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The best of what to do in and around Chicago this week

Get traditional this week at the Chicago Symphony Center, where the orchestra is separately backing both the Vienna Boys Choir and the Chicago Children’s Choir as they perform Christmas carols and holiday hymns. Or spring for a drink at the city’s newest dive bar, where beer lovers especially will find a haven. When your stomach calls, drop by U Rice, a Pan-Asian restaurant with great eats and even greater karaoke.

AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.

November 23 | Now open: Bar
The Native
Have a little shuffle bowling with your beer at The Native, a new dive bar located in the hip Logan Square neighborhood. It’s no frills, but if you’re happy with 10 taps—including beer from local breweries—plus cocktails created by a husband-and-wife team, then you’re sure to enjoy this place. It has a cool 1970s theme with leather booths, vinyl beats, and an outdoor patio (opening as soon as the weather improves).
2417 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

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November 29 | Now open: Restaurant
U Rice
This new spot mixes Korean, Japanese, and Mandarin flavors on a menu featuring dishes like a rice bowl filled with pork belly and orange chicken that’s bursting with flavor. The restaurant’s main dining area is in the basement, and the first floor hosts a karaoke and entertainment stage. Don’t want to party? Takeout and delivery are available.
1629 N. Halsted St., Chicago

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December 20 | Concert
Vienna Boys Choir
Dress up and go to a traditional Christmas choir show this week at the Chicago Symphony Center. There, the Vienna Boys Choir will perform classic folk songs, Christmas carols, and holiday songs. Founded more than 500 years ago, this polished choir of children ages 10 to 14 has a repertoire ranging from contemporary to Renaissance works. Despite their ages, they’re veteran performers, with over 300 annual concerts across Europe, Asia, and the United States.
3:00 PM | Chicago Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago | From $25 | website

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

December 16 - 23 | Concert
Merry, Merry Chicago
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s annual holiday concert, happening the 16th, 17th, 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, is a traditional way to get in a festive mood. The show features the orchestra alongside the Chicago Children’s Choir performing songs, including “Joy to the World,” “O Holy Night,” and selections from The Nutcracker. Singing along is encouraged.
Chicago Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago | From $38 | website

December 17 - 18 | Escape the city
Kansas City, Missouri
Take a short 90-minute flight from Chicago to Kansas City this weekend, where you’ll find museums, beer, and lots of shopping. First, visit the huge National World War I Museum and Memorial. Then head to the free Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, known for its fabulous sculptures. Relax at the Boulevard Brewing Company, where you can take a brew tour and do a tasting. Then shop and sample your way through the City Market, which is filled with different stores and local restaurants.

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Danielle Braff lives in Chicago with her husband, two daughters, two cats, and her dog. When she’s not writing, she’s out photographing her city and running around frantically trying to fit as many events as she can into her day. You can check out her other articles at Daniellebraff.com.

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