Holiday Guide: The Quintessential Thanksgiving in Illinois

Fall is a wonderful time of year in Illinois, providing the perfect season to enjoy Thanksgiving to its fullest. From local pie shops, to Black Friday options, to volunteer opportunities, here’s the blueprint for the quintessential Thanksgiving in Illinois.  

1. MD’s Sports Bar and Grill, Peoria, IL

The night before Thanksgiving is a very popular time to go out on the town. MD’s in Peoria offers great daily specials on pitchers and buckets, weekly live music, and a family-friendly environment. They also have delicious food and lots of games including pool and darts. Guests rave about the fries, pickle chips, and large drink variety. 

2. Rule of Pie, Murphysboro, IL

Pie is the best part of Thanksgiving. If you don’t have time to make a pie from scratch and don’t want to settle for store-bought pie, go and pick up a fresh, homemade pie from Rule of Pie in Murphysboro. This boutique bake shop offers some of the most delicious handmade pies in the state, if not the country. 

birthday pie and lemon square #18 (only the lemon square is mine)

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3. Handmade Market, Chicago, IL

Instead of getting trampled in a big-box store this Black Friday, why not support local artisans instead? The Handmade Marketing in Chicago offers a wide selection of unique, handmade gifts including handbags, glass pendants, funky jewelry, clothing, scarves, crafts, greeting cards, and more. The money you spend goes directly to the artisans. You can also watch live demonstrations by the artisans and even establish connections with your favorite artisans. 

4. Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, Evanston, IL

November is Native American Heritage Month at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian. Visitors come here to learn about the history, arts, and culture of the Native American people. View artifacts, art, and other ancient exhibits. Learn about Thanksgiving myths and discover the Native American point of view of the Thanksgiving story. 

5. Oglesby 3 Mile Turkey Trot, Oglesby, IL

This three-mile turkey trot on Thanksgiving Day is a great way to get some exercise and help the less fortunate. Bring a nonperishable item for the local food bank. The course takes place on the Oglesby streets, and kids under age 10 run free. Free refreshments including Thanksgiving dressing, soda, and alcohol (over 21) are included. 

6. Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago, IL

Unfortunately, one in six children in Chicago face food insecurity, but the Greater Chicago Food Depository makes it easy for anyone to make a difference. Make an immediate impact by joining the Virtual Food Drive, where every $1 you give equals three meals. Like shopping at a grocery store, you can choose nutritious food products, add them to your cart, and check out. 

7. Grafton Thanksgiving Feast, Grafton, IL

Located at the Pere Marquette Lodge, this yearly Thanksgiving feast is the perfect place to celebrate Thanksgiving away from home. They cook the feast for you and your family, providing a stress-free atmosphere for feasting and making memories. Pere Marquette State Park is nearby, offering plenty of nature and recreational activities. 

8. Basket Brigade, Chicago, IL

Basket Brigade gives Thanksgiving dinner baskets to struggling families in the local areas. Each basket feeds five family members. Join the Basket Brigade assembly line the Saturday before Thanksgiving to help this charity continue giving back to the community.  

9. McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade, Chicago, IL

The McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade has been a Chicago tradition for nearly 85 years. Over a million viewers watch the parade on local channel WGN 9 Chicago every Thanksgiving morning. Floats, marching bands, and staged performances are featured in the three hours of family-friendly entertainment. 

Piolín de visita por Chicago. #thanksgivingpreparations #thanksgivingparade

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10. Yordy Turkey Farm, Morton, IL

Yordy Turkey Farm has been raising turkeys for over 80 years. This family-owned business prides themselves in raising 100 percent natural lifecycle turkeys. Their turkeys are raised the old-fashioned way: in an open atmosphere on non-GMO corn grown on their farm. Yordy’s welcomes walk-ins, but recommends reserving your products ahead of time. 

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