Thanksgiving Parade

Happy Thanksgiving, Chicago! Put your feet up, enjoy some quality family time (and some quality turkey time), and have a happy and safe holiday. After the big day tomorrow, what are your plans? For those of you braving the Black Friday deals, we salute you. But if 3 AM shopping post-Thanksgiving isn't your style, Chicago is bursting into the holidays in full force this weekend. Embrace the season and enjoy the weekend!

McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade (11/28)

Come Thanksgiving day, you know the drill - throw that turket in the oven nice and early in the morning, and come downtown to celebrate the holiday with family and friends all along State Street with McDonald's 80th Thanksgiving Day Parade! Featuring marching bands from across the city, everyone's favorite inflatable character balloons, decorative floats and maybe even Santa Claus and Ronald McDonald, this is an annual celebration that will have you thankful you live in Chicago.

Christkindlmarket (11/26-12/24)


The time has at long last come for Daley Plaza to tranform into Chicago's beloved Christkindmarket, now through Christmas Eve for all of us last, last minute shoppers. A lively and bustling market brought to life by Chicago's vibrant international communitites, Christkindlmarket will transport you to The Christmas Market in Main Market Square in Nuremberg, Germany. Enjoy the 18th season of Chicago's Christknidlmarket with a variety of vendors selling authentic German products such as hand-blown ornament, jewelry and beer steins, and grab a traditional mug of Gluewhein (hot spiced wine) and a schnitzel.

Wreathing of the Lions at the Art Institute (11/29)

AIC Wreathing Lions

A Chicago family favorite tradition in the heart of the city, The Wreathing of the Lions will take place the day after Thanksgiving, this Friday November 29th. Chicago's iconic lions at the entrance of the Art Institute are adorned with traditional evergreen wreaths to ring in the festiveness of the season. Thanksgiving is officially over by then, so Christmas bows are allowed - right? Right. Enjoy music and family-friendly activities alongside complimentary hot chocolate after the wreathing (10 AM - 3 PM).

Caroling at Cloud Gate (11/29)

Caroling Cloud Gate Holidays

Chicago may be a rather large city, but it never lets go of its local and community-oriented charm. So while you may not have carolers knocking at your subburb door, you do have local Chicago choruses ringing Cloud Gate in Millennium Park once a week from now until Christmas waiting to serenade you! Kicking off the Caroling At Cloud Gate Series this year is the Apollo Chorus of Chicago this Friday evening at 6 PM. Bundle up and come enjoy some classic holiday tunes with the city skyline as the backdrop.

Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo (Weekends 11/29/13-1/5/14)

zoo lights

This annual fun, free and family-oriented holiday celebration is not to be missed! Lincoln Park Zoo does it right: the brilliantly dazzling lights strung across the zoolight the way to holiday-season activities throughout zoo ground: photos with Santa and live ice carving, anyone? New this year, Ice Skating at Lincoln Park Zoo will be open daily until 9 PM starting this Friday through March 2! Grab your skates and be sure to hit the Lincoln Park Zoo this season.

Holiday Magic at the Brookefield Zoo (11/30-12/31)

Holiday Magic

Continue the magic of Christmas lights at The Brookfield Zoo starting this Saturday with their month-long celebration of Holiday Magic. Music and entertainment will keep the zoo lively and festive every night, along with storytellers, reindeer, and ice sculptures, to name a few festive features: is there anything more to holiday magic?