From ice skating and concerts to comedy and dance, here's a look at some of the area's offerings to make your days and nights merry and bright.
by David Compa
Chicago’s holiday season officially got under way Nov. 17 with the 104th lighting of the city’s mammoth Christmas tree, located in Millennium Park. Holiday activities in the park include the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink and the Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon (both to March 4) and Caroling at Cloud Gate (Fridays, Nov. 24-Dec. 15; visit Millenniumpark.org) But there’s oh so much more to help you celebrate the season. Here’s a look at some of the area’s offerings. Daley Plaza remains festive with the annual Christkindlmarket (to Dec. 24), which brings a European tradition to Chicago. Inspired by a 16th century market in Nuremberg, Germany, it is know for its wide array of quality gifts and food vendors. It’s a great spot for a hot beverage on a chilly day or to find a unique gift for that person who has everything. Cuckoo clock anyone? There’s also a Christkindlmarket suburban location (Nov. 24-Dec. 24) at Naper Settlement, 523 Webster, Naperville. Plus a third location this year at The Park at Wirgley (Nov. 24-Dec. 31) at Addison and Clark; christkindlmarket.com. Free. The Park at Wrigley transforms into a winter wonderland for the holiday season with an ice skating rink (Nov. 24 to Feb. 25; $5, free 12 and under), Christkindlmarket expands to The Park (Nov. 24 to Dec. 31), holiday tree lighting (Nov. 28), Santa’s Workshop (Nov. 28-Dec. 24), wreath making (Dec. 3, 10, 17; $25), outdoor movies (Dec. 21, Jan. 20, Feb. 10) at Clark and Addison; parkatwrigley.com. ZOOS Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights: The zoo grounds are transformed into a land of twinkling lights beginning Friday-Sunday Nov. 24-26 and Dec. 1-3, then nightly Dec. 8-Jan. 1 (with the exception of Dec. 24-25). There’s also photos with Santa, crafts, ice sculpture carving, carousel and train rides. Free. New this year is the Light Maze ($3). Other events include a Holiday Market (Nov. 28, $8, $10) features local artisans; Brewlights (Dec. 1, $40), an evening to enjoy seasonal and international craft beers; Chris White Trio (Dec. 10, $25) with a tribute to Vince Guaraldi’s “Charlie Brown Christmas.” 2001 N. Clark. Free unless otherwise indicated; lpzoo.org. Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic: The zoo is lit with