Chicago is famous for its striking skyscrapers and museums. You have likely seen Millennium Park and its Cloud Gate Sculpture, or enjoyed views of it in media along the river. What you haven’t experienced is all there is to do and enjoy on Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving in Chicago is something you won’t want to miss, and done right can become a great tradition for the whole family.
If you don’t live in the city, then fly in, rent a car with Advantage, and enjoy all these top things to do in Chicago on Thanksgiving:
Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade
New York City is not the only one that brings out all the stops for its Thanksgiving day parade. With massive floats, dancers, music, bright colors and fun for the whole family, you will want to bring everyone out to enjoy the festivities.
This parade will travel along State Street, starting at Congress Parkway and ending at Randolph Street. To get a good spot, you will want to pack up and be prepared. Wear extra layers, bring hot drinks, food, and fold-out stools or chairs. To give yourself plenty of time for other great activities in Chicago, you will want to find a spot near the start. The entire parade will take approximately half an hour to pass by, and so if you find a place near the front, you should be done by 10 am.
Top Attractions to See in Chicago
Since you’re in Chicago, it’s only right that you head out and enjoy all the top destinations:
- Millennium Park
- Willis Tower
- Navy Pier
- Garfield Park Conservatory
Chicago is also well known for its museums, so when you are in town, be sure to check out:
- Art Institute of Chicago
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- The Field Museum
- Museum of Science and Industry
- National Museum of Mexican Art
- Adler Planetarium
If you’re in Chicago with the kids on Thanksgiving Day, then after the parade, consider visiting these top family-friendly destinations:
- Brookfield Zoo
- Shedd Aquarium
- Chicago Children’s Museum
- 360 Chicago
With so much to see and do in Chicago (and that’s not even considering the thrill of Black Friday Sales in the city), you will want to spend the entire long weekend here.
Enjoy Delicious Pie on Thanksgiving
There are some incredible eateries in Chicago, which is one of the top things to do in the city is to go through to the top pie destinations and get your fill of pumpkin, pecan, and all your favorites of the season.
To help you scope out the best that Chicago can give, here are four of the top restaurants in the city:
1. Hoosier Mama Pie Company
Located in East Village, these pies are infamous for their fluffy, buttery pastry. Choose from the seasonal selection, including strawberry rhubarb, apple, and pumpkin.
2. Spinning J Bakery & Soda Fountain
Located in Humboldt Park, this bakery is retro, and its pies are full of creative flavors. Enjoy blueberry rose, key lime-hibiscus, and other unique flavors you will remember forever.
3. Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse
Located in Lincoln Square, this millhouse offers pies that were created from scratch – right from scratch, that is. The flour was milled in-house, and the flavors available are unique and incredible. Enjoy gooey dark chocolate, cookie crumble, and other top choices the kids will love.
4. Bang Bang Pie Shop
Located in Logan Square, here is where you will find traditional pies like key lime, chocolate pecan, peace, and more. If you can’t make it to the bakery itself, then order it in!
Top Places to Eat on Thanksgiving Day in Chicago
If you are in town during Thanksgiving, you are going to need to switch up your Thanksgiving dinner and try any of these top restaurants:
1. Margeaux Brasserie
Enjoy an elevated Thanksgiving dinner experience at Margeaux Brasserie in Rush & Division. This fresh restaurant offers an elegant, family-style tasting menu, so you and your loved ones can have that Thanksgiving spread you are craving with flavors that will blow your mind.
Located in West Town, Frontier is where to go for Thanksgiving favorites like Turkey, five-cheese mac and cheese, and more southern classics like cornbread and seafood gumbo. For a big meal and delicious food, place your order now. All of these delicious options will need to be pre-ordered by Friday, November 16th.
For Michelin-star deliciousness, head to Acadia, which holds two stars and is a treat for all of the senses. You won’t leave hungry with the special five-course Thanksgiving meal that takes a contemporary take on Thanksgiving classics.
4. Baptiste & Bottle
If you want a Thanksgiving Brunch instead of a Thanksgiving dinner, then head to the buffet at Baptiste & Bottle, where you can pile up on options like sushi, crab claws, grilled cheese, carved meats, quiches and more.