttheatre website or call 847-634-0200.

 (Splash review)

Singing in the Rain

Spend an evening surrounded by elegant magic and storytelling

Classic as well as never been seen before illusions take over the Royal George Cabaret space this winter as the nationally regarded illusionist Ricardo Rosenkranz stars in The Rosenkranz Mysteries, an evening of elegant magic and storytelling. Truly astounding numbers will captivate audiences in an intimate, true cabaret style setting with tables featured in the space. A leading local mixologist will enhance the atmosphere by creating several themed drinks that will help create a fully immersive experience for theatre-goers. This one man, ninety-minute production runs through December 24 at the Royal George Theatre Cabaret space, 1641 North Halsted Street. For additional information or to purchase tickets, please visit theroyalgeorgetheatre website  or call 312-988-9000.

(Splash review)


Rosenkranz Mysteries

Laugh the night away with Mr. Scrooge

This holiday season it will be Scrooge’s chestnuts roasting on an open fire as Chicago Theater Works, 1113 W. Belmont, presents The Comedy Roast of Mr. Scrooge for eight performances only December 8– 23.  From Tiny Tim to the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future, all of the beloved characters from A Christmas Carol finally get their chance to tell Scrooge what’s coming to him in words that Charles Dickens never even knew. Straying far from certain local productions of Dicken’s holiday classic, this irreverent and raucous show is the perfect anecdote for those who prefer a little more spice and a little less nice to their Xmases. For more information, visit the chicagotheatreworks website or call 312-391-0404.




The Comedy Roast of Mr. Scrooge


Or check Steppenwolf


The perfect holiday parties come with a view

Just because summer and fall have come and gone, does not mean that rooftops aren’t in season!  RAISED offers a one-of-a-kind space for a holiday party- featuring one of 2016's hottest new private party venues Urban Blue. Guests can enjoy the glittering of snow against the city skyline while celebrating the end of another busy year. For more information or reservations, visit the raisedbarchicago website.



Take a break from holiday stress and have fun with Geja’s Café Drappier Champagne Festival

The holiday season cannot possibly be kicked off without bubbly! This year, Geja’s Café, 340 W. Armitage Ave, is hosting their 37th Annual Champagne Festival featuring Champagnes and sparkling wines from France. The three-month long festival, which offers guests a chance to sample a majority of the Drappier portfolio plus two additional selections from Dopff & Irion, through Tuesday, February 28, 2017. For more information and reservations, please visit the gejascafe website or call 773-281-9101.


Sip on the ultimate holiday tea and visit with Santa at Vanille

Vanille, Chicago’s favorite French-inspired patisserie, is celebrating the holiday season with a new holiday tea menu for their decadent Afternoon Tea experience at their Lincoln Park location. Santa himself will also be visiting the patisserie on Saturday, December 17 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. (at the Lincoln Park store) and Sunday, December 18 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. (at the Lakeview store). The new holiday-inspired menu includes lemon pepper quiche, pumpkin curd, gingerbread macaron, and pecan tart.  The Holiday Tea is topped off with Vanille’s signature hot chocolate, a house made marshmallow, and peppermint macaron. For more information on Vanille Patisserie and its three locations, visit the vanillelpatisserie website.



Go to the center of it all

Located in the heart of the Chicago Loop, Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago offers a location that allows you to be right in the middle of all the holiday action downtown. Minutes from the theater district, Millennium Park, Magnificent Mile shopping, and many other Chicago attractions, this hip and modern hotel is perfect for those visiting the Windy City for the holidays or for those who want to experience a true Chicago staycation in style. For more information, visit theloopchicagocentrichyatt website or call 312.236.1234.


A historic Chicago landmark for impossible-to-forget holiday events

Hampton Inn Chicago, located inside the historic Chicago Motor Club building, has developed the perfect solution to handle the mountain of gifts to wrap before returning home after walking up and down Michigan Avenue and State Street with “Wrap Up and Wine Down”. With each bottle of wine purchased, guests will receive complimentary gift wrapping supplies including wrapping paper, scissors, tape, and bows making it easy to get all of your holiday wrapping done. The hotel also offers a special overnight package to spend a day or two in the hustle and bustle of Michigan Avenue in order to get everything crossed off your list. Guests booking the “Park & Stay Package”, with rates beginning at $159, will start their vacation on a relaxing note by pulling up right in front of the hotel for a complimentary valet service. For more information, visit the hamptoninnchicagodowntownhotel website or call 312-419-9014.



For the person on your list who always has their nose in a book:

Make a donation in their name to the American Writers Museum, the first museum of its kind in the United States, opening in downtown Chicago in early 2017. Located at 180 North Michigan Avenue, this museum will engage the public in celebrating American writers, and exploring their influence on our history, identify, culture, and daily lives. The interactive high-tech museum will showcase the personal stories and literary works of diverse American writers, from Mark Twain to Dr. Seuss. For more information or to make a donation, visit the americanwritersmuseum website.


Photos: Courtesy of Heron Agency

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