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.

Fun things to do with kids this weekend in Chicago(land)

Food fests, maypole dancing, a throwback picnic and a baby dance party – this weekend truly has it all! (We repeat: baby dance party.) Summer festival season is in full swing, with lots of options for families in the city and the suburbs, whether you’re into to BBQ or chalk art. Plus, our full calendar is bursting with all the other fun events happening across Chicagoland this weekend. Spoiler alert: You’re definitely not going to want to stay home.

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McDonalds Thanksgiving Parade

The parade down State Street features live performances, equestrian units, marching bands and the sky-high balloons.

Christkindlmarket Chicago

Discover a traditional centuries-old holiday market in the heart of downtown Chicago. Christkindlmarket features German and international vendors who display hand-crafted ornaments, toys and unique gifts as well as traditional German foods, sweets and beverages. School groups, professional singers and dance groups perform. Special events include appearances by the Christkind and the annual Children’s Lantern Parade, which celebrates St. Martin’s Day. Nov. 18-Dec. 24.

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. 25 – Dec. 23. Santa comes at 5 p.m. and caroling starts at 6 p.m.

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

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

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 twoMalambo styles featuring powerful foot stomping. The rhythms areechoed by “bombos,” large, fat, rustic drums, “boleadoras” or bolas(long, thin ropes with two or more stones attached at the ends) andaccompanied 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, meet Toy and Game Inventors, have a picture taken with Star Wars characters and more.

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. New in 2016: Sea Lion Splash.

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 thegalleries 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 currentmember of our armed forces. Letters will be sent to the local VFWpost 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, all handcrafted with natural materials.

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