Visit this spirited lion on Christmas Eve.
  • Dan Perry
  • Visit this festive lion on Christmas Eve.

Over the next two days, a glance out your window or one lonely ride on the el may make it seem like the entire city has shut down to celebrate the mythical duo of baby Jesus and Saint Nick. Well, it’s just not true. Whether you’re trying to avoid Christmas cheer, need somewhere to drag your family, or simply want to have a meal, there are plenty of ways to avoid cabin fever during the midweek holiday break.


Dine out

Open Table has a list of more than 180 places that will be open on Christmas Eve. Here are ten Reader-recommended spots:

Cafe des Architectes
Chicago Q
Joe Fish
Marion Street Cheese Market
Mercat a la Planxa
Osteria Langhe
Paramount Room
RPM Steak
Stella Barra Pizzeria

Get cultured

Most of the city’s major museums remain open today. Here are five things we think you should check out:

“Vodou: Sacred Powers of Haiti” at the Field Museum
“David Bowie Is” in its final days at the Museum of Contemporary Art
• The Art Institute of Chicago’s “The Comic Art and Architecture of Chris Ware”
• “Treasure of the Walt Disney Archives” at the Museum of Science and Industry
• The Shedd Aquarium’s sea otter pup, Luna

See a show

The show must go on, as they say, and these are three Reader-recommended holiday performances playing today:

• Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol
• Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker
• Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s A Q Brother’s Christmas Carol

Go to the movies

There are some special screenings today including:

Jingle Bell Rocks! at the Vic
It’s a Wonderful Life at the Logan
• The final double-feature of the Music Box’s Christmas Show


Go to the movies

Be sure to get our critics’ takes on which of these holiday releases is worth seeing:

• Tim Burton’s Big Eyes
• The star-studded musical Into the Woods
• Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken

Ignore Christmas

If you’re in the mood for a completely non-Christmasy December 25, you’re in luck. We have some non-yuletide suggestions:

• The Sean Altman-hosted variety show Jewmongous
• A Stanley Kubrick double-feature—Eyes Wide Shut and The Shining—at the Music Box
• Our list of recommended Chinese restaurants


Ice Skate

The rinks don’t adhere to holiday hours. Strap on your skates and take a spin whenever you like at these spots:

• Maggie Daley Ice Skating Ribbon
• McCormick Tribune Ice Rink