30 of the Best Things to Do in Chicago This November

November 2020 might be the strangest yet. With the results of an upcoming election looming over most peoples’ heads, it’ll be hard to find time to relax. But Chicago always pulls through with innovative and pandemic-friendly events to remind you to stay positive for the holiday season! Here are 30 things you can do this November in Chicago.

Don’t forget to tag us in your posts on Instagram @betterchicago

All Month

Christkindlmarket Virtual Marketplace

Christkindlmarket is a must every holiday season in Chicago. Holding a mulled wine in one hand and a platter of fried doughnuts in another, nothing is more festive than this special event. However, the market has gone virtual this year in light of the pandemic. From home, everyone can enjoy the beloved tradition through an online marketplace to purchase holiday gifts, family-friendly events and fun interactive activities

Virtual event.

Turkey Trot’s Life Time FitGiving Challenge

The Turkey Trot is canceled this year in light of COVID-19. Instead, the organization is planning the Life Time FitGiving Challenge presented by Invisalign. This is a 26 day “experience” that will challenge you with daily fitness and gratitude tasks, which will lead up to a virtual 5K on Thanksgiving. You’re getting fit, having fun and being festive! What more could you ask for on a Thanksgiving morning!

Virtual event.

Hackney’s on Harms Igloo Dining

Visit a long time North Shore favorite, Hackney’s on Harms for a winter dining experience you won’t forget! Cozy up inside a heated igloo shaped dome, filled with twinkle lights as the snow falls down around you! 1241 Harms Rd. Glenview

Thru Nov. 25: The Newberry Library’s Decision 1920: A Return to “Normalcy”

In this exhibition, you are a voter faced with making an important choice in a moment of profound change. A global war followed by a global pandemic has brought the United States into a deeper relationship with the rest of the world. On the home front, long campaigns for national prohibition and women’s suffrage seem to have reached their end while, in the previous summer, unrest around race, immigration, and the economy show that challenges that have existed since the founding of the republic remain unresolved. What direction do you chose? Forward into a new decade or a return to the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century? 60 W. Walton St., Chicago

Nov. 3: Action Sertoma Club’s Remote Rocktoberfest

This virtual event is raising money through a Grand Raffle, prizing $5,000. All proceeds will go to supporting the Sertoma Centre, which aids over 1,200 individuals in the South/Southwest suburbs, achieving personal success. 

Virtual event.

Nov. 8: Hot Chocolate Run by Allstate

Whether you’re participating in the run or taking part in the cheering squad, where there is hot chocolate there is fun! Register for a classic Chicago tradition, the Hot Chocolate Run 5k/15k hosted by Allstate. Proceeds from this run will go towards helping the children at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Virtual event.

Nov. 9: Chicago Career Fair 2020

Talent Career Fairs is bringing jobs to you this November. Grab your resume and put your professional pants on because there’s a Career Fair in town!

Virtual event.

Nov. 10: Brewing Good Business in the Face of Global Crisis: A Conversation with Anheuser-Busch CEO Michael Doukeris 

The Executives’ Club of Chicago is hosting Micahel Doukeris, the CEO of beloved giant brewery Anheuser-Busch. Hear from Michael and moderator, Todd Ahsmann, President of Goose Island Beer Company. The conversation will discuss how these beer brands are chugging along in the midst of a global pandemic. 

Virtual event.

Nov. 10: Chalet’s Adoption Event With Orphans Of The Storm

Photo courtesy of Chalet Nursery.

This socially distanced monthly event is made to help lonely dogs find their forever home! Pre-schedule your appointment in advance and don’t forget a mask and leash! 3132 Lake Ave, Wilmette

Nov. 11: K&M Krafting Memories Holiday Wine Glass Etching 

The holidays and wine go hand-in-hand, so grab a friend and attend this custom wine glass etching class! Tickets are $30 per person and include two wine glasses for you to decorate.

Barraco’s 18040 Wolf Rd, Orland Park 

Reservations Open Nov. 11: Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park

The Skating Ribbon is back at Maggie Daley Park starting Nov. 20. Due to Covid-19, reservations are required to skate this year. Limited spots are available at each session, so make sure to book in advance! Masks are required while skating and in the park at all times. 337 E Randolph St

Nov. 13 thru Jan. 3: Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Gardens

Photo courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

Lightscape is back at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. “Enter a captivating world of light, color, and sound in an all-new trail designed with your safety in mind. Bask in the glow of thousands of twinkling lights in favorites like the Cathedral of Light and new delights you’ve never seen before.” 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe

Nov. 13 & 14: Giving Thanks Gala by Party for LIFE Inc. 

An evening filled with cocktails, food, music but most importantly gratitude. 100% of all proceeds through ticket sales, auctions, and donations are made out to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. An amazing night for an incredible cause.

100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace

Nov. 13: MSI’s Christmas Around the World & Holidays of Light

The Museum of Science and Industry began this Chicago tradition in 1942 with a single tree. Nearly 80 years later, a four-story, floor-to-dome Grand Tree stands as the centerpiece to this educational event, highlighting holiday traditions from cultures around the globe. Forty other trees surround the Grand Tree in this majestic tour of the world. 5700 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

Nov. 14: Pitch in for the Parks

Photo courtesy of Pitch in for the Parks.

Due to the pandemic, park budgets have declined and been stretched a little thin. Show our Chicago Parks some love by participating in this citywide effort to clean up the city parks. The effort has recruited nearly 2,000 volunteers and hosted 350+ clean-up events across the city since June. Parks open for clean-up this fall include: Loyola Park, Kelvyn Park and Welles Park.

Nov. 14: Yoga & Athletic Wear Donation Collection hosted by Moyo Village

Reach into that section of your closet where you keep the athletic wear that you don’t actually wear, fold it nicely, and trade it in for a good cause! You can also shop for gently used clothing, starting from $3. All proceeds benefit the rescue dogs of Puerto Rico. Check out the Facebook event for more details. 2309 W Belmont Ave, Chicago

Opens Nov. 15: Let it Shine Drive Thru Light Show

Experience a touchless and socially safe family tradition this season with a drive thru light show. Running thru Jan. 9 at the Northbrook Court Mall, this light show will have a wonderland of smart pixel LEDs that will perform a show all synchronized to your favorite holiday classics. Tickets are sold per vehicle and in 30-minute increments. 1515 Lake Cook Road, Northbrook

Nov. 17: 2021 Credit Markets Outlook

2020 has been a lot to handle not just emotionally but fiscally as well. A panel of highly intelligent and qualified speakers invite you to The Executives’ Club Financial Services Forum to help digest the economic status after this year and how to best prepare for 2021. Speakers include Brendan Carroll, Senior Partner and Co-Founder of Victory Park Capital; Carl Tennebaum, Chief Economist of Northern Trust; Yueran Ma, Assistant Professor of Finance at University of Chicago Booth School of Business, as the Moderator. 

Virtual event.

Nov. 17: Stay Home to Support Veterans on Their Road Home

Photo courtesy of The Road Home.

This virtual benefit will support the Road Home Program at Rush in their mission to heal the invisible wounds these individuals face as a result of their service to our country. Although we’re unable to come together in person, we can still change the course of a veteran’s life by raising funds to provide specialized mental health services, peer-to-peer outreach, counseling and other resources necessary to transition from military to civilian life — regardless of their ability to pay.

Virtual event.

Nov. 19: Strengthening Community Health & Partnerships in Chicago

Covid-19 has taught us that in desperate times we can be stronger than we think. Join in on this virtual conference discussing the importance of our healthcare community and ways to contribute to the strength of its infrastructure. Speakers include Dr. Ngozi, Director of Illinois Department of Public Health; Esther Sciammarella, Executive Director of Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition & Member of the Illinois State Board of Health; Munzoor Shaikh, Senior Director of Healthcare & Life Sciences West Monroe; Donna Thompson, CEO of Access Community Health Network, with Gary Noskin, SVP, Quality Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Chief Medical Officer Northwestern Memorial Hospital, as Moderator. 

Virtual event.

Nov. 19: Covenant House Sleep Out

Help kids without a safe space to sleep or call home by joining Covenant House’s Sleep Out. Either sleep on the streets to help raise awareness and lifesaving funds to give kids safe shelter and opportunity, or support the event virtually by posting a message of hope and lighting a candle online with a donation.

Virtual event.

Nov. 19: Chicago United Virtual Bridge Awards Celebration

Join Chicago’s premier event celebrating excellence in diversity within corporate governance. The virtual program will discover the thought leadership of diversity and inclusion innovators, build relationships among leaders that share common values, and influence the development of the next generation of multiracial leaders.

Virtual event.

Nov. 20: Rebuilding Exchange: Reclaimed Window Coffee Table

During this DIY event at sustainable warehouse Rebuilding Exchange, you’ll learn how to craft a coffee table from an old window and reclaimed wood. Pick a window and some wood from a selection and then learn how to safely and successfully turn it into a table to take home. Keep it for yourself or wrap it up for a holiday present. For COVID concerns, all classes will have no more than six students and everyone will be required to wear a mask. Rebuilding Exchange 1740 West Webster Ave. Chicago

Nov. 20: Tech Outlook 2020

The following tech expert will be attending a virtual conversation to discuss their views and opinions on specific investment opportunities and which companies to take a chance on. The speakers are: Brad Feld, Co-founder of Foundry Group; Brad Keywell, Founder & CEO of Uptake, Jai Shekhawt, Founder and former CEO of Fieldglass; Dana Wright, Managing Director of MATH Venture Partners; and Moderator, Steve Kaplan, Faculty Director at University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. 

Virtual event.

Nov. 21 thru Jan. 3: Zoolights

Zoolights is back to brighten up your nights this winter. You must purchase a $5 ticket this year to gain entry. November 24 is a free night, but you still need a ticket! Make sure to check the LPZoo website for all the details. 2001 North Clark Street, Chicago

Nov. 22: Purple Path Presents Dr. Shan Jones’ One Woman Comedy Show & 40th Bday Bash

Comedy queen, Dr. Jones will be putting on a stand-up show based on her journey from poverty to restoration. All proceeds will go to the following four nonprofits: It Could Be Your Kid; Bag Lady Outreach; American Association of Single Parenting, Inc; and ForeverU. 25741 S. Truman Street, Monee

Nov. 26: Thanksgiving Morning “Share Your Bounty” Event

Help The Volunteer Center collect food for those in need during their Day of Service. Donations will help families at the Good News Partners low-income and subsidized housing in Rogers Park.

Nov. 26 Thru Dec. 1: Walk For Love

Though this Turkey Trot may look a bit different as it will be virtual, the impact will look the same. Register today to be a part of the Greenville Virtual Turkey Trot in support of Shriners Hospital For Children. 

Virtual event.

Thru Nov. 27: The Stoop Comedy Show

Come fall the only fame a front stoop gets depends solely on its pumpkin game. But not in this case. The Stoop Comedy Club has arranged for comics from around the city to put on a show right from a porch in Logan Square! Don’t forget to mask before you laugh! Locations rotate. 

Nov. 28: Shop Til’ You Drop Craft and Vendor Fair

Show some support to small businesses and attend this craft and vendor fair! Not only are you doing good by shopping local but you can get a jump start on holiday shopping! They’re even offering psychic readings and $1/min massages available. Admission is free. Gurnee 6161 West Grand Avenue, Gurnee 

Thru Nov. 30: “The Flowers of Monet,” at the Garfield Park Conservatory

Can you smell it from here?! The Garfield Park Conservatory has partnered with the Art Institute and transformed its Artist’s Garden into a real-life replica of some of Claude Monet’s famous works of art — his flower paintings. There will even be a full wall inspired by Monet’s Water Lilies series. Come experience this once in a life comparison. 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago

More from Better:


Alexis Miller recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she earned a degree in Journalism, Advertising & Public Relations, and Media Studies. In her free time, she does Pilates, floral arrangements, and some freelance event planning. As an alumna member of Alpha Omicron Pi, Alexis is an enthusiastic fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation.