Staying on campus for Thanksgiving? Here's what to do

    Fall is my favorite time of year: the leaves change into majestic colors, the air smells fresh and reflects the incoming brisk weather, and my comfy sweaters come out of hiding. Most importantly, my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, is approaching. For me, Thanksgiving sets a nostalgic tone for fall in which I feel compelled to reflect and move into the school year with gratitude for many wonderful memories, friends, family and opportunities. Although not all students will be returning home for Thanksgiving, students staying on campus in no way have to miss out on the holiday. I’ve made a list of the best places to go and things to do in Evanston and Chicago over the Thanksgiving weekend.

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    Where to Eat a Thanksgiving meal:

    1. Northwestern’s International Office coordinated with local Evanston families to host students for Thanksgiving dinners. When discussing the experience, one student remarked, “In the Thanksgiving dinner, I was lucky to share warm, cozy and happy family time with my host.” Go to Northwestern’s International Office programming webpage to sign up and learn more details.
    2. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Farmhouse is hosting a Thanksgiving Buffet. Between homemade mac and cheese, turkey, pumpkin pie, and many other delicious creations, for $39 you’ll experience the quintessential Thanksgiving.
    3. Make a reservation at McCormick & Shmick’s in Skokie for your Thanksgiving dinner. For $26 dollars you get a choice between butternut squash soup and salad as an appetizer and a turkey dinner with cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes and vegetables. For an extra $5 get their mouth-watering pumpkin pie for dessert.
    4. If you want to adventure into Chicago, Bub City, located at 435 N. Clark Street, is serving a $24.95 Southern-style Thanksgiving buffet from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.! Bub gives you the option to take your Thanksgiving feast to go. You can sneak your meal into a movie, or if you don’t mind the cold, bundle up and picnic at Millennium Park.
    5. Seven Lions, located across from the Art Institute on Michigan Avenue, has a $38 three-course meal from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. For you can order Thanksgiving classics like squash bisque and turkey, or go bold with wild mushroom pasta.

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    What to do:

    1. From 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. head over to State Street to witness the annual McDonald’s Thanksgiving parade. The procession begins at Congress Street and ends at Randolph. Bundle up and work up an appetite by watching the many marching bands, floats and live performances parade through Chicago.
    2. Take part in Thanksgiving community service. Food for Friends has a lot of great options. For example, West Cook YMCA and the Annex Hotel are having Thanksgiving Luncheons and need volunteers to serve meals. There’s no better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than lending a hand to the community and sharing the love.
    3. Take a tour of Chicago in an authentic horse drawn carriage. Go to to book your ride and check out the special holiday options. The unique experience is perfect for those of you want to tour Chicago but are incapable of walking the city due to your Thanksgiving food coma.
    4. On Nov. 22, Eataly has an Italian-inspired appetizer cooking class for $25 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The cooking menu consists of ‘nduja stuffed dates and roasted squash and pancetta salad. If you’re not into these unique dishes, go for the amazing cooking experience. Afterward, you can eat at one of Eataly’s many restaurants, taste some fantastic cheese and go grocery shopping for the weekend.
    5. Go to the Christkindlmarket. Based off the Christkindlesmarkt in Germany, Christkindlmarket is an outdoor market in the Chicago Loop. With artisan gifts such as toys, clothes, jewelry and home decor, you can start off your holiday shopping. Amazing German foods such as strudel and sausages will warm up your belly as you walk through the stalls.
    6. Go to The Magnificent Mile in Chicago for Black Friday sales. Between Nike, Uniqlo and Bloomingdales, you can plan out your day of bargains.
    7. Movie Marathon. Start the Christmas movie spree or watch your favorite TV shows’ Thanksgiving episodes to celebrate Thanksgiving from your bed. I recommend Gossip Girl episode “Blair Waldorf Must Pie!” or Friends’ “The One with Chandler in a Box.”

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    Although you may be staying in the Evanston this Thanksgiving weekend, you do not have to miss out on the Thanksgiving spirit. Relax and enjoy your time off school. I expect you all to have to unbutton your jeans after your meals this weekend. Or, better yet, wear leggings so that you can just keep eating. Now that, my friend, is the Thanksgiving goal.

    Editor's note: A previous version of this story mistated the time and price of Bub City's Thanksgiving meal. NBN regrets the error.


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