Essential Events

Essential Events: Things to do in the Shore region

2013-11-04T00:00:00Z 2013-11-05T11:21:01Z Essential Events: Things to do in the Shore regionBy Shore Staff
November 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Through Jan 5 ‘A Christmas Story’ Comes Home, Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Dr, Hammond. 800.255.5253. Each year visitors come to the Indiana Welcome Center to view the six animatronic window displays from Macy's Department Store in New York featuring different scenes from “A Christmas Story.” A variety of events and activities also pay homage to this holiday classic.



Ongoing First Friday Art Walk, 5-8pm, 1st Fri of each month, Uptown Arts District, Michigan City. 219.331.5517. The Uptown Arts District stores, galleries and venues come alive the first Friday of every month for an evening of culture, art and networking. Various locations throughout the district feature works of arts by local artists, refreshments, entertainment and more.

Nov 28 2013 Valparaiso Turkey Trot, 8am 10K start; 8:10am 5K start, 2727 N Campbell St, Valparaiso. Since 2003, runners, walkers, supporters and volunteers alike have joined together Thanksgiving morning for this annual 10K run and 5K walk/run, hosted by Porter-Starke Services. The race travels through the streets of Valparaiso, features a costume contest and benefits the mental health and wellness programs and resources in Northwest Indiana.

Nov 30 Winter Market, 11am-4pm, Old Lake County Courthouse, 1 N Courthouse Sq, Crown Point. 219.662.3290. Holiday crafts, custom gift baskets, jewelry, homemade items, baked goods, seasonal coffees, Christmas trees and more are available for sale at this hometown event.

Dec 1 Holiday Festival Vendor & Craft Event, 10am-4pm, Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza, 800 E 81st Ave, Merrillville. 219.741.0435. Attendees can browse the wares of more than 70 upscale vendors, crafters and direct sellers. The first 100 shoppers will receive free gift bags and the afternoon features entertainment, a cash bar and concession and raffle baskets. Proceeds benefit the Fair Haven Center for Women.

Dec 6 Holly Days, 5-7pm, Central Park Plaza, Lafayette & Indiana Sts, downtown Valparaiso. 219.464.8332. Downtown Valparaiso celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with holiday music, ice carvings, a holiday village market and a live nativity.

Dec 7 Mistletoe Market, 9am-3pm, Westchester Intermediate School, 1050 S 5th St, Chesterton. 219.926.5513. Chesterton European Market dresses up for the holidays with many of the merchants, artists and chefs from the summer market. This extraordinary shopping experience provides the perfect opportunity to gather together and browse market goodies for holiday gifting, listen to festive holiday music and take photos with Santa.

Dec 7 On Your Marks . . . A 24-Hour Theatre Festival, 7:30pm, Mainstreet Theatre, 807 Franklin St, Michigan City. 219.874.4269. For one night only, audience can witness eight new short plays written, rehearsed and performed by The Festival Players Guild within a 24-hour period. This family-friendly event is a thrill ride for audience members and participants alike.

Dec 14 Pop Up Art Event, 5-9pm, Lake St, Gary. 219.951.9393. Since 2011, this popular event has drawn more than 75 local artists and more than 1200 visitors. Artists can display their work in empty storefronts in Miller Beach’s Arts and Creative District at no charge.

Dec 14-15 Shipshewana on the Road, 9am-6pm, Porter County Expo Center, 215 E Division Rd, Valparaiso. 269.979.8888. For two days only, this popular outdoor market stops in Valparaiso with products and merchandise from artisans, crafters, flea market dealers and retail business owners—including finished and unfinished pine furniture, handmade crafts, toys, home décor, handmade jewelry, clothing and more.

Dec 24 Christmas Eve Shopping Stroll, 10-11am, Indiana Dunes State Park, 1600 N 25 E, Chesterton. 219.926.1952. This one-hour walk lead by naturalists explores the winter life and beauty of the dunes and culminates in a warm fire and hot cocoa in the Wilson Shelter.

Dec 31 New Year’s Eve Bash 2013, 8pm, Radisson at Star Plaza, I-65 & US 30, Merrillville. 219.769.6600. Guests to this popular event can choose to usher in 2014 at one of three parties (or all three)—a high-energy dance party headlined by DJ Navic and DJ Gordo, a tropical party in the atrium with music from Bravo Johnny or a pub party at T.J. Maloney’s Authentic Irish Pub featuring music by Angelo Cicco and The Unit. The night features a comedy shows at Star Plaza Theatre and Wisecrackers Comedy Club. All-inclusive overnight packages are available.

Jan 11 Winter…Wine…Wonderland 2014, Serenity Springs, 5888 US 35, LaPorte. 219.861.000. This magical evening of wine, dining and fun features tastings of a variety of wines in front of a roaring fire, Southern Italian cuisine and live entertainment.

Jan 24-26 Winterfest, 3-5pm, downtown LaPorte. 219.331.5517. Live ice sculptures kick off this yearly event as artists craft unique works of art right on the streets of downtown LaPorte. Family-friendly winter fun abounds throughout the weekend.

Jan 25 11th Annual Gardening Show, 8am-4pm, Porter County Expo, 215 E Division St, Valparaiso. Sponsored by Purdue University Cooperative Extension and its Porter County Master Gardeners, this award-winning event features presentations by national, regional and local gardening experts, special lodging and dinner packages, a seed and bulb exchange, a garden photography contest, a children’s corner, food service and 100 exhibitors and vendors of products and services for and about gardens and gardening.

Feb 21 Dunes History Series—Focus on Maple Sugaring, 5pm Fri-4pm Sat, Dunes Learning Center, 700 Howe Rd, Chesterton. 219.395.9555. Participants at this sweet retreat-style workshop can immerse themselves in the local traditions of maple sugaring—from the Native American origins to modern day techniques. Appropriate for all ages, this overnight workshop covers the history and science of maple sugaring and participants have the opportunity to assist in tapping male trees and enjoy a variety of foods prepared from the sap.


Through Dec 8 27th Annual Mistletoe Market, South Haven Center for the Arts, 600 Phoenix St, South Haven. 269.637.1041. This year, the annual market hosts more than 40 participating local artists and crafters showing and selling their work—including jewelry, paintings, photography and more. A portion of the proceeds benefit the art center.

Through Apr 26 Indoor Farm Market, 11am-3pm Sat, Foundry Hall, 422 Eagle St, South Haven. 269.543.4658. The South Haven Farmers’ Market moves indoors for the winter with freshly picked produce, baked goods and handmade items.

Nov 28 6th Annual Traverse City Turkey Trot, 9am, downtown Traverse City. 231.947.1120. Participants can start the holiday off with a 5K or 5-mile run/walk for the entire family. The flat course meanders through the streets of downtown Traverse City and racers can be home by lunchtime.

Dec 5 Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World Gala, 7pm, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 E Beltline Ave, NE, Grand Rapids. 888.957.1580. An enchanted evening awaits guests to this celebrated gala, which features horse-drawn carriage rides through Sculpture Park, dancing under the Chihuly chandelier, a strolling dinner and roaming holiday entertainment. Dazzling trees and displays representing cultural traditions from around the world provide a truly spectacular background for this annual event.

Dec 6 Live Mannequins! 7-8:30pm, downtown St. Joseph. 269.985.1111. The businesses of downtown St. Joseph get into the holiday spirit as the storefronts and windows come alive with volunteers from the community posing perfectly still like mannequins at this free event.

Dec 7 Giggle & Mingle with Santa Claus, 1-4pm, Round Barn Winery, 10983 Hills Rd, Baroda. 800.716.9463. Round Barn Winery asks the community to help make Christmas wishes come true for needy area children by bringing a new, unwrapped toy as admission for this event. Adults can sip on seasonal cheer and shop Round Barn’s extensive product line for the perfect gift, while kids can meet and have a free photo taken with the man in red, make ornaments and paper snowflakes, and decorate holiday cookies.

Dec 7 Reindog Parade, 4pm, downtown St. Joseph. 269.985.1111. Dressed-up pets and owners strut their stuff at this annual holiday parade, which also features Santa’s arrival downtown. With creative holiday costumes such as Santa Bernards and Reindeer Rottweilers, this is a must-see event.

Dec 14 Holiday Expo & Craft Show, 9am-4pm, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 2900 Lake St, Kalamazoo. 269.383.8778. With more than 100 vendors, crafters and artists from across Michigan, shoppers can find that special gift for everyone on their holiday list at this expo and craft show.

Jan 31 2nd Annual Chili Tour, 5-8pm, downtown St. Joseph. 269.985.1111. A Chili Tour map guides guests to participating downtown merchants to try a variety of chili recipes. Tasters can vote on their favorite and help award the traveling Chili Tour trophy.

Jan 31-Feb 2 Ice Breaker 2014, downtown South Haven. Now in its 21st year, this annual festival offers winter fun for the whole family with dazzling ice sculptures, a chili cook-off, a pub slide, outdoor ice skating, curling, horse drawn carriage rides, kids crafts and many more exciting events. During the event, sculptors shape more than 50 blocks of ice, weighing 300 pounds each.

Feb 1 Bev’s Second Season Ball, 6:30pm, Silver Creek Convention Center, Four Winds Casino, 11111 Wilson Rd, New Buffalo. Attendees can escape the winter blues at this chocolate fantasy celebration put on by the New Buffalo Business Association. The night begins with an open bar and hors d’oeuvres, followed by dinner, dessert, a silent auction and dancing until midnight with music by The Whistle Pigs.

Feb 1-2 Winter Fest, 10am-10pm, downtown New Buffalo. New Buffalo celebrates winter with free sleigh rides through town, ice skating, ice carving demonstrations and more.

Feb 6-9 Michigan International Auto Show, 3-10pm Thu, 11am-10pm Fri, 10am-10pm Sat, 10am-6pm Sun, DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids. 616.447.2860. This popular show features more than 300 new vehicles and soon-to-be-released models by car manufacturers from around the world.

Feb 7-9 Magical Ice Fest, 269.985.1111. This weekend of winter fun includes individual and team ice carving competitions, the return of Ice Wars and the SnowBiz Scavenger Hunt.


ONGOING Chicago French Market, 7am-7:30pm Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5:30pm Sat, 131 N Clinton, Chicago. 312.575.0306. More than 7,000 people per day visit Chicago’s first and only year-round indoor marketplace for fresh ingredients for cooking at home, delicious grab-and-go options for every meal, meaningful gift items and more from local vendors. Also, through Dec 20: Marché de Noël.

Through Mar 9 McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, noon-8pm Mon-Thu, noon-10pm Fri, 10am-10pm Sat (through Jan 4), 10am-9pm Sat (beginning Jan 11), 10am-9pm Sun, Millennium Park, Michigan Ave & Washington St, Chicago. 312.742.1168. Situated amidst the twinkling lights of the city, this rink draws more than 100,000 skaters annually and is free and open to the public.

Nov 26-Dec 24 Christkindlmarket Chicago, 11am-8pm Sun-Thu, 11am-9pm Fri-Sat, Daley Plaza, 50 W Washington St, Chicago. Once a year, downtown Chicago transforms into a European holiday village filled with twinkling lights and candy candy-striped wooden huts filled with one-of-a-kind offerings. More than 55 vendors have a variety of offerings with holiday ornaments of all colors, materials and sizes; nutcrackers; cuckoo-clocks; beer steins; wooden toys; jewelry; wood carvings and European sweets and treats.

Nov 28 McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade, 8-11am, State St from Congress to Randolph, Chicago. 312.235.2862. Every year this televised parade draws more than 400,000 people. The parade features giant balloons, marching bands, horses, floats, performances and more.

Nov 29-Dec 20 Caroling at Cloud Gate, 6pm, Chase Promenade Central, Millennium Park, Michigan Ave & Washington St, Chicago. 312.742.1168. Now in its eighth season, this cherished Chicago tradition showcases Chicago choral groups and invites visitors to participate in a holiday sing-along.

Nov 29-Dec 22 Zoolights, 5-9pm Fri-Sun, Lincoln Park Zoo, Cannon Dr at Fullerton Pkwy, Chicago. 312.742.2000. Throughout the holiday season, Lincoln Park Zoo is dressed up to dazzle in a vivid holiday light display featuring more than two million lights. Visitors are sure to enjoy the new ice skating at the zoo, animal encounters, holiday-themed activities, photos with Santa, ice carving demonstrations and warm drinks during this free family-friendly event.

Dec 6-9 One of a Kind Show and Sale, 11am-8pm Thu-Fri, 10am-7pm Sat, 10am-5pm Sun, The Merchandise Mart, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago. 800.677.6728. At Chicago’s most exciting holiday shopping show and fine art and craft festival more than 600 talented artists from across the country display their homemade creations—including unique paintings, sculptures, glass works, photography, ceramics, jewelry, furniture and wearable art—for sale. Shoppers can find a one-of-kind gift for everyone on their list and enjoy gourmet cafés, fashion shows and live music.

Dec 6-Jan 12 Winter WonderFest, Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago. 312.595.7437. ‘Tis the season to explore Navy Pier’s enchanted 170,000-square-foot winter playground featuring holiday décor, music, entertainment, an indoor ice skating rink, a zip line, an indoor Ferris wheel, huge inflatable slides, rides and more at this family-friendly holiday tradition.

Dec 31 New Year’s Eve Monster’s Ball, 9pm, Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont Ave, Chicago. 773.327.5252. Back by frighteningly popular demand, this one-of-a-kind event offers a startling way to ring in the New Year with ghost and ghouls. Guests dressed in their most horrific attire can enjoy unlimited specialty drinks, diabolically delicious appetizers, live music from a zombie band and a haunted house.

Jan 16-20 Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show, noon-9pm Thu, 11am-9pm Fri, 10am-9pm Sat, 10am-7pm Sun, 10am-5pm Mon, McCormick Place, North Building, 2301 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. This annual event brings the great outdoors indoors with hundreds of boats and the latest model RVs. The show also features gear for fishing and boating, as well as fun attracts for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

Jan 23-26 Strictly Sail Chicago, 11am-8pm Thu-Fri, 10am-7pm Sat, 10am-5pm Sun, Navy Pier Festival Hall A&B, 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago. The nation’s largest indoor “all-sail” boat show has become a must-attend event for all sailors. Attendees can see, board and buy boats; attend seminars and have more fun than ever at this 19th annual show. Activities include seminars from an impressive group of speakers, live do-it-yourself tutorials, a remote control sailing pond, a kids corner and more.

Feb 8-17 Chicago Auto Show, 10am-10pm Feb 8-16, 10am-8pm Feb 17, McCormick Place, 2301 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. Auto enthusiasts trek to this annual convention—celebrating its 106th anniversary this year—of more than 1,000 of the newest cars, trucks, SUVs and concept cars, all displayed within the colossal confines of McCormick Place. Also, Feb 7: First Look for Charity (7-11pm).

Feb 15-Mar 16 The Orchid Show, 10am-4pm, Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe. 847.835.5440. For the first time, orchids will take over the garden, providing an infusion of warmth and color this winter. Visitors can view a large orchid tree, orchid columns and more as they read about orchid conservation effects.



Through Nov 30 Off the Wall—An Art Exhibit, LaPorte County Historical Society Museum, 2405 Indiana Ave, Suite 1, LaPorte. 219.324.6767. Both old and newer pieces from the historical society’s collection are on display at this exhibit. Works include a pen-and-ink drawing by former LaPorte County Schools art teacher, Goldie Taylor; a large painting of the ship the USS LaPorte; a small watercolor by Isamu Noguchi and more.

Through Nov 30 Photographic Exploration, Chesterton Art Center, 115 S St, Chesterton. 219.926.4711. A 40-year photography veteran, Martha McGuckin has moved from black and white enlargements to expressive digital creations displayed in this exhibit. Her digital images are carefully duplicated and arranged to create new, interesting, abstract images.

Through Dec 1 Abstraction…A Second Look—Paintings by Tom Brand, Center for Visual and Performing Arts Atrium Gallery, 1040 Ridge Rd, Munster. 219.836.1839. Artist Tom Brand’s paintings have a surface glow and luster achieved through the use of under painting and glazes, a studio technique developed during the Renaissance. This technique combined with his thoughtful sense of form, color and composition set his work apart.

Through Dec 1 The Best of 2013 SSAACC Photography Exhibit, Southern Shore Art Association, 724 Franklin St, Michigan City. 219.369.9028. southernshoreartassociation. Southern Shore Art Association’s Camera Club presents their best photographs taken throughout the year.

Through Dec 15 E. John Walford Exhibit, Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University Center for the Arts, 1709 Chapel Dr, Valparaiso. E. John Walford offers his take on biblical stories through his digital collages. Also, through Dec 15: Selections from the Permanent Collection; Jan 7-Apr 6: Modern Vision—Japanese Prints from the Ruth A. Ruege Collection, Mr. Imagination—Chicago Self-Taught Artist and Trucks—Recent Work by John Himmelfarb.

Through Jan 12 Ansel Adams Photographs, The Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame. 574.631.5466. In association with the traveling exhibit, Ansel Adams—Masterworks, at the South Bend Museum of Art, this exhibit features an installation of four black and white photographs by Ansel Adams, one of the most remarkable photographers of the 20th century. Also, through Dec 8: Torpor—Glasswork by Jaime Guerrero; through Dec 22: The Academy Exposed—French Figure Studies from the Permanent Collection; Jan 12-Mar 16: The Artist’s View—Landscape Drawings from the Crocker Museum and No Little Art—Dürer’s Apocalypse and Northern Renaissance Prints.

Through Jan 26 Something New Under the Sun—Automotive Inventions and Innovations, Studebaker National Museum, 201 S Chapin St, South Bend. 574.235.9714. This exhibit focuses on the automotive advances—the self-starter, air condition and automatic transmissions—that have significantly impacted our motoring life. Also, through May 26: Studebaker—Preserving the Past… Pursuing the Future.

Through Feb 8 We are Porter County, Porter County Museum of History, 153 Franklin St, Valparaiso. 219.465.3595. This interactive and engaging exhibit highlights the formation of the county from its founding in 1836 to present day and visitors can learn about the transformation of the county from frontier to modern landscape.

Through Feb 9 Citizen ★ Soldier ★ Citizen, Lubeznik Center for the Arts, 101 W Second St, Michigan City. 219.874.4900. Contemporary works by military combat veterans will be on display at this exhibition honors those who have fought for freedom and those fighting to reintegrate into society after their war experiences. Also, through Feb 24: Theater of Conflict.


Through Dec 8 Jan Frieden—Books and Trees, Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve, 13988 Range Line Rd, Niles. 269.695.6491. This multimedia exhibit features found objects and 3-D pieces by Jan Frieden.

Through Jan 5 Happy Owl-i-days, Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad St, St. Joseph. 269.983.3688. Box Factory for the Arts celebrates the “Owl-i-days” with a show and sale featuring a variety of media—quilts, hooked rugs, stuffed creations, weavings, bakits and more—all featuring at least one owl incorporated into each creation.

Through Jan 12 Sketches to Sculptures—Rendered Reality, Sixty Year with Marshall M. Fredericks, Krasl Art Center, 707 Lake Blvd, St. Joseph. 269.983.0271. A pre-eminent figurative sculptor in American art in the 20th century, Marshall M. Fredericks created iconic sculptures and monuments located throughout the world. This touring exhibit offers the unique opportunity to look at the creative process of the artist—from informal sketches to presentation drawings and small bronze sculptures. Also, through Jan 12: Andrews University Place Making Studio.

Nov 26-Jan 5 Christmas and Holiday Traditions, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 E Beltline Ave, NE, Grand Rapids. 888.957.1580. With more than 42 cultural trees and displays, plus Santa, reindeer, carolers, carriage rides and the much-loved Railway Garden, this annual exhibition is sure to delight guests of all ages. This exhibition focuses on nature and natural materials as a unique but critical element for holidays in many cultures. Also, through Jan 5: Shattered—Contemporary Sculpture in Glass;

Dec 14-Feb 9 Fantastic Rumpus—50 Years of Children’s Book Illustration, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo. 269.349.7775. Children and adults alike will be delighted by the original children’s book illustrations from 31 prominent children’s book illustrators, who each acknowledge the importance and influence of Maurice Sendak’s work. Also, through Dec 1: Copley to Kentridge—What’s New in the Collection?; through Dec 8: 2013 Kirk Newman Art School Faculty Review; through Jan 26: BOO! Images of the Macabre; through Feb 2: Mountains and Waters—Landscape Paintings from China; Dec 21-Feb 23: Impressions—Selections from Stewart & Stewart; Feb 1-May 25: Inside Steinway—Photographs by Christopher Payne; Feb 9-Jul 5: Cultural Encounters—India, Burman and Tibet; Feb 22-May 4: Environmental Impact.

Jan 3-Feb 16 Breaking Possibilities—Constructing the Impossible, South Haven Center for the Arts, 600 Phoenix St, South Haven. 269.637.1041. This comprehensive exhibit of fragile art made by some of today’s finest glass artists takes a closer look at glass as a medium with a sculptural focus that pushes the boundaries and possibilities of physics. Visitors will experience color and form like never before.


Through Jan 5 Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light, Museum of Science and Industry, 57th St and Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. 773.947.3133. A Chicago tradition that began in 1942, this one-of-a-kind seasonal celebration boasts the museum’s 45-foot Grand Tree at center stage with more than 30,000 lights and 1,000 ornaments. More than 50 smaller trees beautifully decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s ethnic communities represent various cultures and holiday traditions. In addition, school choral groups perform on the holiday stage during the week, and ethnic song and dance performers on the weekends. Also, through Feb 2: 80 at 80; through May 4: Treasures of the Disney Archives.

Through Jan 9 Violence and Virtue—Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Slaying Holofernes, The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago. 312.629.6635. One of the most famous and skilled painters of the Baroque era, Artemisia Gentileschi was among the first women artists to achieve success in the 17th century. This exhibit explores Gentileschi’s famous Judith Slaying Holofernes in context of her remarkable career and the complex responses of Renaissance and Baroque artists to the story of Judith. Also, through Dec 1: Play, Pretend and Dream—Caldecott Medal and Honor Books, 2010-2013; through Jan 5: 3 in 1—Contemporary Explorations in Architecture and Design, Max Kozloff—Critic and Photographer, The Mezzotints of Hamanishi Katsunori, New Views—The Rendered Image in Architecture and Shomei Tomatsu—Island Life; through Jan 8: Holidays 2013—Open Something Greater; Holiday Thorne Rooms and Neapolitan Crèche—A Holiday Gift to the City; through Jan 12: Amar Kanwar—The Lightning Testimonies, Isaac Julien—The Long Road to Mazatlán; Japanese Art of the 1960s—The Challenge of Tradition and Japanese Art of the 1960s—The Challenge of Tradition; through Jan 26: focus—Monika Baer; through Jan 27: Art and Appetite—American Painting, Culture and Cuisine and Devouring Books; through Feb 16: Dreams and Echoes—Drawings and Sculpture in the David and Celia Hilliard Collection; through Mar 9: Ed Clark; through Apr 20: Ugo Rondinone—we run through the desert on burning feet, all of us are glowing our faces look twisted; through Jul 27: When the Greeks Ruled—Egypt after Alexander Great; Jan 25-May 18: Christopher Williams—The Production Line of Happiness; Feb 23-May 11: Christopher Wool.

Through Sept 7 Opening the Vaults—Wonders of the 1983 World’s Fair, The Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. 312.922.9410. Now, 120 years after the World’s Fair, the museum opens its hidden collections to display incredible artifacts and specimens that bring to life one of the most spectacular events in the Windy City’s history. Rarely and never-before-seen objects, including a meteorite so feared it was kept chained in a dungeon and more. Also, through Jan 5: Creatures of Light—Nature’s Bioluminescence; through Jan 20: Fractured—North Dakota’s Oil Boom and Images of the Afterlife; through Sept 28: Bunky Echo-Hawk—Modern Warrior.

Nov 29-Jan 6 Wonderland Express, Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe. 847.835.5440. Once a year, the Chicago Botanic Garden transforms into a winter wonderland of twinkling lights, garden-scale trains, miniature Chicago landmarks, beautiful horticulture displays and an indoor snowfall.

Nov 29-Apr 13 CITY SELF, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago. 312.280.2660. At this exhibit, visitors can explore Chicago through the eyes of local artists and outsiders. A certain measure of alienation permeates much of the works by the artists in the “outsider” category, while local artists offer a more sympathetic or relaxed “insider” view. Also, through Nov 19: Miller & Shellabarger; through Dec 2: Amanda Ross-Ho; through Dec 3: José Lerma; through Jan 5: Paul Sietsema; through Mar 9: The Way of the Shovel—Art as Archaeology; through Jun 15: Warhol and Marisol; through Aug 17: Alexander Calder; Dec 17-Apr 15: Lillie Carré.



Cinemark at Valparaiso, 700 Porter’s Vale Blvd, Valparaiso. 800.326.3264, 219.464.0260. Playing new releases as well as the Cinemark Classic Series, Cinemark is the leading motion picture exhibitor. Cinemark at Valparaiso features roomy stadium seating and RealD 3D and digital presentations for an all-around quality movie viewing experience.

Portage 16 IMAX, 6550 US Hwy 6, Portage. 219.764.7569. The brand-new Portage 16 IMAX showcases blockbusters as well as electrifying 3D films that are uniquely suited to the IMAX format. With projected images up to eight stories high and a spectacular, wraparound digital surround-sound system, this theater offers a total-immersion moviegoing experience.


The Vickers Theatre, 6 N Elm St, Three Oaks. 269.756.3522. Home of the annual “Sound of Silents Film Festival,” this painstakingly restored turn-of-the-century art house screens a variety of notable independent films. A lofty, two-story gallery space, showcasing the works of Midwestern artists, is open to the public before and between shows. Further enhancing its art-house cachet, the Vickers hosts live music, performance art and poetry readings on its stage.


The Gene Siskel Film Center, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 164 N State St, Chicago. 312.846.2600. This film center-renamed in 2000 for its most passionate supporter, the late film critic Gene Siskel-has been exhibiting critically acclaimed, as well as entertaining “motion picture art” in its state-of-the-art facilities since its inception in 1972. Presenting more than 100 films each month, the center showcases cutting-edge, independent features and classic revivals, as well as premieres of new American and foreign films. From hosting the “Annual Festival of Films from Iran” to The Grapes of Wrath, the diverse offerings have quality in common. A focus on education is supported by guest lecturers, discussions and courses, and film-related exhibits can be viewed at the on-site gallery/café.



Blue Chip Casino, 777 Blue Chip Dr, Michigan City. 219.879.7711. The ultimate live entertainment destination, Blue Chip offers everything from local bands, favorite acts from yesteryear, hilarious comedy acts and more at It’s Vegas Baby! and Rock Lounge to world-famous performers and local bands at the Stardust Event Center, a 15,000+ square-foot entertainment destination. Nov 27: BBI and Dick Diamond and the Dusters; Nov 29: JP and the Cats and Déjà Vu; Nov 30: 2nd Hand Entertainment, The Dancing Noodles, Too White Crew and Tumbleweed; Dec 6: P.S. Dump Your Boyfriend; Dec 7: Carlos Ramos Band, The Chicago Kingsnakes and Elwood Splinters Blues Band; Dec 13: The Super-Suits; Dec 14: April’s Reign and The Neverly Brothers; Dec 21: The HZ Band.

Chicago Street Theater, 154 W Chicago St, Valparaiso. 219.464.1636. Now in its 58th season of bringing live theatrical entertainment to the greater Northwest Indiana region, the CST presents a variety of plays and musicals each season, in addition to regularly scheduled theater classes for both adults and children. Nov 29-Dec 21: Naughty or Nice Holiday Double Feature; Jan 31-Feb 15: The Beauty Queen of Leenane.

DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame Campus. 574.631.2800. The state-of-the-art, 150,000-square-foot facility, newly opened in 2004, is host to some of the world’s most celebrated artists. In addition, its stages showcase student, faculty and community performers, as well as the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Southold Dance, the Notre Dame Symphony, the South Bend Civic Theatre, and more. Dec 1: Danu; Dec 6-7: Notre Dame Chorale and Chamber Orchestra—Handle’s Messiah and National Theatre—50 Years on Stage; Dec 8: University Band Concert and Jazz Band Concert; Dec 12: Collegium Musicum Fall Concert; Dec 14: Glee Club Christmas Concert; Dec 15: Burning River Brass; Jan 12: June H. Edwards Chamber II—Beethoven Beethoven Beethoven; Jan 18: Kenny Barron Trio; Jan 19: Barry Jordan; Jan 26: Third Coast Percussion; Jan 30-Feb 1: National Theatre Live—Coriolanus; Feb 1: Intergalatic Nemesis—Book 1 Target Earth and Book 2 Robot Rising; Feb 13-15: L.A. Theatre Works—The Graduate; Feb 20-22: Diavolo Dance Theater; Feb 20-Mar 2: Clybourne Park; Feb 27, Mar 2: National Theatre Live—War Horse.

Festival Players Guild, Mainstreet Theatre, 807 Franklin St, Michigan City. 219.874.4269. Since 1969, Festival Players Guild has been dedicated to nurturing and producing performing arts of the highest order in Northern Indiana. Home of the guild, Mainstreet Theatre offers an intimate setting with 130 seats, which assures every patron a seat no further than 12 rows from the front. Dec 13-15: The Gift and Rented Christmas; Feb 8: Ranting Llamas.

Footlight Players, 1705 Franklin St, Michigan City. 219.874.4035. This community theater group has been entertaining audiences in Michigan City for more than 50 years with its productions of dramas, comedies and musicals. Dec 6-8, 13-15: A Christmas Carol; Feb 7-9, 14-16, 21-23: The Dream Continues.

Horseshoe Casino, 777 Casino Center Dr, Hammond. 866.711.7463. World-class gambling and top-name entertainment combine to create an unprecedented experience at this 350,000-square-foot casino. The Venue, the casino’s 90,000-square-foot entertainment facility, hosts some of the hottest Chicagoland entertainment. Nov 22-23: Chris Tucker; Nov 29: The Whispers & Dramatics; Dec 7: Lisa Lampanelli; Dec 14: Nikos Makropoulos; Dec 12: Celtic Women’s Home for Christmas—The Symphony Tour.

Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, various venues. 219.836.0525. Conducted by the charismatic Kirk Muspratt, this professional orchestra performs concerts that range in atmosphere from the whimsical pops series to the edifying and inspirational maestro series, many of which offer pre-concert discussions with the conductor an hour before the concert. Dec 12: Holiday Pops (Star Plaza Theatre, I-65 & US 30, Merrillville); Feb 14: Tosca (The Auditorium at Bethel Church, 10202 Broadway, Crown Point).

Ross Music Theatre, Center Stage Studio, 227 Center St, Hobart. 219.947.4922. In 1964, Ross Summer Music Theatre began as a performance venue for teenagers and young adults. Now in association with M&M Productions, the theater presents seven productions annually and offer two to four children’s workshops at Center Stage Studio and Reinhart Auditorium. Jan 10-12, 17-19: Monty Python’s Sampalot (Merrillville High School’s Reinhart Auditorium, 276 E 68th Pl, Merrillville).

Star Plaza Theatre, I-65 & US 30, Merrillville. 219.769.6600. With 3,400 seats arranged in two intimate seating levels, the theater consistently hosts premier performers year-round. With its convenient location in the heart of Northwest Indiana’s shopping and dining district and its proximity to the adjoining Radisson Hotel, the Star Plaza offers a total entertainment package to area theatergoers. Nov 24: The Oak Ridge Boys; Nov 30: Jeffrey Osborne; Dec 4-5: Indiana Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker; Dec 8: Doo-Wop Yule Pop; Dec 15: An Oh So Acoustic Christmas; Dec 22: Michael McDonald; Dec 27: Cheap Trick; Dec 28: Styx; Dec 31: Damon Williams’ New Year’s Eve Comedy Bash; Jan 11: Elvis Tribute Spectacular.

The Theatre at the Center, Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Rd, Munster. 219.836.3255. This theater, just 35 minutes from downtown Chicago, has the distinction of being the only professional equity theater in Northwest Indiana, and showcases the artistry of professional actors, musicians and designers from throughout the Midwest. Nov 14-Dec 22: A Christmas Carol The Musical; Dec 31, Jan 4-5: His Way—A Tribute to The Man and His Music; Feb 20-Mar 30: Ring of Fire—The Music of Johnny Cash.

Towle Community Theater, 5205 Hohman Ave, Hammond. 219.937.8780. To honor its mission of nurturing and celebrating local talent in the arts, the Towle Community Theater presents exhibitions, theatrical productions and musical performances in the heart of downtown Hammond. Nov 30-Dec 1, Dec 6-8, 13-15, 20-22: A Fabulous 50’s Christmas; Jan 10-12: 2014 Season Preview; Feb 28-Mar 2, Mar 7-9, 13-16: Adrift in Macao.


The Acorn Theater, 6 N Elm St, Three Oaks. 269.756.3879. The 250-seat Acorn is home to a carefully reconstructed, rare Barton Theater Pipe Organ and boasts bistro tables and occasionally offbeat entertainment options. Nov 29: Magic Up Close!; Nov 30: Bonnie Koloc; Dec 6: Howard Levy in Trio Globo.

Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad St, St. Joseph. 269.983.3688. The Berrien Artist Guild has converted an old box factory into a multidisciplinary arts resource, housing galleries, studios, an art shop and a café. Visitors also can take advantage of the Box Factory as an entertainment venue, attending stage performances by singers, musicians, poets and actors. Nov 30: Rust Belt Songwriters.

Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids. 616.454.9451 ext 4. Recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras, this Grammy-nominated symphony provides the orchestra for Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. The orchestra’s eight concert series with performances designed for young children through adults feature a wide range of repertoire. Dec 5-8: Nestlé Gerber Holiday Pops; Dec 10: Candlelight Cathedral Concert; Dec 17-19: Fifth Third Cirque de Noël; Dec 31: A Swingin’ New Years Eve; Jan 10-11: Brahms’ First Symphony; Jan 17-19: ‘60s Hits with the Midtown Men; Jan 25: Peter and the Wolf; Jan 31-Feb 1: Russian Masters; Feb 8: Music, Art, Dance; Feb 14: The Baroque Concert—Valentine’s Day!; Feb 15: The Music of the Rolling Stones; Feb 21-22: Hadelich Plays Brahms.

Silver Creek Event Center, Four Winds Casino, 11111 Wilson Rd, New Buffalo. 866.494.6371. The Silver Creek Event Center is a 1,500-seat, multi-use facility that is located next to the casino floor. In addition to hosting concerts, the 70,000-square-foot event center can be reconfigured to host a variety of meetings, special events, conferences and banquets. Nov 30: 80’s Proof; Dec 7: Michael Bolton; Dec 31: Kenny Loggins; Feb 28: Sylvia Browne.

Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, various venues. 269.982.4030. This versatile orchestra offers a traditional Mendel Mainstage Series, small ensemble works in the Around Town Series, and the Performing Artists series, which showcases a wide range of styles with guest artists. Dec 14: Jingle Bells Forever (LMC Mendel Center Mainstage, 2755 E Napier Ave, Benton Harbor); Feb 8: MAJESTY—The Best of British Rock (LMC Mendel Center Mainstage, 2755 E Napier Ave, Benton Harbor).

Van Andel Arena, 130 W Fulton, Grand Rapids. 616.742.6600. Ranked second on Billboard Magazine’s 2003 Top 10 Arena Venues for its size, this $75 million 12,000-plus capacity arena offers world-class family shows, concerts and sporting events to the increasingly popular Grand Rapids area. Nov 27: John Mayer—Born & Raised Tour; Dec 15: Trans-Siberian Orchestra—The Lost Christmas Eve; Jan 9: Keith Urban—Light The Fuse Tour 2014; Jan 23: Winter Jam 2014 Tour Spectacular; Jan 24-25: Nuclear Cowboyz; Jan 26: The Harlem Globetrotters; Feb 9: Jason Aldean; Feb 27-Mar 2: Disney on Ice—Princesses & Heroes.

West Michigan Symphony, Frauenthal Center for Performing Arts, 425 W Western Ave, Muskegon. 231.727.8001. With eight pairs of concerts a year, the West Michigan Symphony has played a leading role in the region’s cultural community for almost 70 years. It has helped bring a renewed vitality and life to the center of Muskegon and with it, the historic Frauenthal Theater, a 1,729-seat venue with extraordinary beauty, excellent acoustics and sight lines. Dec 13-14: Swingin’ Holiday Celebration; Dec 15: Singer. Actress. Gingerbread. (The Block, 360 W Western Ave, 2nd Floor, Muskegon); Jan 18: Russian. Composers. Pierogies. (The Block, 360 W Western Ave, 2nd Floor, Muskegon); Feb 7: Surprise & Classical Symphonies; Feb 8: Jazzy. Café. Pommes Frites. (The Block, 360 W Western Ave, 2nd Floor, Muskegon).


Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E Parkway, Chicago. 312.902.1500. A National Historic Landmark and a mainstay of Chicago architecture and theatre since 1889, the Auditorium continues to provide unparalleled ballet performances and a variety of artistic productions. Dec 6-28: The Joffrey Ballet—The Nutcracker; Dec 11: Willow Chicago—The Christmas Story; Jan 17-19: Too Hot to Handel—The Jazz-Gospel Messiah; Feb 12-23: The Joffrey Ballet—Contemporary Choregraphers; Feb 28-Mar 9: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Broadway in Chicago, various venues, Chicago. 800.775.2000. A joint venture between the two largest commercial theater producers and owner/operators in the U.S., Broadway in Chicago offers the finest of professional stage productions in multiple theaters, all residing in Chicago’s lively Loop. Bank of America Theatre, 18 W Monroe St. Feb 25-Mar 2: Chicago. Broadway Playhouse, 175 E Chestnut. Through Dec 29: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer—The Musical. Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W Randolph St. Through Dec 15: Elf the Musical; Jan 9-Mar 2: The Phantom of the Opera. Oriental Theatre, 24 W Randolph St. Through Dec 21: Wicked; Jan 7-19: Ghost the Musical; Feb 8: Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier, 800 E Grand Ave, Chicago. 312.595.5600. Prominently located on Navy Pier in Chicago, this venue mounts renowned productions of the plays of William Shakespeare, as well as works from distinguished American and international playwrights and directors. The theater’s mission to reach out to younger audiences is well accomplished with its offerings of children’s productions and student matinees. The architecturally dynamic structure houses both an engaging, 500-seat courtyard theater and a 200-seat black box theater. Nov 30-Dec 22: A 2 Brothers’ Christmas Carol; Dec 3-Jan 19: The Merry Wives of Windsor; Feb 6-Mar 23: Gypsy; Feb 22-Mar 22: Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Chicago Sinfonietta, Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, 2205 S Michigan Ave, Chicago. In its pursuit of “Musical Excellence through Diversity,” the Chicago Sinfonietta—the official orchestra of the Joffrey Ballet—presents compelling, innovative works, often by composers and soloists of color. Dec 14: Magical Holiday Breakfast (Crystal Garden at Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago); Jan 19-20: Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Sun: Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E Chicago Ave, Naperville).

The Chicago Theatre, 175 N State St, Chicago. 312.462.6300. The Chicago Theatre has been a prototype for area theaters since 1921. With its lavish architecture and an elegant stage, the Chicago Theatre seats 3,600 and stands seven stories high. Nov 30: Straight No Chaser; Dec 6: Miracle on State Street; Dec 7: Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2013; Dec 13-14: Jerry Seinfeld; Dec 31: Cheech & Chong and WAR; Feb 28: Wayne Brady.

City Winery Chicago, 1200 W Randolph St, Chicago. 312.733.9463. The city’s newest concert venue and only fully operational winery, will present an eclectic mix of the most respected names in pop, rock, jazz, blues and world music. Nov 25: Fear No Art—The Dinner Party; Nov 27: Vanessa Carlton; Nov 29: Marc Broussard; Nov 30: Joseph Arthur; Dec 1: Tangleweed; Dec 2: Rick Springfield—Stripped Down; Dec 3: The English Beat; Dec 4: An Evening with Joe Henry; Dec 5: Butch Hancock and Jimmy Dale Gilmore of the Flatlanders; Dec 8: Hot Tuna; Dec 9: King of Soul; Dec 10: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder; Dec 15: Tum Balalaika Klezmer Band and Kenny G Holiday Tour; Dec 18: Yarn; Dec 19: Branden James—The Voice of Christmas; Dec 20-21: The Fab Four—The Ultimate Tribute; Dec 22: Chicago Sinfonietta PIE; Dec 22-23: Michael McDermott; Dec 26-28: Poi Dog Pondering; Dec 29: Petra’s Recession Five; Dec 31: Los Lobos; Jan 12: Janis Siegel of Manhattan Transfer; Jan 15-16: David Grisman FolkJazz Trio; Feb 5-6: Maria Rita.

Court Theatre, 5535 S Ellis Ave, Chicago. 773.753.4472. The Court Theatre is a not-for-profit, professional regional theater that is located on the campus of the University of Chicago. Its mission to “discover the power of classic theater” is realized in its intimate, 251-seat auditorium. Through Dec 8: An Iliad; Jan 9-Feb 9: Seven Guitars;

The Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn St, Chicago. 312.443.3800. Since 1925, the Goodman Theatre has provided entertainment to the Chicago area; however, a new, state-of-the-art two-theater complex was completed in 2000—75 years to the day after the dedication of the original—and resides in the vibrant North Loop Theater District within walking distance of fine hotels and restaurants. Through Dec 28: A Christmas Carol; Dec 7-22: The Upstairs Concierge; Dec 8-22: The Solid Sand Below; Dec 14: Feathers and Teeth and The Rooster Room; Dec 15: Another Word for Beauty; Jan 18-Feb 23:Luna Gale; Feb 8-Mar 9: Buzzer.

Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph, Chicago. 312.704.8414. Now in its fifth season at its home in the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, this modern state-of-the-art theater guarantees that the audience will enjoy a wide variety of performances in an intimate setting. Dec 6: Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus—Holiday Concert; Dec 12-15: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago—Winter Series; Dec 16: Chicago Symphony Orchestra—Music Now! Prefusion; Dec 18: Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center—Brandenburg Concertos; Dec 19-20: International Music Foundation—Do-It-Yourself Messiah; Dec 21: Apollo Chorus of Chicago—Handel’s Messiah; Dec 23, 25-31, Jan 2-5: Mary Wilson with guests The Four Tops; Jan 24: Savion Glover—STePZ; Jan 28: Music of the Baroque—The Coronation Mass; Jan 30: DanceWorks Chicago—Eat to the Beat; Dec 16: Chicago Symphony Orchestra—Music Now! Folk Songs; Feb 7: Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica; Feb 19-20: Hamburg Ballet—Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler; Feb 27: LINES Ballet—Constellation; Feb 28: LINES Ballet—Collaboration with Edgar Meyer.

Lyric Opera of Chicago, Civic Opera House, Madison & Wacker, Chicago. 312.332.2244 ext 5600. The world-class Lyric Opera enraptures audiences with its spectacular artistry, performing in one of the most unique theaters in the world. The recently refurbished Civic Opera House not only is an elaborate treasure on the inside, but it is architecturally distinctive as well, shaped like a throne facing the Chicago River. Through Nov 29: Parsifal; through Dec 20: La Traviata; through Jan 26: Madama Butterfly; Dec 10-Jan 18: Die Fledermaus; Feb 1-28: The Barber of Seville; Feb 22-Mar 16: Rusalka.

Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago. 312.397.4010. Reflecting the modern atmosphere of the adjoining museum, the state-of-the-art MCA Theater features elegant oak-paneled walls and tiered seating, which guarantees that every one of the 300 seats can boast the best seat in the house. Dec 5, 7: Sandra Bernhard—Everything Bad and Beautiful; Dec 21-22: Tsukasa Taiko; Jan 23-26: Lola Arias—El Año en qui nací (The year I was born); Feb 20-23:—The Radio Show.

Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan Ave, Chicago. 312.294.3000. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is consistently hailed as one of today’s leading orchestras. Performances by the CSO are much in demand at home and in the most prestigious music capitals of the world. Led by renowned Italian conductor Riccardo Muti as its tenth music director, the CSO is working to fulfill his vision for the Orchestra-to deepen its engagement with the Chicago community, to nurture the legacy of the CSO while supporting a new generation of musicians, and to collaborate with visionary artists. Nov 29-30: SCP Special Event—Sing-A-Long-A Grease; Nov 30: SCP Special Event—Vienna Boys Choir; Dec 4-5: A Chanticleer Christmas; Dec 4: SCP Special Event—Christian Gerhaher and Gerold Huber; Dec 5-7, 10: CSO—Berlioz Symphonie fantastique; Dec 12-14, 17: CSO—Pictures from an Exhibition; Dec 14-15, 20-23: Welcome Yule!; Dec 16: Music Now! Prefusion; Dec 19: SCP Special Event—The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass; Dec 19-21: CSO—Eschenbach Conducts Bruckner; Jan 19: SCP Special Event—Matthias Goerne and Christoph Eschenbach; Jan 21: Civic Orchestra—No Strings Attached; Jan 24: CSO at the Movies—Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo; Jan 24, 28: CSO Special Event—CHICAGO with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Jan 26: SCP Chamber Music—Ax and von Otter’s The Brahams Project; Jan 30, Feb 1: CSO—Riccardo Muti and Yo-Yo Ma; Jan 31: SCP Jazz Series—An Evening with Branford Marsalis; Feb 3: Music Now! Folk Songs; Feb 6-8: CSO—Muti Conducts Schubert Mass; Feb 8: Family—Alien Invasion Orchestra from Planet X; Feb 9: CSO Chamber—CSO Chamber at the Art Institute and SCP Piano Series—Trifonov Plays Schumann; Feb 12: SCP Chamber Music—Joshua Bell Returns; Feb 13-14, 16, 18: CSO—Haydn Military Symphony; Feb 15: SCP Jazz Series—DeJohnette, Lovano, Spalding and Genovese Quartet; Feb 17: Civic Orchestra—Bach and Brahms; Feb 19: SCP Special Event—Soweto Gospel Choir; Feb 20-22, 25: CSO—Boulez and Stravinsky Pulcinella; Feb 21: SCP Chamber Music—Emanuel Ax & Yo Yo Ma’s The Brahms Project; Feb 23: SCP Orchestra—St. Petersburg Philharmonic; Feb 26: CSO Chamber—All-Access Ravel and Starvinsky; Feb 27-28, Mar 1: CSO—Boulez, Ravel and Stravinsky.

Paramount Theatre, 23 E Galena Blvd, Aurora. 630.896.6666. Named “One of Chicago’s Top Ten Theatres” by the League of Chicago Theatres, the Paramount is renowned for the quality and caliber of its presentations, superb acoustics and historic beauty. Dec 4: Henry & Mudge; Dec 6: Ballet Foklorico Quetzalcoatl; Dec 6-22: Nut-cracking Holiday Revue; Dec 7-9: A Christmas Carol; Dec 14: Mannheim Steamroller; Dec 18: Christmas with the Celts; Dec 28: Bill Blagg; Dec 31: Piano Men—Tribute to Elton & Billy; Jan 15-Feb 9: 42nd Street; Feb 14: The Midtown Men; Feb 16: Peking Acrobats; Feb 18: Red Sky—The Great Mountain.

Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E Main St, St Charles. 630.584.6342. Acclaimed throughout Chicago and the Midwest for its entertainment, Pheasant Run Resort features theater at its Mainstage and Studio theaters, comedy at Zanies Comedy Club, and live music, entertainment, art exhibits and shopping at its own version of Bourbon Street. Through Dec 29: Making God Laugh; Dec 7-21: The Little Mermaid.

Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N Halsted, Chicago. 312.335.1650. The Chicago-based cast is an internationally renowned group of 43 artists, committed to the art of ensemble collaboration. Now in its 35th season, Steppenwolf continues to fulfill its mission by offering intriguing performances and taking artistic risks. Through Dec 29: The Mikado; Dec 5-Feb 9: Tribes; Feb 6-May 11: Russian Transport.

Victory Gardens Theater, various venues. 773.871.3000. As one of the country’s most respected midsized professional theater companies, this Tony Award-winning theater is dedicated to serving playwrights and producing world premiere plays. Programs include five mainstage productions with emphasis placed on the development of an ethnically and culturally diverse community of arts. Through Nov 30: Elegy; through Dec 8: Appropriate; Jan 18-Feb 23: Golden Dragon; Feb 28-Mar 30: The Gospel of Lovingkindness.

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