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Seven Holiday Events That Are Actually Worth Your Time

The holiday spirit is everywhere—including your options for weekend plans. Here are your best bets for the stretch when Santa hats are truly inescapable.

It’s a Wonderful Life screens at the Music Box Theatre this weekend.  

Hanukkah has begun. Christmas is in a week. Kwanzaa starts the day after. Like it or not, the holidays are nigh, and it’ll be nearly impossible to escape the festivities this weekend. (Even the Belmont-strip burlesque shows are Santa-themed.)

So you may as well embrace it. Here are the most bearable wintry shenanigans on a weekend when everything is green in the gills with spirit. Happy holidays, et cetera.



Deets: This holiday group show features 100 12 x 12–inch works by national and local artists, including Hebru Brantley and Ben Frost. See photos of the art here.
When: Through Wednesday, December 24
Where: Vertical Gallery, 1016 N. Western
How Much: Free! But if you buy some art, 10 percent of proceeds will go to local nonprofit The Simple Good.


Music Box Christmas Show

Deets: Santa and the Music Box organist lead audiences through some Christmas tunes before screening White Christmas or It’s a Wonderful Life (the films trade time slots each night). If your heart can take the extra spirit, double-feature tickets are available.
When: Through Wednesday, December 24. No Monday screenings. Showtimes here.
Where: Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport
How Much: $10–$24


Oh Theodora Christmas Special

Deets: Improv sketch troupe Oh Theodora probes the CTA holiday train, razes It’s a Wonderful Life, and explores the logistics of giving birth in a manger.
When: Thursday, December 18 at 9:30
Where: Public House Theatre, 3914 N. Clark
How Much: $10


Hogwarts Holiday Feast

Deets: This is exactly what it sounds like: 80 people dressed up in Harry Potter garb eating, drinking, and “open tabletop gaming.” The jury’s still out on whether that means Wizard’s Chess.
When: Friday, December 19 at 7 p.m.
Where: Geek Bar (Beta), 1941 W. North
How Much: $40


We Carol Lot: Downwrite Holiday Show

Deets: This show features ten-plus emo heavyweights from Downwrite—a network of musicians you can commission to write a personalized song—including Matt Pryor (The Get Up Kids), Bob Nanna (Braid), Mike Kinsella (American Football), and William Beckett (The Academy Is…).
When: Saturday, December 20 at 8 p.m.
Where: Metro, 3730 N. Clark
How Much: $15–$40


Nice N’ Naughty

Deets: A show for, uh, those not spending the holiday weekend with family. 
When: Saturday, December 20 at 10:30 p.m.
Where: Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont
How Much: $15–$20


Entertaining Julia: Christmas Edition

Deets: The Puterbaugh Sisters’ weekly comedy showcase moves to the Hideout for a holiday-themed edition featuring visits from three ghosts (Dad Ghost, Whoopi Goldberg Ghost, and Ghost Face Killah). Prepare for the weird.
When: Sunday, December 21 at 8 p.m.
Where: The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia
How Much: $5 at the door


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