Millennium Park at Home: Chicago Holidays

Virtual Holiday Program Premiering on November 19 at 6:30pm through January 7

YouTube.com/ChicagoDCASE

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Due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns, DCASE will not present an in-person Tree lighting ceremony for the public, but Chicagoans and visitors are invited to attend a new virtual holiday program premiering on November 19 at 6:30pm at YouTube.com/ChicagoDCASE – and visit Millennium Park to see the City of Chicago Christmas Tree shining brightly near the intersection of Michigan Ave. and Washington St. from November 20 through January 7. The Park is open daily, 8am to 9pm, for groups of 10 persons or fewer who practice physical distancing and wear face coverings. For information about where to enter/exit the Park and other details, visit MillenniumPark.org.

The new, 30-minute “Millennium Park at Home: Chicago Holidays” program debuting on November 19 at 6:30pm – presented in lieu of an in-person Tree lighting ceremony for the public – is produced by Kurtis Productions with support from the Millennium Park Foundation and DCASE. It will include a holiday greeting from Mayor Lightfoot and First Lady Amy Eshleman, special acknowledgements of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, and music performances recorded at the Epiphany Center for the Arts featuring the Chicago Children’s Choir, Sones de México Ensemble and Percy Bady and friends – with a special tribute to the 50th anniversary of Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas.” The event will be archived and viewable throughout the Holiday season at YouTube.com/ChicagoDCASE.

Skating will not be presented at Millennium Park’s McCormick Tribune Ice Rink this season, but the Chicago Park District will offer skating in neighboring Maggie Daley Park at the Ice Skating Ribbon – opening on November 20. This season, reservations and masks will be required to skate. Reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance. For details, visit MaggieDaleyPark.com.

While visiting Millennium Park, guests are encouraged to take selfies with the iconic Cloud Gate and Crown Fountain sculptures, take a quiet stroll through Lurie Garden, and see the Millennium Monument and Jay Pritzker Pavilion lit up in holiday colors. Opening in December, a new art installation in Wrigley Square created by designer and gallerist Jason Pickleman, presented by the Millennium Park Foundation, will honor the Chicago lives lost to COVID-19.

Other in-person and virtual events across the Millennium Park Campus include:

  • Virtual tours of the Chicago Cultural Center – plus outdoor public art tours of the Millennium Park Campus on the first and third Saturday of the month, DCASEVolunTours.org
  • In lieu of the annual Dance-Along Nutcracker® event at the Chicago Cultural Center, which remains closed to the public, the original Dance-Along Nutcracker will be streamed for free by the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band (December 12 & 13, SFLGFB.org) – and Ballet Chicago will present two virtual versions of The Nutcracker (December 18–30, ticket at BalletChicago.org).
  • Holiday shopping at Buddy, a new store created by the Public Media Institute selling Chicago-made art, objects and more – online for now at hi-buddy.org and on the first floor of the Chicago Cultural Center when it reopens (Additionally, show off your Chicago pride with artist-designed Official Summer Festival Merchandise created in collaboration with the Design Museum of Chicago, dcase.tsmgi.net)
  • CMS at Home: Brandenburg Concertos presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Harris Theater for Music and Dance, streaming December 17–21, HarrisTheaterChicago.org
  • Monet and Chicago, through January 18, and other exhibitions and events at the Art Institute of Chicago, artic.edu

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