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November 2013 in Chicago

Discover Things to Do in Chicago This November


November 2013 Chicago Weather:

Average High Temperature: 47°F (8°C)
Average Low Temperature: 32°F (0°C)
Average Snowfall: 2.9" Average Precipitation: 2.7"


November in Chicago is a busy time and much of that has to do with the holidays, which kick off the week of Thanksgiving with Chicago's annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, followed by Chicago's Thanksgiving Day Parade. With so many holiday events starting in November, it's hard not to find something fun to do in Chicago this month.

Here is a sampling of some of Chicago's best November events to add to your calendar:

Suggested Reading: Free and Discounted Days at the Shedd Aquarium and Taking Public Transit in Chicago

November 11, 2013: Veterans Day Ceremony - Ceremony honoring those who have served in times of peace as well as in war. Event starts at 11 a.m. at Soldier Field, Gate O (1410 S. Museum-Campus Drive). Admission is free. (Event's website coming soon. In the meantime, learn about the history of Veterans Day with our Veterans Day Guide.)

November 2013 (Exact day to be determined): Ice skating at Millennium Park - Come out and skate for free under some of Chicago's most impressive skyscrapers. This outdoor skating rink is open daily through March 2014. Skate rentals are available for $10. Tip: Afterwards have lunch or dinner at the Park Grill located behind the rink.

November 23, 2013: Magnificient Mile Lights Festival & Parade - The stretch of Michigan Avenue between Wacker Drive and Oak Street, known as the Magnificent Mile, turns into a winter wonderland every holiday season. On the Saturday before each Thanksgiving, the "Mag Mile's" hotels and shops light up, with more than one million lights adorning 200 trees. There is also a parade and a fireworks show over the Chicago River, which end the night's festivities.

November 26, 2013: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Daley Plaza - Start the holiday season with the 100th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, which includes live performances and holiday music beginning at 4:30 p.m. At 5:00 p.m., the switch is flipped and the lights begin to sparkle in Daley Plaza. Visits with Santa Claus start on Wednesday, November 27, at 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., with special hours on Thanksgiving Day from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Santa’s regular visiting hours and house tours will begin on Friday, November 29, and continue every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through mid December from 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. During Christmas week, December 17 - 23, the house will be open each day from 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., with special hours on Christmas Eve from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Santa will be available for photos so don’t forget your personal cameras.

Starting November 26, 2013: Christkindlmarket Chicago - The Christkindlmarket is Chicago's largest open-air Christmas festival and includes European arts and crafts, as well as brats, spiced wine and other German specialties. The Christkindlmarket is open daily through December 24, 2013 at Chicago's Daley Plaza.

November 28, 2013: Thanksgiving Day - Check out our top picks for celebrating Thanksgiving in Chicago, including Thanksgiving related events in the Windy City throughout the month of November.

November 28, 2013: North Shore Turkey Trot - The annual North Shore Turkey Trot will take place on Thanksgiving Day with 5K at 7:30 a.m. and 10K at 8 a.m. Race will take place in downtown Highland Park. 5K registration starts at $35. 10K registration starts at $45.

November 28, 2013: McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade - This annual favorite that attracts almost a half a million spectators and starts off on State Street at 8:30 a.m. and includes marching bands, holiday-themed floats, and gigantic inflatable helium balloons (similar to what you see in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York City). The route is State Street from Congress to Randolph. Can't make it out to the parade? No problem. WGN Channel 9 will broadcast the parade.

Starting November 29, 2013: ZooLight at the Lincoln Park Zoo - Each year the Lincoln Park Zoo decorates its grounds and trees with mult-colored lights and animal figures. ZooLights is free and is sponsored by ComEd. Activities include ice carving demonstrations, a Holiday Express Train, and more. ZooLights runs through January 5, 2014. (Specific dates are: November 29 – December 1; December 6 – 8, 13 – 23; December 26 – January 5, 2013–14.) Admission is free.

Dates TBD: Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music at the Music Box Theatre on Southport Avenue - If you love Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, then you won't want to miss this sing-a-long to subtitles. The movie's biggest fans usually get there early and in costume no less. Advanced tickets are $12.50 for adults and $8 for children under 12. The price goes up when purchasing at the door: $15 for adults; 49 for kids.

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