It’s that time of the year again. Thanksgiving week officially kicks off Chicago holiday season – with a multitude of events, plays and shows to attend to. To keep your holiday stress down, here’s our guide of the top holiday events to check out, in no particular order.
What: Uncle Dan’s Thanksgiving Parade
Where: State Street, From Congress to Randolph
When: Thursday, November 22, 8-11 am
One of the most massive and colorful holiday events, this year’s Thanksgiving Parade features giant balloons, floats, and marching bands that go north on State Street, from Congress to Randolph. Don’t forget to arrive early to get the best spot!
What: Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
Where: 401 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL
When: Friday, November 16 4-8 pm
Saturday, November 17 11am-4pm
Indulge the Chicago holiday magic while strolling down Magnificent Mile. Lights Festival Lane in Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan Avenue) opens the evening before the parade with more than a dozen family-friendly activities from Chicago favorites and popular brands—plus live music and a visit with Santa Claus! Explore an interactive wonderland of holiday-themed activities, and sample treats from crowd favorites Garrett Popcorn, Frango, The Eli’s Cheesecake Company, and more.
Where: 50 W Washington St, Chicago, IL
When: November 16 – December 24
Join the true Chicago holiday tradition and dive in Christkindlmarket. This year’s open-air European holiday market plaza features traditional art, handmade gifts, German foods, choirs, and carolers on Daley Plaza. The Naperville location opens November 23.
What: Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier
Where: 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL
When: November 30 – January 6
Packed with family fun, Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier is a beloved annual Chicago winter event, featuring 170,000 square feet of carnival rides, giant slides, holiday-themed activities, Indoor Ice Skating Rink, and more. Experience the city’s biggest and best indoor winter playground and join the millions of families who have made it a part of their annual holiday tradition!
What: Lincoln Park ZooLights
Where: 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL
When: November 23-January 6 4:30-9 p.m. (Closed Nov. 26 – 29 and Dec. 24 – 25)
The most wonderful time of the year deserves the most delightful lights festival. ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo has been Chicago’s holiday tradition for 24 years. The one-of-a-kind experience offers fun, free, family-oriented holiday celebrations that feature luminous displays and incredible seasonal activities… All under the glow of 2.5 million lights!