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November 2012 in Chicago

Discover Fun Things to do in Chicago in November


November 2012 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 day before Thanksgiving with the 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:

November 11, 2012: 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 Web site coming soon. In the meantime, learn about the history of Veterans Day with our Veterans Day Guide.)

November 18, 2012: 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 11, 2012. Skate rentals are available for $10. Tip: Afterwards have lunch or dinner at the Park Grill located behind the rink.

November 17, 2012: Magnificient Mile Lights Festival & Parade - Held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival includes numerous fun activities for the entire family all day long, such as choir and theater performances, ice sculpting demonstrations, and live entertainment along the parade route. The festival starts at 11 a.m. and goes to 7 p.m. The parade starts at 5:30 p.m.

November 20, 2012: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Daley Plaza - Start the holiday season with the 99th 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 21, 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 23, and continue every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 16 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 21, 2012: 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 only downside to this year's market will be the city's Christmas tree. Due to budget cuts, the tree will be considerably smaller this year. Normally, the tree is comprised of several large Christmas trees. This year, it will just be one tree, at least that is what I have heard. The Christkindlmarket is open daily through December 24, 2012 at Chicago's Daley Plaza.

November 22, 2012: 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 22, 2012: 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 is $35 through November 12, 2012 and $40 through November 22, 2012. 10K registration is $45 through November 12, 2012 and $50 through November 22, 2012.

November 22, 2012: McDonald's Thanksgiving Day 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 23, 2012: 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 6, 2013. (Specific dates are: November 23–25, 30; December 1–2, 7–9, 14–16, 21–23, 26–31; January 1–6.) 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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