Holiday happenings

n ‘The Nutcracker’

Dec. 17-19

Reber Center Auditorium

Lyons Township High School

100 S. Brainard Ave., La Grange

West Suburban Ballet Conservatory offers its inaugural performance of this holiday classic. Times: 7 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $30.

n Holidays in Hinsdale

Dec. 18

Burlington Park

30 E. Chicago Ave.

Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through the downtown, make festive gingerbread cookies and visit Santa during this special holiday event sponsored by the village. Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

n ‘The Nutcracker’

Dec. 18-19

McAninch Arts Center

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn

(630) 942-4000

Salt Creek Ballet offers its production of this holiday classic, accompanied by the New Philharmonic under the baton of maestro Kirk Muspratt. Photo opportunities will be available with Santa one hour before each matinée. Times: 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 18, 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 19. Tickets: $46, $36 for youth, $46 to stream on demand.

n Supper with St. Nick

Dec. 18 & 22-23

Morton Arboretum

4100 Route 53, Lisle

(630) 725-2066

Enjoy a decadent buffet dinner in the Thornhill Education Center and then head on over to the Founder’s Room for a special visit with Santa in front of the fireplace. After dinner, enjoy Illumination: Tree Lights, included in the ticket price. Time: 5 to 7:30 p.m. Cost: $95, $80 for young adults ages 13-20, $65 for children 3-12, free for children under 3. RR, MD

n Holiday Magic

Through Dec. 31

Brookfield Zoo

3400 31st St.

(630) 688-8400

Visitors will enjoy more than 1 million twinkling LED lights, a 600-foot-long tunnel featuring lights synchronized to music, a 41-foot tree and more at the zoo’s 40th annual Holiday Magic. Several animal areas will be open, including dolphin presentations at 4 and 6 p.m. Admission and parking tickets must be purchased in advance at Times: 3 to 9 p.m. Admission: $24.95 for adults, $17.95 for ages 3-11, $19.95 for seniors 65 and older plus $15 parking. RR, MD

n New Year’s Eve Concert

Dec. 31

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn

(630) 942-4000

Ring in the New Year with New Philharmonic, which welcomes back baritone Ted Allen Pickel. Maestro Kirk Muspratt conducts waltzes, polkas, arias, light classical and pops. Times: 1:30, 5 & 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $67, $65 for seniors, $77 for gold circle table seating (including glass of bubbly and party favors), $67 to stream on demand. RR

n Skating in the Park and NYE Fireworks

Dec. 31

Parkway Bank Park

5501 Park Place, Rosemont

Celebrate New Year’s Eve skating under the stars with a special fireworks display at midnight. Time: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Admission: Free, skate rental is $8.

n Bubble Bash

Dec. 31

DuPage Children’s Museum

301 N. Washington St., Naperville

(630) 637-8000

Families can spend time together taking part in special activities, grooving to good music, exploring the museum’s hands-on exhibits and counting down at 11 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. with confetti, bubbles and more. Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets: $30. RR, MD

n New Year’s Eve family


Dec. 31

Il Poggiolo

8 E. First St., Hinsdale

(630) 734-9400

Families with kids are invited to ring in the New Year, with a celebration featuring party favors and an early countdown. Time: 5 p.m. party begins, 7 p.m. countdown. Special menu: $50 adults, $25 children.

n Renew, Rejuvenate, Restore

Jan. 2

Little Red Schoolhouse

9800 Willow Springs Road, Willow Springs

(708) 839-6897

Begin the New Year by renewing, rejuvenating and restoring habitats as well as your mind, body and spirit. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and warm up by the fire afterward. Time: 10 a.m. to noon. RR

n Illumination

Through Jan. 2

Morton Arboretum

4100 Route 53, Lisle

(630) 968-0074

Illumination: Tree Lights returns to the arboretum as a walking trail, with five new features this year, including Human+Nature sculpture Hallow lit at night. Along the route, warm up by a crackling fire and roast marshmallows for s’mores or stop in one of the concession tents for a snack and beverage. Advance ticket purchases are encouraged. Hours: 4:30 to 8 p.m. slots. Tickets: $13-$24. RR, MD

n Skating in the Park

Through Jan. 4

Parkway Bank Park

5501 Park Place, Rosemont

Visitors can skate on the Chicago Wolves Ice Rink under breathtaking lights for a magical experience. The rink is open daily through Jan. 4, then on select Sundays through February. See the website for hours and details. Admission: Free, $8 skate rental.

n Irving Berlin’s ‘Holiday Inn’

Through Jan. 9

Drury Lane Theatre

100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace

(630) 530-0111

Based on the classic film, Irving Berlin’s musical follows retired song-and-dance man Jim’s efforts to bring entertainment to his small Connecticut town. With the help of talented schoolteacher Linda, he turns his farmhouse into an inn and puts on spectacular shows celebrating all holidays. This joyous, family-friendly musical features a parade of Irving Berlin’s hit songs, including the Academy Award-winning “White Christmas.” Tickets: $57-$72 for the show, additional cost for dining packages.


RR - registration required

MD - member discount