THROUGH DEC 18 Another Night before Christmas,The Theatre at the Center, Center for the Visual and PerformingArts, 1040 Ridge Rd, Munster. 219.836.3255. theatreatthecenter.com.A delight for the holiday, this witty and tuneful production issure to win laughs from anyone who’s ever lost – or found – theholiday spirit.
THROUGH DEC 16 Ugly Lamp Contest, 8am-5pmMon-Sun, The Indiana welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Dr, Hammond.219.989.7979. southshorecva.com. This contest will attempt to findthe ugliest lamp since mr. Parker’s infamous leg lamp. Voters mustvisit the Indiana welcome Center before December 16. The winnerswill be announced on December 19.
THROUGH DEC 19 Mail your Letters to Santa, TheIndiana welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Dr, Hammond. 219.989.7979.southshorecva.com. Children, and adults, can mail letters to Santain the South Shore’s Largest Santa Mailbox or create their own atthe Write a Letter to Santa Table at the exhibit. Everyone whowrites a letter will be entered in a drawing for a chance to winthe huge Christmas stocking filled with goodies on display by themailbox.
THROUGH FEB 26 Ice Skating, 2-9pmThu, 2-10pmFri, noon-10pm Sat, noon-9pm Sun and holiday periods, closedMon-Wed, except during holiday/school break periods and privaterentals. Deep River Waterpark, 9001 E. US Hwy 30, Crown Point.219.947.7850. deepriverwaterpark.com. Deep River Waterpark IceSkating Plaza features a 14,500 square foot ice plaza, food andbeverage locations, heated indoor bathrooms, and a birthday partyroom. The ice is formed by flooding the plaza area that has coolingcoils under the concrete, enabling ice in most weather conditions.it is further maintained daily through the use of a large icegrooming machine similar to those used at professional hockeygames. Many people enjoy watching the grooming during a break inskating. The plaza will be decorated with festive seasonallighting.
DEC 14, 21 Wag your Tail Wednesday, 4-7pm, TheIndiana welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Dr, Hammond. 219.989.7979.southshorecva.com. Cats and dogs are welcome to take their photoswith Santa. for every pet photo purchased, $1 will benefit I Want aHome Rescue, and organization which finds foster homes for abused,physically handicapped, aged, or homeless animals.
DEC 16 Tour of Lights and Polar Express,5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, downtown Crown Point. 219.662.3290.crownpoint.in.gov. Mayor David Uran’s Office of Special Events issponsoring this event, featuring Cindy Horgash telling the story of”The Polar Express.” after the story everyone is invited to boardthe awaiting transportation and take the Tour of Lights through theCity. Reservations are required.
DEC 17 “Mommy’s little Piggy” Eating Contest,10:30am, The Indiana welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Dr, Hammond.219.989.7979. southshorecva.com. This event recreates the scene in”A Christmas Story” when Randy Parker scarfs up his mashed potatoesat dinner. As an entry fee, please bring a canned food ornon-perishable item for the Northwest Indiana Food Bank.Registration begins at 10am.
DEC 17 Yuletide Open house along the Sidewalks ofDowntown, 11am-1pm, 310 E Commercial Ave, Lowell.219.696.6487. shoplowellindiana.com. Frosty the Snowman will beappearing along the sidewalks of the Historic Downtown Shopping andDining District passing out candy canes. other festivities includesidewalk Christmas music, store sales, restaurant specials andcomplimentary refreshments.
DEC 18 Photos with Santa, noon-3pm, Bellaboo’sPlay and Discovery Center, three Rivers County Park, 2800 ColoradoSt, Lake Station. 219.963.2070. mybellaboos.com. Kids may havetheir photo taken with Santa or Mrs. Claus. Also, Dec 19-22:Stories with Santa at 3pm.
DEC 27 The Harlem Globetrotters Celebrate the HammondCivic Center, 7pm, Hammond Civic Center, 5825 Sohl Ave,Hammond. ticketmaster.com. This event features a night of excitingfamily entertainment and excellent basketball prowess to celebratethe 75th Anniversary of the Hammond Civic Center. TheGlobetrotters’ 2012 World Tour will showcase incredible handballwizardry, fresh comedy, and amazing rim-rattling dunks.
Dec 31 Paddle’s Time Zone, 5-10pm, Deep RiverWaterpark, 9001 E. US Hwy 30, Crown Point. 219.947.7850.deepriverwaterpark.com. This event provides a chance to ring in theNew Year with a party filled with ice skating, crafts, food andmusic.
JAN 7 First Fridays Downtown, 5-9pm first Fri,downtown South Bend. dtsbfirstfridays.com. The first Friday ofevery month downtown South Bend businesses open their doors to hostentertaining events such as live musical performances; special onenight promotions/coupons/sales; demonstrations/classes (yoga,cooking, art etc); activities for kids, adults and families; artistreceptions; and refreshments, food and wine tasting.
Jan 21 9th Annual Gardening show, 8am-4pm,Porter County Exposition Center, IN-49 at Division Road,Valparaiso. 219.465.3555. pcgarden.info/gardening_show. Winner ofthe 2009 Festival of the Year Award, this event featurespresentations by national, regional and local gardening experts,special lodging and dining packages, a seed and bulb exchange,garden photography contest, a children’s corner, and food service,as well as 100 exhibitors and vendors of products and services forand about gardens and gardening.
THROUGH DEC 16 Caroling at Cloud Gate, 6pm,Millennium Park, 55 N Michigan Ave, Chicago. 312.742.1168.millenniumpark.org. This free program, presented by the ChicagoDepartment of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, in partnershipwith the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, showcases Chicagochoral groups and invites visitors to participate in a holidaysing-along.
THROUGH DEC 24 16th Annual Christkindlmarket,11am-8pm Sun-Thu, 11am-9pm Fri-Sat, Daley Plaza, 50 W WashingtonSt, Chicago. 312.492.2175. christkindlmarket.com. Situated in theheart of downtown Chicago, the Christkindlmarket is a holidaymarket fashioned after century-old markets in Germany. it featuresGerman and international vendors displaying hand-crafted ornaments,toys, foods and other unique gifts. most days, there will also bemusical entertainment to put visitors into the holiday spirit.Special Hours: Christmas Eve, Dec 24, 11am-4pm.
THROUGH JAN 2 Winter WonderFest, 10am-5pmSun-Thu, 10am-10pm Fri-Sat (through Dec 18), Navy Pier, 600 E GrandAve, Chicago. 312.595.7437. winterwonderfest.com. This is theeleventh annual year for this event, which features more than750,000 holiday ornaments, hundreds of decorated trees, an indoorFerris wheel, games, carolers and more. Hours Dec 19-Jan 2:10am-8pm Sun-Thu, 10am-10pm Fri-Sat.
THROUGH JAN 9 Christmas Around the World and Holidays ofLight, Museum of Science and Industry, 57th St & LakeShore Dr, Chicago. 773.684.1414. msichicago.org. described as abeloved Chicago holiday tradition, this event features over 50dazzling trees and displays that are decorated by members of ethniccommunities across the city to reflect holiday customs from allover the world. Attendees will experience ethnic dancing andsinging, storytellers, school choirs and other festivities.
THROUGH MAR 11 McCormick Tribune Ice Rink,noon-8pm Mon-Thu, noon-10pm Fri, 10am-10pm Sat (through Dec.17),10am-9pm Sat (beginning Jan 7), 10am-9pm Sun, Millennium Park, 55 NMichigan Ave, Chicago. 312.742.1168. millenniumpark.org. The rink,now in its eleventh season, draws more than 100,000 skatersannually and is free and open to the public.
DEC 21 Hanukkah Dinner, 5:30pm, Chicago BotanicGarden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe. 847.835.5440.chicagobotanic.org. This event offers a festive way to celebrateHanukkah with a kosher-style buffet dinner, music by the MaxwellStreet Klezmer Band, and a viewing of the holiday exhibition,Wonderland Express.
PERFORMANCES, EXHIBITS, AND ARTS
THROUGH DEC 17 It’s A Wonderful Life – A Live RadioPlay, Chicago Street Theater, 154 W Chicago St,Valparaiso. 219.464.1636. ctgonline.org. This performance entails anew twist on a holiday tradition by transforming a classicinspirational tale into a delightful 1940s live radiobroadcast.
THROUGH DEC 18 Irvin Berlin’s White Christmas,Memorial Opera House, 104 Indiana Ave, Valparaiso. 219.548.9137.mohlive.com. Based on the beloved, timeless film, this heartwarmingmusical adaptation features seventeen Irving Berlin songs and abook by David Ives and Paul Blake. The dazzling score features wellknown standards including “Blue Skies”, “I love A Piano”, “How DeepIs the Ocean” and the perennial favorite, “White Christmas.”
THROUGH DEC 18 String Theory, Lubeznik Centerfor the Arts, 01 West Second St, Michigan City. 219.874.4900.lubeznikcenter.org. The sculpture, “String Theory” was influencedby gravity. Sir Isaac Newton said that the same force that causedthe apple to fall down also moves the moon around the earth, thusuniting heaven and earth. “String Theory” shows the pull of gravityon its eleven figures. Also, through Dec 18: Motion and Memory;Lost and found; Through Jan 6: Indiana Wildlife ArtistsTwenty-eighth Annual Exhibit.
THROUGH DEC 18 Wealth, Power, Society—African Art fromthe Owen D. Mort, Jr. Collection, O’Shaughnessy GalleriesII and III, The Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame,Notre Dame. 574.631.5466. sniteartmuseum.nd.edu. This exhibitfeatures royal costumes and beadwork, iron and brass weapons,symbols of authority and currency, as well as masks and otherobjects. The second exhibition will focus upon African furniture,household objects, traditional dress and jewelry, and the thirdupon a comprehensive treatment of the wrought iron and brassweapons, authority symbols and currencies used throughout Africa inthe last two hundred years.
THROUGH JAN 8, 2012 “A Christmas Story” comes HomeExhibit, 8am-5pm Mon-Fri, 8am-7pm Sat-Sun, The IndianaWelcome Center, 7770 Corinne Dr, Hammond. 219.989.7979.southshorecva.com. This exhibit features displays from the popularholiday movie.
DEC 16-17 Nutcracker, 10am Fri, 2pm Sat, MortonHigh School, 6915 Grand Avenue, Hammond. 219.512.4298. ibtnw.org.Indiana Ballet Theatre is proud to announce performances ofNutcracker at Morton High School.
DEC 16-18 A Fabulous 50′s Christmas-2011, TowleCommunity Theater, 5205 Hohman Ave, Hammond.219.937.8780. towletheater.org. The show pays homage to the PerryComo and Andy Williams’ Christmas specials of the 1950′s & 60′scomplete with original vocal arrangements and commercials from theera.
DEC 17 Mannheim Steamroller, Horseshoe Casino,777 Casino Center Dr, Hammond. 866.711.7463. horseshoehammond.com.This event features the Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller.Dec 25: Amanda Lee and William Hu; Jan 14: Steve Harvey.
DEC 18 Colors of Christmas, 7pm Wed, 10am Thu,Star Plaza Theatre, 8001 Delaware Pl, Merrillville. 219.755.4444.starplazatheatre.com. This performance will feature holiday musicsung by dynamic artists, Peabo Bryson, Jennifer Holliday, LeaSalonga, and Ben Vereen. Dec 31: Damon Williams’ New Year EveComedy Bash.
DEC 27-31 Mark Twain and the Laughing River,various times, Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Rd, Munster.219.836.3255. theatreatthecenter.com. This milestone production isa journey of the American author and humorist’s life using Twainianwit and wisdom paired with the triumphant music that ischaracteristic of Jim Post’s productions. The show reveals that theMississippi River was the young writer’s inspiration for hisdevilish temperament. Finally, audiences discover how Hannibal,with its buckskin spirit of adventure, was a boy’s paradise.
THROUGH DEC 27 The Joffrey Ballet presents TheNutcracker, Auditorium Theatre ofRoosevelt University, 50 E Parkway, Chicago. 312.902.1500.auditoriumtheatre.org. This ensemble creates America’s #1performance of this ballet. Dec 30-31: The Disco Biscuits; Jan14-15: Too Hot to Handel—The Jazz-Gospel Messiah; Jan28-29: The State Ballet Theatre of Russia—Romeo andJuliet.
THROUGH DEC 31 A Christmas Carol, The GoodmanTheatre, 170 N Dearborn St, Chicago. 312.443.3800.goodmantheatre.org.Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol hasdelighted Chicago audiences since the very first production overthirty years ago when the Chicago Tribune raved: “magic took overthe show.” Charles Dickens’ classic story, the exceptional actorsand the miraculous stagecraft have made A Christmas Carol a belovedChicago tradition. every year, audiences look forward to the “BahHumbugs,” the arrival of the ghosts, the music and dancing andScrooge’s joyful discovery of life and love.
THROUGH JAN 7 Holiday Thorne Rooms, The ArtInstitute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan Avenue, Chicago. 312.629.6635.artic.edu/aic. The tiny but joy-filled rooms are back, trimmed inhistoric holiday finery. This year, the New Orleans and New Mexicorooms join the festive tradition, and the never-before-seenAmericana Room from Marshall Field V’s private collection will alsobe displayed. Through Jan 15: Ana Mendieta; Bertrand Goldberg:Architecture of Invention; Inside Marina City: A Project by IkerGil and Andreas E.G. Larsson; Through Jan 22: Jürgen Mayer H.:Wirrwarr; Through Jan 15: Timothy H. O’Sullivan: The King SurveyPhotographs; Through Jan 22: The three Graces.
THROUGH JAN 8 Chocolate: Around the World, Getthe complete story behind this tasty treat craved by most. TheField Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. 312.922.9410.fieldmuseum.org. Discover the unique cacao tree whose seeds startedit all, unearth the origins of chocolate consumption, and discoverhow chocolate was transformed from a bitter drink of kings into thechocolate loved today. from seed to sweet, unwrap the story ofchocolate. Also, through Jan 1: Ground zero 360°; Through Jan 16:Whales: Giants of the Deep.
THROUGH JAN 24 Scott Reeder, Museum ofContemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago. 312.280.2660.mcachicago.org. Scott Reeder’s first solo museum exhibitionincludes new figurative paintings in his signature idiosyncraticstyle-for instance, anthropomorphic foods, fruits, and plantssmoking cigarettes or enacting the myths of Sisyphus and Narcissus,and, most recently, abstract paintings made with cooked and rawspaghetti. Also, through Jan 15: Iain Baxter and Works 1958-2011;Ron Terada: being there; Through Feb 16: Dieter Roth; Through Apr29: David Hartt; Through Dec 31: Andrew Bird and Ian Schneller’sSonic Arboretum.
Jan 15-16 The Journey, The Dream, 3pm Sun,Wentz Concert Hall, North Central College, 171 E Chicago Ave,Naperville; 7:30pm Mon, Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center, 220 SMichigan Ave, Chicago. Mei-Ann Chen, Music Director of the ChicagoSinfonietta, continues Founder Paul Freeman’s cherished annualtradition of paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in theSinfonietta’s third subscription concert of the season, TheJourney, The Dream. The Sinfonietta will be joined by the powerfulvoices of the Apostolic Church of God Sanctuary Choir for aselection of gospel music and spirituals.