Things to do in September (and early October)


Yes, summer is (almost) officially over, but with the promise of fall colors, countless new plays, concerts, and other events (including the inaugural Chicago Museum week), there’s a lot to look forward to!

Activities: Chicago’s first Museum Week kicks off in early October, which allows plenty of time to create an itinerary. Some museums will offer free admission, others discounts on membership and admission. Check out the Ravenswood Arts Walk, a ‘tour of arts & industry’ featuring over 40 artists and artisans (Sept. 19-20). Everyone knows Lake Shore Drive offers some amazing views of the city, but are you aware of Chicago’s other scenic drives? Here’s a list of the 8 coolest drives in Chicago, including a cruise straight through Humboldt Park.

Oktoberfests and apple picking: It’s September, which means it’s time for Oktoberfest. The annual German-American Fest features a parade along Lincoln Avenue, live German music, traditional German food and, of course, a hopping beer tent. Oak Park’s Oktoberfest (Sept. 18-19) promises live music and a kid’s root beer garden. The Berghoff Oktoberfest celebrates 30 years in the Loop (Sept. 16-18). Chicago Parent magazine has a list of apple picking spots in Chicago and the suburbs. Lincoln’s Square’s annual Apple Fest features hot cider and candy apples (Oct. 3).

Music: International music, jazz, hard rock, electronic…you can see and hear it all this month, including: The World Music Festival, AC/DC, Ed Sheeran, Stromae, Best Coast, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, and Madonna.

Theater: See The Black White Love Play, the story of Chaz and Roger Ebert, at the Black Ensemble Theater (opens Oct. 4). Exploring the complexities of race, religion, and identity, Disgraced opens at the Goodman Theatre Sept. 12 (through Oct. 18). John Steinbeck’s classic East of Eden will be brought to life at Steppenwolf (Sept. 17-Nov. 15). The Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s new production of The Tempest promises to be inventive (Sept. 8-Nov. 8).

Film: Highlights of Reeling 2015, Chicago’s LGBTQ+ International Film Festival, include a showing of Stonewall as well as an array of independent films and documentaries. The Music Box is hosting an opening night event for the documentary Meet the Patels which includes a Q & A session with the Patel family.

Dance: What is Red Bull Flying Bach? Why, German breakdancers performing to Bach, of course (Sept. 25-27). Barak adé Soleil explores “the beauty of the disabled, racialized body” in a performance at the MCA studio (Sept. 12). The Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández celebrates 63 years together with performances at the Auditorium Theater (Sept. 26-27).

Becky Ammerman

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