Chicago is an ideal US destination for those looking to get away for the Thanksgiving holiday, but who still want to be able to explore the city on a day when many places shut down. Why: because most tourist attractions in Chicago remain open on Thanksgiving Day, so if cooking a large bird isn’t on your agenda, you won’t be left with nothing to do.
The Art Institute is closed, but the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, and Adler Planetarium are all open, as are the Hancock and Willis Tower observation decks. You can also go up to the 96th floor Signature Lounge to enjoy a drink while you take in the view over Chicago. All hotel bars and restaurants are open, and many of Chicago’s best restaurants offer special Thanksgiving Day menus.
The day before Thanksgiving, in Chicago as in other cities around the country, is one of the biggest bar nights of the year. No matter what type of nightlife you are looking for, you’ll find plenty of people out celebrating the fact that all they have to do the next day is wake up, eat turkey, and watch football. If you prefer something a bit more low-key, check out the Daley Plaza Christkindlmarkt, which kicks off the day before Thanksgiving and runs through Christmas Eve.
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On Thanksgiving Day, the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade is held. The free parade starts at 8am and goes down State Street from Congress to Randolph.
Photo by photoentropy