You’re at the finish line of the holiday season! You made it out in one piece, now doesn’t adult-only time sound fabulous? You can hear yourself think, complete a sentence, trade the diaper bag for a clutch. Ahhhhh, sign us up! Concerts, a much-loved musical, a home show and more round out our list of the best ways to step into the kid-free zone this month.
The Birth of Our Nation Set to a Musical: Hamilton
Yes, we know. This is the hottest ticket in town and almost impossible to come by without giving up an arm and a leg. But, did you know Broadway in Chicago has a lottery system that allows winners to purchase tickets for just $10? Some of these seats are even front row. Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. A thoroughly inventive, wildly entertaining musical about the birth of our nation – with a score that blends hip-hop, pop, blues, jazz and Broadway. It’s a show you don’t want to miss.
Regular tickets pricing range greatly, lottery tickets $10
Performances all month long (it’ll be here a while, so if you miss out this month, keep trying!)
The PrivateBank Theatre
18 W. Monroe
photo: Illumination at Morton Arboretum
Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum
Enjoy a little romantic holiday fun after the hubbub of the holidays is over. Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum transforms a Chicago-area wintertime walk in the woods into a colorful, inspiring experience like no other. Brand new experiences this year include projections of abstract design that splash across the hemlock trees in Treemagination and Fantasy Forest, where the Arboretum’s hedge garden provides a backdrop for pencil-thin pillars of light which will extend skyward and appear to chase one another while synchronized to music.
January 2, then lights out until next year!
The Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Rte. 53
Photo: Chicago Helicopter Experience, courtesy of Robert Barnes
Up, Up, Up! Get a Birds Eye View of Holiday Lights
Chicago will only be lit up like a giant Christmas tree for a few more days. Buckle up and take your holiday lights enjoyment to all new heights with a birds-eye view from 1,200 feet above the crowd. Chicago Helicopter Experience is offering guests sky-high views of Chicago’s magnificent light displays. The pilot gives a guided-tour of the lights at Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier, Millennium Park and the Chicago skyline, which is breathtaking no matter the time of year, but exponentially so during the holidays. Don’t have time to hit the lights? They have romantic sunset flight options are year-long.
CHE Chicago Heliport
2420 S. Halsted
photo: Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls Charities Ping Pong Tournament
The Chicago Bulls would like to challenge you to a game of ping pong! The evening will feature a ping pong tournament for Bulls players and fans, as well as dinner and cocktails with players and Bulls legends to raise money for Chicago Bulls Charities. Tournament participants will compete for the opportunity to face off against Bulls players.
Jan. 18, 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
344 N. State St.
photo: Adler Planetarium
Adler After Dark: RetroRocket
Nearly sixty years ago, the Soviet Union launched a small metal ball into orbit and from that point on, the Space Race was on like Donkey Kong. Head back to the 1950s with your poodle skirt and horn-rimmed glasses at this retro Adler After Dark. Learn more about early rocketry, check out a special talk on the Mercury program, and hear dramatic stories based on actual events from the early history of NASA and Mission Control. Then, dance your socks off with some classic rockabilly hits from Rosie and the Rivets over a Sidecar or Tom Collins à la your favorite character from Mad Men.
Jan. 19, 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m.
$20 in advance, $25 at the door
1300 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Led Zeppelin 2
Make a date that rocks and hit up Chicago’s House of Blues for one of the best Zep tribute bands around, Led Zeppelin 2.
Jan. 20; Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m.
House of Blues
329 North Dearborn
photo: Kevin Griffin
Spend a Night with Kevin Griffin of Better than Ezra
Kevin Griffin, who debuted in 1995 as the singer and songwriter for Better Than Ezra, has most recently been writing and producing for a variety of artists in Rock, Pop, and Country. Nows your chance to catch him solo in the intimate setting of City Winery.
Jan. 20 & 21, Doors open at 6 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m.
1200 Randolph St.
School Your Mate at AceBounce
Break out those ping pong skills honed in middle school and show your date how it’s done. AceBounce is a ping pong playground with excellent chefs and mixologists, creating an unprecedented party experience — or a very fun one-on-one date night. Advanced reservations are recommended, especially if you’re looking to play after 6 p.m.
$15-$22 for 30 minutes or $25-$39 for 60 minutes
230 N. Clark St.
photo: Ideal Home Show Chicago
Ideal Home Show Chicago
Working on a home improvement project? Grab a coffee, hold hands and stroll around the Ideal Home Show, where you’ll find the latest in products, tips and deals on remodeling, design, home improvement and spring outdoor projects – all under one roof. This third annual experiential marketplace will bring greater Chicagoland’s home buyers and home re-modelers face-to-face with more than 150 local and regional vendors offering the latest in windows, cabinetry, solar power and more.
Jan. 27 – Jan. 29; Fri., noon-8 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
600 E. Grand Ave.
Get the Giggles with Louie Anderson
Iconic comedian Louie Anderson, the three-time Emmy Award® winner, is one of the country’s most recognized and adored comics; named by Comedy Central as “One of 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time.” His career has spanned more than 30 years. He is a best-selling author, star of his own stand-up specials and sitcoms and he continues to tour the country performing to standing-room-only crowds worldwide.
Jan. 29; 5 p.m.
1200 Randolph St.
Any fun date nights planned in January? Share your ideas in the Comments below!
— Maria Chambers