Photo of a laptop, cup of hot cocoa and credit card

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Here Come the Holidays!

Photo of a laptop, cup of hot cocoa and credit card

Welcome to November and what typically is the beginning of our holiday season here in Chicago.  That’s right, ready or not, here come the holidays!  So, let’s see what’s in store for us this weekend as the holidays quickly creep up on us!!

Believe it or not, you can get a head start on your holiday shopping at the fall edition of SAUCED Night Market this Saturday (5 p.m.-10 p.m.) at the House of Vans (113 N. Elizabeth St.) in the West Loop.  Over three dozen new and returning favorite vendors will be selling handmade goods, jewelry, vintage clothing, and more treasures for your browsing delight.  The market will also feature delicious eats and treats.  Plus, back by popular demand, a live-painted mural will once again take over the stage with featured artists Christina Hryc a/k/a Ceeboots from Vancouver, and Chicago’s very own Zeyeone!

The Hot Chocolate Run series is back for another season with a 5K, 10K, 15K, and a 2-Mile Walk this Saturday (7:00 a.m.) at Grant Park (301 S. Columbus Dr.) in The Loop.  Participants of this annual race will receive a race-themed hoodie, a medal that looks like a cup of hot cocoa and access to the post-run party which is a chocolate lover’s oasis!  Celebrate with a finisher mug that includes fondue, dippables, and of course hot chocolate while checking out some exciting vendors and enjoying some great tunes.  Come join the chocolate movement that’s taking over the country!!

The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild invites you to join in the 20th anniversary celebration of the Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers (FoBAB) this Saturday (1 p.m.) at the Credit Union 1 Arena at UIC (525 S. Racine Ave.) in the Little Italy neighborhood.  FoBAB will be honoring the history and legacy of North America’s largest and most prestigious barrel-aged festival by offering a lineup of wood- and barrel-aged concoctions spanning 12 categories of brews from over 160 participating breweries from across the country.  Attendees will have the opportunity to sample hundreds of barrel-aged beers, ciders, meads, and perries.  Plus, an Oasis lounge will provide a reprieve from the higher ABV samples available throughout the festival and food will be available for purchase throughout the arena!  Breweries also compete for top honors in the National Barrel-Aged Beer Competition!!

If the neighborhood squirrels haven’t eaten all your pumpkins yet, then load them up and bring them to It’s a SMASH! An Eco-fest Pumpkin Smash Festival this Saturday (11 a.m.-5 p.m.) at 1500 W. Catalpa Avenue between Clark Street and Ashland Avenue in the Andersonville neighborhood.  More than 20 sustainable food, beverage, and crafts/entertainment vendors will be on hand for a day of smashing good fun and sustainable destruction for all ages!  Admission is free; however, smashing is a small fee with different ticket options available on Evenbrite.

Parlay at Joy (112 W. Hubbard St.) in the River North neighborhood will be hosting their Hot Wing Eating Contest this Saturday (2:30 p.m.) during halftime of the Georgia vs. Tennessee college football game.  They’ve got plenty of TVs to keep you satisfied plus hot enough wings to keep you thirsty!  Best of all, the winner of the Hot Wing Challenge will receive 4 tickets to the Bears vs. Miami game this Sunday!!

The Chicago Bears (3-5) will be hosting the Miami Dolphins (5-3) this Sunday (12 p.m.) at Soldier Field (1410 S. Museum Campus Dr.) in the South Loop.  Even though our Bears are performing poorly, so are the Green Bay Packers (3-5)!  There’s always a silver lining somewhere!!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago