We know, we can’t believe the holiday season is already here, either. November in Chicago means Thanksgiving, peak fall foliage and a whole lot of football. But you don’t have to wait until the third Thursday of the month to find fantastic things to do in Chicago in November. We’ve got 50 openings that will keep you nice and busy before you’re completely inundated with family time.


Nov 5-6: Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean beer festivals are a thing of the past. The 6th annual Beer Hoptacular takes over CineSpace, offering up craft beer from around the country.

Nov 5: Indulge your comfort food cravings at the third annual Mac and Cheese Fest. It’s so much more than Kraft.

Nov 10-12: Check out the latest pilots, web series, sketches and more at the sixth annual Chicago Comedy Film Festival.

Nov 11-12: Taste high ABV beers from over 90 breweries at the Festival of Barrel Aged Beers.

Nov 11: Art & Science Salons are hosting Art & Soul, an event that combines socially conscious music and fashion.

Nov 12: Pass, kick, and punt your way to gobble glory in Chicago Sport & Social Club’s Turkey Bowl Flag Football Tournament in Lincoln Park.

Nov 12: Handmade Market is back for its winter residency at the Empty Bottle, featuring handmade artisanal crafts from Chicago makers.

Nov 12: Hear about growing up biracial in apartheid-era South Africa from none other than Daily Showhost Trevor Noah, as part of Chicago Humanities Festival.

Nov 13: Visit with dozens of local authors at the Chicago Book Expo at Columbia College.

Nov 13: Grab a beer and score some great vinyl at Daytime Dig: A Sunday Record Fair at Emporium in Logan Square.

Nov 18-Jan 2: Take a wintry walk through the woods at the Morton Arboretum’s Illumination: Tree Lights.

Nov 18-Mar 6: Skate under the skyline at Millennium Park—the ice rink opens mid-November!

Nov 18-Dec 23: You’ve got to admit, the Germans know how to do Christmas right. Christkindlmarketopens mid-November, so knock out some holiday shopping with a mug in hand.

Nov 18: Kick off the holiday season at the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, complete with tree-lighting, floats and performers.

Nov 18-19: Find a print that’ll make your apartment pop at the first-ever Chicago Printers Guild Publishers Fair.

Nov 18-20: Find the best holiday gifts for friends and family at Show of Hands Chicago.

Nov 19-20: Redesign your wardrobe at Randolph Street Market Festival, Chicago’s premier vintage bazaar.

Nov 24: Break a sweat at your local Turkey Trot, then gorge yourself at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Nov 24: Why watch a parade on TV when you can go downtown and be part of the Thanksgiving Parade?

Nov 25-Jan 1: Get fully into the Chicago holiday spirit at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Zoolights, a perennial holiday favorite.

Nov 25-Feb 26: Make like the penguins and ice skate at the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Farm-in-the-Zoo rink.

Nov 26: Soak up the artistic richness of Wicker Park at ChillFest, an annual event where local musicians play in neighborhood shops.

Nov 30: See critically acclaimed novelist Zadie Smith read from her new book at the DuSable Museum.


Early Nov: Ronero, from chef Corey Morris (Mercat a la Planxa, Rural Society), opens with a Latin-focus and a speakeasy cocktail lounge, according to Eater.

Nov: Bar Marta owner, Austin Baker, will open a bi-level restaurant with Won Fun Chinese and 2Fun Chinese in the West Loop.

Nov: Tobacco Road Taproom (2249 N Lincoln Ave), an Atlantic Coast Conference-affiliated bar, will open in Lincoln Park. If you want to get a sneak peek of the bar, you can watch Cubs World Series games at the bar which opens at 5pm and features $4 domestic beers and $4 moonshine shots.

Mid to late Nov: The long-awaited Flamingo Rum Club (the one with the colorful mural of Flamingos in River North) from Adolfo Garcia and Phil Stefani will open, offering a wide rum selection.

Note: Restaurant and bar openings are subject to change and can be delayed; call ahead before setting out.


Nov 1: Brace yourself for larger-than-life horn arrangements and soulful refrains as St. Paul and the Broken Bones headline the Chicago Theatre.

Nov 5: Mitski explores the constant uncertainty of adulthood with gut-wrenching indie rock ballads.

Nov 6: S U R V I V E, the band behind the Stranger Things soundtrack, sets up its huge collection of retro synthesizers at the Empty Bottle.

Nov 9: Electronic producer Nicholas Jaar throws a subdued, psychedelic dance party at Thalia Hall.

Nov 13, 14: Perfectly coiffed English rockers the 1975 churn out sultry, ’80s-inspired pop-rock during a two-night stand at the Aragon.

Nov 17: Brazilian singer and The Life Aquatic actor Seu Jorge pays tribute to David Bowie with a set of acoustic covers sung in Portuguese.

Nov 18: Southern troubadour Jason Isbell joins forces with local singer-songwriter Robbie Fulks for a concert that benefits the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry.

Nov 19: Singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless lends her powerful voice to a varied collection of songs that fall outside of her alt-country catalog.

Nov 19: Pitchfork and the organizers of Slo ‘Mo curate the latest MCA Prime Time event, which features performances by Noname, Jamilia Woods and RP Boo.

Nov 25–27: Masked DJ Marshmello pumps out progressive house beats at a series of Thanksgiving weekend concerts.

Nov 26: My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James digs into heavy themes, performing behind his latest solo record, Eternally Even.


Nov 3–6: Explore sculptures, objects and functional art at SOFA Chicago, where you’ll find towering sculptures, 3D printed furniture and more one-of-a-kind objects on display.

Nov 12–Jan 29: Bold printed designs that date back to the 1700s are on display in “Ink on Paper: Japanese Monochromatic Works.”

Nov 19–Jan 22: Visual artist Sadie Benning presents “Shared Eye,” a series of 40 panels that have been cut up and reassembled in an effort to explore the nature of perception.


Nov 1-Jan 15: King Charles III is the critically acclaimed story of the current Prince Charles’ future reign as King of England.

Nov 2-20: In The Magic Play, a young magician puts on a magic show right after being dumped.

Nov 2-13: The Tony-winning musical Fun Home comes to the Oriental Theatre for a few short days.

Nov 10-Dec 23: Take in the story of a luxury hotel housekeeper deciding what compromises to take to move up in hotel management in The Fundamentals.

Nov 17-Nov 20: Bring the kids downtown for Rudolph the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.


Nov 17-20: The inimitable Hubbard Street Dance premieres its fall series at Millennium Park’s Harris Theater.


Nov 7: Chicago comics take on every American president on election eve at POTUS: A Comedy Show About Every President Ever.

Nov 12: Chardonnay-fueled New York cabaret star and stand-up comedian Bridget Everett graces the Vic stage.

Nov 25-26: Stand-up superstar Amy Schumer takes the stage at Allstate Arena over Thanksgiving weekend.