Things to do Chicago in December

December 3, 2011 8:42:53 AM PST
December in Chicago might be cold, but that is no reason to stay at home! There is so much going on in town this month, and a lot of it is free! Karen Vaughan, Director of Public Affairs with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (link:, came to our ABC7 studio to tell us about a few things you can do.

1. Magnificent Mile InstaGreeter
- Through December 31, Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Water Works Visitor Information Center, 163 E. Pearson St.
- Free
- Hour-long walks of festive North Michigan Avenue and surrounding areas led by knowledgeable locals
- Insider's look at the hip, historic Streeterville and Gold Coast neighborhoods, landmarks such as the John Hancock Center and the former Playboy Mansion, historic hotels and cathedrals, and best bets for holiday shopping

2. Art Institute of Chicago: Holiday Thorne Rooms
- Through January 7
- Tiny but joy-filled rooms, trimmed in historic holiday finery
- This year: New Orleans and New Mexico rooms, never-before-seen Americana Room from Marshall Field V's private collection

3. Chicago Cultural Center: Dance Along Nutcracker
- December 4, 12 & 3 p.m.
- Interactive holiday event
- Audience members are encouraged to dress in their finest tutus and hit the dance floor alongside professional dancers
- One hour before each "Dance Along Nutcracker": younger participants can join free ballet workshops in the Chicago Cultural Center

4. City Hall Concerts
- Weekdays, Through December 21, 12 - 1 p.m.
- West end of the City Hall lobby (121 N. LaSalle) near the LaSalle Street entrance
- Classics sung by children's choirs from throughout the city

5. Millennium Park: Caroling at Cloud Gate
- Fridays through December 16, 6 p.m.
- Professional choirs

6. Lincoln Park Zoo: ZooLights
- Through January 1, 2012
- Get your picture taken with Santa through December 23, prepare holiday crafts, and watch ice carving
- Animal exhibits stay open late.

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