Chicago events calendar - April 2016. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend shows, discount tickets, theater, art, and kids’ free events in Chicago, Illinois.

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Best events for 12 months
April 2016
April 2016

Enjoy the best Chicago events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.

Mileage is from the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Flower show

April 1 - 3, 2016 (begins March 20)

0.5 mile south

Macy’s Flower Show features flowers and exotic topiaries in landscapes, plus scheduled events at Macy’s on State Street. Free.

Shamrock 8K race

April 1 - 3, 2016

1.5 miles SE

The Shamrock Shuffle on Sunday is billed as the world’s largest timed 8K race. It starts and ends in Grant Park and includes a post-race party. The free Shamrock Shuffle Health and Fitness Expo is Friday and Saturday at McCormick Place.

Family musical

April 1 - 17, 2016

0.9 miles north

A brother and sister travel back in time to meet young Louis Armstrong in the jazzy musical A Night in New Orleans, based on the Magic Tree House books, at Broadway Playhouse.

Craft fair

April 2 - 3, 2016

27 miles west

Browse handcrafted goods from 100 juried exhibitors at Shower of Crafts Craft & Art Fair at College of Du Page in Glen Ellyn.

Robots at the museum

April 2 - 10 2016

8 miles south

Celebrate National Robotics Week by viewing robots on display, interacting with some, hearing talks by robotic professors, and watching a live robotics competition at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Children’s theater

April 2 - 17, 2016

2.8 miles SW

Heidi is the classic story of a Swiss girl who lives in the Alps with her grandfather and must travel to the big city, at Provision Theater.

Culture of Mexico

April 3, 2016

1 mile east

Enjoy the folk music, traditional dance, food, and crafts of Mexico at Neighborhoods of the World in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. Free.

Taste of the Gold Coast

April 6, 2016 (6 to 9 p.m.)

1.9 miles north

A ticket to Taste of the Gold Coast includes samples from local restaurants and 2 drink tickets at Germania Place. Requires cocktail attire and age 21 ID.

Exclusive dinner & movie

April 7, 2016 (6 to 10:30 p.m.)

0.6 miles west

Dinner & Movie includes dinner at Mercadito, a drink, and Lyft transportation to ArcLight Cinemas to see Melissa McCarthy in “The Boss” before it goes public.

Racy movies

April 7 - 9, 2016

6 miles north

Hump! is 18 five-minute movies by amateurs of all persuasions at Music Box Theatre.

Quilt festival

April 7 - 9, 2016

17 mile NW

Shop for quilts and take mini-classes at International Quilt Festival in Rosemont convention center.

Latino film festival

April 8 - 21, 2016

Chicago locations

See 100+ films from Latin America, Brazil, Spain, and Portugal during the Chicago Latino Film Festival at AMC River East 21 theaters and venue partners throughout Chicagoland. Receptions April 8 and 21.

Beer tasting

April 9, 2016

0.7 miles west

Sample 50 beers at River North Beer Fest at Moe’s Cantina & Old Crow Smokehouse.

Freaky carnival show

April 9, 2016 (10 p.m.)

2.6 miles south

The Midnight Cabaret by Carnivale Delirium is a “neo-vintage circus sideshow extravaganza” with live music, DJs, and performers at Reggies Chicago for age 18+.

Mexican children’s day

April 9, 2016

2.8 miles SW

Celebrate Mexican culture and family health at Día del Niño Family Festival. Begin with a two-mile walk from the National Museum of Mexican Art to UIC Forum. Continue with games, art, and activities. Free.

Diabetes expo

April 9, 2016

3 miles south

Learn how to prevent and manage diabetes at the American Diabetes Association Expo, which has health screenings, cooking demonstrations, experts, and exhibitors at McCormick Place. Free.

Science-fiction films

April 9, 2016 (12 to 5:30 p.m.)

6 miles north

See science-fiction and fantasy short films from around the world at Juggernaut Film Festival in the swanky, art deco Music Box Theatre.

Beer and wine festival

April 9, 2016

28 miles SW

Tinley Park Brew & Vine Festival features breweries, vintners, restaurants, and live entertainment at Tinley Park Convention Center.

Festival of colors

April 9, 2016 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

32 miles west

Buy brightly colored organic flour for $2 to throw at friends and foes and hear music to celebrate Holi and mark the arrival of spring at the Grand Pavilion in Naperville.

Culture of Poland

April 10, 2016

1 mile east

Enjoy the folk music, traditional dance, food, and crafts of Poland at Neighborhoods of the World in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier.

Movies and music festival

April 13 - 17, 2016

5 miles NW

The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest) is “where movies and music meet.” See films with a music connection by day, and hear live music with a film connection by night at Wicker Park and Logan Square.

Blues dance

April 14 - 17, 2016

multiple locations

BluesShout includes weekend workshops and dances with live music that go late into the night.

Modern pop festival

April 14 - 23, 2016

10 miles north

International Pop Overthrow (IPO) is a cutting-edge pop and rock music festival based in Los Angeles that brings 70 of the latest bands to The Red Line Tap.

Villa Park arts & crafts

April 15 - 17, 2016

21 miles west

See hundreds of craft booths at Spring Festival, An Arts & Crafts Affair in the Odeum Expo Center.

Antiques and garden fair

April 15 - 17, 2016 (preview April 14)

24 miles north

See display gardens and shop for vintage and garden-related items at the Antiques, Garden & Design Show at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.

Pinot Noir tasting

April 16, 2016

1 mile east

Sample 100 pinots and meet the winemakers during Chicago Pinot Days in Lakeview Terrace at Navy Pier.

Teen literature festival

April 16, 2016 (party April 15)

1 mile south

Teenagers express themselves and attend workshops at ChiTeen Lit Fest at Columbia College Chicago. Free but RSVP on their website.

Running music festival

April 16, 2016 (SOLD OUT)

2.7 miles south

Run or walk a 5K to multiple stages that have parties with DJ music, lights, lasers, and glowsticks during Night Nation Run at Soldier Field.

Silent films + live music

April 16, 2016 (7:30 p.m.)

7.2 miles north

Watch modern silent films as a new score is played live at Sound of Silent Film Festival at Music Box Theater.

Maritime festival

April 16, 2016

8 miles NW

See ship models and displays, hear music and song, and attend 40 seminars and workshops at Chicago Maritime Festival at Old Town School of Folk Music.

Chocolate & wine tasting

April 16 - 17, 2016

2.2 miles west

Chicago Artisan Chocolate Festival has lectures, demonstrations, exhibitors, and tastings at Stephen Bailey Auditorium.

Children’s expo

April 16 - 17, 2016

30.3 miles SW

The Kids Expo features family-oriented vendors plus children’s activities (some ticketed) at Tinley Park Convention Center.

Films about Palestine

April 16 - May 5, 2016

0.5 mile SW

The Chicago Palestine Film Festival exhibits and promotes films by Palestinian directors as well as films about Palestine at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Culture of India

April 17, 2016 (12 to 4 p.m.)

1 mile east

Enjoy the folk music, traditional dance, food, and crafts of India at Neighborhoods of the World in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. Free.

Greek parade

April 17, 2016 (2:30 p.m.)

1.5 miles west

The annual Greek Independence Day Parade begins at N. Halsted Street & Randolph Street. Free.

Bach festival

April 22 - May 6, 2016

Chicago locations

Bach Week Festival is a series of four classical music concerts in North Chicago and Evanston held on April 22, 24, and May 6.

Charity dinner

April 23, 2016 (6 to 9:30 p.m.)

27.4 miles NW

Hunger to Hope includes a three-course dinner, live music, an international craft market, and a live auction at Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel.

Money week

April 23 - 30, 2016

Chicago locations

Money Smart Week is a series of classes and activities designed to help you better manage your personal finances. Search for events near your zip code. Free.

Pig feast

April 24, 2016 (5 to 8 p.m.)

0.5 miles east

Cochon is a culinary competition that features a stand-up tasting of dozens of chef-prepared dishes paired with wine, beer, and spirits for $131 at Loews Chicago Hotel.

Bordeaux wine tasting

April 25, 2016 (7 p.m., VIP 6 p.m.)

0.6 miles NE

Taste fine wine from 22 French wineries and passed hors d’oeuvres at Le Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux at Chez.

Cocktail evening

April 28, 2016 (6 to 10 p.m.)

1.7 miles NW

A ticket to Chicago Cocktail Social gets you premium cocktails made by bartenders from 17 establishments, gourmet food, and live music at Galleria Marchetti.

Burlesque competition

April 28, 2016 (8 to 11 p.m.)

4.7 miles north

Burlypicks is a national burlesque and variety-act competition and show for $10 at Lincoln Tap Room.

Wine tasting

April 28, 2016 (6:30 to 9:30 p.m.)

8 miles NW

Sample wine plus hors d’oeuvres on the Spring Wine Stroll in the shops of Lincoln Square and Ravenswood. Repeats in Nov.

NFL football festival

April 28 - 30, 2016

1 mile south

NFL Draft Town is a free fan festival in Grant Park & Congress Plaza, which offers games, exhibits, kids’ play, autographs, and food vendors. Free.

Famous speakers

April 28 - May 1, 2016

Chicago locations

Hear today’s leading authors, thinkers, and fashion icons speak at Style, which is a new event organized by the Chicago Humanities Festival.

Small press festival

April 29 - 30, 2016

2.5 miles west

A zine is a cheap, self-published, underground publication. Chicago Zine Fest offers panel discussions Friday, plus exhibitions by 200 writers, artists, and publishers Saturday on the Near West Side. Free.

Crafts fair

April 29 - May 1, 2016

1 mile west

One of a Kind Show and Sale features handmade crafts by 300 artists, food, and entertainment at the Merchandise Mart. Repeats in Dec.

Spirits tasting crawl

April 30, 2016 (2:30 p.m., VIP 1:30)

0.5 miles west

Taste 40 tequilas and margaritas in downtown Chicago bars at Tequila, Sangria, Margarita Chicago, age 21+.

Artisan food festival

April 30, 2016 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

1.1 miles west

Meet food makers and taste their cured meats, confections, craft beer, wine, and cheese at Artisan Producer Festival, which includes a stage with cooking demos at Chicago French Market. Free.

Rum tasting

April 30, 2016

2.1 miles west

The MidWest Rum Fest is a new event that promises a tasting room, brand seminars, and an after party at Bottom Lounge for age 21+.

Rum tasting

April 30, 2016

2.4 miles west

Midwest Rum Fest has a tasting room, crafts for sale, and mixology demos at Bottom Lounge for age 21+.


April 30 - May 1, 2016

3 miles SW

Chicago’s best chefs serve bacon dishes and drinks for lunch and dinner at Baconfest Chicago in UIC Forum.

Elmhurst Art in the Park

April 30 - May 1, 2016

17 miles west

Art in the Park is a juried show of fine art, craft, and design, which is held rain or shine at Wilder Park in Elmhurst. Free.

Lilac festival

April 30 - May 15, 2016

27 miles west

Enjoy lilac-themed events at Lilac Time in Lombard, including concerts, plant sales, tours, a formal ball, a stroll through Lilacia Park, beer and wine tasting, 5K, and an art & craft fair.
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© April 2016 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois.