It’s Thanksgiving week! And while I am thankful for some extra one on one time with my boys away from work, I’m also looking for some fun things to do with them. Because let’s get real…and entire week off of school is a looooooong time for ALL of us. Looking for ways to keep busy this week as well? Here are some fun things to do during the Thanksgiving break in Chicago.
We are so incredibly lucky to have world class museums at our fingertips. But here’s the thing…tourists know this too, and if they are in town for Thanksgiving, they will be headed towards our wonderful museums as well. That’s why I leave MSI and the Shedd for other times and instead visit the off the beaten path museums like the Chicago History Museum and the Swedish American Museum. Both are great spots for learners of all ages. And if you do want to visit some of our popular museums, be sure to visit right when they open because the line that snakes out of the aquarium is pretty darn awful, especially on blustery Chicago days.
I may not be able to draw a straight line, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love art. And if you follow my Instagram account, you know that I absolutely LOVE urban art. If you want to fill your soul with beautiful work and uplifting messages from local artists, go on a tour of different murals in Chicago. My favorites are the LOVE wall in Wicker Park and the YAB stickers you can find all over the city.
This weekend we got our first taste of winter…and I’m not gonna lie…I did NOT like it. But my kids? They didn’t even notice the drop in temperature. So I’m going to bundle all of us up, grab a great cup of coffee, and head to one of our favorite parks to not only tire out my boys, but also get some fresh air during what will undoubtedly be a stressful week (I’m hosting 15 people for dinner—eek!). And if you want to work up a sweat to make room for Thursday’s big feast, check out one of these great hiking trails. Rather stay indoors? Then check out these beautiful conservatories and stay warm!
So, let’s get real here. Lots of people are off work this week and will be taking their kids to play spaces. So that means that your favorite low key spot for indoor play is undoubtedly going to become much more crowded. Take my advice and either hold off on your visit until the afternoon when many families leave for nap time, or simply avoid it all together. Instead, visit your favorite book store to explore books and toys and spread some local love in anticipation of “Shop Small Saturday.” Another great option is to look into the open swim hours for Chicagoland’s indoor waterparks (no one is going to judge you for your hairy legs or post baby tummy…I promise!). The indoor mall play area that you have in mind? STAY AWAY. FAR, FAR AWAY.
I know, I know…Thanksgiving is all about the food so you don’t want to have any other extravagant meals this week. But here’s the thing…you only live once and there is so much delicious food to enjoy in Chicago! I highly recommend visiting one of these pie shops at the beginning of the week so that you can slowly savor a slice of your favorite pie without being in a turkey coma. Is there a restaurant that you’ve really been wanting to try? Then call and see if you can snag a lunch reservation. Going earlier in the day will also make it much more kid friendly and as a result make you more relaxed so you have a much more enjoyable meal.
Are you really looking forward to lazy days spent in your pajamas avoiding all of the Thanksgiving hoopla? Then check out my suggestions on fun activities to do at home. We will definitely be creating a “drive in movie” night at home and enjoying some classic holiday movies to help us get into the spirit of the season…and so should you!
What are your plans for Thanksgiving week? Do you have any fun traditions? I’d love to hear them!
Photo by Kristen Lisa Photography