Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light
Where: Museum of Science and Industry | 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.
When: Through January 5
How Much: $18+ for adults, $11+ for kids, $17+ for seniors
Although it’s best known for its dedication to unlocking and explaining the mechanisms of the physical world, the Museum of Science and Industry knows how to indulge in the magic of the season. For the 72nd year in a row, the Hyde Park institution will embrace the Christmas season with its two beloved exhibits, Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light. The stately 45-foot Grand Tree towers in the rotunda, its 30,000 fairy lights casting a twinkling glow on more than 50 smaller trees decorated by ethnic communities from around the city. Visitors can stroll through the trees while dodging showers of simulated snow and listening to seasonal music performed on the exhibition stage. This year’s display also sports a distinctly Disney vibe: towering portraits of a Santa-hatted Mickey Mouse exude seasonal cheer while reminding visitors of another temporary exhibit, Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives.
Grant Park Turkey Trot
Where: Grant Park, South End | Near S. Lake Shore Dr. and Roosevelt Rd.
When: Saturday, 9 a.m. (last-minute registration begins at 7:30 a.m.)
How Much: $45
If you’re anything like us, by Saturday morning you’ll have eaten your weight in turkey at least twice over, and that’s not even taking into account that gallon of cranberry sauce. So, after waking from your 36-hour tryptophan slumber, why not jog off some of that bird at the Grant Park Turkey Trot? The chip-timed 5K sends you and 2,000 of your closest friends puffing around the picturesque winter landscape of Chicago’s lakefront while raising funds for Playworks, a local nonprofit dedicated to making schools safer and more productive. Runners don’t just walk away with a charitable glow and a new personal best, though; every registered racer also gets a fleece pullover, a participant’s medal, and a commemorative photo of the event.
Purely Fashion Pop-Up Shop
Where: 900 North Michigan Shops, Fourth Floor | 900 N. Michigan Ave.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; see the full schedule
How Much: Free
Assuming you survive the hullabaloo of Black Friday, you should consider emerging from your commerce-proof bunker for a quick weekend trip to Michigan Avenue. There, on the fourth floor of the 900 North Michigan Shops, you’ll find the temporary brick-and-mortar home of Purely Fashion, an app that connects users to the latest looks from their favorite designers. Until Christmas Eve, some of these same fashions will be available for purchase at the group’s pop-up shop, including accessories and ready-to-wear pieces from New York designer Laura Siegel, denim masters Henry & Belle, and Purely Fashion’s own Samantha Sleeper.
White Mystery and Archie Powell & the Exports
Where: Double Door | 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave.
When: Saturday, 8:45 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.)
How Much: $3+
Now that Thanksgiving is finally upon us, the lovers of nonstop Christmas music have lost the last reservations they might’ve had about blaring “Silver Bells” until their speakers wear out and the sun becomes a red giant and consumes the planet. Before submitting fully to the Cult of Bing Crosby, check out some local tunes from bands curated by the tastemakers at Red Bull Sound Select. Brother-sister garage duo White Mystery and pop tunesmith Archie Powell & the Exports anchor a lineup that also includes the brawny Tom Waits enthusiasts of Mutts and straight-ahead power popper Daniel Wade. Tickets are a paltry $3 when you RSVP with Red Bull, and only $10 if you show up after 10 p.m., but don’t wait until the last minute: we get the feeling this’ll sell out.
Pre-Code Double Feature
Where: Gene Siskel Film Center | 164 N. State St.
When: Sunday, 11:30 a.m.
How Much: $4+; see the full pricing breakdown
When it comes to classic cinema, not every film exhibited the squeaky-cleanness of It’s A Wonderful Life. At least, they didn’t before the watchdogs started enforcing the Motion Picture Production Code in 1934. This Sunday, the historians at the Gene Siskel Film Center take a look at what constituted scandalous behavior during the Depression with a pair of pre-Code comedies from Paramount. Both Million Dollar Legs and Girls About Town feature plenty of transgressions, from plots to fix Olympic competitions to the acknowledgement that sex exists. Viewers get their guffaws from some of early cinema’s most robust comedic talents, including the iconic W.C. Fields in a buffoonish turn as the president of the (unfortunately) fictional nation of Klopstokia.
Illustration: Greyory Blake, Groupon