1. Be merry
Inspired by a market in Nuremberg, Germany, Christkindlmarket features open-air shopping with German foods and visits from Christkind, who delivers toys to children. Celebrate the market’s 25th anniversary with mugs of hot spiced wine, or hot chocolate.
Details for the Lakeview location: 3-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 24; closed Dec. 25 through Dec. 31 at Gallagher Way, 3635 N. Clark St. Free / MAP
Find more fests: 2021 Festival Guide
2. Lend a hand
My Block My City My Hood’s “Be a Part of the Light” campaign seeks to illuminate more than 500 homes along Martin Luther King Drive between 51st and 115th streets. Volunteers will be helping to spread some holiday cheer. The kick-off event culminates with a tree lighting celebration (5-6 p.m.).
Details: 2-6 p.m. Saturday at the Washington Park Field House, 5531 S. Martin Luther King Drive. Free / MAP
“A Mexican Christmas“ showcases Latin American and Spanish music, featuring rarely heard instruments including the bajón (Spanish baroque bassoon), leona (large guitar from Veracruz) and the quijada de burro (a percussion instrument made from a donkey’s jawbone).
Details: Performances at 8 p.m. Thursday at St. John Canitus Church, 825 N. Carpenter St. (MAP); 8 p.m. Friday at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 939 Hinman Ave. Evanston (MAP); 3 p.m. Sunday at Mother of the Americas Parrish, 2226 S. Whipple St. (MAP). $20-$50.
Ice carving demonstrations, live reindeer and Buddy the Elf are among the festivities on tap at Hyde Park Holly-Day. Enjoy free hot chocolate samples and family photos.
Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at 5235 S. Harper Court and Hyde Park Shopping Center Courtyard, 55th Street and S. Lake Park Avenue. Free / MAP
Antiques, vintage and modern goods are among the wares for sale at Randolph Street Market, which is setting up shop on the Mag Mile for a trio of weekend events.
Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 19 at 830 N. Michigan Ave. $10 / MAP
Cirque du Soleil puts a twist – or bend – on a classic Christmas tale in “‘Twas the Night Before…” featuring high-flying acts, acrobatics and more.
Details: Performances at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St. $30 and up / MAP
More than 20 artisans, including Swedish makers and collectors, set up shop in heated tents along Catalpa Street for the first Andersonville Winter Market. Enjoy a cup (or two) of Simon’s Tavern’s famous Glogg.
Details: 3-8 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday along Catalpa Street between Clark Street and Ashland Avenue. Free / MAP
Searching for unique holiday gifts? Head over to the One of a Kind Holiday Show, featuring 400 artists selling everything from jewelry to art and clothing to gourmet goods.
Details: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at the Mart, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza. $10; $15 for a two-day pass / MAP
9. Cut a rug
Put on your dancing shoes and grab a partner for First Friday Swing Party. Got two left feet? Not a problem. The event kicks off with a beginner swing dance lesson. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and face mask required.
Details: 8-11:30 p.m. at Chicago Dance Center, 3868 N. Lincoln Ave. $10 / MAP
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s fairy tale, “Cinderella,” comes to life at Paramount Theatre. Watch as pumpkins are transformed into horse-drawn carriages and tattered rags magically become a beautiful gown as Cinderella finds her Prince Charming.
Details: Performances 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday, 7 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sunday with some exceptions through Jan. 9 at Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. Aurora. $36-$79 / MAP
Events listed are subject to change. We recommend double-checking times and locations before you head out the door. Want to share your upcoming events with us for consideration in a future roundup? Send us an email.