Must Things To Do In Chicago For Thanksgiving

thanksgiving in chicago

Experience Chicago For Thanksgiving

A picture of people wandering through a light display in Chicago during November

This Thanksgiving, Chicago offers a wide range of activities to enjoy! From seeing the changing colors of autumn to celebrating Thanksgiving on a patio or visiting one of the city’s splendid Christmas markets, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Witness the illumination of the Christmas Tree in Millenium Park!

It is a must to mark the date when Millenium Park starts to be in the atmosphere of Christmas. Even though some people may think that it is too soon to start the celebration of Christmas in November, when Chicago’s official Christmas tree is put up, it is hard for many to not feel joyous.

This year, on Friday, November 17, the City of Chicago will be illuminating a massive Christmas tree in Millenium Park with thousands of twinkling lights and decorations at 6:00 p.m.

This year’s Yuletide Tree Illumination Ceremony is going to be held in person with large screens set up in various spots in the park for viewing.

Experience the joy of Christmas in Chicago’s beloved Christkindlmarket

An image of the Christkindlmarket is depicted in the photo, which is a popular event in Chicago. It is a market filled with holiday cheer, decorations, and seasonal treats. The scene is a perfect representation of the season’s festivities.

Every winter, the traditional Christkindlmarket is a beacon of hope in the midst of our dark times.

Despite the arrival of Chicago’s cold winter, the joyous Christmas season is here to fill the city with delight. On Friday, November 17th, the 27th edition of the renowned German-style Christmas market is returning to bring warmth and cheer. It is sure to be a grand event!

Be ready for the delightful aroma of roasted nuts, warm pretzels, grilled bratwurst, spiced wine, and the captivating sounds of carols and twinkling lights, all in a comforting setting.

Don’t overlook the Magnificent Mile’s yearly celebration of lights! Check out the festival here.

On Sunday, November 19th, the holiday season will kick off with over one million lights adorning The Magnificent Mile. This stretch of Michigan Avenue, between Wacker Drive and Oak Street, will become a magical place to revel in the spirit of the season. With more than 200 brilliantly lit trees, the heart of Chicago will be aglow with a remarkable sight to behold.

Gail Spreen, the Chairman of the festival, stated that the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is the third largest parade in the nation and is broadcasted to over 91 percent of the American population.

The festival is without charge and includes a street full of stalls, along with many activities for the whole family. Among them are opportunities for pictures with Santa Claus and festive music provided by a DJ.

Experience the amazing range of light shows in Chicago

The beginning of November marks the start of some spectacular light displays in the Chicagoland area, many of which will leave viewers in awe.

Illinois is becoming the destination of choice when it comes to dazzling light displays annually. Notable places such as Morton Arboretum, Chicago Botanic Gardens, and Lincoln Park Zoo are some of the venues that guarantee a unique and festive experience.

The beauty of nature, innovative light art displays, and the joy of the season all come together to create a truly unique experience that is unlike anything else.

Spend a cozy evening in an igloo perched atop the Godfrey Hotel for a winter experience like no other.

A drone captured the stunning aerial view of the igloos atop the Godfrey Hotel’s Winter Wonderland in Chicago. This image was provided by the Godfrey Hotel, taken by Francis Son Photography.

When the temperature starts to dip, it may be time to find a sheltered spot. The Godfrey Hotel’s rooftop offers the perfect combination of being outside, while still feeling the warmth of a transparent igloo. Check it out if you’re in the Chicago area!

The biggest rooftop in Chicago with a retractable roof has the potential to become any kind of event space. This month it will be made into a wintery paradise with heated igloos, fire pits, fire dancing, music from live DJs, s’mores, and specialty cocktails.

Gallagher Way is the perfect place to check out Winterland this season! Find out more here.

Put on your skates and hit the ice on the famous baseball diamond this winter. On November 21st, Gallagher Way’s Winterland opens up its large 12,000-square-foot rink, as well as the beloved Christkindlmarket. Despite the Cubs not playing, going to Gallagher Way is still one of the top things to do in Chicago during November.

Slide onto the ice at Maggie Daley Park

A photo of the Maggie Daley Ice Rink can be seen in this image. The rink is located in the city of Chicago and is a popular destination for people wanting a fun winter activity.

Chicagoans can enjoy a unique winter activity at Maggie Daley Park’s ice skating ribbon. Skaters can take a spin around the quarter-mile rink in Millennium Park, giving them the chance to experience a feeling of being in the Alps, right in the city.

The meandering ribbon of ice creates a path of ascents and descents around a vertical structure that rises 40 feet high with the city’s beautiful skyline as its backdrop. It’s definitely something that should be on your winter itinerary. Reserving a spot costs $5 for those who have their own skates and $16 to $20 for those who need to rent, depending on the date.

Have a look at the Steve McCurry show

A Steve McCurry exhibition is depicted in the image, where people are seen admiring a photo. The image is courtesy of the Steve McCurry exhibition.

The famous Steve McCurry is renowned as one of the most notable photographers of modern times, with accomplishments extending across 30 years. Visitors to Chicago can see his renowned pictures at ICONS in Chicago after the exhibition travelled through Madrid, Mexico City, Lisbon, and Sydney.

Admire more than 80 large photographs, among them the renowned ‘Afghan Girl’ seen on the National Geographic front page in 1985.

Immerse yourself in the experience of a Candlelight Concert in Chicago.


The Candlelight Concerts in Chicago provide a wonderful array of visual and auditory delights. Marvel at the combination of soft candlelight and mesmerizing music as talented musicians perform in unique venues throughout the city.

Struggling to come to a decision for a concert or looking for the perfect present? Candlelight gift cards are straightforward and can be used for any event in the US hosted by Candlelight, giving it the potential to be an ideal gift for those close to you. Check out the events here.

Observe the Leonids Meteor Shower

A picture of the Perseid Meteor Shower is displayed here. This celestial event is known for its spectacular display of light in the night sky.

This month, the sky will be illuminated by another mesmerizing display: the Leonids. Every year, as Earth’s orbit crosses the orbit of Comet Tempel-Tuttle, it leaves behind a trail of debris that glitters in the atmosphere. This is one of many natural wonders that can be seen in the sky.

The Leonid Meteor Shower is set to begin on Friday, November 3rd and stretch until Saturday, December 2nd, with the most activity occurring from Thursday, November 16th to Saturday, November 18th.

More information can be found on the Leonid Meteor Shower at this link.

Take a sip of the black stuff at the Guinness Taproom, newly opened in the West Loop area of Chicago.

Image showing the main room with Guinness-themed decor at the new Guinness Taproom in Chicago

If you are a fan of Chicago beer and have a hankering for the renowned Irish dry stout, you have come to the right place!

The much-anticipated Guinness Taproom in West Loop, Chicago has at last opened its doors, providing customers with a unique and thrilling experience in the city’s bustling area.

Enjoy a beverage at the new 360 CHICAGO bar, located high in the sky!

A night-time view of CloudBar is illustrated in the photo above. This image was taken by 360 Chicago.

Mentioned in the same breath as drinks, a new bar can now be found 1,000 feet high in the sky over Chicago, on the 94th floor of the former John Hancock Center. 360 CHICAGO’s CloudBar exhibits a European design that pays homage to Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods, with a menu reflecting local influences and artworks from celebrated Chicago street artist Lauren Asta. This 18-seat lounge bar provides a unique and memorable experience.

This month, take in the stunning sights from the $2 million lounge while indulging in a refreshing Orange Line or a Gold Coast Manhattan.

Enjoy a warm beverage outdoors in the cooler months by visiting one of Chicago’s best patios.

A picture of a playground is depicted in the image. It shows Recess, a place where people can take a break and enjoy time outdoors.

In Chicago, where patio season is taken seriously, Recess is the place to be for a drink this autumn. The city is home to some of the best patios and beer gardens, and Recess’s large patio bar is the perfect spot for enjoying the last of the warm weather.

A cozy 14,500-square-foot patio, Recess is situated on a corner in the West Loop, comprised of 30 stacked shipping containers. The atmosphere is characterized by its reclaimed industrial vibe and is enhanced by the colorful murals and greenery. It is certainly one of the best places in Chicago to grab a drink this autumn.

Elevate your experience to London House Chicago’s renowned terrace on the 22nd floor.

A picture of London House Chicago can be seen, showing a wide view of the area. The popular destination spot is featured in the image, with its architecture and surrounding area in full view.

For a festive holiday experience, the luxurious hotel is transforming its tri-level rooftop bar into Rudolph’s Rooftop commencing on Friday, November 18th and will be overflowing with decorations.

At the renowned 22nd-level terrace of Chicago, visitors will find an array of captivating vistas as well as the opportunity to rent outdoor igloos and a winter-themed bar with specialty cocktails.

Capture remarkable holiday season recollections with an exclusive photo opportunity in front of the picturesque Chicago River and Michigan Avenue. This winter paradise is sure to provide the perfect backdrop for those special moments.

Investigate the Chicago Field Museum without a charge

During the summer months, free admission days are rather scarce in Chicago when the tourism sector is experiencing high activity. But, as we move into autumn, many of our wonderful museums and sights begin to offer free admission days more often.

The Field Museum will be open for free admission on the 7th, 10th, 14th, and 28th of November.

Head to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and give your creativity a boost!

here.

From Chicago’s multitude of acclaimed museums, the Museum of Contemporary Art stands out as a noteworthy option, although not free. This majestic building offers a plethora of spectacular permanent and temporary exhibitions that will no doubt leave you stunned.

Take the whole family and get ready for an extraordinary adventure in modern art or invite a group of friends and express your creative, artistic self as you discover the stunning displays. Loaded with captivating paintings, sculptures, and photographs, this museum will be one to remember.

On Wednesdays, one can gain free entry to the Adler Planetarium without charge.

The accompanying image is of the Adler Planetarium situated in Chicago. It can be found on adlerplanetarium.org.

Covid-19 compelled The Adler Planetarium to have a two-year long renovation, and the result is a brand new telescope in the Doane Observatory. This telescope is now the largest in the state open to the public.

The 80-year-old dome of the planetarium was recently given an iconic new shine due to the installation of a new roof. Furthermore, to celebrate its reopening, the planetarium declared that Illinois locals will be able to enter without cost each Wednesday night from 4-10 pm for the foreseeable future, provided they bring proof of their residency.

Check out the Earth Exhibition at the Morton Arboretum, which includes a selection of new sculptures.

A representation of the “Oculus” sculpture is seen in the picture above, which is located at the Morton Arboretum in Chicago for the new “Of the Earth” exhibition. The image is credited to the Morton Arboretum.

The Morton Arboretum has opened a showcase this year that includes a set of awe-inspiring sculptures modeled after trees.

Olga Ziemska, a Polish-American artist, has created five unique pieces for the show entitled “Of the Earth,” which has taken the place of the Human + Nature exhibition at the Morton Arboretum.

A comprehensive collection of artworks by Olga Ziemska, entitled “Of the Earth,” has been prepared especially for visitors of the Arboretum. According to an announcement from Morton Arboretum, Ziemska has mostly utilized branches and other natural objects collected from distinct areas on the Arboretum grounds to create her sculptures.

Experience Visual Art at the MART for the Fall Season!


You don’t need to attend a gallery in order to witness remarkable artwork in Chicago. Art on theMART, which has the distinction of being the “biggest continuous digital art projection in the world”, draws numerous people to the Riverwalk and Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago from spring through fall by reshaping the fa├žade of the Merchandise Mart, which covers an area of 2.5 acres.

The fall program at our facility brings captivating light displays generated in reaction to the global ecological crisis and AI into the spotlight each evening from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. up until Friday, November 18.

Investigate the appealing street art mural designs of Chicago

The street art and graffiti scene of Chicago has grown considerably in the last decade. There are new works popping up all around the city on a regular basis, and some have become so popular that they are now a major part of the identity of Chicago.

At present, murals have become more than just a visual delight. They are a way to give tribute to influential people , champion racial justice, exalt diverse backgrounds, and recognize the indispensable personnel of our societies during difficult times.

Exploring the dazzling street art murals in Chicago can be a fun and fulfilling experience at any point in the year. We’ve put together a curated list of some of the city’s best murals so you can find your way to them and discover what sparked the ideas behind the creation of some of the Windy City’s iconic artworks.

Unleash your creativity at a Spray ‘N’ Sip urban art workshop!

A picture of an activity known as “Sip n’ Spray” is visible in the image. It is a Chicago-area social event in which individuals drink and paint simultaneously.

If the sight of Chicago’s remarkable street art has you feeling inspired, then the BYOB Urban Art Workshops is the ideal spot to allow your inner artist to emerge. Let your creative juices flow freely!

Every week, Studio W.I.P. at The Chicago Kedzie Plaza provides the perfect atmosphere for experimentation and enjoyment. There’s no pressure or expectations, just an open platform to share creative ideas.

Trained artists will provide instruction on how to create a mural, while you enjoy your favorite beverage in one hand and hold a spray can in the other. Let your inner artist be unleashed!

Indulge in the Pumpkin Patch Shake at Jojo’s Shake Bar

A photo of JoJo’s Shake Bar is presented in the image. The establishment offers a variety of shakes and other treats for customers to enjoy.

If you are off to explore vibrant murals this autumn, a visit to Jojo ‘s Shake Bar for a Pumpkin Patch shake would not be a bad idea.

Jojo’s Shake Bar, renowned for its extra-decadent milkshakes and colossal hot chocolates, will once more festoon its patios near River North and Naperville with bales of hay, a plethora of pumpkins, and some remarkable autumnal photo opportunities.

At JoJo’s Shake bar, one can experience a unique feast of gourmet caramel apples, apple & pumpkin pies, spiked ciders, and hot chocolates. Don’t forget to try their renowned shakes, including the exclusive Famous Pumpkin Patch Shake, available for one month only. This special concoction is topped with a piece of pumpkin pie, a taffy apple, toasted marshmallows, and a toffee pretzel.

Take a trip to America’s largest outdoor adventure park in Lemont!

Experience a full day of entertainment and fun just a short drive away in Lemont, where The Forge: Lemont Quarries is a great destination.

The expansive 300-acre park contains a wide range of activities, from mountain biking and climbing to yoga and a tactical laser tag course, ensuring there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Indulge in an Unforgettable Brunch Experience at These Chicago Spots

Explore the array of breakfast and brunch spots in the city and treat yourself to an unforgettable meal.

A picture of a Chicago brunch restaurant is shown, with customers seated at tables with plates and floral decorations. This image was taken at Wake ‘N Bacon.

A great way to perk up, find a fun group activity for a Sunday, or recover from the night before is to go out for brunch.

The Windy City has a plethora of great breakfast options, and this list showcases the very best.

Experience the finest cocktails available in Chicago

If you’re in Chicago for brunch, resting on a patio, or hanging out at one of the city’s numerous bars and eateries, you’ll have easy access to an expertly-mixed cocktail in no time.

No matter what kind of drink you’re looking for, Chicago and its great bartenders have the solution. From classic margaritas to more creative combinations, the Windy City has it all.

Check out one of the highly-regarded breweries in Chicago

The Marz Taroom located in the Central Manufacturing District of McKinley Park, Chicago, near the south side is pictured in the image. Image credit goes to Marz Brewing.

If you’re more of a fan of craft beers than a fruity drink, don’t worry! Chicago has a plethora of highly acclaimed breweries from all over the world.

Chicago is commonly considered a top-tier city for beer, and the vast selection of incredible breweries and taprooms makes it difficult to pick just one. Our beer culture is well-developed and creative, offering plenty of options.

There is no shortage of places to taste a well-crafted brew in the Chicagoland area, as there are more than 200 breweries of all sizes. This means that one can relish in a great beer in a variety of atmospheres, no matter the weather.

Secure your seat for a Drunken Shakespearean Performance

A picture of individuals having a grand time at a Drunk Shakespeare show in Chicago

For those looking for a unique experience, an incredible activity to be had in Chicago is attending a Drunk Shakespeare presentation.

At a secretive speakeasy located behind the Chicago Theater, guests can experience a luxurious cocktail bar and library with more than 10,000 books. Five performers trained in the classical arts have formed the “Drunk Shakespeare Society.” One of the actors has had around five shots of whiskey, and then, with a strong sense of assurance, they try to take on a significant part in one of Shakespeare’s plays.

Chaos and hilarity follow as the four actors stay sober in an attempt to stay true to the script. Every performance is distinctive due to the varying types of beverages consumed by the audience.

Get a good laugh by attending a Chicago comedy show!

Check out Feverup’s offering for a guaranteed night of fun and entertainment.

Photo of the Laugh Factory stage

Searching for a giggle? Then, you won’t find a better spot than a comedy show in Chicago. The city is renowned for its abundance of humorous individuals, making it one of the top destinations for comedy in the US.

Comedians of different styles and tastes, from renowned celebrities to local talent, come together and perform regularly at Laugh Factory Chicago.

Take a Hike in the Chicago Area This Fall

Go explore the outdoors this autumn with a hike in the Chicago vicinity.

large rocks on a ledge at Devil's Lake State Park in WI with a forest and lake behind

The period of the year brings its own unique opportunities to appreciate the environment; when springtime arrives, the snow has melted, and during the summer the colors are plentiful. When autumn rolls around, the trees are adorned with the warm shades of red and gold while winter brings a new layer of snow to signal the end of the year.

Hiking around Chicago can be enjoyable at any time of year, yet autumn brings a special beauty that can’t be found elsewhere.

As the colors of fall arrive throughout the state of Illinois, venture away from the urban setting for a day-trip and take in the beauty of nature by going on a hike at one of the esteemed parks near Chicago.

Take a break from the city and witness the natural beauty of Illinois!

Despite not having the universal fame of the Grand Canyon or Niagra Falls, the diverse ecological beauty of Illinois is on full display during this time of year.

Whether you desire to trek or not, plan a trip to view some of Illinois’ most remarkable natural wonders. We’ve compiled a list 7 natural wonders of Illinois to explore while they are in their prime. From stunning constructions to impressive cascades, there is something for everyone.

Spend some time in one of the Starved Rock Getaway cabins!

A picture of someone reading a book inside a cabin in the forest near Chicago is displayed here. The photo was taken by Getaway.

Starved Rock State Park recently unveiled a new selection of accommodations, providing guests with minimalistic cabins that feature floor-to-ceiling windows. This allows visitors to be fully immersed in nature when they wake up.

Situated amidst beautiful scenery and with moderate yet cozy designs, they provide the ideal way to unplug from the hustle and bustle of the city with calming visits among the wilds.

Starved Rock, a natural wonder in our state, is home to 13 miles of trails, several waterfalls, and 18 canyons which make it a sight to behold.

Uncover the Windy City’s hidden havens of paradise by exploring Secret Gardens

A tranquil garden with trees, a body of water, rocks, and blossoms is showcased in the above image from Shutterstock located in Chicago.

One can certainly experience a connection with the outdoors while in Chicago, as there are innumerable spots where one can reconnect with the natural world in the Windy City.

From the Lakefront to the plentiful parks and phenomenal hiking trails, nature is thriving in Chicago. However, there are also many concealed gardens tucked away throughout the city.

Scroll to Top