If you're hungry in Chicago this weekend, you're not doing something right. From a 250+ chef showcase in Millennium Park to an all-you-can-eat meat extravaganza, a mashup of Filipino/American chef creations and a vegan's dream expo, there's an unreal amount of food and drink in the city this weekend. Although it might not feel like fall due to a forecast in the 90s, it will also be a great weekend to find autumn foliage, catch new fall exhibits and spend some time near the water.
Through September 24 // $185 and up
Come out and celebrate the all things Chicago food and wine. Presenting sponsor Bon Appetit named Chicago its Restaurant City of the Year, and there’s no better way to celebrate than a fun-filled, sun-filled event in Millennium Park. Now in its 10th year, Chicago Gourmet showcases more than 250 chefs from the area and includes brewers and spirit-makers from around the world. General admission for Saturday is already sold out, so grab your Sunday tickets while they’re still available or check out one of the many other events happening during the decennial.
Dovetail/Begyle Oktoberfestiversary + Cruz Blanca Das Bueno Oktoberfest
September 23-24 // Free admission
Dovetail Brewing is known for its German-focused beer, so it makes sense that the Ravenswood taproom would partner up with its neighbor Begyle for its second annual Oktoberfestivary weekend. The event also recognizes Dovetail’s fifth anniversary in the neighborhood, so come ready for food trucks, party games and great music. Bonus: Your dog is welcome to the event, too.
Want a spin on the classic Oktoberfest? Cruz Blanca wants you to at the Das Bueno Oktoberfest. Try the Beer Bratwurst Tacos and drink Mexican-influenced/German-inspired beers on Saturday afternoon. The $20 admission gets you a branded stein and one liter of beer off the bat.
Hyde Park Jazz Festival
September 23-24 // Free admission
Always say “yes” to a good jazz festival in Chicago. Make your way to Hyde Park Jazz Fest this weekend for smooth sounds and cool venues. More than 30 artists will perform, and the weather this weekend will make it a peak time to enjoy the neighborhood. Don’t forget that the World Music Festival also wraps up its three-week stretch on Sunday. Check here for schedules and venues as it closes up its 18th year.
Washed Ashore at Shedd Aquarium
Through September 2018 // Regular museum admission
The Shedd Aquarium is a leader for environment conservation efforts, and its latest exhibit reflects why its mission is important. Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Seas uses trash that’s pushed onto beaches and turns the plastic pollution into sculptures of animals that have been affected by careless human behavior. Artist Angela Pozzi started the project in 2010, and she enlists the help of volunteers to create the pieces. The exhibit will gradually add nine more sculptures to the collection over the next year.
Don’t forget to bid adieu to a great exhibit that’s leaving town this weekend. Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, a mind-blowing display that showcases the career of the Japanese artist, ends its run at the Museum of Contemporary Art this Sunday. How great is it? It broke the museum’s record for attendance. We recommend stopping through on Saturday, when the MCA also hosts its film, performance and music after-hours event Prime Time: Off-Rack. This week’s event features Le1f, House of Diehl, Eda Yorulmazoglu, Low Key Label and more.
Randolph Street Market + Pop-Up Favorite Dose Market
September 23-24 // $8 and up
If the month is coming to a close, then it’s time to browse the Randolph Street Market. It’s a dream for anyone who loves shopping for vintage or handmade wares.
On Sunday, you can also browse the Dose Market at Ace Hotel in the West Loop. Browse more than 20 local crafters for a $10 admission, which benefits the Chicago nonprofit Cradles to Crayons.
Backyard Adventures at Peggy Nortebaert Nature Museum
Opens September 22 // Regular museum admission
Get a closer look at the world in your own backyard at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum's newest exhibit, Backyard Adventures. This all-ages experience uses interactive games, augmented reality, dress up opportunities and Garden Golf to help explain the ecosystems that exist and thrive in a space you share with them.
Edgewater Arts Festival
September 23-24 // $5
Add some art to your weekend during the Edgewater Arts Festival. Find your next favorite masterpiece from one of 100 exhibiting artists, kick back at the beer garden, watch performances across three stages and stop by the children's talent show at a show that promises "big city caliber art combined with a contagious neighborhood party atmosphere." Dogs are also welcome at this event, too.
Of course there's even more things to do in Chicago this weekend. Our events calendar is packed every single day with options, but we'll throw in a few more selects: Lyric Opera presents a new production of Orphée et Eurydice featuring the much-anticipated Lyric debut of The Joffrey Ballet (select tickets to September 23/27 opening week performances are 20% off with promo code ORPHEE). Led by MacArthur Award-winning choreographer Shen Wei, Shen Wei Dance Arts comes to Chicago for the first time for two shows September 23-24. And its opening weekend for 31st Annual Day of the Day exhibition at the always-free National Museum of Mexican Art.