Graphic of a turkey wearing pilgrim clothes pushing a shopping cart full of presents

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Gearing Up for the Upcoming Holidays!

This weekend, Chicagoans will be gearing up for the upcoming holidays since this year all our traditional holiday events are back better than ever!  And believe me, there’s plenty to choose from as you’ll see in my upcoming weekend blogs.

Here are two markets that offer items you can’t find in stores to get a head start on your holiday shopping:

Aligned with the 110th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony that took place Friday evening, the Millennium Park Holiday Art Market will be open this Saturday (12 p.m.-8 p.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m.-5 p.m.) at the Chase Promenade North tent in the Loop.  This market features dozens of local artists selling a variety of items including jewelry, drawings, paintings, pottery, and more!  Plus, vendors from a variety of arts organizations, holiday themed food, hot drinks, cocktails, and live music will be featured as well!

Returning to Chicago for a special holiday shopping event is Markets for Makers this Saturday and Sunday (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) at Artifact Events (4325 N. Ravenswood Ave.) in the Ravenswood neighborhood.  This market features over 90 handmade makers and boutiques selling vintage and unique items along with a Free DIY station, photo walls to create memorable experiences, and a free tote bag to fill with goods from the small businesses.  There’s also food trucks and a bar if you need to take a break as well as free street parking!

Chicago’s two traditional German-style markets return this holiday season as well:

The Christkindlmarket located at Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St.) in the Loop opens this Sunday (11 a.m.-8 p.m.) and runs through December 24th.  This free outdoor holiday market offers international and local food, a unique shopping experience, live entertainment, family-friendly events, and inter-cultural activities.  And don’t forget to quench your thirst with an imported German beer or warm up with a cup of Glühwein (hot spiced wine) served in their popular collectible souvenir mug!

The Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville is a smaller-scale version of the traditional, authentic market and is located at Gallagher Way (3637 N. Clark St.) running from Saturday (11 a.m.-10 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m.-7 p.m.) through the end of the year with as much holiday cheer as its downtown market!

Kick off the official start of the holiday season at this year’s Magnificent Mile Lights Festival this Saturday.  The Lights Festival Lane will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. which is a festive thoroughfare of booths and free family activities all at Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan Ave.) and includes the Wintrust Pavilion, Dunkin’, Eli’s Cheesecake, the Illinois Lottery, and much more!  The parade then begins at 5:30 p.m. with Grand Marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse followed by a procession of floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, celebrity performances, and of course Santa Claus!  In addition, the culmination of this holiday celebration will take place over the Chicago River with the Wintrust Fireworks Spectacular at 7 p.m.!

Finally, it’s turkey time!  Chicago’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will take place on Thursday, November 23, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. down State Street from Ida B. Wells Drive to Randolph Street in the Loop.  A local tradition for more than 25 years, this year’s parade will feature acrobats, equestrians, marching bands, and the return of larger-than-life helium balloons!  Plus, you’ll have plenty of time to get home to enjoy your Thanksgiving feast!!

Have a Happy “Gobble” Day!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago