It’s autumn in Chicago. That means the time is ripe to chill out and really take a look at the city and all that it offers from its architecture, its local and international festivals to the Chicago Marathon while digging into some of the best comfort food anywhere at this year’s second annual mac & cheese fest.
Are you ready, Chicago for…
1. CHICAGO ARTISTS MONTH
October 1 -November 15, various venues around town
Chicago Artists Month (CAM) is actually a month and a half immersion into Chicago’s burgeoning art landscape. Hundreds of programs, exhibits and events take visitors to artist studio’s, Chicago neighborhoods, parks and art centers. For more about the many programs click here.
2. CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE BIENNIAL
October 1 – January 3, 2016
So cool, so exciting, we hardly know where to begin with this one. Although the website says the Biennial starts October 3, there are already related events happening. So much to do…so much to see.
The Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) is a new event that offers something for everyone. With over 300 programs between now and January, the CAB offers performances, lectures, panel discussions, workshops, exhibitions, tours, film screenings, and social events–some free, others requiring paid admission.
One daylong event that is FREE but requires tickets is a trip to the Frank Lloyd Wright designed SC Johnson campus in Racine, Wisconsin. Did I mention, that this is FREE.
For information on this and the many other CAB events visit the Chicago Architecture Biennial website.
3. CHICAGO MUSEUM WEEK
October 1-October 7, 12 participating Chicago Museums
Another new event, the first-ever Chicago Museum Week offers special events, programming and pricing at 12 of Chicago’s World Class institutions. Such a deal.
4. OPEN HOUSE CHICAGO
October 17 – 18, throughout the city and Evanston
Open House Chicago presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation takes participants to more than 200 special places (many not open to public during the rest of the year) across 20 city neighborhoods and, new this year, Evanston. Another FREE event.
5. CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
October 15 – 29; AMC,
As the winning poster for the 51st annual Chicago International Film Festival says, “Everyone Loves Movies.” The festival, one of the best bargains in town, has it all. Big names, big movies, a red carpet opening ceremony, world premieres, thrillers, dramas, comedies, special events and so much more. Learn about the many packages and pricing options for seeing the shows by clicking here.
6. CHICAGO MARATHON
October 11, starts and finishes in Grant Park
One of Chicago’s biggest events of the year just keeps getting bigger. This year’s Sunday race is expected to attract 45,000 runners and nearly two million spectators. It will run through 29 of Chicago’s most iconic neighborhoods including Little Italy, Chinatown, Greektown, Lincoln Park, Lakeview and more.
The Chicago Marathon begins at 7:20 a.m. (wheelchair race), 7:30 a.m. (marathon wave 1) and 8 a.m. (marathon wave 2), and will continue throughout the day. The Start and Finish Line are both located in Grant Park on Columbus Drive. The route extends north to Addison Street, west to Damen Avenue and south to 35th Street.
7. REALLY BIG HALLOWEEN PARTY
Navy Pier, Fridays through Sundays plus Halloween, October 19 – 31
There’s costume contests, trick ‘r treating, rides, a petting zoo, entertainment and lots more at Navy Pier’s Halloween blowout.
8, MAC & CHEESE FEST
October 24, UIC Forum, 725 W Roosevelt Rd.
Who doesn’t love mac & cheese. Just in time for the crisp fall days in Chicago, the Mac and Cheese Festival returns for the second time around. A sellout last year, the fest is expected to be even more popular this year. The format pits some of Chicago’s top chefs and restaurants against each other to see who can walk away with “The Golden Noodle.”This year’s “Mac & Cheese Fest” will feature two sessions: lunch from 12-3 p.m. and dinner from 7-10 p.m.. The fest-goers get to sample it all along with beverages, music and more.
9. THE HALLOWEEN GATHERING
October 24, Chicago Cultural Mile, Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River south to Roosevelt Road
Chicago’s first-ever of its kind Halloween festival promises it all with daytime activities including a mask-making booth, performances by local musicians and a children’s costume parade on The Ribbon in Maggie Daley Park. The grand finale will be a nighttime parade with lanterns, costumes, performances, music, dance, dramatic lighting, moving platforms and more.
10. NORTHALSTED STREET HALLOWEEN PARADE
October 31, Halsted St. from Belmont to Addison
Another Chicago biggie that just keeps getting bigger is the Northalsted Street Halloween bash and parade complete with drag queens, crazy and creative costumes and families celebrating along the streets of Boystown. This year’s 19th annual happening kicks off at 11 am. with the parade stepping off at 4 p.m.
Looking for more Halloween-related events, click here.
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