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10 Things to Do in Chicago for Thanksgiving Weekend

Significant Other, Traduttore, Traditore, Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum, A Q Brothers Christmas Carol, McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade, and more

McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade   Photo: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune

Don’t-miss picks for November 22 through November 28, 2017

1 Significant Other

Theater:Alex Weisman stars in Joshua Harmon’s tale of a young gay singleton watching as his friends pair off. See “Before Decamping for Broadway’s Harry Potter, Alex Weisman Plays a Role That’s Close to Home” for more.
11/2–12/9. $32–$38. About Face Theatre at Theater Wit. aboutfacetheatre.com

2 Traduttore, Traditore

Art:This political exhibition examines cultures in which free travel, trade, and speech remain out of reach. A group of international artists, including Emily Jacir and Michael Rakowitz, consider what happens when cultural borders close.
FREE 11/3–12/16. Gallery 400. gallery400.uic.edu

3 Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum

Seasonal:The Morton Arboretum might not seem like a premium cold-weather destination, but as fall turns to winter, a one-mile stretch of trees gets decked out in stunning, colorful lights. This year’s incarnation of the perennially award-winning display features wearable medallions that flash to the pulse of festive music.
11/17–1/1. $7–$22. Morton Arboretum. mortonarb.org

4 A Q Brothers Christmas Carol

Theater:Long before Hamilton, Chicago’s own Q Brothers lent a hip-hop ethos to Dickens’s Yuletide chestnut, turning the well-worn story of Scrooge into a hilarious musical. The heart of the redemptive story remains the same, but the packaging is as fresh and innovative as ever.
11/21–12/31. $30–$52. Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. chicagoshakes.com

5 McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade

Parade:Sure, you could stay home and watch the festivities on TV, but the floats look much better in person. Just be sure to stake out a spot—the fun starts bright and early.
FREE 11/23 at 8 a.m. State Street from Congress to Randolph. chicagofestivals.org

6 This Way Outta Santaland (and Other Xmas Miracles)

Theater:Few onstage duos are as charismatic as Mitchell J. Fain and Meghan “Big Red” Murphy. Here, they reprise their charming holiday hit, which features Fain regaling audiences with tales of his misspent youth and Murphy deploying holiday songs with a belt bigger than Santa’s.
11/24–12/30. $29–$39. Theater Wit. theaterwit.org

7 ZooLights

Festival:The Lincoln Park Zoo’s annual display of fluorescence and fauna kicks off this Friday. Pretty lights are just one draw: other attractions include live carvings of ice sculptures and a maze made of lightbulbs.
FREE 11/24–1/7. Lincoln Park Zoo. lpzoo.org

8 Grant Park Turkey Trot

Recreation:Stampeding three miles in frigid weather the day after gorging on turkey may sound like madness, but hundreds of runners do exactly that each year in races across the city. The Grant Park iteration boasts Lagunitas beer, cinnamon buns, and hot cider at the finish line.
11/25 at 9 a.m. $40–$50. Starts at 1501 S. Lake Shore Dr. allcommunityevents.com

9 Like Mike Invitational

Sports:Who says Thanksgiving weekend has to be filled with football? On Sunday, four Chicago-area high school basketball squads (including powerhouses Morgan Park, Whitney Young, and Fenwick) and a couple out-of-state teams face off on a glitzy new court in Navy Pier’s Aon Grand Ballroom for a three-game lineup. The marquee match-up, at 7 o’clock, features Morgan Park—with its fab backcourt of Ayo Dosunmu, who recently committed to Illinois, and super soph Adam Miller—against basketball factory Findlay Prep of Henderson, Nevada. USA Today’s preseason No. 1 team in the country, Findlay features a slew of high-major college recruits, including Oregon-bound Bol Bol, the 7-foot-2 son of former NBA star Manute Bol.
11/26. Tickets available for $15 at 32 S. State St. Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier.

10 A John Waters Christmas

Comedy:Hairspray writer-director John Waters channels St. Nick and Krampus in equal measure in this festive standup set. Here, in The Pope of Trash, Waters probes some seasonal mysteries (“Has Santa ever been nude? Is Prancer the only gay reindeer?”) while spreading his own brand of holiday cheer.
11/27 at 9 p.m. $35–$42. Thalia Hall. thaliahallchicago.com

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