CHICAGO — Hanukkah, Hannukah, Chanukah: there's a half dozen ways to spell the Jewish holiday that often coincides with Christmas. Luckily, Chicago has even more options for celebrating the Festival of Lights than there are variations on the name.
Sheraton Chicago (301 E. North Water St.)
After lighting the first Menorah candle, head downtown for some laughs. Comedian Aziz Ansari performs during the Jewish United Fund’s Young Leadership Division’s “Big Event.” The $80 tickets, which include appetizers and an after party, are sold out, but the Fund is welcoming walk-ins on a first-come-first-serve basis Saturday.
Special Kick-off Party
Touché (6412 N. Clark St.)
If you don’t want to test your luck to catch Aziz, head north to Rogers Park leather bar Touché and test your luck in a different way. This bar’s special kick-off event will put the "man" in Manischewitz wine, which will be flowing on special at just $2 a glass. Also try the Messiah Nut Brown Ale. Stick around for the spanking demo, as the kick-off party coincides with the bar’s Dungeon Master night.
Top Chef: Chanukah Edition
Temple Sholom of Chicago (3480 N. Lake Shore Drive)
If you consider your latkes top-notch, test 'em out at Top Chef: Chanukah Edition Monday. If you're not looking to be crowned Lakeview's top latke cook, watch the competition, eat and cast your vote instead. Temple Sholom encourages cooks to bring secret kosher ingredients.
Hannukatz, The Musical
The New National Pastime Theater (941 W. Lawrence Ave.)
Don’t get your end-of-year holidays mixed up; “Hannukah is not the Jewish Christmas,” sings the star of “Hannukatz, The Musical.” The family-friendly show is "here to fill the holiday vOY-OY-OYd!" Start or close your Hannukah celebrations with weekend shows at The New National Pastime Theater in Uptown.
Nick's Beergarden (1516 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
Bucktownukah promises “Chanukah insanity” during its festivities Dec. 15. A $22 at-the-door or $18 advance cover gets you an open bar, made-on-the-spot sushi, traditional latkes and doughnuts. The event goes down at Nick’s Beergarden in West Town.