Choose Chicago Media Relations Contacts:
Michelle Gonzalez,
Stephanie D’Adamo,

What’s New and Happening in Chicago – Fall/Winter 2023

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (August 31, 2023) – Choose Chicago is delighted to announce that Chicago has been selected to host the Democratic National Convention in August 2024.

Following last year’s historic sixth consecutive win as Conde Nast Traveler’s “Best Big City,” the below tally of exciting new hotels, inventive restaurants, dynamic exhibitions, and eclectic festivals offers just a taste of what’s in store this fall and winter season.

Come and discover big city culture, Midwestern hospitality, and urban adventure; visit for more information.

Recent accolades:

To read more about Chicago in the news, click here.


As the only property with doors that open right out onto Chicago’s iconic Magnificent Mile, the InterContinental Chicago is entering its most noteworthy chapter yet. The hotel will undergo a series of renovations, including the Grand Tower guest rooms and more. The reimagined guest rooms will offer an elevated room with modern takes on hotel amenities and whimsical design touches inspired by the building’s almost 100 years of history.  

The Neighborhood Hotel in Little Italy is set to open in September 2023. The 35 rooms range from studios to two bedrooms and provide travelers with a well-equipped, well-designed basecamp to inspire city exploration. There is already a location in Lincoln Park, and another outpost will open in Fulton Market in 2025.

The St. Regis Chicago opened its doors in June 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, an indoor pool, and an outdoor sunken terrace with scenic views, a 5,000-square foot ballroom, 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. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

Food and Libations:

Big Jones Restaurant chef and owner Paul Fehribach, who was recognized as a nominee for Best Chef in the Midwest, 2023 by the James Beard Foundation, will release his multi-year cookbook project Midwestern Food: A Chef’s Guide to the Surprising History of a Great American Cuisine in September 2023. The book is published by Chicago-based publisher The University of Chicago Press and is available for purchase online, from local booksellers, and at Big Jones, located at 5347 N. Clark Street. (Neighborhood: Andersonville)

Boonie’s Filipino Restaurant, from accomplished chef Joe Fontelera, who once helmed the kitchen at Michelin-starred sushi station Arami, is a Filipino American restaurant at 4337 N. Western Avenue. In August 2023, Boonie’s added weekend lunch service. (Neighborhood: Lincoln Square)

Château Carbide on the rooftop of the Pendry Chicago, an indoor-outdoor al fresco destination overlooking the city, was reimagined as an absinthe bar in June 2023. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

Chicago Brew Pass, a new initiative to promote exploration of Chicago’s award-winning craft brewery scene, launched in August 2023. Through the Brew Pass, the first-ever digital pass of its kind in Chicago, locals and visitors can check in at breweries across the city and earn points that can be redeemed for fun, limited-edition prizes. Participants can use the Brew Pass to explore over 20 participating craft breweries at their own pace and start earning rewards one pint at a time.

Daisies, a pasta-focused restaurant in Logan Square, relocated to a new, larger space at 2375 N. Milwaukee Avenue in April 2023. The kitchen serves a large menu of pasta along with pastries and coffee. (Neighborhood: Logan Square)

The Dearborn, Chicago’s iconic Loop destination spot known for its world-class culinary program and exceptional hospitality, will open its second location at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport Terminal 5 in 2024.

Justice of the Pies, a bakery that specializes in sweet and savory pies, quiches, and tarts will host its grand opening at its new 8655 S. Blackstone location in September 2023. (Neighborhood: Avalon Park)

International restaurant group Bonhomme Hospitality opened Kashmir, an escapist nightlife experience located at 1436 W. Randolph Street, in June 2023. Guests can enjoy cocktails like the yuzu margarita (anejo tequila, fortified wine) and Space Cowboy (tequila, coconut, rectified pineapple) in an intimate room filled with Italian panache and Parisian chic. (Neighborhood: West Loop)

Kyōten Next Door, from Kyoten chef Otto Pha, offers straight-forward, purist style sushi that represents the bold yet elegant style of Kyoten, but at a lower price point. The Logan Square space is located at 2513 W. Armitage Avenue. (Neighborhood: Logan Square) 

A fine dining restaurant featuring Chicago’s first Persian tasting menu, Maman Zari, opened its doors at 4639 N. Kedzie Avenue in July 2023. The menu combines traditional Persian dishes and ingredients with modern preparations for dishes that are simultaneously authentic to their origins but modern in their presentation. (Neighborhood: Albany Park)

The Peninsula Chicago: Sushi POP! is a nine-week pop-up dinner concept featuring handmade sushi and Japanese specialties created from the restaurant’s Sushi Bar commencing in The Lobby restaurant at 108 E. Superior Street on Friday and Saturday evenings from September 22 through November 18, 2023. Diners can choose from a variety of freshly made Sushi Maki Rolls including Crunch Smoke Lobster Maki, Smoked Cucumber Avocado Maki (vegetarian option), and Spicy Scallop Maki made at the Sushi Bar located in the restaurant. Entrée options include Maguro Caprese, Kanpachi Crudo, Lobster Sarada, and more. (Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile)

Sifr, a new modern Middle Eastern restaurant by chef Sahil Sethi, opened at 660 N. Orleans Street in June 2023. Sifr’s dishes are mostly cooked over a charcoal and wood-fired hearth, offering Mezze and larger plates, best shared family-style, as is common in Middle Eastern culture. (Neighborhood: River North)

Thattu, a South Indian restaurant located at 2601 W. Fletcher Avenue, began its dinner service in May 2023. The menu features the traditional southwest Indian coastal cuisine of Kerala, as well as a selection of signature cocktails. (Neighborhood: Avondale)

SOMOS Hospitality is pleased to reveal UMMO, a contemporary Italian restaurant and social lounge in the heart of River North at 22 W. Hubbard St. Its first, fully booked dinner service began in August 2023, with Chef/Partner José Sosa presenting a contemporary Italian menu unlocking the flavors of regional cooking in a stunning, artfully imagined space designed by Karen Herold of Studio K Creative. (Neighborhood: River North)

The Waterview restaurant on top of the Voco Chicago Downtown Hotel (350 W. Wolf Point Plaza) recently unveiled a collection of delectable new pizzas. The classic Margherita pizza showcases vine-ripened tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and basil leaves. The Fungi pizza exposes the delicious flavors of wild mushrooms. For those craving a savory indulgence, the Salsiccia pizza has a robust blend of Italian sausage, roasted bell peppers, and spices, all meticulously curated to tantalize your taste buds.(Neighborhood: River North)

Exhibitions (Immersive Art & Museums):

American Writers Museum has announced that its exhibit Dark Testament: A Century of Black Writers will be extended through Winter 2024. This immersive exhibit explores racial injustice in America through the work of Black American writers from the end of the Civil War through the Civil Rights Movement. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

The Art Institute of Chicago has a full slate of fall/winter programming. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

  • Remedios Varo: Science Fictions (through November 27, 2023) – This exhibition will include more than 60 paintings and drawings by the Spanish-born, Mexico City-based artist created between 1955 and her death in 1963. This is the first museum exhibition devoted to Remedios Varo in the United States in more than 20 years.
  • Dan Friedman: Stay Radical (September 2, 2023 – February 4, 2024) – This exhibition is the first museum retrospective focused on the extraordinary and underrecognized career of American designer Dan Friedman. Drawn primarily from the Art Institute’s collection, the exhibition charts Friedman’s remarkable mid-career transformation from a graphic designer to a multimedia creator whose neon-colored works defy traditional categories. His unconventional style led to diverse collaborations with some of the most prominent artists living in New York City in the early 1980s, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Tseng Kwong Chi.
  • Among Friends and Rivals: Caravaggio in Rome (September 8 – December 31, 2023) – Two rarely loaned paintings by Caravaggio join works by his devoted followers in this intimate exhibition highlighting both the grand spectacle and intense influence of Caravaggio’s extraordinary work. This focused installation, a rare opportunity to see Caravaggio’s works in person, showcases the captivating drama of his artistic vision and the magnitude of his influence on artists like Baglione, Buoneri, and Manfredi—both of which forever altered the narrative power of painting.
  • Camille Claudel (October 7, 2023 – February 19, 2024) – The trailblazing French sculptor Camille Claudel defied the social expectations of her time to pursue original and powerful explorations of the human form. Claudel’s sculptures contend with universal themes of love, loss, passion, and the intimacy of daily experience. Her genius and sensibility are so thoroughly modern that her works continue to resonate, perhaps even more loudly today than during her tumultuous life.
  • Picasso: Drawing from Life (November 11, 2023 – April 8, 2024) – Tracing over 60 years in the artist’s prolific and varied practice, this selection of prints and drawings highlights the relationships that were integral to Picasso’s career—from friends and lovers to dealers and printers. 
  • Canova: Sketching in Clay (November 19, 2023 – March 18, 2024) focuses on Italian sculptor Antonio Canova’s lesser-known but unforgettable work in clay. A scholarly catalog accompanies the exhibition and explores how and why Canova created his clay sketches and models. Findings from extensive technical research carried out for the show reveal the steps Canova took in making his works, as well as the tool marks or modeling gestures that distinguish his style.

Chicago History Museum’s exhibition City on Fire: Chicago 1871 (until October 2024) is designed for families to learn, explore, and discover the impact the Great Chicago Fire had on the city and the people who lived there. One hundred and fifty years later, City on Fire: Chicago 1871 guides visitors through the crucial events and conditions before, during, and after the fire—many of which draw striking comparisons to today’s social climate. This family-friendly exhibition features more than 100 artifacts from the Chicago History Museum’s collection, interactive and multimedia elements, and personal stories from survivors of the fire. (Neighborhood: Lincoln Park) 

  • Remembering Dr. King: 1929–1968(until January 15, 2024) invites visitors to walk through a winding gallery that features over 25 photographs depicting key moments in Dr. King’s work and the Civil Rights Movement, with a special focus on his time in Chicago. While the center of his activism was focused on dismantling southern Jim Crow, the systems that kept African Americans oppressed in the American South, he spent time in Chicago and often spoke out on the realities of northern discrimination, particularly around the issues of poverty, education, and housing.

Cleve Carney Art Museum will present Once (October 7, 2023 – January 7, 2024), the juried emerging artist exhibition. This exhibition provides a survey of contemporary artwork being created by emerging artists in the region and across the country. Once is meant to be a stepping stone for those early in their artistic careers. (Glen Ellyn, Illinois)

Elmhurst Art Museum’sexhibit Picasso: Fifty Years Later (September 9, 2023 – January 7, 2024) is part of the global tribute to Pablo Picasso 50 years after his death. Works by Picasso, his modern peers, and contemporary figurative artists will provide context for his lasting influence and legacy. (Elmhurst, Illinois)

The Field Museum has multiple events scheduled in the coming months. (Neighborhood: South Loop / Museum Campus)

  • Field Museum Benefit BallOn Saturday, October 21, 2023, friends of the Field Museum will gather for a very special evening. The Women’s Board and Board of Trustees will host this year’s Benefit Ball, which will feature the hidden wonders of the Field Museum and include the presentation of the Marshall Field V Award for Distinguished Leadership. The Benefit Ball is the Field’s single most important fundraiser, raising more than $2 million in support for annual programs. Proceeds from the event support the Field Museum’s groundbreaking research, conservation, and education programs in Chicago and around the world. Proceeds from this event support the Field Museum’s continued impact as a research, conservation, and education leader in Chicago and around the world.
  • Dozin’ with the Dinosaurs (November 3-4, 2023) – See the Field Museum in a whole new light! Families and groups with kids ages 6 to 12 can spend the night at the museum during Dozin’ with the Dinos. Stay up late with museum scientists and enjoy activities like dissecting owl pellets and learning the steps of Egyptian mummification. Then, switch on your flashlight and explore your favorite exhibitions, including the Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet, like never before. You’ll also have a chance to see some of the Field’s special exhibitions open during your session.
  • Evolve (November 4, 2023) – Enjoy a night of science, music, and art with other young professionals at the Field Associates’ annual fundraising gala. The evening will feature Field Museum scientists, a silent auction, and many other surprises that will make it a night you don’t want to miss! EVOLVE generates support for the Field’s community programs, exhibitions, cutting-edge scientific discovery, and more! Gather your friends and enjoy Chicago’s premiere young professionals event of the year.

Hyde Park Art Center presents Not Just Another Pretty Face 2023 (September 14 – November 12, 2023), an exhibition commemorating the 2020 and 2023 installments of the Not Just Another Pretty Face project. The triennial program, created by Hyde Park Art Center in the mid-1990s, allows the Art Center to play matchmaker for artists and potential art buyers. This dynamic project facilitates a fun and accessible commissioning process that builds lasting relationships between artists and patrons, creates a new base of support for artists, and invests in the vitality of Chicago’s cultural community. The completion of each installment is celebrated by an exhibition, a catalog documenting the process, and a lively event to unveil the finished pieces, which will make their way to the patrons’ homes following the exhibition. (Neighborhood: Hyde Park)

  • Marian Carow: Salvages (October 28, 2023 – February 18, 2024) – What are the true surfaces of an object? Chicago-based artist Marian Carow considers this philosophical perspective and other formal concerns in her upcoming solo exhibition. Salvages will present new sculptural work rendered in cardboard, through which Carow explores minimal forms referencing architecture as well as the constant flux and impermanence of our built urban environment. Carow is an alumna of Hyde Park Art Center’s Center Program (2016) and has been making drawings and sculptures for several decades.
  • Candace Hunter: The Alien-Nation and Sovereign States of Octavia E. Butler (November 11, 2023 – March 4, 2024) – This is Chicago-based artist Candace Hunter’s largest solo exhibition to date. Exploring ideas from Parable of the Sower and Xenogenesis Trilogy (Lilith’s Brood) byspeculative fiction author Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006), this will be Hunter’s third and most immersive exhibition inspired by Butler’s work.Hunter will present a series of collage-based works, installations, video, and sound works that illustrate the fictive worlds Butler imagined in her novels, examining their significance for Black bodies and future societies. 

Illinois Holocaust Museum presents a new temporary special exhibition,“I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli (October 22, 2023 – April 14, 2024). More than a place to get a meal, the Jewish deli is a community forged in food. The exhibition explores how Jewish immigrants, mostly from Central and Eastern Europe, imported and adapted traditions to create a uniquely American restaurant. Organized by the Skirball Cultural Center, the exhibition reveals how Jewish delicatessens became a cornerstone of American food culture. (Skokie, Illinois)

Museum of Illusions Chicago will re-open in late Fall 2023 after a temporary closure for construction. The location is expanding to bring visitors over 30% more exhibit space with over 20 brand new exhibits. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

Smart Museum of Art will present two new exhibitions in September 2023. (Neighborhood: Hyde Park)

  • Ruth Duckworth: Life as a Unity (September 21, 2023 – February 4, 2024) – This exhibition positions Ruth Duckworth as an innovative Chicago sculptor, deeply engaged in the natural world and responding to artistic developments in the U.S. in the 1960s and 70s.
  • Smart to the Core: Poetry is Everything (September 21, 2023 – February 4, 2024) – This exhibition examines the practice of poetry as a form of communication, linguistic innovation, political performance, and embodied presence—considering how poetry can be a lens for understanding humanity.

Festivals & Events:

Arts in the Dark (October 21, 2023) – Arts in the Dark will decorate the streets of Chicago with creative costumes. It is a magical evening parade celebrating Halloween as the “artist’s holiday” and drawing together world-renowned institutions, Chicago cultural organizations, important youth programs, and aspiring artists in every field. Arts in the Dark is a mission-driven and curated event that brings performance and creativity to the streets of Chicago. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

Bike the Drive (September 3, 2023) – Enjoy a scenic ride down Chicago’s scenic Lakeshore Drive, which is shut down to cars just one day each year. (Multiple Neighborhoods)

Chicago Beer Festival (October 7, 2023) – The Chicago Beer Festival will take over the Field Museum on October 7 from 7pm to 11pm. 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 open to attendees. (Neighborhood: South Loop / Museum Campus)

Chicago Exhibition Weekend (September 29 – October 1, 2023) – Over 55 galleries, institutions, and artist-run spaces are aligning to present a weekend of exhibition openings, activations, and events this fall, showcasing art throughout Chicago’s many neighborhoods for the inaugural Chicago Exhibition Weekend (CXW). The landmark weekend is co-presented by EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, and Chicago-based cultural agency Gertie. (Multiple Neighborhoods)

Chicago Gourmet (September 21-24, 2023) – Chicago Gourmet’s four-day food-filled lineup on the Harris Theater rooftop at Millennium Park includes Tacos & Tequila, hosted by Chef Rick Bayless; the fan favorite Hamburger Hop, hosted by Chef Stephanie Izard; the exquisite Grand Cru; and Prost! In The Park, Oktoberfest hosted by Chef Sarah Grueneberg. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

The 59th Chicago International Film Festival (October 11-22, 2023) – The Chicago International Film Festival is North America’s longest-running competitive film festival. Catch this year’s Festival on the big screen at venues around Chicago or streaming from home with our curated virtual selection. With more than 90 features and 60 short films from around the world, ranging from moving, life-affirming dramas to eye-opening documentaries to midnight shockers, dive into this year’s program to find your next favorite. (Neighborhood: Streeterville)

Chicago International Latino Theater Festival (September 28-November 12, 2023) – Destinos, the 6th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, is Chicago’s annual citywide festival showcasing Latino theater artists and companies from the U.S. and Latin America. (Neighborhood: Park West)

Chicago Jazz Festival (August 31-September 3, 2023) – The oldest of Chicago’s free lakefront music festivals boasts an incredibly diverse lineup, which includes free neighborhood concerts leading up to the main show at Millennium Park and additional programming throughout the city over Labor Day weekend. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

Chicago Marathon (October 8, 2023) – Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

Chicago Performs (September 7-10, 2023) – Over one weekend, three artists bridge performance and the everyday with riveting explorations of our contemporary moment. This annual festival of live arts held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) celebrates the wealth of innovative work being made by Chicagoans today and features new works by three local artists: Jonas Becker, Anjal Chande, and Irene Hsiao. (Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile)

Chicago Underground Film Festival (September 13-17, 2023) – The 30th edition of the festival, which is the longest-running underground film festival in the world, is moving to Chicago’s South Side Harper Theater. Opening night will be held at the Gene Siskel Film Center in the Chicago Loop. Highlights of this year’s festival include three locally-produced world premieres, an after-party at The Promontory curated by Eric Williams of the Silver Room, and an underground art market at The Kulture Museum. This is alongside a number of curated panels and events, several new films from festival alumni, and a plethora of other genre-bending and boundary-pushing features and shorts. (Neighborhood: Hyde Park / The Loop)

Edgewater Arts Festival (September 16-17, 2023) – Since 2011, the Edgewater Arts Festival has been a space for artists and art lovers in the community to join together in celebration. Come immerse yourself in Edgewater’s vibrant art culture and indulge in the rhythms of live music performed by talented local musicians and bands. Witness captivating artist showcases and engaging demonstrations that highlight the creative process in creating art. (Neighborhood: Edgewater)

Ghan-Again and Austin Music Fest at Austin Town Hall Park (September 9, 2023) – Austin Town Hall’s Art & Culture Committee and Chicago Austin Youth Travel Adventures combine efforts in presenting the 3rd annual Ghan-Again Festival featuring art, music, food, and games for the entire family. (Neighborhood: South Austin)

Hyde Park Jazz Festival (September 23-24, 2023) – Now in its 17th year, this free festival celebrates the rich tradition of jazz on Chicago’s south side, featuring a diverse group of musicians each year. (Neighborhood: Hyde Park) 

Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up (September 21-November 3, 2023) – Billed as downtown Chicago’s largest fall and Halloween festival, Jack’s is an over-the-top pop-up that includes a giant corn maze, carnival games, photo opportunities, axe throwing, bars, food trucks, and tons of pumpkins. (Neighborhood: Goose Island)

Kwanzaa 2023 at The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center (December 27, 2023) – The Annual Kwanzaa events will be held on December 27th, and the second day of Kwanzaa will have the theme of Kujichagulia (Self-Determination). This year’s celebration will include performances, a marketplace, and how-to sessions (how to teach Black Studies at home and how to turn your hobby into a business). (Neighborhood: Washington Park)

Lakeview East Festival of the Arts (September 9-10, 2023) – For more than 18 years, the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce has presented one of the most unique and popular art festivals in Chicagoland, showcasing more than 150 juried artists featuring paintings, sculpture, photography, furniture, jewelry, and more. In addition to the art, the Festival has become a center of activity for the weekend with live demonstrations, entertainment stages, family activities, and a garden oasis. Every aspect, from artists to musicians to vendors and everything in between, is specifically selected by the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce to bring the best to the heart of Lakeview. (Neighborhood: Lakeview East)

Lincoln Park Uncorked: A Lincoln Avenue Wine Stroll (September 21, 2023) – Treat yourself to some of the season’s best red and white wines paired with delicious bites from a selection of Lincoln Park’s favorite restaurants. Gather your group and catch a pedicab to explore Lincoln Avenue businesses between Diversey and Fullerton as they transform into pop-up tasting rooms with curated selections of the season’s best red and white wines. (Neighborhood: Lincoln Park) 

Lincoln Park Wine Fest (October 6-8, 2023) – Fall’s cool breezes will celebrate the glorious grape when, for the seventh year, the annual wine happening that is Lincoln Park Wine Fest transforms tranquil Jonquil Park into an open-air market featuring wine and food pavilions. The highlight is ticketed wine tastings where scores of varietals will be showcased. (Neighborhood: Lincoln Park)

Lincoln Square Apple Fest (September 30-October 1, 2023) – Usher in the Fall with the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce’s 36th Annual Apple Fest! Apple Fest is a long-standing tradition in Lincoln Square, bringing the community together to celebrate the beginning of autumn. (Neighborhood: Lincoln Square)

Oktoberfest (September 22-24, 2023) – One of Chicago’s most popular celebrations returns for its 20th year. The event takes place both in and outside the iconic St. Alphonsus church. (Neighborhood: West Lakeview)

Oktoberfest in Lincoln Square (September 8-10, 2023) – Since 1920, Chicagoans have joined in the fun of the open-air festival relishing German bands, dancing, and singing, while enjoying traditional German food, including bratwurst, thueringers, schnitzel, pretzels, and German potato salad all served alongside German beer from HB München. (Neighborhood: Lincoln Square)

Printer’s Row Lit Fest (September 9-10, 2023) – The largest free outdoor literary showcase in the Midwest features speakers and exhibitors across genres. (Neighborhood: Printer’s Row)

Riot Fest (September 15-17, 2023) – One of Chicago’s biggest music fests, Riot Fest brings rock, punk, and a full carnival to Douglass Park. (Neighborhood: Douglass Park)

Taste of Chicago (September 8-10, 2023) – Taste of Chicago has been a foodie staple for more than 40 years. This year, the annual food and music extravaganza will bring both neighborhood pop-up events and the return of the iconic lakefront festival in Grant Park. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

3Arts Awards (November 13, 2023) – In-person for the first time since 2019, the annual 3Arts Awards ceremony is a celebration of Chicago’s robust artistic community. Part award ceremony, part live performance, and all party, 3Arts will honor 10 of Chicago’s finest women artists, artists of color, and Deaf and disabled artists with $30,000 unrestricted grants. The evening will also feature innovative live performances from other artists in the 3Arts community and an upscale reception at the Harris Theater featuring food, drink, and some of the most influential people in Chicago’s dynamic arts scene. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

WingOut Chicago (September 2-3, 2023) – WingOut Chicago is excited to announce its new home at Gallagher Way. Now in the shadow of Wrigley Field, patrons can indulge in all the flavors from Chicago’s top vendors while also enjoying adult beverages and live music. Over 20 varieties of wings will be represented for patrons to try, and adding more ‘flavor’ to the mix will be a live music stage and block party atmosphere, completing a picture-perfect setting for all in attendance. (Neighborhood: Wrigleyville)

World Dumpling Fest (September 9, 2023) – Sample dumplings from different cultures and restaurants at the 4th World Dumpling Fest, hosted by the Chicago Cultural Alliance. This all-ages event features food, music, and local small businesses sharing their cultural identities through their respective crafts. World Dumpling Fest features diverse cultural “dumplings” from neighborhood-based restaurants in and around Chicago. (Neighborhood: Logan Square)


ART on THE MART (September 14 – November 15, 2023), an innovative digital art project that transforms a Chicago architectural landmark into a larger-than-life canvas, celebrates its fifth anniversary this fall with work by two veterans in the field of digital and video art. The 2023 fall programming will feature a new commission by the acclaimed Dr. Yiyun Kang, esteemed in the field of projection mapping and immersive art, and the return of the popular projection by the renowned Charles Atlas.(Neighborhood: The Loop)

Chicago Architecture Center Open House (October 14-15, 2023), hosted by the Chicago Architecture Center each fall, is a free public festival that offers self-guided history and architecture trails throughout Chicago; talks and programming; and behind-the-scenes access to architecturally, historically, and culturally significant sites across the city. Open House Chicago remains one of the largest events of its kind in the world. This year more than 20 Chicago neighborhoods, 150 sites, outdoor exploration on themes of neighborhood investment, community engagement, historic preservation, and more will be highlighted. The event provides tips and itineraries for exploring shopping, dining, and other attractions in each neighborhood. (Multiple Neighborhoods) 

To further enhance accessibility for guests, the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady will provide complimentary language translation services for the first time—making it the only Chicago architecture river cruise to offer this service. Guests will have the opportunity to listen to a pre-recorded tour narration on their smartphone in four different languages, including Spanish, French, Japanese, and Korean. The translation service is accessible by downloading a free app that connects directly to a special wi-fi network onboard. The narration is triggered based on the location of the vessel at that time in the tour’s route, which will help ensure those who use the technology have the same experience as others listening to live narration. 

Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lightscape (November 10, 2023 – January 7, 2024), a popular holiday event that sells out each year, returns with a reimagined experience for its fifth year this November. The enchanting, after-dark, illuminated trail created just for the Garden will dazzle with brand new installations from around the world and beloved classics, transforming new parts of the Garden—including Evening Island—into festive landscapes of light, color, and sound. Attendees will discover incredible new works like the Electric Ribbon Tunnel, and revisit favorites like the Winter Cathedral. (Glencoe, Illinois)

Chicago Cultural Center will offer an engaging array of free arts programming throughout the fall (Neighborhood: The Loop):

  • The second installment of the Open House Series (September 29, 2023) will enliven the building with contemporary and classical South East Asian dance performances, live music, film, crafts, meditative practice, food by Bombay Eats, and more. Ragamala, the largest all-night presentation of live Indian classical music in the United States, returns from sunset to sunrise in Preston Bradley Hall, part of the 10-day citywide World Music Festival Chicago celebration.
  • The free “Under the Dome” concert series (October 26, 2023) features dynamic performances under the world’s largest Tiffany glass dome. Rapper and Chicago-native Roy Kinsey brings his “deft skill for storytelling,” as he continues to solidify himself and his contributions in the cannon of Black music and literature. Nico Segal, a trumpeter and producer from Chicago, is a founding member of the band, Kids These Days. 
  • A new exhibition by A Long Walk Home, The Black Girlhood Altar: Freedom Square (November 1, 2023 – March 3, 2024) aims to empower young people to end violence against girls and women. The fifth edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial: This is a Rehearsal also unveils thrilling new exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center on November 1, 2023 (through February 11, 2024).

The 50th AnnualHistoric Pullman House Tour(October 7-8, 2023) gives visitors the opportunity to explore the rich history of the Pullman neighborhood, including exclusive interior access to some of the most iconic and well-preserved homes in the area. Guests will also have the opportunity to learn about the architecture and design of these beautiful homes, as well as the history of the Pullman community. (Neighborhood: Pullman)

Inside Chicago Walking Tours, ranked #1 of 386 Tours and Activities in Chicago on TripAdvisor, has introduced new tour routes: 

  • All That Glam: Chicago’s Art Deco Masterpieces – This 2-hour walking tour explores the interiors and exteriors of gorgeous Art Deco buildings, with some interesting details and stories about life in that era. Flappers, gangsters, jazz, speakeasies — we’ll pepper those throughout our larger exploration of Chicago’s magnificent Art Deco buildings in order to truly set the context for you! (Neighborhood: The Loop)
  • Haunted by Our Dark Side: Death, Depravity, and Dark Tourism in Chicago – This tour explores a worldwide phenomenon called “Dark Tourism” — the growing field of interest in visiting sites of death and tragedy. On this 2-hour walking tour, we will cover the real stories behind some of Chicago’s darkest characters, like rival gangsters shooting each other in front of a church where they had just prayed, and psychopaths who went about life as if nothing had happened after murdering innocent people. We will talk about the origins of ghost stories, the present-day hauntings of certain buildings in downtown Chicago, and how places can unfairly get labeled as “haunted” simply because of their eccentric design. (Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile)
  • The Christmas Tree Crawl: The Magic of Chicago at the Holidays – On this two-hour walking tour, we visit the well-known and famous Christmas decorations and events in Chicago, like the Christkindlmarkt and the Walnut Room, but we also visit some of the lesser-known buildings that have the best holiday decorations. We also learn about the history of certain Christmas traditions and characters, like the Chicago-born Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Beginning in November, the atrium at Harry Caray’s Tavern on Navy Pier is transforming into Lakefront Lodge — a festive winter lodge overlooking the city and mesmerizing icy Lake Michigan. Complete with a fireplace, leather seating, and cozy rustic touches throughout, Lakefront Lodge is the perfect venue for private parties and group gatherings looking for a relaxing but interactive experience. Guests are invited to stay warm inside sipping on specialty beverages & enjoying tasty bites, or grab a blanket to bundle up and have some fun on the patio featuring a private curling rink, heated igloo, and firepit. Want to delight your guests even more, add a Private Whiskey Tasting. Lakefront Lodge will be warmly welcoming guests and private events all winter long through February 2024. (Neighborhood: Streeterville)

The Wintrust Magnificent Mile Lights Festival (November 18, 2023) is 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. (Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile)

Mercury Cruises will provide complimentary language translation services for the first time. Guests will have the opportunity to listen to a pre-recorded tour narration on their smartphone in four different languages, including Spanish, French, Japanese, and Korean. The translation service is accessible by downloading a free app that connects directly to a special wi-fi network onboard. The narration is triggered based on the location of the vessel at that time in the tour’s route, which will help ensure those who use the technology have the same experience as others listening to live narration.

Navy Pier has a full schedule of events planned for fall and winter (Neighborhood: Streeterville):

  • Field Day at Navy Pier (September 9, 2023) – Design Museum of Chicago‘s Field Day is a free annual summer event that brings together thousands of Chicagoans to celebrate our environment, culture, and outdoor public spaces.
  • Brazil 201 Festival (September 10, 2023) – Experience this free Brazilian festival with live music, dance, food, Brazilian DJ, and activities for kids and families.
  • Chicago Live! (September 23-24, 2023) – Chicago Live!, returns Saturday, September 23, and Sunday, September 24. This year marks the third year for Navy Pier’s iconic event, Chicago’s largest FREE performing arts festival, presenting more than 80 distinct artists and cultural organizations in back-to-back performances on three stages. Performances span every artistic genre – including music, dance, theatre, spoken word, improv, vocal performance, and more, including Blues and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, civil rights icon, and GRAMMY Award-winner Mavis Staples as this year’s special guest.
  • Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents The Walk with Little Amal (September 28, 2023) – Chicago Shakespeare Theater welcomes The Walk with Little Amal, the internationally celebrated 12foottall puppet of a 10yearold girl, as part of her epic 6,000mile journey across the United States this fall. Amal will make her first appearance in Chicago at the Theater’s iconic marquee on Navy Pier, proceeding from Lake Michigan toward the city’s skyline, in a free event for all ages.
  • Free Family Days with Chicago Children’s Museum – Puppet-palooza! (September 28, 2023) – Join the performance group Puppet Wonder Wagon for a stage show of dynamic, experimental puppetry. Then, create your own shadow puppets and put on a performance with the help of artist Anna Villanyi. Little Amal will also make a stop outside Chicago Children’s Museum, to greet the 16foottall “Flyboy” sculpture by Chicago artist Hebru Brantley. Admission to the Chicago Children’s Museum is free.
  • Sequence Ch!cago (October 7, 14, 21, November 4, 11, 18, and 25, 2023) – Sequence Ch!cago is a free dynamic performance series celebrating local artists, musicians, and cultural organizations showcasing their talents. All performances are free and open to the public.
  • Slow&Low: Chicago Lowrider Festival (October 21, 2023) – Established in 2011, Slow&Low: Chicago Lowrider Festival celebrates Lowrider’s heritage. This curated community and cultural exhibition explores and presents lowrider culture as an original form of American folk and contemporary art.
  • Free Family Days with Chicago Children’s Museum (October 26, 2023) – In partnership with the Chicago Children’s Museum, Navy Pier guests can enjoy a fun-filled day of activities made for families and children (ages 10 and under) on the last Thursday of October. Admission to the Chicago Children’s Museum is free, in addition to the Pier’s workshops, programming, activities, and other resources stationed throughout the Pier.
  • Slightly Spooky Saturday (October 28, 2023) – Slightly Spooky Saturday returns for one fun-filled Saturday. Spend your Halloweekend at Navy Pier with fun activities for the whole family. Come in costume and Trick-or-Treat around the Pier.
  • Housegiving (November 22, 2023) – Join us for Housegiving for the ultimate pre-Thanksgiving party. From newcomers to legends, the best of house music will be represented. Admission is free.
  • Winter Fireworks (November 25, December 2, 9, 16, and 23, 2023) – Navy Pier’s free dazzling award-winning fireworks display will now feature Saturday shows this winter. Get cozy on the Pier and enjoy the spectacular winter display.
  • EXCISION Live at Navy Pier (December 22, 2023) – This monumental event promises to deliver an unforgettable experience, bringing together fans of electronic dance music for an electrifying night of music, lights, and pure excitement.
  • New Year’s Eve Fireworks (December 31, 2023) – Ring in the New Year with Chicago’s favorite sky spectacle show! Find a spot anywhere on the pier to welcome in the New Year with a dazzling fireworks display that will cast glows across the lakefront.

Shedd Aquarium is expanding and restoring its facility to provide new galleries and experiences for the community. While undergoing renovations, a number of activities and exhibits will continue to be available for guests of all ages (Neighborhood: South Loop):

  • Shedd House Party (Fridays, September 1-22, 2023) – What better place to experience house music than overlooking the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan? Vibe with local DJs as they spin the beats. Catch your breath as you come face-to-face with fascinating animals from across the globe. And take in stunning, ocean-themed architecture fit for King Neptune.
  • Ritmo del Mar (October 7, 2023) – Enjoy a night of music, cuisine, culture and mesmerizing animals with an aquatic backdrop like nowhere else in Chicago. Dance to the sounds of salsa, cumbia, merengue and Latin jazz. ¡Será una noche inolvidable!
  • Plankton Revealed– Shedd Aquarium’s newest display highlights the importance of tiny organisms that could be overlooked but have a significant impact on aquatic ecosystems. Developed and designed exclusively by Shedd Aquarium, Plankton Revealed explores the culturing of plankton that are microscopic nutrient-rich food sources for many species like jellies, seahorses, cuttlefish and other animals throughout the aquarium.
  • Asleep with the Fishes (December 16, 2023) – Ever wondered what the animals do at night? At our Asleep with the Fishes overnights, spend the night with sharks, turtles, dolphins, and more! Asleep with the Fishes is more than just a sleepover. You’ll get the chance to explore the open exhibit spaces throughout the evening, come face-to-face with animals, create aquatic crafts, complete a scavenger hunt, see an animal spotlight and watch diver feed animals in Caribbean Reef!

This year’s ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo (November 17, 2023 – January 7, 2024) will include new and exciting displays, photo ops, and interactive programming all bundled up in the nostalgia of your favorite holiday tradition. (Neighborhood: Lincoln Park)

Meetings, Conventions & Venues:

Chicago has been chosen to host the Democratic National Convention next year, which will take place August 19-22, 2024, at the United Center. Chicago native Minyon Moore, co-chair of the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, has been named convention chair. Stay tuned for additional updates and information.

Chicago has been selected as the host city for U.S. Travel Association’s IPW in 2025. The last time Chicago hosted the leading inbound travel trade show was in 2014. The conference will be held June 27 – July 1, 2025, at McCormick Place.

Theatre & Performing Arts:

Broadway In Chicago is proud to produce the following shows as part of its fall roster:

  • The Lehman Trilogy (playing September 19 – October 29, 2023, at the Broadway Playhouse), winner of the 2022 Tony Award for Best Play, weaves together nearly two centuries of family history in an epic theatrical event charting the humble beginnings, outrageous successes, and devastating failure of the financial institution that would ultimately bring the global economy to its knees. Told in three parts over one evening, THE LEHMAN TRILOGY is the quintessential story of western capitalism, rendered through the lens of a single immigrant family. On a cold September morning in 1844, a young Jewish man from Bavaria stands on a New York dockside dreaming of a new life in the new world. He is soon joined by his two brothers, and an American epic begins. 163 years later, the firm they established—Lehman Brothers—spectacularly collapses into bankruptcy, triggering the largest financial crisis in history.
  • A Wonderful World (playing October 11-29, 2023, at the Broadway Playhouse Cadillac Palace Theatre) – A Broadway bound new musical about jazz legend and singular American icon Louis Armstrong, starring Tony Award® winner James Monroe Iglehart. Told from the perspective of the women in Armstrong’s life, A Wonderful World charts Armstrong’s journey from the birth of jazz in his native New Orleans through his international stardom, featuring beloved songs recorded and made popular by him.
  • Company (playing October 31 – November 12, 2023, at the Broadway Playhouse Cadillac Palace Theatre), winner of 5 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, is a revelatory new production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s groundbreaking musical comedy, at once boldly sophisticated, deeply insightful, and downright hilarious. COMPANY features Sondheim’s award-winning songs You Could Drive a Person Crazy, The Ladies Who Lunch, Side by Side by Side, and the iconic Being Alive.
  • Beetlejuice (playing November 7-19, 2023, at the Auditorium Theatre) – It’s showtime! Based on Tim Burton’s dearly beloved film, this hilarious musical tells the story of Lydia Deetz, a strange and unusual teenager whose whole life changes when she meets a recently deceased couple and a demon with a thing for stripes. Under its uproarious surface (six feet under, to be exact), it’s a remarkably touching show about family, love, and making the most of every Day-O!
  • BOOP! The Musical (playing November 19, 2023 – December 31, 2023, at the CIBC Theatre) – For almost a century, Betty Boop has won hearts and inspired fans around the world with her trademark looks, voice, and style. Now, in BOOP!, Betty’s dream of an ordinary day off from the super-celebrity in her black-and-white world leads to an extraordinary adventure of color, music, and love in New York City—one that reminds her and the world, “You are capable of amazing things.” Tony Award®–winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, La Cage aux Folles, Hairspray) brings the Queen of the Animated Screen to the theater with celebrated multiple Grammy® Award-winning composer David Foster (“I Have Nothing,” “After the Love Is Gone,” “The Prayer”), Tony Award-nominated lyricist Susan Birkenhead (Working, Jelly’s Last Jam), and Tony Award-winning book writer Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone, The Prom).
  • The Wiz (a pre-Broadway Chicago premiere playing November 28 – December 10, 2023, at the Broadway Playhouse Cadillac Palace Theatre) – This groundbreaking twist on The Wizard of Oz changed the face of Broadway—from its iconic score packed with soul, gospel, rock, and finger-snapping 70s funk to its stirring tale of Dorothy’s journey to find her place in a contemporary world.  Audiences get to enjoy the epic grooves of such beloved, timeless hits as “Ease on Down the Road,” which became the show’s break-out single, and the bona fide classic “Home” in this spectacular revival. Featuring a book by William F. Brown and a Tony Award-winning score by Charlie Smalls (and others), director Schele Williams (The Notebook, revival of Disney’s Aida), choreographer JaQuel Knight (Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”), Amber Ruffin (additional material), and Joseph Joubert (music supervision, orchestrations, & music arrangements) conjure up an Oz unlike anything ever seen before.

Chicago Opera Theater will celebrate its 50th anniversary season with these productions:

  • Soldier Songs (October 5, 2023, at the Epiphany Center for the Arts) – Launching Chicago Opera Theater’s 50th anniversary season is the Chicago Premiere of Soldier Songs withmusic and libretto by David T. Little. Drawing from recorded conversations with veterans, the work combines classical music and heavy metal in a theatrical cantata that follows the life of a soldier in three phases: Youth, Warrior, and Elder. The highly charged monodrama, with its driving music and unflinching libretto, offers a compelling and honest depiction of the psychological impact of war. Illinois’ own world-renowned Baritone Nathan Gunn stars in this powerful and haunting piece conducted by COT music director Lidiya Yankovskaya.
  • The Nose (December 8 and 10, 2023, at the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance) Russian classic The Nose will receive its Chicago premiere this December. With music and libretto by Dimitri Shostakovich based on a short story by Nikolai Gogol, Shostakovich’s absurdist masterpiece follows a bureaucrat named Kovalyov who wakes up one morning to discover his nose has not only taken on a life of its own but is a high-ranking government official. Kovalyov chases his nose around the streets of St. Petersburg in a hilarious series of events, encountering many quirky characters along the way. With an electrifying avant-garde score and a satirical anti-authoritarian plot, the work is sure to appeal to your scents of humor. Conducted by Yankovskaya and directed by legendary director Francesca Zambello, the opera stars Aleksey Bogdanov as Kovalyov, and Curtis Bannister as The Nose alongside fellow Harris Theater resident company South Chicago Dance Theatre.

Chicago Philharmonic is pleased to present the following performances:

  • Tank and the Bangas at the Auditorium Theater (September 30, 2023) – Grammy-nominated in 2020 as “Best New Artist,” New Orleans-based Tank and The Bangas are quickly gaining wide acclaim with an incredibly uncategorical soulful mixture of R&B, hip-hop and spoken-word that’s fused into an atomically combustible energetic live performance. Led by the incomparable Tarriona “Tank” Ball, Tank and The Bangas is joined by the Chicago Philharmonic to unleash their music as a massive orchestral concert experience.
  • Ryan Speedo Green at the Harris Theater(October 14, 2023) – Chicago Philharmonic and Artistic Director & Principal Conductor Scott Speck welcome two-time Grammy Award winning bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green. In an epoch-spanning concert performance. Green and the Chicago Philharmonic will perform works from Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones and Champion alongside iconic pieces by Verdi, Rossini, Puccini, Wagner, Kodály and more. Green has established himself as one of the great bass-baritones in a generation, praised for his rich tone and commanding stage presence. He made his leading role debut at the Metropolitan Opera this past April in Terence Blanchard’s critically acclaimed Champion.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater will present the following performances:

  • Twelfth Night (October 25 – November 26, 2023) at the Courtyard Theater – Shakespeare’s cleverest comedy is brought to vibrant new life as director Tyrone Phillips reimagines Illyria in the Caribbean isles. Filled with witty commentary on gender, class, and sexuality, this sparkling romance brims with heart and revels in the intoxicating power of love.
  • Islander, a co-production from Scotland that is part of Chicago Shakespeare’s WorldStage Series—a landmark commitment to bring the world’s great theaters to Chicago and Chicago Shakespeare to the world, will play November 29 – December 17, 2023, upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Staged with a contemporary folk-inspired score and epic storytelling, two performers reveal a world of characters, live-mixing and layering their voices to create a dazzling, unexpected soundscape as dramatic as the Scottish coastline. This modern myth takes audiences on a journey that transcends loss, recovers hope, and finds community.

Congo Square Theatre is pleased to present the following productions:

  • The Blackside: Season Four (October 13 – December 9, 2023) – Congo Square’s popular free online sketch comedy series, The Blackside (formerly Hit ‘em on the Blackside), returns for a fourth season this fall. Audiences can expect more of the witty, pitch-perfect, and timely humor that made sketches from the first three seasons like “Black History Game Show” and “Black Survivalist” so funny and poignant. Episodes will be released weekly on the Congo Square Theatre’s website, social media, and YouTube channel starting on October 13 with the final episode airing on December 9. The first three seasons of The Blackside are available on Congo Square’s YouTube channel.
  • The Clinic: Season Three (September 1 – October 6, 2023) – Congo Square’s old-school radio melodrama Audio Series returns for a third and final season starting September 1 with new episodes dropping weekly until the dramatic series finale on October 6.  In The Clinic, Dr. Latisha Bradley’s discovery will revolutionize the medical field, but her enemies will stop at nothing to keep things the way they are. Episodes will be released on the Congo Square Theatre website; seasons one and two are available for streaming now.
  • Welcome to Matteson (September 1 – October 6, 2023) –Congo Square’s old-school radio melodrama Audio Series returns for a third and final season starting September 1 with new episodes dropping weekly until the dramatic series finale on October 6.  In The Clinic, Dr. Latisha Bradley’s discovery will revolutionize the medical field, but her enemies will stop at nothing to keep things the way they are. Episodes will be released on the Congo Square Theatre website; seasons one and two are available for streaming now. Performances will be held at Northwestern University Wirtz Theatre in Abbot Hall.

Chicago’s Deeply Rooted Dance Theater reimagines and diversifies the aesthetics of contemporary dance by uniting modern, classical, American, and African American traditions in dance and storytelling. Deeply Rooted collaborates with nationally renowned choreographers, across the spectrum of modern, ballet, and African dance, to reflect contemporary voices. Joining Deeply Rooted November 3, 2023, on the Auditorium Theatre’s historic stage again is Chicago favorite Sam Thousand and his super-ensemble of musicians and singers for a performance that reflects contemporary voices, sparks a visceral experience, and ignites an emotional response.

DePaul University School of Music welcomes GRAMMY® Award-winning Chicago-based percussion quartet and GRAMMY®-nominated composer collective Third Coast Percussion on December 5, 2023. For over fifteen years, the ensemble has created exciting and unexpected performances that constantly redefine the classical music experience. The concert features a new piece by Michael Burritt that was commissioned to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Zildjian cymbals.

Goodman Theatre has announced a new partnership with Dennis Watkins, award-winning third-generation magician and mind-reader, and Petterino’s restaurant. Chicago’s longest-running magic show, The Magic Parlour, takes residence adjacent to the Goodman at 50 W. Randolph, Petterino’s newly remodeled lower-level space, presented by the Goodman and Petterino’s. The move builds on Watkins’ 15-year success, thrilling 50,000+ guests with jaw-dropping magic during 1,600 live performances and hundreds of corporate events. Performances begin October 5, 2023. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

Guarneri Hall presents its fall/winter lineup:

  • Reflections: Voices of the Underrepresented(October 3, 2023) – Acclaimed Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Chrystal E. Williams and pianist Natalia Kazaryan present a program that celebrates the collaboration between men and women in poetry and song. The uniquely curated program integrates music based on thematic content and musical texture. The performance will be followed by a Q&A on stage, and a post-concert reception with the artists featuring appetizers and drinks.
  • Buster Keaton’s SHERLOCK JR. with original score by Stephen Prutsman (November 15, 2023) – Guarneri Hall will celebrate the legendary silent film star Buster Keaton with a multimedia program dedicated to his work. Pianist and composer Stephen Prutsman will be joined by violinist Steven Copes and members of NEXUS Chamber Music for a screening of Keaton’s classic Sherlock Jr. (1924), with live accompaniment of Prutsman’s original score. Before the performance, John C. Tibbets, Professor Emeritus at the University of Kansas, will offer context on the silent film era and make the case for Keaton as the greatest American filmmaker of the 1920’s. A post-concert reception with the artists will feature appetizers and drinks.
  • Alternate Realities: Bartók Quartet Cycle with The Borromeo Quartet (December 4-5, 2023) – Among the most influential achievements of Hungarian composer and ethnomusicologist Béla Bartók’s career are the six string quartets he wrote between 1908 and 1939. One of the earliest and most influential champions of bringing folk music into the concert hall, Bartók’s notoriously challenging quartets synthesize his myriad musical influences from folk songs to romanticism to serialism. The award-winning Borromeo Quartet will offer a unique exploration of Bartók’s creative process by juxtaposing previously unknown early sketches of the works with their complete and final versions. The complete cycle of the six quartets will be presented over the course of the two evenings, and each evening will be followed by a reception with the artists.

The Joffrey Ballet is pleased to present Frankenstein October 12-22, 2023, at the Lyric Opera House. The critically acclaimed adaptation of Mary Shelley’s gothic masterpiece, Frankenstein, is a visceral, profoundly emotional tale of life, death, love, and identity. Set to Liebermann’s original sweeping score and immersed within the stunning stage design by world-renowned artist John Macfarlane, this must-see Chicago premiere is one of the most innovative works of dance today. Frankenstein takes the audience on a captivating journey through scientist Victor Frankenstein’s ambitious plan to animate a patchwork of lifeless body parts, setting in motion a detrimental chain of fateful events. Scarlett’s 19th century and dawn of modern science production retains the essential nature of Shelley’s novel while transforming previous notions of horror into an allegory of the human condition.

Lyric Opera of Chicago is proud to welcome the following performances this fall:

  • The Flying Dutchman (September 23 – October 7, 2023) – The first opera that revealed Wagner’s genius,The Flying Dutchman is the story of a young woman’s obsession. Senta dreams of the Dutchman, who’s cursed to wander the earth. He comes ashore every seven years, searching for a woman who will be faithful to him until death. When she meets him, Senta’s fate is sealed. This new-to-Chicago production at Lyric Opera of Chicago will bring to life some of the composer’s most magnificent and emotional music, including thrilling, spectacular choruses. Leading an outstanding cast are Tomasz Konieczny (previously the title role in Lyric’s spellbinding Wozzeck) and Tamara Wilson (the radiant heroine of Il trovatore and Ernani), in Christopher Alden’s electrifying production, with Music Director Enrique Mazzola conducting his first Wagner at Lyric.
  • An Evening with Audra McDonald (October 6, 2023) – Experience the inimitable talent of Audra McDonald in concert with the Lyric Opera Orchestra conducted by Andy Einhorn in a spellbinding evening of songs, from theater classics to new works and seldom-heard gems. Winner of six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards and an Emmy Award, Audra McDonald possesses a “lustrous lyric soprano” (The New York Times) and an incomparable gift for dramatic truth-telling. This one-night-only performance is not to be missed.
  • The Daughter of the Regiment(November 4-25, 2023) –Lyric Opera of Chicago is delighted to bring this production of Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment — bel canto opera’s equivalent of vintage champagne — to the city for the first time. Marie, the lovable, irrepressible spirited heroine — a foundling, raised by soldiers — loves handsome Tonio. Things get complicated when the Marquise carts her off to refine her with a “proper” education. In one exhilarating number after another, Marie throws off coloratura flourishes like shooting stars, while her tenor sweetheart pops out nine high Cs in a single aria! Bel canto superstar Lawrence Brownlee and comedic veteran Alessandro Corbelli partner with the dazzling Lisette Oropesa in her eagerly awaited Lyric debut. The marvelously stylish Speranza Scappucci conducts Laurent Pelly’s quick-witted, uproarious production.
  • Janáček’s Jenůfa (November 12-26, 2023) –Janáček’s Jenůfa is a dark and stunning masterpiece, both musically and dramatically. In this profoundly moving story, the Kostelnička secretly drowns her foster-daughter Jenůfa’s illegitimate child, hoping to save Jenůfa — and herself — from shame and humiliation. When the murder is discovered, the Kostelnička accepts the consequences, but Jenůfa ends the opera with hope for the future. Performing Janáček’s magnificent score at Lyric Opera of Chicago will be an enthralling cast led by two of the finest dramatic sopranos of our time: opera’s newest superstar, Lise Davidsen, and the legendary Nina Stemme, Lyric’s sensational Elektra in 2019. Czech maestro Jakob Hrůša will bring unique authenticity to this unforgettable music, leading Claus Guth’s mesmerizing production.

Lifeline Theatre kicks off its 2023-24 season with Cat’s Cradle (September 12 – October 22, 2023). Join the famed Hoenikker family on the Caribbean Island of San Lorenzo for a satirical tale of how “pure” scientific research, banana republic politics, and an organized religion based on lies bring about the end of the world. You’re invited to convert yourself, learn a new way to make love, and make a supreme gesture to God Almighty (if indeed, He is still with us) in this revival of ensemble member John Hildreth’s playful adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s beloved novel. Ensemble member Heather Currie (So, You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy?, Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters) tackles ensemble member John Hildreth’s (Treasure Island, Watership Down) invigorating adaptation of one of Kurt Vonnegut’s most beloved novels for a new generation.

Wrightwood 659 presents Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art (October 13 – December 16, 2023),addressing the complex relationship between the technologies we use and the identities we inhabit. This interactive ‘laboratory’ presents the work of seventeen contemporary artists who ask some of the most urgent questions we face today: How is technology changing the way we see ourselves, and each other? In what ways does it contribute to—or allow us to resist—prejudice and systemic forms of oppression? What role should it have in our lives and in our communities?


After a historic inaugural race in July 2023,NASCAR Chicago Street Race will return to downtown Chicago in Summer 2024. Stay tuned for additional updates and information.

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About Choose Chicago

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