Best of November: Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving Parade, and More Things to Do in Chicago

Harry Potter: Magic at Play made our list of best things to do in November. Photo courtesy of Harry Potter: Magic at Play
Harry Potter: Magic at Play made our list of best things to do in November. Photo courtesy of Harry Potter: Magic at Play

November brings plenty of things to do, as Chicago gears up for holidays from Veterans Day to Thanksgiving and full steam ahead to Christmas. Don’t miss our favorite kid-friendly events and activities in Chicago this month. 

Kick off the month with Day of of the Dead celebrations in Hermosa, Marquette Park, and Hanover Park. Continue the fun with Chicago International Children's Film Fest, where you might see a future Academy Award winner. Take a solemn moment to talk to kids about Veterans Day by doing a craft at Cantigny or visiting the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. Light shows are coming back for the holidays—perennial favorites at the Morton Arboretum, Chicago Botanical Gardens, and Lincoln Park Zoo will have you mesmerized yet again! And of course, there's the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade, back in person after a year hosted on a virtual platform. 

For more fun things to do check out our Fall Bucket List or our Day Trip and Weekend Guide—and don't forget to book tickets for these Holiday Train Rides!

We’re adding more events to our family activity calendar every day, so don’t forget to check it frequently.  

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Places featured in this article:


Hanover Park Community Center

Various Chicago Parks

Pritzker Military Museum & Library

CPL Northtown Branch Library

National Museum of Mexican Art

Blackhawk Middle school

The Morton Arboretum

Illinois Railway Museum

Trailside Museum of Natural History

Santa Claus

Frankenmuth

Elkhart Lake

Christkindlmarket
Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light
Museum of Science and Industry - 9:30 AM Pick
ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo - 4:00 PM Pick
Let It Shine Light Show
Northbrook Court - various times Pick
Let It Shine Light Show
Wintrust Field - various times Pick
Holiday Flower Show
Wilder Park - 8:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides