Surviving the Holiday Season, Gold Coast Style
The holidays are quickly approaching and there are plenty of ways to spread joy and cheer to your family and friends before, during, and after the season has passed. Many wonderful events this wintry, holiday season would make for great gifts, or even just a way to spend some quality time with your family.
Here are some events that I will be trying to catch with my family and friends (and maybe even using as Christmas presents).
- The Chicago Bulls are at home the first week of November when they host the New York Knicks (Nov 4th). They visit Boston over the weekend, then are back for a three game home stand against the Denver Nuggets (Nov 8th), Golden State Warriors (Nov 11th) , and Washington Wizards (Nov 13th). After that you won’t catch the Bulls back in town until December 1st because…
- Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey’s Circus brings “The Greatest Show on Earth” to the Allstate Arena and United Center for the month of November! It is a must see for the youngsters. I remember going to the circus as a child and it was definitely an unforgettable event, especially after growing up on a steady diet of Disney movies (Dumbo anyone?). The circus is a magical experience that brings out the child in everyone, old and young, it shouldn’t be missed!
- The Chicago Blackhawks are in the same boat as the Bulls, they will be hosting the New Jersey Devils (Nov 3rd), Edmonton Oilers (Nov 7th), Phoenix Coyotes (Nov 10th), and Anaheim Ducks (Nov 14th) before packing their bags and leaving town for the last half of the month (the circus). Catch them while they’re still in town! Don’t worry if you miss them – they’ll be back in early December.
- Billy Elliot and The Lion King will be running through November, these highly acclaimed shows are a great way to spend a weekend with the family and get a little Christmas shopping done on State Street or Michigan Avenue afterward. If you’ve been planning to see either of these shows, make sure to catch them now because both shows will be ending their runs shortly after Thanksgiving.
- If music is more your thing there are some great concerts making their way to Chicago this month. The super group jam band Furthur will be at the UIC Pavilion on November 12th and 13th. This band features The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh and Bob Wier along with a number of other talented musician’s including John Kadlecik of Dark Star Orchestra and Jeff Chimenti of RatDog.
- John Mellencamp will be playing two shows at the Chicago Theatre on Thanksgiving weekend. This singer-songwriter has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. He has a Grammy Award while also being nominated 13 times. Mellencamp will be hitting the stage on November 26th and 27th.
- The Chicago Bears will be back home for two games in November. They will be hosting the Minnesota Vikings on the 14th and the Philadelphia Eagles on the 28th in two games that will be pivotal for all the teams involved. The Eagles and Vikings are trying to hold their heads above water in the playoff picture and the Bears have much to prove after losing two games going into the bye week.
December is a very busy month in Chicago in terms of sports, theater, and concerts. There are some huge names coming through town as well as many sports games and new theater performances. Here are just a few of the events that are taking place in our city.
- The Allstate Arena will be hosting two superstars to kick off December. Usher will be performing on Dec 3rd, the “King of R&B” has produced hit after hit in his career and has more awards to his name that he knows what to do with, including 5 Grammy’s and 19 Billboard Awards. Michael Buble will be performing December 4th, he has 2 Grammy’s of his own and has sold over 25 million album’s worldwide. This singer-songwriter often draws comparisons to the legendary Frank Sinatra and is known to frequently walk through the crowd during his performances, so ladies make sure you get a seat up close!
- The Chicago Bulls return to the United Center after their annual circus trip on December 1st to host a big game against a strong Orlando Magic team. They will also be hosting the much feared Los Angeles Lakers on December 10th, these games should prove to be very entertaining.
- The Chicago Blackhawks will also be making their return home to begin the heart of the Hockey season. Be sure to catch them face off against Vancouver (Dec 3rd) and Detroit (Dec 17). By the end of this month we will surely know if our team stands among the elites of the NHL.
- Wicked and A Christmas Carol will be holding performances throughout the month of December. Wicked makes its return by popular demand and will be running through December and until the end of January. It became Chicago’s longest running Broadway musical after a 3 1/2 year run and was named the “defining musical of the decade” by the New York Times. This is surely one you don’t want to miss. Charles Dickens’ classic tale A Christmas Carol makes its return to the Goodman Theater stage. Every year audiences look forward to Ebenezer Scrooge and his struggle to accept the spirit of the holidays. The music and dancing will be sure to put some magic into your holiday season.
- The Chicago Bears host their last two home games of the season in December against two AFC east juggernauts. Assuming the Bears are still in the playoff hunt, one of these match ups could be a potential Super Bowl preview. The New England Patriots come to Soldier Field on December 12th followed by the New York Jets on the day after Christmas (Dec 26th). No better way to earn your die-hard fan title than cheering on your Bears at Soldier Field in freezing temperatures.
So as I sit here and ponder when exactly the unbearable winter wind and snow will descend upon us, I rest assured that there is plenty to do this upcoming season. Hopefully the Bears can go on a roll this month and reignite the fire in our fans. Otherwise this could turn out to be a long, dark, depressing winter for a lot of people in Chicago.