Chicago events calendar for November 2017. Best festivals, fun things to do, Thanksgiving events, holiday lights, kids activities, free entertainment Chicago, Illinois.

Best events for 12 months

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

Miles are from the Wrigley Building in Chicago.

Children’s film festival

November 1 -5, 2017 (begins Oct. 27)

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.

Film festival

November 1 - 5, 2017 (begins Oct. 25)

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.

Expand your mind

November 1 - 12, 2017 (begins Oct. 28)

Chicago locations

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

November 1 - 12, 2017

4.4 miles NW

Into the Woods is a Tony-winning musical with dazzling songs by Sondheim that uses familiar fairy-tale characters to tell an epic story at Fullerton Stage.

Discount balcony tickets $5 to $8.

Wine tasting

November 2, 2017 (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 3 - 4, 2017

19 miles west

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

Intense haunted house

November 3 - 4, 2017 (begins Oct. 6)

45 miles NW

The Realm of Terror Horror Experience is halfway to Milwaukee in Round Lake Beach. Dates in 2017: October 6-8, 13-14, 20-21, 27-29, Nov. 3-4.

Art and design fair

November 3 - 5, 2017 (preview Nov. 2)

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.

Discount tickets $10 to $75.

Aquarium show

November 3 - 5, 2017

27 miles NW

Visit the sea lions, join a seminar, shop the vendors, and see fish on display at the Aquatic Experience at Schaumburg Convention Center.

Chili tasting

November 4, 2017

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 4, 2017 (noon and 6 p.m.)

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 4, 2017

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 home-brew competition at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios for age 21+.

Aurora haunted house

November 4, 2017 (begins Sept. 29)

38 miles west

Basement of the Dead has creative special effects and entertaining characters. Dates for 2017: Sept. 29-30; Oct. 1, 5-8, 12-15, 19-22, 26-31; Nov. 4.

Polish film festival

November 4 - 19, 2017

Chicagoland locations

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

Movies and music festival

November 9 - 12, 2017

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.

Comedy film festival

November 9 - 12, 2017

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.

Discount tickets $8.

Short films

November 10 - 11, 2017

1.2 miles south

See nearly 100 short films at the Chicago International Reel Shorts Film Fest at 623 S. Wabash Avenue. The schedule consists of programs 70 to 120 minutes long.

Wood-aged beer festival

November 10 - 11, 2017

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.

Cocktail party

November 11, 2017

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.

Chocolate show

November 11, 2017

2.3 miles west

Chicago Holiday Chocolate Show promises samples from 50 vendors and free parking at Chicago Journeymen Plumbers (Plumbers Hall).

Discount tickets $19.

Japanese festival

November 11, 2017

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 11 - 12, 2017 (preview Nov. 10)

7.5 miles north

Lycée French Market has vendors of fine and decorative arts, a bistro, chef demos, food trucks, and live French music at 1929 W. Wilson Avenue.

Family lantern festival

November 12, 2017

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.

French soirée

November 16, 2017

1 mile south

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

Toy and game fair

November 16 - 19, 2017

1 mile east

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

Villa Park arts & crafts

November 16 - 19, 2017

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 16, 2017 - Jan. 7, 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 Nov. 23 & Dec. 25.

Christmas tree lighting

November 17, 2017

0.5 miles south

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

Playful fashion show

November 17, 2017

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.

Horror convention

November 17 - 19, 2017

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 17 - 19, 2017

29 miles NW

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

Christmas market

November 17 - Dec. 24, 2017

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 17, 2017 - Jan. 1, 2018

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.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

November 18, 2017

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.

Muscle car show

November 18 - 19, 2017

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 18 - 19 & Dec. 16 - 17, 2017

2 miles west

Randolph Street’s Holiday Market offers affordable antique, vintage, and modern goods indoors at W Randolph & Washington on Nov. 18, 19; Dec. 16, 17.

Discount tickets 2 for $11.

Christmas play

November 18 - Dec. 31, 2017

multiple locations

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

Christmas musical

November 21 - Dec. 3, 2017

0.7 miles SW

See Irving Berlin’s song-and-dance extravaganza White Christmas, based on the classic film starring Bing Crosby, live at Cadillac Palace Theatre.

Thanksgiving dinner

November 23, 2017

Greater Chicago area

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

Thanksgiving Parade

November 23, 2017

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 23, 2017

28 miles west

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

Thanksgiving run/walk

November 23 & 25, 2017

Greater Chicago area

Magic show

November 24 - 25, 2017

0.8 miles north

Ivan Amodei involves the audience in his entertaining 90-minute magic show Intimate Illusions, with live cello accompaniment at the Ritz-Carlton.

Discount tickets $36 to $55.

Games convention

November 24 - 26, 2017

14.7 miles NW

Wolfcon is for players of board games, computer games, and role-playing games at Omega Station.

Christmas ship musical

November 24 - Dec. 31, 2017

4.8 miles north

The Christmas Schooner tells the moving story of a 19th-century captain who risks everything to bring the Christmas spirit to Chicago, at Mercury Theater.

Christmas lights - Lincoln Park Zoo

November 24, 2017 - Jan. 7, 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.

Holiday trains - Lincoln Park

November 24, 2017 - Jan. 7, 2018

3 miles north

Model trains wind their way through a miniature village among poinsettias during the Holiday Flower Show at Lincoln Conservatory. Free.

Holiday trains - Botanic garden

November 24, 2017 - Jan. 7, 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.

Zoo shops

November 28, 2017

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 30, 2017 (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 30 - Dec. 1, 2017 (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 30 - Dec. 3, 2017

29 miles NW

Holiday Lights Gift and Craft Fair offers 500 booths of gifts, foods, and decorations for holiday shoppers at Arlington International Racecourse.

Tasting event

November 2017 (undated)

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.

Vintage holiday market

November 2017 (undated)

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.

French wine tasting

November 2017 (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.

Baking show

November 2017 (undated)

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 Nutcracker

November 2017 (undated)

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.
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© November 2017 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois. ord-11