Little Lake County parents are active, mobile and always seeking adventure! Sometimes we even traverse outside of our fair county to find family entertainment beyond our borders. Due to popular reader demand, we introduce “Little McHenry County,” a monthly column dedicated to finding fun with our neighbors to the west, written by McHenry County Moms in the know. Explore and enjoy!
Little McHenry County is supported by the Raue Center for the Arts.
As the holidays approach and I begin to help the kids put together their Christmas wish lists, I cringe just a little at the thought at adding more toys, more art projects, more brightly-colored plastic “stuff” to our home. Holidays are all about family, and celebrating the season together as often and meaningfully as possible. What better holiday gift for loved ones than giving a cherished experience that will help enrich their lives? Why not plan in advance for a couple of fun family shows that will entertain both kids and adults? The Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake has a myriad of upcoming opportunities to provide just that; holiday performances that will knock your fuzzy reindeer socks off! Spend some quality time experiencing something new – together!
Raue Center Family Holiday Programming
An amazing way to brighten up your holidays is to check out Lightwire Theater’s “A Very Electric Christmas.” Using Lightwire’s signature brand of electroluminescent artistry, this show is full of puppetry-based neon creatures. These uniquely lit-up characters come to life through popular musical pieces and high-energy dancing.
This charming tale of family, friendship and hope is programmed to holiday hits including those by Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey and Tchaikovsky and the adorable storyline is perfect for all ages. The main character is a young bird named Max; the story unfolds as he and his family head south for the winter. A large snowstorm that blows the family off course finds Max in the North Pole. Here he encounters new friends and foes including caroling worms, dancing poinsettias, Nutcracker soldiers, mice and even the evil Rat King.
A truly unique experience for all, this fun show will mesmerize your children and amuse you too! The performance is one night only – Thursday, November 10th at 7:00pm. Tickets are $20 for adults and $6 for students.
For a mystical evening of mind-blowing trickery, check out the “Nothing Up My Sleeve” Magic Show on Saturday, November 5th at 6:00pm. This year’s theme is Star Wars, so the force will be with the Midwest’s finest entertainers and magicians during showtime. Some of your favorite characters from the famous Star Wars movies will be in attendance. All are encouraged to get into the spirit and wear your favorite costumes. Tickets start at $17 for adults and $6 for students.
To add some culture to your holidays, check out the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert at the Raue on December 9th. Both contemporary and classical hits will be featured by this group of 75 professional musicians. Your children will be captivated by the music and the variety of instruments, and you will all enjoy singing along to your holiday favorites together. Tickets start at $52.
A Holiday classic, don’t miss your opportunity to experience The Nutcracker Ballet close to home. Watch the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy dancing the night away to the unforgettable score in the Berkshire Ballet Theater’s updated version of this timeless piece. On December 17th and 18th, join Clara on her adventures with the Nutcracker Prince amidst graceful dancing, gorgeous costumes, and delightful entertainment. And the angels are particularly cute this year. Tickets start at $28.
Once the holidays have concluded, the fun doesn’t have to stop. Another wonderful theater opportunity awaits you in “Everybody’s Hero: Jackie Robinson.” This play with music by Mad River Theater Works is a perfect way to get your baseball-loving children pumped up for spring training, and will teach them a valuable lesson about recent history. Jackie Robinson’s story as the first black man to be placed on a Major League Baseball team is filled with heart as his strength, perseverance, and struggle for acceptance truly changed the face of our nation. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the sport known as America’s Favorite Pastime, and this story is definitely one that is worth taking your family to experience. The show is January 31st at 7:00pm. Tickets are $20 for adults and $6 for students.
Lucky us, we don’t need to fight the holiday traffic or venture into the city for incredible opportunities to witness an amazing variety of holiday performances. These shows will truly entertain the whole family. Start your planning now!
Little McHenry County is graciously supported by the Raue Center for Arts. The Raue Center for the Arts is McHenry County’s premiere theater destination, hosting unique events and performances which include theater, comedy, music and family productions in a charming and historic venue in downtown Crystal Lake. The Raue Center For The Arts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts.
- Get Lit(erary), 2nd Thursday of the month
- WSR Comedy Night, 3rd Thursday of the month
- Rocky Horror Picture Show, October 28 – 29
- Nothing Up My Sleeve Magic Show, November 5
- A Very Electric Christmas, November 10
- Artful Women, Alicia Marcos Birong, November 13
- A Christmas Survival Guide, weekends November 26 – December 4
- Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, December 9
- The Nutcracker Ballet, December 17 – 18
- Everybody’s Hero, January 31
See the full calendar of events on the Raue Website.