It’s been real October, but we’re ready to let November show us how fun is done. We’re putting Halloween to bed, but hold off on slipping into those turkey pants just yet — Chicago is keeping us busy while we wait for all that savory goodness. From sea lion encounters to holiday light shows, read on for our Editor’s picks for family fun to make it a November to remember.

(1) Marvel Universe LIVE!
Get ready for a live, action-packed battle to defend the universe from evil that will go down as being leg-end-dary! Spidey joins forces with the Avengers and more in a race against time to defeat Loki in his eternal quest to crown himself ruler of Asgard and Earth. Cutting-edge special effects, aerial stunts and video projection will make this incredible adventure one you won’t soon forget.

When: Fri., Nov. 3-Sun., Nov. 5
Hours: Thurs. & Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m., 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Where: Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim Rd., Rosemont
Cost: $20

(2) Explore the World of All Things Aquatic
If you have a little one who’s more fish than human, take them to Aquatic Experience. From professional divers swimming with sharks to fish from around the world, this is the place to be for all things in the deep blue sea. Your gang can learn a thing or two with seminars from the pros, interact with sea lions and get the 411 on the latest and greatest in aquatic products.

When: Fri., Nov. 3-Sun., Nov. 5
Hours: Fri., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Renaissance Convention Center, 1551 N. Thoreau Dr., Schaumburg
Cost: $12/ages 13 & up, $6/ages 6-12, free for ages 5 & under


(3) 34th Annual Chicago International Film Festival
Calling all movie lovers, young and less young! The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, the largest annual film festival entirely for kids, is back with films the entire family will enjoy. Check out the website to find out how to enjoy these flicks that range from feature-length live action to child-produced, participate in one-of-a-kind workshops and meet filmmakers from across the globe. How lucky are we that CIFCC calls Chicago home?

When: Thru Sun., Nov. 5
Hours: Various showtimes, check schedules
Where: Theaters all across town!
Cost: $6/ages 2-18; $10/adults

(4) See Wild Kratts LIVE!
Your kids will love watching their favorite animated sibling duo, Kratt Brothers Martin and Chris, come to life in a classically Wild Kratts story. The Kratt Brothers activate some fan favorite Creature Power Suits to confront a comic villain and through hilarious pratfalls and amazing animal wow facts, the team rescue their favorite invention from the clutches of Zach. Whew! The animals of the creature world are safe once again. Until next time . . .

When: Sun., Nov. 12
Hours: 1 p.m.
Where: Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Rd., Rosemont
Cost: $32.75+

photo: Morton Arboretum

(5) Illumination: Tree Lights
Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum returns with more lights, sights and sounds that will transform a Chicago-area wintertime walk in the woods into a colorful, inspiring experience like no other. New this year, become a part of the illumination experience by wearing programmed interactive pendants that light up in sync with the exhibit.

When: Beginning Fri., Nov. 17
Hours: 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; timed admission every 30 minutes
Where: The Morton Arboretum, 4100 IL. Rte. 53, Lisle
Cost: $18-$22/adults; $12-$14/kids

(6) Akeelah and the Bee Hits the Stage
Adapted for the stage from the award-winning film, Akeelah and the Bee is an inspirational story about a determined 11yo girl overcoming hardships on Chicago’s South Side. Akeelah uses her talent to compete in a national spelling bee while bringing her community together.

When: Thru Sat., Nov. 25
Hours: Showtimes vary, check calendar
Where: Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St., Noble Square
Cost: $17/adults; $12/ages 14 & younger

photo: Nibble+squeak

(7) Tykesgiving at RPM Italian
Nibble+squeak, a community of parents with pipsqueaks who love to eat, is hosting their very first Tykesgiving celebration at RPM Italian. Enjoy RPM Italian’s modern approach to Italian dining in a welcoming and worry-free environment for the littles.

When: Sat., Nov. 18
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Where: RPM Italian, 52 W. Illinois St., River North
Cost: $85.39/adult lunch, no wine; $104.38/adult lunch w/ wine; free for ages 8 & under

photo: Christkindlmarket

(8) Guten Tag! Christinkindlmarket is BACK!
Bundle up for this outdoor market that brings the cherished German and European tradition of the Christkindlmarket in Germany to Chicago and adds a heap of local charm. You’ll see the market’s signature wooden cabins topped with festive red-and-white-striped canopies, each packed with handmade gifts, food and drinks from around the world and many are run by native German speakers. Shop, eat, enjoy free entertainment, repeat – and be sure to say “guten tag” to Santa Claus.

When: Beginning Nov. 18
Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Where: On Daley Plaza, Between Dearborn, Washington & Clark St., Loop
Cost: Free admission

photo: Lincoln Park Zoo via © Todd Rosenberg Photography

(9) Watch ZooLights Illuminate the Night Sky
One of the nation’s only free-admission zoos flips the holiday switch on ZooLights. With the light displays throughout the grounds, your fam can stroll through the twinkling winter wonderland created by over 2 million lights, take photos with Santa, enjoy food and drinks, watch ice carving demos, partake in carousel rides and go-’rounds on the Lionel Train Adventure. New this year, visitors can get lost in a maze of 30,000 lightbulbs at Foreman Pavilion.

When: Beginning Fri., Nov. 24
Hours: Fri.-Sun., 4:30 p.m.-9: p.m.
Where: Lincoln Park Zoo, Fullerton Pkwy. & Cannon Dr., Lincoln Park
Cost: Free for Zoolights; $3 for Light Maze

(10) The Wonderland Express
The Wonderland Express will transport your fam into a garden paradise filled with 750,000 outdoor lights. Step inside Nichols Hall, and watch garden-scale trains wind past miniature replicas of more than 80 Chicago-area landmarks. Make it extra festive by scheduling your visit November 24-26 when carolers will be entertaining from 10 a.m.-noon.

When: Beginning Fri., Nov. 24; Carolers Fri. Nov. 24-Sun. Nov. 26
Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Carolers 10 a.m.-noon
Where: Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe
Cost: $13/adults, $10/ages 3-12, free for ages 2 & under ($2 discount for members); Tuesdays are half-price

What are your plans to make November a month to remember? Tell us about it in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers