6 seasonal shows with swag

‘Tis the season … for awesome shows your offspring will love. But if you’re not quite sure how to choose from the cornucopia of holiday offerings in Chicagoland, check out these shows that sweeten the pot with a few extras.

Party with Charlie

A Charlie Brown Christmas is all about the true meaning of the holiday, so in that spirit, check out this benefit performance of Emerald City Theatre’s smash hit show. Charlie’s Opening Party, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Nov. 20, includes a performance of the play, not to mention pastries and a hot chocolate bar, holiday caroling and crafting, and a chance to get up close and personal with Charlie, Linus, Lucy and the rest. All proceeds benefit One Fund, Emerald City’s outreach program for low-income CPS students.

A Dickens of a dinner

“Please, sir, I want some more,” might be from another Dickens’ story, but we’re pretty sure that’s what you’ll be saying at Lawry’s The Prime Rib’s Dickens Dinner. The four-course feast, at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 20, is inspired by Charles Dickens’ holiday masterpiece, the beloved A Christmas Carol, with pumpkin soup, Yorkshire pudding and a traditional rum cake. Afterward, you’ll head to Goodman Theatre for their lauded take on Mr. Scrooge and Tiny Tim. “God bless us, every one,” indeed.

Have a holly, jolly breakfast

Schedules at this time of year are a bit, shall we say, complicated. So why not pull a twofer thanks to Drury Lane Theatre’s brilliant combination of its lavish production of A Christmas Carol and the traditional meet-and-greet with Santa Claus. At 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 19 and 26 and Dec. 3, 10, 17 and 23, you can enjoy A Christmas Carol Breakfast, complete with a yogurt bar, hot chocolate station and make-your-own-donuts. It sounds straight out of the Ghost of Christmas Present’s wildest bacchanalian dreams.

Tea for twinkle toes

Is there any holiday character more alluring than the Sugar Plum Fairy, who tiptoes in on frosted feet and proceeds to dazzle us with her perfectly sweet pirouettes? Claras-in-training will flip for the chance to meet the queen in person at DanceWest Ballet’s Sugar Plum Fairy Tea at 11 a.m. Dec. 4. The sweet outing includes magical treats, special Nutcracker-themed activities, and a meet-and-greet with the ballet’s cast (photos are welcome). And yes, you’ll finish your last sip in time for the curtain to rise on the 1 p.m. show.

Shop til you [gum]drop

You’ll be leaping with joy once you finish off that shopping list. Hyde Park School of Dance lets you break two nuts with one nutcracker (that’s how the expression goes, right?) thanks to their Holiday Bazaar. On Dec. 10-11, enjoy their annual production of The Nutcracker, in addition to local vendors and artisans displaying their one-of-a-kind wares. Plus, kids can meet characters from the ballet and whip up their own cocoa creation at the hot chocolate bar. Take that, sugar plums!

Warm and fuzzies

The feeling you get when George Bailey says “Attaboy, Clarence,” is pretty much the same one you get when you eat some chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven. So it only makes sense that all of American Blues Theater’s performances of It’s a Wonderful Life (Nov. 18-Dec. 31) are followed up by milk and cookies (served by the cast!). Plus, on Dec. 17, Santa Claus is scheduled to stop by, and Dec. 26 includes a Hanukkah celebration. See what I mean about that wonderful feeling?

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