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Holiday Happenings

The holiday season is well underway in Chicago, but with so many different events happening around the city, it can be hard to keep up. Here are five holiday-themed events we’re putting on our calendars.

Holiday offerings from Sprinkles Cupcakes

1. Sprinkles Cupcakes Toy Drive
Life doesn’t get much sweeter than a Sprinkles cupcake, but our top dessert destination is upping the ante with its holiday toy drive, running Dec. 1-15. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to Sprinkles Cupcakes and receive a free cupcake of your choice! Saint Nick will also be making a personal appearance Dec. 7 & 14 from 12:30-2:30PM. Come see which is his favorite holiday flavor: chocolate peppermint, red velvet, coconut or vanilla peppermint. Sprinkles Cupcakes, 50 E. Walton St., 

2. Tavern On Rush Holiday Brunch
Enjoy a special brunch at one of Gold Coast’s perennial favorites on Dec. 15 while getting your picture taken with none other than Santa Clause himself! Feast on Tavern on Rush favorites like crab cake benedict and stuffed French toast, and a special children’s menu, featuring silver dollar pancakes and cheesy scrambled eggs, will also be available. 11AM-3PM. Reservations recommended. Tavern On Rush, 1031 N. Rush St., 312.664.9600,

3. Build Your Own Gingerbread House
Nothing says the holidays like creating your own gingerbread house. Join the Art Institute of Chicago on Dec. 14-15 from 11AM-1:30PM and 2PM-4:30PM for a fun-filled workshop in which you’ll make an edible holiday dream home. Here’s hoping your masterpiece stands shoulder to shoulder with the treasures hanging on the walls! $60 for a family of four, $50 for museum members. Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., 312 553.9675,

4. Holidays at the Hancock
Experience the holiday season 1,000 feet up! The John Hancock Observatory will be decked out in seasonal decor (including a life-size polar bear!) from Nov. 30-Dec. 24. Santa will be on hand each weekend to hear little ones’ wish lists, while the Lavazza Espression cafe will be offering its Winter White cocktail ($7) that’s sure to put you in the holiday spirit. John Hancock Observatory, 875 N. Michigan Ave., 888.875.8439,

5. Lillstreet Art Center
Indulge your inner artist with Lillstreet Art Center’s season-long gift making workshops, where you’ll have the opportunity to make your own ceramic mugs, felted stockings and blown glass ornaments (dates, times and prices vary). Also on our calendar: the weekend jewelry trunk shows (Nov. 28-Dec.22) and the Family Holiday Party on Dec. 14, where adults and kids will be able to craft clay ornaments and enjoy holiday treats. Lillstreet Art Center, 4401 N. Ravenswood Ave.,