Menu

Chicago Like a Local Blog

Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.

Category - Special Events

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival officially kicks off the holiday season in Chicago. Each year, more than 1 million people bundle up and enjoy a night of family-friendly entertainment. This year, the celebration takes place Friday, November 17, and Saturday, November 18. Here are seven reasons why you'll want to attend the 2017 Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.

We might be a big city, but Chicago is rooted in its neighborhoods. This weekend, learn about the cultural fabrics that make up many of our neighborhoods. Whether you choose to explore museums that are part of the Chicago Cultural Alliance or get an early start with authentic Dia de los Muertos celebrations, learn more about who makes up the fabric of Chicago's diversity. You'll also get a good glimpse of the city's variety of background during this week's round up of events. 

Chicago is the fabled city of big shoulders, big buildings and with a renowned foodie scene, big appetites. But at its core, this is really a city of neighborhoods and diverse ethnic communities. You can travel through dozens of countries and cultures of the world just by exploring Chicago neighborhoods and cultural institutions. The Chicago Cultural Alliance (CCA) serves as connector to 35 museums and cultural organizations representing 24 different neighborhoods and 28 different ethnic communities. Forget about airfare, you can discover China, Haiti, Puerto Rico and Ukraine all in a few days in Chicago.

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, celebrates the circle of life, with a focus on death and rebirth. Observed across Latin America, the festivities begin on November 1 and last through the night of November 2. Chicago, thanks to its large Mexican-American population, offers a number of ways to celebrates the traditions of Día de Los Muertos. We've rounded up four ways to celebrate this memorable holiday. 

The leaves aren't the only thing changing in Chicago right now. Michigan Avenue is preparing for the opening of a flagship Apple store, and we're all planning out which identities we'll assume for Halloween festivities ahead of October 31. It finally feels as though we're settling into the brisker weather, so we're glad so many of this weekend's events are cozy, indoor ventures. 

Once a year, Chicago's closed-to-the-public architectural gems open their doors wide to welcome visitors from near and far. If you've ever dreamed of going behind-the-scenes, inside a Chicago masterpiece, you won't want to miss Open House Chicago, hosted by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. This free, two-day public event, held this year on October 14 and 15, offers access to our city's exclusive, magnificent mansions, skyscrapers, theaters, private clubs, industrial facilities, private offices and sacred spaces. While the open sites can be discovered in just about every neighborhood in the city, this year marks the first time that the Northwest Side neighborhood of Logan Square/Avondale will be joining the mix.

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) celebrates its 50th year with the theme “Experience today what people will be talking about tomorrow.” The MCA will be offering an exciting series of exhibitions, programs, events, and the unveiling of the museum building’s newest redesign.

Halloween time in Chicago is filled fill plenty of slightly spooky fun for the whole family. From a not-so-scary haunted house to a ghostly cooking class, there is something for every little ghost and goblin. Here are seven kid-friendly must-dos this Halloween in Chicago.

Although your "get set, go" might have nothing to do with a course, there's still plenty to do in Chicago this weekend. A touch of rain in the forecast makes a great case for checking out one of these 10 shows you shouldn't miss this October, performances for the inaugural Chicago International Latino Theater Festival (showing at Steppenwolf and Victory Gardens Theatre) or the South Side Film Festival. Here are some other events in Chicago that should be on your radar. 

Featured Partners

MORE TRIP IDEAS & ITINERARIES
Spend a Weekend in the Chicago Loop
Experience some of the best attractions, theater,...
First Timer's Guide to Chicago
First-time visitors are always amazed by...
Sightseeing along the L Train
Chicago has an excellent public transportation...
Chicago Sightseeing
Whether you are planning a Chicago travel...
1 Day Downtown Chicago
With just one day to explore downtown Chicago, go...
Editor's Picks: Just For Fall
Fall Date Night Ideas in Chicago
Date Night can mean a lot of things to different...
Chicago Beer Gardens Kick Off the Fall Season
Beer + gardens: two words that have intonations...
Apple of My Eye
October is National Apple Month and we're...
The Sky is the Limit at the Chicago Architecture Biennial
The largest architecture and design exhibition in...