Best Things to Do with Chicagoland Kids in November

Plan ahead! We've rounded up some of the best activities and events to do with kids in Chicago and suburbs this month.

When raising kids, you know life can get busy. That’s why it’s sometimes helpful to plan ahead when searching for exciting events and attractions in Chicagoland. To make things easier for you, we’ve rounded up some of the best things to do with kids in November.

Be sure to check out the holiday lights and holiday train rides happening this month. Also, find other holiday events such as Thanksgiving events, Veterans Day events and ways to celebrate Diwali with your family.

Keep on scrolling to see our top picks of kid-friendly events in Chicago and the suburbs. You can also find more family events listed in our calendar.


Photo Credit: JB Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Chicago Kids Company Presents LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD at Apollo Theater

Nov. 1-3, 9-11, 14-17, 21-22, 2023

Sing along with Red and her friends as she travels through the forest to visit her Grandma. Little Red Riding Hood is a one-hour musical based on the original fairy tale.

Day of the Dead Pumpkin Decorating at Hermosa Park 

Nov. 1, 2023

Ages 6-12 can come out to Hermosa Park Oct. 25-30 to choose a pumpkin to take home and decorate. Bring your Day of the Dead decorated pumpkin back to the park on Nov. 1 at 4:30 p.m. to be entered into a contest. Candy will be given out to all participants.

Blue Man Group Chicago at Briar Street Theatre

Nov. 2-5, 9-12, 16-19, 21-22, 24-26, 30, 2023

Experience new instruments, technologies and audience participation at the Blue Man Group Chicago. This family-friendly performance is great for ages 3 and up.

Chicago Kids Company Presents PINOCCHIO at Beverly Arts Center

Nov. 2-3, 8-10, 14-17, 2023

Come meet Geppetto the Toymaker, the Blue Fairy and the rest of Pinocchio’s friends as he learns to be honest, unselfish and brave. Pinocchio is a one-hour musical based on the original fairy tale.

40th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival at FACETS

Nov. 3-19, 2023

Enjoy FACETS’ 40th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF39), the first Academy-qualifying children’s film festival in the world. Films are for ages 2-25.

Dia de los Muertos Celebration at Marquette (Jacques) Park

Nov. 3, 2023

Enjoy a family-friendly Day of the Dead celebration honoring the lives of loved ones that have passed away. There will be performances from Mexican Folkloric Dance, food, games and more.

Let’s Celebrate Diwali with Ms. Ajanta at Independence Branch

Nov. 4, 2023

Ages 0-5 can celebrate Diwali with Ms. Ajanta who will present stories and dances.

Taste of Poland with Jewel Osco in Chicago

Nov. 4, 2023

Celebrate Polish Independence Day and Polish culture as a whole at Jewel-Osco’s annual Taste of Poland event. There will be live music, giveaways and tastings from brands like Czaniecki Pasta Noodles, Mokate Cappuccino, Loyd Tea and more.

The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party at Chicago Children’s Theatre

Nov. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, 2023

Enjoy an interactive trunk and puppet show, which includes original music. A communal tea party to follow the show. Recommended for ages 8 and under.

The Mole Hill Stories at Merle Reskin Theatre

Nov. 4, 2023

See a bilingual adaptation of Lois Ehlert’s Mole’s Hill, Moon Rope Cuckoo books at Merle Reskin Theatre. Nov. 4 is the audio description show.

Free Admission on Veterans Day at Pritzker Military Museum & Library

Nov. 10-11, 2023

The Pritzker Military Museum & Library is offering free admission on Friday and Saturday for everyone in honor of Veterans Day.

Deepavali/Diwali Festival at Chicago Women’s Park & Garden

Nov. 11, 2023

Stop by Chicago Women’s Park & Garden for an evening celebrating joy and community with food, art and sparklers.

Diwali Celebration! at Bubbles Academy

Nov. 11, 2023

Families can enjoy a Diwali celebration with Ms. Ajanta and the Bubbles Academy Team with dances, storytime, art and snacks. Advanced registration required.

Mozart Immersive & Immersive Van Gogh at Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago

Through Nov. 12, 2023

Experience new instruments, technologies and audience participation at the Blue Man Group Chicago. This family-friendly performance is great for ages 3 and up.

Teen Night at the National Museum of Mexican Art

Nov. 17, 2023

This Day of the Dead teen event will include art activities, live performances by Linda Sol & Los Skin, pizza and nachos and more. Parents will not be permitted to this event.

ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo

Nov. 17, 2023-Jan. 7, 2024

Enjoy a twinkling winter wonderland complete with festive activities, such as visits with Santa, a holiday pop-up bar, sweet treats of all kinds and more.

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light at Museum of Science and Industry

Nov. 18, 2023-Jan. 1, 2024

This Chicago tradition began in 1942 with a single tree. Now, the museum features a four-story, floor to dome Grand Tree surrounded by more than 50 other trees and displays. Each surrounding tree is decorated to represent holiday traditions in other cultures around the world.

The Wintrust Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

Nov. 18, 2023

The annual festival happens a week before Thanksgiving. Grand Marshals Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World illuminate more than one million lights on over 200 trees along the parade route. You can enjoy numerous free family-friendly activities.

Low-Sensory Mornings at Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Nov. 19, 2023

Families can explore the museum on select days in a more sensory-friendly environment before it opens to the general public.

Santa at 900 North Michigan Shops

Nov. 19-Dec. 24, 2023

Come out to visit with Santa at 900 North Michigan Shops on Level 3. Santa will be in a vintage sleigh with hundreds of tiny holiday lights. Online reservations required.

Santaland at Macy’s State Street

Nov. 24-Dec. 24, 2023

Kids will be able to go over their wish list with Jolly Old St. Nick. This location is great when enjoying more holiday activities in The Loop. Reservations are required.

Hamilton at James M. Nederlander Theatre

Through Dec. 3, 2023

See this epic saga that follows the rise of Alexander Hamilton, based on Ron Chernow’s acclaimed biography. It blends the sounds of hip-hop, R&B, jazz and Broadway music. For ages 5 and up.

Día de Muertos, Living Presence at the National Museum of Mexican Art

Through Dec. 10, 2023

Head to the main gallery to see the museum’s 37th Day of the Dead exhibition to remember the thousands of people who died in the February 2023 earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Also, it will include a large installation to memorialize women who have disappeared, violated or murdered.

Mold-A-Rama: Molded for the Future at Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Through Dec. 31, 2023

  • Address:
  • Cost: Free w/museum admission

This exhibit features a collection of popular, rare and experimental Mold-A-Rama souvenirs from the past. Take home colorful souvenirs made by several machines featured in the exhibit and around the museum.

Pompeii: The Exhibition at Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Through Jan. 15, 2024

See this immersive educational museum exhibit, “Pompeii: The Exhibition,” and be transported back in time to learn about Pompeii and see more than 150 historical artifacts.

Doodles x CAMP

Through Jan. 28, 2024

Step into a fully immersive experience with Doodles x Camp. It is a 3,500-square-foot experience with features like Stoodio Magic, Rainbow Valley, Glowing Adventures and more. 

First Kings of Europe at Field Museum

Through Jan. 28, 2024

View this exhibit at the Field Museum that gathered more than 700 exquisite objects, such as jewelry, armor, weapons and more.

North/Northwest Suburbs

Photo credit: KIDZ BOP Live Tour

Chicago Toy & Game Fair at Donald E. Stephenson Convention Center

Nov. 4-5, 2023

The family-friendly activities include interactive exhibits, kid nominees for the Young Inventor Challenge, one-of-a-kind fashions made for toys, meet and greets, giveaways and more.

Día de los Muertos Celebration at the Preserve of Highland Park

Nov. 4, 2023

Celebrate the Day of the Dead with music, art projects, face painting, dancing and more. Bring a picture to the event.

Kidz Bop “Never Stop Live Tour” at Rosemont Theatre

Nov. 9, 2023

Children and their parents can rock out to live performances of today’s best hits by kids, for kids. KIDZ BOP Kids will perform today’s biggest hits, live on stage, including “Anti Hero,” “About That Time” and more.

Lightscape at Chicago Botanical Garden

Nov. 10, 2023-Jan. 7, 2024

See thousands of twinkling lights while walking through the Winter Cathedral and a reimagined fire garden.

Christmas Town at Summerfield Zoo

Nov. 11-12, 17-19, 24-26, 2023

Check out Santa’s Reindeer Barn with Santa’s entire sleigh team of reindeer, then visit with Santa Claus on Saturdays-Sundays. Kids will earn a “stable elf” diploma and take part in baby reindeer flight school training sessions. Online reservations are required.

Clayson’s Kids Days at Clayson House Museum

Nov. 12, 2023

Ages 4-12 can join the museum for a fun event for children. There will be a drop-in craft and you’ll be able to visit with their mascot, Clayson, the Family Dog.

Chicagopex 2023 Stamp Show at Westin Chicago Northwest

Nov. 17-19, 2023

See the largest stamp show in the midwest, which features over 70 dealers, presentations, a youth area and more. Collectors of all skill levels welcome.

Sparkle Light Festival in Rosemont

Nov. 17-Dec. 31, 2023

Visitors can enjoy an immersive display of millions of holiday lights amongst outdoor holiday activities including free train rides, winter tubing and themed mazes. A special menu of festive food and beverage options will also be available.

Willow Hill Lights at Willow Hill Golf Course

Nov. 17, 2023-Jan. 6, 2024

Enjoy this drive thru holiday lights show, which is back for its second year with bigger and better displays. It will feature a 1.6 mile route with over one million lights, three drive through tunnels and a 30 foot Christmas tree.

Happy Holiday Railway at Illinois Railway Museum

Nov. 24-26, 2033

Take a 40-minute train ride trip through the winter countryside on one of the museum’s trains. Sip on hot chocolate and enjoy treats while you await your visit from Santa on the train. Also, be sure to check out the holiday lights display at the boarding area, including the biggest and brightest Christmas tree in McHenry County.

for KING & COUNTRY: A Drummer Boy Christmas Concert at NOW Arena

Nov. 25, 2033

See brothers Joel and Luke, GRAMMY award-winning duo for KING + COUNTRY for their Drummer Boy Christmas Tour. They’ll be performing Christmas classics such as “Little Drummer Boy” from A Drummer Boy Christmas, #1 hit single “Love Me Like I Am” from their recently released Billboard Top 200 album, “What Are We Waiting For? and many more.

Santa in the Village! in Historic Downtown Long Grove

Nov. 25-27, 2033

Do your holiday shopping and visit with Santa Claus. On Dec. 3, the pictures will be by the decorated bridge.

“I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli at Illinois Holocaust Museum

Through April 14, 2024

“I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli explores how Jewish immigrants imported and adapted traditions to create a uniquely American restaurant. Learn about deli history with menus, advertisements, neon signs, photographs, uniforms and film and TV clips. There are also interactive and photo opportunities.

South Suburbs

Alicia Olatuja at Fine and Performing Arts Center, Moraine Valley Community College

Nov. 18, 2023

See Alicia Olatuja, who was praised by the New York Times as “a singer with a strong and luscious tone and an amiably regal presence on stage.”

Western Suburbs

Photo Credit: Brookfield Zoo

Dia De Los Muertos Community Offrenda at Indian Prairie Public Library

Oct 31-Nov. 3, 2023

Stop by the Indian Prairie Public Library to leave a picture or momento of a loved one at their offrenda, located on the second floor.

Sugar Skull City in Downtown Aurora

Through Nov. 5, 2023

  • Address: Downtown Aurora area
  • Cost: Free

Aurora Downtown is honoring Day of the Dead, the beloved Mexican cultural tradition, with Dia de los Muertos art, activities, specials, videos, shopping and more.

Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum

Nov. 18, 2023-Jan. 6, 2024

Surround yourselves with color while walking on the one-mile paved pathway. Enjoy seasonal music, captivating light designs and roasting s’mores on a fire at this outdoor event.

Adaptive Play Time at DuPage Children’s Museum

Nov. 19, 2023

This monthly event provides a modified environment for play and learning for children and their caregivers. It is intended for families with disabilities, on the autism spectrum and/or with sensory processing disorders. Pre-registration is required.

Naper Lights in Downtown Naperville

Nov. 23-Dec. 31, 2023

  • Address: Downtown Naperville area
  • Cost: Free; donations are welcome

Put on a pair of 3D glasses and enjoy a magical holiday lights celebration, presented by Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise. On Friday and Saturday evenings, Santa will be available to take pictures.

Winter Lights at Central Park

Nov. 23, 2023-Jan. 7, 2024

Enjoy a half-mile walk to see the holiday lights through Central Park. See inspirational signs, colorful rainbow arches, cascading snowflakes and more.

Festival of Lights at Cosley Zoo

Nov. 24-Dec. 30, 2023

See twinkling lights, an amazing selection of Christmas trees and wreaths and greenery at this holiday lighting event. Also, hot chocolate and holiday gifts are available to purchase in the Wild Side Gift Shop.

Holiday Magic at the Brookfield Zoo

Nov. 24-Dec. 31, 2023

This annual event features over two million twinkling LED lights and is Chicagoland’s longest running holiday light experience! Advanced tickets required.

Magical Christmas at Santa’s Village

Nov. 24-Dec. 23, 2023

See over 3 million lights synchronized to holiday music at this one-of-a-kind drive through experience. At the end of the drive through, you’ll be able to park your car and meet and take a photo with Santa Claus. Also, a 300 feet tube slide, entertainment and hot cocoa and funnel cakes for purchase. Online reservations are required.

Santa’s Naperville Workshop

Nov. 27-Dec. 21, 2023

Families can enjoy a unique visit with Santa Claus inside his magical workshop. Bring your own camera. Dress for the weather. Advanced registration is required.

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Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano is a mom of one and Chicago Parent's Audience Development Coordinator. She tracks down the best events every week and shares the inside scoop with families in print and online. She enjoys reading, traveling and exploring new places with her son.


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