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 - 13, 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.

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.

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 (preview Nov. 3)

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.

Rubber fest

November 4 - 6, 2016

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.

Aquarium show

November 4 - 6, 2016

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.

Polish film festival

November 4 - 20, 2016

Chicagoland locations

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

Chili tasting

November 5, 2016

3 miles west

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

Macaroni & cheese festival

November 5, 2016

3 miles SW

Try cheesy dishes by 50 chefs (from truffle-braised duck to white cheddar and chorizo), and then vote for the best at Mac & Cheese Fest at UIC Forum.

Short films

November 10 - 13, 2016

1.1 miles south

See a variety of nearly 100 short films at the Chicago International Reel Shorts Film Fest at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.

Comedy film festival

November 11 - 12, 2016

10 miles north

See funny feature films, short films, and student films at Chicago Comedy Film Festival at The New 400 Theaters. Opening reception Friday, after-party Saturday.

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.

Family lantern festival

November 13, 2016

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, and a bake sale at Dank Haus.

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.

Playful fashion show

November 17, 2016 (7 p.m.)

2 miles west

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

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.

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 fireworks. All free.

Toy and game fair

November 19 - 20, 2016

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 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 two-day ticket $4.

Christmas play

November 19 - Dec. 31, 2016

multiple locations

A Christmas Carol is Charles Dickens’ holiday classic about Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and three Christmas ghosts.

Christmas tree lighting

November 22, 2016

0.5 miles south

The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony begins with a music program at 5:30 p.m. in Millennium Park.

Thanksgiving dinner

November 24, 2016

Greater Chicago area

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

Thanksgiving Parade

November 24, 2016

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 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

Games convention

November 25 - 27, 2016

27 miles west

Wolfcon is for players of board games, computer games, and role-playing games at the College of DuPage.

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 some days). 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.

Artists Month

November 2016 (undated)

Chicago area

Enjoy performances, exhibitions, films, open studios, demonstrations, and neighborhood art walks during Chicago Artists Month.

Holiday art fair

November 2016 (undated)

0.5 miles SW

Gazebo Holiday Market features local artists selling jewelry, clothing, and food at Block 37. A preview party Fri. & brunch Sat. support the Junior League.

Indoor art market

November 2016 (undated)

0.9 miles north

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

Book fair

November 2016 (undated)

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.

Wood-aged beer festival

November 2016 (undated)

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, afternoon or evening.

Holiday trains - Lincoln Park

November 2016 (undated)

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.

Horror shows

November 2016 (undated)

5 miles north

See murderous and macabre sketch comedy, cabaret, dance, burlesque, and plays at Chicago Horror Theatre Festival at Stage 773.

German beer

November 2016 (undated)

7 miles north

Learn about German beer styles and beer making, and then sample Doppelbock beer with cheeses at What’s In Bier? at Dank Haus.

Japanese festival

November 2016 (undated)

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.

Women in jazz

November 2016 (undated)

12 miles north

Hear rising stars perform at the Women in Jazz Festival at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston.

French wine tasting

November 2016 (undated)

17 miles SW

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

Christmas comedy

November 2016 (undated)

2.8 miles SW

Unruly kids take over the church pageant with hilarious results in family-friendly The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Provision Theater.

Ballet-free Nutcracker

November 2016 (undated)

7.4 miles north

Clara struggles to save Christmas in the imaginative, family-friendly version of The Nutcracker onstage at the Chopin Theatre.
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© November 2016 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois.