Nutcracker Ballet – A Ballet Makkai Tradition

makkai nutcracker 350 px

A grand party, a tree that explodes in growth, a winter wonderland and a land of sweets – the family favorite, the Nutcracker Ballet, will be performed by Ballet Makkai on Saturday, 12/3 and Sunday, 12/4 at Elm Place Middle School Theater in Highland Park, Illinois.  The “Nutcracker Season” starts with Makkai Ballet dancers performing in the store window of Uncle Dan’s – The Great Outdoor Store at the Highland Park Holiday Lighting Ceremony, which occurred this year on November 19th.  The dancers practice with passion until the finale performances in early December.

Sponsored by Beanstalk Toys & Books, and Sprout Kids, the holiday classic has been performed by local dancers from Highland Park and the surrounding Chicago suburbs for six years.  Lilla Daniels, the Creative Director of Makkai Ballet enthused “The dancers and teachers at Ballet Makkai are excited every year to bring this holiday classic to life.”

Get your tickets at

This year, local Downtown Highland Park businesses have joined together to create the “Magic Ticket”.  Simply bring your Makkai Ballet Nutcracker performance ticket into these businesses to receive the following specials:

Pulse Fitness

Your ticket stub is your ticket to health and wellness!  Bring your Magic Ticket to Pulse Fitness, a dynamic state-of-the-art facility specializing in group classes, personal training, and nutrition counseling to receive one complimentary class of your choice: Team Weight Loss, Bootcamp, CardioKickboxing, Strength, Boxing, Power Hour, TRX, Aesthetics, Youth Bootcamp, Youth Boxing and more!  Receive 10 percent off when you purchase a one-month package of unlimited classes and services or a Youth 10-pack.

Uncle Dan’s

15% Off any one item when you bring in your Magic Ticket.

Highland Park Library

The Highland Park Public Library will give anyone who shows their Magic Ticket a chocolate READ bar.

HP Tops

20% off the entire purchase with your Magic Ticket, custom orders are not included.


50% off any one dance leotard with your Magic Ticket.

Modern Opulence

20% one full priced Item for Magic Ticket.

Love that Spice

Good for one small tea with the purchase of a tea with your Magic Ticket.

 Windward Board Shop

15% Off any one item when you bring in your Magic Ticket.



Black Friday Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for the perfect holiday gift and have no clue where to shop? Have no fear! We compiled a guide of the best deals in Downtown Highland Park. Find something for the entire family or that special someone. Don’t get Black Friday blues!  Come to Downtown HP to support your local businesses at our outdoor shopping destination.  Shift your shopping and shop local this Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

  • Alixandra Collections – Find the perfect outfit, accessory or gift from teens to millennials. Their collections feature local designers and associates offer styling and accessorizing expertise. Don’t miss their 7 Days of Deals In-Store & Online! Click this link to sign up for exclusive Black Friday sale info straight to your inbox.
  • Adesso – The place for amazing home decor where art meets function!  All beautiful decorative pumpkins are now 50% off. Come and see for yourself!
  • Ami Ami outfits the fashion forward woman. Find the latest trends at Ami Ami – from dressy evening wear to casual everyday clothing. Popular designers include Veronica Beard, Fred Segal, Autumn Cashmere and Christian Siriano. On Friday November 25th, join their 1st ever DOORBUSTER sale! From 10am – 12pm receive 25% off your entire purchase. From 12pm – 2pm receive 20% off your entire purchase. From 2pm til close, receive 15% off your entire purchase. *No adjustments on prior sales. All sales final.
  • Avant for Men has a fantastic selection of outerwear, suits, sportswear, and accessories for men. Their experienced sales staff and tailor will help you customize a suit for any occasion. Noted to have the best and most colorful ties on the North Shore, Avant for Men will help find the right look. Get 50% off any one item on Black Friday *$500 maximum price reduction. All sales Final.
  • Bett’s & B2 Contemporary –  Women of any age can stop into Bett’s boutique and feel wonderful about themselves. If you’re looking for something sophisticated, casual or even edgy, Bett’s is the place to shop. Popular designers include Desigual, Joseph Ribkoff, and Cupcakes and Cashmere. On Black Friday, save an extra 40% off already reduced sale items. Final sale. No adjustments to prior purchases.
  • Get “gifty” at Citywoods with a special offer of $20 your purchase of $150 or more. Find the ultimate present for him, her or for them this holiday season. Citywoods is a contemporary fine arts shop and gallery that features handmade jewelry, accessories for your home like real wood or blown glass, and furniture. If you want to set the perfect table for Hanukkah or Christmas, Citywoods is the go-to place for just that.
  • Get glamorous with Cos Bar this holiday season! Find luxury cosmetics and skincare products. Get the ultimate beauty experience from their top-notch experts and walk away feeling elevated. This Black Friday, receive a Cos Bar t-shirt with your purchase of $150 or more, or with any purchase for the first 10 customers. Receive double the samples and vendor gifts galore. Get here EARLY!
  • Take a break from shopping and cool off at CryoPure Spa. Owners Tom and Paige Polakow have a combined 15 years of healthcare experience and opened their cutting edge spa. They’re dedicated to educating the community about the holistic benefits of cryotherapy. This Black Friday, get Whole Body Cryotherapy & Infrared Therapy for Up to 52%! Get 2 sessions for $65, 4 sessions for $129, or 6 sessions for $189.
  • Dream Kitchens is the ultimate one-stop-shop for designing kitchen from a cook’s perspective. Their showroom features state-of-the-art tile, lighting, countertops, plumbing, hardware, and appliances to give you the best ‘dream room’ possible. Take 15% off 600 & 700 Series door styles from Waypoint Cabinetry AND if you buy 12 cabinets or more, you will get a free corner or sink base! Offer ends 11/25/16.
  • If you’re looking for jeans that fit your body type, E Street Denim has the best selection! The “Original Jean-fitters” – E Street has been dressing Chicago’s North Shore since 1990. Find a flawless outfit here! E Street is bringing back their Jean Swap: Bring in a gently worn/clean pair of jeans to receive 10% off for 1 pair, 20% off for 2 pairs, and 30% off when you donate 3+  pairs of jeans! Discount is valid on regular price denim only.
  • EEH Wellness – Not your typical yoga studio. Owner Mariana Krstevski will teach you everything there is to know about being healthy physically, spiritually and emotionally. Classes never have more than 10 people in each session. At EEH Wellness, you’ll learn how to focus on your breath through postures, stretching, self-reflection, and meditation. This holiday season, EEH Wellness is offering TWO fantastic deals: Get a 5 Class Card for $25 on Black Friday ONLY – OR – Get One Private 60 Minute Session – Yoga, Meditation, Energy Work, or Emotional Freedom Tapping Only $50 (Valued at $120).  Ends 12/10/16. New Clients Only for Both Deals!
  • If you’re looking for gifts, accessories, jackets, sweaters, jeans, gloves or jewelry, Enaz is the destination for style. Enaz stands for energy, nature, attitude and zest – words they stand by. Operated by sisters Melina Kaplan, Lena and Samantha Lurie, Enaz is one of the top shopping destinations on the North Shore. Take 20% off all clothing and accessories and take 10% off all jewelry this Black Friday. *Take an additional markdown on sale rack. All sales final.
  • Events by Michael’s – Michael’s has been serving Chicago’s best hot dogs, chopped salads and specialty sandwiches since 1977.  With their newly renovated venue space, Michael’s is giving the North Shore great food and quality service. The perfect spot for your next banquet, bar mitzvah or private function! Take advantage of this amazing deal: Get 50% off an event venue fee and 15% off $100 or more in catering.
  • FreshSkin Med Spa is an aesthetic and anti-aging medicine center by Dr. Josie Tenore. Their experienced staff and state-of-the-art technology will help you be the healthiest, best-looking you! This holiday season, open up those eyes and look fabulous with their “The Eyes Have It Kit” – the perfect at-home treatment solution.  Nourish the delicate skin around your eyes with Dr. Josie’s AM/PM eye duo.  Get longer, darker, thicker lashes with the popular Latisse®. Only $275* (Valued at $426). Limited Time Only…While Supplies Last! To reserve your kit, email your name and phone number at
  • Garfinkle’s Fine Jewelry – A family owned jeweler that specializes in beautiful jewelry and watches at a great value!  30% Off Shop Small Saturday and 20,30,40 & 50% off specific watches.
  • Glamour Girlz is the ultimate place for mothers and daughters to bond with makeovers, mani/pedis, hair and makeup application.  Make your your daughter’s dreams come true and book her next birthday party or special event at Glamour Girlz. Get 20% Storewide Black Friday Sale on all Services and Retail items! Not valid with Black Friday Glam Camp.
  • Gordon Salon has been nationally recognized as a Top 200 Salon for the past 10 years. It’s one of the only salons in Chicago that is an Aveda Salon. Relax, recharge and pamper yourself – walk out the door feeling fabulous!. At only $33, The Gordon Glam package is a perfect gift for girlfriends and co-workers this holiday season.
  • Jayne is an ageless adventure of shoes, clothing, jewelry, accessories, home goods and gifts. If you want to find a casual or funky outfit for the fall season, Jayne is the go-to place. If you’re looking for a new pair of boots or shoes, they carry brands like UGG, Sorel, and Birkenstock.  This Black Friday, take 20-30% off footwear and 20-50% off clothing and accessories.
  • This holiday season, say thanks in the most delightful way to your host/hostess with the perfect gift from Kenzy. Throwing a memorable dinner party or celebrating a special occasion, Kenzy offers an array of dinnerware, flatware, lights, and centerpieces. This Black Friday, take 40% off all Fall Items for the first 50 customers! Buy any item at regular price, get the 2nd item 30% off all day. The first 15 customers will receive a free gift. See store for more details.
  • Lori’s Shoes is truly the ‘sole of Chicago.’ Stocked with boots, shoes, bags, accessories and most recently, apparel, Lori’s features the latest trends and seasonal styles. On Black Friday, enjoy 20% off everything in-store and online…stores open an hour earlier at 10 a.m.!
  • Luxury Garage Sale is extending their stay until the end of the year as a holiday outlet in Downtown HP!  LGS is a curated designer retail experience that offers a hassle-free consignment service.  All items in-store will be under $200 through 12/31. Find impeccable pieces from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermés and other in-demand designers.
  • If you’re looking for a functional wardrobe for work, a special event, or the perfect Saturday night top,  Modern Opulence has it all. Owner Mary Andersen will help you find the perfect outfit for every type of occasion with upscale pieces at various price points. Take 25% off your entire purchase of full-priced items now through Sunday. Take advantage of their extended hours this Friday – Sunday. 11/25-11/26 (10-6 p.m.) & Sun. 11/27 (11-4 p.m.). All reduced merchandise is final sale.
  • Get comfortable with a cup of coffee and learn how to knit or crochet at Mia Bella. Knitters, crocheters and spinners can take a group class or book a private session. This Black Friday, save 20% on full-priced items and save 60% on clearance items. Special Hours 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on 11/25-11/26.
  • If you’re frustrated with the twists and turns of life, Lynne Nozicka will connect with the power of your mind. Lynne is a NGH Certified Hypnotherapist and is experienced in non-invasive healing techniques through hypnosis. The Nozicka Center for Hypnosis and Psychotherapy offers a full range of services to those who are looking for support in managing and enhancing their life situations. Take time out to relax and rejuvenate during this busy holiday season with 3 One-Hour Hypnosis sessions for 299.00! (a $151.00 savings).
  • Find this holiday’s hottest eyewear, jewelry, unique home accents and hostess gifts at Posh Essential’s new POSH-ABILITIES Boutique. The newest destination for unique gift items, anything is Posh-able as the specialty retailer now offers an array of unique gift Posh-abilities for anyone on the shopping list. Posh Essentials will be offering 10% off storewide all day and be doing hourly special items 50% off.
  • Pulse Fitness is a state-of-the-art facility committed to the health and fitness goals of the families in our community.  Pulse offers cutting-edge fitness programs designed exclusively to maximize results. Once you step foot into this gym, you will feel the positive energy that will MAKE you want to kickstart your weight loss goals. Owner Patrick Murphy will even design a customized workout and diet program for you. Get 25% off 1 Package of Personal Training – BLACK FRIDAY ONLY!
  • Pulling Down the Moon is committed to fertility, women’s health and family wellness. PDTM offers therapeutic yoga, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, nutritional guidance and therapeutic massage. This Black Friday, purchase a $75 Wildcard to be used toward massage, acupuncture, nutrition, and initial consults (11/25-12/1/16 ONLY). This fantastic deal allows new and existing patients the opportunity for one service within the next year for only $75!
  • Summer Classics Chicago  features leading outdoor furniture brand Summer Classics and Gabby, a retailer of fine indoor furniture. Innovate your home with timeless materials like exclusive resin wicker, cast aluminum, teak, and iron. Get your home ready for the holidays and save with savings of 40% off select Gabby items and four exclusive Summer Classics collections: Rustic, Croquet, Sedona, and Royan.
  • Sunflower encourages their customers to try on new and fresh looks. Owner Susan will put together an outfit for you that matches your personality and style. Find colorful tunics, leggings, accessories and gorgeous pieces to add to your closet. Enjoy 20% off your entire purchase on Black Friday, 11/25 and Shop Small Saturday, 11/26!
  • Table Compliments is your home for tableware and accessories to complement your home. Find an assortment of hostess and special occasion gifts at a wide range of price points. Table linens are their specialty – find everything from tablecloths to placemats. Set the ultimate table or find the perfect gift for the holidays at Table Compliments. Take 20% off any one in stock item, in store purchase, on Black Friday, 11/25 and Small Business Saturday, 11/26. All sales final.
  • Unwind from shopping and heal your pain and stress with a massage at Therapeutic Kneads. Make them your destination for the gift of relaxation this holiday season! From now until November 30th, receive a FREE Deluxe Massage Package valued at $60 with the purchase of a My Kneads Wellness Plan. The FREE package includes a $25 Gift Card, Treat for Feet Foot Massage and a Foot Roller!
  • Uncle Dan’s is the best outdoor apparel store on the North Shore! Celebrate Uncle Dan’s Plaid Friday Weekend on Shop Small November 25-27, 2016  Get discounts on select styles from top outdoor brands.
    • Our Gift to You: Receive a plaid scarf with any purchase of $50+ (while supplies last)
    • Raffle: Enter to win a Woolrich vintage buffalo check wool blanket
    • Woolrich Reusable Plaid Shopping Bag Totes with first 50 purchases
  • Windward Boardshop, the premier store for winter sports!  Vail, Breckenridge or Winter Park – we’ve got you covered.  Click and enter to win a Burton Brushie snowboard!  Drawing is in January 2017!  Free $20 Gift Card for every $100 spent thru 11/28!
  • Workshop HP is a creative art studio where you can learn everything from jewelry making to fashion design. Some classes are even BYOB for adults! Register online to get 15% off Workshop HP winter classes thru 1/3.  

Garfinkle’s Fine Jewelry

Garfinkle’s started with Jill Garfinkle’s love of jewelry 40 years ago.  A free spirit with a love for jewelry, she has a great eye for fashion – particularly the latest trends in jewels and fine metals.  Jill realized early on that there was an unmet need for gifts for young women. Whether for birthdays, the holidays, bat mitzvahs, a special occasion, or “just because,”Jill found great jewelry that fit.  Jill chose to focus on a range of price points and multiple choices, all based upon her great eye for jewelry trends.

Starting the business in her family home, Garfinkle’s has been located at 462 Central Avenue for the last 25 years.  The boutique is a true family endeavor – Jill is joined by her son Rick, a certified GIA gemologist, and Agustine, a true artisan with with over 50 years experience in jewelry work.  Often entrusted to create investment-quality pieces, in-the-know buyers travel to Highland Park instead of the city.  The family has developed a reputation of being fair and trustworthy jewelers, while offering unique jewelry pieces with true value – the perfect balance of quality and price.  Jill and Rick Garfinkle work with determination to create family heirlooms that will be handed down over multiple generations.

Garfinkle’s Fine Jewelry creates beautiful custom jewelry, yet also carries brands like Hidalgo, Alexis Bittar, Heather Moore, and Evolution wedding bands.  Chokers, stackable rings or bracelets, tassels and more – it is an easy place to find your #musthave!   While Jill is the force of fashion, Rick is the self-proclaimed “watch guy” – the guiding hand of one of the best selections of watches on the North Shore.  If Rick doesn’t have the watch you want, he can get it!

Garfinkle’s is one of the unique family businesses in Downtown Highland Park.  In celebration of their 40 year anniversary, the family is hosting a huge two-day ONLY anniversary sale – 40% off everything in the store on Friday, November 11th and Saturday, November 12th.  Check out Garfinkle’s Instagram and Facebook pages, where they showcase their craftsmanship and the creative process behind various pieces for an insider’s view behind the scenes.