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Category - Museums

10 Free Things To Do in Chicago This October

Sunday, October 1, 2017 11:00 AM by Maddy Osman

With fall foliage and the cool breeze comes the spookiest month of the year—October! Besides Halloween festivities, Chicagoans have several things to look forward to, including fall festivals, book expos, art walks and food fairs. Movie fans won't run out of things to watch with several free screenings and the International Film Festival coming up, while history buffs will enjoy free admission to several of Chicago’s best landmarks. Without further ado, here are the top 10 free things to do in Chicago this October.

Autumn has arrived in the city of Chicago! The leaves are just beginning to transform into their fall best, farmers markets are filling up with the fruits of the harvest and the evening air is cool and crisp — perfect for enjoying an evening walk with a pumpkin spice latte in hand. Autumn ushers in a new season of fun in the city, with new performances hitting stages, new museum exhibits opening their doors, and fun festivals and outdoor events that embrace everything fall. 

Here are four things we're looking forward to this autumn in Chicago.

The biggest international art event of the fall season kicks off with the sixth annual Expo Chicago, the international exposition of contemporary and modern art at Navy Pier, on September 14–17. An array of 135 galleries that hail from 58 cities and 25 countries will transform the Navy Pier festival hall into a colorful, global showcase. Art lovers can browse an exciting display of contemporary art works as well as attend panel discussions, view curated film and video and participate in special daily events.

As the U.S. moves dangerously close to repeating the xenophobia of the past, Alphawood Gallery in Lincoln Park exposes the details of a period in American history that is too often overlooked. "Then They Came For Me: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties," reveals the voices and experiences of Japanese Americans who were forced to relinquish their civil liberties.

A morning of traipsing around the city of Chicago calls for a relaxing, tea-filled afternoon. A hot pot of your favorite blend and savory and sweet treats are the perfect follow-up to a hectic museum or zoo visit. Here are three outstanding non-hotel afternoon teas in Chicago that pair well with a morning museum of zoo adventure.

The Art Institute of Chicago always knows how to bring together artists in ways that are thoughtful and whimsical, inviting conversations across artistic styles, periods and mediums. Currently, there are two adjacent exhibits that bring together the work of Saul Steinberg and Cauleen Smith, and they are both delightful.

Bookworms big and small will want to make a beeline to Chicago's brand-new, amazing American Writers Museum (AWM) and its Children’s Literature Gallery. As the first and only museum of its kind in the nation, this word-filled museum celebrates diverse American writers while also exploring their influence on our cultural identity.

If you're raising a reader, here are seven things kids can see and do at the must-visit American Writers Museum.

Famed French artist Paul Gauguin is best noted for his brilliant use of color on canvas, but the Art Institute of Chicago's fascinating exhibit, "Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist", uncovers his radical experiments in wood-carving, ceramics and other applied arts that are more typically associated with artisans and craft makers. Through rarely seen pieces including furniture, stoneware and fans, visitors will discover Gauguin's talents beyond his iconic paintings.

Less than three weeks are left to see this exhibition, plan your visit today!

On Monday, August 21, at about 11:52 a.m., the moon over Chicago will begin passing between the sun and the Earth, making for the first total solar eclipse to travel across the entire contiguous United States in 99 years. At approximately 1:19 p.m., the city will experience a maximum solar eclipse. Celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence in Chicago on the lakefront at the city's premier planetarium, on the high seas of Lake Michigan, or 94 floors above the city. 

Chicago hosts an array of world-class museums, and now the first museum in the country dedicated to American writers has been added to the city's line-up. The American Writers Museum showcases the world of words from every angle and perspective. With 13 interactive exhibits and a changing gallery of installations and immersive programming, the AWM aims to show the world just how exciting writing and writers can be.

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