Chicago events calendar for November 2014. Best festivals, fun things to do, Thanksgiving events, holiday lights, kids activities, free entertainment Chicago, Illinois.

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November 2014

Enjoy the best Chicago events, festivals, and things to do in November 2014 with this calendar of events.

Events are listed by starting date, and all dates are confirmed. Mileage is from the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Chili contest & tasting

November 1, 2014

3 miles west

A ticket to the Chili Cook-Off includes unlimited chili, gelato, and two beers at The Arts of Life.

Morton Grove haunted house

November 1, 2014 (begins Oct. 3)

14 miles NW

Fear City and Our Lady of the Cursed are two creepy attractions in a 40,000 square-foot building.

Villa Park nightmare

November 1, 2014 (begins Sept. 26)

21 miles west

Great American Nightmare [sound] is 3 high-tech haunted houses based on Rob Zombie’s horror films for age 13+ in the Odeum Expo Center.

Aurora haunted house

November 1, 2014 (begins Sept. 27)

38 miles west

Basement of the Dead and Shattered 3D are two horrifying attractions in one place. Nov. 1 is “lights out” night.

Freaky Halloween concert

November 1, 2014

40 miles west

Midwest Freakfest is a multi-stage show that includes 50 music acts, vendors, and a costume contest at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

Aurora haunted house

November 1, 2014 (begins Oct. 3)

42 miles SW

Abyss Haunted House has three intense experiences for mature audiences off Route 34.

Intense haunted house

November 1, 2014 (begins Oct. 3)

45 miles NW

The Realm of Terror Horror Experience is halfway to Milwaukee in Round Lake Beach.

Children’s film festival

November 1 - 2, 2014 (begins Oct. 24)

Chicago locations

Billed as North America’s largest film festival for children, the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF) showcases the best in culturally diverse, non-violent, value-affirming new cinema for children and offers interactive workshops.

Haunted House at Navy Pier

November 1 - 2, 2014 (begins Oct. 2)

1 mile east

The Fear Haunted House [sound] is low-scare during the day and high-scare at night.

Rubber fest

November 1 - 2, 2014 (begins Oct. 31)

5 miles north

Mr. International Rubber (MIR) is a rubber-fetish event that includes cocktail parties, a rubber/leather market, and awards at the Center on Halsted.

Joliet haunted house

November 1 - 2, 2014 (begins Oct. 2)

38 miles SW

Take a 40-minute trip through 40 terrifying rooms and play Zombie Paintball at Statesville Haunted Prison & City of the Dead in Crest Hill.

Film festival

November 1 - 9, 2014 (begins October 29)

mutiple locations

Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema shows 18 films about Israeli culture at Music Box Theatre and AMC Northbrook Court, with first-night cocktail reception.

Expand your mind

November 1 - 14, 2014 (begins October 21)

Chicago locations

Chicago Humanities Festival is a series of talks and events that explore the human condition and feature exciting thinkers, artists, and performers. Cost.

Rock & Roll Christmas

November 4 - Jan. 4, 2015

0.8 miles north

Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale is a musical that rocks the Broadway Playhouse. Discount tickets.

Improvised jazz

November 5 - 6, 2014

04 miles south

European Jazz Meets Chicago is an extraordinary evening of improvised jazz with local and European performers at the Chicago Cultural Center. Free.

Wine tasting

November 6, 2014

8 miles NW

Sample 40 wines plus hors d’oeuvres on the Fall Wine Stroll that starts at Dank House. Repeats April. Cost.

Ballet-free Nutcracker

November 6 - Dec. 28, 2014

7.4 miles north

Clara struggles to save Christmas in the imaginative, family friendly version of the Nutcracker that returns to The House Theatre of Chicago. Discount tickets.

Tasting event

November 7, 2014

1.5 miles NW

Dine on the city’s best restaurant dishes and sip perfectly paired cocktails when Chicago’s Table returns to The Montgomery Club for ages 21+.

Charlie Parker festival

November 7 - 8, 2014

12 miles north

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival celebrates the jazz icon with musical performances and a lecture at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston. Cost.

Wilder Mansion market

November 7 - 8, 2014

19 miles west

Wilder Mansion Holiday Market has arts, crafts, and seasonal gifts in a historic Elmhurst mansion. Free.

Art and design fair

November 7 - 9, 2014 (preview Nov. 6)

1 mile east

Sculpture Objects and Functional Art + Design Fair (SOFA) is a curated art exposition of design, fine art, and decorative art at Navy Pier.

Aquarium show

November 7 - 9, 2014

28 miles NW

Visit the shark encounter, take a fish seminar, shop the vendors, and get tickets for a Saturday dinner at Aquatic Experience at Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg. Cost.

Polish film festival

November 7 - 23, 2014

Chicagoland locations

The Polish Film Festival in America shows new films by Polish filmmakers from around the world. Cost.
November 2014

Japanese festival

November 8, 2014

7.6 miles north

JASC Holiday Delight celebrates Kodomo Matsuri with Japanese food, classical dance, Taiko drumming, Ikebana flower arranging, Santa, and a craft sale at Japanese American Service Committee. Free.

French market

November 8 - 9, 2014 (party Nov. 7)

5 miles north

Shop from 100 vendors, hear live French music, visit a bistro, and enjoy a children’s pavilion at Fall French Market at 550 W Irving Park Road. Cost.

Mustache soiree

November 12, 2014

0.9 miles south

The first Mustachio Ball has food stations, a bar, live music, entertainment, and a mustache theme at 410 S. Michigan Ave.

Holidays around the world

November 13, 2014 - Jan. 4, 2015

8 miles south

See trees decorated to represent many cultures plus weekend ethnic song-and-dance performances during Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light at the Museum of Science & Industry. Cost.

Art Institute party

November 14, 2014

1 mile south

Young people can mix and mingle, visit the bar, and rock out to music at After Dark in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. Cost.

Wood-aged beer festival

November 14 - 15, 2014

2.6 miles SW

Enjoy beer with exotic flavors at the Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer, billed as the country’s largest celebration of wood-and-barrel-aged beer at UIC Forum, afternoon or evening. Cost.

Baking show

November 14 - 16, 2014

28 miles NW

America’s Baking and Sweets Show is a small event with competitions, celebrity demos, and hands-on classes for amateurs and professionals at Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center.

Christmas show

November 14 - Dec. 28, 2014

5 miles north

It’s A Wonderful SantaLand Miracle Nut Cracking Christmas Story...Jews Welcome is a fun variety show with songs, dance, stories, games, and skits about holidays & traditions at Stage 773.

Whiskey festival

November 15, 2014

2 miles south

A ticket to Lively Water Whiskey Festival gets you a two-hour tasting session of whiskey & cocktails and a whiskey mixology session at The Field Museum.

Holiday comedy

November 16 - Dec. 31, 2014

2.3 miles north

Holidazed and Confused is R-rated sketch comedy at Up Comedy Club.

Food and film festival

November 19 - 22, 2014

2 miles NW

With a ticket to Food Film Fest, you get to see films about the world’s favorite foods and eat them at the same time, at Kendall College. Cost.

Playful fashion show

November 20, 2014

2 miles west

PlayCHIC is a toy-and-game inspired fashion show of haute couture at Alhambra Palace Restaurant. Cost.

French soirée

November 20, 2014

1 mile south

Passport to France celebrates fine gastronomy, French chefs, wines and spirits, culture, and entertainment at the Union League Club.

Beaujolais wine tasting

November 20, 2014

17 miles SW

Walk between restaurants in downtown La Grange to taste 18 to 20 different wines and appetizers during Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Tasting. Cost.

Sewing expo

November 20 - 22, 2014

28 miles SW

Original Sewing & Quilt Expo has workshops, shows, and vendors at Tinley Park Convention Center. Cost.

Villa Park arts & crafts

November 20 - 23, 2014

21 miles west

See hundreds of craft booths at Autumn Festival, an Arts & Crafts Affair in the Odeum Expo Center. Cost.

Horror convention

November 21 - 23, 2014

28 miles NW

Days of the Dead includes live music, a monster ball, panels, celebrity signings, contests, and after parties, at Chicago Marriott Schaumburg. Cost.

Christmas market

November 21 - Dec. 24, 2014

1 mile SW

Christkindlmarket is an open-air European holiday market on Daley Plaza featuring traditional art, handmade gifts, German foods, choirs, carolers, and an opening ceremony. Free.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

November 22, 2014

Downtown Chicago

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival begins midday with family events at Lights Festival Lane in Pioneer Court. The Tree-Lighting Parade starts at 5:30 p.m. and runs down Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Wacker Drive, ending with fireworks. All free.

Beverage tasting

November 22, 2014

1.7 miles SW

Try 20 tastings of wine, beer, and spirits that pair perfectly with Thanksgiving dinner, with appetizers, at the Pre-Thanksgiving Tasting at Paola’s Vinum.

Toy and game fair

November 22 - 23, 2014

1 mile east

The Chicago Toy & Game Fair features new toys and games, tournaments, stage entertainment, and costumed characters at Navy Pier.

Muscle car show

November 22 - 23, 2014

17 mile NW

Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals is an indoor showcase of 500 high-horsepower cars that includes “unveilings” and events for kids at the Rosemont convention center. Cost.


November 22 - 30, 2014

5 miles west

See acrobats, aerialists, clowns, elephants, and tigers at the spectacular Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the United Center.

Holiday market

Nov. 22 - 23 and Dec. 13 - 14, 2014

2 miles west

Randolph Street’s Holiday Market offers affordable antique, vintage, and modern goods indoors at W Randolph & Washington.

Macaroni & cheese cook-off

November 23, 2014

4 miles north

Make or eat cheesy treats at Chicago Mac & Cheeze Takedown at Lincoln Hall on Lincoln Ave. age 21+.

Dr. Seuss musical

November 23 - 29, 2014

0.4 miles SW

How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a live performance at Chicago Theatre.

Christmas tree lighting

November 25, 2014

1 mile SW

Watch the mayor and tree donor flip the switch at Chicago’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, which includes a 4:30 p.m. music program in Daley Plaza.

New Christmas play

Nov. 26 - Dec. 28, 2014

2.8 miles SW

Christmas on the Air is about a small radio station doing a Christmas Eve broadcast filled with classic Christmas music and stories at Provision Theater. Discount tickets.

Holiday lights on a Segway

November 26 - Dec. 31, 2014

0.8 miles south

Bundle up to see holiday lights and attractions riding a Segway on a guided tour downtown for $65.

Mary Poppins live

November 26 - Jan. 4, 2014

43 miles west

Hear those catchy songs and see Mary fly in Mary Poppins at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora.

Thanksgiving Parade

November 27, 2014

1 mile south

The Thanksgiving Parade features giant balloons, floats, and marching bands that go north on State Street from Congress to Randolph. Free.

Free day at the arboretum

November 27, 2014

28 miles west

Enjoy Free Admission on Thanksgiving Day at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. (Buildings are closed.)

Thanksgiving dinner

November 27, 2014

Greater Chicago area

Find a list of restaurants offering special menus for Thanksgiving at OpenTable.

Thanksgiving run/walk

November 27 & 29, 2014

Greater Chicago area

Gaming convention

November 28 - 30, 2014

14 miles NW

Wolfcon is for players of board games, computer games, and role-playing games at SpringHill Suites Chicago O’Hare. Cost.


Nov. 28, 2014 - Jan. 4, 2015 (dates below)

2.5 miles north

ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo features millions of holiday lights, ice carvings, music, carousel and train rides, food and gift shopping (plus photos with Santa through Dec. 23). Open Nov. 28 - 30. Dec. 5 - 7, 12 - 23, 26 - 31. Jan. 1 - 4. Free entry.

Holiday trains - Lincoln Park

Nov. 28, 2014 - Jan. 4, 2015

3 miles north

Model trains wind their way through a miniature village among Poinsettias during the Winter Flower & Train Show at Lincoln Park Conservatory. Free.

Holiday trains - Botanic garden

November 28, 2014 - Jan. 4, 2015

24 miles north

Wonderland Express features trains running through an indoor garden past miniature buildings at Chicago Botanic Garden. See the schedule of daily events.

Ugly Sweater Run/Walk

November 29, 2014

2 miles south

Wear your ugliest sweater for the Ugly Sweater Run 5K and after-party at Soldier Field.

Christmas play

November 29 - Dec. 28, 2014

multiple locations

A Christmas Carol is Charles Dickens’ holiday classic about Scrooge, Tiny Tim and three Christmas ghosts.
Next month:December 2014
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November 2014 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois.