How do you like your holidays? As old-fashioned as a carriage ride or as new as a Barbie Dream Townhouse complete with pop-up plasma TV? Whatever your desire, we've got an option.
Traditional At the German Christkindlmarket, sip hot wine from a ceramic boot (just like in the old country, eh?) and peruse wooden ornaments and cuckoo clocks. Daley Plaza, Washington and Dearborn Sts (312-744-3315, christkindlmarket.com). Through Dec 24: Sun–Thu 11am–8pm; Fri, Sat 11am–9pm; free to browse.
Non-traditional Hipster haven Empty Bottle transforms into Handmade Market by morning. Work off that hangover with some hair (bloodies, mamosas, etc.) and shop for felt squirrel purses or recycled-magazine tie clips. 1035 N Western Ave (773-276-3600, handmadechicago.com). Sat 11, noon–4pm; free to browse.
Traditional In its 69th year, the Museum of Science and Industry’s grand tree and “Christmas around the World” exhibit take a quarter of a year to conceptualize and three weeks to install. Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S Lake Shore Dr (773-684-1414, msichicago.org). See Museums for hours and prices.
Non-traditional For the second year, the City of Chicago erected one pine instead of dozens bundled together. The 70-foot spruce might not be luxe, but its simplicity shines against a skyscraper backdrop. Daley Plaza, Washington and Dearborn Sts (312-744-3315). Through Dec 24.
Traditional A perennial favorite, Goodman Theatre’s Christmas Carol returns for the 33rd year. Chicago actor John Judd plays Scrooge. Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn St (312-443-3800). Through Dec 31: Tue–Thu 7:30pm; Fri 8pm; Sat 2, 8pm; Sun 2, 6:30pm. $25–$76.
Non-traditional The Hideout always has something up its sleeve for the holidays—and, this year, we mean that literally. Puppeteers One Degree Off’s Winter Solstice Shadow Puppet Show features narration by Mekons member Sally Timms. Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia St (hideoutchicago.com). Dec 19 at 3pm, $8.
Traditional The 70-year-old miniature Thorne Rooms get dolled up with teeny holiday decorations, including a twig-sized Christmas tree set in a Victorian-period English drawing room. Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan Ave (312-443-3600, artic.edu/aic). See Museums for hours and prices.
Non-traditional Art residency ACRE interprets a hillbilly Christmas for its Winter Benefit. Weird performances include a “petting zoo” and an eating contest spectacle led by artist collective Industry of the Ordinary. Heaven Gallery, 1550 N Milwaukee Ave (acreresidency.org). Fri 10, 6–11pm; $20, students and artists $10.