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Chicagoist's Guide To October: 20 Fun Things To Do This Month

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 30, 2016 9:15PM

Image via Bacon & Beer Classic's Facebook page.


October 1

Bacon lovers know that the only thing that makes the meat treat better is beer. The pairing will unite together this Saturday at the Chicago Bacon and Beer Classic at Soldier Field. There will be games, contests and more bacon-infused dishes than you could imagine. Tickets start at $69 for one of two 3-hour sessions.

Image via Logan Square Beer Fest's website.


October 1

Twenty breweries and more than 50 beers make up the Logan Square Beer Festival at Logan Square Auditorium. Everybody gets a commemorative glass mug and there will be brewery swag raffles. Tickets are $40 and sold in two sessions: 1 to 4 p.m. or 5 to 8 p.m.

Chef Stephanie Izzard. Photo via Fulton Market Harvest Fest's website.


October 2

Fulton Market is known for it’s world class restaurants and cuisine, and this Sunday they’ll all be on display at the first ever Harvest Fest, curated by chefs Stephanie Izard and Paul Kahan. The all-day festival will have cooking demonstrations and tons of food and drink to consume from Girl & the Goat, Publican Quality Meats, Au Cheval, Goose Island, and the list goes on. The live music lineup has top-notch local talent, too, with JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound headlining. Tickets are $25.

Photo courtesy of Garfield Park Conservatory.


October 6

The now annual Wine Under Glass benefit for Garfield Park Conservatory takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Sip and swirl samples from ten artisan and family-owned wineries while enjoying the lush atmosphere inside the greenhouses. There will also be light bites from local restaurants and the cool sounds of Suena Latin Jazz to complete the experience. Tickets are $75.


October 6-9

The Amazing Acro-Cats present a four-day run at the Vittum Theatre benefitting Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control. If you’ve ever seen these cats do their thing, you know they really are amazing, and they’ve got a sense of humor, too, with all those fakeouts and wanderings off. The stars of the show are all rescue cats trained by Samantha Martin to walk a tightrope, jump through hoops, push a shopping cart and more. There’s even a Rock Cats band featuring a rooster on tambourine. No, we’re not kidding (video proof above). Tickets start at $23. Check website for showtimes.


October 7-9

For those who aren’t quite ready for the end of the outdoor street fest season, Rocktober Beerfest from Sam Adams is for you. Beer, bands, brats and pretzels give the three-day fest at Randolph and Ogden it’s German vibe, plus traditional live music from Die Musikmeisters. Local cover bands Too White Crew and 7th Heaven will also perform. Tickets start at $20 and include a beer stein.



October 7-8

Kanye West brings his amazing floating stage to Chicago for two shows, one at United Center and another at Allstate Arena. All reports describe this as a truly unique concert experience, one in which—remarkably—the focus is on the crowd's interaction with each other and not the performer. In a year where West has continually pushed creative boundaries and sought to re-interpret how music is even consumed by the public, this move makes total sense to us. The Uniter Center is sold out but there's plenty available on the resale market, and Allstate Still has tickets available through the venue.


October 11

Despite early erroneous reports, Die Atwoord is not breaking up. This is excellent news, since the world would be a poorer place artistically without Die Antwoord's unique blend of lyrical provocation and inventively aggressive music. Fronted by Ninja and Yolandi Visser—whom you might recognize from a certain movie if you don't already know their musical output—and riding aggressive beats from God (fka DJ Hi-Tek), the band's live shows are tumultuous and memorable affairs. The trio is touring behind Mount Ninji and da Nice Time Kid, which was released just a few weeks ago. Expect a show that is assaultive yet oddly catchy in all the right ways when they play The Aragon this month.

Photo courtesy of The Joffrey Ballet.


October 13-23

The Joffrey Ballet opens their season with Krzysztof Pastor’s Romeo & Juliet as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago. The contemporary-minded ballet tells the classic tale of star-crossed lovers with a multimedia video backdrop illustrating real-world politics. The run opens at 7:30 p.m. at Auditorium Theatre. Check website for all show times. Tickets start at $34.


October 13-27

“Because Everybody Loves Movies.” That’s the tagline for the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival, and ain’t it the truth. Indies, documentaries, shorts and musicals are just some of the new films screening at AMC River East 21 through October 27. The festival prides itself in presenting “young filmmakers and daring visions, and the latest from the masters of world cinema." Visit the CIFF website for the full schedule and to purchase passes or tickets.

River City. Photo by Eric Rogers via Open House Chicago's website.


October 15-16

Get free access to rarely seen interiors during Open House Chicago. More than 200 “hidden gems and architectural treasures” will partake in the 48 hour Chicago Architecture Foundation event that spans neighborhoods across the city. Lake Point Tower? Yup. River City? Sure. Frank Lloyd Wright Home? You got it. Some of the tours will “sell out” so be sure to RSVP in advance if there’s something you really want to see. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.


October 15

How can we say no to a festival of dumplings and old-school hip hop? Dumpling Fest: Wrappers Delight at AceBounce Ping Pong Bar will be the first annual from the guys behind BaconFest. From wontons to pierogi to samosas to ravioli, every culture loves a dumpling, and they’ll all be represented at Dumpling Fest from noon to 3 p.m. Tickets are $50.


October 15-16

The Music Box Theatre presents 24 hours of chills as Music Box of Horrors film festival returns. Titles like Seven Footprints To Satan, Eyes of Fire and Doctor Butcher, M.D. should surely whet the appetite of you gorehounds out there. Plus, director Gary Sherman will present the ultra-rare director’s cut of Raw Meat and director Jim Muro will be there for Street Trash. Get an event pass for $35.

Image via Bloody Mary Fest's website.


October 16

There aren’t a lot of things that hit the spot like a good Bloody Mary on a Sunday afternoon. Try them all at Plumbers Hall during Bloody Mary Fest from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event has a Bloody Mary competition (which you get to sample and vote for), a Make-Your-Own Michelada Bar and a DIY brunch market. Tickets start at $45.


October 17-23

The 6th Annual Chicago Ideas Week aims to spark ideas into action and they’ll do that with more than 150 events and speakers on topics from national security to creativity to “life’s big questions.” Some of this year’s speakers include entertainment executive (and Mayor Emanuel’s brother) Ariel Emanuel, FIFA World Cup Champion Abby Wambach and Skinnygirl cocktail creator Bethenny Frankel. See website for full schedule and to purchase tickets.


October 18

Crawl between ten different restaurants at the inaugural Taste of Roscoe Street event. From 6 to 9 p.m. you’ll be able to sample a variety of cuisine from VOLO Restaurant Wine Bar, Orange, Hot Woks Cool Sushi, Cuba 312 and more. Tickets are $35.

Photo via The Halloween Gathering's website.


October 22

Last year was such a success, that organizers are holding the second Halloween Gathering and Parade downtown. The daytime festival in Millennium Park and Sir George Solti Garden at 2 p.m. features live entertainment and mask and costume maker sessions. The nighttime spectacle parade begins at 6 p.m. on Columbus Drive. Free.

Photo via Zombies vs Vampires Crawl website.


October 22

In this day and age, you’re either a zombie person or a vampire person. The 5th Annual Zombies vs Vampires pub crawl pits the two against each other once and for all. Beginning at 2 p.m. the living dead will take over Wicker Park bars with drink specials, raffles and a $500 best costume prize at stake. Tickets are $25.


October 29

Lincoln Park Zoo transforms into a Spooky Zoo Spectacular from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dress the kids in their favorite costume and take them trick-or-treating during the zoo’s fall fest. In addition to the seasonal rides and activities, there will also be a haunted house (Kolver Seal Pool), live entertainment and educational arts and crafts at the Kolver Lion House. Free.

Image via the City of Chicago's website.


October 31

When Halloween and Boystown come together, it makes for one outrageous parade. The 19th Annual Northalsted Halloween Parade steps off at 5 p.m. and has more than 2,000 entries into the annual costume contest, so the photo ops should be on point. Free.