Giant helium balloons, marching bands, dance acts, equestrian groups and floats are on display at the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade. Watch IRL or cozy up to the couch and watch a livestream.
Details: 8-11 a.m. Thursday along State Street from Ida B. Wells Drive to Randolph Street. Free / MAP
Find more fests: 2021 Festival Guide
Before you settle into your feast, squeeze in run at the Edison Park Turkey Trot. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the event raises funds for The Cradle and the Alzheimer’s Association’s Illinois chapter.
Details: 8:30 a.m. kids race start; 9:30 a.m. 5K race start Thursday at Edison Park Field House, 6755 N. Northwest Highway. $25-$35 / MAP
3. All aboard
The Allstate CTA Holiday Train and Holiday Bus return to the city’s rails and streets. In an effort to spread holiday cheer – and not germs – Santa and the CTA require all riders to wear a face covering regardless of age or vaccination status. Socially distance when possible and if a train or bus becomes too crowded, it may not allow additional riders.
Details: Friday-Sunday on the CTA Green Line.
Trains and buses run through Dec. 22 and 23, respectively.
Home goods, artwork, gourmet foods and unique threads are among the items for sale at the Chicago Artisan Market.
Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Artifact Events, 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave. $8; free for kids under 12 / MAP
The classic children’s holiday book, “Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins,” comes to life with music, puppets and a tiny bit of magic. Watch as Hershel tries to outsmart the goblins who haunt a synagogue and bring the spirit of Hanukkah back. Proof of negative COVID-19 test or vaccination and face masks required.
Details: Performances at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 12 at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave. Free / MAP
Handmade Mexican keepsakes from ornaments and nativity scenes to T-shirts and jewelry are for sale at Mercado Navideño, the National Museum of Mexican Art’s holiday market.
Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Sunday at the National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St. Free / MAP
The Chicago South Side Film Festival kicks off with the world premiere of “Cicero/Mt Greenwood (1966/2016),” a short documentary by Ben Creech that compares and contrasts protest marches through the South Side neighborhood of Mount Greenwood. Creech, along with artist and activist Tonika Lewis Johnson, will host a post-screening discussion.
Details for “Cicero/Mt Greenwood (1966/2016)”: Noon-2 p.m. Saturday at IIT Art Auditorium, 10 W. 35th St. Free / MAP
Festival continues through Dec. 5 at various locations.
The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance kicks off the Millennium Park Holiday Sing-Along series. Lend your voice to the chorus of holiday tunes. Face masks required.
Details: 6-7 p.m. Friday at Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St. Free / MAP
More than a dozen Illinois businesses showcase their wares at the Small Business Saturday Chicago 2021: Neighbors help neighbors. The annual event includes a hot beverage stations and meet-and-greets with Dreezy Claus ($5).
Details: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday at Absolutely Anything Essential, 3521 S. King Drive. Free / MAP
Timed light shows, a tubing hill, holiday market and Santa’s workshop are among the highlights of AMAZE Light Festival.
Details: Hours vary through Jan. 2 at Impact Field, 9850 Balmoral Ave. Rosemont. $18-$23 / MAP
Events listed are subject to change. We recommend double-checking times and locations before you head out the door. Want to share your upcoming events with us for consideration in a future roundup? Send us an email.