Chicago events calendar for November 2016. Best festivals, fun things to do, Thanksgiving events, holiday lights, kids activities, free entertainment Chicago, Illinois.

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Best events for 12 months
November 2016
November 2016

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

Mileage is from the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Children’s film festival

November 1 - 6, 2016 (begins Oct. 28)

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.

Expand your mind

November 1 - 12, 2016 (begins Oct. 29)

Chicago locations

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

Film festival

November 1 - 13, 2016

Chicago & Glenview

Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema screens new films about Israeli culture at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago and ArcLight Cinemas in Glenview.

Tony-winning best musical

November 13, 2016 (7:30 p.m.)

0.5 miles SW

Fun Home tells the story of Alison at three different ages, alongside her dysfunctional family, at the Oriental Theatre.

Wine tasting

November 3, 2016 (6:30 to 9:30 p.m.)

8 miles NW

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

Haunted house at Rosemont

November 4 - 5, 2016 (begins Sept. 30)

14 miles NW

Disturbia: Screams in the Park is a 35-room nightmare at MB Financial Park at Rosemont. See schedule.

Morton Grove haunted house

November 4 - 5, 2016 (begins Sept. 23)

14 miles NW

House of Torment has two themes at 8240 N. Austin Ave. in Morton Grove.

Wilder Mansion market

November 4 - 5, 2016

19 miles west

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

Art and design fair

November 4 - 6, 2016

1 mile east

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

Aquarium show

November 4 - 6, 2016

28 miles NW

Visit the sea lions, join a seminar, shop the vendors, and see fish on display at the Aquatic Experience at Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg.

Chili tasting

November 5, 2016 (5 to 8 p.m.)

3 miles west

Taste 20 meaty and meat-free samples of chili plus gelato and beer at The Arts of Life Charitable Chili Cook-Off at 2010 W Carroll Ave.

Macaroni & cheese festival

November 5, 2016 (lunch and dinner)

3 miles SW

Try cheesy dishes by 50 chefs (from truffle-braised duck to white cheddar and chorizo) with five drink tickets included at Mac & Cheese Fest at UIC Forum.

Beer tasting

November 5, 2016

5.9 miles SW

A ticket to BeerHoptacular gets you 20 tickets to sample among 150 American craft beers, live music, local food for sale, and a homebrew competition at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios for age 21+.

Aurora haunted house

November 5, 2016

38 miles west

A ticket to Basement of the Dead also includes the Shattered 3D Nightmare flashlight haunt. Nov. 5 is a special lights out event.

Polish film festival

November 5 - 20, 2016

Chicagoland locations

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

Cuban band

November 6, 2016 (2 p.m.)

27 miles west

The Havana Cuba All-Stars deliver a contemporary take on traditional Cuban music at McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn.

Comedy film festival

November 10 - 12, 2016

10 miles north

See funny feature films, short films, and student films at Chicago Comedy Film Festival at The New 400 Theaters. The first night includes a reception.

Wood-aged beer festival

November 11 - 12, 2016

2.6 miles SW

Enjoy beer with exotic flavors at the Festival of Barrel Aged Beers, billed as the country’s largest celebration of wood-and-barrel-aged beer at UIC Forum.

Indoor art market

November 11 - 13, 2016

0.9 miles north

Visit 60 artists and a dozen food vendors at Artisan Market Streeterville at Northwestern University. Free.

Baking show

November 11 - 13, 2016

28 miles NW

America’s Baking and Sweets Show has baking competitions, celebrity demonstrations, hands-on classes, vendors, and a family zone at Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center.

TV star convention

November 11 - 13, 2016

30 miles west

The inaugural RewindCon [website has sound] promises TV celebrities of the ‘80s and ‘90s, live music, and vendors in Bloomingdale.

Family Nutcracker

November 11 - Dec. 30, 2016

34 miles north

The Nutcracker is a one-hour musical fantasy featuring Marie, a nutcracker that comes to life, a mouse king, a sugar plum fairy, and music by Tchaikovsky at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.

Cocktail party

November 12, 2016 (8 p.m.)

0.5 miles north

Buttercream Ball features live entertainment by dueling piano players, gourmet appetizers, a dessert bar, and cocktails at The James Hotel to support charity.

Whiskey tasting

November 12, 2016 (noon, VIP 11 a.m.)

0.7 miles west

River North Whiskey Festival features 50 varieties of whiskey, bourbon, and scotch at Moe’s Cantina and Old Crow Smokehouse.

Family lantern festival

November 12, 2016 (3 to 10 p.m.)

7 miles north

A ticket to Laternenfest and St. Martin’s Parade gets you a lantern kit to assemble and join the parade, with singing, crafts, dinner, and a bake sale at Dank Haus.

Japanese festival

November 12, 2016 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

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.

Book fair

November 13, 2016 (12 to 5 p.m.)

1.5 miles south

Chicago Book Expo features local publishers and authors, with a pop-up bookstore, panel discussions, and readings at Columbia College on Wabash. Free.

French soirée

November 17, 2016

1 mile south

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

French wine tasting

November 17, 2016 (5 to 8 p.m.)

17 miles SW

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

Villa Park arts & crafts

November 17 - 20, 2016

21 miles west

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

Holidays around the world

November 17, 2016 - Jan. 8, 2017

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. Closed Nov. 24 & Dec. 25.

Christmas tree lighting

November 18, 2016 (6 p.m.)

0.5 miles south

The annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony includes a musical performance and an appearance by Santa Claus at Millennium Park. Free.

Museum party

November 18, 2016 (talk 8 p.m., party 9)

1 mile south

Mix and mingle, visit the bar, eat appetizers, and hear live hip-hop music at After Dark in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago for age 21+.

Playful fashion show

November 18, 2016 (9 p.m., 8 p.m. reception)

1 mile east

PlayCHIC is a toy-and-game-inspired fashion show of haute couture, with an open bar, desserts, and DJ music in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier.

Sports memorabilia

November 18 - 20, 2016

17 miles NW

Sports Spectacular is a sports collectibles convention with 300 vendors plus athletes selling autographs at Rosemont convention center. Repeats in March.

Horror convention

November 18 - 20, 2016

28 miles NW

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

Stamp show

November 18 - 20, 2016

29 miles NW

See postage stamp exhibits and shop from 80 vendors at Chicagopex at the Westin in Itasca. Free.

Christmas market

November 18 - Dec. 24, 2016

1 mile SW

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

Christmas lights - arboretum

November 18, 2016 - Jan. 2, 2017

27 miles west

See colorful tree lights and interactive laser lights on a one-mile walk at Illumination, and then warm up at the fire pit at the Morton Arboretum. Closed dates for 2016: Nov. 21, 24, 28 and Dec. 5, 12, 24, 25.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

November 19, 2016

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 6:55 p.m. fireworks. Free.

Tasting event

November 19, 2016

3.2 miles SW

A ticket to Drink Local gets you samples from local wineries, distilleries, and breweries, with food for sale at Chicago Marriott at Medical District/UIC.

Family musical: Rudolph

November 19, 2016 (7 p.m.)

0.4 miles SW

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a cheerful, song-filled live adventure featuring Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Abominable Snow Monster, Hermey the Elf, and Rudolph at The Chicago Theatre.

Toy and game fair

November 19 - 20, 2016

1 mile east

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

Muscle car show

November 19 - 20, 2016

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.

Holiday market

November 19 - Dec. 11, 2016 (see below)

2 miles west

Randolph Street’s Holiday Market offers affordable antique, vintage, and modern goods indoors at W Randolph & Washington on Nov. 19, 20, 26, 27; Dec. 10, 11. Discount tickets $4.

Vintage holiday market

November 20, 2016

8.1 miles north

Shop for classic holiday trees, ornaments, toys, and lighting at Vintage Garage Holiday Market , which also has clothing, jewelry, and household furnishings in a covered parking garage at 5051 N. Broadway.

Baroque music

November 22, 2016 (7:30 p.m.)

0.5 miles south

The Family Bach features the music of Johann Sebastian Bach plus his three sons, performed by Music of the Baroque orchestra at Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park.

Thanksgiving Parade

November 24, 2016 (8 to 11 a.m.)

1 mile south

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

Thanksgiving dinner

November 24, 2016

Greater Chicago area

Find a list of restaurants offering special menus for Thanksgiving at the Chicago Tribune and OpenTable.

Free day at the arboretum

November 24, 2016

28 miles west

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

Thanksgiving run/walk

November 24 - 26, 2016

Greater Chicago area

Christmas caroling

Nov. 25 - Dec. 16, 2016 (6 p.m. Fridays)

0.7 miles SE

Bundle up and prepare to belt out holiday classics when asked to sing along with the choirs at Caroling at Cloud Gate outside in Millennium Park. Starts Nov. 25.

Christmas lights - Lincoln Park Zoo

November 25, 2016 - Jan. 1, 2017

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). Free entry. Open Nov. 25-27; Dec. 2-4, 9-23, 26-31; Jan. 1.

Holiday trains - Botanic garden

November 25, 2016 - Jan. 2, 2017

24 miles north

Wonderland Express features trains running through an indoor garden past miniature buildings at Chicago Botanic Garden. See events schedule. Closed Dec. 25.

Holiday trains - Lincoln Park

Nov. 25, 2016 - Jan. 8, 2017

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.

Zoo shops

November 29, 2016 (6:30 to 10 p.m.)

2.5 miles north

Shop from local artisans and boutiques at the inaugural Holiday Market, set against the glittering backdrop of ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Christmas play

November 25 - Dec. 31, 2016

multiple locations

A Christmas Carol is Charles Dickens’ holiday classic about Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and three Christmas ghosts.
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© November 2016 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois. ord-11