This weekend should put a jingle in your step. Holiday festivities are kicking off everywhere from the Museum of Science and Industry to the Magnificent Mile. Set aside extra time for a huge game fair, the circus, a family dance performance and other shimmery happenings.

Christmas Around The World and Holidays of Light

Hyde Park

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light
How would a family in Denmark decorate their Christmas tree? What about Kenya? Find out at this exhibit, where you’ll eye up more than 50, 12-foot-tall trees decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s various ethnic communities. This year’s celebration is inspired by the museum’s new temporary exhibit, Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives. Through Jan. 5. Museum of Science and Industry. Included in museum admission of $18-$36/person. All ages. Event details.


BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
North Michigan Avenue, from Oak Street to the Chicago River, is its most magnificent this evening. This massive event is led by Mickey and Minnie, who captain a procession that draws thousands of observers and lights up trees that line the famous street. Sat., 5:30 p.m. Free. All ages. Event details.

Chicago Toy & Game Fair
The largest event of its kind in the U.S. welcomes kids and adults of all ages to touch, see and explore the latest in the toy and game world, and hear about it all straight from the inventors. There’s also a ton of fun extras, from character lunches to yo-yo competitions. Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Navy Pier. $5/child; $10/adult. All ages. Event details

The Loop

The Fresh Beat Band
The Nick Jr. sensation is ready to rock Chicago. Jam along with Shout, Twist, Marina and Kiki — who in the show are best friends that go to music school together — as they play hits old and new. Sat., 1:30 & 5:30 p.m. The Chicago Theatre. $30-$40. All ages. Event details.

Loíza Afro-Caribbean Song & Dance
Part of the Harris Theater Family Series, this performance features AfriCaribe, one of Chicago’s stalwart Bomba y Plena music and dance ensembles. The group’s colorful costumes, masks, and Afro-Caribbean songs and dances explore the West African and Spanish history of the Vejigante traditions of Puerto Rico. Sat., 2-3 p.m. Harris Theater for Music and Dance. $10. All ages. Event details.

West Loop

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Built To Amaze!
Watch a circus spectacular unfold before your eyes. At the start of the show, the props and players in this “Greatest Show on Earth” are transported by colorful circus machinery and unleashed from shipping crates. Expect nothing but fun hijinks after that when aerial artists, elephants, unicyclists, clowns, comedians and other entertainers take the rings. Thru Dec. 1. United Center. $15-$60. All ages. Event details.


Mary Poppins: The Musical
You won’t need a spoonful of sugar to make Marriott Theatre’s production go down smoothly. With classic songs like “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” combined with exciting dance numbers, parents will take a trip down memory lane. Through Jan. 5. $40-$48. Ages 4 & up. Event details.


Illumination at Morton Arboretum
Morton Arboretum goes beyond the typical blinking and twinkling with a new winter lights event on its forested grounds. Walk on a mile-long, paved trail and see dazzling projects and tree lights that respond to your touch and voice. You’ll pass by the pretty Meadow Lake and wind down the Confier Walk. Fri.-Jan. 4. $15/adults; $10/ages 17 and younger. All ages. Event details.

Which one of these events will you hit first? Let us know in the Comments section below.

— Kelly Aiglon

Photo: Courtesy of Museum of Science and Industry {from a previous year’s event}