If Christmas Eve means anything, it's lots of Jewish people partying at River North bars. Start at Rockit, where all food is half-price, you get access to 90 minutes of open bar, gift cards for Sunda and free admission to Underground later on. Sounds like Rockit's trying to make up for forgetting Hanukkah.
Things to do for December 24, 2009
Bad Gifts, Matzo Balls and Spanish New Year
The weekend is your Secret Santa.
This is the kind of party your mother would host—if she could throw down some fierce Lady Gaga and Jay-Z/Alicia Keys remixes. (We'll assume she can.) Fatten up on trays of homemade doughnuts (you're too skinny!), chug a Blue Dreidel cocktail and then find a nice girl who'll make Mom (and you) very happy.
The Melman boys are breaking out their Manischewitz sangria again this year as part of a valiant attempt to cram eight crazy nights into just a few short hours. And since Hanukkah has already passed, there's no time to lose.
Crobar Gift Exchange
Look gracious when you unwrap that Ultimate Manilow CD this year—it'll give you entrée into this event, where you can put a wrapped gift under Crobar's Christmas tree in exchange for a shot at something better. Maybe someone didn't like his BMW/Rolex/trip to the Playboy Mansion this year.
$1.99 Sangria at Mercat a La Planxa
You might as well end 2009 on a high note—or, better yet, on a low one. Tuck yourself away in the dark and cozy downstairs lounge of the Michigan Avenue tapas palace, where sangria is just $2 every Monday. Think of it as Spanish New Year.