Things to do

Thanksgiving events in Chicago

Turkey trots, restaurant feasts and one big parade are among the best Thanksgiving events in Chicago


By Zach Long

Posted: Monday October 29 2018


Photograph: Jordan Avery

Whether you're stopping through to visit family or sticking around because it's the city you call home, Chicago is an amazing place to celebrate Thanksgiving. You'll find the usual array of Turkey Day events, including a parade in the Loop and a Turkey Trot that departs from Lincoln Park. Aftter a hearty meal, you can catch a concert, go ice skating or head to some of Chicago's best shops to snag Black Friday deals. And if you're still hungry, secure a reservation at one of the city's best restaurants. Make your Thanksgiving in Chicago special with our guide to events, pies, the parade and more seasonal traditions.

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Archived coverage of Thanksgiving in Chicago

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

Where to order pies in time for Thanksgiving

Whether you’re hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner or have been around the block a time or two, leave the pie to the professionals and let one of these Chicago bakeries serving the city's best pies take a little off your plate. Thanksgiving is only a week away, but it’s not too late to place your holiday pie orders from most locations. From classic apple and pumpkin pastries to delicious twists such as Blue Sky Bakery’s dark chocolate pecan pie, you’re sure to find a holiday dessert to match your tastes. Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse: Whether cruising for a purple sweet potato pie ($25) or old standbys such as Michigan apple ($25), pumpkin ($23) or pecan ($26), Baker Miller has you covered. The bakery will take orders through Nov 17. Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits: Bang Bang has your pie needs covered with its chocolate pecan ($26) and key lime ($26) pies—apple and pumpkin have already sold out—available at both its Logan Square and Ravenswood locations. Online pre-orders will be accepted through Nov. 18, and all orders will be available for pick up Nov 22 and Nov 23. Beatrix: Beatrix is offering full pies to-go for Thanksgiving. You can choose from the Oh My! Caramel Pie; Tall, Dark and Handsome Chocolate Cake; and a new pumpkin pecan pie ($50 each). Call the Beatrix location nearest you to place your order by Nov. 21 for pick up on Nov. 22 or 23. First Slice Pie Café: First Slice Pie Café lives up to its name, offering more than 15 different classic and specialty desserts

Chicago topics to avoid at the Thanksgiving table

We’ve packed away our Al’s Beefcake costume for the year, but before we bust out the Christmas tree, we’ve got one hurdle of a holiday to clear: Thanksgiving. Chicago is an opinionated town, so some topics are better left off the table when it comes time to gather your family around the turkey (or deep-dish, if that’s your thing). Here are some Chicago topics to leave at home this holiday season.  No calling dibs on your place at the table. You're a person, not a parking spot. For today only, don't correct your cousins from the burbs when they claim the Chicagoan label. They get a holiday radius pass. Don’t get your aunt started on the merits of deep-dish pizza. You'll be debating Giordano's vs. Lou Malnati's all night.   Avoid talking about the Cubs' stellar season with your White Sox-loving uncle. And completely avoid the Cubs with your Cardinals-loving cousin from downstate. Too soon to rip the Band-Aid off that wound.  Sharing in graphic detail the most memorable smells you’ve experienced on the CTA. Some of us are trying to eat stuffing here.  Taxes. We know they’re going up, but this isn’t the season to constantly remind ourselves of the lump of coal that’s been dropped in the city’s stocking.  Any mention of Rahm. Sure he's a turkey who should get stuffed, but the bird on your table is more important. And remember, Chicago politics are rarely a fun or fruitful side dish.  The Lucas Museum. The diehard Bears fans will only get huffy about the loss of tailgating