Between gift shopping, snapping holiday card photos, and moving the elf around the shelf, you forgot to buy tickets to The Nutcracker (cue angry whines from your prima ballerina).
Instead of dancing around the subject, pick up ballet books from Growing Through Arts. The artfully illustrated reads for ages 2-6 were imagined by Aleksandra Efimova, a local dancer and owner of downtown ballet shoe shop Russian Pointe.
With a heart for fostering arts appreciation in the very young, Efimova released her debut titles, The Nutcracker Ballet, The Sleeping Beauty Ballet, and The Cinderella Ballet. Each recounts a classic story in a fun, interactive way, with moral questions interspersed throughout (i.e., What is the polite thing to say when you receive a gift?). At the end, a glossary of ballet terms keeps budding dancers on their toes.
The learning continues with Stage Scene Play Sets, cutout characters that let you recreate the story, and Practice & Play activity books that expand on concepts with word puzzles, matching games, writing exercises, and more.
It’s all tutu cool.
St. Lucia Festival of Lights
What: Brighten the darkest time of the year with a candlelit, carol-filled procession in Andersonville.
Why: The spirited concert and family entertainment afterward at the museum.
When: Tues., 4:45 p.m.
Where: Procession begins at Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St., at Foster Ave. (773-728-8111).
Lulu Belle’s Pancake House
What: Lap up Southern specialties — and lots and lots of flapjacks — at the Southport Corridor kid magnet.
Why: The Small Stack breakfast is a bargain at $3.95.
When: Daily, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: 3819 N. Southport Ave., b/t Grace & Byron Sts. (773-975-5858).
Families in the Loop Community Calendar
What: Get the month-by-month scoop on kid-centric events, from music classes to parent seminars to playgroups.
Why: Make winter whisk by.
When: You want a date with fun.
Where: Online at familiesintheloop.com.
Photo: Courtesy of Growing Through Arts