Ten Holiday Events in Chicago: From the Tree Lighting and Thanksgiving Day Parade to the Christkindlmarket, Caroling and Ice Skating.

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Blow, blow, thou winter wind you will not keep Chicagoans in.

The weather outside may be brutal (or not) but that's never a reason to stay inside with the amazing menu of Winter Events the Windy City is serving.  Here's a checklist of 10 events to put on your holiday calendar.

1. Tree Lighting Ceremony.
The first of many lasts for Mayor Daley as he heads his last and the city's 97th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony of Chicago's Official Christmas Tree at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St.  The event kicks off Wednesday, November 24 at 4:30p.m. with live music until 5p.m. when the tree is lighted.
 

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2. Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Get an early start for the 77th annual parade that steps off at 8a.m., November 25,  along State Street from Congress Parkway to Randolph Street through approximately 11a.m.
 

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3. Christkindlmarket.
This open-air German-style marketplace opens Friday, November 26.  It offers a great place to shop for unique gifts from handmade ornaments and toys to clothing and accessories from more than 50 vendors.  There is also good food and drinks both on the plaza and indoors.  50 W. Washington.  Through December 24.

4. Caroling at Cloud Gate.
Catch the holiday spirit at the "Bean" by joining others in song in Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph.  Fridays only at 6p.m., November 26 through December 17.

5. Bucktown Bazzar.
This art fair and bazaar will feature arts and handmade gifts from crafters and artisans at Bucktown's Holstein Park Field House. November 27 and 28.  Opens 11a.m.  2200 N. Oakley.

Ice Skating.
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6. Skate at the Daley Bicentennial Plaza Ice Skating outdoor rink in Grant Park starting Sunday, November 28 through winter.  337 E. Randolph St. $6 skate rental or free with your own skates.  

7. OR skate at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park (opened November 19 through March 13, 2011).  $10 skate rental.  Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison.  Noon to 8p.m., M-TH.,  Fridays Noon to 10p.m., Saturdays 10a.m.-10p.m. and Sundays, 10a.m.-9p.m.

8. Glitter:  A Holiday Shopping Event.
Original gifts and fashions from local artists and designers will be on sale at a boutique at the Chicago Cultural Center on Tuesday, November 30 and Wednesday, December 1.  11a.m. to closing. 78 E. Washington.

9. Christmas Around the World.
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Chicago Blackhawk's Tree at the MSI.

The Museum of Science and Industry's 69th annual Christmas Around the World features a "Holly Jolly Holiday" theme illuminating the Rotunda with 30,000 lights and more than 1000 character-inspired ornaments on the main tree with 50 additional trees reflecting traditions from around the globe.  Also visitors will enjoy choral groups and ethnic performances taking place daily. 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive Through January 9, 2011.

10. ZooLights.
Celebrate the holidays at Lincoln Park Zoo's ZooLights Festival featuring over one million lights, ice carving demonstrations, live music, kids activities and SANTA.  5p.m. November 26, 27, 29; December 3,4, 5, 10. 11, 12; and December 17 through December 23. Free. 2200 N. Cannon Drive.

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    Carole Kuhrt Brewer

    Arts and Entertainment Reporter for media since 1997.

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