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40 exciting things opening in Chicago in September

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

Can you believe that autumn is just around the corner? You may be saying goodbye (until next year) to days spent on the beach, but there are still plenty of things to do in Chicago. Begin charting out the month with our list of September's most anticipated events and openings. Close out the summer festival season at Riot Fest's punk rock carnival or by listening to indie rock in a parking lot at the Hideout Block Party & A.V. Fest. Pose in front of the original Ziggy Stardust costume when the "David Bowie Is" exhibit makes its debut at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Welcome fall the German way by raising your glass at Berghoff Oktoberfest or Oktoberfest Chicago. Make some room on your social calendar and take a look at our list of the best openings in Chicago in September.


Sep 6: Threadless HQ hosts Bit Bash, a video game celebration that will showcase 30 games from indie developers.
Sep 6–7: Take a look at handmade goods created by vendors from all over country at the annual Renegade Craft Fair.
Sep 6–Oct 19: Midnight Circus in the Park brings performers and acrobats to Ogden, Holstein, Hamlin and Smith Parks.
Sep 12: Sample regional beer in the presence of wild animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo during Lions, Tigers & Brews.
Sep 20: Local brewers Goose Island throw their annual 312 Urban Block Party at their West Town production facility.
Sep 26–28: Prepare to stuff your face with a variety of cuisines at Chicago Gourmet.


Sep 6: Hosted by famous feline Lil Bub, the Internet Cat Video Festival puts 75-minutes of cats doing funny things on the big screen.
Sep 10–12: Grab a stein and toast the arrival of autumn at the annual Berghoff Oktoberfest.
Sep 20: Drink your way through an expansive selection of craft beers in one Chicago's hottest neighborhoods at Logan Square Beer Fest.
Sep 20, 21: Design Harvest Festival combines contemporary and sustainable design objects and furniture with urban hay rides and live music.
Sep 26–28: Fill your glass with German beer and eat a few pretzels at St. Alphonsus Church during Oktoberfest Chicago.


Mid Sep: David and Megan Miller are behind Chicago’s first mill-to-mouth bakery, appropriately named Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse.
Late Sep:
Momotaro, the Boka Group's two-story Japanese restaurant in the West Loop, will feature a sake bar, noodle dishes and grilled meats.
Sep TBD:
Made-to-order breakfast sandwich food truck Eastman Egg Company sets up a storefront in the West Loop.
Sep TBD: Kokopelli will serve “gourmet street food” from chef Guillermo Campos Moreno, featuring an all-from-scratch menu of tacos, ceviche and salsas, cooked over mesquite.

Note: Food & Drink openings are subject to change and can be delayed; call ahead before setting out.


Sep 19: Clerks director Kevin Smith returns with Tusk, a disturbing tale about a man (played by Justin Long) who is surgically transformed into a walrus.
Sep 19:
 We can only hope that This Is Where I Leave You lives up to the promises of its cast, which is packed with TV favorites like Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll and Adam Driver.
Sep 19: The Skeleton Twins reunites Saturday Night Live alums Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, who play formerly estranged twin siblings.
Sep 26: The Boxtrolls, the latest film from the creators of Coraline and ParaNorman, follows an orphaned boy who was raised by a group of cave-dwelling trolls.


Sep 6: Fresh off the premiere of their IFC series, quirky musical duo Garfunkel & Oates fuse sugary sweet melodies with raunchy lyrics at the House of Blues.
Sep 18–20: UP Comedy Club welcomes former Chicagoan Kyle Kinane, who manages to be both cerebral and lowbrow all in one punch.
Sep 25–28: Proud nerd and podcast host Jackie Kashian come to Zanies, packing her stand-up routine with Harry Potter references and wacky anecdotes about her Midwestern family.


Sep 19–21: EXPO Chicago welcomes more than 100 galleries to Navy Pier for a gigantic international art fair.
Sep 23–Jan 4: The Museum of Contemporary Art's highly anticipated "David Bowie Is" exhibit chronicles the rock star's career with more than 400 pieces of memorabilia. 
Sep 27–Feb 15: Greek art dating back to the 13th century goes on display at the Art Institute in "Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections".


Sep 2–Dec 7: Director Michael Halberstam stages Isaac's Eye, a modern-language account of young Isaac Newton and his path to success.
Sep 9–Nov 9: Larry Yando essays the title role in Chicago Shakespeare Theater artistic director Barbara Gaines's new production of King Lear.
Sep 10–Oct 12: The Downpour centers on two sisters who grew up supporting each other through their mother's postpartum psychosis, and the fear that erupts when one of the siblings announces her own pregnancy.
Sep 11–Oct 12: Court Theatre and American Blues Theater present a new stage adaptation of Richard Wright's classic novel Native Son, about poverty and oppression on the South Side of Chicago in the 1930s.
Sep 18–Nov 16: In Steppenwolf's production of The Night Alive, a down-on-his-luck Dublin guy finds a flicker of hope in a young woman he rescues on the street.
Sep 20–Oct 26: The Goodman is remounts Smokefall in the mainstage Albert Theatre, with director Anne Kauffman and the entire ensemble back for another go.
Sep 25–Sep 28: Cape Town's Isango Ensemble reimagines Mozart's opera with a South African setting and sound in The Magic Flute.


Sep 5,6: Death Cab for Cutie and the War on Drugs join a solid lineup of indie rockers at the Hideout Block Party and A.V. Fest.
Sep 11–21: 
World Music Festival hits numerous venues around town. Vieux Farka Touré, Bombino and Seun Kuti are highlights in Millennium Park.
Sep 12–14:
The vastly expanded Riot Fest brings Ferris wheels, the Flaming Lips, a haunted house, Weezer, the National and so much more to Humboldt Park.
Sep 16: The Texan indie veterans Spoon headline the Chicago Theater after debuting tunes from They Want My Soul at Lollapalooza.
Sep 21: Dave Chappelle hosts Common's impressive Aahh! Fest in Union Park with Lupe Fiasco, De La Soul and more.
Sep 21: Former Roxy Music main man turned king of MOR pop balladry Bryan Ferry brings his distinctive croon to bear on a clutch of his classics at the Chicago Theatre.
Sep 25–27: Prog pioneers King Crimson reunite for a trio of pricey gigs at the Vic.
Sep 27–Oct 29: A new production of "Don Giovanni" kicks off the Lyric's 2014–15 season.

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