Show Me Chicago's Top 8 things to do this weekend

  1. The Chicago MarathonmarathonChicago

Marathon fever is everywhere whether you're a runner, a watcher or just trying to avoid the traffic. Roads are already closed but the official race featuring over 40,000 runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries doesn't step off until very early Sunday morning (October 9) with staggered times.

The 26.2 mile course which starts and finishes in Grant Park goes through Chicago's eclectic neighborhoods as far west as Damen between Adams and Jackson; north to Addison between Broadway and the Inner Drive. And as far south at 35th Street between State Street and Michigan Avenue.

Whether you are one of the runners or one of the 1.7 million spectators--you can get a real taste of Chicago as the race runs through 29 neighborhoods. Check out race information and the course map here.

2. Rocktober Beerfestbeerbratsckmarketgermanfood

The perfect fall fest, Rocktober Beerfest, brings three days of beer, brats and live music to the West Loop. Friday, October 7 through Sunday, October 9 in Union Park (1501 W Randolph St.).

3. The Cubbies head to the playoffs

Theo Epstein, President of the Chicago Cubs looks like he may have something big to celebrate this year along with the rest of the city.

Theo President of the Chicago Cubs may just have something really big to celebrate this year along with the rest of the city.

Is this the year? After a 100+ year drought, Cubs fans may not have to "wait until next year"--our century old refrain. This weekend playoffs against the Giants start at 8:15 pm. Friday, October 7th and at 7 pm. Saturday in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. Tickets will be hard to come by unless you have a wad of cash but Wrigleyville will be rocking--so come join the fun.

4. Penguin Cove and Fall Fest at Lincoln Park Zoopenguincovelpz

Poised for today's opening (October 6) these tuxedoed waddlers will have a new address at the state-of-the-art Penguin Cove at the Lincoln Park Zoo (LPZ). Visitors can see the endangered African penguins that are native to South Africa, in their natural habitat. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St.

Also, visitors who come to the LPZ on Fridays through Sundays in October can enjoy Fall Fest complete with rides, activities, entertainment and a corn maze.

5. Scarecrow Fest

Get ready to scare up some Halloween fun

The long-running annual Scarecrow Fest in St. Charles is the perfect spot for family fun. The award-winning festival features live entertainment, arts and crafts, a carnival, food and more. Friday & Saturday: 10 am - 9 pm and Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm.

6. Creating Shakespeare at the Newberry LibraryShakespeare

Creating Shakespeare, a new grand-scale exhibit at Chicago's Newberry Library, features nearly 200 pieces related to the Bard as part of Chicago's all out Shakespeare 400 celebration.

7. Above and Beyond at the MSIaboveandbeyondmsi

A new temporary exhibit, Above and Beyond, at the Museum of Science and Industry presented by Boeing in celebration of its 100th anniversary, features interactive activities focusing on how past inventors turned their dream of flying into a reality, and how current innovators continue to push past the limits of Earth and space.

Above and Beyond is included in Museum Entry, which costs $18 for adults, and $11 for children ages 3-11. City of Chicago residents receive a discount. A free, timed-entry ticket is required and will be available at the exhibit entrance.

8. The Great American Pumpkin Fest in Highwood

pumpkinfesthighwoodThe north shore City of Highwood has been importing pumpkins for days getting ready for what has become a really BIG event not just in Highwood but throughout the area. Pumpkin Festival features rides, vendors, food, spirits, family activities, all-you-can-carve pumpkin stations and more. Click here for the full schedule of events.

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