Thanksgiving Day Parade
The 79th Anniversary Thanksgiving Day Parade returns with all the favorite stars: Santa Claus, Ronald McDonald the Harlem Globetrotters and a cast of thousands. The parade features marching bands, entertainers and several stage performances. The parade takes place in downtown Chicago on State Street, from Congress to Randolph. Make sure to arrive early to get a spot! The parade starts at 8:00 am. It will also be broadcast live on WGN 9.
State Street from Congress to Randolph
Chicago, IL 60602
Chicago Loop Alliance’s Winter WonderLoop
Chicago Loop Alliance’s fourth annual Winter WonderLoop brings “Random Acts of Holidays” to downtown visitors. These surprise events will start on Black Friday from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm, and take place each subsequent Saturday until December 22. Some of these “Random Acts of Holidays” include: street performances from Goodman Theatre and Joffrey Ballet, free hot beverages, pastries and prizes, pop-up photo booths, carolers and more. Specific details on these spontaneous, family-friendly events will be announced each morning at WinterWonderLoop.com, and on CLA’s Facebook and Twitter feed.
Enjoy the unique villages of the German Christmas Market right in the Loop! Chicago’s largest outdoor Christmas festival features a variety of vendors selling authentic German products from hand-blown ornaments to wooden handicrafts and clothing. And, of course, the festival is complete with authentic cuisine. Enjoy tasty sweet cakes and potato pancakes, or warm up with hot spice wine, and don’t forget to stop in the sweet shop on your way out for premium imported chocolates! Santa’s workshop will also be open so you can tell him your holiday wish list. Christkindlmarket is free and runs through December 24 in Daley Plaza.
50 W. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light
Celebrate the holiday season by visiting the Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light display at the Museum of Science and Industry. Here, young visitors will also learn about other cultural celebrations like Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Diwali and Ramadan. The exhibit is complete with over 60 trees, each adorned according to different international customs. There’s even falling snow! Also enjoy festive song and dance performances by various cultural groups. Museum admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children.
Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
A rousing musical based on a James Joyce story? That’s right! Artistic Director Charles Newell and Musical Director Doug Peck team back up for a re-imagining of James Joyce’s short story, The Dead. This holiday classic centers around friends and family at a large dinner gathering, where the main character has a painful epiphany about his wife’s former lover as the night unfolds. Filled with Irish folk songs and dance, this production is a story of celebrations and revelations. The show runs through December 29 at the Court Theatre. Tickets range from $15-$55. Watch Chicago Sun-Times theater critic Hedy Weiss review this play and three others.
5535 S. Ellis Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
Ice-skating in Millennium Park
Enjoy free ice skating at the beautiful outdoor rink in Millennium Park (weather permitting.) It’s a great way to enjoy the season and skate under the city lights at night. Skate rentals are $10, or bring your own and skate for free.
201 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601