Winter Sky Live
The Season of Wonder is under way at the Adler Planetarium. The museum celebrates winter with a special sky show that explores the spectacular sights of the winter night sky, along with special winter programming and holiday events, like The World's Largest Snow Globe. The new sky show, Winter Sky Live, allows you to discover seasonal constellations, visible solar system objects, and nature's most impressive light show, the Aurora Borealis. The planetarium's Grainger Sky Theater transforms into The World's Largest Snow Globe featuring iconic Chicago scenes from Millennium Park to Michigan Avenue. Black Friday deals are available.
9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 15 through Jan. 5 at Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive. From 8 to 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 29, the Planetarium offers special half-price premium passes, which normally cost $28 for adults and $22 for children. (312) 922-7827 or adlerplanetarium.org.
Chillin' at ChillFest
The sister neighborhoods of Wicker Park and Bucktown will welcome more than 100 local musicians to play live acoustic sets in the intimacy of local stores as part of ChillFest. The free music event takes place at shops, restaurants and other venues, with a dedicated portion of the business going to each artist or band playing one 45-minute acoustic set. Venues include Alliance Bakery, Antique Taco, Circle Salon, Feast Restaurant, Pinch Spice Market, Spex and many more.
Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at various venues around Wicker Park and Bucktown. Free. For details and a schedule, see chillfestchicago.com.
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Monsters of mariachi
There's no mistaking what the second annual Mariachi & Tequila Festival is about: sampling tequila from various purveyors and enjoying brassy mariachi performances from the Academy of Mexican Dance and Music, Mariachi Perla de Mexico, Mariachi Real Guadalajara and Mariachi Oro y Plata. While sipping the spirits, watch folkloric dancing, rodeo-style rope tricks and order some tasty Mexican food.
6 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Pkwy., Chicago. Tickets range from $30-$120, depending upon seating. Purchase tickets at (800) 982-2787 or ticketmaster.com/mariachitequila.
Sample food that you can serve at parties or give as gifts during the holiday season at Kenosha's largest gourmet food and wine tasting event, Natalie Troha's Pride of Kenosha. The event showcases locally owned restaurants and offers a barrel full of wine-tasting opportunities, as well as samples of beer and nonalcoholic beverages. Kenosha restaurants will provide tastings of signature dishes or new menu items, while live music, a silent auction and a raffle will round out the night.
6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at Madrigrano Marina Shores, 302 58th St., Kenosha, Wis. Tickets cost $50 in advance or $55 at the door. Check bgckenosha.org/events/pride-kenosha for hotel packages.
Art in the heart of winter
The art fair is not just a summer event, as artists don their fingerless gloves and continue to create in cold climes. Madison's Winter Art Fair Off the Square kicked off 24 years ago as a companion show to the summer fair. The show is held in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Monona Terrace Convention and Community Center, three blocks from Madison's Capitol Square. More than 140 exhibitors will display pottery, watercolors, fiber, wood, glass, photography, jewelry, graphics, sculpture and more while musical entertainment ranges from Celtic to New Orleans blues and classical. There is a Young Collector's Corner where kids younger than 12 can purchase artwork for $5, $7 and $9. It's an easy day trip from Chicago or a weekend getaway with all that the state capital offers.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at Monona Terrace Convention Center, 1 John Nolen Drive, Madison, Wis. Admission is $3; kids 12 and younger admitted free. Go to artcraftwis.org/WinterAF.html for a discount admission coupon and details.
Holiday Open House in Lake Geneva
Get a jump on holiday shopping in Lake Geneva, Wis., when the tourist town offers visitors a leisurely shopping and relaxation weekend getaway during its annual Holiday Open House. You can shop a variety of exclusive merchandise and enjoy extended shopping hours, music, authors and artists throughout Lake Geneva's historic downtown district.
Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 16-17, in downtown Lake Geneva, Wis. For ideas on where to stay, shop and dine, visit lakegenevawi.com or call (800) 345-1020.