HIP CHICAGO HAPPENINGS – THINGS TO DO IN CHICAGO THIS FALL CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Artists Month

October 1-31, 2013

Artists Month

Attend performances, exhibitions, open studios, demonstrations and neighborhood art walks (Chicago Area).

Haunted House at Navy Pier

October 10-31, 2013

Haunted House at Navy Pier

The Fear Haunted House is family friendly during the day and aggressive in the evening. *Close by hotels: Conrad Chicago

Halloween at Navy Pier

October 26-31, 2013

Halloween at Navy Pier

Events include costume contests Saturday, fireworks Saturday at 9:30pm, and trick-or-treating for children ages 12 and under in costume on Saturday, Sunday and Thursday. Free. *Close by hotels: Conrad Chicago

Chicagoween

October 25-27, 2013

Chicagoween

Enjoy spooky entertainment, hayrides, trick-or-treating, and a fall farmers’ market when Daley Plaza becomes Franken Plaza. *Close by hotels: The Palmer House Hilton

Halloween at Lincoln Park Zoo

October 26, 2013

Halloween at Lincoln Park Zoo

Kids can wear costumes, trick-or-treat, hear music and dance at Spooky Zoo Spectacular at Lincoln Park Zoo. Free

Hot Chocolate 15/5k

November 3, 2013

Hot Chocolate 15/5k

Get your first taste of Hot Chocolate 15/5k race weekend at the Runner’s Expo! Apart from receiving your race day bib and goodie bag you will also enjoy: √ Rockin’ tunes (dancing optional, though encouraged) √ Kid Zone – complete with bounce houses and games √ Running merchandise from our local retail partners √ Hot Chocolate 15/5k Merchandise √ Chocolate, fondue dipped marshmallows and hot cocoa samples! *Close by hotels: Hilton Chicago

Holiday of Lights at The Museum of Science & Industry

November 14, 2013 - January 5, 2014

Holiday of Lights at The Museum of Science & Industry

See trees decorated to represent many cultures plus weekend ethnic song-and-dance performances during Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light.

Chillfest in Wicker Park/Bucktown

November 16, 2013

Chillfest in Wicker Park/Bucktown

The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, Acoustic Underground and GigityTV are bringing you a new pop-up music event, featuring local musicians planning live, acoustic “living room” sets, in the intimacy of local storefronts throughout the WPB neighborhood.

The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

November 23, 2013

The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

Plan to join the kick off of the holiday season and create some special memories on The Magnificent Mile. Activities throughout the day include family-friendly activities in Lights Festival Lane, Rockin’ concerts by top musical artists, holiday shopping, a grand Tree-Lighting Parade down Michigan avenue marshaled by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida as well as spectacular fireworks show over the Chicago River. *Close by hotels: Conrad Chicago

Randolph Street Holiday Market

November 23-November 24, 2013

Randolph Street Holiday Market

Randolph Street Holiday Market offers a mix of affordable antique, vintage and modern goods in an indoor market at W. Randolph and Washington. *Close by hotels: The Palmer House Hilton

Bacon, Sports & Beer

November 23, 2013

Bacon, Sports & Beer

Celebration billed as a hat trick of awesomeness. Sample bacon-inspired creations from 30 restaurants, taste 30 craft beers and play indoor games to DJ music in the Grand Hall at Union Station. Requires pre-tickets.

Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza

November 26, 2013 - December 24, 2013

Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza

Inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, which began in 1545, the Christkindlmarket Chicago brings a cherished German and European tradition with international flair and local charm to Chicago. Chicago’s largest open-air Christmas festival was first held on Pioneer Court in 1996. By special invitation of Mayor Richard M. Daley, Christkindlmarket Chicago moved to Daley Plaza in 1997 and has become a staple event on the plaza ever since. Together with the support of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Christkindlmarket Chicago has grown to become one of the most popular winter attractions in the heart of the city.

*Close by hotels: The Palmer House Hilton

Christmas Tree Lighting

November 27, 2013

Christmas Tree Lighting

Watch the mayor and tree donor flip the switch at Chicago’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, which includes music and performances on Daley Plaza. *Close by hotels: The Palmer House Hilton

The McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade

November 28, 2013

The McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade

On State Street from Congress to Randolph enjoy a good, old-fashioned parade with giant helium balloons, remarkable floats, award-winning marching bands, talented equestrian units, unique performance groups, local and national celebrities.  Time:  8:00am -11:00am *Close by hotels: The Palmer House Hilton, Hilton Chicago

Holiday Aquatic Show at the Shedd Aquarium

November 29-December 28, 2013

Holiday Aquatic Show at the Shedd Aquarium

Kids will love Holiday Fantasea at the Shedd Aquarium, a show that includes dolphins and Santa Claus. Open  Nov. 29-30, Dec. 1, 6-8, 13-15, 20-24, 26-28.

The Polar Express in 4-D

November 29-December 24, 2013

The Polar Express in 4-D

Enjoy a holiday classic in a new way with The Polar Express 4-D Experience! The movie has been transformed into a magical 15-minute 4-D feature. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

The Polar Express 4-D Experience runs from Nov. 29 through Dec. 24.

Zoo Lights

Select Dates in November and December

Zoo Lights

Lincoln Park Zoo features millions of holiday lights, ice carvings, music, carousel and train rides, food and gift shopping, plus photos with Santa (through December 23)

November 29-30 and December 1, 6-8, 13-23 and January 1-5.  Free entry.

Holiday of Lights at The Museum of Science & Industry

December 1-31, 2013

Holiday of Lights at The Museum of Science & Industry

See trees decorated to represent many cultures plus weekend ethnic song-and-dance performances during Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light.

 

Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier

December 6, 2013-January 12, 2014

Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier

Festival Hall at Navy Pier becomes an indoor Winter Wonderfest for the holidays,  with music, carnival rides and entertainment.  Free entry.

Nutcracker Ballet – Joffrey Ballet

December 6-28, 2013

Nutcracker Ballet – Joffrey Ballet

Holiday tradition that features brilliant costumes, fanciful scenery, entrancing storytelling and Tchaikovsky’s famous score played by the Chicago Philharmonic at the Auditorium Theatre.

 

 

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

December 31, 2013

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Welcome the New Year with Fireworks on Navy Pier at Midnight. Free.

              

 

Free Museum of Science & Industry

January 6-31, 2014

Free Museum of Science & Industry

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

 

 

Sketch Comedy Festival

January 9-19, 2014

Sketch Comedy Festival

Choose from more than 170 shows to watch at Stage 773.

 

Boats, Sports and RV Show

January 16-20, 2014

Boats, Sports and RV Show

Chicago’s Boat, Sports and RV Show will take place at McCormick Place and includes plenty of boats and RVs, Seminars, scuba demos and even a trout pond for kids.

 

Sailboat Show

January 23-26, 2014

Sailboat Show

Strictly Sail is a boat show that offers seminars for sailors and has 250 exhibitors of boats at Navy Pier.

 

Polar Bear Plunge

January 25, 2014

Polar Bear Plunge

Register to join the Lakeview Polar Bear Club and then take the Polar Plunge into Lake Michigan for charity at Oak Street Beach. Free to watch

Chicago Restaurant Week

January 24-February 6, 2014

Chicago Restaurant Week

Chicago Restaurant week has been extended to a 14-day dining event due to popularity. Taking place throughout downtown, the neighborhoods and suburbs, this annual culinary celebration will feature prix fixe menus starting at $22 for lunch and $33 and/or $44 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity).

Chinese New Year Parade

February 2014

Chinese New Year Parade

The Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade features fireworks dragon floats and cultural dance on South Wentworth Avenue.  Free

Winter Beer Festival

February

Winter Beer Festival

Winter Brew is a Lincoln Square beer fest that features local brew and food at the DANK Haus German American Cultural Center.

Auto Show at McCormick Place

February 8-17, 2014

Auto Show at McCormick Place

Admire new vehicles at the Chicago Auto Show.

Snow Day's at Navy Pier

February 8-9, 2014

Snow Day's at Navy Pier

See teams sculpt masterpieces from snow during Snow Days in Gateway Park at Navy Pier. Live entertainment, dog sled races and kids’ activities like snow painting. Free.

 

 

Dog Show

February 20-23, 2014

Dog Show

The International Kennel Club Cluster of Dog Shows has prize competitions, dog fashion shows, meet the breed, pet the dogs and kids’ activities at McCormick Place.

 

 

Chicago Theatre Week

February 11-16, 2014

Chicago Theatre Week

The League of Chicago Theatres has created a week long event providing more than 300 performances and 97 participating productions with tickets available to your favorite performances. Discounted rate between $15 and $30 on the majority of shows.

 

Polar Plunge

March 2, 2014

Polar Plunge

Join 2,000 who wade into the waters of Lake Michigan to support charity.

 

Local Food Festival

Marchc 13-15, 2014

Local Food Festival

The GOOD FOOD Festival features locally grown food for sale plus gardening and cooking workshops and a localicious dinner at UIC Forum.

 

Flower & Garden Show

March 15-23, 2014

Flower & Garden Show

Features 20 gardens, 100 vendors, cooking demonstrations, seminars and a kids’ activity garden at Navy Pier.

 

St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Downtown)

March 15, 2014

St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Downtown)

The Chicago River glows green at 10a.m. near Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive. The DOWNTOWN ST. PATRICK’s DAY PARADE begins at noon, rain or shine, at Balbo Ave and goes north on Columbus Dr. to Monroe St.