Who doesn't love great foodie deals?? Well this weekend in Chicago is full of them along with popular festivals featuring jazz, tacos, art and the best of punk rock. Don't stop there! Some of NASCAR's biggest stars will also be in town for the first race in NASCAR's playoffs. And the No. 2 Museum in the World (congrats AIC!) is celebrating the second-grandest holiday in China after Lunar New Year.
Lets make this weekend one for the history books. Here are 13 ways to plan your weekend in Chicago.
Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
September 15 // See website for museum admission pricing
Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at the Art Institute of Chicago this weekend with special installations, events, and Chinese culinary specialties. The week of activity includes public tours, performances by local artists, special installations, specialty foods like moon cakes, and more. What a great way to bring together family and friends to celebrate the moon, a symbol of unity.
September 16-18 // Start at $70
2016 will mark the 12th year of Riot Fest, and will return to their new location — Douglas Park! They're fans first, and their goal has always been simply to throw some unforgettable shows. They've even added carnival rides, Lucha Libre, and much more. Music headliners include Death Cab for Cutie, Rob Zombie, Social Distortion and more.
The Dawson's Oktoberfest celebration
September 17 // $25
The Dawson (730 W. Grand Avenue) will host its annual Oktoberfest celebration. In addition to the full dining and libations menus, an expansive Bavarian buffet will be available for $25/person. The classic buffet will include: German Hot Pot; Pretzels and Beer Mustard; Deviled Eggs; Chicken and more. The celebration will also feature live music from The Polkaholics, Revolution Brewing's Oktoberfest and German sparkling wine on the outdoor patio!
From the kickoff to Oktoberfest season to all the biggest beer festivals coming up this fall, the Chicago Craft Beer Guide has you covered.
Englewood Jazz Fest
September 17 // FREE (suggested donation)
Looking to relax and enjoy live music? The 17th Annual Englewood Jazz Festival will be held at the Hamilton Park Cultural Center (513 W. 72nd Street) featuring performances by Julia Huff, Rajiv Halim, Live the Spirit Residency Big Band and more.
West Loop Art Fest
September 17-18 // $10 donation
Spend a summer weekend experiencing the West Loop Art Fest. 167 talented artists from across the country will showcase and sell their work. The West Loop Art Fest will be a perfect fusion of high-end art, rocking music, and local food and craft vendors, giving guests a taste of all that the booming neighborhood has to offer with music headliners Trippin Billies and 16 Candles.
City Made Fest
September 17-18 // $5 donation
City Made Fest exclusively features Chicago craft beers, Chicago music, Chicago food, and Chicago artisans in a weekend-long celebration of all things local, in keeping with Andersonville's reputation. The event showcases a revolving line-up of local brews on tap, one stage of live music, and dozens of vendors and is open to the public (donations benefit the Andersonville Sustainable Community Alliance, a 501c3 nonprofit, and its acclaimed environmental program Eco Andersonville).
Sam Adams' Lakeview Taco Fest
September 17-18 // $7 donation
The glorious taco will again be celebrated (along with seasonal brews) at Sam Adams' Lakeview Taco Fest. This wildly popular Southport Corridor happening will feature more than a dozen restaurants selling both traditional and imaginatively stuffed tortillas. Also features beer and taco pairings, two music stages (performances from 97 Nine, Get Up With the Get Downs, Catfight, Wedding Banned), lucha libre (Mexican wrestlers), a kids' activity area and arts and crafts.
NASCAR hits the Windy City
September 17-18 // Start at $40
NASCAR Xfinity Series Chicagoland 300 (September 17)
Head to Chicagoland Speedway to see the drivers of the XFINITY Series race against some of NASCAR's biggest stars as part of their four-race race weekend! This is where history begins as the drivers look to not only capture a Championship, but also make their way into the ranks of NASCAR's best!
NASCAR Sprint Cup Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 (September 18)
The Heroes in the Half-Shell are invading their Magnificent Mile and a Half! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 will kick off The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Get ready for a full day of family fun followed by the first race in NASCAR's playoffs.
PLUS a Weekend Full of Foodie Deals
National Guacamole Day (September 16) at Mercadito
Celebrate Mexican Independence Day and National Guacamole Day with a prix fixe menu at Mercadito, $35 plus tax and gratuity, including a choice of three types of guacamole, two dishes of ceviches or botanas, four tacos, one side, one specialty tequila cocktail and finish on a sweet note with your choice of dessert.
5-year Anniversary Celebration at Farmhouse Chicago (September 18-22)
Farmhouse Chicago is featuring complimentary Wisconsin Beer Battered Cheese Curds with purchase for their 5-year anniversary celebration beginning Sunday. There will also be $5 pasture-raised Pimento Cheese Burgers and $5 Farmhouse proprietary hard ciders from September 19-22.
National Cheeseburger Day (September 18) at BomboBar
What better way to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day than with The BomboBurger? The burger is served on an Italian hole-less doughnut bun and will be available for $5 for a single and $7 for a double.
Not enough? Explore the 606 with A Walk with Peace & Music, or check out the free World Music Festival concert in Millennium Park. Find more September festivals in our 2016 event guide. You can also make your own weekend itinerary with this Chicago bucket list.