It’s time to trade in those bags of Halloween candy for cornucopias and pumpkin pie, Chicagoans. The Thanksgiving season is officially upon us! From gourmet take-home meals to the ultimate Black Friday shopping deals, we have rounded up our top picks on how to celebrate the Thanksgiving and Black Friday holidays!

Head on down to State St for the Uncle Dan’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Boasting a slew of festive participants from places across the globe including The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Switzerland and even The North Pole, the 85th Annual Uncle Dan’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, sponsored this year by Chicago entrepreneur, television personality and businessman Marcus Lemonis, is set to bring more than 20 talented marching bands, 13 festive floats, 16 staged theatrical performances, 11 equestrian groups, several cultural groups, inflatables, celebrity guests, thousands of dedicated volunteers and more to Chicago for the 2018 parade. One of the most popular holiday celebrations in the city and the country, taking place Thursday, November 22, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., this free, family-friendly parade runs on State Street from Congress to Randolph in an annual celebration with sights and sounds for attendees of all ages.

Leave the cooking to the professionals
One of Chicago’s most unique dining destinations, the Albert, 228 East Ontario Street, has just unveiled their special prix fixe menu for Thanksgiving. Created by Executive Chef Larry Feldmeier, the family-style menus are available for $95 per person, with an additional wine and cordial pairing available for $45 per person. The menu features delicious items including Sweet Potato Salad with Blackberries, Smoked Salmon Rillette, Whole Pouisson with Truffle Stuffing and Gravy, Pomme Puree, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Concord Grapes, and Bread Service. A Holiday Assortment of Pies and Sorbets will be offered for dessert.

Recoup from Black Friday shopping the best way we know how… brunch!
State & Lake Chicago Tavern, located at 201 N State St, will be hosting a special extended brunch on Black Friday from 6:30am to 2:00pm. With everything from a mimosa flight to cured salmon benedict, this Chicago Loop dining destination is providing Downtown Chicago Black Friday shoppers with the perfect food and beverage pick-me-up they need to make it through the long day.

Take the pressure off the Thanksgiving meal prep with a chef-made gourmet dinner at home
This Thanksgiving, leave the holiday meal preparation to the professionals and indulge in a chef-made gourmet dinner at home, without the stress-inducing planning and cooking, with Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park’s Thanksgiving Dinner at Home package! Might you be interested in covering? Offering guests a fully-prepared holiday dinner with elevated takes on the classics, Executive Chef Sean Curry’s menu features an American Bronze Turkey with Michigan cider brine and traditional turkey gravy, Chef’s signature sausage and apricot stuffing, an assortment of decadent sides and desserts. The Thanksgiving Dinner at Home package serves eights and is available for purchase online for $275 plus tax through Friday, November 16 with dedicated pick-up at the hotel available on Thanksgiving Day.

Get a head start on your Black Friday shopping a week early
Paper Source, a premier source for fine artisanal papers, cards, invitations and gifts, announces this year’s holiday sales starting on Friday, November 16th through Wednesday, November 27th. From 50% off Thanksgiving products to BOGO 50% fine paper and flat wrap, Paper Source is providing the best sales for all your holiday décor, cards, and gifts this season.From Friday, November 16th through Tuesday, November 20th, Paper Source will be offering pre-Black Friday Daily Deals. These offerings include:

• 50% off all academic planners and calendars (Friday, November 16-Saturday, November 17)
• 50% off Thanksgiving products (Sunday, November 18)
• BOGO 50% off roll wrap (Monday, November 19)
• 40% off all Paper Kits (Tuesday, November 20)

Additionally, Paper Source’s will roll out its Black Friday deals running Wednesday, November 21st through Tuesday, November 27th offering up to 50% off products for all your holiday card needs. These offerings include:
• 50% off Paper Bar (excluding glitter envelopes)
• 40% off Boxed Holiday Cards
• 40% off Holiday Photo Cards
• BOGO 50% off Fine Paper and Flat Wrap
• $25 Return Addressing Stamp Gift Box
• $29.95 Crafting Goddess Bundle
• $10 Envelope Lining Template Kit
• 50% off Paperless Post Custom Holiday Cards (Thursday, November 22nd through Saturday, November 24th ONLY)

Trade out that store bought pie for professional grade desserts this year
One of Chicago’s top pastry chefs, Chef Toni Roberts of theWit Hotel, is thrilled to launch her 2018 series of exclusive Thanksgiving Desserts To-Go menu. This limited menu of insanely delicious desserts are available for pre-sale at www.abitofthewit.com, and will be available for pick up at State and Lake Chicago Tavern, 201 N. State Street. This exclusive menu is anchored by three seasonal pies, including Toasted Pecan-Cranberry Pie ($24), Traditional Pumpkin Pie ($20), and Chocolate Cream S’more Pie ($24). An Apple Toffee Cake ($18), and a Golden Chocolate Peanut Butter Turkey ($28), weighing in at three pounds, round out the menu. For an extra treat, a pint of Freshly Whipped Kilgus Cream may be added to any order for $5.