The jingling and ring-ting-tingling continues this weekend. Get a piece of it around town — on stage, at museums and play spaces, and outdoors. You can whiz down the four-story Polar Peak, get enchanted by Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and see a huge holiday light show before it twinkles away. Here are our best bets for family fun this week.
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
The classic musical adventure of the little cinder girl is here to take Chicago by storm. Go on a journey filled with magic, mice, fluffy gowns and true love. Of course, all of this will be set to some of the most beloved tunes in Broadway history. Held thru Jan. 4 at Cadillac Palace Theatre. Tickets starting at $19. All ages. Event details.
Hansel & Gretel: A Wickedly Delicious Musical Treat
A new twist on the fairy tale was dreamed up by kindie rock hero Justin Roberts and playwright Ernie Nolan. You’ll delight as the famous siblings trounce through the Forbidden Forest to find their mother, discover a candy cottage and scheming witch, and learn about the power of love. This is a production of Emerald City Theatre and Broadway in Chicago. Held thru Jan. 4 at Broadway Playhouse. $29/ticket. Ages 4-12. Event details.
Get your thrill fill at Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest, which has rides for all ages. New attractions this year include Wintertube, a 15-foot-tall dual-lane snow tubing hill; and Toboggan Tunnel, a dual-lane sled ride on rollers. There’s also an ice skating rink, a 50-foot-tall indoor Ferris wheel, a polar-themed mini golf course, and a holiday train that zig-zags through lighted houses and scenes. Held thru Jan. 11 at Festival Hall A. General admission is $3.75 online & $5 walk-up. Cost for activities varies. All ages. Event details.
“Noon” Year’s Eve Party
You and your munchkin can chow down on brunch, and enjoy a special performance from hometown fave Little Miss Ann. As a grand finale, count down with your friends and celebrate with the balloon drop as the clock strikes noon. Held Sat., 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Sod Room. $30/1 adult & 1 child; $15/extra child, $6/extra adult. All ages. Event details.
The Art Institute Holly Days
Your little artists will be inspired by the Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections and Temptation: The Demons of James Ensor to draw their very own creatures. Get ready for another masterpiece for the fridge! Held Sun.-Dec. 30, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at The Art Institute of Chicago. Free. All ages. Event details.
At the center of “Frozemont” is the four-story Polar Peak tubing hill — the grade is steep and the ride is thrilling. (There is a kiddie slope for those that don’t need as much adrenaline.) Nearby, the NHL-sized ice rink is surrounded by glittering lights and has skate rentals available for $8. Held thru Jan. 19 at MB Financial Park. $20/hour for tubing. All ages. Event details.
Wonderland Express Train Show
Welcome to a garden paradise filled with 750,000 outdoor lights. Step inside Nichols Hall, and watch garden-scale trains wind past miniature replicas of more than 80 Chicago-area landmarks. Another model train will weave by more landmarks set around the North Pool of Krehbiel Gallery, transformed into an English country train platform. Held thru Jan. 4 at Chicago Botanic Garden. $12/adults; $10/children ages 3 to 12 and seniors ages 62 and older; children 2 and under are free. All ages. Event details.
Festival of Lights
This super-sized light display is a one-mile stretch of illuminated magic and is worth the trip. You’ll feel like you stumbled into Santa’s workshop when you see the animated displays (toys! trains! snowflakes!) and trees lit up along the roadway. Held thru Sun. at Phillips Park. Free. All ages. Event details.
How are you closing out this super-festive month? Share with us in the Comments!
— Kelly Aiglon & Natasha Davis
photo: Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella © Carol Rosegg