The Chicago Food Film Festival: eat what you see on the screen!

The Chicago Food Film Festival: eat what you see on the screen!

Whatever you do, stay away from downtown tomorrow; The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is coming. Yes, I know it's a very cute tradition, but hordes of tourists ramming passersby with strollers and diaper bags sounds like my nightmare. If you must go, Bar Toma has opened up its heated patio to let festival goers watch the parade and fireworks with booze and a warm seats.

The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park opens today! I really love ice skating, and you get the best views of the city from this spot. Yes, it is a tad touristy but so worth it. Admission is free, and skate rentals are $10. (They also have very handy lockers for your shoes and crap.)

The Chicago Food Film Festival takes place this weekend, which I normally wouldn't care about, except for one thing: you get to taste what you see on the screen! Tonight, check out a variety of food-oriented films while enjoying an authentic fish fry. Tomorrow, the genius who brought you the Bacon Takedown will host the (more artery healthy) Avocado Takedown in conjunction with several film screenings. Click here to see the rest of the festival's events. Ticket prices vary, and they include admission and all food and drink.

What's the Avocado Takedown? About 20 amateur chefs are giving a crate of avocados and the chance to create something completely unique. (Guacamole is not allowed.) Attendees get to walk around to the different booths, sampling each creation. It's fun!

Now that the city is slowing slipping into hibernation mode, the monthly Randolph Street Market has moved inside. Grab some unique and budget-friendly gift items at the market's annual holiday market. And you can take advantage of the free gift wrapping. Tickets are $8 online and $10 at the gate, but if you bring a toy donation for Toys for Tots admission is free.

And don't forget about the delicious Chicago Chocolate Festival! I'm heading over there tonight, so you can bet I'm wearing my stretchiest jeans.

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