Saturday, December 5, 2009

Look For ChiIL Mama This Weekend: ChiIL Holidaze Part 1

Sandia Rocks out at Dance Along Nutcracker
Whew...........and you thought all the Halloween stuff was crazy busy............

In the upcoming weeks we will feature a myriad of events and favorite happenings around Chi Town, green Christmas gift ideas like Sodastream and Nasopure, some funky, fun new kids tunes and even free give aways.   Since we do full features and photos, we'll pick a few of our favs and get in depth with the events.  

In the mean time.  Chicago is always hoppin' for the holidays.  So, if you want a more comprehensive listing of Holiday happenings, including the burbs and commercial events, hop on over to our friends at GoCityKids, ChicagoKids, or CrazyKids.   But if you want to get beyond the touristy and check out the real gems, stick with us and we'll see you out there.

Once again, there are far too many great choices for the weekend to humanly hit.   Here are a few of our favs.


Home Depot's free first Saturdays workshop is happening from 9AM-Noon.   We've had great fun building a bean bag toss, fire station bank, and sweet tile trivets.   Now we're on the wagon this Saturday.

We're also off to our big NaNoWriMo "Thank Goodness It's Over" party where we can happily claim our winners stickers and lots of fun raffle prizes.   All winners who managed to write 50,000 words in 30 days, get a free, bound paperback copy of their own novels.   And I'm jazzed for the 50% winner's discount on Scrivener writing software for Mac.

If you don't have an insane writers' party to attend, we'd highly recommend the following:

 Julmarknad at the Swedish Museum in Andersonville.  Starting Saturday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and continuing on Sunday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Museum's annual Christmas Bazaar will kick off with many traditional Scandinavian and modern handicraft and more for sale! 

Santa will visit the Children's Museum as well and games and crafts for the whole family.  Other entertainment includes a kaffestuga, Lucia procession, and folk dancers.  Admission is $2 per person.

Later in the month, they also have a fabulous breakfast with Tomten (Swedish Santa), Lucia events and numerous other holiday festivities.   Check their web site for details.

Chicago Waldorf School is also having their lovely Holiday Fair.
If dragons are more to your
gifting taste.........
our long time friend, Jenny, is helping provide a market for indigenous artists in Oaxaca to sell their art here in Chicago.  She has tons of dragons, which are very traditional- they're guardians of the home).
They're available on the website,

There are no prices listed, but the art starts at about $30-40 and up (up to several hundred- they're huge pieces though).   She will also be at the Images Gallery's annual Christmas market, from 10 am-5 pm on Dec. 5 and 12 (the next 2 Saturdays) - 1823 W. Wilson. So if you're inclined you can swing by and see the stuff in person!

It's the final weekend to see Holes at Merle Reskin and Gossamer at Adventure Stage and for the grownups.... check out our friend Andy in the final weekend of The Audacity of Nope at Strawdog Theatre.

Once you've seen the big bellied, white bearded man in a red suit, with a sack overflowing with toys, come roaring up Western Avenue on a Harley, all other Santa parades pale in comparison!    Toys for Tots starts at 83rd street at 9:30AM and ends at Lane Tech.   It's something to see. 

What's not to like about this parade? Every year more than 10,000 motorcyclists and 100,000 spectators descend upon Western Avenue to deliver toys to kids in need. This year marks the 31st annual Toys for Tots parade.
The 20-mile parade, which runs north along Western Avenue, often lasts up to five hours. It's billed as the largest motorcycle parade in the world.

Riders are required to bring a new toy and spectators are encouraged to do so. (Please, no stuffed animals.) The Marine Corps Reserve will distribute them to those in need.

After the parade, Sunday's can't miss event is the always fabulous Dance Along Nutcracker at The Chicago Cultural Center.   We've gone for years and the kids eagerly anticipate it.   This year will be more fun than ever, as they add a "circus style" theme.
There are two shows only, this Sunday at 12pm and 3pm, with workshops before each performance.   It's also a great opportunity to walk over and check out the Macy's windows, giant tree in Daley Plaza and Christkindlmarket.   The hot spiced wine comes in adorable ceramic boot mugs, that are perfect kids' size for a winter's worth of hot cocoa later.  You're welcome to use the excuse that you're doin' it for your kids as you're two fisting the mulled wine.  

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