Thanksgiving is Thursday, November 26th. This means we’re just a few weeks from the kickoff of the annual holiday travel season.
For millions that call Chicago home, Thanksgiving presents many pleasantries and potential pitfalls. Your weekend may include a hot family meal, catching up with old friends, snow(!), Bears vs. Packers, travel delays, figuring out where to park the extra cars, or last-minute home improvement projects.
But don’t worry, we’re here with five tips to help ensure this Thanksgiving in Chicago is a success:
1. Book your Parking Ahead of Time
Chicago is going to be flooded with cars, and your neighborhood’s streets may not be able to handle it. If you’re hosting, and you have a spot, consider moving your car to a weekend lot to make way for your guests. If you’re the incoming guest, do your host a favor and don’t even discuss your parking needs. Instead, reserve a weekend spot nearby. It’ll ease the hosting burden and be a hassle-free ending to the long road trip for you, a win-win!
Here are some great Thanksgiving weekend parking rates from SpotHero. If you choose to use this tip, remember to read the redemption details in your parking pass (not all have in-and-out privileges for example). Also, if you don’t see the spot listed below it’s because it sold out!
Whole Weekend Options (you’re in for the long-haul):
- 708 W Wayman – $25 to park Wednesday night – Sunday night in near the West Loop
- 320 W Locust – $47 parking Wednesday night – Sunday night near River North
- 320 W Schiller – $45 to park near Old Town Wednesday night – Sunday night
- 527 W Webster – $64 to park Wed – Sunday in Lincoln Park
Thursday AM – Thursday night (you’re parking for football and dinner):
- 2558 N Lincoln (Lincoln Park) $5
- 1550 N Sedgewick (Old Town) – $7
- 435 N Franklin (River North) – $12
- 425 S Wells (South Loop) – $17
Other Great Rates:
- 60 E Randolph Fri-Sun – $50 and $16 for any 8 hours during hours of operation (closed Thanksgiving Day)
2. Know the Bears Play at 7:30 CT
The Bears and Packers will square off for the 192nd time this Thanksgiving. It will be the middle game of the three NFL games being played on Thursday. If you your guests are football fans, keep this in mind and plan your meal and hosting game accordingly; those guests may intend to stay to the end of the game.
3. Buy A Pumpkin Early
Have you heard there’s a possible pumpkin shortage? It’ll surely be on the Thanksgiving small-talk short list this season. If you’re hosting, or bringing the pie, scoop up one of those Thanksgiving staples in advance.
4. Buy Some Garrett’s Popcorn
Who wouldn’t love the guy or gal that walks in the door with a tub of caramel corn and cheese mix? Or if you’re hosting, it’s also a great subtle way to remind your wayward traveler of the scents of his or her Chicago home.
5. Pick up Your Waze Game
Waze, the ultimate navigation app, is essential for traveling by road during peak travel times. If there ever was a time to use Waze, it’s before Thanksgiving weekend. As recently pointed out by Lifehacker, Waze’s recent update presents some new and simple ways to really outsmart traffic. Features like sending your ETA or switching to “shortest route” over “fastest route” (this setting avoids the complicated routes just to save a few seconds) will make sure you arrive in time for turkey.