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Celebrate the season

Celebrate the season

Start the Christmas season at Loyola in style—and with a visit from Santa Claus—at the annual tree lighting celebration in the Damen Student Center. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

Another Christmas season has arrived. From alumni holiday gatherings to caroling downtown, there are endless ways to celebrate on campus and around Chicago. So grab your coats and scarves and enjoy!

Damen Student Center tree lighting
Dec. 1, 5 p.m.
Start the Christmas season at Loyola with the annual tree lighting celebration in the Damen Student Center. Details.

Caroling at Cloud Gate
Fridays through Dec. 16
Bundle up and get ready to belt out some holiday classics during Caroling at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. This festive series is part concert, part sing-along at the world-famous Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as “The Bean.” 201 E. Randolph St. Details.

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights
Dec. 2-4, 9-23, 26-31; Jan. 1
Head to the Lincoln Park Zoo for a fun, free, family-oriented holiday celebration, featuring luminous displays and holiday activities throughout the grounds. 2200 N. Stockton Drive. Details.

Black Alumni holiday Jingle Mingle
Dec. 3, 7 – 10 p.m.
It’s time once again to gather as a community and celebrate the holiday season. The Black Alumni Board invites you to join fellow Rambler graduates for the fifth annual holiday Jingle Mingle, an evening of food, drinks, friendship, and fun. Lewis Towers, 16th Floor. Details.

Polar Palooza
Dec. 3, 12 – 8 p.m.
Dec. 4, 12 – 6 p.m.

Polar Palooza, the annual two-day outdoor winter festival for Chicago’s North Side neighborhoods, is back and co-hosted by Loyola University Chicago, the Rogers Park Business Alliance, the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce, and Alderman Joe Moore of the 49th Ward. Enjoy food from local restaurants, live music, synthetic skating, a meet-and-greet with Santa, and—on Sunday—a visit from a live reindeer. New attractions this year include a beer garden, holiday movies at The New 400 Movie Theater, and a merry-go-round. 6601 N. Sheridan Road. Details.

Art and Faith of the Crèche: The Collection of James and Emilia Govan
Dec. 6 – Jan. 8
The story of Mary, Joseph, and the Christ Child has had great appeal throughout the world as a story of a family facing both hardship and hope. See how artists across the globe have depicted the Nativity at this annual Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) exhibition. 820 N. Michigan Avenue. Details.

Loyola Gives
Operated in conjunction with the Catholic Charities: Sponsor-A-Family program, Loyola Gives sponsors families by raising funds and purchasing needed items and gifts for the holidays. Details.
• Gift drop-off
Water Tower Campus: Dec. 6., Baumhart Hall, Terry Student Center Lobby
Health Sciences Campus: Dec. 7., Cuneo Center, Room 270
Lake Shore Campus: Dec. 8., Damen Student Center, Atrium

An Advent Spirit of Hospitality
Dec. 7, 6:30 – 9 p.m.
After a brief biblical grounding, the group will explore art, music, and prayers in preparation for the feast of Christmas. Special attention will also be given to the popular religious practice of las posadas, which brings to life the experience of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter and a place for Jesus’s birth. Cuneo Mansion and Gardens. 1350 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills. Details.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec. 8, 5:15 – 6 p.m.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a holy day for those who follow the Catholic tradition. Come celebrate Mass at Madonna della Strada Chapel. Details.

Joyola!
Dec. 8, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Joyola! returns this season for a grandiose evening of holiday celebration showcasing a mix of sacred and secular works. The night will feature performances by the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Women’s Chorus, University Chorale, Chamber Choir, and Jazz Ensemble. Mundelein Center. 1020 W. Sheridan Road. Details.

Desserts in December
Dec. 9, 5 – 7 p.m.
Need a break from studying or just a few sweets in your life? Students, faculty, and staff are invited to Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs’ annual event for holiday treats. Damen Student Center, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM, Multipurpose Room. Details.

Advent Vespers
Dec. 10, 5 p.m.
Join Mundelein alumnae and friends to celebrate this Advent-Christmas season. We will begin the evening with our tradition of Advent Vespers followed by a reception, and then we will enjoy Lessons and Carols, the Christmas mystery presented in song and scripture. Piper Hall. Details.

Lessons and Carrols
Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 11, 3 p.m.
Loyola’s most popular holiday event returns. In the tradition of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, the world-renowned Christmas Eve worship service at King’s College Chapel, this service features a series of lessons juxtaposed with liturgical music performed by the University’s choral ensembles. Madonna della Strada Chapel. Details.

Alumni Christmas lunch
Dec. 13, 11:30 a.m.
Join President Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, this Christmas season for the annual alumni Christmas luncheon. Lewis Towers, 16th Floor. Details.

Finals Breakfast
Dec. 13, 9 p.m.
This free late-night breakfast for students is a Finals Week tradition at Loyola. Finals Breakfast provides students a chance to take a study break, refuel, and catch up with friends before the last stretch of exams. Faculty and staff serve students meals to provide support and boost morale during this stressful time of the semester. Gentile Arena. Details.

Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Dec. 14, noon – 1 p.m.
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a holy day for those who follow the Catholic tradition. Come celebrate Mass at Madonna della Strada Chapel. Details.

Advent weekly Mass
Dec. 14, noon
Enter into the Advent season of preparation and prayer. Those interested may request to pray through Advent with the accompaniment of a spiritual director. Health Sciences Campus, Cuneo Center, Room 250. Details.

Breakfast with Santa
Dec. 17, 9 a.m.
Hosted by GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade), this event features a morning of crafts and activities to celebrate the holidays. A continental breakfast will be provided and Santa will be ready for pictures. Please bring an unwrapped toy to donate to Family Matters of Rogers Park. Damen Student Center, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM, Multipurpose Room. Details.

Christmas at Christine’s’
Through Dec. 23
This new holiday musical puts a spin on the Christmas season. Journey across the world, as Christine Bunuan sings her way through the holiday songbook and a lifetime of yuletide. Silk Road Rising theater. 77 W. Washington St. Details.

Christkindlmarket Chicago
Through Dec. 24
Each year, people from all over the world visit the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago. The unique shopping experience—paired with traditional German food, drinks, and entertainment—makes the market a must-see for the holidays. 50 W. Washington St. Details.

Winter WonderFest
Through Jan. 8
For the 16th year in a row, families from near and far will flock to Navy Pier and bask in seasonal bliss without bundling up. The PNC Bank Winter WonderFest returns with more than 24 rides and attractions and 170,000 square feet of indoor entertainment for all ages. 600 E. Grand Ave. Details.

Christmas Around the World & Holidays of Light
Through Jan. 8
This holiday staple at the Museum of Science and Industry features international Christmas decorations—and even indoor “snow.” Guests can celebrate festive traditions from around the globe with a forest of beautifully adorned trees, each one decorated by local volunteers from Chicago’s diverse communities. 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive. Details.

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’
Through Jan. 8
Tis the season to celebrate everyone’s favorite “Peanuts” pals as they dig past the commercialized gimmicks of presents and decorations to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. Through a pageant and a spindly tree, Charlie Brown and friends bring the holiday spirit back to life for families once again. Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St. Details.

Ice skating at Millennium Park
Through March 5
The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park kicks off the winter season with skating and special programming. Admission is free and open to the public, with skate rentals available for $12. Michigan Avenue between Washington Street and Madison Street. Details.