The holidays are looking a bit different this year, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate! From virtual cooking classes and over-the-top pop-up bars to outdoor mini holiday markets and special holiday coffee blends for sale, dance classes and more, we’ve rounded up some of the best happenings and offers for the holiday season this year. Whether Chicagoans are planning to safely visit with close family and friends in-person or virtually, these fun activities, offers and gifts are sure to bring festive cheer to all!
Replay Lincoln Park
This winter season, Chicagoans are invited to share in the spirit of the holidays at Chicago’s biggest and most festive movie experiences: Miracle on West Madison (645 W. Madison St.) and Holly Jolly Drive-In (2833 N. Sheffield Ave.) with Replay Lincoln Park, Chicago’s favorite arcade bar known for its over-the-top pop-ups, beginning Friday, November 27. In an effort to create magical memories for family and friends during a non-traditional holiday season, guests will experience a holiday-style movie experience, enhanced with twinkling decor and appearances by The Grinch, Santa, Mrs. Claus, reindeer and many other favorite characters. The 1.5-hour, family-friendly Miracle on West Madison experience takes place in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood and is available for booking Thursday – Sunday between 5 – 10 p.m. The Holly Jolly Drive-In experience is located in Lincoln Park near Replay Lincoln Park and is 1.5 hours in length and open to guests of all ages, with slots available Thursday and Friday between 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday between 4:30 – 10:30 p.m. Both experiences will run through Christmas Day with more tickets becoming available in the coming weeks. Reservations are required and tickets may be purchased online for $75 per car. Tickets for Miracle on West Madison are available here and for Holly Jolly Drive-In here.
Get in the Kitchen!
Chicago’s party school offering cooking classes and more, Get in the Kitchen! is hosting several holiday events for those who love to cook, mix cocktails and bake, including a Black Friday “Bagel Making Class” in the morning and “Cocktails & Comedy Show” in the evening on Friday, November 27. Get in the Kitchen! also offers culinary and happy hour gifts and gadgets in their retail store and is available for private events including socially distanced holiday shopping mixology parties, private cooking parties, virtual cooking parties and more. Looking for a special deal Whenever it snows, until New Year’s Eve, customers get 15% off their purchases in the store. For more information, visit here.
Santa Baby Bar and Rudolph’s Christmas Bar
For those who enjoy immersive and over-the-top holiday experiences, Santa Baby (3505 N. Clark St.) and Rudolph’s Christmas Bar (3660 N. Clark St.) are returning to Lakeview East this winter! With all of the Christmas spirits you already know and love, both destinations will feature all-new interactive social experiences and wall-to-wall décor. Santa Baby will open on Wednesday, November 20, and Rudolph’s will open on Friday, November 22. Both pop-ups will feature Christmas spirits; multiple bars and experiences, including the Grinch’s Piano Bar, Frosty’s North Pole Rooftop, A Christmas Story Lounge, and more; and appearances from Rudolph, the Grinch and, of course, Santa Claus himself. Guests may purchase tickets and make reservations to the pop-ups online. For more information, visit here and here.
Stretch Bar & Grill
Get in the holiday spirit with Stretch Bar & Grill’s Elf’d Up pop-up, a high-energy holiday pop-up bar perfect for patrons who have an affinity for elf culture. Inspired by the light-hearted Christmas comedy, Elf’d Up will be decorated from floor to ceiling with over 1,000 elves of all shapes and sizes, a 10-foot Christmas tree, an upside-down Christmas tree, wreath chandeliers, strands of festive colored lights, specific tributes to the movie like figurines, wall quotes, snowflakes, Schylling Jester Jack in the Boxes, cut outs of Buddy the Elf and Miles Finch and more. For more information, visit here.
Dance On Broadway
Located in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood at 3126 N. Broadway St., Dance On Broadway is a brand new, state-of-the-art dance training studio offering classes for children and adults in Ballet & Pointe, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Modern, Tap, Latin and more. From Monday, December 21 through Wednesday, December 23 between 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. for children ages 3-8 and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. for children age 9+, Dance On Broadway’s Winter Dance Camps include two dance lessons in different genres, an art project and a snack break each day. At the end of the camp, Dance On Broadway will host a performance following COVID-19 protocol that will be sent digitally to the caretakers of the participating children to enjoy. For more information, dance enthusiasts may visit here.
One of a Kind Holiday Show
One of Chicago’s most highly-anticipated annual holiday experiences, the One of a Kind Holiday Show, is going virtual this season presenting more than 300 artists, artisans, and makers from across North America and beyond, from November 12 – December 6 online. For over three weeks, shoppers will have the opportunity to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19, discover new work, experience studio tours and demonstrations, shop for unique and thoughtful holiday gifts, and more through here and @ooakchicago on Instagram and Facebook.
Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish – The Musical
Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish – The Musical, a critical and commercial success in its 2019 Chicago World Premiere run, will be available for streaming this holiday season! Based on the heartfelt book of the same name by Chicagoan Denise McGowan Tracy, the family-friendly production is recommended for all ages and will be available to stream November 27 – December 27, 2020 directly into homes through InPlayer for $25 per household. Adding to the fun is the availability of two immersive Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Party in a Box options, ranging in price from $45 – $60 plus shipping and handling fees. The 2020 virtual production will feature additional holiday music, and the recorded opening night performance from the successful 2019 World Premiere. Tickets and party boxes can be purchased here.
Hershey Felder’s TCHAIKOVSKY – Live From Florence
Based on the original OUR GREAT TCHAIKOVSKY, and featuring an extended focus on The Nutcracker Ballet, as well as Tchaikovsky’s life in Florence, Italy, TCHAIKOVSKY – Live from Florence will stream on Sunday, December 20 at 7 p.m. CST. The performance will be filmed live on location where Tchaikovsky actually lived and worked in Florence as an interesting, surprising and engaging holiday treat. Tickets are $55 and are available for purchase online, with proceeds benefitting theatres across the world impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Purchase includes the live stream and a full week of on demand access through December 27.
Houndstooth Saloon, 3369 N. Clark St., is hosting its Houndstooth Holiday Market on the saloon patio for holiday enthusiasts to enjoy snacks and shop handmade holiday ornaments. Houndstooth Saloon is offering candied nuts, hot pretzels, hot cider and Griswolds’ themed food specials. For more information, visit here.
Dark Matter Coffee
Coffee lovers, rejoice! Chicago’s Dark Matter Coffee, 1117 W. Belmont St., is offering special holiday coffee releases of Old Dank Nic and Chronikkah, as well as holiday gift boxes and themed merchandise for the caffeine fiend in your life! Gift boxes options include four bags of Dark Matter Coffee’s Single Origin Guatemala or El Salvador blends, four bags of Dark Matter’s Barrel Aged coffees and a Portfolio Box Set, which includes bags of A Love Supreme, Unicorn Blood, Starry Eyes and Old Dank Nic. For more information, visit here.
Johnson’s Real Ice Cream
Just in time for Black Friday, Johnson’s Real Ice Cream, 2951 N. Broadway St., is offering free shipping of its delicious ice cream anywhere in the continental U.S. between November 27 and November 29. For year round ice cream lovers, Johnson’s Real Ice Cream is also offering a Black Friday gift card sale, which includes $10 in bonus coupons for every $30 gift card purchase. For more information, visit here.
Fred’s Wrigleyville Garage
For Chicagoans with cars who are looking to travel for the holidays, Fred’s Wrigleyville Garage, 3848 N. Clark St. is offering a winter car inspection special, including a battery check, anti-freeze levels, tire pressure, brake inspection, proper oil levels, windshield wiper condition and windshield washer fill for just $25. For more information, visit here.
Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace
For those looking for safe, affordable accommodations to visit their loved ones in the city this holiday season, Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace, 3434 N. Broadway St., is offering their “Stay Close for the Holiday” special for 20% off the available room rates. For more information or to book your stay, visit here.
theWit Hotel, located in the Chicago Loop at 201 N. State Street, has officially reopened its doors back to the public for those looking to have a relaxing staycation this upcoming holiday season. theWit Hotel is ensuring the safety of all guests and staff alike with sanitation standards in place to make everyone feel comfortable. The Hilton Property has implemented a Hilton CleanStay with Lysol Protection program, which was developed in consultation with global and local public health authorities, with key features including: guestroom door seals to indicate a patron’s room has not been accessed since it was cleaned; extra disinfection on high touch areas; removal of excess in-room amenities; guest-accessible hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes throughout the hotel; along with contactless check-in/check-out and more. Please visit here to book your upcoming stay or gift a staycation to a loved on this season.
Give the gift of fine dining this holiday season. Geja’s Café, Chicago’s iconic fondue and couple’s landmark located at 340 W Armitage Avenue, is offering fondue fanatics a special Holiday Gift Card Promotion that is running now through December 31, 2020. With every purchase of gift cards that equate to $100 will receive a free $30 bonus gift card. For more information or to purchase a gift card, please visit here.
Give the gift of good health this year. Since COVID-19, households around the country have been spending more than 90% of their time indoors. Homes have become workplaces, classrooms, restaurants, gyms, and everything in between. With the rise of time spent indoors, the rise of harmful pollutants and germs in the air have also skyrocketed and have been recirculating throughout houses. The E·Z Breathe Ventilation System is a necessity now more than ever to transform homes into a healthy living environment and keep families safe by preventing the spread of harmful airborne particles. Families have the ability to gift one to their loved ones and purchase one for themselves, with self-installations now available to keep everyone’s health at the utmost importance.
With the holidays just around the corner, it means it’s time to refresh your wardrobe with the latest styles of winter for you and your loved ones. Q Clothier and Rye 51, the side-by-side luxury men’s custom clothier brands provide top quality, hand-crafted attire tailored perfectly for individuals of every lifestyle. A new addition to the Gold Coast neighborhood, patrons have the ability to shop with seasoned experts as you browse the latest and trendiest garments. Bath in luxury as you sip on some whiskey while shopping warmly and safely this season. Visit here for more details.