By Sara Lugardo

After the excitement of Halloween, many families are looking for events in Chicago that will celebrate Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year in which families are able to give thanks for all their blessings without having to worry about gift giving. Chicago has a myriad of different celebratory events for this particular holiday and they can be enjoyed by families with children of all ages.

Turkey Trot at Portage
Portage Park
4100 N. Long Ave.
Chicago, IL 60641
(773) 685-7235

Price: Free
Date: November 17, 2012 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Click here for other November events held by the Chicago Park District.

The 15th Annual Family Turkey Trot in Chicago is a great tradition for the Chicago Park District. Since 1939 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt first set Thanksgiving as a national holiday, many offices of public works and government-funded companies have started their own traditions regarding Thanksgiving. The Chicago Park District has one such tradition of hosting events for families and children to actively participate in Thanksgiving-themed activities with a one-mile fun family walk or race at Portage Park.


Family Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise
Odyssey Chicago – Navy Pier
600 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(866) 305-2469

Price: Adults starting at $69.90, children 3-12 are $41.95, children under 3 are free
Date: November 22, 2012 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Click here for online reservations.

Change up your Thanksgiving dinner routine of slaving over a hot stove and stressing over the perfectly moist turkey. The Family Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise offered by Odyssey in Chicago combines the luxury of a cruise with a family friendly Thanksgiving event, complete with customized food. Packages can be upgraded to include everything from shrimp cocktail to filet mignon. There are also photo packages to capture the moment with you and your family. Guests will enjoy DJ entertainment throughout the night playing a variety of different music sets with a beautiful backdrop view of the city. Click here for additional Thanksgiving cruise events held by Odyssey Cruises.


Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade
111 N. State Street
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 235-2216

Price: Free
Date: November 22, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Click here to view photos and videos of past parades.

With marching bands, colorful floats, giant inflatables, staged performances and celebrity guests, the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade is a great way to celebrate with the entire family for Thanksgiving. Although the parade can be viewed anywhere on State Street between Congress Parkway and Randolph Street, the best viewing spots are between Congress Parkway and Washington Street. Weather in Chicago in November can vary, so families are encouraged to dress appropriately. Although the parade starts at 8 a.m., families should arrive early to secure good viewing spot.


Chicago Turkey Day 5K
Lincoln Park
2600 N. Cannon Drive
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 404-2372

Price: Adults are $40, 17 and under are $30
Date: November 22, 2012 at 9 a.m.
Click here for course map.

This event is a great way for families to get up and be active, especially for a holiday that is all about overindulging in food. This morning run, jog or walk will be held regardless of the weather, so participants are encouraged to dress accordingly. There are races for those of all ages with a special race geared directly towards child. The Plymouth Rock Ramble for Kids offers age group heats with two- to four-year-olds running a 50-yard race, five- to six-year-olds running a quarter-mile and seven- to 12-year-olds running a half-mile. This is a great opportunity to be active and celebrate Thanksgiving by exerting a little energy with the entire family.

Thanksgiving Party
Lindblom Park
6054 S. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60636
(312) 747-6443

Price: Free
Date: November 22, 2012 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Click here for additional events in November held by the Chicago Park District.

This is an event designated for families with children involved in the afterschool programs held by the Lindblom Park. To show its appreciation for park involvement and the need for a joint celebration of the holiday, Lindblom Park is throwing a Thanksgiving Party. The party will be for park district children and their families. There will be activities for kids, candy and giveaways.

Sara Lugardo is a Korean American who thrives in writing about Asian community news in Chicago. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on