Looking to start a new holiday tradition? December is filled with a multitude of ways to shake up your tinsel and enjoy the sounds and sites of the season. From perennial favorites to exciting new events that will be sure to bring joy to all those that partake! Happy Holidays!


Holiday Happenings
Dec. 1: Throughout the day
Downtown Wilmette

This special day will include treats, entertainment and sales for the entire family. Merchants will be providing special discounts, gifts with purchase and other delights. The Wilmette Theater will host a complimentary showing of “Home Alone”. Tickets will be issued on a first come basis to shoppers who present a receipt dated December 1st from any Wilmette shop or restaurant. Plaza del Lago will host a Meet & Greet with the characters from the movie “Frozen”. Thee Wilmette Optimist Club will be at Village Hall collecting new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots. The grand finale will be the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Green in front of Village Hall.  Complimentary hot chocolate and candy canes will be provided while supplies last. Plus, Santa will ride into town to visit with kids and hear their holiday wishes. For more info a full schedule of event, click here.

Twelfth Night, Or What You Will
Now through: Dec. 16 – Various times
Writer’s Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe

Shakespeare’s romantic, boisterous and poignant comedy has never felt more relevant—or more hilarious! When young Viola is shipwrecked on an unfamiliar shore, presuming her twin brother drowned in the same wreck, she must disguise herself as a man to secure a job with the local Duke Orsino. But when asked to further Orsino’s romantic interests with the powerful Olivia, she finds herself tangled in an increasingly confused love triangle. Crossed wires, cross purposes and crossed garters abound, leading to a final scene of revelations that allows almost everyone to live happily ever after. Tickets: $35 - $50. For more info, click here.


Evanston Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert
Dec. 2: 3 pm
Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Ave., Evanston

Start off your holiday season with the best holiday event in Evanston! Don’t miss enjoying these favorite Yule festivities with your family and friends …the award-winning Evanston Symphony Orchestra will be joined by: North Shore Choral Society, Evanston Dance Ensemble, Evanston Symphony Holiday Gospel Choir, Evanston Children’s Choir, ETHS ETHS Advanced Vocal Ensemble, Audience Sign-a-long And, a BIG bonus for all kids from 1 to 101 — a visit from Santa and his elves! Tickets: Pricing varies. For more info, click here.


Annual Holiday Open House
Dec. 2: 3 – 5 pm
Charles Gates Dawes House, 225 Greenwood, Evanston

Enjoy an afternoon of holiday cheer at the Dawes House. Explore the majestic lakeside mansion decked out for the holidays, view Evanston History Center’s exhibits, and enjoy holiday treats with live music in the Great Hall. This event is free and open to everyone! For more info, click here.


Kids Only Holiday Shop
Dec. 5: 3 – 6 pm
Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest

A community favorite, the Kids Only Holiday Shop allows children ages 4-10 to conduct holiday shopping without mom or dad! Santa’s Helpers will escort your child through the boutique, visiting local vendors and talented artisans who all feature items all $10 or under (and that includes tax). Give your kids the gift of independence and let them experience the joy of giving. Wonder Wrappers will be on hand to make sure each purchase is wrapped and ready for under-the-tree. Admission: $5. For more info, click here.


Holiday Cheers
Dec. 5: 6 – 8 pm
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe

Come drink in the best of the season. Enjoy tastings of local spirits, wine, and winter brews, while you enjoy the surrounding Wonderland Express exhibition with trains and more than 80 Chicago landmarks. Guests check in at the East Greenhouse Gallery and receive a wristband, tasting glass, and tasting sheet. Light fare and drinks will be available for purchase. Ticket price includes tasting glass, wristband to participate in tastings, tasting guide, and access to Wonderland Express. Advance: $27/$32; day-of: $30/$35. For more info, click here.


Deerfield Winter Celebration
Dec. 7: 7- 9pm; Dec. 8: 11 am – 3 pm
Downtown Deerfield 

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On Friday night enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, a two-hour live ice sculpting show and roasted chestnuts highlight the evening’s festivities in the front lawn of Village Hall at 850 Waukegan Road. On Saturday visit Forrest Plaza at The Shops at Deerfield Square for pony rides and horse-drawn carriage rides, Hanukkah games and treats, a Santa meet and greet and tons of other activities and deals hosted by various merchants. For more info and a complete schedule of events, click here.


Holiday Fest
Dec. 7: 6 – 8 pm
Skokie Heritage Museum, 8031 Floral Ave., Skokie

Live reindeer, photos with Santa, elves, carolers, crafts and more. Donate winter coats, hats, and gloves in good condition, or non-perishable food item to benefit the Niles Township Food Pantry.


Elf Invasion Pub Crawl
Dec. 8: 7 pm
Downtown Highwood

Celebrate Highwood is calling all elves to come out and get “Elfed Up’ at the inaugural "Elf Invasion Pub Crawl". The public is invited to channel their inner elf, dress the part and join the pack of elves as they visit five of the City of Highwood's most popular establishments to enjoy live music, Goslings Rum, food & drink specials and raffle prizes. Registration is $20 and includes a commemorative “Elf Invasion Pub Crawl” glass and five raffle tickets. For more info, click here.


Chicago Tap Theatre: Tidings of Tap
Dec. 9: 7 pm
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie

Featuring dances to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah & the Winter Season…with all LIVE music! Chicago Tap Theatre - Tidings of Tap! is a charming, and now annual, celebration of the holiday season. Featuring rhythm and whimsy-filled dance interpretations of your favorite Christmas, Hanukkah and winter songs, this is a fun yet sophisticated, family-friendly evening that you’ll be talking about all year! Audiences will also love experiencing the live holiday music performed by the CTT jazz trio and klezmer group. Tickets: $25 - $41. For more info, click here.


DIY Your Holiday Booty Off!
Dec. 11: 6 - 8:30 pm
Bottle & Bottega, 1016 Davis St., Evanston

Work it girl!  Then reward yourself!  Bottle & Bottega Evanston welcomes The Barre Code Evanston to co-host a very special event at their BYOB studio. Burn off those holiday calories with an intense workout by Barre Code, then sit, relax, and take a load off as you sip your beverage of choice and paint glass ornaments for yourself or as a gift for a loved one. They'll show you how to paint the image shown step-by-step or you can paint an image you choose.   Ticket price ($40) includes all paint supplies, instruction, aprons and glass ornaments! For more info, click here.


Family Move Night: The Polar Express
Dec. 14: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka

Bring the entire family for popcorn, hot chocolate, cookies, and more while you watch The Polar Express at the Community House! Cozy up in your PJs and kick off the Christmas season! $15 advance, $20 at door. For more info, click here.


Charlie Brown Christmas Jazz with Chris White Trio
Dec. 14: 7:30 – 9 pm
Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest

Come listen to the holiday music of Vince Guaraldi, better known as “the Peanuts composer”, at Gorton. The Chris White Trio will tickle the ivories and delight the senses as they entertain everyone right into the holiday mood with these well-known favorites. Don’t miss this special holiday evening out on the town with no holiday stress attached! Chris White is a talented musician originally from Toronto, Canada, and now a highly sought-after artist in the Chicago and greater Midwest region. Tickets: $20 online/$25 at door. $10 with student I.D. Cash bar provided.For more info, click here.


Gingerbread House Decorating Party
Dec. 16: 1 -3 pm
Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest

Let your creative juices flow as you turn your freshly baked house into an edible masterpiece. Get in the holiday spirit and have some quality family time while designing your house, sipping hot chocolate and listening to lively sounds of the season. Each registration is for one gingerbread house and up to 6 people. $60 per group. For more info., click here.


Magical Musical Holiday Show
Dec. 16: 2 – 3 pm; 4 – 5 pm
Bennett Gordon Hall at Ravinia, 201 St. Johns Ave., Highland Park

Holiday favorites will be performed by MYAC's Symphony Orchestra and VocalPoint ensemble along with a North Pole sing-along interwoven with a fun story that explores Christmas, Hanukkah, and family. Special visit from Santa Claus! FREE! For more info, click here.


American Girl Live!
Dec. 21: 7 pm; Dec. 22: 1 & 5 pm; Dec. 23: 1 pm
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie

Experience American Girl in an all-new musical, coming this holiday season. American Girl Live is a premiere stage production, featuring all-original songs and unforgettable experiences. Come along to sleepover camp with some new friends for an exciting summer away from home. Join your favorite American Girl characters and the campers as they follow their hearts, share their dreams and learn the power of friendship. Tickets: $37 - $47. For more info, click here.


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