Can't-miss Holiday Events in Chicago

The holiday season is upon us and Parking Panda wants to make sure that you’re aware of all the fun and exciting holiday events taking place in Chicago. The holidays always seem to fly by, so be sure to plan ahead and not miss any of these great events.


Photo by jiuguangw / CC BY-SA 2.0

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival


The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is the nation’s largest evening holiday celebration. This year this day long event takes place on Saturday November 22nd. It begins around midday and includes family friendly activities at Lights Festival Lane as well as top musical performances on the BMO Harris Bank Stage.


This all culminates at 5:30 pm with the Tree Lighting Parade, marshaled by Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The parade travels south on Michigan Avenue, from Oak Street down to Wacker Drive. The evening comes to a close at the parades end point with a fireworks display that is sure to kick off the holiday season. This entire event is free, so be sure to get the family out for this wonderful all day experience. Find more information here.


Click here to view Magnificent Mile parking options. 


2014 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony


The 101st Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place in Daley Plaza on Tuesday November 25th. This year the Atkinson Family Tree from Elgin, Illinois will be on display in the Daley Plaza throughout the holiday season. Musical performances will begin at 4:30 pm featuring Dee Snider, front man for Twisted Sister, performing a medley from Broadway In Chicago’s Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale. Then at 5 pm the switch is flipped and the holiday season in Chicago can finally commence. More information can be found here.


Click here to view Daley Plaza parking options. 

Thanksgiving Run/Walk


There are a number of runs, walks, and activity filled days to put you in the Turkey mood.


The first being Turkey Day Chicago that takes place at Lincoln Park. On Thursday November 27th (Thanksgiving Day) this all day event will have something for everyone. A few activities include Turkey Bowling, Football Toss, Cornhole Toss and a Costume Contest. However it is capped off with a few different runs. There is the 5K, 8K and the Kid’s Plymouth Rock Ramble. No matter your age or ability, these runs will be fun and a great way to kick off your Thanksgiving Day. Find more information here.


A few days later on Saturday, November 29th there is the Grant Park Turkey Trot. This great event begins early in the morning with the Kid’s Dash taking place at 8:40 am, quickly followed by the 5K at 9 am. The races are followed by an awards ceremony and a chance for runners to gather together. This is a wonderful way to spend your Saturday morning and help to work off that Thanksgiving Day dinner. More information can be found here.


These are all great ways to start off your holiday season and provide opportunities to share the holiday with friends and family. Parking Panda offers parking options for all of the above events. So be sure to book your parking ahead of time, so that you can get to your event stress free and the holidays!


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