Some of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions may be off for this year, but there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the food- and family-focused holiday in Chicago. When you're not busy planning turkey prep and decking the halls with fall decor, catch twinkling holiday light displays at some of the best attractions and gardens in Chicago. Instead of heading downtown to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, bundle up and take the fam on a long hike through your favorite Chicago park. And if you're not in the mood for cooking a whole bird this Turkey Day (we feel you), consult some of the best restaurants in Chicago for delightful takeout options. Make new holiday traditions this year with the help of our guide to Thanksgiving in Chicago.
When is Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November. In 2020, Thanksgiving is celebrated on Thursday, November 26.
Things to do on Thanksgiving
Archived coverage of Thanksgiving in Chicago
20 Chicago restaurants open on Thanksgiving
Preparing a Thanksgiving feast is no joke—there's brining and baking and peeling and roasting. Did we mention the mountain of dirty dishes at the end of the night? If you'd rather not step foot in the kitchen on November 22, make plans at one of these restaurants open on Thanksgiving. Whether you're looking for a traditional spread with mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce, or you're craving something a bit more refined (king crab, anyone?), these top Chicago restaurants have you covered. We even included plenty of takeout options for those who want to bring the feast home. As with any holiday, be sure to make a reservation or place your order in advance. And for the love of stuffing, tip the waitstaff appropriately—they're taking care of those dirty dishes at the end of the night, after all.
How Time Out Chicago celebrated Thanksgiving
Happy (day after) Thanksgiving, Chicago! In the spirit of the holiday we thought we'd share with you how our staff celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday. Most of us stayed at home in Chicago, but some of us took to the roads and traveled to find and eat with our families elsewhere. Others decided to forgo the pomp and circumstance of slaving over a turkey all day and go out to a Chicago restaurant for Thanksgiving. We sincerely hope you all had a wonderful holiday, stayed safe and spent some good time with your friends and family. Have a great weekend! There's no better time to be a Chicagoan than the holiday season. Laura Rote, Editor A photo posted by laura_rote (@laura_rote) on Nov 26, 2015 at 4:19pm PST Amy Cavanaugh, Restaurant & Bars Editor A photo posted by Amy Cavanaugh (@amycavanaugh) on Nov 26, 2015 at 11:52am PST Christine Griffith, Sales Manager A photo posted by Christine Griffith (@youcancallmecg) on Nov 26, 2015 at 5:33pm PST Jaclyn Rivas, Photo Editor Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas Nick Kotecki, Assistant Editor, Social Media A video posted by Time Out Chicago (@timeoutchicago) on Nov 26, 2015 at 5:52pm PST Clayton Guse, Assistant Editor A photo posted by Clayton Guse (@clayguse) on Nov 26, 2015 at 4:15pm PST
Photos from the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade
Delicious meals, turkey trots and football games may take the spotlight on Thanksgiving, but there's one tradition that always seems to capture the excitement of the beginning of the holiday season. The annual Chicago Thanksgiving Parade marched down State Street on Thursday, filled with marching bands, costumed performers and some gigantic inflatable versions of cartoon characters. If you were stuck at home preparing a turkey dinner instead of cheering from the sidewalk, take a look at some of the most exciting scenes from the parade. RECOMMENDED: Our guide to Thanksgiving in Chicago Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: Jordan Avery Photograph: J
Conversations every Chicagoan will have this Thanksgiving
The holidays are upon us, and that means food, family and forced conversation. Thanksgiving kicks off this season of oversharing with the people you know all too well, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a meaningful exchange about the most trivial of subjects. Take note of conversation prompts or signs of discussions you may want to avoid and chew over our list of likely table talk this Thanksgiving. Whining about driving out to the 'burbs: You used to love going on long drives. But after living in the city for the better part of your 20s, the thought of spending 40 solitary minutes in a car (alone) on your way out to Alsip is equal parts annoying and terrifying. Undoubtedly, you’ll need to unpack that complex with someone. And since your therapist doesn’t have office hours until after the holiday, complaining about that ass-pain of a drive to your parents will have to do. The new Metra seats: At some point during your impassioned yarn about traffic on the Dan Ryan, one of your solution-oriented relatives will remember hearing about those dope new Metra seats. You should have “rode the train,” they’ll say, and you and your deformed lumbar will have to point out the benefits of hindsight. A way too in-depth conversation about craft beers: You made it to your family Thanksgiving party, casually greeted relatives and now it’s time to make a subtle (mustn't show too much haste) move toward the fridge for a can of cold beer. All of a sudden, you’re blindsided by that cousin y