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The Procrastinator’s Guide to Thanksgiving

Because it’s not too late until it’s too late

Illustration by Jake Giddens
Illustration: Jake Giddens

You put off buying the bird …

Specialty shops will be closed on Thanksgiving, so try a Whole Foods — Chicago stores will be open until either 3 or 4 p.m., depending on location. While Whole Foods sells both raw and precooked turkeys, the latter aren’t always out in the aisles, so ask a staffer to grab you one. Don’t even stress: The Lincoln Park location (1550 N. Kingsbury St.) reports that it did not run out last year.

… And baking a pie.

Get in line before the East Ukrainian Village location of Hoosier Mama Pie Company opens at 8 a.m. to get one of its coveted classic pies ($26 to $36). Think of it as an event: Singing cowboy Kent Rose serenades those waiting while the staff hands out coffee and pastry bites. “A couple of years ago, I recognized some people in line. I’m like, ‘You know better, you should have ordered ahead,’ ” pastry chef and co-owner Paula Haney says. “And they’re like, ‘Oh, no, this is our Thanksgiving tradition.’ ” 1618½ W. Chicago Ave.

OK, you didn’t prepare anything.

Put an order in up until noon on November 27 for a special Parson’s Chicken & Fish takeout box with a whole fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits, and more for two ($55). Pick it up at either the Logan Square or the Lincoln Park shop, or have it delivered to your door the next day (parsonschickenandfish.com). If truly winging it (forgive us), take the clan to Hub 51’s Our Mom’s Classic Thanksgiving Dinner buffet ($50; $19 for kids), available on the holiday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 51 W. Hubbard St.

Oh right, the alcohol …

Grab something toast-worthy at Independent Spirits Inc. in Edgewater. Owner Scott Crestodina gives his staff the day off but will run the shop himself until at least 2 p.m. — much later than that, he says, and his mom gets upset. 5947 N. Broadway

Hmm, the table looks bare.

Florists close for Thanksgiving, but grocery stores with passable bouquets do not. Pop into a Pete’s Fresh Market (open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) for a cornucopia centerpiece and no one will know you didn’t place an order weeks in advance.

You didn’t plan any activities for your out-of-town guests.

• Option 1: Go natural.

While most major Chicago-area attractions are closed, the Field Museum (1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.) and Garfield Park Conservatory (300 N. Central Park Ave.) will both be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last admission to the museum is at 4 p.m.).

• Option 2: Hole up in a free, enormous living room.

You don’t have to be a guest at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel to use its Game Room, which has bocce, pool, shuffleboard, and, of course, football on TV. It’ll be open from 11 a.m. (half an hour before the Bears’ kickoff) to 11 p.m. 12 S. Michigan Ave.

• Option 3: Replace Black Friday commercials with live theater.

Drury Lane Theatre will present the musical Mary Poppins, directed by 2010 Tony Award nominee Marcia Milgrom Dodge, at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $55 each and are anticipated to still be available in pairs at the door. 100 Drury Ln., Oakbrook Terrace.

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