Weekend Planner: Top 5 Family Events in Chicago / November 22, 23 & 24

It’s here – the weekend before Thanksgiving. Let the holiday fun – and other great Chicago weekend activities – begin!

Here is the Raising World Citizens list of the top five events for families in Chicago this weekend – Friday, November 22, Saturday, November 23, and Sunday, November 24.

1. Bookamania
Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St. (Loop)
Sat., Nov. 23, 11 am – 3 pm
Free admission

This Saturday, families can head to the Harold Washington Library Center to enjoy an afternoon filled with author talks, storybook character appearances, and more. The event, which is geared towards children three to 10 years old, will feature the authors of Señor Pancho Had a Rancho, Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World, Count the Monkeys, and the popular storybook characters, Elephant & Piggie, Pete the Cat, Skippyjon Jones and Martha the Talking Dog – to name a few.

2. Chicago Toy & Game Fair
Navy Pier, Festival Hall A, 600 E. Grand Ave. (Streeterville)
Sat., Nov. 23, 10 am – 6 pm
Sun., Nov. 24, 10 am – 5 pm
$10 Adults, $5 Children 3 – 13 years old

The Chicago Toy & Game Fair returns to Navy Pier this weekend. During the two-day event, you and your family can see toys and games from around the world – just in time to be added to your children’s holiday gift wish lists. Your children also will be able to test out the toys and games, play in tournaments, meet characters from Star Wars, among other fun, kid-pleasing activities. Parents also will enjoy the chance to meet the inventors of the latest toys and games – and get a close look  at them before they end up in your home.

3. Holiday Hub
Block Thirty Seven, Pedway Level, 108 N. State St. (Loop)
Mon. – Sat., 10 am – 6 pm
Sun., 11 am – 5 pm
Free event

The Holiday Hub is now open on the Pedway Level at Block Thirty Seven – in the heart of the Loop. The “cozy winter cottage” is open daily through December 24 (but closed on Thanksgiving). The Holiday Hub offers family-friendly activities to shoppers and visitors alike. You can enjoy a story corner and arts and crafts table while you sip complimentary hot beverages – perfect for Chicago’s chilly days. There also will be information guides on hand to help you plan your holiday activities in Chicago’s Loop.

Families can enjoy a rotating schedule of performances and special appearances. On Saturday, November 23, you can enjoy an appearance by Scrooge from Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol (11 am – 12 pm). On Sunday, November 24, you can catch a performance by the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band (11 am – 12 pm) and Joffrey Ballet ballerinas (1 – 2 pm). Check the website for information on other upcoming appearances and performances.

4. Loiza in Chicago
Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Dr. (Lakeview East)
Sat., Nov. 23 at 2 pm
Tickets are $10 – $15

The Harris Theater’s Family Series returns for the 2013-2014 season with this Saturday’s performance of Lioza in Chicago. The show, presented by the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, is a traveling exhibition of song and dance. It celebrates the “Vejigante” traditions of Puerto Rico and features the Bomba y Plena ensemble, AfriCaribe. Loiza in Chicago, suitable for all ages, is the first of three Family Series performances.

5. Magnificent Mile Lights Festival’s Tree-Lighting Parade
North Michigan Avenue, from Oak St. to Wacker Dr.
Sat., Nov. 23, parade steps off at 5:30 pm
Free event

On Saturday, you can enjoy a full-day of celebrations taking place as part of the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. The festival is a great way to kick-off the holiday season. For the past few years, my family has enjoyed viewing the family-friendly Tree-Lighting Parade, which runs down Michigan Ave., and serves to officially “light” the holiday decorations along the Mag Mile.

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