September 2014 events calendar for things to do in Chicago

Plan your September in Chicago with our events calendar of the best activities, including free things to do, and picks from theater, art and music

Photograph: Jason Little
Chicago Gourmet, September 29, 2012

Do you have a case of the summertime blues? Cheer up, because fall in Chicago is looking like it's going to be pretty exciting. Grab a beer stein and get into the festive spirit of the season at Berghoff Oktoberfest or Oktoberfest Chicago. Tap into your inner rock god at the opening of the Museum of Contemporary Art's "David Bowie is" exhibition. Sample dishes from the city's top chefs while gazing at the skyline at Chicago Gourmet. If you're not tired to seeing bands outdoors, you can hang out with the punks at Riot Fest or stand around in a parking lot at the Hideout Block Party.

RECOMMENDED: Events calendar for Chicago in 2014


The origional four members of the L.A punk band X will be coming together at the city Winery for four nights, as they do a rendition of one of their classic albums for each night. John Doe and the group will start with Los Angeles on September 2, Wild Gift on the 3rd, followed by Under the Big Black Sun. Finally, X will play their final album More Fun in the New World on Friday September 5th.

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City Winery Until Fri Sep 5

Isaac's Eye

Writers Theatre artistic director Michael Halberstam stages the Chicago premiere of Lucas Hnath's abstract, modern-language account of young Isaac Newton and his path to success.

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Books on Vernon Until Sun Dec 21

The Hideout Block Party & Onion A.V. Fest

Critics' pick

The annual throwndown on the dead end of Wabansia always brings a solid mix of roots music and '90s indie nostalgia. Death Cab for Cutie, the Dismemberment Plan, the Meters, Mac DeMarco and the War on Drugs top the bill in 2014. Check out the lovely synth-pop stylings of duo Sylvan Esso, too.

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Hideout Until Sat Sep 6

German-American Fest

Relive the famous Ferris Bueller scene at this parade celebrating Deutschland heritage. The street party features German food, music and dancing and the Von Steuben Parade kicks off on Saturday at 2pm.

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Western and Leland Aves Until Sun Sep 7 Free

Midnight Circus in the Parks

Critics' pick

Get under the big top at parks all over the city, as an eclectic ensemble of acrobats, aerialists and eccentrics perform in an intimate setting. Proceeds from these family-friendly events benefit the Chicago Park District.

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Welles Park Until Sun Oct 19

Bit Bash

Critics' pick

Step into the Threadless HQ, grab a joystick and enjoy more than 30 new indie video games at this first annual interactive arts festival. Delve into the 10-player madness of Killer Queen or strap on an Oculus Rift and experience the elephant trunk-enabled destruction of Dumpy. Arcade Brewery and Dark Matter Coffee provide refreshments, with a portion of proceeds benefitting local charity Chicago Loot Drop.

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Threadless HQ Until Sat Sep 6

Carrie Underwood

Since winning the fourth season of American Idol in 2005, this 29-year-old Oklahoma native has become one of the biggest names in country music, thanks largely to rowdy tough-chick anthems such as “Before He Cheats." Expect to hear plenty from Underwood's recent No. 1 smash, "Blown Away".

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Ravinia Pavilion Until Sun Sep 7

Renegade Craft Fair

Critics' pick

The 12th annual fair is an opportunity for serious crafters from around the country to sell their handmade arts and wares. And for serious shoppers to buy them. Workshops, local food vendors and live music invade Division Street.

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Division St between Damen Ave and Leavitt St Until Sun Sep 7 Free

Kegs for Kids

Critics' pick

An annual benefit for Peirce Elementary School in Andersonville, Kegs for Kids takes over Hopleaf, putting more than 60 beers on tap for attendees to sample. When you're not drinking a brew, you can munch on food provided by local restaurants or bid on items in a massive silent auction.

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Hopleaf 07 Sep 2014

King Lear

Larry Yando essays the title role in Chicago Shakespeare Theater artistic director Barbara Gaines's new production of Shakespeare's tragedy.

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Chicago Shakespeare Theater Until Sun Nov 9
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