Chicago offers a range of free events to celebrate the start of the Holiday season. Check out the date, time and general information of each event so you can enjoy them with the family:

- The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival and Parade

WHAT: The tree-lighting parade will be marshaled by Mickey and Minnie Mouse while more than one million lights illuminate 200 trees. There will be concerts and family friendly activities during the day at the festival, which finishes with a fireworks show over the Chicago River.

WHEN: Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 / 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM

WHERE: The festival and music stage will be located at 401 North Michigan Avenue, and the parade goes from Oak Street to Wacker Drive.

- Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

WHAT: The City of Chicago is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony since the first municipal Christmas tree was lit on December of 1913 in Grant Park. The ceremony includes a music program prior to turning on the lights on the tree.
WHEN: Tuesday, November 26th, 2013. The music performances starts at 5:00 PM, and the tree lighting ceremony is scheduled at 6:00 PM followed by a fireworks display.
WHERE: Daley Plaza – 50 West Washington Street

- Christkindlmarket Chicago

WHAT: Daley Plaza transforms into a European holiday village reminiscing the traditional Christmas markets of Germany.

WHEN: From November 26th to December 24th / Sunday-Thursday 11:00 AM-8:00 PM, Saturday & Sunday 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM

WHERE: Daley Plaza – 50 West Washington Street

- The McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade

WHAT: Watch a 50-food helium turkey balloon float accompanied by many other festive floats.

WHEN: Thursday, November 28th, 2013 / 8:00 to 11:00 AM.

WHERE: The parade takes places on State Street from Congress Parkway to Randolph Street.

- The Art Institute Wreathing of the Lions

WHAT: The lions’ sculptures at The Art Institute don their traditional evergreen wreaths by the Michigan Avenue entrance. The ceremony includes complimentary hot chocolate and live music.

WHEN: Friday, November 29th, 2013 / 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

WHERE: 111 South Michigan Avenue

- Caroling at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park

WHAT: The program showcases Chicago coral groups for a holiday sing along right at the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture popularly known as ‘The Bean.’

WHEN: Friday evenings from November 29th to December 20th / 6:00 PM

Friday, November 29 – Apollo Chorus of Chicago
Friday, December 6 – Chicago Children’s Choir
Friday, December 13 – Wicker Park Choral Singers
Friday, December 20 – Windy City Gay Chorus and Aria

WHERE: Millennium Park – 201 East Randolph Street (Michigan and Columbus)