Chicago events calendar for September 2017. Best festivals, fun things to do, free kids activities, street fairs, and Labor Day weekend events in Chicago, Illinois.

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Best events for 12 months
September 2017
September 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.

Whiskey tasting

September 16, 2017 (1 to 4 p.m.)

0.7 miles west

River North Whiskey Festival features 50 varieties of whiskey, bourbon, and scotch at Old Crow Smokehouse.

Festival of Lebanon

September 1 - 2, 2017

24 miles west

Enjoy Lebanese food, drinks, dessert, music, folk dancing, belly dancing, and kids’ activities at the Lebanese Food Festival at Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Lombard. Donation.

Jazz festival

September 1 - 3, 2017 (begins Aug. 31)

0.5 miles south

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

North Coast Music Festival

September 1 - 3, 2017

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 1 - 4, 2017

7 miles south

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

Polish festival

September 1 - 4, 2017

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 1 - 4, 2017

34 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 Park.

Fringe theater festival

September 1 - 10, 2017 (begins Aug. 30)

10 miles NW

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

Ravinia music festival

September 1 - 17, 2017 (begins June 10)

23 miles north

See nationally known performers at Ravinia Festival, billed as America’s oldest outdoor music festival at Ravinia Park in Highland Park.

Renaissance fair

Sept. 2 - 4, 2017 (weekends July 8+)

49 miles north

Watch knights joust, shop an artisan market, mingle with costumed minstrels, play games, and attend shows at Bristol Renaissance Faire in 16th century England (i.e. Kenosha, WI).

Circus in the park

September 2 - Oct. 15, 2017 (begins Aug. 26)

Chicago locations

Midnight Circus in the Parks is a series of daytime shows on weekends at 8 parks, perfect for families.
  • Sept. 2 to 3 - Hamilton Park
  • Sept. 9 to 10 - McKinley Park
  • Sept. 15 to 17 - Wicker Park
  • Sept. 23 to 24 - Lake Shore Park
  • Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 - Kosciuszko Park

Movies in the Parks

September 4 & 7, 2017 (begins June 2)

Chicago locations

See 250 Movies in the Parks, if weather allows. Free.

Free science museum

September 5 - 29, 2017

8 miles south

Show Illinois ID to enter the Museum of Science and Industry free during Free Days on September 5-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-29, 2017.

Country fair

September 6 - 10, 2017

62 miles SW

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

Opera in the park

September 8, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

0.5 mile south

Spectacular singing and orchestral music await you at Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park, which invites you to pack a picnic basket. Free.

Wine festival

September 8 - 9, 2017

1 mile south

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

Beer festival

September 8 - 10, 2017

2.2 miles west

Rocktober Beerfest offers beer, bratwurst, and live music under a heated tent at Randolph and Ogden.

German festival & parade

September 8 - 10, 2017

7 miles north

Chicago German-American Oktoberfest has German music, culture, beer, and food at Lincoln Square. The Von Steuben Parade starts 2 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln Avenue & Irving Park. Free.

Mexican independence festival

September 8 - 10, 2017

9.6 miles SW

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

Family festival

September 8 - 10, 2017

11 miles south

The 79th Street Renaissance Festival in Auburn Gresham is a community festival with entertainment, food vendors, a marketplace, and a large kids’ corner on 79th Street (Racine to Loomis). Free.

Northwest neighborhood festival

September 8 - 10, 2017

11.8 miles NW

Hear retro tunes at the first Throwback Music Festival, which includes craft beer tastings, arts & crafts, and kids’ activities in Gladstone Park at Milwaukee & Peterson Avenues. Donation.

World Music Festival

September 8 - 24, 2017

Chicago locations

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

Beer & wine tasting

September 9, 2017 (3 to 6:30 p.m.)

12 miles NW

Taste up to 50 beers or wines with hors d’oeuvres, pretzels, veggies, cheese, and crackers at Stems and Steins at Norwood Park Historical Society, age 21+.

Waukegan air show

September 9, 2017

41 miles north

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

Craft fair

September 9 - 10, 2017

3.5 miles NW

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

Ukrainian festival

September 9 - 10, 2017

3.6 miles west

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

Lakeview East art festival

September 9 - 10, 2017

4 miles north

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

Revolutionary War

September 9 - 10, 2017

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.

Mexican parades

September 10, 2017

Chicago locations

Celebrate Mexico’s separation from Spain at these Mexican Independence Day parades, with colorful floats, mariachi bands, and street dancing. Free.

Scandinavian festival

September 10, 2017

41 miles NW

Enjoy food, crafts, and entertainment from Northern Europe at Scandinavian Day Festival in South Elgin.

Short film winners

September 10 - 14, 2017

6 miles north

See the winning films from Chicago 48 Hour Film Project, which locals made in only two days, at Music Box Theatre.

Tasting in Winnetka

September 10, 2017 (12 to 3 p.m.)

21.8 miles north

Savor Food & Wine Fest promises restaurant bites, craft beer, liquor, wine tasting, and live music at Winnetka Community House for age 21+.

Discount tickets $45 for two at Groupon.

Art for seniors

September 13, 2017

1 mile south

Reflections offers lectures, demonstrations, and free entry to the Art Institute of Chicago at 159 E. Monroe Street. Register for lunch.

Art exposition

September 14 - 17, 2017 (party Sept. 13)

1 mile east

The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art (Expo Chgo) has museum-quality curated art and design by 140 exhibitors at Navy Pier.

Nerdy comedy

September 14 - 17, 2017

5 miles north

If you love comedy about nerdy subjects like the Twilight Zone, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Jane Austen, and Star Trek, NerdFest will get you laughing at Stage 773.

Short films

September 15 - 16, 2017

1.2 miles south

See nearly 100 short films at the Chicago International Reel Shorts Film Fest at 623 S. Wabash Avenue. The schedule consists of programs 70 to 120 minutes long.

Rock festival

September 15 - 17, 2017

7 miles SW

Riot Fest is a huge outdoor punk, rock and alternative music festival plus carnival at Douglas Park.

Craft expo

September 15 - 17, 2017

24 miles north

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

Small art fair

September 16, 2017

16 miles NW

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

Suburban Oktoberfest

September 16, 2017

20 miles north

St. Joseph Oktoberfest has a free antiques market 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., a free family festival with games 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and a German dinner & beer garden with music (age 21+) 6 to 11:30 p.m. in Wilmette.

Weekend bike ride

September 16, 2017

40.4 miles NW

Bicycle 70 miles in scenic countryside from Elgin to Lake Ladonna Campground on RED JAC (ride, eat, drink, jam, and camp), including beer and a band.

Art fair in West Loop

September 16 - 17, 2017

1.8 miles west

West Loop Art Fest features 150 juried artists, live music, and food for sale in the Fulton Market District. Free.

Taco festival

September 16 - 17, 2017

5 miles north

Try tacos from a dozen restaurants and vote for the best, taste beer, hear live music on two stages, visit the kids’ area, and see arts and crafts at Taco Fest on Southport Avenue (from Addison to Roscoe). Donation.

Ravenswood Art Walk

September 16 - 17, 2017

7 miles north

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

Naperville art fair

September 16 - 17, 2017

32 miles west

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

Butterfly festival

September 17, 2017 (11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

22 miles SW

The Monarch Butterfly Festival has a butterfly tent, hayrides, games, kids’ crafts, canoe rentals, and food vendors at Lake Katherine Nature Center in Palos Heights.

Gay film festival

September 21 - 28, 2017

Chicago locations

Reeling is Chicago’s LGBT International Film Festival.

Hamburger party

September 22, 2017

0.5 miles south

Eat gourmet burgers with beer, wine, and spirits when top chefs compete at Hamburger Hop ($141) on the roof of Harris Theater. Also a 9 p.m. after party ($57).

Beer festival

September 22 - 23, 2017

1.6 miles west

Beer Mansion promises “an immersive room-by-room journey through the world of beer, complete with food, live music, games, prizes, and a handful of surprises” at Morgan’s on Fulton. Beer and small bites included.

Chicago Gourmet

September 22 - 24, 2017

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.

Free museum day

September 23, 2017

Statewide

Get a free ticket for two people to visit one of 30 Illinois museums on Museum Day Live.

Hispanic family festival

September 23, 2017 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

2.5 miles north

Fiesta Familiar features live music, dance, and family-focused activity stations for art, health, gardening, and science at Lincoln Park Zoo. Free.

Vegan event

September 23, 2027

9 miles north

VeganMania includes samples, speakers, live music, and a food court at the Broadway Armory. (Unlike vegetarians, vegans don’t eat eggs and milk.) Free.

Dutch festival

September 23, 2017

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 23 - 24, 2017

8 miles north

Edgewater Arts Festival (formerly Edgewater Fall Art Fair) features 120 local artists, 3 stages of live music, a beer garden, fashion show, kids’ corner, and pet parade on Granville Ave. (Broadway to Sheridan). Donation.

Hyde Park jazz

September 23 - 24, 2017

8 miles south

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

Naperville film festival

September 23 - 30, 2017

30 miles SW

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

Aurora haunted house

September 23 - Nov. 4, 2017

38 miles west

A ticket to Basement of the Dead includes Shattered 3D Nightmare flashlight haunt. 2017 dates: Sept. 23, 29-30 & Oct. 6-8, 12-15, 19-22, 26-31 & Nov. 4.

Half marathon & 5K

September 24, 2017

9 miles south

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

Tour historic homes

September 24, 2017

11.2 miles west

Walk, bike, or drive between houses on Historic Berwyn’s Bungalow Tour to hear about their history.

Fall Dinner Crawl

September 26, 2017 (6 to 9 p.m.)

4 miles NW

Buy tickets for 1 of 2 routes, and then get samples from restaurants along the way during Fall Dinner Crawl in Wicker Park and Bucktown.

Joliet haunted house

September 28 - Oct. 31, 2017

38 miles SW

Take a 40-minute trip through 40 terrifying rooms and play Zombie Paintball at Statesville Haunted Prison & City of the Dead [sound] in Crest Hill. See schedule.

St. Alphonsus Oktoberfest

September 29 - Oct. 1, 2017

6 miles NW

Enjoy beer, bratwurst, pretzels, live music, arts & crafts, and a weekend-afternoon kids’ fest at Oktoberfest Chicago on N Lincoln Ave. at Southport. Donation on Friday and Saturday, free on Sunday. Ticketed craft beer tasting Friday and Saturday night.

Neighborhood Oktoberfest

September 29 - Oct. 1, 2017

8 miles NW

St. Benedict’s Oktoberfest features German food, beer, and party bands under tents in St. Benedict’s Courtyard, plus a kids’ carnival. Free entry.

Tasting event

September 29 - Oct. 1, 2017

9 miles NW

Sample signature dishes made by renowned chefs at grilling stations with a cash bar during Taste Talks All-Star BBQ at Palmer Square Park.

Lisle Ale Fest

September 30, 2017 (4 p.m., VIP 3 p.m.)

27 miles west

Lisle Ale Fest features 80 craft beers (Oktoberfest, seasonal, etc.), local food, and live music in Lisle.

Discount tickets $36 (VIP $45) at Groupon.

Apple festival

September 30 - Oct. 1, 2017

7 miles NW

Get some apple pie and cider, listen to local music, or visit the kid zone at Apple Fest at Lincoln & Leland Avenues. Free.

Oyster festival

September 2017 (undated)

0.1 miles north

Shaw’s Oyster Fest offers fresh oysters, seafood, and music in a downtown parking lot at Hubbard & Rush.

Patriotic bar crawl

September 2017 (undated)

1.3 miles north

Wear red, white, and blue to the All Star Bar Crawl for drink and food specials at seven Gold Coast bars, beginning at She-nannigans.

Hip-hop music festival

September 2017 (undated)

3.6 miles SW

Hip-Hop Summerfest [sound] has 125 acts of hip hop, R&B, comedy, and fashion on multiple stages near UIC campus at Addams/Medill Park, with a dozen food vendors. No pets. Children age 5 and younger are free.

Fall beer tasting

September 2017 (undated)

5.4 miles north

A ticket to Oktoberfest & Pumpkin Beer Festival gets you 20 tastes from among 50 options at Delilah’s.

Hyde Park art fair

September 2017 (undated)

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.

Locally made festival

September 2017 (undated)

8 miles north

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

Oak Park “Oaktoberfest”

September 2017 (undated)

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.

Englewood Jazz Festival

September 2017 (undated)

11 miles south

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

Forest Park Ribfest

September 2017 (undated)

11 miles west

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

Race at the zoo

September 2017 (undated)

14 miles SW

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

Hungarian festival

September 2017 (undated)

15 miles NW

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

Run on the runway

September 2017 (undated)

17 miles NW

Run a 5K race on an actual runway with views of airplanes around you at O’Hare 5K, followed by an after party.

Indian pow wow

September 2017 (undated)

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.

Oktoberfest in Glendale Heights

September 2017 (undated)

32 miles west

Glendale Heights Oktoberfest offers good music, a great beer selection, German food, and friendly service at Camera Park in Glendale Heights.

Comedy night

September 2017 (undated)

32.4 miles SW

Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival features nationally known comedians at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park.

Festival in Schaumburg

September 2017 (undated)

33 miles NW

Septemberfest includes an arts & crafts show, a carnival, lots of live music, the Taste of Schaumburg (Sat. & Sun.), and fireworks (Sun. 10 p.m.) at Robert O. Atcher Municipal Center. No pets. Free.

Yoga festival

September 2017 (undated)

76 miles west

Sukhava Bodhe Yoga & Music Festival includes yoga classes, music, drumming, chanting, meditation, camping, and fireside ceremonies at Stonehouse Farm in Paw Paw.

Halloween farm

September 2017 (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 visit the corn maze, kids’ rides, and petting zoo.
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© September 2017 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois. ord-09