The Chicago Thanksgiving Parade has a rich history, being held for the first time in 1934 during the Great Depression in an effort to boost the economy and the spirits of Chicago residents. And while the parade is always broadcasted live on TV, it’s an experience you won’t want to miss if you are going to be in Chicago during the holiday with your friends or family.

Wondering how to get there? Wonder no further! We’re breaking down the best ways to get to the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade in this blog post!

If you plan on watching the 2024 Chicago Thanksgiving Parade in person this year, especially with a group, you’re going to want to arrange for your transportation as soon as possible.

For groups who want to go the public transportation route, you definitely have options. The nearest Chicago “L” station is Monroe-Red, only a minute walk away. There are several bus stops near State Street, including Madison & Dearborn/State (West), only a two-minute walk away.

While public transportation is a safe bet, the trains and buses can fill up quickly, especially during such a popular event. For more personalized transportation, it’s beneficial for groups to rent a Chicago charter bus from an established charter bus company.

Charter bus rentals offer the most flexibility in terms of transportation, allowing you to build your own route and timing, choose the amenities you need (including ADA-accessible features), and offer fixed pricing with no surprise fees. Charter buses also come with professional bus drivers who can handle all the driving and parking for you and your group.

The Chicago Thanksgiving Parade will be held on Thanksgiving, which is Thursday, November 28, 2024. The route begins on State Street at 8:00 AM, ending at State and Randolph around 11:00 AM. Nicknamed “The Great Street,” State Street has plenty of opportunities for shopping and entertainment for groups, along with landmarks like the Chicago Theatre.

If you rent a charter bus, you can opt for your driver to take you to some of the best places in Chicago to see with a group after the parade. For example, the Field Museum and Navy Pier are only about a ten-minute drive away. You can even make a weekend out of it if you want! Book a bus for a weekend and have a professional driver take you to places like Millennium Park, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and more.

Be sure to show up to the parade as early as possible to get the best views, especially if the weather is nice in the morning. If you want to splurge a bit, we have historically sold VIP seating for better views. Keep an eye out on the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade homepage for more information on 2024 packages. We also recommend going further south (closer to Ida B. Wells Drive) for typically smaller crowds.

Whether you’re taking a charter bus to see the parade in person with your loved ones or tuning in from the comfort of your couch, we are happy to have you here. We hope you enjoy one of Chicago’s most loved traditions!

A bus driving towards Chicago