Thanksgiving Go Guide

It’s official—the holiday season is here.

For just about everyone, Thanksgiving weekend means family, and if you’re hosting, you’ll need a go-to list of entertainment options. We’ve got your back.


Chicago Symphony Orchestra presents Disney’s Fantasia
November 23–25
220 S. Michigan Ave.

A great entertainment option for the entire family, and a special treat to boot—seeing Disney’s Fantasia performed live is a bucket list-worthy experience. CSO recommends this show for ages 5 and up; infants will not be admitted.

Chicago Human Rhythm Project: ScrapArtsMusic
November 24–25
Harris Theater for Music and Dance at Millennium Park
205 E. Randolph St., Chicago

A fun and funky experience for families—music made from ”offbeat materials” takes the concept of recycling and repurposing to entirely new level. Warning: the kids might make your home a musical playground after catching this act.

Rickie Lee Jones
Friday, Nov. 23
SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston

For the date-night gang or an older adults outing, consider heading to Evanston to see the one and only Rickie Lee Jones at SPACE. Grammy-winning talent that’s sure to entertain.

“Sound of Music” Sing-a-Long
November 23–25
Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., Chicago

Here’s my question: why don’t you already have this on the calendar? Seriously, what a fun way to spend a few hours getting goofy with your girlfriends, your kids, your grandma …there are goody bags and funpacks that make the movie event much more interactive (Think “Rocky Horror”) and even a costume contest—break out your lederhosen!


Fitness Fun

Turkey Day Skate
Thursday, Nov. 22
10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Winnetka Ice Arena, 490 Hibbard Rd.

Before you hit the table, hit the rink—grab your skates and do a few laps. Your waistline will thank you in the morning.

Morton Arboretum Hike
Thursday, November 22
4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle
7 a.m. to sunset

Enjoy free admission to Morton Arboretum on Thanksgiving Day and hike 16 miles of paved or wood-chipped trails. A great place to catch up with your sister, aunt, or mom while the guys are watching the game and the turkey is in the oven.

The Ugly Sweater Run
Saturday, Nov. 24, 11 a.m.
Montrose Harbor, 600 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago

Don your hideous holiday gifts for a 5K followed by a bash featuring Sam Adams beer, hot chocolate and sledding. Bring a new toy to donate to Toys for Tots.


Arts + Culture

Winter Art & Crafts Expo
Evanston Art Center, 2603 Sheridan Rd., Evanston

Kids making you crazy? The EAC’s annual expo includes great events all month long, including art projects for kids on Saturdays, including November 24.

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light
Museum of Science and Industry, 57th St. and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

The Museum of Science and Industry does it up right for the holidays. Its annual display of holiday trees is a show-stopper and will entertain both the youngest and the oldest in your crowd this weekend.


Shedd Holiday Breakfasts
Saturday, Nov. 24
Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago

Make your reservations for a special treat on Saturday morning at Shedd. The experience includes a private viewing of Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas 4-D Experience, a visit with Santa, reserved seats for “A Holiday Fantasea” and more.

Chicago Botanic Garden Wonderland Express
Opens Friday, Nov. 23
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

This North Shore tradition is fun for the whole family. Enjoy a long garden stroll  under thousands of twinkling lights, the miniature trains, the gingerbread village and more.

Opens November 23
Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Simply exquisite—one of the most beautiful holiday lights displays anywhere and a truly magical place to take the family.



Christkindlmarket 2012
Opens Tuesday, Nov. 20
Daley Plaza
50 W. Washington St.

It’s the 17th year for this fan favorite during the holiday season. Grab a brat or a potato pancake and don’t miss the schnitzel, either. Once you’re done eating, peruse the open air market’s offerings in holiday kitsch—handmade ornaments, accessories, clothing, gifts and more.


The Chalet Family Holiday Celebration
November 24–25
3132 Lake Ave., Wilmette
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Ready to doll up the house? Head to The Chalet and the kids will keep busy while you’re looking for just the perfect adornment. Featured guests include Smarty Pants and Miss Dena who will provide entertainment, balloon twisting and face painting.

Mariani’s Holiday Shoppe
Opens November 23
300 Rockland Road, Lake Bluff
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Another great place to go for your decking of the halls—just about anything you need to make the perfect holiday statement at home can be found here.

Festival of Trees
Westfield Old Orchard, Skokie

When you’re out shopping this weekend, stroll through Old Orchard’s Festival of Trees and vote for your favorite—the nonprofits participating could win a $1,500 for their organization!