Chicago events November 2018. Things to do in Chicago.

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Best events for 12 months

Chicago events November 2018

Wine tasting

November 1, 2018
8 miles NW
Sample 40 wines plus hors d’oeuvres on the Fall Wine Stroll that starts at Dank Haus. Repeats in April.

Children’s film festival

November 1 - 9, 2018
Chicago locations
Billed as North America’s largest film festival for children, the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival showcases the best in culturally diverse, non-violent, value-affirming new cinema for children and offers interactive workshops.

Feed your mind

November 1 - 11, 2018
Chicago locations
Chicago Humanities Festival is a series of talks and events that explore the human condition and feature exciting thinkers, artists, and performers. The 2018 theme “explores the history and impact of our visual culture.”

Wilder Mansion market

November 2 - 3, 2018
19 miles west
Wilder Mansion Holiday Market has arts, crafts, and seasonal gifts in a historic Elmhurst mansion. Free.

Monster trucks

November 2 - 4, 2018
18 mile NW
Big trucks with big wheels create big noise and excitement at Monster Jam in Rosemont’s Allstate Arena.

Cocktail party

November 3, 2018
0.5 miles north
Buttercream Ball promises a “casually elegant evening full of cocktails, confections, entertainment, and fun” with dancing and a cake competition at The James Hotel to support charity.

Wine tasting

November 3, 2018 (5 to 9 p.m.)
29.4 miles NW
Sample 150 wines from around the world with craft spirits and “a vast buffet menu” at the Wheeling Wine Festival at The Westin Chicago North Shore for age 21+.

Intense haunted house

November 3, 2018
45 miles NW
Realm of Terror Haunted House promises “the craziest, most intense, extreme Halloween experience” located halfway to Milwaukee in Round Lake Beach. See schedule.

Race in Grant Park

November 4, 2018
0.7 miles south
The Hot Chocolate 15K/5K and 2-mile walk begin and end in Grant Park and include hot chocolate.

Comedy film festival

November 9 - 11, 2018
1.5 miles south
See funny feature films, short films, and student films at Chicago Comedy Film Festival at Columbia College Chicago, 1104 S. Wabash Avenue.

Printed art fair

November 10, 2018
5.8 miles NW
Meet 30 printmakers and browse their work at Chicago Printers Guild Publishers Fair, with DJ music and bar drinks for sale at Constellation in Roscoe Village. Free.

Family lantern festival

November 10, 2018 (SOLD OUT)
7 miles north
A ticket to Laternenfest & St. Martin’s Parade gets you a lantern kit to assemble so you can carry it in the parade at dusk, with singing, crafts, a bake sale, and an optional dinner, at 1726 W. Berteau Avenue.

Japanese festival

November 10, 2018
7.6 miles north
JASC Holiday Delight ocelebrates Kodomo Matsuri with Japanese food, classical dance, Taiko drumming, a craft sale, a silent auction, and Santa at Japanese American Service Committee. Free.

Wine tasting

November 10 - 11, 2018
26.7 miles north
“Taste wines and spirits from around the world” at The North Shore Benefit Wine & Spirits Event, which also has an optional brunch on Sunday at Art Center Highland Park for age 21+.

Outdoor adventure films

November 11, 2018 (5:30 p.m.)
1.8 miles SW
Watch “gritty, profound, shocking, visceral, and inspiring independent films that manifest the spirit of adventure” at Adventure Film Festival Tour at Music Box Theater, a benefit for children’s outdoor experiences.

French soirée

November 15, 2018
6.3 miles south
Passport to France celebrates fine gastronomy, French chefs, wines and spirits, culture, and entertainment at Zhou B Art Center.

French wine tasting

November 15, 2018 (6 to 8 p.m.)
17 miles SW
Walk between restaurants in downtown La Grange to taste wine with appetizers during Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Tasting, a charity benefit.

Christmas tree lighting

November 16, 2018
0.5 miles south
The annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony includes holiday music, a choir, and an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus at Millennium Park. Free.

Aged beer festival

November 16 - 17, 2018
2.6 miles SW
Enjoy beer with exotic flavors at the Festival of Wood & Barrel-Aged Beers, billed as the country’s largest celebration of wood-and-barrel-aged beer at UIC Forum.

Kinky film festival

November 16 - 17, 2018
9.7 miles north
CineKink Chicago screens films “that celebrate and explore a wide diversity of sexuality” at Leather Archives & Museum for age 18+.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

November 17, 2018
Downtown Chicago
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival begins with family activities and Santa Claus in Pioneer Court at Lights Festival Lane (Friday 4 - 8 p.m. & Saturday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.). A Tree-Lighting Parade goes down Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Wacker Drive (Saturday 5:30 p.m.) ending with fireworks at 6:55 p.m. Free.

Yacht party

November 17, 2018 (boarding 11:30 p.m.)
1 mile east
Dress in black for Rock the Yacht: All Black Midnight Yacht Party, featuring two hours of views aboard the Spirit of Chicago, a DJ playing hip-hop, R&B, dance, electronic, and top 40 hits, and a cash bar, departing from Navy Pier for age 21+.

Polish film festival

November 18, 2018
Chicagoland locations
The Polish Film Festival in America shows new films by Polish filmmakers from around the world.

Toy and game fair

November 18, 2018
1 mile east
Chicago Toy & Game Fair features new toys and games, tournaments, costumed characters, and stage entertainment at Navy Pier, adult $16.34, child $9.17.

Ticket deal $7

Holiday market

November 18, 2018
2.5 miles west
Randolph Street’s Holiday Market offers affordable antique, vintage, and modern goods indoors at 1340 W. Washington Boulevard in November and December. Children age 12 and younger are free. Free parking.

Ticket deal 2 for $11

Science-fiction plays

November 18, 2018
7 miles north
See short plays with science-fiction and fantasy themes during Paragon at Otherworld Theatre.

French market

November 18, 2018 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
7.5 miles north
Lycée French Market has vendors of fine and decorative arts, French foods, and a French bistro at 1929 W. Wilson Avenue.

Frankenstein

November 18, 2018 (7:30 p.m.)
8.3 miles south
Multimedia company Manual Cinema stitches together the classic story of Frankenstein with Mary Shelley’s own biography to create “an unexpected story about the beauty and horror of creation” at Court Theatre.

Ticket deal $25

Muscle car show

November 18, 2018
17 mile NW
Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals is an indoor showcase of 500 high-horsepower cars that includes “unveilings” and activities for children (age 12 and younger free) at the Rosemont convention center.

Horror convention

November 18, 2018
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, 2018
29 miles NW
See postage stamp exhibits and shop from 75 dealers at Chicagopex at the Westin in Itasca. Free.

Epic musical

November 18 - Dec. 8, 2018
0.7 miles SW
Written by the creators of Les Misérables, Miss Saigon is about the tragic romance between a strong-willed Vietnamese woman and an American soldier in the last days of the Vietnam War at Cadillac Palace Theatre.

Ticket deal $39 to $75

Christmas market

November 18 - Dec. 24, 2018
1 mile SW
Christkindlmarket is an open-air European holiday market featuring traditional art, handmade gifts, German foods, choirs, and carolers on Daley Plaza. The Naperville location opens November 23. Free.

Christmas lights - arboretum

November 18, 2018 - Jan. 1, 2019
27 miles west
See colorful tree lights and projections on a one-mile walk at Illumination, with fire pits to warm you up along the way at Morton Arboretum. Closed Nov. 22, Dec. 24 & 25, and all Mondays except Dec. 31.

Holidays around the world

November 18, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
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 on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Hip-hop Christmas story

November 20 - Dec. 30, 2018
1.2 miles east
“A wildly engaging hip-hop take on Dickens’ classic” [Chicago Sun-Times], Q Brothers Christmas Carol mixes reggae, dancehall, dubstep, and even epic rock ballads at The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, Navy Pier.

Ticket deal $18 to $27

Funny family play

November 21 - Dec. 30, 2018
0.9 miles north
Emily and her friend the mouse go searching for Santa’s naughty-or-nice list in ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, a “fantastic, slapstick holiday affair” at Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.

Ticket deal $20

It’s a Wonderful Life: radio play

November 21, 2018 - Jan. 5, 2019
5 miles north
It’s a Wonderful Life recreates a live radio play based on the popular movie about a man seeking purpose in life at Stage 773. Afterwards, join the cast for milk and cookies.

Ticket deal $19 to $29

Haunting play

November 21, 2018 - Feb. 17, 2019
3.1 miles NW
Based on the hit London production, The Woman in Black is an eerie ghost story about an English village terrorized by a scorned woman at Royal George Theatre.

Ticket deal $35

Thanksgiving Parade

November 22, 2018 (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 cruise

November 22, 2018
1.3 miles east
Thanksgiving Day Cruise by Odyssey Cruises include a holiday lunch or dinner, departing from Navy Pier.

Games convention

November 23 - 25, 2018
15.3 miles NW
Wolfcon is for players of board games, computer games, and role-playing games at The Pavilion near the airport. Held in May and November.

Christmas caroling

November 23 - Dec. 14, 2018 (Fridays)
0.7 miles SE
Bundle up and prepare to belt out holiday classics when asked to sing along with the choir at Caroling at Cloud Gate outdoors in Millennium Park. Free.

Christmas lights - Lincoln Park Zoo

November 23, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
2.5 miles north
ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo features millions of holiday lights, ice carving, music, carousel & train rides, food, and gift shopping (plus photos with Santa some days). Free. Closed Nov. 26 - 29; Dec. 3 - 6 & 24 - 25.

Holiday trains - Lincoln Park

November 23, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
3 miles north
Model trains wind their way through a miniature village among poinsettias during the Holiday Flower Show at Lincoln Conservatory. Open daily. Free.

Holiday trains - Botanic garden

November 23, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
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.

Family theater

November 24 - Dec. 23, 2018
9.8 miles NW
Gerda must save her friend Kai from the icy clutches of a cold-hearted queen in The Snow Queen, an “epic story of courage and friendship across the wintry wonders of the North Pole” at Filament Theatre.

Ticket deal $9 to $11

Ballet-free Nutcracker

November 24 - Dec. 30, 2018
7.4 miles north
Clara struggles to save Christmas in the The Nutcracker, an imaginative, family-friendly version live at Chopin Theatre.

Ticket deal $21 to $32

Holiday market at the zoo

November 27, 2018 (6:30 to 10 p.m.)
2.5 miles north
Shop from local artisans and boutiques at the Holiday Market, set against the glittering backdrop of ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Adult zoo night

November 29, 2018 (6:30 to 10 p.m.)
2.5 miles north
Leave the kids at home and head to Adults Night Out at Lincoln Park Zoo to experience unique animal chats and live entertainment. You must be age 18+ to attend, and age 21+ for the cash bars.

Cookies & wine

November 29 - 30, 2018 (5:30 p.m.)
0.4 miles SE
Taste wine and cookies, and bring home three dozen chef-made cookies at Cookies & Cheer at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park.

Holiday market

November 29 - Dec. 2, 2018
29 miles NW
Holiday Lights Gift and Craft Fair has hundreds of booths selling food, gifts, and decorations to holiday shoppers at Arlington International Racecourse.

Charming musical

November 29 - Dec. 16, 2018
4.8 miles north
Set in a drought-ridden rural town in the 1930s, 110 in the Shade is about a family desperate for rain and seeking a husband for its daughter, with both hopes pinned on a fast-talking newcomer, at Theater Wit.

Ticket deal $18

It’s a Wonderful Life: radio play

November 29 - Dec. 30, 2018
20.1 miles north
It’s a Wonderful Life recreates a live radio play based on the film about a man seeking purpose in life at the Oil Lamp Theater in Glenview.

Ticket deal $20

Hinsdale Christmas Walk

November 30, 2018 (5 to 8 p.m.)
21 miles SW
Christmas Walk features Santa’s arrival, carolers, animated characters, live reindeer, a carousel, and a tree lighting in Hinsdale’s Burlington Park.

Holiday train ride

November 30, 2018 - Jan. 1, 2019
1.4 miles SW
Take a one-hour train ride through downtown Chicago as you drink cocoa on the Polar Express, which travels round trip from Union Station at Jackson Boulevard.

Winter WonderFest

November 30, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019
1 mile east
Festival Hall at Navy Pier becomes an indoor Winter WonderFest for the holidays, with music, skating, carnival rides, and entertainment. You need ID if you are age 18+, otherwise you need a parent. Children shorter than 3 feet are free. Closed Dec. 25.

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