Chicago events calendar for September 2014. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment in Chicago, Illinois.

Best events for 12 monthsevents12
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September 2014

Enjoy the best Chicago events, festivals, and things to do in September 2014 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.

Shopping festival

September 1, 2014 (begins Aug. 22)

0 miles

The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival has outdoor shops, exclusive offers, culinary events, and concerts on Michigan Ave., plus a women’s run in Grant Park.

African festival

September 1, 2014 (begins Aug. 29)

7 miles south

African Festival of the Arts [sound] celebrates African art, books, crafts, drumming, entertainment, and food at a giant festival in Washington Park. Cost.

Polish festival

September 1, 2014 (begins Aug. 29)

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. Cost.

Naperville festival

September 1, 2014 (begins Aug. 29)

33 miles west

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

Noir film festival

September 1 - 4, 2014 (begins Aug. 29)

6 miles north

Noir City screens classic films that are stylish, cynical, and melodramatic at the Music Box Theatre. Cost.

Fringe theater festival

September 1 - 7, 2014 (begins Aug. 28)

10 miles NW

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

Ravinia music festival

September 1 - 20, 2014 (begins June 16)

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. Cost.

Movies in the Parks

September 2 - 20, 2014 (also Aug.)

Chicago locations

Watch more than 250 Movies in the Parks. Free.

Seniors day at Art Institute

September 3, 2014

1 mile south

Senior Celebrations at the Art Institute of Chicago offers lectures, demonstrations, and free entry at 159 E. Monroe Street. Register for optional luncheon.

Jazz at the aquarium

September 3, 2014

2 miles south

Hear musicians and vocalists, see views from the terrace, buy cocktails & food, and visit the aquarium at Jazzin’ at the Shedd at Shedd Aquarium. Cost.

Country fair

September 3 - 7, 2014

62 miles SW

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

Millennium Park movies

September 4, 2014 (also Aug.)

0.5 miles south

Get a seat or sit on the lawn to see films on a 40-foot screen at Millennium Park Summer Film Series. Free.
  • Strictly Ballroom (PG) at 6:30 p.m.

Dinner in the park

September 4, 2014

1 mile south

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

German fashion & wine

September 4, 2014

7 miles north

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

Movie at the zoo

September 5, 2014

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.
  • Best in Show - Sept. 5 (Sept. 19 if rain)

Turkish fest

September 5 - 6, 2014

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.

Wine festival

September 5 - 6, 2014

1 mile south

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

German festival & parade

September 5 - 7, 2014

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.

Opera in the park

September 6, 2014

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.

Boat parade

September 6, 2014

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.

Bacon festival

September 6, 2014

1.5 miles SW

Sample bacon dishes and learn from chefs at the Great American Bacon Festival at Union Station. Cost.

Family festival

September 6, 2014

11 miles south

The 79th Street Renaissance Festival: A Family Jam for Peace is a community festival with entertainment, food vendors, a marketplace, and a large kids’ corner on W 79th Street at Racine. Free.

Waukegan air show

September 6, 2014

41 miles north

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

Craft fair

September 6 - 7, 2014

3.5 miles NW

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

Ukrainian festival

September 6 - 7, 2014

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.

Oak Brook art fair

September 6 - 7, 2014

19 miles west

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

Circus in the park

September 6 - 28, 2014 (Aug. 30 - Oct. 19)

Chicago locations

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

Bike and eat

September 7, 2014

2.5 miles SW

Four Star Bike & Chow is a non-competitive biking event that has routes from 12 to 62 miles with snacks on the way and an after party. Routes begin and end at Circle Memorial Grove on the UIC campus. Cost.
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Half marathon & 5K

September 7, 2014

9 miles south

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

Free science museum

September 8 - 29, 2014 (except Sat. & Sun.)

8 miles south

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

Berghoff Oktoberfest

September 10 - 12, 2014

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.

NASCAR event

September 11, 2014

0.2 miles east

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

World Music Festival

September 11 - 21, 2014

Chicago locations

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

Beer festival

September 12, 2014

2 miles west

Festiv-Ale offers fine Midwest beers, excellent food, music, and a silent auction for charity at Carmichael’s Chicago Steak House. Cost.

Beer at the zoo

September 12, 2014

2.5 miles north

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

Rock festival

September 12 - 14, 2014

6 miles west

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

Mexican independence festival

September 12 - 14, 2014

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.

Beer festival

September 13, 2014

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. Cost.

International food & fashion

September 13, 2014

3.6 miles SW

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

Forest Park Ribfest

September 13, 2014

11 miles west

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

Hungarian festival

September 13, 2014

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. Cost.

Mexican parades

September 13 - 14, 2014

Chicago locations

Celebrate Mexico’s separation from Spain at these Mexican Independence Day parades, with colorful floats, mariachi bands, and street dancing. Free.
  • Sept. 13 (12:00) - Pilsen Mexican Independence Day Parade on 18th Street at Newberry
  • Sept. 14 (12:00) - 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade on 26th St. at Albany
  • Sept. 14 (2:00) - South Chicago Mexican Indep. Day Parade on Commercial Avenue at 87th

Wells Street festival

September 13 - 14, 2014

2 miles north

Crush in Old Town has fine art, beer and wine tasting, macaroni & cheese tasting, local restaurants, music, and a kids’ area at Wells St. & North Ave. Donation.

Lakeview East art festival

September 13 - 14, 2014

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.

Indian pow wow

September 13 - 14, 2014

25 miles NW

The American Indian Center of Chicago Powwow features song and dance, arts and crafts vendors, native foods, and archery at Busse Woods Forest Preserve in Elk Grove Village. Cost.

Revolutionary War

September 13 - 14, 2014

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.

Naperville film festival

September 13 - 20, 2014

30 miles SW

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

Bacon cook-off

September 14, 2014

4 miles north

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

Fashion show

September 15, 2014

1 mile SW

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

Art exposition

September 18 - 21, 2014

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. Cost.

Gay film festival

September 18 - 25, 2014

Chicago locations

Reeling is Chicago’s LGBT International Film Festival.

Ale festival

September 19 - 20, 2014

0.8 miles south

The brand new Chicago Ale Fest features samples of 200 beers from 100 craft breweries, plus live music and food trucks in Grant Park. Cost.

Oak Park “Oaktoberfest”

September 19 - 20, 2014

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 19 - 21, 2014

1.7 miles west

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

Apple festival

September 20, 2014

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.

Logan Square beer festival

September 20, 2014

7 miles NW

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

Englewood Jazz Festival

September 20, 2014

11 miles south

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

Small art fair

September 20, 2014

16 miles NW

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

Design Harvest festival

September 20 - 21, 2014

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.

Taco festival

September 20 - 21, 2014

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.

Locally made festival

September 20 - 21, 2014

8 miles north

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

Naperville art fair

September 20 - 21, 2014

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 21, 2014

14 miles SW

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

Villa Park nightmare

September 26 - 27 (also Oct. & Nov.)

21 miles west

Great American Nightmare [sound] is 3 high-tech haunted houses based on Rob Zombie’s horror films for age 13+ in the Odeum Expo Center. See hours.

Chicago Gourmet

September 26 - 28, 2014

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 26 - 28, 2014

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. Cost.

Art, food, and music festival

September 26 - 28, 2014

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.

Free museum day

September 27, 2014

Statewide

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

German beer crawl

September 27, 2014

8.1 miles north

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

Dutch festival

September 27, 2014

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.

Edgewater art fair

September 27 - 28, 2014

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 art fair

September 27 - 28, 2014

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.

Hyde Park Jazz Festival

September 27 - 28, 2014

8 miles south

Hear 35 jazz performances by top artists indoors and outdoors at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. Donation.

Family haunts

September 27 - Oct. 30, 2014

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. Cost.

Artists Month

September 27 - Oct. 31, 2014

Chicago area

Enjoy performances, exhibitions, open studios, demonstrations, and neighborhood art walks during Chicago Artists Month.

Aurora haunted house

Sept. 27 - Nov. 1, 2014 (some dates)

38 miles west

Basement of the Dead and Shattered 3D are two horrifying attractions in one place. Skip lines with discount VIP tickets, except Oct. 17, 18, 24, 25, 31.

Spirits tasting

September 30, 2014 (5 to 9 p.m.)

1.2 miles

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

Fall Dinner Crawl

September 30, 2014 (6 to 9 p.m.)

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.
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homeBest events for 12 monthsevents12

September 2014 calendar of events in Chicago. What to do in Chicagoland today, this weekend, this month. Special events, festivals, things to do in Chicago, IL.