Chicago events calendar - April 2017. 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 2017
April 2017

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

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


April 1, 2017 (begins March 31)

3 miles SW

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

Beer and wine festival

April 1, 2017

28 miles SW

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

Improv festival

April 1 - 2, 2017 (begins March 27)

Chicago locations

Billed as the world’s longest-running festival of improvisational theater, Chicago Improv Festival includes music, song, comedy, story, and puppetry performances.

Children’s expo

April 1 - 2, 2017 (begins March 31)

27.4 miles NW

The Kids Expo [website has sound] features family-oriented vendors plus children’s activities (some ticketed) at Schaumburg Convention Center.

Science-fiction saga

April 1 - 9, 2017 (also March)

10.2 miles north

A Wrinkle in Time is based on a popular book that follows Meg and her friends across the stars and into the heart of a terrible evil to rescue her father from the darkness, at Lifeline Theatre. Discount tickets $15 to $20.

Dining cruise

April 1 - Sept. 30, 2017

1 mile east

Enjoy a three-course dinner or a brunch buffet aboard the luxurious Odyssey yacht, with two hours of skyline views and DJ dance music, departing from Navy Pier.

Shamrock 8K race

April 2, 2017

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.

Quilt festival

April 6 - 8, 2017

17 mile NW

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

Blues dance

April 7 - 9, 2017

multiple locations

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

Villa Park arts & crafts

April 7 - 9, 2017

21 miles west

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

Beer tasting

April 8, 2017

0.7 miles west

Sample 25 beers at River North Beer Fest at Moe’s Cantina & Old Crow Smokehouse. Repeats in Nov. Discount tickets $25.

Diabetes expo

April 8, 2017

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.

Rum tasting

April 8, 2017

6.8 miles NW

The MidWest Rum Fest has a tasting room and brand seminars at Logan Square Auditorium for age 21+.

Easter for kids in Schaumburg

April 8, 2017

32 miles NW

Celebrate spring with egg hunts, games, crafts, moon bounce, concessions, pony rides, and a petting zoo at Bunny Bash at the Community Recreation Center.

Festival of colors

April 8, 2017

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.

Robots at the museum

April 8 - 16, 2017

8 miles south

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

Easter brunch at the zoo

April 8 - 16, 2017

14 miles SW

Breakfast with the Bunny is an all-you-can-eat buffet and a visit with the Easter Bunny. Easter Champagne Brunch April 16 is bit more formal at Brookfield Zoo.

Musical comedy

April 9 - 30, 2017

10 miles NW

Hairspray is a family-friendly musical about a teenager who becomes a celebrity on a TV dance show, “piled bouffant high with laughter, romance, and deliriously tuneful songs” at Windy City Music Theatre. Discount tickets $14.

Racy movies

April 14 - 15, 2017

6 miles north

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

Easter at the arboretum

April 14 - 15, 2017

27 miles west

Enjoy Breakfast with the Bunny on Friday and Saturday, or a fine Easter Brunch buffet on Sunday at Morton Arboretum in Lisle.

Country music brunch

April 15, 2017 (noon)

0.7 miles west

Your ticket to Country Day Party includes a brunch buffet with beer, Bloody Marys, and mimosas plus live country music at Old Crow Smokehouse. Discount tickets $25.

1/4 marathon

April 15, 2017

2 miles south

Chicago Quarter Marathon begins at Soldier Field and goes south along Lake Michigan’s shoreline. Easter Kids’ Hop at 10:45 a.m. to age 10.

Rockin’ race & egg hunt

April 15, 2017

6.8 miles north

Bunny Rock at Montrose Harbor features 1980s rock music, a 5K run/walk at 9 a.m., a petting zoo, and a giant egg hunt for ages 2 to 10 at 10:15 a.m.

Films about Palestine

April 15 - May 4, 2017

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.

Easter restaurants

April 16, 2017

Chicago locations

OpenTable lists restaurants offering special menus for Easter. Also see recommendations by Chicago Eater and Chicago Tribune.

Easter in the garden

April 16, 2017

24 miles north

Enjoy a festive Easter Egg Brunch and bring a basket for the Easter egg hunt at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.

Movies and music festival

April 20 - 23, 2017

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.

Whisky festival

April 21, 2017

0.2 miles SE

Taste 300 whiskeys, and learn from master distillers and blenders at WhiskyFest at Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Creativity expo

April 21 - 22, 2017

0.4 miles south

Hear experts speak about art, fashion, film, food, and music at Lake FX Summit + Expo (formerly called Chicago Music/Film/Fashion+ Summit) at Chicago Cultural Center. Free.

Teen literature festival

April 21 - 22, 2017

1 mile south

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

Comic and Entertainment Expo

April 21 - 23, 2017

3 miles south

Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) is a convention for fans of comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and pop culture at McCormick Place.

Silent films + live music

April 22, 2017

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.

Charity dinner

April 22, 2017

16.2 miles NW

Hunger to Hope includes a three-course dinner, live music, an international craft market, and a live auction at the convention center in Rosemont.

Chocolate & wine tasting

April 22 - 23, 2017

2.2 miles west

Chicago Artisan Chocolate Show has lectures, demonstrations, exhibitors, and tastings at Stephen Bailey Auditorium. Discount tickets $20.

Home show in Wheaton

April 22 - 23, 2017

27 miles west

Find renovation help at The DuPage County Home Improvement & Landscaping Expo at DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton.

Gluten-free expo

April 22 - 23, 2017

28 miles NW

Sample and purchase products from 100 vendors at Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo, which also offers classes at the Schaumburg Convention Center. Discount tickets $12.

Pig feast

April 23, 2017

Location uncertain

Cochon is a culinary competition that features a stand-up tasting of dozens of chef-prepared dishes paired with wine, beer, and cocktails.

Money week

April 23 - 30, 2017

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.

Hilarious play

April 26 - May 25, 2017

31 miles north

Winner of a best play Tony Award, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a zany farce about a dysfunctional family with themes and characters from Chekhov in Lake Forest. Discount tickets $6 to $15.

Cocktail evening

April 27, 2017 (6:30 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.

Wine tasting

April 27, 2017

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.

Crafts fair

April 28 - 30, 2017

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.

Bach festival

April 28 - May 7, 2017

Chicago locations

Bach Week Festival is a series of three classical music concerts in North Chicago and Evanston on April 28, May 5, and May 7.

Meet the authors

April 29 - May 11, 2017

13 miles north

Evanston Literary Festival includes a dozen author readings and workshops on its schedule. Free.

Famous speakers

April 2017 (undated)

Chicago locations

Hear today’s leading authors, thinkers, and fashion icons speak at the Spring Festival organized by the Chicago Humanities Festival.

Latino film festival

April 2017 (undated)

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.

Flower show

April 2017 (undated)

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.

Spirits tasting crawl

April 2017 (undated)

0.5 miles west

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

Bordeaux wine tasting

April 2017 (undated)

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.

Artisan food festival

April 2017 (undated)

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.

Greek parade

April 2017 (undated)

1.5 miles west

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

Taste of the Gold Coast

April 2017 (undated)

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.

Freaky carnival show

April 2017 (undated)

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 2017 (undated)

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.

Modern pop festival

April 2017 (undated)

10 miles north

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

Easter brunch - Macys

April 2017 (undated)

Chicago and Oak Brook

The Bunny Brunch buffet at Macy’s includes entertainment for the kids and requires pre-payment at 877-556-2297 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Easter egg hunts

April 2017 (undated)

Chicago area

Please confirm the date, time, and rain policy.

Easter brunch with a view

April 2017 (undated)

0.8 miles north

Adults get a free cocktail and kids get a visit from the Easter Bunny at Easter Brunch Buffet at The Signature Room at the 95th. Best availability is after 3 p.m.

Easter at Lincoln Park Zoo

April 2017 (undated)

2.5 miles north

Eat breakfast with the Easter Bunny; hunt for eggs; visit animals; and ride the train & carousel (if it’s dry) at the Easter Egg-Stravaganza at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Easter fairy tales

April 2017 (undated)

2.5 miles north

Kids to age 5 enjoy art, music, stories, snacks with Mother Goose, and an egg hunt with Peter Rabbit during Bubble Egg Hunt at Bubbles Academy for $30.

Adult egg hunt

April 2017 (undated)

6.2 miles NW

Teams of two hunt for eggs to win prizes at the Adult Easter Egg Hunt at Longman & Eagle, which starts at noon. The $5 donation supports charity. RSVP.

Swedish Easter buffet

April 2017 (undated)

7.6 miles north

Påskmiddag is a family-friendly event with a smörgåsbord and indoor Easter egg hunt at the Swedish American Museum.
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© April 2017 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois. ord-04