There’s just something about the holiday season that makes us want to don our best dress (preferably velvet) and pop up that pinky at a sophisticated tea. But even if you’re more Dallas than Downton Abbey, these four teas are sure to have you asking for a refill of that Earl Grey–and having a blast.
Where: Chicago Children’s Theatre: The Station, 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago
When: Dec. 2-17
If Peter Rabbit is your ideal hero in juvenile literature, then The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party should be right up your Anglophile alley. Kids 2-6 can enjoy an interactive puppet show with some of their favorite Potter characters (we’re talking Peter Rabbit, Mr. Jeremy Fisher and Simpkin the Cat), as well as an elegant tea party, photos with the cast, and the chance to create their own charming puppets and put on a show.
Where: The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle.
Cost: $30, $22 members
When: Dec. 9, 10-11:30 a.m. or 12:30-2 p.m.
It doesn’t get much sweeter than this! The Gingerbread Tea Party reveals the nature behind our traditions, with a lesson about which parts of trees and plants make the best teas. But it’s not just school masquerading as a party: You can make your own tea bags, decorate a sure-to-be-epic gingerbread cookie, and indulge in all the sweet treats, tea sandwiches and kid-friendly caffeine you can handle.
Where: Art Institute of Chicago, 159 E. Monroe, Chicago.
Cost: $50, $20 kids; $75 VIP, $45 VIP kids.
When: Dec. 10; 10:45 a.m., noon, or 1:30 p.m
Little artists will slurp up (or daintily sip) this sophisticated event, where they can explore a world-class art museum and dust up on their tea party comportment. The Art Institute’s Holiday Treasure Hunt and Tea Party–in its 36th year!–gives kids a range of fun activities to try as they visit five stops in the museum. Then enjoy a post-hunt tea party with refreshments and live entertainment. Not really into tea? Upgrade to the VIP level for a hot chocolate bar.
Where: Northeastern Illinois University, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago.
Cost: $85, $50 kids under 12
When: Dec. 3, 3:15-4:45 p.m.
Now this tea party is on point! At Tea with Clara, your little twinkle toes can have some sugar plum sweets with the cast of The Nutcracker before (or after) sitting back and watching the magically danced performance of the holiday tradition. The production includes highlights from the Ruth Page Civic Ballet’s original staging back in 1965–and is sure to stick with you for years and years to come. Call (312) 337-6543 to make reservations.