Is it fall already? Seems like the summer was just beginning. Don't worry, Chicago is still filled with a bunch of fun events, even in the fall season. Do you love a good bacon & booze combo, carving pumpkins at the zoo or viewing Chicago from riverwalk or rooftop? Well, Chicago's the place for you this weekend.
Fall Fest Returns to Lincoln Park Zoo
September 30-October 30 // FREE
Celebrate harvest fun in the heart of the city with Lincoln Park Zoo's second annual Fall Fest! This free family celebration features animal chats, musical entertainment, a pumpkin carver and fall-themed enrichment for the animals. Fall Fest also includes ticketed attractions throughout the zoo: a Ferris wheel, corn maze, hay mountain, fun slide, inflatable obstacle courses and more.
West Town Art Walk & West Town Food Truck Social
September 30 - October 1 // FREE
The West Town Art Walk is an annual event celebrating art in all forms-visual, musical, culinary, and otherwise-within shops along Chicago Avenue (between Milwaukee Ave and Hoyne Ave) and Ashland Avenue (between Chicago Ave and Division St). Attendees can enjoy visual art, music, and fashion from Chicago artists all showcased within West Town's shops, businesses, restaurants, and bars.
The 6th Annual West Town Art Walk will be in conjunction with the West Town Food Truck Social, happening on Noble St between Chicago and Chestnut. There will be Sampler Tickets that allow consumers to stroll around and try sample-sized portions from any food truck on-site, and also sample sponsored beer, wine or spirits.
City Winery Riverwalk & Virgin Hotels Chicago present River to Rooftop
September 30 // $20
River to Rooftop allows attendees to enjoy cocktails and wine on the Chicago River, then cocktails and wine on a rooftop. What could be better? The event will go from City Winery Riverwalk for drinks to the party at Cerise Rooftop at Virgin Hotels Chicago for DJ sets and drink specials. Tickets include one complimentary drink on the River and one complimentary drink on the Rooftop.
The Art of Lockpicking
September 30 // $100
Enjoy an evening of cocktails and live music as internationally renowned lock picker Schuyler Towne demonstrates his impressive skill set while sharing the tricks of the trade. There will also be an open cocktail bar through out the night and live music by Brian O'Hern and the Model Citizens Big Band. Break out your best vintage attire, escape the norm and come prepared for a raucous, glamourous affair.
Bacon and Beer Classic
October 1 // $69
Explore the iconic home of the Chicago Bears while indulging in unlimited suds and grub. Try 80+ craft beers from regional breweries, eat 30+ bacon-infused dishes from local chefs, play giant Jenga, battle it out on the bungee run, compete in a bacon eating contest and more at Soldier Field.
Two more beer festivals in Chicago mark the calendar this weekend too: the 4th Annual Logan Square Beer Festival touts two sessions on October 1, and a German/Mexican mashup from celeb chef Rick Bayless brewery Cruz Blanca makes its debut as Das Bueno Oktoberfest on October 1.
October 2 // Prices vary
Kultura is a modern Filipino American food and arts festival presenting over a dozen Filipino American chefs, visual artists and musicians. Chef Bjorn DelaCruz and the Manila Social Club will be presenting an array of Filipino flavored and fresh donuts, including the highly praised Golden Cristal Ube donut at the Kultura Festival at Emporium Logan Square (2363 N Milwaukee Avenue).
Fulton Market Harvest Fest
October 2 // $25
To celebrate the Fulton Market District's culinary history and showcase local businesses, Chefs Stephanie Izard and Paul Kahan have joined forces to curate the area's first Harvest Fest. Bringing together local breweries and restaurants, along with stages for music and cooking demonstrations, the first ever FULTON MARKET HARVEST FEST will highlight the neighborhood's culinary talent and attract visitors from all over the city!
Illume Chicago 2016 Exhibit by Red Bull
September 29-October 9 // FREE
Kicking off the fourth edition of this exhibit tour in North America, Chicago's Wrigley Square located in Millennium Park is the ideal place to showcase the finalist of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2016, where light boxes will stand side by side with the famous Millennium Monument and be a stone's throw away from the famous Chicago sculpture "The Bean". To showcase the amazing imagery in a unique perspective, the exhibition will only be open after the sun goes down, between the hours of 6:30pm and 10:30pm.
From the Chicago Latino Music Festival to Oyster Fest Presented by Shaw's Crab House, find more October festivals in our 2016 event guide. You can also make your own weekend itinerary with this Chicago bucket list.