November events in and around Chicago

Post-Halloween and pre-Thanksgiving, there's a lot to do in Chicago. Here are a few of our favorites.
 
 

McDonalds Thanksgiving Parade

Character balloons, marching bands, floats, cultural groups, theatrical performances, equestrian groups and celebrity guests march through the Loop in the 80th anniversary parade. Plus Honorary Grand Marshal Ronald McDonald, parade mascot Teddy Turkey, an appearance by Santa Claus and performances by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Jesse White Tumbling Team, Joffrey Ballet, Budweiser Clydesdales, Million Dollar Quartet, Kilgore College Rangerettes, Chicago Gay Men's Chorus, Second City, and Barefoot Hawaiian.

 
 

Christkindlmarket Chicago

Experience a traditional German holiday market in the heart of downtown Chicago, featuring vendors from around the world. Find unique holiday gifts, indulge in traditional German foods, sweets and beverages, and enjoy live music and entertainment for the whole family. Highlight of the market will be the premier of Chicago's own Christkind and the Kinder Korner activities. Runs Nov. 26-Dec. 24.

 

Free family workshop: Why Are Blue Jeans Blue? Bandana Dyeing

Hear the story of blue jeans and then try your hand at tie-dyeing a bandana in an indigo pot. Please bring kitchen gloves and a plastic shopping bag. Preregistration is required.

 
 

Caroling at Cloud Gate-Millennium Park

Hear a variety of choral groups and join them in a holiday sing-along at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. Runs Fridays from Nov. 22-Dec. 20.

 

Turkey Trot Hike

Families take a special post-holiday hike on the scenic Forest Preserve trails around Trailside Museum with a naturalist. Registration required. No strollers.

 

Holiday Kick Off Party with Santa

Families can usher in the holiday season at an afternoon reception where Santa and his trusty Elves will welcome the festive season. In addition to a gourmet buffet and kid-friendly mocktails, there will be opportunities to have photos taken with Santa Claus, to write a holiday wish list with one of the Elves, and to decorate and enjoy holiday cookies.

 

Global Rhythms Featuring Che Malambo

Award winning choreographer, Gilles Brinas, has adapted two Malambo styles featuring powerful foot stomping. The rhythms are echoed by "bombos," large, fat, rustic drums, "boleadoras" or bolas (long, thin ropes with two or more stones attached at the ends) and accompanied by passionate song and guitar.

 

Chicago Toy & Game Fair

This fair offers families, teachers, toy and game enthusiasts the chance to preview new toys and games, compete in tournaments, meet toy and game inventors and shop for the holidays. 

 

Aquatic Experience - Chicago

In addition to seeing sharks up close as a diver swims and interacts with these awe-inspiring animals, attendees will experience “everything aquatic under one roof” including displays of fish from around the world, educational seminars with industry experts, a free Kids Aquarium Contest and thriving show floor of exhibitors showcasing the latest in aquatic trends and products—for advanced hobbyists and first-time aquarium keepers alike.

 
 

Bank of America Family Festival: Celebrate Diwali!

Join a celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of light. Create a work of art inspired by Indian traditions, visit the galleries of Southeast Asian art with a family self-guide, participate in a dance workshop, and more.

 

Veterans' Day Letter Writing

Write an encouraging letter of support to a veteran or current member of our armed forces. Letters will be sent to the local VFW post to be sent along with care packages for the holidays.

 
 

Wonderland Express

Enjoy indoor and outdoor lighted displays, designer wreaths and trees, and Garden-scale trains that wind their way over bridges and through tunnels, and past more than 80 miniature versions of Chicago landmarks, a Stanley Cup replica, all handcrafted with natural materials. Runs Nov. 29-Jan. 5.

 
 

Chicago weekend events for kids

There's a lot going on in this world-class city we live in, and the options can be overwhelming. So every week, we'll pick our not-to-miss events. Chances are, you'll see us there, kids in tow. If none of these suit your schedule, browse our full calendar to find events near you.

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