The holiday season is in full swing and Chicago has a multitude of holiday events going on this weekend! Here are some of the best things to do in Chicago this weekend.

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1. Wreathing of the Lions

  • When: Friday, November 29th; 10:00AM – 10:30AM.
  • Where: The Art Institute of Chicago; 111 S Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603.

Why this is fun: On the day after Thanksgiving, the Art Institute’s famous lions put on their holiday outfits as crews place wreaths around their necks. The Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus will lead a celebration on the museum’s steps, complete with complimentary hot chocolate for anyone in attendance. After the ceremony, head into the museum to participate in family activities in the Ryan Learning Center or see “Andy Warhol — From A to B and Back Again.”

For more details, visit the website

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2. ZooLights

  • When: November 29th – January 5th.
  • Where: Lincoln Park Zoo; 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614.

Why this is fun: Unless you’ve got a big budget, your Chirstmas light display won’t hold an LED candle to the 2.5 million bulbs that festoon Lincoln Park Zoo during the annual ZooLights event. While most of the animals will be inside, guests are free to wander through the park, snap photos of the display and take part in a variety of activities throughout the holiday season. Ice sculpture carving, strolling carolers and Santa are regular fixtures of the event, but you’ll also find ticketed happenings like a holiday market (Dec 3), an adults-only night (Dec 5), a live performance of music from A Charlie Brown Christmas (Dec 15) and a Zoo Year’s Eve celebration (Dec 31).

For more details, visit the website

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3. Cirque du Soleil: T’was the Night Before…

  • When: Friday, November 29th; 2:00PM.
  • Where: The Chicago Theater; 175 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60601.

Why this is fun: You can probably expect to see acrobatic eleves, trapeze artists dressed like reindeer and cartwheeling Santa Claus at this new Cirque du Soleil holiday show, which draws inspiration from the popular poem about Christmas Eve. The family-friendly performance takes over the Chicago Theatre stage for two week, beginning on November 29.

For more details, visit the website

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4. Romeo and Juliet

  • When: November 30th; 3:00PM and 8:00PM.
  • Where: Chicago Shakespeare Theater; 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

Why this is fun: The greatest challenge for any production of Romeo and Juliet is the star-crossed lovers themselves: Like any teenagers in the throes of romance, they can easily get annoying. That’s not the case with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s current production. As Romeo, Edgar Miguel Sanchez is a tender, swooning dope, the sort of young romantic that the phrase “sweet summer child” was invented to affectionately chide; as Juliet, Brittany Bellizeare is witty and headstrong, the kind of girl who seems too wise to fall in love, only to fall all the harder when she does. As the world closes in around them—and the bright summer colors of Mieka van der Ploeg’s Day-Glo costumes and Scott Davis’s street-mural set give way to a yawning black void—it’s hard not to hope that, just this once, these two crazy kids will make it out all right.

For more details, visit the website

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5. Ice Skating in Millennium Park

  • When: Until March 8th 2020.
  • Where: Millennium Park; Michigan Ave. btwn. Washington & Madison Sts., Chicago, IL 60602.

Why this is fun: Skate under the Chicago skyline and within eyeshot of the Chicago Christmas Tree at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park. Admission to the rink is free, and you can rent skates for $13–$15. The most popular time to hit the rink is in the evening, so show up earlier if you don’t feel like waiting in line for your chance to slide around. Take advantage of free skating lessons on Fridays at 11am and Saturdays and Sundays at 9am. If it seems too warm to skate, call ahead—this rink is open through March 8, weather permitting.

For more details, visit the website

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