The weekend is finally here! Now it's time to have some fun. The Chicago weekend calendar is filled with the best food, art & music festivals; a day of FREE tours exploring every inch of the city; a FREE opera showcase; an incredible FREE 15-hour Indian music marathon and much more. Don't miss out! It's time to make weekend plans and here's your guide.
Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream
September 7-11 // Start at $15
Join your hosts Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they share the heroic stories of four of your favorite Disney Princesses at the United Center to see Disney on Ice's Dare to Dream. Make memories your whole family will treasure for a lifetime, while dancing and singing along, as the Disney Princesses inspire you to Dream Big!
Windy City Wine Festival
September 9-10 // $35 in advance, $45 at the door
The Windy City Wine Festival provides an opportunity to sample from more than 300 wines from around the world. Your wine tasting ticket provides attendees with a souvenir wine glass, 12 tastings, one pint of any beer available at the festival, Food & Wine seminars, musical entertainment, and the opportunity to purchase wine at a discount.
Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park
September 9 // FREE Admission
Lyric Unlimited presents their annual free concert under the stars. The outdoor concert in Millennium Park will gather acclaimed international singers and be led by Lyric's music director Sir Andrew Davis conducting the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Picnic on the Great Lawn or come early for a seat in the Pavilion and be treated to excerpts from the upcoming season's repertoire of Carmen, The Magic Flute, Eugene Onegin, and Lucia di Lammermoor, as well as selections from other operas by Gounod, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, and Wagner.
Festival de La Villita
September 9-11 // FREE Admission
Head to Chicago's Little Village neighborhood to celebrate Mexico's independence from Spanish rule highlighting food, music, carnival rides and kids' entertainment. On Sunday, the festival is the end location of the 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade, one of the largest celebrations of Hispanic culture in the Midwest. In addition, the fest will also have a stand-alone ticketed Sunday afternoon concert as well as a rodeo.
Lakeview East Festival of the Arts
September 9-11 // $5 donation
The 2016 Lakeview East Festival of the Arts showcases more than 150-juried artists featuring world-class original paintings, sculpture, photography, furniture, jewelry and more in the heart of Lakeview with a special Kick Off Concert Friday that includes food and drink vendors, live music and a select Festival artists sharing their work.. In addition to the diverse artists' booths, the Festival also includes an interactive children's area, wine, beer and food booths, an interactive garden oasis and much more.
International Greeter Day Tours
September 10 // FREE
Enjoy a free guided walk around Chicago's international neighborhoods and discover the city's rich global history. Sign up for a Chicago Greeter walk at the North Tent, Chase Promenade in Millennium Park. Public transportation to neighborhoods provided. From the downtown Loop to Millennium Park, to five select neighborhoods (Chinatown, Pilsen, Wicker Park, Hyde Park and Prairie Avenue District) there's a lot to see on International Greeter Day and a guided sightseeing walk is the way to do it!
Shock Top Oyster Fest
September 10 // $7 donation
Fresh oysters, pints of brew and an eclectic music lineup unofficially kick off autumn at Shock Top Oyster Fest in the heart of the Roscoe Village neighborhood. Music stage lineup includes The Blind Staggers, Catfight, Bruce in the USA and more. There will also be arts & crafts and a sizable kids' area with inflatables and art activities.
Oysters not your thing? Here are other foodie festivals happening this weekend.
September 10-11 // $5 donation
Discover the historic Ravenswood Industrial Corridor and learn what makes this stretch of pavement so unique. This annual event allows you to take a peek at hundreds of rare and unseen specimens of clothing dating from the 1930-1970s, fine art, hand-made crafts, architecture, design and much more. You'll even enjoy music and theatrical performances.
World Music Festival Chicago
September 9-25 // FREE
Enjoy the opening weekend of the World Music Festival with global grooves by award-winning artists from around the world at the free, city-wide, multi-venue World Music Festival Chicago. Festival highlights include the 15-hour marathon Ragamala: A Celebration of Indian Classical Music, IMAN Community Café + UChicago Arts Presents Alsarah & The Nubatones, The 606 Walk + Peace Picnic with Juicebox Concerts and much more. This year's festival will feature over 60 artists from 25 countries at 20 venues over eleven days!
And what else? It's the final weekend of Chicago SummerDance and the Chicago Fringe Festival. Find more September festivals in our 2016 event guide. You can also make your own weekend itinerary with this Chicago bucket list or discover off-the-beaten path attractions.