12/16/2011 04:44 pm ET | Updated Dec 16, 2011

Chicago Weekend Plans: Tubas, Mansions And A Very Mustache Christmas (12/16-12/18)

Playing hooky from your office holiday party this weekend? Chicago's got some good reasons to sneak out on the town. Whether you need a laugh as good as Drew Peterson's, or have a lucky break to celebrate like Charlotte, the city's got you covered this weekend. Pack up your milk-and-Baileys roadie and revel in a snow-free night on the town (or two).


The man in red may be known for his beard, but holdouts from No Shave November can get a little December recognition this weekend from Schoolyard Tavern & Grill for their second annual "Mustachmas." Any upper-lip decor (real or fake) grants you $1 drinks Friday and Saturday.
Where: Schoolyard Tavern & Grill, 3258 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
When: 5 p.m. - 2 a.m. Friday, Dec. 16 and 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17
Price: Free

Andrew Bird and Ian Schneller's Sonic Arboretum
Hear the Museum of Contemporary Art's naturalist atrium come to life in a soundscape created by sculptor and instrument-maker Ian Schneller and composer/violinist Andrew Bird. A series of gramophone-style horned speakers made from compressed recycled newspaper and dryer lint come alive with panning loops of music composed on-site by Bird. (Bird's live performance next weekend in the installation is sold out.)
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 E. Chicago Ave
When: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, Saturday, Dec. 17 and Sunday, Dec. 18
Price: $12 museum admission

Una Mae's X-Mas Kegger
Holiday shopping can be far from stressful with a great, quirky selection and a little liquid courage. Let vintage mecca Una Mae's supply you with both at their X-mas Kegger, where they'll serve free drinks from Goose Island and Through the Liquor Glass with a side of 20 to 50 percent off sales storewide.
Where: Una Mae's, 1528 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
When: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16
Price: Free

Merry TubaChristmas
Do a cappella carols seem to lack the verve you need to boost your spirit? Let 400 tuba players blast you full of cheer at "Merry TubaChristmas--A Concert of Christmas Music" orchestrated in honor of music professor and creator Harvey Phillips. Hosted in the historic grand ballroom of the Palmer House Hilton hotel, the musical performance features skilled musicians of all ages.
Where: Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe St., Chicago
When: 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17
Price: Free

"The Interrupters" Screening and Panel
Since its Chicago debut, Alex Kotlowitz and Steve James's "The Interrupters" has been so well-received that by now it's practically considered required viewing for residents of the city. Catch a free screening of the acclaimed documentary that profiles three "interrupters" as they confront violence on Chicago's streets head-on. After the film, women mentors including Ameena Matthews, one of the film's stars, will be recognized and engaged in a panel discussion moderated by WBEZ's Alison Cuddy.
Where: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago
When: 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17
Price: Free

Deck the Marble Halls
Is the mini-tree in your fourth floor walkup a little too underwhelming? Gorge yourself on the opulent beauty of yore with a tour of the Richard H. Driehouse Museum, where the Nickerson Mansion has been decorated to the nines in authentic Gilded Age decor. Take advantage of Sunday's guided tour to get the details behind all the beauty.
Where: Driehaus Museum, 40 E. Erie St., Chicago
When: 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18
Price: $20 adults, $10 students and kids