Your Dog-Friendly Chicago Weekend: November 24-27, 2022

From a pup-friendly turkey trot to Small Business Saturday celebrations, festive options abound for floofs and their families sticking around Chicago this weekend. Read on to find a dog-friendly event that’s right for you. 

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1. Turkey Trot 5-Mile Predicto Race

Lake Ellen Park, Glen Ellyn  
Thursday, November 24, 7–10 a.m. (Race time: 8 a.m.) 

Lace up those running shoes, leash up pupper and head out to this free, no-commitment race for a cause. With no registration required, this is a great morning-of Turkey Day option. Bring a non-perishable food or toiletry item for the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry and consider dressing up, as prizes will be awarded for Best Costume. Scenic-minded floofs will love this meandering course that takes you past the beautiful namesake Lake Ellyn, historic Lake Ellyn Boathouse, Glenbard West High School, and other local points of interest. The top two runners who most accurately predict their finish time will win a Thanksgiving T-R-E-A-T. 

2. Aurora Festival of Lights

Phillips Park Zoo, Aurora
Friday, November 25–Saturday, December 25, 5–9 p.m.

Jumping reindeer. Ice skating bears. Howling wolves. Santa’s toy factory. These are just a few of the many dazzling light-up displays that greet guests at Aurora’s free holiday tradition. Now in its 16th year, the mile-long spectacle takes place from the comfort of your car while you and the whole family (pooch included) enjoy holiday songs on a closed-circuit radio station. More than 50,000 vehicles visited the festival last year, so don’t forget to pre-book. If the holiday season has you feeling extra generous, consider giving a free-will donation at the end of the event, which will support dozens of non-profit and youth organizations in Aurora.

3. Holiday Parade of Lights and Hometown Holidays Weekend

Downtown Naperville, Naperville 
Friday, November 25–Sunday, November 27, all day

With nearly 40 dog-friendly shops and a host of holiday events, Downtown Naperville makes it easy to make Hallmark movie-like memories alongside your best bud. Before you two kick-off the weekend, check out the annual Holiday Parade of Lights, beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at the corner of Jackson and Webster streets. Catch brightly lit floats and appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Big sales (and free ramp parking) are yours for the taking at stores and restaurants all weekend, including Small Business Saturday. Bonus: Make it a scavenger hunt by letting the snoot sniff out the more than three dozen plaid bows—each celebrate the diversity and creativity of local and independent businesses. 

4. Small Business Saturday in Lincoln Square and Ravenswood

4731 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago 
Saturday, November 26, all day

Festive holiday decorations like snowflake lights and garland have already been hung up around Lincoln Square and Ravenswood in anticipation for the neighborhood’s biggest shop small celebration: Small Business Saturday. Organized by the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce, this day-long event will feature big promotions at many locally-owned businesses (including six pet-oriented ones), performances by the Lincoln Square Victorian Carolers, pet photos with Santa, and the signature tree lighting at Giddings Plaza. Cap the evening off with a German glühwein or hot cider from the DANK Haus German American Cultural Center.

5. Pet Photos with Santa

Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg
Sunday, November 27, 6–8 p.m. 

As one of the largest shopping destinations in the U.S., Woodfield Mall is bursting at the seams with shops, from major department stores to local-to-Chicago favorites. After your fashion-forward fren helps you get through your holiday shopping list, treat them to a special photo shoot with Santa himself at the Ice Palace in the mall’s Grand Court. Reservations aren’t required, but you may want to stuff some extra treatos in your pocket to keep them patient while you wait in line. 

Don’t have a dog already? Get a heckin’ dog!

Toe beans, a slobbery snoot, and awwdorable eyes. What could be cuter? Make new memories this holiday season by bringing home a rescue dog from this upcoming local adoption event.

One Tail at a Time

  • Who says Black Friday can’t include shopping for a new furrend? Visit Tortie & Co.’s gift boutique (1468 N. Ashland Ave.) or One Tail at a Time’s adoption center (2144 N. Wood St.) from 11 a.m.–6 p.m. where all dog and cat adoptions will be 50% off. All of the boutique’s profits help One Tail at a Time continue rescuing dogs, cats, and rabbits in need. Bonus: The first 75 customers will receive a free tote. 

Sniff out more events on our calendar and submit your own events here. And don’t furget to tag us @SidewalkDog in pics of your tail-waggin’ weekend!

Featured photo: Nikola Čedíková

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, and join our Dog-Friendly Chicago Facebook Group.

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