Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival

Whether or not we want to admit it, autumn is approaching. While we might not be ready to say goodbye to the warm weather yet, at least we have an excuse to go shopping.

Just in time for a needed spree, the Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival presented by MasterCard is returning for a 10-day event from August 22 to Sept. 1.

New to this year's festival, shoppers will be able to not only peruse the usual fashionable stops along North Michgan Avenue, but from August 23-24 the ShopFest pop-up shop will be stationed in John Hancock Plaza. Retailers such as Macy's, American Girl Doll Place and more will be part of the pop-up, along with concerts in the plaza at the end of each day.

A shopping event wouldn't be complete without sales, which will be aplenty. Sunglass Hut, Mary Mary, Tumi, Vince and more will all be offering special promotions throughout the festival.

If shopping isn't your cup of tea, the Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival has a little something for everyone.

Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival food

For foodies, the fest kicks off Friday evening with A Magnificent Taste - an outdoor culinary event with "Top Chef" contestants Sam Talbot and Hugh Acheson and 18 other of the Magnificent Mile's best chefs. Enjoy small bites and craft cocktails from Allium, Eataly, Magnolia Bakery, Sophie's at Saks, Travelle and more, all while supporting Common Threads, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to educating children from low-income families on the importance of nutrition. Tickets can currently be purchased for the event online.

If you're a woman on the run, join one of the other 10,000 racers Sunday, August 31 for the Magnificent Mile Chicago Women's Half Marathon and 5K, the city's lone female-only race. Runners will have access to special offers and spa recovery packages throughout the long weekend.

Being a Chicago resident isn't required to enjoy all of the activities of the shopping festival. Many Chicago hotels will be offering special rates during the fest, along with special dining and nightlife promotions as well. And if you're a MasterCard card holder, the perks are even greater.

For more information and a full list of special events and offers, visit The Magnificent Mile online.

Photos by Dennis Lee; Rob Callen