Chicago events calendar for September 2015. Best festivals, fun things to do, free kids activities, street fairs, and Labor Day weekend events in Chicago, Illinois.

Best events for 12 monthsevents12
January February March April May June July August September October November December
Best events for 12 months
September 2015

Enjoy the best Chicago events, festivals, and things to do in September 2015 with this calendar of events.

Events are listed by starting date, and all dates are confirmed. Mileage is from the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Black film festival

September 1 - 3, 2015 (begins Aug. 7)

0.5 miles SW

Black Harvest Film Festival celebrates the stories, images, heritage, and history of the black experience with dozens of films at Gene Siskel Film Center.

Ravinia music festival

September 1 - 12, 2015 (begins June 13)

23 miles north

Ravinia Festival is billed as America’s oldest outdoor music festival, with a long series of performances at Ravinia Park in Highland Park.

Dinner in the park

September 3, 2015

1 mile south

Savour is a pricey fine food and wine event with music at Buckingham Fountain to benefit Grant Park.

Jazz festival

September 3 - 6, 2015

0.5 miles south

The Chicago Jazz Festival is Labor Day weekend at Millennium Park. No dogs. Free.

Englewood Jazz Festival

September 3 - 6, 2015

11 miles south

Englewood Jazz Festival features five performances plus awards at Hamilton Park Cultural Center. Free.

Fringe theater festival

September 3 - 13, 2015

10 miles NW

See 50 weird and wonderful shows by local theater groups at Fringe Festival in Jefferson Park.

North Coast Music Festival

September 4 - 6, 2015

2 miles west

North Coast Music Festival is an all-ages music fest that ranges from hip-hop to electronic to indie rock in Union Park on Labor Day weekend

African festival

September 4 - 7, 2015

7 miles south

African Festival of the Arts [sound] celebrates African art, crafts, drumming, food, and entertainment at a festival Labor Day weekend in Washington Park.

Polish festival

September 4 - 7, 2015

10 miles NW

Taste of Polonia has 37 bands, 50 vendors, 12 food booths (polska kielbasa, potato pancakes, pierogi, and beer) Labor Day weekend in Jefferson Park.

Naperville festival

September 4 - 7, 2015

33 miles west

Naperville Last Fling is a family event with a parade, carnival rides, children’s area, music stages, and food vendors Labor Day weekend at Naperville’s Riverwalk.

Art for seniors

September 9, 2015

1 mile south

Reflections (formerly Senior Celebrations) is lectures, demonstrations, and free entry to the Art Institute of Chicago at 159 E. Monroe St. Register for lunch.

Country fair

September 9 - 13, 2015

62 miles SW

Head to the Sandwich Fair for carnival games, fair food, grandstand shows, and farm animals.

Opera in the park

September 11, 2015

0.5 mile south

Spectacular singing and orchestral music await at Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park, which is preceded by an Air Force Band concert. Free.

Wine festival

September 11 - 12, 2015

1 mile south

Sample from more than 300 wines at the outdoor Windy City Wine Festival near Buckingham Fountain.

BBQ competition

September 11 - 12, 2015

2.5 miles south

Windy City BBQ Classic features all-you-can-eat BBQ rib tasting, craft beer, live blues music, and cooking demonstrations at the South Lot, Soldier Field.

Rock festival

September 11 - 13, 2015

6 miles west

Riot Fest is an outdoor punk, rock and alternative music festival plus carnival at Humboldt Park.

German festival & parade

September 11 - 13, 2015

7 miles north

German American Fest has German music, culture, beer, and food at Lincoln Square. The Von Steuben Parade is 2 p.m. Sat. at 4000 N Lincoln Ave. Free.

Mexican independence festival

September 11 - 13, 2015

10 miles SW

Thousands attend Festival de La Villita for authentic Mexican cuisine, music, artisans, carnival rides, and family entertainment on W 26th St. at Kostner. Free.

World Music Festival

September 11 - 22, 2015

Chicago locations

World Music Festival Chicago features artists and ensembles from all over the world. Free.

Boat parade

September 12, 2015

1 mile east

Venetian Night is a parade of illuminated boats with Broadway musical themes set to music and followed by fireworks at Navy Pier’s south dock. Free.

Forest Park Ribfest

September 12, 2015

11 miles west

Eat, hear live music, and enjoy children’s activities at Forest Park Ribfest at 7824 Madison Street. Free.

Mexican parades

September 12 - 13, 2015

Chicago locations

Celebrate Mexico’s separation from Spain at these Mexican Independence Day parades, with colorful floats, mariachi bands, and street dancing. Free.
  • Sept. 12 at 12 p.m. - Pilsen Mexican Indep. Day Parade on 18th Street at Newberry
  • Sept. 13 at 12 p.m. - 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade on 26th St. at Albany
  • Sept. 13 at 2 p.m. - South Chicago Mexican Indep. Day Parade on Commercial Ave. at 87th

Oak Brook art fair

September 12 - 13, 2015

19 miles west

Fall Festival of Fine Art features art, artists in action, and music in Oak Brook. Repeats in May. Free.

Waukegan air show

September 12 - 13, 2015

41 miles north

See planes on the ground and in the air at Wings over Waukegan. No pets. Wear sunscreen.

Naperville film festival

September 12 - 19, 2015

30 miles SW

The Naperville Independent Film Festival shows 60+ films, gives out awards, and offers filmmakers advice on lighting, writing and directing.
September 2015

Berghoff Oktoberfest

September 16 - 18, 2015

1 mile south

Berghoff Oktoberfest serves bratwurst, sauerkraut, chicken, pretzels, and apple strudel plus German music at W Adams St. & Dearborn. Free until 9 p.m.

Art exposition

September 17 - 20, 2015

1 mile east

The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art (Expo Chgo) has museum-quality curated art and design by 120 exhibitors at Navy Pier.

Oak Park “Oaktoberfest”

September 18 - 19, 2015

9 miles west

Enjoy music, craft beer, wine, pulled pork sandwiches, corn on the cob, bratwurst, and a kids’ root beer garden at Oaktoberfest in Oak Park. Free entry.

Affordable art

September 18 - 20, 2015

1.7 miles west

Edition Chicago features affordable works at Chicago Artists Coalition’s West Loop gallery. Donation.

Art, food, and music festival

September 18 - 20, 2015

13 miles north

Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival features restaurant food and music beginning Friday at 5 p.m., plus an art festival beginning Saturday morning. Free.

Apple festival

September 19, 2015

7 miles NW

Get some apple pie and cider, listen to local music, or visit the kid zone at Apple Fest on N Lincoln Avenue from Leland to Lawrence. Donation.

Small art fair

September 19, 2015

16 miles NW

Fall Arts & Crafts Adventure is a friendly juried show at Hodges Park in Park Ridge. Repeats in May. Free.

Craft fair

September 19 - 20, 2015

3.5 miles NW

Shop from independent artisans and chefs at the Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park. Free.

Taco festival

September 19 - 20, 2015

5 miles north

Try tacos from 8 restaurants and vote for the best, taste beer, hear live music, and see arts and crafts at Lakeview Taco Fest on Southport Avenue. Donation.

Ravenswood Art Walk

September 19 - 20, 2015

7 miles north

Visit 150 artists in tents and shops along Ravenswood Avenue during Ravenswood ArtWalk.

Naperville art fair

September 19 - 20, 2015

32 miles west

Riverwalk Fine Art Fair is a juried fair with 130 artists at a scenic park in downtown Naperville. Free.

Race at the zoo

September 20, 2015

14 miles SW

Run or walk past animals on a 5K entirely within Brookfield Zoo by joining the Zoo Run Run.

Chicago Gourmet

September 25 - 27, 2015

0.5 mile south

Chicago Gourmet is a premium food and wine event with 100 chefs, cooking demonstrations, beer and food pavilions, and wine tastings in Millennium Park.

St. Alphonsus Oktoberfest

September 25 - 27, 2015

6 miles NW

Enjoy beer, bratwurst, pretzels, live music, arts & crafts, and Sunday afternoon kids’ fest at Oktoberfest Chicago on N Lincoln Ave. at Southport.

Craft expo

September 25 - 27, 2015 (party Sept. 24)

24 miles north

See 164 artisans exhibiting one-of-a-kind museum quality work at American Craft Exposition at Chicago Botanic Garden.

Free museum day

September 26, 2015


Get a free ticket for two people to visit one of 32 Illinois museums on Museum Day Live.

German beer crawl

September 26, 2015

8.1 miles north

Wear lederhosen or a barmaid outfit and head to five bars in Lincoln Square during Crawltoberfest.

Dutch festival

September 26, 2015

24 miles SW

The Elim Dutch Festival features Dutch food, dance, music, and vendors, plus a kids’ carnival, petting zoo, magic show, and face painting at Elim Christian Services in Palos Heights. Free entry.

Design Harvest festival

September 26 - 27, 2015

3 miles west

Design Harvest features local furniture and accessory makers, live music, a square dance, food and beer, and family activities like hayrides and pumpkin painting on W Grand Ave. at Wood. Donation.

Edgewater art fair

September 26 - 27, 2015

8 miles north

Edgewater Fall Art Fair features 60 local artists, live music, a beer garden, fashion show, kids’ corner, and pet parade on Granville Ave. at Broadway. Donation.

Hyde Park Jazz Festival

September 26 - 27, 2015

8 miles south

Hear 30 jazz performances by top artists indoors and outdoors at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. Donation.

Family haunts

September 26 - Nov. 1, 2015

32 miles SW

The Haunted Barn at Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm in Homer Glen is fine for mature kids. The Fun Barn will entertain even the youngest children. Also visit the corn maze, kiddie rides, and petting zoo.

Aurora haunted house

September 26 - Nov. 1, 2015

38 miles west

Basement of the Dead and Shattered 3D are two horrifying attractions in one place. See schedule.

Half marathon & 5K

September 27, 2015

9 miles south

The Chicago Half Marathon begins at Jackson Park and goes along the scenic lakeshore. Free to watch.

Hyde Park art fair

September 26 - 27, 2015

8 miles south

Meet friendly artists at the juried Hyde Park Arts & Crafts Adventure in the courtyard of University of Chicago’s Hyde Park Shopping Center. Free.

Fall Dinner Crawl

September 29, 2015

4 miles NW

Buy tickets for 1 of 3 routes, and then get samples from restaurants along the way during Fall Dinner Crawl in Wicker Park and Bucktown.

Spirits tasting

September 30, 2015

1.2 miles south

Sample handcrafted spirits and meet the distillers at Chicago Indie Spirits Expo at Hilton Chicago.

German fashion & wine

September 2015 (undated)

7 miles north

Mingle with German fashion designers and taste German wines and appetizers at Vintage Deutsch, a fundraiser at Dank Haus for adults.

Movies at the zoo

September 2015 (undated)

2.5 miles north

Zoovies are free outdoor movies at Lincoln Park Zoo at dusk on July 24, Aug. 21, Sept. 5, and Oct. 3.

Turkish fest

September 2015 (undated)

0.1 miles east

Experience art, music, dance, and cuisine of Turkey at the free Chicago Turkish Festival in Pioneer Court at 401 N Michigan Ave. Ticketed dinner on Thursday.

Family festival

September 2015 (undated)

11 miles south

The Auburn Gresham 79th Street Renaissance Festival is a community festival with entertainment, food vendors, a marketplace, and a large kids’ corner on W 79th Street at Racine. Free.

Ukrainian festival

September 2015 (undated)

3.6 miles west

Ukrainian Village Fest offers folk dance, music, food (potato pancakes, borsch, pierogies, kabos, blintzes), beer, wine, and a kids’ area at Superior St. & Oakley.

Circus in the park

September 2015 (undated)

Chicago locations

Midnight Circus in the Parks is a series of daytime shows at eight parks that’s perfect for families.

Free science museum

September 8 - 30, 2015 (except weekends)

8 miles south

Show Illinois ID to enter the Museum of Science and Industry free during Free Days. Repeats in January.

NASCAR event

September 2015 (undated)

0.2 miles east

See NASCAR drivers onstage, with show cars, music, and food at Chase Grid Live at Pioneer Court.

Beer festival

September 2015 (undated)

Location uncertain

Festiv-Ale offers fine Midwest beers, excellent food, music, and a silent auction for charity.

Beer at the zoo

September 2015 (undated)

2.5 miles north

Enjoy beer from 75 craft breweries while exploring wildlife at Lincoln Park Zoo during Lions, Tigers and Brews.

Beer festival

September 2015 (undated)

1.5 miles SW

Buy tickets online for beer tasting and snacks during an afternoon or evening session at The Chicago Beer Festival in Union Station. Repeats March.

International food & fashion

September 2015 (undated)

3.6 miles SW

Enjoy small bites from different countries and an international-travel fashion show at International Bites Gala at Lacuna Lofts.

Hungarian festival

September 2015 (undated)

15 miles NW

Eat traditional dishes like goulash, hear folk music, watch dancers, plays games, and see films about Hungary at Taste of Hungary in Norridge.

Lakeview East art festival

September 2015 (undated)

4 miles north

Meet 150 juried artists selling paintings, sculpture, photography, furniture, and jewelry at Lakeview East Festival of the Arts on Broadway Avenue, north of Belmont. Donation.

Revolutionary War

September 2015 (undated)

27 miles west

Get a feel for camp life, experience a battle, and enjoy colonial sights and sounds at the Revolutionary War Reenactment at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. Free except parking.

Bacon cook-off

September 2015 (undated)

4 miles north

Make or eat creative bacon treats at Chicago Bacon Takedown at Lincoln Hall on Lincoln Avenue.

Fashion show

September 2015 (undated)

1 mile SW

Your ticket to A Foray into Fall Fashion includes a fashion show and cocktails at the Civic Opera House.

Gay film festival

September 2015 (undated)

Chicago locations

Reeling is Chicago’s LGBT International Film Festival.

Logan Square beer festival

September 2015 (undated)

7 miles NW

Try 50 beers from 20 breweries at Logan Square Beer Fest in Logan Square Auditorium.

Locally made festival

September 2015 (undated)

8 miles north

Andersonville City Made Fest features local artists, brewers, businesses, and musicians on N Clark Street from Argyle to Carmen. Donation.

Oyster festival

September 2015 (undated)

0.1 miles north

Shaw’s Oyster Fest Block Party offers fresh oysters, seafood, and music in a downtown parking lot.
Next month:October 2015
add event home contact us

September 2015 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois.