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Chicagoist's Guide To April: 20 Fun Things To Do In April

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 30, 2017 7:21PM

Cavalia Odysseo opens April 1. Image via Cavalia's Facebook page.

Horses and movies and music, oh my. April is bursting at the seams with things to keep us busy!

April 1-23


Maybe you’ve seen the White Big Top erected in Soldier Field’s south lot. This month, 65 majestic horses will star in Cavalia Odysseo, a theatrical multi-sensory experience. A talented group of acrobats and musicians and a three-story video screen will wow audience members. Visit the Cavalia website for the full schedule. Tickets start at $34.50.

April 2


What the firk is a firkin? Craft beer lovers call them “real ale” brews, tapped directly from the cask--not cold-filtered, pasteurized or carbonated by outside equipment. Headquarters Beercade River North hosts their very own 4th Annual Firkin Fest this Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., tapping rare brews from 4 Hands, Saugatuck, Two Brothers and nearly 40 other brewing companies. Tickets are $40.

Image via The Logan Theatre's Facebook page.

April 2-3


Two days of tastings, demos, workshops and educational seminars will make up the 2nd Annual Chicago Cocktail Summit at Logan Theatre. Brought to us by co-founders Billy Helmkamp (The Whistler, Logan Square Arts Festival) and Erik Westra (Westra & Co., Maximum Fun), the event will feature cocktail experts on beverage-focused panels, plus live tapings of The Sporkful podcast, the Chicago premiere of the documentary Bartender At Large, and much more. Find the full schedule on their website. Single session tickets are $15 and full-access tickets are $50 per day.

A rare Roman coin with an early depiction of the Colosseum which will be up for auction at the Coin Expo through Gemini Auction. Image courtesy of The Coin Expo.

April 5-8


Find more than 1000 coin and currency enthusiasts, collectors and history buffs at the Chicago Coin Expo at the Chicago Cultural Center. See coins from around the world and throughout time with experts and dealers on hand. The show is free and open to the public with donations going toward History in Your Hands Foundation.

Image via The Rum Lab's Facebook page.

April 8


Yo ho, the 3rd Annual Rum Fest returns to Chicago with two sessions at Logan Square Auditorium. The first session for industry professionals begins at noon, and the The Rum Aficionado Grand Tasting Session begins at 1:30 p.m. The four hour program will offer tastings, brand seminars and mixology demos. Tickets for the Spirit Industry Session are $25 ($35 week-of) and tickets for the Rum Aficionado Session are $70 ($90 week of).

Photo courtesy of Old Style.

April 9


Last year’s Old Style Chicago Pizza Summit was such a hit that they’re returning to Chop Shop for a “Second Helping” on April 9th. Local rapper Show You Suck will be this year’s official MC as pizza lovers enjoy slices and other iterations of pie from some of the city’s best. The pop-up U.S. Pizza Museum exhibit will be back, and they’re adding the first ever multi-event Pizza Olympics. Two sessions to choose from: 2 to 5 p.m. or 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $35.

April 12


NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast is recording a live show with fans at Harris Theatre at 8 p.m. Watch as pop culture “experts” discuss what’s hip in books, movies, music, TV and more. Hosts Linda Holmes, panelists Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon will all be in attendance with some special VIP guests. Tickets are $45.

Image via Exhibitionism's website.

April 15-July 30


The Rolling Stones have defined rock n' roll for decades, and now fans can get what they want with an immersive multimedia “Exhibitionism” at Navy Pier. The sheltered exhibit spans nine thematic galleries with a fashion gallery, original artworks, vintage instruments, a 3D concert experience and much more. Satisfaction guaranteed. Tickets are $32.

Iceland Airwaves. Image via Iceland Naturally's Facebook page.

April 20-23


Experience Icelandic culture, cuisine, cocktails and more during Taste of Iceland. Music, food and film are all on the docket for the weekend with different events around the city. Concert fans will find themselves immersed at Chop Shop & First Ward’s “Reykjavik Calling” concert Saturday night, plus there are pop-up menu experiences and a cocktail class for adventurous foodies. Visit the festival website for the full schedule of events.

April 20-May 4


AMC River East will play host to the 33rd Chicago Latino Film Festival this year. Celebrating Latin culture around the globe, the opening night film spotlights Argentina with the romantic comedy One Night of Love (Una noche de amor). Lead actress Carla Peterson will be in attendance at the opening night gala which includes a reception with food, drinks and live entertainment. Opening night tickets are $90. The full festival program will be announced on April 10.

Melissa Benoist. Photo via C2E2's website.

April 21-23


The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (better known as C2E2) is back at McCormick Place with the hottest in cool nerd culture. Meet your favorite stars and superheroes in real life during autograph sessions, photo ops and discussion panels. Guests this year include comic legends Stan Lee and Frank Miller, hometown MMA fighter CM Punk, the Stranger Things kids and many more. Tickets start at $30.

April 21-23


The official CIMMfest #9 isn’t until the fall this year, but they’re keeping us satiated with the Spring Fling Thing!, a “one ring circus of music, movies and mayhem.” The lineup features a little of something for everyone (even the Chic-a-Go-Go crowd) at Chop Shop & 1st Ward over three days. For schedule and ticket info, visit CIMMfest’s website.

April 21-22


The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events presents the 3rd Annual Lake FX Summit + Expo at the Chicago Cultural Center. The “creative con” offers free entertainment and resources including the ACCESS lab for creators, performers and producers. Music and entertainment executive Kevin Liles (300 Entertainment and KWL Management) will be presenting the keynote address on Friday.

Image via Whiskyfest's Facebook page.

April 21


Learn everything you didn’t know you wanted to know at the 20th anniversary of WhiskyFest at Hyatt Regency. There will be seminars from experts, tastings galore and a gourmet buffet. The Grand Tasting begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $275.

St. Vincent Becomes Ambassador To Recorstorda from Funny Or Die

April 22


Record Store Day has been rocking our turntables since 2007, giving audiophiles yet another excuse to hit up their local indie shop. Special releases and in-store performances are the annual event’s bread and butter and this year is no different. Look for exclusive releases (and re-releases) from artists like David Bowie, The Flaming Lips, Spoon and many more. Reckless, Dusty Groove and Laurie’s Planet of Sound are just a few of the Chicago stores participating.

April 22


April 22 also marks Earth Day on our fair planet. Garfield Park Conservatory has teamed up with Land and Sea Dept. and the Natural Resources Defense Council for a “call to action” party called Not a Hoax at 7 p.m. Climate change is real, folks, and they’re hoping to raise awareness with performances from some local artists in the greenery of GPC. Air Credits (a collaboration of The Hood Internet & ShowYouSuck) will headline, with opening sets by Sidewalk Chalk and Audio Jack. Tickets are $25.

Photo by Roger Mastroianni courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra.

April 26-May 7


Joffrey Ballet’s spring program will re-acquaint us with some amazing choreographers viewed as “Global Visionaries.” See a World Premiere from the bombastic Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman and a Chicago Premiere by San Francisco Ballet Resident Choreographer Yuri Possokhov that was created specifically for Joffrey dancers. Annabelle Lopez Ochoa will also reprise Mammatus. Tickets start at $34.

Image courtesy of The One of a Kind Show.

April 28-30


The One Of a Kind shopping experience is back, this time for it’s annual spring show and sale at Merchandise Mart. The showcase and shopping event features hands-on crafts and cooking demonstrations as well as accessories, home goods, paintings and much more for sale. Be sure to check out the Emerging Market highlighting more than 30 first-time exhibitors and artists. Tickets are $10.

Image via Caitlyn Jenner's website.

April 30


The one and only Caitlyn Jenner speaks as part of Chicago Humanities Festival’s Springfest/17 at Art Institute’s Rubloff Auditorium at noon. From winning a gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics, to coming out as a transgender woman while living in the “Kardashian” spotlight, Jenner has lived a life like no other. She’ll discuss her new memoir, The Secrets of My Life, with co-author and Pulitzer Prize-winner Buzz Bissinger, and CHF Associate Artistic Director Alison Cuddy. Tickets are $15.

April 30


Celebrate the 197th Anniversary of the Greek Declaration of Independence with the Hellenic Heritage Parade. Stepping off at stepping off at 2:30 p.m., the parade runs from Halsted and Randolph to Van Buren streets.