Spend this Christmas with the Joffrey Ballet. Credit: cheryl mann

The city doesn’t shut down just because it’s Christmas; this year there won’t even be the threat of a blizzard! 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 holiday break.


Dine out

Open Table has a list of more than 170 places that will be open on Christmas Eve. Here are 12 Reader-recommended spots:

Cafe des Architectes
Due Lire
Farmhouse Tavern
Joe Fish
Maya del Sol
Mercat a la Planxa
Nico Osteria
Osteria Langhe
Paramount Room

Get cultured

Most of the city’s major museums (including the Adler Planetarium, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Shedd Aquarium) remain open today. Here are four things we think you should check out:

“Pop Art Design” just kicked off at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
• The Art Institute of Chicago’s “Degas: At the Track, On the Stage”
• The Field Museum’s Cyrus Tang Hall of China
“Skimption” at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art

See a show

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

• Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol
• Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker
• Stand-up showcase Jew Gotta Be Kidding Me at Underground Wonder Bar
• Mercury Theater’s The Christmas Schooner                 


There are festive screenings, parties, and even more to get you out of the house today:

Elf plays at the Logan Theatre.
• Carol-oke at Bub City
• A dance party at the Promontory with music from Alan King, Terry Hunter, and Torin Edmond
• The final double feature of the Music Box’s Christmas Show


Dine out

Open Table has a list of more than 90 places that will be open on Christmas Day. Here are seven Reader-recommended spots:

Cafe des Architectes
Due Lire
Joe Fish
Mercat a la Planxa
Nico Osteria
Smith & Wollensky


• Our list of recommended Chinese restaurants

Go to the movies

Be sure to get our critics’ takes on which of these holiday releases is worth seeing (spoiler alert: it doesn’t look promising):

• Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight
• The Jennifer Lawrence vehicle Joy
• Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell’s buddy comedy Daddy’s Home


If you’re in the mood for some alternative yuletide celebrations, we’ve got you covered:

• Bump and Grindcore’s Ludacrismas at Beauty Bar
• North Bar’s dance party The North Pole Soul Brothaz Christmas Bash
• A tapping of Three Floyds Alpha Klaus at Division Ale House 


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