Kris is senior associate editor of Time Out Chicago, covering theater, comedy and LGBT issues. He can give you the best CTA route to every theater in the city, and you can probably find him at one of them tonight. Follow him on Twitter at @krisvire.
The holiday season is officially underway now that Christkindlmarket has commenced. The outdoor German market has once again set up shop in Daley Plaza in the Loop, bringing with it a seemingly endless supply of Glühwein, schnitzel and festive cheer. We took a lap around Christkindlmarket on opening day to scope out all of the best things to eat, drink and buy. Take a look at what caught our attention along the way and be sure to check out this top winter attraction before it packs up after its final day on December 24. Psst: Consult this handy-dandy Christkindlmarket vendor map for exactly where to find each goody listed. RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Christkindlmarket Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas 1. Glühwein ($8 with mug, $7 refill) from Beer & Wine Vendors (booths #1, #55 and #28) No trip to Christkindlmarket is complete without a mug of warm Glühwein, a traditional mulled wine that tastes like holiday spirit and baking spices. This year, guests will sip the boozy beverage from adorable heart-shaped vessels that are adorned with the Chicago skyline. Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas 2. Pierogi ornament ($10.95) from from Wildlife Ornaments (booth #18) There are plenty of ornaments to choose from at Christkindlmarket, but we were immediately drawn to this shimmery gold pierogi, which is perfect for dumpling fans and Chicago foodies alike. Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas 3. Masala curry fries ($5) from Chiya Chai (booth #14) New to this year's vend
Time Out Worldwide recently released a list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now, filled with essential experiences to have in cities around the globe. Scroll through the inventory and you'll discover a Tokyo museum dedicated to the kaleidoscopic works of Infinity Mirror Room artist Yayoi Kusama, the otherworldly landscapes of the Atacama Desert in Chile, geothermally heated pools in Iceland and Norway's fastest zipline. After reading the entire list, you may be tempted to hop on a plane to Jamaica to explore the birthplace of jerk chicken in Boston Bay. But if a last-minute trip isn't in the cards, you won't have to go far to experience the 20th entry on the list: Smart Bar's weekly Queen! party, a premiere spot to dance to house music in the city where the genre was born. Queen! takes over Smart Bar every Sunday night, beginning at 10pm and continuing until 4am on Monday morning. Once you pay your $10 cover charge and descend into the basement, you'll be treated to sets from resident DJs Derrick Carter, Michael Serafini and Garrett David as well as appearances from guest selectors and legendary house music producers. On Sunday, November 18, Queen! celebrates the birthday of local drag performer Imp Queen, while the November 25 edition of the party hosts a set from French deep house DJ Brawther. Looking for even more amazing things to do in Chicago? We've got a list for that, too. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
The most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner, which means that you might encounter a train or bus decked out with twinkling lights during your commute in the coming weeks. This morning, the Chicago Transit Authority announced the schedules for its Holiday Train and Holiday Bus, revealing when you can expect to see Santa making some pre-Christmas Eve journeys through the city. RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Christmas in Chicago The CTA Holiday Train will begin running on Friday, November 23, with trips scheduled on every CTA line. As usual, the six-car train features an open-air platform that holds Santa and his reindeer, along with LED signs, colorful interior decorations and more lights than ever before. The Holiday Train typically runs from 1 to 8pm on weekends and from 3 to 7pm on weekdays, but you can consult the CTA website for a more detailed schedule. Just like last year, the Holiday Train will be followed by the Elves' Workshop Train every Saturday through December 15. The train is another set of six cars decorated with lights, providing more room for passengers on busy weekends when everyone wants to hop aboard the most festive mode of public transportation. If you prefer to ride the bus, you'll be happy to learn that the CTA Holiday Bus will return to 13 routes throughout the city this year. The bus is wrapped to resemble a reindeer, with a glowing red nose, a pair of antlers mounted on top of the bus and strings of lights lining the windo