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I've been preparing you the last few weekends for this moment and now the time has come as "Chicagoans Light Their Way to the Holiday Shopping Season!"

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is the official start of the Holiday shopping season this Saturday on Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Wacker Drive.  From 11:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. live musical performances, celebrity entertainers and family-friendly activities take place at the Pioneer Court with Mickey and Minnie Mouse leading a street-lighting procession at 5:30 p.m. illuminating more than one million lights on 200 trees along North Michigan Avenue followed by a parade with floats, balloons and marching bands.  Then stick around for the fireworks display over the Chicago River at 6:55 p.m.  It's a full day of ringing in the Holiday shopping season!

If, on the other hand, you just want to get right to the shopping, here's what's around town for those unique gift ideas, or hard-to-shop-for persons on your list -

The Chicago Craft Mafia DIY Trunk Show will be held at Broadway Armory Park (5917 N. Broadway Avenue) in the Edgewater neighborhood this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  This 9th annual show features over 130 crafters and artists offering accessories, body care products, handmade jewelry, housewares, stationery, a kids' crafting area (11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.) and much more.  Also, the first 150 shoppers to arrive early will receive a complimentary swag bag!

The Holiday Art Sale will be held at the School of the Art Institute (112 S. Michigan Avenue) in the Grant Park Museums neighborhood this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  This annual sale held in the MacLean Center Ballroom offers gifts created by the art students such as fashion, jewelry, paintings, photography, prints, sculptures and more!

The Randolph Street's Holiday Market will be held at Journeymen Plumbers Hall (1340 W. Washington Boulevard) in the West Loop neighborhood this Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  This 5th annual shopping event, which is organized by the Chicago Antique Market and the Indie Designer Market, will feature antiques and vintage collectibles, art, clothing, jewelry, housewares and much more.  Receive a $5 shopping voucher for a $25 or more purchase as well as free gift wrapping!

The Winter Bazaar: Gifts and Famous Cookie Sale will be held at Indian Boundary Park Fieldhouse (2500 W. Lunt Avenue) in the Rogers Park neighborhood this Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  This event features seasonal treats which include homemade cookies, cider and coffee along with holiday gifts and pet photos with Santa.  Don't forget to bring your pet along!

The Winter Market and Artisan Fair will be held at St. Nicholas Cathedral School (2200 W. Rice Street) in the East Village/Ukrainian Village neighborhood this Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  This indoor market of local vendors will offer ceramics, crafts, jewelry, organic and gourmet foods, gelato and more all for your browsing and/or shopping pleasure!

The Chicago Toy and Game Fair will be held at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Avenue) in the Streeterville neighborhood this Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  This annual fair lets you preview, play with and purchase games and toys that include both new and classic items!

Navy Pier is also hosting the American Indian Center of Chicago's Pow-Wow this Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. which is the largest gathering of full-regalia Native American dancers, singers and drummers in the Midwest.  Also featured at this event is a food festival along with an arts and crafts fair of over 40 national vendors!

And finally, let's not forget the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade on Thursday, November 24th, as it marches down State Street in the Loop (8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.) and is watched by over 400,000 people lining the parade's route, and is the only parade in Chicago to feature inflatable balloons every year!  Happy Thanksgiving and watch your "stuffing!"

Here's to a Successful Holiday Shopping Season!!  Will I See You Out There This Weekend, or, Will You Be Out There on Christmas Eve With My Husband?


Posted: Friday, November 18, 2011 10:42 AM by Dean's Team


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