There aren’t enough hours in the day to check out every noteworthy art event in Chicago. But there are a few events that you just can’t afford to miss. Here’s our quick guide to five must-see events and exhibits in Chicago in December.

(credit: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Andrew Bird

What: Andrew Bird & Ian Schneller’s Sonic Arboretum (Schneller’s horned speakers play compositions by Bird)
When: December 6-21
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL
Why: A new type of sound garden

Watch video of Andrew Bird and Ian Schneller at the Guggenheim



What: Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker
When: December 9-27
Where: Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress Parkway, Chicago, IL
Why: Get in the holiday spirit

Bertrand Goldberg. Marina City: Perspective Sketch, 1985. The Archive of Bertrand Goldberg, gifted by his children through his estate. (Art Institute of Chicago website)

Architecture of Invenetion

What: Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention (retrospective of a seminal Chicago architect)
When: Through January 15
Where: Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL
Why: Discover the origins of Marina City and other buildings


Elizabeth Rex

What: Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Elizabeth Rex (Shakespeare relives the night he and his company performed for Queen Elizabeth)
When: Through January 22
Where: Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater, 800 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL
Why: A look back at history

Genius Deconstructed

What: Charles James: Genius Deconstructed (a retrospective about a 20th century designer with Chicago ties)
When: Through April 16
Where: Chicago History Museum, 1601 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL
Why: Celebrating a fashion icon

Amy Cavanaugh, CBS Chicago