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.

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.

Dining cruise

September 1 - 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.

Renaissance fair

September 2 - 4, 2017 (weekends from 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).

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.

Mexican independence festival

September 8 - 10, 2017

9 miles SW

Thousands attend Festival de La Villita for authentic Mexican cuisine, music, artisans, carnival rides, and family entertainment at 2700 W 26th Street. Free except the music concert on Sunday.

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.

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.

Ukrainian festival

September 9 - 10, 2017

3.6 miles west

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

Scandinavian festival

September 10, 2017

41 miles NW

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

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 13 - 17, 2017

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.

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.

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

1.5 miles west

West Loop Art Fest features 150 juried artists, live music, and food for sale on Washington Boulevard from Aberdeen to Halsted. 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 Lakeview Taco Fest on Southport Avenue. 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.

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).

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.

St. Alphonsus Oktoberfest

September 22 - 24, 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. Ticketed craft beer tasting Friday and Saturday night.

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.

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.

Neighborhood Oktoberfest

September 29 - Oct. 1, 2017 (uncertain)

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.

Lisle Ale Fest

September 30, 2017

27 miles west

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

Free museum day

September 2017 (undated)


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

Gay film festival

September 2017 (undated)

Chicago locations

Reeling is Chicago’s LGBT International Film Festival.

Mexican parades

September 2017 (undated)

Chicago locations

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

Movies in the Parks

September 2017 (undated)

Chicago locations

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

Urban adventure race

September 2017 (undated)

Downtown Chicago

XPLORE Chicago is a 5K race to solve clues and complete challenges as you travel around the city.

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.

Black film festival

September 2017 (undated)

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.

Opera in the park

September 2017 (undated)

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.

Taco tasting

September 2017 (undated)

0.5 miles south

Taste tacos with tequila cocktails and beer at The Tao of Tacos on the rooftop of Harris Theater for $107.

Wine festival

September 2017 (undated)

1 mile south

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

Spirits tasting

September 2017 (undated)

1.2 miles south

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

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.

Beer festival

September 2017 (undated)

1.9 miles west

Festiv-Ale offers Midwest beer and cider, snacks, food-cart vendors, DJ music, and a silent auction for charity at Revel Fulton Market.

Art fair indoors

September 2017 (undated)

2.5 miles west

West Town Art Walk includes visual art, music, and fashion in restaurants and shops near Chicago Avenue & Ashland Avenue. Free.

Hispanic family festival

September 2017 (undated)

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.

Craft fair

September 2017 (undated)

3.5 miles NW

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

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 Dinner Crawl

September 2017 (undated)

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.

Lakeview East art festival

September 2017 (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 (Belmont to Hawthorne). Donation.

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.

German festival & parade

September 2017 (undated)

7 miles north

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

Ravenswood Art Walk

September 2017 (undated)

7 miles north

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

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.

Beer & wine tasting

September 2017 (undated)

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+.

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.

Suburban Oktoberfest

September 2017 (undated)

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 9:30 p.m. in Wilmette.

Ravinia music festival

September 2017 (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.

Festival of Lebanon

September 2017 (undated)

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.

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.

Revolutionary War

September 2017 (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.

Odd bike show

September 2017 (undated)

30.3 miles SW

See recumbent, folding, tandem, and even electric bicycles and test ride them (age 16+ with a helmet) at Chicagoland Unconventional Bicycle Expo, which also includes seminars at Tinley Park Convention Center.

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.

Yoga festival

September 2017 (undated)

41.5 miles SW

Soul Love Fest is a yoga and meditation retreat with 100 workshops, classes, outdoor activities, and vendors at Arranmore Polo Club in Oswego.

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