Chicago events September 2020. Things to do in Chicago.

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Best events for 12 months

Chicago events September 2020

Chicago Jazz Festival

September 1 - 6, 2020
(begins Aug. 29)
0.5 miles south
Chicago Jazz Festival is a free event held in Millennium Park (see a list of what you can bring). Also see the list of neighborhood concerts from Aug. 23 to 29.

North Coast Music Festival

September 4 - 6, 2020
2.8 miles SE
North Coast Music Festival is an all-ages music fest that ranges from hip-hop to electronic to indie rock at Northerly Island on Labor Day weekend.

African festival

September 4 - 7, 2020
7.9 miles south
African Festival of the Arts celebrates African art, crafts, drumming, food, and entertainment “in a simulated African village” at Washington Park. Cost.

Polish festival

September 4 - 7, 2020
10 miles NW
Taste of Polonia has 35 bands on four stages, food (polska kielbasa, potato pancakes, pierogi, and beer), vendors, and carnival rides in Jefferson Park.

Naperville festival & parade

September 4 - 7, 2020
34 miles west
Naperville Last Fling is a family event with carnival rides, a children’s area, two stages of entertainment, food vendors, and a Labor Day Parade (Monday 10 a.m.) at Naperville’s Riverwalk Park.

Schaumburg festival

September 5 - 7, 2020
33 miles NW
Septemberfest includes an arts & crafts show, a carnival, lots of live music, a beer & wine tent, the Taste of Schaumburg (Sat. & Sun.), fireworks (Sun. or if rain Mon.), and a parade (Mon. 10 a.m. on Summit Drive) at Robert O. Atcher Municipal Center. No pets. Free.

Renaissance fair

September 5 - 7, 2020
(begins July 11)
49 miles north
Watch knights joust, shop in an artisan market, mingle with costumed minstrels, play games, and attend shows at Bristol Renaissance Faire in 16th century England (also known as Kenosha, WI). Open weekends and Labor Day.

British car show

September 6, 2020
(9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
29.5 miles NW
See British cars and motorcycles on display at the British Car Festival, with bagpipes, an Irish dance team, and food for sale at Harper College in Palatine. No pets or smoking. Free.

Small-town fair

September 9 - 13, 2020
62 miles SW
Head to the Sandwich Fair for carnival games, fair food, grandstand shows, and farm animals.

Rock festival

September 11 - 13, 2020
7 miles SW
Riot Fest is a huge outdoor punk, rock, and alternative music festival on multiple stages at Douglas Park for all ages. It has food vendors, bars, and carnival rides. Gates open at 11 a.m. Read the section on this page called Is it allowed at Riot Fest?

Northwest neighborhood festival

September 11 - 13, 2020
11.8 miles NW
Hear retro tunes at Throwback Music Fest, which also offers arts & crafts, kids’ activities, beverage tents, and classic cars on display Sunday in Gladstone Park on Milwaukee Avenue (from Elston to Peterson). Donation $5.

Outdoor games for adults

September 12, 2020
5.8 miles north
A ticket to Chicago Field Day includes unlimited beer, DJ music, a costume contest, and fun childhood games for your team of 6 to 8 people (tug-o-war, relay races, a scavenger hunt) at Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course.

Ukrainian festival

September 12 - 13, 2020
3.6 miles west
Ukrainian Village Fest offers folk dancers, music, food (potato pancakes, borsch, pierogi, kabobs, blintzes), beer, wine, and a kids’ area on Superior Street (from Oakley to Leavitt).

Caribbean food festival

September 12 - 13, 2020
4.1 miles south
Jerk, Seafood, and Vegan Festival promises live music, dancing, arts & crafts, outdoor games, and food (jerk chicken, vegan, soul, BBQ, and desserts) at Park 540. Free admission for children younger than age 12.

Lakeview East art festival

September 12 - 13, 2020
5 miles north
Meet 150 juried artists selling paintings, sculpture, photography, furniture, and jewelry at Lakeview East Festival of the Arts, which has a children’s area and music on two stages along N. Broadway (from Belmont to Roscoe). Donation.

Bourbon & BBQ

September 12 - 13, 2020
6.6 miles NW
Chicago Bourbon & Barbecue Fest has live music, barbecue kitchens, a bourbon tasting pavilion, and vendor booths filling the streets at Damen Avenue & Roscoe Street. Donation $5.

Food truck festival

September 12 - 13, 2020
10.3 miles NW
Chicago Food Truck Fest brings “up to 40” food trucks, beer, wine, sangria, and live music to LaBagh Woods.

Family festival

September 12 - 13, 2020
11 miles south
The 79th Street Renaissance Festival in Auburn Gresham is a community festival with entertainment, food vendors, a marketplace, and a kids’ corner on 79th Street (from Racine to Loomis). Free.

Small art fair

September 12 - 13, 2020
42.3 miles NW
Shop from 40 artists at Deer Park Art Show, with live music, kids’ activities, and food vendors outdoors at Deer Park Town Center. Free admission and parking.

Race at the zoo

September 13, 2020
14 miles SW
ZooRunRun includes a timed 5K and a 1-mile kids’ dash entirely within Brookfield Zoo.

Scandinavian festival

September 13, 2020
46 miles NW
Enjoy food, crafts, and entertainment from Northern Europe at Scandinavian Day Festival at beautiful Vasa Park in South Elgin. Children age 12 and younger free.

Kite festival

September 13, 2020
68 miles west
Bring sunscreen and a chair or blanket to DeKalb Kite Fest to watch giant inflatable kites, dancing kites, and fighting kites, with free kite making and a candy drop for kids, plus kites for sale at Lucinda Avenue and Kishwaukee Drive in DeKalb. Free except parking.

Small-town Oktoberfest

September 17 - 20, 2020
51 miles south
Manteno Oktoberfest has a beer tent, food, a kids’ carnival, live music, a garage sale (Fri. to Sun.), a pet parade (Fri. 6 p.m.), and a lighted parade (Sat. 6:30 p.m.). Free.

Beer festival

September 19, 2020
20 miles west
A $50 ticket to Elmhurst Craft Beer Fest includes 18 samples from among 100 beers and ciders, with live music and snacks on the grounds of Elmhurst History Museum for age 21+. No pets.

Taco festival

September 19 - 20, 2020
5 miles north
Try tacos from a dozen restaurants and vote for the best, drink beer, hear live music on two stages, visit the kids’ area, and watch Mexican wrestlers at Lakeview Taco Fest on Southport Avenue (from Addison to Roscoe). Donation $10.

Ravenswood Art Walk

September 19 - 20, 2020
7 miles north
Visit 300 artists in tents and shops along Ravenswood Avenue during Ravenswood ArtWalk and RAW Street Fest, which has music stages, food trucks, a beer garden, artists, and kids’ activities. Donation.

Oak Brook art fair

September 19 - 20, 2020
19 miles west
Oakbrook Art Festival [formerly Fine Art Festival] features artwork, artists in action, and music in Oak Brook. Free.

Naperville art fair

September 19 - 20, 2020
32 miles west
Riverwalk Fine Art Fair is a juried fair with 140 artists at a scenic park in downtown Naperville. Free.

Arts festival

September 24 - 27, 2020
8.7 miles NW
Mosaic Arts Fest “​is a weekend-long exploration of arts & culture of the Northwest Side” including a party, a film, exhibitions, storytelling, talks, music, dance, and theater. Many of the events are free.

Gay film festival

September 24 - Oct. 4, 2020
Chicago locations
Reeling is Chicago’s LGBTQ international film festival.

Hamburger party

September 25, 2020
0.5 miles south
Eat gourmet burgers with beer, wine, and spirits when top chefs compete at the $145 Hamburger Hop on the rooftop of Harris Theater, followed at 9 p.m. by a $59 Late Night Gourmet after party at 59 W. Hubbard Street. Both events age 21+.

Chicago Gourmet

September 25 - 27, 2020
0.5 mile south
Chicago Gourmet offers premium food and wine events, with the main events on Saturday and Sunday showcasing hundreds of restaurant chefs, vintners, and breweries in Millennium Park.

St. Alphonsus Oktoberfest

September 25 - 27, 2020
5.5 miles NW
Enjoy beer, bratwurst, pretzels, live music, and arts & crafts at Oktoberfest Chicago at St. Alphonsus Church for $10 donation ($5 Sunday).
  • Kinderfest for kids: Sat. & Sun. (12 - 4 p.m.)
  • Ticketed craft beer tasting in the church Fri. & Sat.

Beer in the Woods

September 26, 2020
10.3 miles NW
A ticket to Beer in the Woods includes tastings from dozens of breweries and cideries, live animal presentations, DJ music, bird walks, home brewing demos, local food trucks, and activities for both beer and nature enthusiasts at LaBagh Woods. Children age 4 and younger are free. No dogs.

Dutch festival

September 26, 2020
24 miles SW
Elim Dutch Festival features Dutch food, dance, music, and vendors, plus a kids’ carnival, petting zoo, and train rides at Elim Christian Services in Palos Heights. Free admission.

Edgewater art fair

September 26 - 27, 2020
8 miles north
Edgewater Arts Festival features 100 local artists, 28 bands, food vendors, and a beer garden on Granville Avenue. Donation.

Hyde Park jazz

September 26 - 27, 2020
8 miles south
Hear jazz performances by 38 top artists indoors and outdoors at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. Donation.

Half marathon & 5K

September 27, 2020
9 miles south
The Chicago Half Marathon begins in Jackson Park and goes along scenic Lake Shore Drive. Free to watch.

Tour historic homes

September 27, 2020
11.2 miles west
Walk, bike, or drive between houses on the Historic Berwyn’s Bungalow Tour to see how older houses were preserved and adapted for modern living, beginning at Berwyn Historical Society.

Fall Dinner Crawl

September 29, 2020
(6 to 9 p.m.)
4 miles NW
Buy tickets for one of the routes, and then get samples from restaurants along the way during Fall Dinner Crawl in Wicker Park and Bucktown.

Circus in the park

September 2020
(undated)
Chicago locations
Midnight Circus in the Parks is a series of shows at nine parks, which is perfect for families.

Movies in the Parks

September 2020
(undated)
Chicago locations
Watch 130 Movies in the Parks, beginning at dusk. Dates may change depending on the weather. Free.

World Music Festival

September 2020
(undated)
Chicago locations
World Music Festival Chicago features artists and ensembles from all over the world. No shows on Monday & Tuesday. Free.

Dumpling tasting

September 2020
(undated)
0.5 miles south
World Dumpling Fest features “delicious dumplings from ethnic restaurants in and around Chicago, interactive craft tables, cultural art vendors, and exciting global music acts” in Polk Brothers Park at Navy Pier. Free admission, with tasting tickets for sale.

Festival of young artists

September 2020
(undated)
0.5 miles south
YAS Fest (Youth Arts Showcase) offers a wide range of dance performances, live and DJ music, theater shows, and visual art at Millennium Park. Free.

Dog fashion show

September 2020
(undated)
0.7 miles north
A $200 ticket to Haute Dog includes cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a fall fashion show featuring dogs and their owners, a silent auction, a speaker, and a look at canine companion puppies at The Peninsula. No pets.

World peace ceremony

September 2020
(undated)
0.7 miles SW
Gather in Daley Plaza to hear live music, see performances, listen to speakers, and watch a ceremony calling out the name of every country with its flag on Peace Day. Free.

Art for seniors

September 2020
(undated)
1 mile south
Reflections offers lectures, demonstrations, and free entry for seniors and adult chaperones at Art Institute of Chicago, 159 E. Monroe Street. Buy optional lunch reservations online.

Music on the lake

September 2020
(undated)
1 mile east
Hear live music at Live on the Lake in the beer garden at Navy Pier. Free for all ages.

Wine tasting

September 2020
(undated)
1 mile north
Around the World Wine Tasting is a walkabout tasting of 200 international wines with light appetizers at The Drake Hotel for age 21+.

Charity cocktail party

September 2020
(undated)
1.2 miles south
A $115 ticket to Illuminate includes food, an open bar, entertainment, and a silent disco experience at Venue Six10. You are welcome to wear blue cocktail attire and a masquerade mask.

Spirits tasting

September 2020
(undated)
1.2 miles south
Sample handcrafted spirits and meet the distillers at Chicago Independent Spirits Expo at Hilton Chicago for age 21+.

Wine tasting

September 2020
(undated)
1.7 miles west
Taste wines from 40 exhibitors during Wine Riot, with games and a scavenger hunt at Revel Fulton Market for age 21+.

Artisan market

September 2020
(undated)
1.9 miles west
Shop from 100 independent vendors of food, fashion, art, and home goods at the Chicago Artisan Market at Morgan Manufacturing, including a kids’ zone. Children age 11 and younger are free. Held in multiple months.

Whisky tasting

September 2020
(undated)
1.9 miles west
Taste “some of the most prestigious single malt, premium Scotch whiskies and other unique whiskies from around the world” with culinary pairings at The Whisky Extravaganza at Revel Fulton Market for age 21+. Dress code.

Dessert festival

September 2020
(undated)
2.5 miles north
A ticket to Dessert Fest includes dessert tastings, interactive games, entertainment, and access to some of the animal areas at Lincoln Park Zoo for all ages. Champagne, beer, and wine will be sold.

Japanese festival in Lincoln Park

September 2020
(undated)
2.9 miles NW
Experience authentic Japanese festival food, beverages (tea, beer, sake), and cultural performances (Taiko drumming, calligraphy, martial arts, ink painting) at Chicago Japanese Matsuri in the plaza of NewCity at 1457 N. Halsted Street.

Art fair indoors

September 2020
(undated)
3.2 miles NW
West Town Art Walk includes visual art, music, and fashion in restaurants and shops along W. Chicago Avenue (from N. Milwaukee Ave. to N. Western Ave.). Free.

Craft fair

September 2020
(undated)
3.5 miles NW
Shop from hundreds of artisans and chefs at the Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park on Division Street (from Ashland to Damen). Free.

Dance music

September 2020
(undated)
3.8 miles north
Birdhouse Festival features Claude VonStroke, Paul Johnson, Walker & Royce, Mason Maynard, Chambray, DJ Deeon, and VNSSA on the shores of Lake Michigan at Lakefront Green, with street fair games and food trucks for age 18+.

Beer tasting

September 2020
(undated)
5 miles SW
A ticket to BeerHoptacular gets you 20 tickets to taste 3 ounces from among 100 American craft beers, with live music and food trucks in the helicopter hanger at Vertiport Chicago for age 21+. No pets.

White Sox beer festival

September 2020
(undated)
5.2 miles south
Sample beers from 40 local breweries in the outfield concourse during ChiSox Craft Beer Fest, with food concessions, games, and live entertainment at Guaranteed Rate Field for age 21+. Free parking. No pets.

Noir film festival

September 2020
(undated)
6 miles north
Noir City screens classic films that are stylish, cynical, and melodramatic at the Music Box Theatre.

Short films

September 2020
(undated)
6.5 miles NW
A ticket to Shortcut 100 International Film Festival includes a 5 p.m. reception followed by a dozen “quality independent short films” from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Logan Theatre.

A taste of Korea

September 2020
(undated)
7.5 miles north
A ticket to Eat, Drink, Korea gets you “an evening of phenomenal food [made by acclaimed chefs], adult beverages, and music” at Ravenswood Event Center to support North Korean refugees living in China.

Free science museum

September 2020
(undated)
8 miles south
Show Illinois ID to enter the Museum of Science and Industry free during Free Days in February and September. The museum is not free on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays.

Oak Park “Oaktoberfest”

September 2020
(undated)
9 miles west
Enjoy live music, craft beer, wine, local restaurant food, and a kids’ root beer garden (Sat. noon to 5 p.m.) at Oaktoberfest in Oak Park. Bring cash. Free.

Englewood Jazz Festival

September 2020
(undated)
11 miles south
Englewood Jazz Festival features a dozen performances over two days in Hamilton Park (in the auditorium if it rains). Free.

Forest Park Ribfest

September 2020
(undated)
11 miles west
Hear live music, eat great food, visit the beverage tent, and enjoy children’s activities at Ribfest at 7824 Madison Street in Forest Park. Free admission.

Beer & wine tasting

September 2020
(undated)
12 miles NW
Taste 50 beers or wines with hors d’oeuvres outdoors, and bid in the silent auction indoors during Stems and Steins at Norwood Park Historical Society for age 21+.

Riverside beer festival & house tour

September 2020
(undated)
14.9 miles SW
Sample offerings from local craft breweries, cideries, and distilleries at HopStop Craft Beer Festival, which also has children’s art activities, live music, and food trucks at Riverside Train Station from 4 to 7 p.m. With a ticket to House Walk: Masterworks, you can visit houses by famous architects from 12 to 4 p.m.

Small art fair

September 2020
(undated)
16 miles NW
Fall Arts & Crafts Adventure is a friendly juried show at Hodges Park in Park Ridge. Repeats in May. Free.

Monster trucks

September 2020
(undated)
18 mile NW
Big trucks with big wheels create big noise and excitement at Monster Jam in Rosemont’s Allstate Arena.

Beer festival

September 2020
(undated)
22 miles west
Villa Park Brewfest offers “exceptional beers from local & regional craft breweries as well as tasty food truck cuisine” at Cortesi Veterans Memorial Park, age 21+.

Butterfly festival

September 2020
(undated)
22 miles SW
The Monarch Butterfly Festival has a butterfly tent, live animals, an arts & crafts fair, children’s activities, and food vendors at Lake Katherine Nature Center in Palos Heights. Free for age 2 and younger.

Ravinia music festival

September 2020
(undated)
23 miles north
See nationally known performers at Ravinia Festival, billed as America’s oldest outdoor music festival at Ravinia Park in Highland Park.

Lisle Ale Fest

September 2020
(undated)
27 miles west
Lisle Ale Fest has 80 American craft beers (including Oktoberfest and pumpkin), live music, and local food for age 21+. No pets.

Oktoberfest in Glendale Heights

September 2020
(undated)
32 miles west
Glendale Heights Oktoberfest promises good music, a great beer selection, authentic German food, and friendly service at Camera Park in Glendale Heights.

Pow wow in Naperville

September 2020
(undated)
33 miles west
Experience Native American culture through dance, drumming, art, and storytelling at the Harvest Pow Wow, which also has archery, birds of prey, food booths, crafts for sale, and a kids’ corner at Naper Settlement.

Waukegan air show

September 2020
(undated)
41 miles north
Bring your own chairs to watch planes on the ground and in the air at Northern Illinois Airshow, with food and non-alcoholic drinks for sale. Wear sunscreen. No pets. Children age 12 and younger are free.

Festival of Lebanon

September 2020
(undated)
24 miles west
Enjoy Lebanese food, beer, wine, music, folk dancing, and kids’ activities at the Lebanese Festival at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church in Lombard. Children younger than age 5 are free.

Aurora haunted house

September 2020
(undated)
38 miles west
Visit a nightmarish basement and a 3D circus run by an evil clown at Basement of the Dead, with creative special effects and entertaining characters that earn it high ratings on Yelp. Recommended for age 13+. Expect lines. See schedule.

Intense haunted house

September 2020
(undated)
45 miles NW
Realm of Terror Haunted House promises “the craziest, most intense, extreme Halloween experience” located halfway to Milwaukee in Round Lake Beach. Beverages for sale at the bar. See schedule.

Halloween farm

September 2020
(undated)
32 miles SW
The Haunted Barn at Bengtson’s Pumpkin Fest in Homer Glen is fine for mature kids. The Fun Barn will entertain even the youngest children. Also enjoy kids’ rides, pig races, a pumpkin chucker, and a petting zoo.

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