Things to Do: 2015 Joint Meeting/Midyear Meeting

ISBA Midyear Meeting (Joint meeting with the Illinois Judges Association)
December 10-12, 2015
The Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers
301 East North Water Street, Chicago, Illinois

Websites you might find helpful in planning your visit to Chicago:

Deals & Discounts

Smart Destinations: Discount passes for entry to numerous popular Chicago attractions for one price options that allow visitors to choose the deal that best suits their trip. Passes can be printed out or added to a mobile device and are shown for admission at each attraction.  An All-Inclusive pass for all attractions is available for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days and saves users up to 55% versus paying at each site. There is also an Explorer Pass for 3-5 attractions (select from 25 top attractions), and a Build Your Own Pass for 2 or more sites. Attractions include Shedd Aquarium, Art Institute, SkyDeck Chicago, Adler Planetarium, Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour, Legoland, Chicago Children's Museum, and many more.

Living Social and Groupon offer discounts to Chicago events, restaurants, and attractions.

Theater & Other Live Performances

Theater—See Chicago Theater at or call 877-280-9582

Oriental Theater, Ford Center for the Performing Arts, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Dec. 1 2015 to February 21, 2016


Tracing the career of Carole King, and endorsed by the beloved Grammy winner herself, Beautiful is the feel good hit of 2014, scoring two 2014 Tony Awards. Described by The New York Times as 'A complex, revitalizing portrait of the real, conflicted person within the reluctant star', we learn about King's inspiring, but rocky road to the icon she is today. Broadway star Abby Mueller will star as Carole, taking over the role from her sister Jessie who won a Tony for her performance on Broadway!

Featuring songs from her back catalogue, as a solo artist and co-writer, Beautiful revisits 'Uptown,' '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,' 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling' and 'You've Got a Friend', amongst many more, with touching grace, proving it's much more than just another jukebox musical. Before rising to one of the 20th Century's best-selling stars, plain Carol Klein was a talented teenager, living in Brooklyn and making music. But it's her co-writing, with husband Gerry Goffin that gets her noticed. Breaking through into the music business as a songwriter for some of the day's biggest artists, she discovers there is more to juggle whilst following her dreams. All is not what it seems with her fairy-tale life. It's only when we fall, that we learn to fly. DID YOU KNOW? 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow', penned with Goffin, was Carol's first Number One hit, when she was just 17! See more at: Suitable for audiences 11 and upwards.

Cadillac Palace Theater, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL

The Lion King, Dec. 2, 2015 to Jan. 17, 2016


Disney presents a musical that brings the much-loved 1994 animated film to life to breath-taking effects, spirit and power, inviting you to explore the African Serengeti and join the wide eyed cub Simba on the adventure of a lifetime as he grows up and accepts his destiny as the King of the Pride Lands. In addition to the beloved songs penned by Sir Elton John and Tim Rice (such as the soaring 'Circle of Life') this phenomenal adaptation has new original songs and explodes with joyous, captivating music that soundtrack the rich mythology and moving drama expertly. Since opening on Broadway in 1998, The Lion King has smashed records, evolving into the highest grossing show, playing to date, 6,700 performances and mounting new ones worldwide. The success is well deserved as the musical is a visually stunning affair, creating a realistic and thrilling landscape, with actors dressed as the wild animals and encompassing their characters in a spectacular, goose bump-giving performance that keeps audiences coming back time and again. . Catch the Lion King on tour when it hitsCadillac Palace Theater in Chicago, IL, showing from 2 Dec 2015 to 17 Jan 2016.. To the rejoicing of all the animals of the savannah, a new prince is born, to just King Mufasa and his wife. The cub grows up into a lively youngster whose best friends are the sarcastic hornbill Zazu and the beautiful and feisty lioness Nyla. Together they play and discover their homeland in joy, until one day King Mufasa is tragically killed and Simba is replaced by his evil Uncle Scar, and retreats to the jungle to grow up with the hilarious meerkat Timon and the big-hearted wildebeest Pumba. But he can?t turn his back on the kingdom forever, and now he must act and stop Scar from destroying the Pride. Join Simba as he takes the journey to his destiny, learning about life, and love, along the way! DID YOU KNOW? To transport the North American touring production, it involves 18 trucks to transport the puppets and set pieces from city to city! Of the 18, 14 of the trucks are 53' long trailers. - See more at:

Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60601; 312-443-3800;

A Christmas Carol, Nov. 14 to Dec. 27, 2015 NOW IN IT'S 38TH EXTRAORDINARY YEAR!

Since its debut in 1978, millions of Chicagoans - adults and children alike - have been thrilled by this timeless tale of Scrooge and his voyage into Christmas past, present, and future. In this beloved story, miser Ebenezer Scrooge is taught the true meaning of Christmas by a series of ghosts who show him his past, present and future. A Christmas Carol has become the first theater-going experience for thousands of children and is an annual family ritual. At any Christmas Carol performance one can hear a parent telling her children about the first time she encountered Marley's ghost as a child in the Goodman audience, or family groups gleefully comparing last year's edition of the show to its predecessors. The music, the dance, the awe-inspiring effects accompanying the arrivals of ghosts, the antics of Scrooge as he rediscovers the joy of Christmas Day - all are compelling magnets for young audiences, giving them the kind of thrilling experience that can only happen in a live theater performance. Perhaps more than any other single production, the Goodman's A Christmas Carol embodies the three cornerstones that Robert Falls and his collaborators aspired to achieve for twenty years and that will guide the Goodman into the future: a striving for artistic quality onstage and off, a commitment to diversity and a dedication to bringing the work of the theater to the entire Chicago community. - See more at:

Chicago Theater, ( 175 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60601

  • Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2015, Sat., Dec. 12, 8 pm (

Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657; 773-935-6875

  • Ballet Chicago presents The Nutcracker 2015
    Every year, The Nutcracker takes us on an unforgettable journey with Marie as she travels from her home on Christmas Eve to the Kingdom of Snow and the Land of Sweets. For children, it is the opportunity to create new memories. For everyone, it is a time for sharing and giving among family and friends. Show times: Saturday, Dec. 12, 2 pm and 7 pm
  • Step Up Productions presents the 3rd Annual HoliDaze Back by popular demand, Step Up's popular holiday round-up returns for its third year! This series of touching and comedic short plays celebrate the holiday season and all the chaos, dysfunction, and cheer that comes along with it. Show times: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, December 10-12 at 8 pm.
  • Eclipse Theatre Company presents The Lisbon Traviata When opera fanatic Stephen discovers his partner is falling for a young college student, he seeks comfort with fellow opera lover Mendy in Terrence McNally's sharply funny yet deeply tragic "The Lisbon Traviata." One of McNally's most memorable characters, the flamboyant Mendy entertains Stephen late into the night, discussing divas and listening to records. But when Stephen returns home to confront his lover, a tragedy erupts on the scale of the grand operas he loves so much. This Drama Desk-nominated play, a 2010 production of which prompted The Washington Post to say of McNally, "few writers are funnier," concludes Eclipse Theatre Company's 2015 season. Show times: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, December 10-12 at 8 pm.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611; 312-595-5600;

  • A Q Brothers' Christmas Carol
    A hip-hop holiday treat set to a bangin' beat! CST and Chicago hip-hop sensation the Q Brothers - creators of Othello: The Remix and Funk It Up About Nothin' - have toured around the world, playing to sold-out houses in Edinburgh, Germany, South Korea, Australia and London. Now the team turns up the volume on Charles Dickens' classic tale, mixing everything from reggae, dancehall and dubstep to epic rock ballads. The Ghosts of Hip-hop Past, Present and Future lead Scrooge on a journey filled with rhythm, rhyme and redemption. Audiences will encounter Dickens' familiar characters in new and unexpected forms - from a miserly Ebenezer Scrooge with an erotic passion for cash to a Jamaican Jacob Marley and Lil' Tim, the tiniest Cratchit with a slew of maladies. The time-traveling Ghosts take Scrooge on a voyage through the hip-hop ages - decade by decade from past to present to future - documenting the evolving musical art form. This holiday treat promises to be as cheeky, intelligent and street smart as audiences have come to expect from the Q Brothers. Dates & Times: Thursday & Friday, December 10 and 11, 7:30 pm; Saturday, Dec. 12, 6 pm and 8:30 pm
  • The Heir Apparent Staged by Tony Award®-winning director John Rando, this cheeky romp is another hilarious retooling of a classic from acclaimed playwright David Ives, creator of CST's wildly popular The School for Lies and A Flea in Her Ear. Young Eraste has it all—good looks, a beautiful fiancée and the prospect of a sizable inheritance from an elderly uncle. There's just one snag: the uncle won't die and he has bequeathed his entire fortune to someone else. Whatever will the young man do? Hilarious rhyming couplets and contemporary slang abound as seventeenth-century bawdiness is catapulted into the twenty-first. - See more at: Dates & Times: Thursday & Friday, December 10 and 11, 7:30 pm; Saturday, December 12, 3 pm and 8 pm

Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614, 312-335-1650,

  • Domesticated
    Politician Bill Pulver faces the cameras to stumble his way through a carefully crafted apology as his wife Judy stands stoically behind him…. but what is she REALLY thinking? We are about to find out in Bruce Norris's wickedly funny, unpredictable play about a marriage burst apart by a sex scandal. This scathing, wildly entertaining play investigates gender politics, modern marriage and the sexual mysteries of the animal kingdom. Performance Dates & Times: Thursday and Friday, December 10 and 11, Saturday, December 12, 3 pm and 7:30 pm. Admission: 20 for $20: twenty $20 tickets are available through Audience Services beginning at 11 a.m. on the day of each performance (1 p.m. for Sunday performances).
    Rush Tickets: half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show.

The Second City, 1616 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60614; (312) 662-4562;

  • The Second City: 104th Mainstage Revue Be part of Second City history and get an exclusive look at all new material for The Second City's 104th Review. Jeff-Award-Winning Director Ryan Bernier is back along with returning ensemble members.
    Show dates and times: Thur., Dec. 10, 8 pm; Friday & Saturday, Dec. 11 & 12, 8 pm and 11 pm
  • The Second City: Holidazed & Confused Revue With the holiday season comes those time-honored traditions of setting up a 6-ft fire hazard in the living room, placing your kids on the laps of an elderly alcoholic at the local mall, and gaining a solid 12 pounds from stress and seasonal lattes. Thankfully, The Second City has a holiday tradition that you can actually look forward to! With a sack full of all-new sketches, The Second City's Holidazed & Confused Revue continues to be the holiday season's most time-honored, riotous send-up of the Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and everything in between. Show date: Sat., Dec. 12, 4 pm

Briar Street Theater, 3133 North Halsted Street, Chicago 60657; (773) 348-4000

Blue Man Group
Blue Man Group combines music, technology and comedy to create a form of entertainment that defies categorization and appeals to people of all ages. Blue Man Group's shows have been described by critics as "innovative," "energetic" and "wildly entertaining."
Show dates Thursday & Friday December 10 & 11 at 8 pm; Saturday, December 12 at 2 , 5 , and 8 pm
Ticket prices range from $57.75 - $97.75

Joffrey Ballet, Auditorium Theatre 50 E. Congress Pkwy., Chicago, IL; (312) 341-2310

The Nutcracker
Dates & Times: Thur & Fri. Dec. 10 & 11, 7 pm; Sat. Dec. 12, 2 pm and 7 pm
Tickets: Tickmaster or by phone: 800-982-ARTS(2787) or Joffrey Ticketing: 312-386-8905
In person: Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (address above), M-F, 12-6 pm & at all other TicketMaster outlets

Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Evanston, IL 60201; (847) 448-4311

The Nutcracker on Ice, 1701 Main St., Evanston
Dates/Times: Fri., Dec. 11, 7 pm; Sat., Dec. 12, 2:30 aand 7 pm
Robert Crown Community Center, 1701 Main St., Tickets: $10 reservered; $9 general admission

Zanies Comedy Club, 1548 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60610; 312-337-4027;

  • Kevin Bozeman, Show dates/Times:
    Hours: Thur., 12/10: 8:30 pm; Fri., 12/11: 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.; Sat., 12/12: 7, 9, and 11:15 p.m.; Tickets $25 + 2 item food/beverage minimum

City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-733-WINE

  • Thur., 12/10: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Tasting Party—7 pm; Rhett Miller's Holiday Extravaganza—6 pm doors; 8 pm start.

Additional theater options:

Chicago Children's Theatre ( A Snowy Day with Beatrix Potter & Friends, Sat., Dec. 12, shows at 11 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:30 pm, at Martyrs', 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. IDEAL FOR AGES 2-6. Share the magic of Chicago Children's Theatre during your next special event. Book our show A Snowy Day with Beatrix Potter & Friends during the holiday season!  For tickets, call box office at 872-222-9555 or for more info email

Chicago Children's Theater the Musical is playing at the Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences from Nov. 11-Dec. 19; Dragons Love Tacos is playing at Emerald City at Apollo Theater through Jan. 3; The Greatest Story Never Told plays at Under the Gun Theater through December 19.

League of Chicago A Charlie Brown Christmas is playing at Emerald City Theatre Company Nov. 14-Jan. 3; Clara & the Nutcracker is at Piccolo Theatre Nov. 13-Dec. 20;


Lyric Opera of Chicago,, 20 N. Wacker Dr., Ste. 860, Chicago, IL 60606; 312-827-5600

  • The Merry Widow, December 9, 10 at 2 pm

Chicago Symphony Orchestra,, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604; 312-294-3000

Founded in 1891, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is consistently hailed as one of the greatest orchestras in the world. In collaboration with the best conductors and guest artists on the international music scene, the CSO performs well over one hundred concerts each year at its downtown home, Symphony Center and at the Ravinia Festival on Chicago's North Shore.

  • Handel's Messiah December 10, 11, 8 pm
  • The film Home Alone accompanied by live orchestra, December 12, 3 pm

Buddy Guy's Legends,, 700 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL; 312-427-1190

True Blues fans know - There is only one place in Chicago to experience the finest Blues seven nights a week, enjoy southern Cajun soul food, and behold a major archive of Blues memorabilia. That place is Buddy Guy's Legends! Voted "Best Blues Club" several times over by Living Blues Magazine, Citysearch, and AOL, Legends continues to be a mecca for the Blues. Buddy Guy's Legends is open for lunch 5 days a week, and open for dinner every night. Enjoy great food and great music with our free, all-ages acoustic shows. Check our Google calendar, which includes all acoustic sets, private events, last minute changes, and the like. Hours: Monday: 9:30pm-10:30pm; Jam until 12:45am;
Tuesday: 9:30pm-11pm; 11:30pm until 12:45am; Wednesday: 9:30pm-11pm; 11:30pm until 12:45 am;
Thursday: 9:30pm-11 pm; 11:30 pm until 12:45 am;
Friday: Opening band 9pm-10pm; Headliner 10:30pm-12am, 12:30;am-1:15 am.
Saturday: Opening band 9:30 pm-10:30 pm; Headliner 11 pm-12:30 am, 1 am-2 am. Cover charge (unless listed otherwise): $10 for Sun.-Thur. night shows; $20 for the Fri. & Sat. night shows

House of Blues Chicago,, 329 N Dearborn St Chicago, IL 60654

  • Dec. 12, The White Panda, 8 pm, $20

United Center,, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60612

Purchase tickets on United Center website or at

  • Dec. 10, Chicago Bulls v. LA Clippers, 7 pm.
  • Dec. 11, Chicago Blackhawks v. Winnepeg Jets, 7:30 pm.
  • Dec. 12, Illinois vs. UIC, 1 pm; Chicago Bulls v. New Orleans Pelicans, 7 pm

Best Bars with Live Music in Chicago, (from Thrillist, Oct. 2015)

  • Avondale: The Abbey, 3420 W. Grace St.,, Chicago, 60618, 773-478-4408,
  • Gold Coast: Zebra Lounge, 1220 N. State Pkwy, Chicago, IKL 60610
  • Humboldt Park: California Clipper, 1002 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL 60622
  • Lakeview: Schubas Tavern, 3159 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657
  • Lincoln Park: Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60614
  • Logan Square: The Burlington, 3425 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
  • Lincoln Square: Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625
  • Noble Square: The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., Chicago, IL 60642
  • Pilsen: Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St., Chicago, IL 60608
  • River North: Untitled, 111 W. Kinzie St., Chicago, IL 60654
  • Rogers Park: Red Line Tap, 7006 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60626
  • Roscoe Village: Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL 60618
  • South Loop: Reggies, 2105 South State, Chicago, IL 60616
  • Ukrainian Village: Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave., Chicago,IL 60622
  • Uptown: Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60640
  • West Loop: Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., Chicago, IL 60607
  • Wicker Park: Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL 60647

Calendar of Chicago Sports/Entertainment Events

See TicketMaster's calendar of Chicago events for the week of December 7


Millennium Park: 55 Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL; Ph. 312-742-1168

This 24.5-acre green space is one of the city's major cultural centers; its centerpiece is the shiny elliptical sculpture by Anish Kapoor called Cloud Gate, which locals have affectionately nicknamed 'The Bean.' Other highlights: a digitally animated water fountain created by contemporary artist Jaume Plensa; the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion; and the serene Lurie Garden.

Skydeck Chicago, Willis (formerly Sears) Tower: 233 S. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL, Ph. 312-875-9696

At 103 stories high, the Skydeck at the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower offers an unsurpassed view of Chicago and, on a clear day, four surrounding states. It also features multimedia exhibits showcasing the city from its historic past to the present. The Skylights multimedia tour gives visitors stories beyond the views at various stops around the Skydeck. If you dare, brave a trip out onto the glass-bottomed Ledge.

Hours: Open daily 9 am-10 pm (last ticket sold half-hour before close) 365 days a year.
Admission $18/with Skylights tour $23.50; children ages 3-11 $12/$17.50; children under 3 free. Fast Pass (any age) $40. CityPass and group rates available.

John Hancock Building, 875 N Michigan Avenue, 94th Floor, Chicago, IL

Conveniently located along Chicago's famed Magnificent Mile®, 360 CHICAGO soars 1,000 feet above Lake Michigan and the city's majestic skyline to offer visitors the most breathtaking views of downtown Chicago, the lakefront and four neighboring states. Add to that our interactive technologies, TILT the new exhilarating angle on Chicago, the enticing 94th floor café, and you have 360° of all-around entertainment!
Hours: Open Daily 9am–11pm
Admission: Adults and Children12 yrs & older, $18; 3-11, $12

Navy Pier: 600 E Grand Ave Chicago, IL 60611; (312)595-7437

Historic Navy Pier® is Chicago's lakefront playground. And it's the Midwest's #1 tourist and leisure destination, attracting more than 8 million visitors per year. Open year-round (with the exception of Christmas and Thanksgiving Day), there is always a reason to visit the place where excitement awaits! Navy Pier showcases a unique collection of restaurants and shops in addition to unequaled recreational and exhibition facilities - in a setting like no other! There is no admission to enter Navy Pier. Attractions within Navy Pier may have admission prices and those prices can be obtained from each individual attraction's box office.

While at Navy Pier, check out:

Magnificent Mile

The 13-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue that runs from the banks of the Chicago River to the south, to Oak Street to the north. The "Mag Mile" is known for its great shopping, hotels, and dining, as well as for its beauty and historical landmarks, such as the John Hancock Center and the Chicago Water Tower.

Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago; 312-744-6630

Free concerts at noon; a restored Tiffany dome on the 3rd floor worth seeing; art exhibit; and, great information desk with coupons and docents who lead walks around Chicago. Drawn by its beauty and the fabulous free public events, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the Chicago Cultural Center every year, making it one of the most visited attractions in Chicago. The stunning landmark building is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, as well as free music, dance and theater events, films, lectures, art exhibitions and family events. Completed in 1897 as Chicago's first central public library, the building was designed to impress and to prove that Chicago had grown into a sophisticated metropolis. The country's top architects and craftsmen used the most sumptuous materials, such as rare imported marbles, polished brass, fine hardwoods, and mosaics of Favrile glass, mother-of-pearl and colored stone, to create an architectural showplace. Located on the south side of the building, the world's largest stained glass Tiffany dome ― 38 feet in diameter with some 30,000 pieces of glass ― was restored to its original splendor in 2008. On the north side of the building is a 40-foot-diameter dome with some 50,000 pieces of glass in an intricate Renaissance pattern, designed by Healy & Millet. In 1991, the building was established as the Chicago Cultural Center by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the nation's first and most comprehensive free municipal cultural venue. Every year, the Chicago Cultural Center presents hundreds of free international, national, regional and local artists, musicians and performers, providing a showcase where the public can enjoy and learn about the arts. Come for the beauty, stay for the events.
Building Hours: Monday–Thursday, 9am–7pm; Friday, 9am–6pm; Saturday, 9am–6pm; Sunday, 10am–6pm

Christkindlmarket, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago, IL 60602 (312) 494-2175

Nov. 21 - Dec 24, 2014 Free Admission
The Christkindlmarket Chicago is an annual holiday market featuring vendors from around the world who display hand crafted ornaments, toys and unique holiday gifts as well as traditional German foods, sweets and beverages. The market is rich in cultural tradition and includes special events, performers and activities.

Ice Skating

  • Ice Skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, Millenium Park, 55 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60601 (312)742-1168 Free Admission/Skate rentals approx. $5
  • Chicago Park District ice skating Download the Official Night Out in the Parks App "My Chi P arks." Get ready for winter fun! Most outdoor ice rinks open Friday, November 27. Maggie Daley Park Ice Ribbon opens Sat., Nov., 14, weather permitting. Skate away at eight outdoor rinks throughout the city. Open skates are available at all rinks and exciting events are available at most.  Many rinks will also provide Learn to Skate programming, as well as Pond Hockey and Rat Hockey. Sled assisted skating, which allows people of all abilities to skate together, is available.  Learn more below.  Outdoor rinks close for the season on Sunday, February 28, 2016.  Don't forget about year-round skating opportunities at the indoor rinks located at McFetridge Sports Center and the new Morgan Park Sports Center.


Trip Advisor's "Best Restaurants in Chicago 2015:

Best Cheap Eats in Chicago, 2015-- "Chicago Cheap Eats 2015: 13 Great New Affordable Restaurants, Mapped

2015 Chicago's Hottest New Restaurants

25 Classic Restaurants Every Chicagoan Must Try:

Eataly-Restaurants & Italian Markets (
43 East Ohio Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611
Tel: 312.521.8700
Caffe Lavazza Opens Daily at 8am
Eataly Market Opens Daily at 10am

Lagunitas Brewery Company, ( S Washtenaw Ave, Chicago, IL 60608; (773) 522-1308
Tasting Tours: Fridays @ 1, 3, 4, 5, & 6 PM; Saturday & Sunday same as Friday + 2 &7 pm. Hours: Wed-Sun 12 pm – 9 pm.

RPM Italian Restaurant, ( 52 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654; (312) 222-1888
Pasta, steaks & seafood served in a sleek, group-friendly eatery backed by Giuliana & Bill Rancic.

Mastro's Steakhouse, 520 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654; (312) 521-5100


Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL; 312-939-2438

The best Shedd visit begins online, not in line. We offer three easy ways to purchase your tickets in advance to avoid a long wait: Select our most popular ticket, the Total Experience Pass; become a Shedd member; or get a Chicago CityPASS, a great vacation value featuring Shedd and four other major attractions.

Shedd is a popular place to visit, and the wait in the ticket line can be two or more hours. If you buy your tickets in advance online, be sure to print them at home for a quicker entry at will-call. Check out our discounts before buying tickets. We have reduced prices for Illinois residents, educators, students, senior citizens, select corporations, active-duty military personnel and Chicago police officers and firefighters.

If you plan on visiting more than one cultural attraction while in Chicago, purchase a Chicago CityPASS. You'll save 50 percent off admission to Shedd Aquarium, plus four more top Chicago attractions.

Fall/winter hours, Labor Day to Memorial Day
9 a.m to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays

Sat., December 12 Holiday Breakfast at Shedd: It's the most wonderful time of the year... Shedd's holiday breakfast! Join us for breakfast and hot chocolate, a screening of THE POLAR EXPRESS. 4-D Experience and a meet-and-greet with Santa. Afterward, you can explore Shedd's children's exhibit, Polar Play Zone, and finish your special day with reserved seats to the Holiday One World show. Adult $49.95; child (ages 3-10) $39.95 Member adult $44.95; member child (ages 3-10) $34.95 Children under 3 are free! Get your tickets today! Tickets include admission to the aquarium. All reservations must be requested and completed a minimum of two business days before the date of the event. Program information and tentative itinerary 
The program begins at 8 a.m. Check-in begins at 7:45 a.m. Don't miss out on this holiday tradition!

The Field Museum of Natural History, ( S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL; 312-922-9410

The Field Museum was founded in 1893 as the Columbian Museum of Chicago and has spent more than 120 years in the pursuit of scientific knowledge about the world around us.

Hours: 9 am – 5 pm every day but Christmas Day. Last admission at 4 pm

  • Saturday, December 12 8:30am
    Buy Tickets
    Breakfast with Santa and SUE
    Add some history to your family traditions and celebrate the holidays at The Field Museum! Enjoy a buffet breakfast in the historic Stanley Field Hall and have fun creating holiday crafts. After breakfast you'll get to share all of your holiday wishes with Santa when you take your picture with Santa and SUE. Three seatings are available each Saturday: 8:30am, 9:30am, 10:30am
    (Each seating will last one hour) Tickets: Adult: $45 ($34 for members), Child (ages 2-11): $30 ($24 for members) EVENT DETAILS
  • Saturday, December 12 10am 1pm
    Eggers Grove Volunteer Habitat Restoration. Restore native habitats with The Field Museum to improve the health of our natural areas and our communities.  Volunteering with us requires very little - wear natural-fibered clothes that you don't mind getting dirty. We will always have some snacks and water, but potlucking is encouraged! For more information on how to volunteer with The Field Museum's habitat restorations, email Robb Telfer at

Art Institute of Chicago 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603; 312-443-3600;

Hours: Daily 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Thursday: 10:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. General admission free to Illinois residents every Thursday from 5-8 pm


  • Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye
  • Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings
  • Degas: At the Track, On the Stage
  • Deana Lawson: Ruttenberg Contemporary Photography Series
  • Dionysos Unmasked: Ancient Sculpture and Early Prints
  • Homegrown: The School of the Art Institute in the Permanent Collection
  • Alfred Stieglitz and the 19th Century
  • Materials Inside and Out
  • Kesa: Japanese Buddhist Monks' Vestments

A Voyage to South America: Andean Art in the Spanish Empire

Museum of Science and Industry ( 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637

Main: (773) 684-1414
Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Extended hours Saturday, December 12 (open 'til 5:30 pm)

  • Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light--November 19, 2015 - January 3, 2016
    Enjoy a one-of-a-kind seasonal celebration by joining us for Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light, a Chicago traditionwhich began in 1942 with a single tree dedicated to the Allies of World War II.
    As always, the Museum's 45-foot Grand Tree takes center stage in the Rotunda, surrounded by more than 50 smaller trees beautifully decorated by volunteers from Chicago's ethnic communities to represent their various cultures and holiday traditions. Stroll through the trees, enjoy intermittent falling "snow" and savor the performances on the Holiday Stage. School choral groups perform during the week, and ethnic song and dance performances take place on the weekends in conjunction with the exhibit. Included in Museum Entry.
  • Robot Revolution—May 21, 2015 – January 3, 2016
    Explore a cutting-edge collection of robots from all over the world in Robot Revolution, supported by with additional major support from The Boeing Company. You'll have the chance to interact with robots that have rarely been shown to the public before and discover their astonishing skills. Control an all-terrain crawling robot, go head to head with a tic-tac-toe-playing 'bot, or watch a competitive game of robot soccer! Feel a therapeutic baby seal robot react to your touch, and participate in a live drone show. In this immersive experience, you'll step into a visionary world where robots are not just a curiosity, but an amazing asset. Robot Revolution is not included in Museum Entry and requires an additional timed-entry ticket. Tickets are $11 for adults and seniors (age 65 and older) and $9 for children (ages 3-11). Discounted tickets for MSI members are $6.50 for adults and seniors, and $5.50 for children. Advance tickets are available online.
  • Humpback Whales, May 21, 2015 – May 19, 2016
    Narrated by two-time Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor, Humpback Whales is an extraordinary journey into the mysterious world of one of nature's most awe-inspiring marine mammals. Set in the spectacular waters of Alaska, Hawaii and the remote islands of Tonga, this ocean adventure offers an up-close look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play and take care of their young. Found in every ocean on earth, humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago, but today are making a slow but remarkable recovery. Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of the humpback and find out why humpbacks are the most acrobatic of all whales, why they sing their haunting songs, and why these intelligent, 55-foot, 50-ton animals migrate up to 10,000 miles round-trip every year. Showtimes Daily at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and (5 p.m.*)

Adler Planetarium, ( 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL; 312-922-7827

Whether you have a full day or just an hour or two, we have admission passes to fit your interests. Take in immersive sky shows in our three full-sized theaters including the Definiti Theater, the recently renovated Samuel C. Johnson Family Star Theater, and the Grainger Sky Theater–Adler's most technologically advanced theater.
Hours: 9:30-4 Mon.-Fri.; 9:30-4:30 Sat. & Sun.

National Veterans Art Museum, ( 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60641

312-326-0270; Tuesdays - Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Admission: Free

  • "Tactical Formations: Collective Practice in the Veteran Art Movement" Sept 4, 2015 – Jan 30, 2016
  • NVAM Creative Community Workshops, December 12, 2-4 pm Each month, the National Veterans Art Museum welcomes community members, veterans and artists of all ages to participate in FREE hands on art making Creative Community workshops. Veteran artists share insight into their art making practice and lead the group in a skill based project. Join us on second Saturdays of each month for community art making! Past workshops include: Chicago-based artist Eric J. Garcia led a public workshop titled "Hearts for Vets" where he discussed the historical context of printmaking and led a demonstration where participants created Valentine prints for veterans. Also veteran artist Mel L. conducted a workshop where he taught basic rhyming skills and writing techniques. NVAM teen council was in full attendance along with museum patrons, community members, and some fellow veterans.

Chicago History Museum, ( 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614; 312-642-4600; Hours: Mon. – Sat. 9:30 am – 4:30 pm; Sun. 12 pm – 5 pm

The Chicago History Museum stands at the crossroads of America's past and its future. If you live in Chicago or visit here and are curious about the city's past, present, and future, the Museum should be your first stop. The Chicago History Museum cares for, showcases, and interprets millions of authentic pieces of Chicago and U.S. history. Our ability to illuminate the past is a reminder of what really happened once upon a time, sheds light on the present, and compellingly informs the future.

Clarke House Museum Tours, ( 1827 S. Indiana Ave., Chicago, IL, 60616; 312.326.1480.

Hour long guided tours of Clarke House Museum are offered Wednesday through Sunday at noon and 2 pm. Hour long guided tours of Glessner House Museum are offered Wednesday through Sunday at 3 pm. All tours begin at Glessner House Museum Coach House on 18th street, just east of Indiana. Dates: Weekly: Every Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Hours: Ongoing, Wednesday–Sunday, 12 Noon and 2 pm. Admission:

$10/adults, $9/ seniors & students, $5/ children 5–12 years old; Wednesdays are free.

Built in 1836 for Henry B. Clarke, the Clarke House Museum is Chicago's oldest house. The house shows what life was like for a family in Chicago during the city's formative years before the Civil War. Its fascinating history began at a time when Chicago received its city charter and much of the area was still undeveloped prairie. Over the years, the house survived fires, belonged to a church, and was moved twice – during the second move, the house was stuck in the air for two weeks. The house is now located in the Chicago Women's Park in the Prairie Avenue Historic District, and operated as a museum by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Admission: Adults $10; Seniors/Students $9; Children 5-12 $6; Children under 5 are Free

Museum of Contemporary Art, ( 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611

(312) 280-2660. Hours: Tues. 10 am to 8 pm; Wed. – Sun. 10 am to 5 pm.; closed Mon. Admission: $12 Suggested admission; $7 students and senior citizens; free for MCA members, military, and children 12 and under. Admission free for IL residents on Tuesdays, year round.

Exhibitions, Thursday - Saturday, December 10 -12, 2015:

Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, 11 am – 3pm: Family Day: All In

Get together, collaborate, and make bold moves at this Family Day, inspired by the exhibitions for Rafael Ferrer and Kathryn Andrews and the eighth blackbird residency. FREE for families with children 12 and under. Activities are appropriate for all ages.

Related Websites

  • Museums in the Park (
    This website provides an online video preview of 11 great museums (The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Adler Planetarium, Chicago History Museum, National Museum of Mexican Art, Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, DuSable Museum of African American History, The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture), links to the museums' websites, and a downloadable pocket user guide "for friendly advice about how to make the most of every visit."
    *Note—Some of the museums have free admission days for Illinois residents. Check their websites.
  • Top 10 Chicago Museums, 2015:
    A list of the Top 10 Museums (same as above) but provides a list of their addresses and phone numbers at a glance as well as links to their websites.


City of Chicago Tours

Chicago Architecture Foundation, ( 224 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604

Welcome to the Chicago Architecture Foundation! We offer engaging ways for educators, families, and young people to explore Chicago's amazing architecture. Through hands-on, real-world explorations discover how to turn your local community into a dynamic setting for teaching and learning. Buildings, structures, people, and events help young people discover how architecture and the built environment impact their lives everyday.

  • Offers tours by boat, walking, bus/trolley, "L" train, bike, or Segway
  • Can search for tours for adults, teens, kids & families, foreign language, after hours, and biennial visitors. Check the calendar for tours such as "Chicago Modern" about Chicago's Modern architecture; "Art Deco Skyscrapers: Downtown,"; "Elevated Architecture: Downtown "L" Train"; "Hidden (Mostly Indoor) Art"; and "Pedway East: Warm Walk, Cool Architecture."

Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co., 4400 S. Racine, Chicago, IL; 773-648-5000

We operate Chicago's premier Hop On Hop Off ® city sightseeing tours in our classic red & green Trolleys and fun-filled Double Decker buses.

The Chicago Tour Company, ( 422 W. Melrose St., #709, Chicago, IL; 773-857-3345

Explore the Windy City with The Chicago Tour Company. Whether you are looking for a full, custom-designed itinerary, or need a local Chicago guide to show you around, The Chicago Tour Company is here for you!

Chicago Traveler (

Information on bus/trolley tours, food tours, air tours, carriage tours, boat, walking, bike, and Segway tours.

Specialty Tours

Chicago Pizza Tours (

Chicago Pizza Tours is the first company to offer both visitors & locals tours designed around Chicago's most defining food, pizza. To make sure the experience took you beyond the big names and into the neighborhoods where Chicagoans call home, we created a bus guided tour of culturally significant and neighborhood pizzerias.

On our Chicago Food Tour you have an exclusive opportunity to See Chicago, One Slice at a Time as we sample pizza from different neighborhoods. Being bus driven provides us the flexibility to travel to any restaurant in any neighborhood and never compromise for what is within walking distance. Most think Chicago only offers up deep dish, and while that is a signature style, we also want you to try tavern style, artisanal, and Neapolitan just to name a few. Always a full slice, this tour serves as more than a meal replacement.

Chicago Brewery Tours:

Chicago Food Planet Food Tours

Our 3-hour food tasting and cultural walking Chicago tours combine delicious food and drink tastings with some serious fun in Chicago's most delicious, off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods. Suitable for all age groups and fitness levels, you'll experience delectable foods from one-of-a-kind specialty food stores and ethnic eateries while receiving an insiders view into the culture, history and architecture that defines the Windy City. Walk away with new culinary perspectives, big smiles, satisfied taste buds and the confidence to continue exploring the areas where locals live.

Weird Chicago Tours 217-791-7859

The Weird Chicago Tours run about 3 hours in length. We travel all over the city during the tours and we do get on and off the bus throughout the evening, offering a mix of ghosts, crime and the unusual all year around! We use air-conditioned and heated buses, so you'll tour Weird Chicago in comfort, no matter what the time of year! Children over the age of 10 are welcome on the tours, but it's not recommended for kids under the age of 10. Sorry, no babies or infants in strollers. No one under the age of 21 is allowed on our Weird Pub Crawls. Tours include: Haunted History Tour; Blood, Guns, & Valentines Crime Tour; Roaring 20's Tour; True Crime & Serial Killer Tour; The Devil & The White City Tour.

Children's Activities

Kohl Children's Museum 2100 Patriot Bl, Glenview, IL; (847)832-6600.

Kohl Children's Museum of Greater Chicago offers 17 interactive, hands-on exhibits for children ages birth to 8. All of our exhibits and programs are aligned to the Illinois State Learning Standards and are designed to nurture a love of learning in young children.

Regular Hours: Mon. 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.; Tuesday – Sat. 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sun. 12 – 5 p.m.
Admission: Adults & Children: $11; Grandparents & Seniors (55+): $10; Infants (under 12 months): FREE; Military Discount: Buy one admission get one admission free

Santa on the Chicago Area Polar Express Storytime and Holiday Trains

Santa train trips. You'll find many area town park district trips on Metra trains, the Chicago Transit Authority, at the Illinois Railway Museum and the Fox River Trolley Museum, among others, offering Polar Express trips or holiday trains, featuring Santa Claus. These trips are very popular, so book early. Plan on arriving at the station at least twenty minutes before departure time.

Lincoln Park Zoo 2001 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60614, (312) 742-2000

Free and open to all, 365 days a year! One of the nation's oldest zoos housing 1200 animals representing 230 species. Includes children's zoo, carousel and paddle boats.

ZOO LIGHTS at the Lincoln Park Zoo: Zoo hours 10 am to 5 pm. Lincoln flips the switch for ZooLights on November 27. Afterward, ZooLights will shine Friday-Sunday until December 13, at which point the lights will be on nightly (except Dec. 24-25) until January 3. However, Santa heads back to the North Pole after December 23.December 4-6, 11–23; December 26–31, 2015, 4:30–9 p.m. Join us for the brilliance of this annual fun, free, family-oriented holiday celebration, featuring luminous displays and holiday-season activities throughout zoo grounds.

Festive Activities

  • Photos with Santa through December 23
  • Free holiday crafts
  • Animal encounters
  • 3-D displays
  • Musical light shows
  • Warm spiced wine and frosty lager
  • Delicious dinner and snacks
  • Holiday gift shopping
  • Live ice carving every night
  • Rides on the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel
  • Rides on the new Lionel Train Adventure
  • Ice Skating at Lincoln Park Zoo at the Farm-in-the-Zoo

Be sure to meander over to the Farm-in-the-Zoo during your ZooLights visit to enjoy Ice Skating at Lincoln Park Zoo! Open daily until 9 p.m. from November 28–March 1 (except December 24 and 25). $5 admission; $5 skate rental (or bring your own). Get ready to glide!

The first 1,000 guests each night will receive our cool holiday specs to check out the lights! Standard parking rates apply in the zoo lot.

American Girl, 835 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611 (877) 247-5223

  • Girl of the Year™ for girls ages 8 and up, to Bitty Baby™ and the Bitty Twins™ for little ones. Add to the fun by exploring outfits, accessories, and furniture that help make every doll's world complete. Then browse our bookstore with titles that open up girls' imaginations. And don't miss Avenue AG, featuring specialty shops like Creativi-Tees™ for designing matching doll and girl T-shirts, plus more fun stops filled with adorable accessories, treats to eat, and other surprises. Enjoy the help of a personal shopper: Schedule an appointment today.
  • Dining: Chicago's American Girl Cafe is the place for brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and parties. For reservations and seating times, call toll-free 877-247-5223. Prices subject to change.
  • Now accepting reservations through February 8. Learn more
    • Brunch is $19 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Seating time: 9:30 a.m.
    • Lunch is $22 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Seating times: 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
    • Afternoon Tea is $19 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Seating time: 4 p.m.
    •  Dinner is $23 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Seating times: 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
    • Dining is offered only at the seating times listed. Reservations are recommended to ensure the seating time is available. A lack of reservations may result in the cancellation of a seating time.

Maggie Daley Park ( 337 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL

The park features a one-quarter-mile-long (0.40 km) ice skating ribbon, rock-climbing walls, metal light masts and playground equipment.[6] The park plans also include three open lawn areas, a lawn panel, a café space, and picnic groves.[8] The park was designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the landscape architects for the George W. Bush Presidential Center.[11]

An additional feature of Maggie Daley Park is the Play Garden. Occupying 3 acres of Maggie Daley Park, the Play Garden is one of the many attractions within the park area. It is open from 6:00am–11:00pm, for children ages 12 and under.[12] It contains 6 different play areas, including: The Wave Lawn, The Harbor, The Watering Hole, The Slide Crater, The Enchanted Forest, and The Sea. The Sea is an 8,500 square foot "play loop" [13] with several different entries, which features a large metal play ship and other interactive structures in the similar theme. It was designed for children ages 5–12.

The Enchanted Forest is a 3,590 square foot network of pathways. Overhead along the Enchanted Forest pathways are archways defined by upside-down trees, where major branches touch the ground at multiple points and a single trunk rises skyward. Within the Enchanted Forest is a Turning Stone, an upright stone that turns on its vertical axis, as well as a mirror maze (named Kaleidoscope).[13]

The 12,000 square foot Slide Crater zone is entered on high from the Wave Lawn by means of the Tower Bridge, which is a suspension bridge elevated by two towers, one of which has two slides, the other a wealth of play features including knobs, flags, a viewing scope, and talk tubes.[13] "Maggie Daley Park is one of the largest and busiest playgrounds in the city; since April, an estimated 400,000 people have visited the park's playground areas. The Watering Hole is a 1,200 square foot animal-themed play space. It features several plastic animals, including a large whale and spouts for children to play in the water. It was designed for children ages 2–5. The Harbor is for children ages two to five. It is 2,000ftsq in size. It features a boardwalk, three full-sized play boats, and is surrounded by the flora of the park. It is located between the swing areas of the park. The Wave Lawn is a 16,530 square foot play area that cuts a swath through the center of the Play Garden.

Legoland Discovery Center Chicago, 601 N. Martingale Rd., Schaumburg, IL; 847-592-9700

  • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago – jump into the biggest box of LEGO® bricks ever!
  • Over 3 million LEGO bricks in our indoor, family attraction.
  • A top idea for days out for kids in Chicago.
  • Explore things to do with the kids with LEGO® Friends, LEGO® Racers and DUPLO® Village.
  • Join in the unique activity workshops with our Master Model Builder.

Hours: OPEN every day, 365 days a year! Last admission is at 5:00 p.m. daily.
12 pm - 7 pm (Mon. - Fri.); 10 am – 7 pm (Sat. - Sun.)
Admission: From $12 + tax

Midyear/Joint Meeting Home

Advance registration for Joint Meeting is closed. Please register on-site.