Animated holiday windows at Marshall Field's, er, Macy's. Red and green lights atop the John Hancock building. Twinkling white lights in the trees lining the Magnificent Mile. If you're paying attention, you don't need someone to hit you over the head to inform you that the holiday season is upon us – the signs are either already there, or will be there very soon. Another sign that it's time to start holiday shopping madness is the ''wreathing of the lions'' at the Art Institute.
For the past 16 years, the majestic creatures guarding the entrance to the world famous art museum are dressed in evergreen wreaths the day after Thanksgiving. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 28. Enjoy live music on the steps from trumpeter Stephen Burns and the Lira Singers, a six-person a capella ensemble specializing in Polish and British/American carols. Free admission will be offered to the first 200 adults (kids 12 and under are always free), and after the ceremony, families are invited to visit a free drop-in workshop and create a wreath inspired by the tapestries exhibition The Divine Art: Four Centuries of European Tapestries.