Before you tuck in for dinner, join Chicagoans from all over the city at the 41st Annual Art Van Turkey Trot! Presented by Byline Bank, the Turkey Trot will feature a 5k and 8k, and a Plymouth Rock Ramble for the kids, and all of its proceeds support the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

 

It’s a great cause, and the event kicks off right in one of our favorite neighborhoods, Lincoln Park. The races are centered around the event’s Turkey Day Tailgate, which hosts plenty of activities like corn hole, a football toss, and turkey bowling, and, of course, warm apple cider.

 

The event will be rain-or-shine, and it’s a great way to start off the holiday season on the right foot.

 

If running isn’t your thing, you will find plenty of other things to do, too! The city of Chicago hosts its annual Uncle Dan’s Thanksgiving Parade on State Street from Congress to Randolph. With the best marching bands from all over the country, to giant balloon presentations and live performances, you can either grab a seat along the parade route or hang out in your pajamas to watch it live at home.

 

For those who are just looking forward to dinner but don’t want to cook, plenty of options abound!  The Chicago Tribune and OpenTable have both put together helpful lists of restaurants that offer special menus just for the occasion. For something even a little more special, Odyssey Cruises is offering a two-hour Thanksgiving Day cruise, starting at Navy Pier. The event will include a holiday lunch or dinner, depending on your time of departure.

 

Starting on Black Friday, the Lincoln Park Zoo goes all out with their beloved ZooLights event, which has festive decorations like ice carvings and holiday lights. There’s also music, carousel and train rides, food, and shopping opportunities at the nearby pop-up Holiday Market.

 

Lincoln Park will also be hosting a Holiday Flower Show at the Lincoln Conservatory, from November 23 through January 26. Within the flower show, model trains will weave through the miniature village among the poinsettias. Second City will be performing “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Sweater” at Up Comedy Club, both before and after Thanksgiving Day, too, if you are in the mood for some good laughs.For any magic lovers out there, the historic Palmer House Hilton Hotel will be showcasing performances by an award-winning magician on Friday nights at 7:30 and 9:30, and Saturday nights at 4:30, 7:30, and 9:30. Performances begin in November, and will last through January 2019. Getting the chance to walk through the stunning hotel is merely an added bonus to being a part of this highly anticipated intimate magic show.

 

Whether you have the entire holiday season to spend in Chicago, or just a few days to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving, there are plenty of options to accommodate everyone’s tastes.

 

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