November in Chicago is a magical time, as the leaves start to fall, festive decorations begin to appear, and holiday events fill up our social calendars. From dazzling light shows to German-inspired Christmas markets, there’s plenty to explore throughout the city. Check out our list of favorite Chicago activities to enjoy this November 2022.

Top events in Chicago this November

Winterland at Gallagher Way
Winterland at Gallagher Way

Visit Winterland at Gallagher Way (starting Nov. 19): Winterland at Gallagher Way is back and bigger than ever, with festive family-friendly activities now expanded into iconic Wrigley Field.

Enjoy Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden (starting Nov. 11): Explore the Chicago Botanic Garden’s scenic trails with a magical twist for the holidays, filled with new light installations, holiday music, and more.

Head to ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo(starting Nov. 19): Head to Lincoln Park Zoo for a celebratory holiday tradition beloved by so many, and explore the hundreds of lights scattered across the zoo.

Feel the holiday magic at Christkindlmarket(starting Nov. 18): The iconic German-inspired holiday market takes over downtown Daley Plaza with handmade gifts, traditional treats, and unique events.

Head to the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival(Nov. 19): The beloved, annual holiday tradition takes over Magnificent Mile and starts with a tree lighting, and continues with a lights festival, floats, marching bands, fireworks, and more.

Enjoy Christmas Around the World and Holiday of Lights (starting Nov. 16): The holidays are headed to the Museum of Science and Industry for a special exhibit featuring a four-story, floor-to-dome grand Christmas tree. 

Check out the Christmas Tree Lighting at Millenium Park(Nov. 18): The 109th annual celebratory Christmas tree lighting will take place at Millenium Park followed by holiday musical performances.

Glide around the ice in Millennium Park(starting Nov. 19): Skate with a city view at Millenium Park iconic ice skating rink. Admission is free, but online ticket reservations are required.

Don’t miss the Illumination Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum (starting Nov 19.): The tenth-annual event includes fifty acres of the arboretum to explore, filled with a spectacle of light, sound, and color. 

Bask in the glow of Light Up the Lake at Navy Pier(starting Nov. 26): Light sculptures and gardens, a skating rink, holiday beer garden, kiddie train, and more are part of Navy Pier’s indoor winter wonderland.

More events in Chicago this November

Listen to Don Carlos at the Lyric Opera House (Nov. 9 – 25): Guiseppe Verdi’s iconic opera showcases the stories of 16th century Spain at the art deco Lyric Opera House.

Sip brews at the Festival of Barrel-Aged Beers(Nov. 4 – 5): The 20th annual beer lover’s festival will showcase over 300 barrel-aged beer, ciders, and more from over 180 craft breweries.

Grab tickets for the Lit + Luz Live Magazine Show(Nov. 4): A variety of U.S. and Mexican artists will team up for a night of live storytelling, music, poetry, and video to explore the relationship between language and culture.

Honor Day of the Dead at the National Museum of Mexican Art(through November): This year is the 35th annual Day of the Dead exhibition to honor and celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed through the pandemic.

Shop at the Sauced Fall Night Market(Nov. 4 – 5): Start your holiday shopping at the two-night Sauced Fall Night Market at the House of Vans. 

Run (or watch) the Hot Chocolate Run(Nov. 5): Run for hot chocolate at the annual fall 5K and 15K race throughout downtown Chicago. 

Check out the Sparkle Lights Festival in Rosemont(starting Nov. 16): Impact Field in Rosemont will be transformed into five illuminated lights villages, featuring a holiday train, 3D features, and more.

Enjoy Steppenwolf’s 1919 On Tour Across Chicago(starting November): Steppenwolf for Young Adults is touring its 1919 performance, about the life and death of 17-year old Eugene Williams, across five different Chicago Park District cultural centers across the city.  

Check out Prop Day at Goose Island (Nov. 12): Goose Island’s Prop Day celebrates its Bourbon County Brand Stout with a lottery event that offers beer lovers the first chance to taste the upcoming line-up and take home bottles of this year’s release.

Celebrate holiday magic at Brookfield Zoo (starting Nov. 25): Head to the Brookfield Zoo for a light-tastic festive display that includes over two million lights, a skating rink, illuminated animal sculptures, and more.

Take the kids to see the Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party (starts Nov. 19): Beatrix Potter’s iconic novels come to life throughout a holiday tea party show at the Chicago Children’s Theatre. 

Visit the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival(Nov. 4 – 20): The 39th edition of the first Academy Awards-qualifying children’s film fest in the world will host screenings in Lincoln Park.

Shop artisan works at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Art (Nov. 19 and 20): Support small businesses this season at the Navi-Arts Festival, a family-friendly market that includes local artisan vendors, live music, food, drinks, and more.

Join the Viking Pub Crawl in Andersonville (Nov. 19): This year is the fifth-annual, viking-inspired pub crawl across Andersonville favorites, such as Atmosphere, The SoFo Tap, Land and Lake Andersonville, and more. 

Enjoy the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade(Nov. 25): From larger-than-life floats to marching bands, the iconic Thanksgiving parade will march down State St. starting at 8 a.m.

Millenium Park Holiday Sing Along(starting Nov. 25): Spread holiday cheer at Millennium Park during these city-wide sing along events.

Head to the Immersive Nutcracker (starting Nov. 19): The groundbreaking Lighthouse Artspace transforms into the Immersive Nutcracker exhibit for the holidays, accompanied by the iconic score.

Listen to Candlelight: A Tribute to Beyonce at Stan Mansion (through November): A string quartet will play Beyonce’s greatest hits at this candlelit historic mansion in Logan Square.

Snag tickets for Arcade Fire (Nov. 12): Canadian rock band Arcade Fire comes to the United Center during their “We” tour for a one-night stop in Chicago.

Don’t miss the Lion King at the Cadillac Palace Theater (through November): The beloved musical returns to Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theater for an extended stay throughout November.

Go see Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol(starting Nov 20.): This year is the 44th annual celebration of the beloved holiday tale that tells the heartwarming story of Ebenezer Scrooge at the Goodman Theatre.

Visit the Lycée French Market (Nov. 12 and 13): The Lycée Français de Chicago school hosts a French Market weekend filled with local and French artisan vendors sharing everything from handmade goods, including art, jewelry, home decor, gourmet food, and more.

Admire couture at the DuSable Black History Museum(through Nov. 27): The Color Is: Fashion Exhibition at the DuSable Black History Museum covers the artistic works of Nick Cave, and his brother Jack Cave, featuring 50 fashion looks and objects.

Run the Turkey Trot in Chicago (Nov. 24):  Gather your flock and take a trot through scenic Lincoln Park during the annual Turkey Trot 5K and 8K race on Thanksgiving Day.

Grab the car and head to the Christmas Light Show at Northbrook Court (starting Nov. 18): Shine Light Show in Northbrook Court is a drive-through lights festival that highlights over one million string lights, all set to classic holiday tunes.

Be wowed at the Chicago Magic Lounge(through November): Andersonville’s Chicago Magic Lounge is part speakeasy, part magic lounge, and perfect for anyone looking to escape the everyday with a fun night of food, drink, and of course, magic.

Indulge at the Museum of Ice Cream(through November): Part whimsy, and part delicious, the Museum of Ice Cream features 14 magical installations and the option to sample various sweet treats throughout the museum. 

Shop the Randolph Street Market(through November): From antiques to clothes to collectibles, there’s plenty to browse at the ever-popular holiday market in Plumber’s Hall that features over 125 vendors.

Check out Prince: The Immersive Experience (through November): Enjoy an immersive look and feel of the music and life of Prince, and particularly his Purple Rain album.

Watch Art on theMART (through November): Every night, head to the Merchandise Mart for a projection of various art pieces showcased across the exterior of the 2.5 acre river facade of theMART.

Take a Brick of Chicago Walking Tour(through Nov. 6): Explore some of Chicago’s most unique neighborhoods with a speciality walking tour from Brick of Chicago. 

Snag tickets for Cabaret ZaZou (though November): Teatro ZinZanni presents a new immersive variety dinner show featuring cirque acts, interactive comedy, vocal performances, live band performances, and a multi-course meal.

Learn about legendary Black writers (through November): The newest exhibit to the American Writers Museum honors the contributions of Black writers throughout American literature, showcasing original artwork and interactive experiences to help tell the full story.

Defy gravity at Wicked at the Nederlander Theatre (through November): The fan-favorite musical that tells the untold story of the Witches of Oz returns to Chicago for a limited three-month engagement. 

See the Wild Color Exhibit at the Field Museum (through November): The latest exhibit at the Field Museum plays with the wonder of color, and includes multiple sensory rooms highlighting rainbow hues.

Discover up-and-coming artists at a new exhibition (opens Oct. 7): Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts in Hyde Park will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a retrospective of graduate and undergraduate works from the past decade.