Don’t Hide Inside Your Chicago Real Estate!

December 15, 2011

It’s almost winter in Chicago, how about going on a garden walk?

The Lurie Garden in Millennium Park is hosting a free Holiday Luminary Walk on Friday, December 16 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Garden staff will be on hand to offer free tours of plants that add winter interest to your garden.

The walk begins at the south end of the Lurie Garden on the boardwalk. No registration is necessary.

For more information, visit

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This Friday also marks the last day for Caroling at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park.

carolers at the beanGet in the holiday spirit at 6 p.m. at Chase Promenade Central in Millennium Park, at N. Michigan Ave. and E. Randolph St. in the heart of downtown Chicago, where hundreds of singers will gather for a 50-minute caroling session, featuring the Wicker Park Choral Singers.

Free warm beverages will be provided by Caribou Coffee.

“This cherished tradition is a perfect start to the weekend before heading off to the neighborhoods with family and friends,” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

For more information, visit

Here are some other ideas for the weekend, inside and out and all around Chicagoland:

*Holiday Open House at Cuneo: This event is set for Friday, December 16 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the historic Cuneo Mansion & Gardens, 1350 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills, where you can see a holiday light show on the mansion’s 97 acres, tour the magnificent home, do crafts with the kids, visit with Santa and more. Cost is $5 per person, in addition to the weekend light show entrance fee of $10 per car. Please bring a canned good for the Vernon Hills/Libertyville Township and/or an unwrapped gift for Toys For Tots.

*Ms. Mint’s Holiday Bazaar: This grassroots gift show will bring together regional food artisans, fair trade businesses, designers, authors, community organizations and more on Friday, December 16 from 3 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, December 17 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Grossinger City Autoplex, 1530 N. Dayton St., at North and Clybourn in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Admission is $5 per person; kids are free.

*Holiday Art Spree: This Illinois Artisans Program finishes off on Friday, December 16 in the middle of the Atrium of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph Rd., Chicago, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free to this juried art display, where you can find gifts for everyone on your list.

*Chocolate House Workshop: Want to build a Christmas cottage out of chocolate? The Chicago Park District is hosting this workshop at the Eugene Field Park, 5100 N. Ridgeway Ave., Chicago. There are two sessions on Saturday, December 17: 10 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 2 p.m. The cost is $28 per house. Call to register at (773) 478-9744.

*Breakfast with Santa: Join Santa on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Observatory, 875 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, for pictures and a festive breakfast buffet on Saturday and Sunday, December 17-18 at 8:30 or 10:30 a.m. Admission is $39 per adult; $29 per youth and $19 per infant. Register at (312) 654-5019.

*Winter Farmers’ Market: So you can’t plant fresh veggies right now in Chicago, but you can attend this indoor Winter Farmers’ Market and pick up some seasonal produce on Sunday, December 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Garden View Room of the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe. Admission is free into the Garden, but there is a charge to park. There are also lots of holiday events going on at the garden all month long. Check out the site’s events page.

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