Tuesday, December 16
Have dinner and do some last-minute holiday shopping in one stop at the free-to-enter Sauced Night Market at Emporium Logan Square (2363 N. Milwaukee, 773-697-7922), where local vendors of both food (Cookies & Carnitas, Pecking Order, Polak Eatery) and wares (Harebrained, Tarnish) will be set up from 6 to 11 p.m.
Wednesday, December 17
Get creative at a cookie decorating party at the Boundary (1932 W. Division St., Wicker Park, 773-278-1919), where $5 will get you six sugar cookies and all the frosting and toppings you can pile on top, plus entry to a DIY candy apple bar. The event runs from 4 to 10 p.m., but the first two hours are set aside for families.
If you’ve been lost without Charles Joly at the Aviary, he’ll be resurfacing at the bar in the Izakaya at Momotaro (820 W. Lake St., West Loop, 312-733-4818) for a one-night-only benefit for restaurant-industry charity Un86’d. From 6 to 9 p.m., 20 percent of proceeds and all Joly's tips will go to the group.
Thursday, December 18
Joyeux anniversaire, Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton St., West Loop, 312-575-0306)! The food hall will celebrate its fifth birthday with an open-to-the-public party from 4 to 7 p.m., complete with treats from market vendors such as Vanille Patisserie, Pastoral, and Klay Oven Kitchen, as well as live music and a raffle for a trip to Paris for two.
Sunday, December 21
It’s a little early for the Italian Christmas Eve tradition known as the Feast of the Seven Fishes, but Cafe Spiaggia (980 N. Michigan Ave., Gold Coast, 312-280-2750) is doing it anyway. The seven-course menu includes oyster and scallop crudo, spaghetti alle vongole, and grilled octopus, and the meal is $75 without wine pairings and $100 with them. Buy tickets here.