We are very fortunate to live in an area with a great variety of musical events to enjoy with your children. Listed below are some of our favorite musical events this time of year.
1. The Nutcracker
Auditorium Theatre , Loop Friday December 1 2017 - Saturday December 30 2017
Having retired cofounder Robert Joffrey's production of The Nutcracker after nearly 30 years, the Joffrey Ballet debuted a new version in 2016 by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, set in Chicago against the backdrop of the 1893 World's Fair.
2. A Christmas Carol
Goodman Theatre | Chicago, IL , Loop Until Sunday December 31 2017
The Goodman Theatre’s annual holiday production of the Charles Dickens classic enters its 40th year with seasonal charm intact. No bah humbugs here. Larry Yando returns for yet another outing as Ebenezer Scrooge, while director Henry Wishcamper is back for his fifth year.
3. Dance-Along Nutcracker: Sunday December 3 2017
Your tiny ballerinas can join in the fun at this free event with Ballet Chicago and the Lakeside Pride Symphonic Band. There’s an optional quickie dance lesson one hour before each participatory performance.
4. Andrew Bird + Joan Shelley
Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago , Streeterville Monday December 11 2017 - Thursday December 14 2017
Among Chicago's most hallowed holiday traditions are the window displays in the Marshall Fields building, ice skating in Millennium Park and Andrew Bird's intimate concerts at Fourth Presbyterian Church. Each December, the violinist and whistler returns to his hometown for a series of shows that he's dubbed "gezelligheid"—a Dutch word that roughly translates to "cozy." Performing from the church's altar, surrounded by his signature horn speakers, Bird digs into his catalog, tests out new material and collaborates with special guests, drowning out the nearby holiday bustle of Michigan Avenue with soaring string melodies. Kentucky folk singer Joan Shelley opens each of the four shows.
5. Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Merry, Merry Chicago!
Symphony Center , Loop Friday December 15 2017 - Saturday December 23 2017
The CSO teams up with the Chicago Children’s Choir and vocalist Ashley Brown for an evening of holiday standards, including carols, sing-alongs and selections from The Nutcracker and The Polar Express. Expect a visit from Santa Claus, enjoy some amazing classical music and leave with plenty of Christmas cheer.
6. Do-It-Yourself Messiah
Harris Theater , Millennium Park Monday December 18 2017 - Tuesday December 19 2017
Hallelujah! This annual holiday tradition allows you to show off your pipes and belt out Handel’s Messiah with 1,499 other amateur singers, backed by an all-volunteer orchestra. You'll need to show up to the event familiar with the score and ready to sing your heart out all evening long (you should also figure out if you're a soprano, alto, tenor or bass).
Lincoln Park Zoo | Chicago, IL , Lincoln Park Friday December 1 2017 - Sunday January 7 2018
Head to the Lincoln Park Zoo to see the lights (and maybe a few animals) at this annual winter tradition. The first 1,000 people through the gates each night receive special glasses to view the lights with, but everyone can enjoy nightly ice carving demonstrations and hot beverages.
8. Caroling at Cloud Gate
Millennium Park Plaza , Loop Friday December 1 2017 - Friday December 15 2017
Hundreds of singers from choral groups across the city participate in this annual holiday tradition that takes place over the course of a month. After the singing of classic carols, everyone goes ice skating at the Millennium Park McCormick Tribune Ice Rink.