Chicagoist's Guide To November: 20 Fun Things To Do This Month

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 1, 2017 4:29PM

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ZooLights image courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo.

The holiday season is just around the corner with ZooLights, Christkindlmarket and The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival all beginning this month. Here are 20 of our favorite events—festive and beyond-- to make the most of November in Chicago.


RED BULL SOUND SELECT 30 DAYS

November 1-30

Red Bull Sound Select has chosen Chicago for it’s 30 Days Festival. That’s right, 30 days of music, photography and more. In addition to concerts at venues all over the city, the festival is highlighting local outlets like Fake Shore Drive’s 10th Anniversary show and the Crate Diggers Record Fair. Tickets are $15 or less per show. Check out their website for more information and schedules.


CINEPOCALYPSE

November 2-9

Horror fans will flock to Music Box Theatre for the debut Cinepocalypse Genre Film Festival beginning Thursday. The Chicago-based festival will award director Larry Cohen and actor Antonio Fargas and include films like opener Sweet Virginia and closer Beyond Skyline. Visit Music Box’s website for the full schedule.


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Image via SOFA's Facebook page.

SOFA EXPO

November 2-5

More than 80 galleries converge for SOFA Chicago at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall this weekend. Contemporary art and design including glass blowing, ceramics, wood, glass, fiber, jewelry, metal, design, painting, photography and more will be showcased at the long-running “Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art and Design” fair. Tickets are $20 in advance.


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John Lydon. Image via cimmfest's website.

CIMMFEST #9

November 9-12

The Chicago International Movies and Music Fest is back with film screenings, concerts and a conference at venues across the city. This year features more than 50 movie-centric films, including a "rotten" John Lydon post-Sex Pistols doc. Check the lineup for all the live performances, DJs, panels and more.


A (MOSTLY) VEGGIE AFFAIR

November 9

Green City Market gets veggie-friendly for Fall with A (Mostly) Veggie Affair at Lakeshore Beverage at 6:30 p.m. The 9th annual fundraiser features vegeterian fare from Publican Anker, Forbidden Root, Floriole, Farmhouse Chicago, Here.Co, Goose Island, Scofflaw/Heavy Feather, and more. Tickets start at $60.


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Image courtesy of LuxeHome.

CHILL

November 9

LuxeHome and Wine Spectator Magazine host the 11th annual international wine and culinary event, CHILL. Sample bites and meet chefs from more than 40 hot local restaurants like Café Spiaggia and Maple & Ash while enjoying wines from around the globe. Tickets are $145.


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Image courtesy of Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.

TASTE OF RAVENSWOOD

November 10

Brewers, distillers and chefs from “Malt Row” cook up special bites and pairings for the 3rd annual Taste of Ravenswood from 6 to 10 p.m. The event takes place at the Ravenswood Event Center with collaborations between spots like Beard & Belly and Begyle Brewing Co., Lucila’s Homemade and KOVAL Distillery, and Amy’s Candy Bar and Ampersand Wine Bar. Tickets are $70.


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The Price of Right image courtesy of Fremantle Media.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT LIVE

November 11

Live your “Come on down!” dream at Rosemont Theatre on Saturday with two showtimes. The Price Is Right Live will bring all the familiar games like Plinko, The Big Wheel™, and, yes, even the Showcase Showdown where audience members can win cash, vacations or even a new car! Tickets start at $26.


A GOLDEN CELEBRATION OF DANCE

November 12

50 years ago Auditorium Theatre re-opened it’s doors to the public and they’re celebrating that golden anniversary with a one-night-only Celebration of Dance. The theatre has a rich dance history that continues today. The mixed repertory program will feature dancers from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Het Nationale Ballet - Dutch National Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, MOMIX, New York City Ballet,Parsons Dance, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Wiener Staatsballett, and The Washington Ballet. Tickets start at $41.


ADVENTURE FILM FESTIVAL

November 12

The 3rd annual Adventure Film Festival bowls into Music Box Theatre on Sunday. Sierra Club ICO will present screenings of award winning films from a community of risk takers, provocateurs, artists, dreamers, athletes and activists. Tickets start at $20.


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Image via MSI's website.

CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD + HOLIDAYS OF LIGHT

November 16-January 7

Celebrate “Christmas Around the World” at the Museum of Science and Industry this holiday season. Their long-running tradition (since 1942 to be exact) features a forest of more than 50 trees and displays representing holidays from countries and cultures around the world. They’ll also have live performances on the weekends.


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Image via Christkindlmarket's Facebook page.

CHRISTKINDLMARKET

November 17 - December 24

Christkindlmarket has all the schnitzel, glühwein and potato pancakes you can handle. The traditional German market in Daley Plaza is a Chicago tradition, as are the collectable mugs that they sell each year. Here’s hoping 2017 is a boot-mug year! Free.


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Image courtesy of Millennium Park.

CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY

November 17

The 104th Annual Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place at 6 p.m. right in Millennium Park’s Wrigley Square. The local tradition sets the skyline with a little extra sparkle through January 1.


MAGNIFICENT MILE LIGHTS FESTIVAL

November 17-18

Kick off the holiday season with a parade Grand Marshalled by none other than Mickey Mouse during the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. Family friendly activities and concerts abound at Pioneer Court (aka Lights Festival Lane) Friday evening and Saturday until the parade steps off at 5:30 p.m. at Oak and Michigan Ave.


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Parade image via City of Chicago's website.

THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE

November 23

The annual McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade marches down State Street from Congress to Randolph with all the requisite balloons, marching bands and performances. It will also be broadcast on WGN just in case you can’t get out of bed Thanksgiving morning. Parade steps off at 8 a.m.


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Image via DCASE.

CAROLING AT CLOUD GATE

November 24-December 15

Of all the “events” we’ve seen popping up with and at the Bean, here’s one that’s actually happing. Meet at the Bean every Friday beginning November 24th for some festive cheer in the form of song. Local choral groups will lead carolers from 6 to 7 p.m. each week through December 15. Free.


ZOOLIGHTS

November 24-January 1

The Lincoln Park Zoo tradition is back for it’s 23rd year. ZooLights puts more than 2.5 million lights up, and features visits from Santa, ice sculptors, festive activities, sweet treats and new this year, a Light Maze. There are also some special ticketed events like BrewLights and a Holiday Market. ZooLights runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights until December 8. and then nightly through year end. Free.


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Image courtesy of Chicago Trolley.

TROLLEY LIGHTS TOUR

November 24-December 23

Once the Magnificent Mile Lights are lit, tour the twinkling avenue and other seasonal landmarks with the Chicago Trolley Holiday Lights Tour beginning after Thanksgiving. They'll take you to Christkindlmarket, the Macy’s Holiday Windows, ZooLights and more, beginning with a complimentary Sprinkles Cupcake. Tickets start at 18.


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Image via ChillFest's website.

CHILLFEST

November 25

Chilly weather may not evoke visions of music festivals, but ChillFest isn’t a traditional music fest. The Wicker Park and Bucktown event has musical performances from local artists “popping-up” in all kinds of unexpected places from 2 to 6 p.m. Twenty storefronts from local boutiques to gas stations will host the free performances. See all the artists and locations on the ChillFest website.


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Photo by Shannon Braniff.

BRUNCH WITH SANTA

November 25

Take the family to a special Brunch With Santa atop the John Hancock building. The Signature Room hosts the annual event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a buffet of Banana Nut Bread French Toast, Fried Chicken & Waffles and more from Executive Chef Cardel Reid. There will also be a bunch of fun activities like cookie decorating and face painting. Tickets are $65 for adults and $30 for children under age 12. Reservations are required, and can be made by calling 312-280-0465.