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What’s New and Happening in Chicago – Fall/Winter 2022
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (October 2022) – With temperatures starting to cool but still mild, the fall shoulder season in Chicago is a great time to visit!. Cultural festivals abound, from the 5th annual Destinos, Chicago International Latino Theater Festival (through October 16) to the World Music Festival Chicago (September 30-October 9), a multi-venue festival featuring more than 30 artists and ensembles representing 22 countries and regions of the world.
October brings the return of the annual, month-long Open House Chicago, showcasing architecturally, culturally and historically significant sites across the city’s unique neighborhoods, with in-person access available the weekend of October 15-16. It’s a great chance for visitors to go behind the scenes, especially at members-only clubs and private residences not typically open to the general public. Don’t miss out on Chicago’s Halloweek Program that the city has planned, featuring fun parades and safe activities for the whole family.
And November kicks off the holiday season with the return of The Wintrust Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, ushering in a series of festive attractions including Christkindlmarket Chicago, the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lightscape, Illumination at the Morton Arboretum, and more.
Come explore and find out why Chicago was again designated by Conde Nast Traveler’s readers as the Best Big City in the U.S. in 2022 (for the sixth year in a row!). Visit www.ChooseChicago.com for more information.
- Chicago was ranked “Best Big City in the U.S.” in 2022 for the sixth consecutive year by Condé Nast Traveler’s discerning readers in the CNT Readers’ Choice Awards.
- Forbes Travel Guide honored three Chicago hotels (The Four Seasons, The Langham, Chicago and The Peninsula Chicago) with 5-star ratings in the 2022 Star Awards Winners – Forbes Travel Guide.
- Pendry Chicago was named to the Travel + Leisure’s It List 2022, celebrating the most impressive openings of the past year.
- The Peninsula Chicago was named the top hotel in the country according to the S. News & WorldReport’s 2022 Annual Best Hotels rankings.
- Bon Appetit designated Chicago’s Bocadillo Market as one of its 10 Best New Restaurants 2022.
- Food & Wine designated Virtue Restaurant & Barchef Damarr Brown as one of the Food & Wine Best New Chefs 2022.
- The New York Times’s Restaurant List 2022, identifying 50 U.S. establishments that editors are excited about right now, selected Dear Margaret and Evette’sfrom Chicago.
- S. News & World Report ranked Chicago #1 in Best Weekend Getaways in the Midwest and #3 in Best Foodie Cities in the U.S.
- The James Beard Foundation has designated Erick Williams (Virtue Restaurant & Bar) the Best Chef (Great Lakes Region) at the 2022 Restaurant and Chef Awards.
- Resonance’s World’s Best Cities of 2022 ranked Chicago 13 in the list of top 100 global metropolises.
- HomeToGo, a vacation rental platform which sought to determine America’s best “beer towns” using a “Beer Lovers Index”, has ranked Chicago its #1 city!
- Big 7 Travel has rated Chicago one of the “50 Most Instagrammable Places in the World, 2022”
The award-winning citizen brand that pioneered affordable luxury hotels opened its first Chicago location, citizenM Chicago Downtown, on September 21, 2022. This newly constructed 280-room hotel is conveniently situated between the Riverwalk and Millennium Park, with a colorful exterior façade and entranceway commissioned by world-renowned artist Nina Chanel Abney. For this property, citizenM partnered with ArtLifting – a platform for artists that have traditionally been underrepresented in the contemporary art market – to curate a variety of pieces for the in-room art. Guests at citizenM Chicago Downtown can expect a streamlined, luxury experience including high tech amenities (fully controlled by iPad or via the award-winning citizenM app), XL king-sized beds, luxury bedding, a powerful rain shower and an HDTV with streaming capabilities. Hotel highlights include the fourth floor Living Room common space with books, art, designer furniture and designated working areas, the collectionM retail space with an unconventional assortment of travel essentials and souvenirs, the open-plan canteenM dining area with to-go food and drinks, three societyM meeting rooms with breakout space, a terrace with outdoor patio overlooking North Michigan Avenue and a 24/7 gym.
The Emily Hotel, situated at the former location of The Ace Hotel, is a boutique hotel concept inspired by art, nature and a west coast state of being. This 159 room property (with 147 guest rooms and 12 suites) has recently set down roots in Chicago’s Fulton Market, and features a Coffee Bar serving locally roasted Sparrow Coffee, Selva, a rooftop cocktail bar and Fora, the hotel’s ground floor Mexican-inspired, seafood-forward restaurant. Guests can also enjoy over 7,300 feet of meeting and event space, an Artist in Residence program celebrating local artists through on-property, curated activations and a collection of unique pieces throughout the hotel and, during the warmer months, the Rooftop Cinema Club Fulton Market.
The LaSalle Hotel, Autograph Collection, which opened this summer in the heart of the Financial District, offers a sophisticated and tailored experience for business and leisure travelers. Experience fine dining at Grill on 21, an elevated and modern take on the classic American grill concept featuring a focus on quality and sustainability. An expansive gym offers premiere TechnoGym equipment as well as Peloton bikes. World-class accommodations include spacious rooms averaging 430 square feet, oversized Calacatta marble bathrooms with luxurious walk-in showers, and a window-side marble-top dining table.
The St. Regis Chicago is set to debut in 2023 as the 50th St. Regis globally. Through architectural ingenuity and a shimmering homage to sky and water, the 101-story St. Regis Chicago, designed by award-winning architect Jeanne Gang, has changed Chicago’s iconic skyline. It is now the third tallest building in Chicago, the 10th tallest in the United States and the tallest building in the world, designed by a female. The tower’s crystalline form was inspired by the facets of a shimmering gem and the building is coated in six varying shades of blue-green glass to reflect the changing colors of Lake Michigan. The hotel will comprise the first 11 floors of the building, featuring 192 luxurious guest rooms, multiple signature dining options, a 12,000 square foot, world class St. Regis Spa, a fitness center, indoor pool and outdoor sunken terrace with scenic views, a 5,000 square foot ballroom and 3,000 square feet of executive and pre-function space and the St. Regis Signature Butler Service. The hotel’s backyard is a six acre botanical green space featuring a children’s play park, dog park and attractive ornamental and water gardens.
Bambola, a 175-seat restaurant and cocktail bar from Bonhomme Hospitality, opened this September 2022, is influenced by the city of Istanbul as a historic gateway between East and West (Asia and Europe). Led by Chef de Cuisine Alisha Elenz and Bonhomme Group’s Michelin-starred Executive Chef Marcos Campos, Executive Pastry Chef Shannah Primiano and Culinary Director Erwin Mallet, Bambola is inspired by the flavors widely exchanged along the Silk Road, taking inspiration from Turkish, Persian, Indian, Italian, Chinese, Malaysian, Thai and Greek cuisine.
Eric Williams, owner of The Silver Room boutique, has partnered with global hospitality design trailblazer Cecilia Cuff of The Nascent Group on his newest venture, Bronzeville Winery. Opened in April 2022, guests of the winery enjoy a rotating wine list with selections from around the world highlighting African American owned labels paired with an ever changing seasonal menu that pays homage to the flavors of the African diaspora. The team’s goal in the design of the Winery is to encourage guests to spend time, socialize and network in the space. To that end, the decor features a revolving art collection and a state-of-the-art sound system that pipes in a well curated playlist, as well as live music. Programming features wine talks, art openings and cultural events; the space is also available for private events.
Cafe Sophie opened April 2022 in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. This European-inspired café and gourmet market from Michelin star-winning chef Danny Grant (who opened Maple & Ashin Chicago in 2015) takes its name and aesthetic from the chef’s beloved Aunt Sophie. The menu features pastries, sandwiches, salads, charcuterie and wood-fired dishes, as well as an espresso/coffee bar along with selections of wine, cocktails and beer. The market at Café Sophie is a retail journey of food staples and curated finds from around the world handpicked by Danny and his team. There is particular support for small producers local to the Chicagoland area and across the U.S. that include family-run farms, women-owned and minority-owned businesses.
Cloud Bar, a new $2 million lounge on the 94th floor of 360 Chicago which just opened this September 2022, features food and beverage options from local businesses like Moody Tongue Brewery, Revolution Brewing, Kikwetu Coffee Company and Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club. The 18 seat bar celebrates the 77 boroughs with a locally inspired menu, and illustrations from renowned Chicago street artist— Lauren Asta.
Con Todo, Logan Square’s hotly anticipated Mexican-American restaurant from Chef Jonathan Zaragoza (whose family owns Birrieria Zaragoza) opened in January 2022. The restaurant is influenced by the flavors, cooking techniques and the people of Mexico City, where Zaragoza’s business partners grew up, as well as Chicago.
A brand new po’boy restaurant called Daisy’s Po’Boy And Tavern is making its way to Hyde Park later this year, located at 5215 S Harper Ave. This is the latest restaurant from chef Erick Williams, the owner and executive chef of Virtue Restaurant & Barand Mustard Seed Kitchen(which opened in Fall 2021 for takeout and delivery).
Farm-to-table restaurant Eden moved from the West Loop to Avondale in June 2022 and the new space contains three dining rooms, a patio and greenhouse where chief culinary officer Devon Quinn and executive chef Tim Havidic will grow herbs and produce for the kitchen.
After debuting Gordon Ramsay Burger last December, celebrity chef and restaurateur Gordon Ramsay, plans to pay homage to one of his most popular TV shows with Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen, set to open in River North in early 2023.
Rooted in the Greek ethos of wellness, LÝRA brings fresh, holistic fare to Chicago diners in an earth-toned, indoor-meets-outdoor space. Opened January 2022 in the Fulton Market neighborhood, this concept was inspired by DineAmic Hospitality partners David Rekhson and Lucas Stoioff’s extensive travels through Greece. They partnered with award-winning, internationally acclaimed Greek superstar Chef Athinagoras Kostakos, who takes full advantage of LÝRA’s custom wood- and charcoal-burning hearth by applying island cooking techniques. The focal point of the dining space is the large, elevated open-kitchen which allows the culinary team to showcase the cuisine. In addition, a wraparound patio with operable floor-to-ceiling windows seamlessly integrates the indoor and outdoor spaces.
From Meadowlark Hospitality partners Steve Lewis and Chef Chris Thompson (the team behind Lardonin 2021 and Unionin 2022) comes their third and final concept The Meadowlark, a tip of the hat to Chicago’s cocktail culture. Opening later this year, this intimate, dimly lit cocktail haven will be tucked away behind an unmarked door near the back of the building that houses Lardon and Union. Exuding vintage Chicago charm, The Meadowlark will comfortably seat 30 patrons, with a rotating conceptual based menu featuring house made bitters, tinctures, infusions, shrubs and tonics, as well as fresh-pressed juices, market-driven, and seasonally rotating ingredients.
Debuting in May 2022, Nine Bar, Chinatown’s first cocktail bar, is a speakeasy-style spot tucked inside the neighborhood institution Moon Palace with a menu of Asian-influenced cocktails made with liquors like baiju, soju, and shochu.
After an extended pandemic closure, Parachute Restaurant has reopened to the delight of the Avondale neighborhood. James Beard Award-winning chefs and spouses Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark have adjusted the Korean American menu to focus more on traditional Korean cuisine.
Chef Arthur (Art) Smith, who has worked for former Florida governors Bob Graham and Jeb Bush, and until 2007 was personal chef to Oprah Winfrey, opened Reunion at Navy Pier (in the space formerly occupied by Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.) in July 2022. The new concept will feature a robust menu of healthy and classic comfort foods, while reflecting the look and feel of Smith’s Chicago home kitchen.
Time Out Market Chicago is launching an innovative fine-dining concept: Valhalla, by Chef Stephen Gillanders. Coming to the Market’s second floor, it is Gillanders’ most ambitious project to date and Time Out Market Chicago’s first-ever standalone restaurant. The restaurant will offer an 11-course tasting as well as an a la carte menu, complete with multi tiered beverage pairings.
New restaurant outposts that have been added since spring include:
- Lil Amaru, a spinoff of sister restaurant Amaru in Wicker Park, features globally inspired Latin street food and tacos.
- Avli has opened a fifth location, offering a highlight reel of dishes that capture the full spectrum of restaurateur Louie Alexakis’s approach to Greek cuisine.
- Big Kids, the Logan Square sandwich shop helmed by former Blackbird chef de cuisine Ryan Pfeiffer and his friend, New Orleans chef Mason Hereford has also opened a Time Out Market Chicago outpost.
- Named after Chef Mitchell AbouJarma’s grandmother, Evette’sserves dishes that channel bold Lebanese flavors, specializing in spit-roasted shawarma, golden fries and fresh salads that use as many local ingredients as possible.
- And recently opened Lono Poke, inspired by owner Ty Fujimura childhood experiences visiting family in Oahu, pays tribute to the authentic Hawaiian poke you find at markets in the beachside town of Haleiwa.
Union, the new Logan Square restaurant from Chef Chris Thompson, opened in March 2022 as a uniquely Chicago concept that pays homage to one of the world’s best cities for beer. It showcases everything from funky sours to dark Czech lagers and classic pilsners from both Chicago-based and Midwestern-based breweries on its 24 rotating taps. Union’s spirits list boasts over 200 bottles of whiskey, as well as classic brown liquor-based cocktails, and domestically sourced biodynamic and organic wines.
New York food hall Urbanspace will open two Chicago locations, the city’s first new food hall since the pandemic. Urbanspace West Washington recently opened while a second 12,000 square foot location, inside Willis Tower, is projected to open later this year.
Exhibitions (Immersive Art & Museums):
The American Writers Museum’s new exhibit and education initiative Dark Testament: A Century of Black Writers on Justice explores racial injustice in America through the work of Black American writers from the end of the Civil War through the Civil Rights Movement.
- David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 (Until January 9, 2023) – Two years ago—at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic—the ever-versatile and inventive artist David Hockney traveled to France with the express intention of capturing the emergence of spring. Unlike his Impressionist predecessors and in keeping with his long-held embrace of contemporary technology (he has used fax machines, laser photocopiers, and other 20th- and 21st-century digital instruments throughout his six-decade career), Hockney used the medium of the iPad for this work. Executed from February until the beginning of July 2020, this series of work coincided with the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, when much of the world went into a state of lockdown.
- Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist’s Studio (Until January 16, 2023) – For more than 60 years, the British artist has created abstract, geometric paintings and drawings that challenge and delight the senses. These studies range from working drawings on graph paper to finished gouaches and serve alternately to anticipate and accompany her paintings. This is the first and most extensive museum exhibition dedicated exclusively to Riley’s drawings in over half a century. The exhibition presents approximately 90 sheets from the artist’s own collection, kept as part of her dynamic studio practice. These works cover the full range of her career—from her student days in the late 1940s, when she dedicated herself exclusively to drawing courses at Goldsmiths College, through her groundbreaking black-and-white optical works of the early 1960s and the innovative color studies she has produced from the late 1960s to the present day.
- The Language of Beauty in African Art (November 20, 2022 – February 27, 2023) – How has African art been evaluated and valued and by whom? That is the question guiding this presentation of more than 250 sculptures from dozens of distinct cultures across the African continent. It is an exploration that seeks to decolonize the Western aesthetic standards long placed on these objects and to elevate the local indigenous perspectives of the works’ makers and communities.
The Chicago Cultural Center’s Exhibitions Program is committed to organizing and presenting a range of diverse and engaging exhibitions devoted to the visual arts and contemporary culture. Check the calendar for the latest updates on free visual art and performance programs and don’t miss these fall exhibits:
- “Nelly Agassi: No Limestone, No Marble” (Until January 15, 2023) – Nelly Agassi’s solo exhibition, “No Limestone, No Marble” is a site-specific installation in the monumental Chicago Rooms gallery. Israeli-born Chicago-based artist Agassi calls this project a “biography of the site” in which she develops a personal relationship with the past, present, and future history of a place in connection to her own. With this methodology, Agassi “sculpts” the site as a material, and creates a project from the specificity of the place in relation to the city of Chicago and the institution’s impact.
- Artists First: 25 Years of Studio Art at Thresholds (October 1, 2022 – January 8, 2023) – Introduces a compelling group of outstanding artists who are living with challenges and building from them daily; making work that speaks directly to our shared humanity and intersectional diversity.
- Luftwerk: Exact Dutch Yellow (October 8, 2022 – January 29, 2023) – “Exact Dutch Yellow” is a new immersive exhibition by the Chicago-based collaborative Petra Bachmaier & Sean Gallero of Luftwerk Studio. Drawing upon the scientific history of color and color theory, the exhibition explores how we perceive the natural world today. A series of sculptural light installations using botanical pigments and dynamic, changing light conditions will transform Exhibit Hall into abstracted, atmospheric chromatic experiences.
Chicago History Museum’s newest temporary exhibition Treasured Ten: Selections from the Costume Collection (Until January 16, 2023), delves into the Chicago History Museum’s clothing collection of more than 50,000 pieces, to showcase ten never-been-exhibited ensembles that tell the remarkable stories of these five designers: Stephen Burrows, Scotty Piper, Patrick Kelly, Willi Smith, and Barbara Bates. Dating from the 1970s to the 1980s, the garments are expressions of their creators’ experiences and identities.
- Millions of Moments: The Chicago Sun-Times Photo Collection (Until December 31, 2023) features 150 images from the Chicago History Museum’s Chicago Sun-Times It is a first look at highlights from five million negatives spanning the 1940s-early 2000s, one of the largest newspaper photograph collections ever acquired by an American museum. As the Museum continues to process negatives from this extraordinary collection, new images will be shared through their online portal, CHM Images.
- The Chicago History Museum’s Jaffee History Trail is now open. The interpretive path through the park space around the Museum incorporates features such as a fire relic from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and the Couch Tomb, a reminder that the area was once a Chicago city cemetery. Developed in partnership with the Chicago Park District and support of neighborhood groups, the Jaffee History Trail creates a new destination at Lincoln Park’s southwestern corner. The new landscaping includes approximately 150 young trees and large beds of native plants, which will attract birds and other pollinators.
Color Factory’s largest experiential exhibit, is now open at Catalog at Willis Tower, the new curated dining, entertainment, and community experience in the heart of downtown Chicago. With over 25,000 square feet of multisensory art experiences inspired by the city’s vibrant culture, the space features brand new installations from local artists and beloved rooms from other locations.
The Field Museum’s newest exhibit Wild Color (Until January 8, 2023) invites viewers to dive into the color spectrum as they make their way through immersive rooms, each representing a color of the rainbow.
- In Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories, which opened this spring as a new permanent exhibit, guests are invited to experience stories told by Native American and Indigenous people of self-determination, resilience, continuity and the future. Visitors will learn about the historical significance of items in the Field’s collection, like traditional regalia and pottery, and immerse themselves in works by contemporary Native artists, including Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) raised beadwork from Karen Ann Hoffman of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and flute music from Frank Waln of the Sicangu Lakota. They will also dive deeply into current issues, like threats to Native land and the rights of tribal nations to govern themselves
Immersive Monet & The Impressionists, running through October 29, 2022 at Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago, is a tantalizing exploration of vibrant colors on a jaw-dropping scale. A masterpiece for the senses by Massimiliano Siccardi, the creator of the original “Immersive Van Gogh” that sold over 4.5 million tickets in North America, this new exhibition celebrates the work of the radical 19th century Impressionist painters (including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas and more). From Monet’s celebrated water lilies to Degas’s graceful dancers, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped inside the live paintings!
- And, starting October 14, 2022, the new Immersive King Tut experience comes to Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago, taking visitors on a mythical journey through the ancient Egyptian afterlife.
This fall Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) welcomes Forecast Form: Art in the Caribbean Diaspora, 1990s–Today (November 19, 2022 – April 23, 2023), the first major group exhibition in the United State to envision a new approach to contemporary art in the Caribbean diaspora, foregrounding forms that reveal new modes of thinking about identity and place. It uses the concept of weather and its constantly changing forms as a metaphor to analyze artistic practices connected to the Caribbean, understanding the region as a bellwether for our rapidly shifting times.
The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP at Columbia College Chicago)’s fall calendar includes the following exhibitions:
- Refracting Histories (November 10, 2022 -April 2, 2023) will feature artists who are critically looking at art historical canons, using the malleable nature of image making to reinterpret and expand upon narrow pedagogies in the field of photography. Participating artists include: Kelli Connell + Natalie Krick, Nona Faustine, Tom Jones, Colleen Keihm, Tarrah Krajnak, Sonja Thomsen, and Aaron Turner.
- Shannon Bool: 1:1 (November 10, 2022 -April 2, 2023) – In her tapestries, photographs, and sculptures, Shannon Bool (Canada, b. 1972, lives and works in Berlin) critiques modernism and connects architectural and art history with feminist concerns. 1:1 features works that interject subtle references to elements forgotten in the history of architecture, ultimately revealing what might be suppressed behind the legacies of famous practitioners.
Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) is located at The Shops at Tribune Tower at 435 N Michigan Ave. This one-of-its-kind space spans 13,544 square feet and encompasses retail, entertainment, and a cafe and bar. Plans include the rollout of new features and attractions specifically designed for Chicago including the Sprink-L, a Chicago-inspired CTA train, a giant dessert-themed putt putt course with a pink Chicago dog ice cream treat, and a 3,500-square-foot speakeasy accessible to the general public.
PRINCE: The Immersive Experience, created by Superfly and The Prince Estate, is an interactive celebration of the iconic artist’s life and legacy, where guests can lose themselves on an interactive trip through the music and life of Prince. Journey through 10 multidimensional spaces and explore a purple universe where you will step inside the iconic Purple Rain album cover, play music producer and mix one of Prince’s greatest hits in Studio A, get lost in an immersive audiovisual room, and much more! General admission, timed entry tickets start at $39.50, and VIP and flexible access tickets, as well as corporate and group bookings, are also available. The Experience has been extended to run through January 1, 2023.
Festivals & Events
Chicago Beer Fest will take over the Field Museum on October 8, 2022 (7:00-11:00 PM). The event will feature over 65 breweries, sampling their fall seasonal beers, with attendees having access to a select number of the museum’s exhibits.
The 58th annual edition of the Chicago International Film Festival returns October 12-23, 2022, bringing more than more than 150 films from around the world to Chicago. Featuring World, North American and U.S. premiere screenings, the festival also includes special celebrity appearances, post-screening panel Q&As and in-person tributes to legendary filmmakers. Check the website for updates on the film slate of film screenings.
The 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will return on October 9, 2022. This elite athletic event is one of the most prestigious marathons in the world, and is one of the six World Marathon Majors. Over 45,000 amateur and elite athletes from all 50 U.S. states and over 100 countries race through 29 of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, cheered by hundreds of thousands of spectators.
Destinos, Chicago International Latino Festival (until October 16, 2022) is Chicago’s annual citywide festival that brings together and showcases Latino theater artists and companies from Chicago, the U.S. and Latin America, every fall. For five weeks in September and October, Destinos gives Chicagoans and visitors alike the chance to experience a rich array of Latino-centric shows and events presented at marquee venues downtown, neighborhood storefront theaters, and cultural institutions throughout the Chicago area.
October brings the return of the annual, month-long Open House Chicago, showcasing architecturally, culturally and historically significant sites across the city’s unique neighborhoods, with in-person access available the weekend of October 15-16, 2022. It’s a great chance for visitors to go behind the scenes, especially at members-only clubs and private residences not typically open to the general public. Visitors can also use the free OHC app to plot their own self-guided itineraries, access unique audio clip content and source suggestions for where to eat, shop and visit, in a variety of local neighborhoods. Check the website for additional updates; designated neighborhoods will be added soon.
The 40th edition of Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival returns through October 6, 2022. The second longest-running film festival of its kind, Reeling prides itself on showcasing the best LGBTQ+ films and videos each year. From award-winning international feature films to social documentaries to experimental shorts, Reeling has always presented a range of genres that demonstrate the rich diversity of work being produced. Not only has Reeling become one of the most important cultural events for Chicagoans, it also attracts LGBTQ+ people from throughout the Midwest. See the current film schedule here.
World Music Festival Chicago (September 30-October 9, 2022) brings global grooves by award-winning artists from around the world to the citywide, multi-venue festival featuring more than 30 artists and ensembles representing 22 countries and regions of the world. Now in its 22nd year of live, in-person performances, this year the festival also celebrates 10 years of Ragamala, the largest all-night long presentation of live Indian classical music in the United States.
In partnership with the local dance community, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Commissioner Erin Harkey designated 2022 as the “Year of Chicago Dance”, a yearlong collaborative initiative which will activate Chicago’s dance industry to address critical issues facing dancers and showcase dance performances, social dancing, and special events for the public in dozens of venues throughout the city.
- Partners will include dance service organizations Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project, Chicago Dancemakers Forum, and See Chicago Dance — as well as Art on theMART, Night Out in the Parks at the Chicago Park Districtand many other presenters and funders.
Holiday Attractions & Events
The Chicago Botanic Garden’s famed Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanternsreturns from October 12-16; October 19-23, 2022. More than 1,000 hand-carved, real pumpkins, some as large as 150 pounds, will light up the night. Featured pumpkins, carved by professionals, include images of favorite Halloween characters, celebrities and nods to Chicago. There will also be costumed entertainers, live carving demonstrations and seasonal light fare and beverages for purchase.
- Lightscape, the acclaimed holiday event, returns from November 11, 2022 – January 8, 2023 with a new path and new light-filled installations created just for the Chicago Botanic Garden. Featured artistic works will include favorites such as the luminous Winter Cathedral and a reimagined fire garden.
Kicking off Chicago’s Halloweek Program, the 3rd annual UPSIDE DOWN Halloween Paradeis happening October 22, 2022 (12:00-3:00 PM) in Washington Park. Presented by LUMA8 and the City of Chicago, and sponsored by Blommer Chocolate Company, with Major Support from William Blair, this free, family-friendly parade will feature dance performances, circus acrobats, musical groups, sports mascots and more. Don’t forget to wear your Halloween costume – and enjoy a complimentary goody bag courtesy of Blommer Chocolate Company, Mars Wrigley and other local candy companies.
- The following weekend, October 29, 2022 (6:00 – 8:00 PM), the 8th annual Arts in the Dark Halloween Paradeon historic State Street will serve as the Grand Finale of the Halloweek program. Presented by LUMA8 and the City of Chicago and sponsored by Barry Callebaut, with Major Support from Chicago Loop Alliance, Arts in the Dark is a magical evening parade that celebrates Halloween as the “artist’s holiday.” This free, family-friendly event draws together world-renowned institutions like the Joffrey Ballet, celebrated Chicago organizations like Lookingglass Theatre Company, important programs like After School Matters and aspiring artists in every field. It is a dazzling production that delights the audience with unique floats, spectacle puppets and creative performances.
The Christkindlmarket Chicago, the most authentic traditional holiday market of its kind outside of Europe, returns November 18, 2022 and runs through the Christmas season, with the main location at Daley Plaza, along with outposts in Wrigleyville and Aurora. Of-age visitors can enjoy a mug of glühwein (hot spiced wine) as well as sweet and savory German snacks while shopping for handmade and traditional souvenirs. There are also musical performances and plenty of family-friendly activities for kids.
The Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off the holiday season with a fun-filled morning in the heart of downtown Chicago on November 24, 2022. Starting at iconic State Street in the Loop at 8:00 AM, the procession makes its way up State from Ida B. Wells Drive to Randolph Street. This free, all-ages event features more than 100 floats filled with entertainers, performance artists, helium balloons led by Teddy the Turkey (the parade’s official mascot) and a visit from Santa Claus.
Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum (November 19, 2022 – January 7, 2023) returns for its 10th year during Morton Arboretum’s 100th anniversary year. Explore 50 acres of the Arboretum’s majestic trees during this one-of-a-kind spectacle of color, light, and sound featuring six dazzling new displays as well as returning favorites. You will be awed and delighted by the first-ever Illumination display in the Arboretum’s new Grand Garden, leading to a spectacular laser-light finale. Tickets go on sale October 1, 2022.
- Craft beer lovers won’t want to miss IllumiBrew, November 17-18. This 21-and-over event provides a first look at Illumination while sampling local brews along the trail.
- New this year is a special series of Electric Illumination late-night experiences (December 16, 23 and 30; 9:30-11:00 PM) for adults 18+ with an eclectic, curated mix of Trance and Progressive House music, synchronized to the light displays.
Lincoln Park Zoo’s annual free Fall Fest returns Fridays-Sundays from September 30-October 30, 2022, as well as Monday, October 10. This year’s festival features ticketed attractions throughout the zoo including the Ferris wheel, harvest maze, pumpkin walk, super-sized slide, pirate ship ride and more. Guests can also enjoy free musical entertainment, a pumpkin patch, drag storytime, professional pumpkin carvers, and fall-themed enrichment for the animals!
- Stay tuned for more information on the highly anticipated Lincoln Park ZooLights, which will return in November 2022.
The holiday season in Chicago officially kicks off with The Wintrust Magnificent Mile Lights Festival (November 19, 2022) a day-through-night, mile-long extravaganza drawing more than one million celebrants. Its centerpiece is the largest nighttime parade in the U.S. — a spectacular parade down Michigan Avenue. Led by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse of The Walt Disney World Resort, the parade features fabulous floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, celebrities, musical performances, Santa Claus, fireworks and more —illuminating one million lights on The Avenue’s 200+ trees. Broadcast on ABC 7 Chicago on Sunday, November 20, 2022, Lights Festival will also air throughout the holiday season
At the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), the annual Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Lightexhibits return November 16, 2022-January 4, 2023. A simple tradition that began in 1942 with a single tree now features a four-story, floor-to-dome Grand Tree, surrounded by a forest of more than 50 trees and displays decorated by volunteers to represent the holiday traditions from cultures around the globe.
Now in its 21st year in Chicago, the One of a Kind Holiday Show (December 1-4, 2022) brings together hundreds of talented artists, makers and designers with thousands of happy shoppers who love art and original work. The show continues to be the best place in Chicago to find thousands of handmade products, truly unique and meaningful gifts for the holidays.
Pier Pumpkin Lights returns from October 1-31, 2022, once again transforming Navy Pierinto an experiential fall spectacle with nearly a thousand pumpkins stacked in elaborate and photo-worthy displays. Guests are welcome to explore this free popular pumpkin pop-up experience while enjoying Pier-wide deals and other Halloween festivities throughout the month.
Neighborhood Attractions & Developments:
Art on theMART’s fall 2022 projections will spotlight Chicago dance and the dancers, choreographers and visual artists that bring the medium to its full potential. Don’t miss the below projections:
- Love Letters (Until November 18, 2022) – A video projection by Chinese-born, Chicago-based artist Yuge Zhou that portrays a lively courtship dance between two urban dwellers searching for each other through a labyrinth of colorful geometry with growing curiosity, electricity and affection.
- Trap Moulin Rouge (Until November 18, 2022) – Takes audiences to Chicago’s South Side to showcase the vibrant Black culture and dance that emanate from it. Taking sonic and aesthetic inspiration from the 2001 film “Moulin Rouge,” Trap Moulin Rouge combines classical, R&B and jazz melodies with a variety of dance styles with the aim of creating and promoting equity in Chicago through the performing arts.
- And, starting November 19, 2022-December 30, 2022 the projections “Chicago Design Through the Decades” (featuring Daria Tsoupikova, Sharon Oiga and Guy Villa Jr.) and “The Nutcracker” (featuring the Joffrey Ballet).
On October 8-9, 2022, visitors who join Historic Pullman District’s House Tour Weekend will have the opportunity to see the interior of seven private homes as part of Chicago’s longest running house tours. Since 1973, Historic Pullman Foundation and Pullman Civic Organization have co-sponsored the annual Pullman House Tour, where select homes are chosen each year to present a cross-section of the different types of housing built in the 1880’s as part of the original Town of Pullman. The private side of Pullman residences which will be opened to the public for this tour reflect the style and taste of our modern residents including beautifully restored interiors as well as tasteful modern renovations.
The Obama Presidential Center broke ground last fall in Jackson Park; this amazing world-class museum will bring a spectacular new campus to Chicago’s South Side and provide a fabulous new gathering space for the Hyde Park community and residents. Upon completion, it will feature a museum, library, park and activity center, women’s garden and so much more.
Navy Pier is welcoming the fall/winter season with Sequence Chicago (September 30-December 20, 2022), a free dynamic performance series that celebrates local artists, musicians and cultural organizations by showcasing their works across the Pier’s various unique platforms. Sequence Chicago will spotlight talented performers from across the city who have inspired and influenced the local Chicago’s diverse arts scene, including holiday-themed programming and performances by African, Latin American, Middle Eastern and Asian ethnic groups. On select dates, music performances will be accompanied by the Chicago Culture Market, a marketplace experience featuring handcrafted works produced by talented local artisans.
The Morton Arboretum is celebrating its centenary with the recent opening of the new Gerard T. Donnelly Grand Garden, which reimagines the historic Hedge Garden (created in 1934), both honoring the past view and layout of the earlier garden in a transformed setting. Guests are encouraged to visit this October to celebrate the season with a variety of activities including a 5K Color Run and Walk, Cider and Ale Festival, Wine Tasting and more.
UniverSoul Circus’s spectacular, red and yellow striped big top circus will be at Washington Park though October 23, 2022. Acts this season include the hilarious Ringmaster Donald “N.O.” Long, his trusty sidekick Zeke, and the multi-talented Cheyenne from Trinidad and Tobago. Other acts include dazzling Aerial Ballerinas, Fresh the Clowns, spicy Caribbean Dancers, no gravity Highwires, Trapeze, Wheel of Death, Kanat Riders and Daredevil Motorcycles. UniverSoul Circus features performers from virtually every corner of the globe, including the United States, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua, Barbuda, South Africa, Mongolia, Peru, Mexico, Gabon, Russia, and Guinea
Meetings, Conventions & Venues:
Choose Chicago’s new Meeting Professionals Guide provides planners with everything they need to know about the city’s venues, suppliers, and services. The digital guide also offers information about Chicago as a destination, what’s new throughout the city, and activities happening during your event.
Theatre & Performing Arts
Ballet 5:8 – Julianna Rubio Slager highlights her voice as a Latina choreographer in upcoming works in Imagine Better Chicago(October 15, 2022), a Ground-breaking work and mixed-repertoire bill performing at Chicago’s Athenaeum Center for Thought & Culture and Ver la Musica, Oir la Danza(November 12, 2022) at the National Museum of Mexican Art.
This season, Black Ensemble Theater will showcase:
- Blues Heaven (October 30-November 27, 2022) – Written and directed by Daryl Brooks, four great blues legends – Big Momma Thorton, Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters and Stevie Ray Vaughn – meet in a performance venue and reminisce about their careers while waiting to meet the “new guy” – B.B. King!
Broadway In Chicago is proud to announce the following shows:
- Wicked (playing September 28-December 4, 2022 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre) the Broadway sensation, looks at what happened in the Land of Oz…but from a different angle, and long before Dorothy arrives.
- The Twenty-Sided Tavern (playing October 27, 2022 – January 15, 2023 at the Broadway Playhouse) invites audience members on a journey where the story is in their hands and they must decide our heroes’ fate. Choose between over thirty playable characters as they explore dozens of different rooms and race toward an incredible, one-of-a-kind ending based on audience actions and decisions.
- The Lion King (playing November 17, 2022-January 14, 2023 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre) is the winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and brings together one of the most imaginative creative teams on Broadway with Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor, Tony Award-winning choreographer Garth Fagan and Tony Award-winning musical artists Elton John and Tim Rice.
- A Magical Cirque Christmas (playing December 6-11,2022 at the CIBC Theatre) takes you through an evening of dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live.
- Dear Evan Hansen (playing December 6-31,2022 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre) features a book by Tony Award winner Steven Levenson, a score by Grammy, Tony and Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, The Greatest Showman), and direction by four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal).
- Cabaret Zazou’s premiere production Luminaire(tickets currently on sale through April 2023 at Spiegeltent in the Cambria Hotel) is directed by Dreya Weber and stars critically acclaimed performers Frank Ferrante and LiV Warfield as they lead an international cast of exceptional entertainers. Luminaire is designed to dazzle and delight audiences with stunning cirque acts, interactive comedy, captivating vocalists, and a stellar band, complimented by a delicious multi-course meal.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s upcoming shows include:
- The Notebook: A New Musical (Until October 16, 2022): Based on the bestselling novel that inspired the iconic film, this world premiere new musical is led by a powerhouse creative team, featuring music and lyrics by multi-Platinum singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson, and book by playwright Bekah Brunstetter. Beginning with a whirlwind summer romance, the decades-long love story between a mill worker named Noah and a privileged debutante named Allie spans a lifetime, despite the differences that threaten to pull them apart.
- Measure for Measure (October 21-November 27, 2022): Shakespeare’s fiery examination of political corruption and social injustice is set by celebrated director Henry Godinez in 1959 Cuba, during the pivotal moments before Fidel Castro seizes power.
Riccardo Muti returns to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in September to open the 2022/23 season, his 13th (and culminating) season of artistic collaboration as music director. His three-week residency includes three subscription concert programs and the annual Symphony Ball Gala concert.
- Arsenic and Old Lace (Until October 2, 2022): Mild-mannered sisters Martha and Abby Brewster live in their spacious Victorian home in a quiet neighborhood in Brooklyn with an eccentric nephew, Teddy. Famed for their hospitality, Martha and Abby are adored by their neighbors and frequently entertain guests. But when their other nephew, Mortimer, discovers his aunts’ macabre secrets, a hilarious chain of events ensue in this character-driven farce.
The Tony Award-winningGoodman Theatre begins its 2022-2023 season with the Chicago premiere of Clyde’s (Until October 9, 2022), the masterful play from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage about formerly incarcerated kitchen staff intent on creating the perfect sandwich, which recently completed a Broadway run in New York City.
- Then, Tony Award-winner Robert Falls and his longtime collaborator, Pulitzer Prize finalist playwright Rebecca Gilman, team up for Swing State(October 7-November 13, 2022), a contemporary portrait of America’s heartland in a time when it feels like everyone’s way of life is in danger of disappearing.
- And later, Larry Yando returns for his 15th year as Ebenezer Scrooge in the Goodman Theatre’s annual staging of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol(November 19-December 31, 2022).
The Joffrey Ballet kicks off its 2022–2023 season with Beyond Borders(October 12-23, 2022) a mixed program that celebrates the company’s maverick legacy with works by artists of the Joffrey’s past and present, including Joffrey icon and co-founder Gerald Arpino, choreographer Liam Scarlett, and choreographer Chanel DaSilva (creator of the Joffrey world premiere Swing Low).
- Later this year The Nutcracker, an annual holiday tradition, returns to The Joffrey Ballet from December 3-27, 2022.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company recently opened the $54 million Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center, which includes the Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell, an intimate state-of-the-art 400-seat theater-in-the-round, and The Loft, an arts and education center for young performers. The 2022/2023 season begins with:
- The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial Of Miz Martha Washington (Until October 9, 2022): The recently widowed “Mother of America” lies alone in her Mount Vernon bed, ravaged by illness and attended to by the enslaved people who will be free the moment she dies. This uproarious form-shifting fever dream takes us deep into the ramifications of one of America’s original sins. Dizzying and fantastical, this Chicago premiere from Pulitzer winner James Ijames boldly remixes this country’s dark history with a delicate balance of truth and humor.
- Teatro Vista Presents: Enough to Let The Light In (Until October 23, 2022): This show, which is part of the 5th Destinos Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, tells the story of girlfriends Marc and Cynthia who spend the night celebrating a milestone. As the evening progresses it quickly devolves into chaos as buried secrets are revealed and lives are irrevocably changed.
- 1919 (October 4-29, 2022): On July 27, 1919, Chicago erupted following the killing of 17-year-old Eugene Williams in treacherous waters off the segregated Lake Michigan shoreline. The days that followed made an indelible mark on the city—its sense of boundaries, of relationships between neighbors and of the underlying systems of inequity and racism that persist today. Adapted by J. Nicole Brooks from Eve L. Ewing’s collection of searing and luminous poems, this world premiere is a hopeful, lyrical exploration of Black Chicagoans’s resistance, fortitude and endurance: past, present and future.
- Jerrod Carmichael: Ari Told Me I Lack Focus (November 4-5,2022): Hot on the heels of his smash hit HBO Special “Rothaniel”, Emmy Award-winning comedian Jerrod Carmichael brings his newest solo show to Steppenwolf’s intimate Downstairs Theatre, performing for the first time in Chicago in several years.
For the first time ever, the sights, sounds, and speed of NASCAR are coming to downtown Chicago on July 1-2, 2023. Chicago will add another chapter to its illustrious sports history when a NASCAR Cup Series street race debuts against the backdrop of Lake Michigan and Grant Park, televised on NBC. Tickets for the 2023 NASCAR Chicago Street Race Weekend will go on-sale later this year
The PGA TOUR announced that the 16th Presidents Cup will be held at the Medinah Country Cluboutside of Chicago in 2026. Medinah is the fifth different venue in the United States to host the Presidents Cup and adds the biennial team event to an illustrious list of tournaments hosted at Course #3 that include the 2019 BMW Championship, 2012 Ryder Cup, two PGA Championships, three U.S. Opens, the 1988 U.S. Senior Open, three Western Opens (BMW Championship), and a number of other professional championships.
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