Chicago events November 2018. Things to do in Chicago.

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.

Expand your mind

November 1 - 11, 2018
(begins Oct. 27)
Chicago locations
Chicago Humanities Festival is a series of talks and events that explore the human condition and feature exciting thinkers, artists, and performers.
CityPass Chicago

Ballet-free Nutcracker

November 2 - 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.

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.

Intense haunted house

November 3, 2018
(begins Sept. 28)
45 miles NW
The Realm of Terror Haunted House promises “the craziest, most intense, extreme Halloween experience” located halfway to Milwaukee in Round Lake Beach.

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.

Short films

November 9 - 11, 2018
8.5 miles north
See nearly 100 short films at the Chicago International Reel Shorts Film Fest at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark Street. The schedule consists of programs 70 to 120 minutes long.

Comedy film festival

November 9 - 11, 2018
10 miles north
See funny feature films, short films, and student films at Chicago Comedy Film Festival mostly at The New 400 Theaters. The first night may include a reception.

Macaroni & cheese festival

November 10, 2018
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.

Family lantern festival

November 10, 2018
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 celebrates Kodomo Matsuri with Japanese food, classical dance, Taiko drumming, a craft sale, a silent auction, and Santa at Japanese American Service Committee. Free.

French soirée

November 15, 2018
1 mile south
Passport to France celebrates fine gastronomy, French chefs, wines and spirits, culture, and entertainment at the Union League Club, followed by a party at Untitled Supper Club.

Horror convention

November 16 - 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 16 ‑ 18, 2018
29 miles NW
See postage stamp exhibits and shop from 35 dealers at Chicagopex at the Westin in Itasca. Free.

Christmas market

November 16 - 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. Also located in Naperville and Park at Wrigley, which may have different dates. Free.

Christmas lights - arboretum

November 16, 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.

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.

Toy and game fair

November 17 - 18, 2018
1 mile east
Chicago Toy & Game Fair features new toys and games, tournaments, costumed characters, and stage entertainment at Navy Pier.

Science-fiction plays

November 17 - 18, 2018
7 miles north
See short plays with science-fiction and fantasy themes during Paragon at The Public House Theatre.

French market

November 17 - 18, 2018
7.5 miles north
Lycée French Market has vendors of fine and decorative arts, French foods, food trucks, and a Saturday night party at 1929 W. Wilson Avenue.

Muscle car show

November 17 - 18, 2018
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.

Thanksgiving Parade

November 22, 2018
(8 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
The two-hour 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
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.

Holiday market at the zoo

November 27, 2018
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.

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.

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.

Polish film festival

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

Cookies & wine

November 2018
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.

Cocktail party

November 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.

Holiday art fair

November 2018
0.6 miles NW
Gazebo Holiday Market features local artists selling jewelry, clothing, and food at Embassy Suites on State Street. Donation. (A preview party on Friday and a brunch on Saturday support the Junior League.)

Aged beer festival

November 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.

Holiday trains - Lincoln Park

November 2018
3 miles north
Model trains wind their way through a miniature village among poinsettias during the Winter Flower and Train Show at Lincoln Conservatory. Open daily. Free.

Movies and music festival

November 2018
5 miles NW
The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest) is “where movies and music meet.” See films with a music connection by day, and hear live music with a film connection by night at Wicker Park and Logan Square.

French wine tasting

November 2018
17 miles SW
Walk between restaurants in downtown La Grange to taste wine with appetizers during Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Tasting, a charity benefit.

Holiday trains - Botanic garden

November 2018
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.

Wine tasting

November 2018
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+.

Christmas tree lighting

November 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.

Christmas lights - Lincoln Park Zoo

November 2018
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.

Christmas ship musical

November 2018
4.8 miles north
The Christmas Schooner tells the moving story of a 19th-century captain who risked everything to bring the Christmas spirit to Chicago, at Mercury Theater.

Holidays around the world

November 2018
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.