What to Watch and Where to Wander This Winter: Columbia Edition 

a snowy day on campus
Columbia College Chicago and its creative community of alums, faculty, and students offer plenty of opportunities to keep you entertained this holiday season and beyond.

When it comes to winter fun in Chicago, some might suggest ice skating in Millennium Park or sledding down Lincoln Park’s Cricket Hill. But at Columbia College Chicago, we’re more likely to recommend experiences related to the things we love best: the arts. And thanks to the creative endeavors of our talented Columbia community, we have plenty of artsy activities to suggest.

  • What to Watch

    In Theatres 

    Chicago theatres bustle with Columbia talent. Catch one of these current shows: 

    Space Cat Holidays   
    Through Jan. 7  

    Otherworld Theatre at 3914 N. Clark in Chicago, founded by Tiffany Keane Schaefer ’12, presents the sci-fi comedy Space Cat Holidays, a heartwarming, family-friendly adventure story that celebrates young people’s ability to solve problems by working together and using their imaginations. The show is co-directed by Columbia College Theatre alums Carson Bartholomew ’21 and Belle Decker ’21, and Theatre alum Sofia DiGiovanni ’21 is the show’s stage manager. 

    The Golden Girls Save Xmas 
    Through Dec. 30  


    Theatre Alum Tyler Anthony Smith ’17 is featured in Hell in a Handbag Productions‘ world premiere comedy The Golden Girls Save Xmas at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre at the Center on Halsted in Chicago at 3656 N. Halsted St. in Chicago. In the play, Blanche accidentally incapacitates a visitor named Nick on the night before Christmas. Can the girls save the holidays in time for all the children of the world to get their toys on Christmas morning? 

    Christmas With Elvis 
    Through Jan. 7  

    Theatre Alum Victor Holstein ’04 stars in Christmas With Elvis at the Chopin Theatre at 1543 W. Division in Chicago. In this comedy, a lonely woman gets an unexpected visit from the debauched ghost of Elvis on Christmas Eve.  

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 
    Through Jan. 15  

    The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  cast includes Theatre Alums Jared David Michael Grant ’12, Terrell Armstrong ’19, and Dakota Hughes ’15. The show’s projections designer is Columbia College alum Paul Deziel ’14. The musical, playing at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, Ill., tells the tale of young Charlie Bucket and his Grandpa Joe as they join four other Golden Ticket winners to tour the magical and mysterious chocolate factory of eccentric Willy Wonka.  


    Too comfy at home to go to the theatre? Fortunately, Columbia talent can be seen on small screens as well. Enjoy these shows without ever leaving your couch:  

    “Reporting on Christmas”/Hulu 

    Directed by Cinema and Television Arts Alum Jack C. Newell '04, "Reporting on Christmas" has proven to be popular on Hulu and cracked the top ten in November. The romance follows the journey of a reporter-producer working in Chicago who is sent to fictional Iowa to create a feature a toy company. 



    Emmy-winning CTVA Alum Christian Sprenger ’07 is the cinematographer for this critically acclaimed series. The series follows a music manager and rapper as they navigate the hip hop scene in Atlanta.  


    Carle Herse ’06 has been nominated for Emmy’s for his work behind the camera on this show about a hitman who discovers acting.  

    “Being Mary Tyler Moore”/Max 

    Lena Waithe ’06 has been nominated for her work as producer of this documentary about the life of one of television’s most beloved stars.  

  • Where to Wander

    Get your steps in this winter by strolling around the Columbia College Chicago campus where you can see outdoor murals, photography, and fashion designs as well as shop for one-of-a-kind art pieces, clothing, and jewelry made by Columbia students, faculty, and alums.  

    Include these stops on your winter walk: 

    The Wabash Arts Corridor 

    Tour the Wabash Arts Corridor (WAC), a living urban canvas founded by Columbia and located in the heart of the South Loop. WAC has grown to be one of the most expansive, diverse, and accessible public art programs in the country. Follow the map and you’ll understand why “USA Today” ranked WAC among the top ten best arts districts in the U.S. 


    Shop Columbia 

    Located at 619 S Wabash Ave, ShopColumbia is a year-round boutique located in the heart of Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood on Columbia’s campus. ShopColumbia, which has a holiday market that runs through Dec. 20, features fine art alongside handcrafted and designed merchandise by Columbia students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Students earn 75 percent of sales and faculty, staff, and alumni earn 50 percent. Customers will find affordable gift options with most items priced between $10 and $40. 

    Museum of Contemporary Photography 

    The Museum of Contemporary Photography, a free, public museum located at 600 S. Michigan, began collecting in the early 1980s and has since grown its collection to include over 17,000 objects by over 1,800 artists. As an international hub, the museum generates ideas and provokes dialogue among students, artists, and diverse communities through groundbreaking exhibitions and programming. Its mission: To cultivate a deeper understanding of the artistic, cultural, and political roles of photography in the world today. 

    Columbia Fashion Windows 

    The ever-changing fashion window exhibit at 618 S. Michigan features the work of Columbia alums, students, and faculty. Every four weeks, a new designer’s or curator’s work can be seen through the glass. In mid-December, Alum Raj Patel will showcase his latest designs.