Nov. 26, 2008

Get out there and play


Thanksgiving isn’t just about the turkey and pumpkin pie, it’s about family and thankfulness, and lest we forget, a Thanksgiving parade. Marking its 75th anniversary, McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade will include performances from Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus, the Chicago casts of“Dirty Dancing” and“Jersey Boys,” as well as the flame-twirling Barefoot Hawaiians, to name a few.

Line up along State Street and don’t forget to bundle up for the three-hour parade, which is televised nationally on WGN (check local listings). Look to the skies for the 12 giant inflatable helium balloons including Arthur, Curious George and Paddington Bear, all of which are new this year. Don’t forget to watch for Santa Claus among the horses, marching bands and floats.

The 75th Anniversary McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade kicks off at 8 a.m. Thursday at Congress Parkway and State Street. The parade travels north to Randolph Street. The parade is free. For more information call (312) 235-2217 or visit

Sweet tickets


This is your final week to snag one of two family five-packs of tickets to the Adler Planetarium. The tickets include general admission and the sky show,“One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure.” The sky show, based on“Sesame Street,” joins Big Bird, Elmo and their Chinese friend, Hu Hu Zhu, on a journey to discover the North Star, the Big Dipper, the sun and the moon. To read Chicago Parent’s coverage of“One World, One Sky,” visit For more information, visit To win, visit our discussion board.

Get out there and play some more


Jump start the holiday season in style at the annual ZooLights festival at the Lincoln Park Zoo this Friday. Be sure to get there early, because every evening the first 1,000 visitors receive a free pair of 3D glasses to enhance viewing the more than 1.5 million lights.

While you walk around the zoo, warm up in various animal houses or make crafts in the primate house and visit Santa in the Lion house through Dec. 23. Watch the professionals turn a block of ice into something beautiful at“Arctic Artists” and see the new holiday musical light show played on the South Lawn.

ZooLights runs every weekend through Dec. 14, and nightly Dec. 15-Jan. 4 (except Dec. 24 and 25). The event runs 5-9 p.m. Lincoln Park Zoo is located at 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago. Admission is free. For more information, visit

Get your tickets here


This week, 13 lucky Chicago Parent readers will win family four packs to a special screening of“The Tale of Despereaux.” The special screening is on Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. at the AMC River East, 322 E. Illinois St., Chicago. For more information visit To win, visit our discussion board.

Outside fun


Warm up your signing voice to belt out your favorite carols under Cloud Gate this weekend. Join several Chicago choral groups in Millennium Park every Friday through Dec. 19 for Caroling at Cloud Gate and participate in a holiday sing-along.

Caroling begins at 6 p.m. and runs about 50 minutes. This Friday’s choral group is the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, a group of 150 members that was originally founded in 1872 after the Great Chicago Fire.

Once you’ve sung your holiday heart out, skate a while at Millennium Park’s McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Millennium Park is located at 55 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Caroling at Cloud Gate and skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink are free, and skate rentals are available for . For more information call (312) 742-1168 or visit the Web site

Piece of the prize


You don’t have to be a modern Stone Age family to win this week’s prize, although you will have a yabba dabba do time if you do. One lucky Chicago Parent reader will win“The Flintstones: The Complete Series” now on DVD. The DVD includes all 166 episodes on 24 disks. To win, visit our discussion board.


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