The snow has melted away (leaving snow trash in its wake) and we're beginning to wish that we could spend more time outdoors. As excited as we are about the start of bar patio season, we're even more jazzed about April's slate of events and openings. Festival season gets off to an early start as CIMMfest, Baconfest and the Chicago Improv Festival take over venues throughout the city. Make like the Easter Bunny and hop around town with the help of our guide to the most exciting things opening in Chicago in April.
THINGS TO DO
Apr 1: See the future Michael Jordan dunk some hoops while raising money for a worthy cause at the McDonald's All American Games.
Apr 2: Check out the Lincoln Park Zoo's newest residents when the Regenstein Macaque Forest opens to the public.
Apr 4: If you're not quite ready to tackle a 26.2 mile run, try something a bit shorter at the Chicago Quarter Marathon.
Apr 5: Celebrate Easter in Chicago with our guide to egg hunts, brunches and seasonal treats.
Apr 5: Put on some dapper duds, sip a cocktail and celebrate the end of an era at the Logan Theater's Mad Men premiere party.
Apr 11: Clean out your basement at the Schubas Gear Swap, where you'll find all sort of bargains on musical instruments and equipment.
Apr 14: SoulCycle, the indoor cycling studio that counts Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper among its devotees, is opening its first Chicago location at 1225 N Wells Street in Old Town.
Apr 19: Chicago Taco Takedown tasks Chicago cooks with creating the ultimate version of this ubiquitous Mexican dish.
Apr 30: One of our most anticipated shop openings of 2015, Rent the Runway will have its grand opening at 710 N Wabash Avenue.
Apr TBD: The Adler Planetarium revamps its Mission Moon exhibit, where the Gemini 12 capsule and a recreation of the Apollo 13 Crisis Room will be on display.
Apr 9–23: See a selection of features, documentaries and shorts from throughout the Spanish-speaking world at the Chicago Latino Film Festival.
Apr 11: Bring your tote bag to CHIRP Record Fair & Other Delights and leave with a new stack of LPs to listen to.
Apr 16–19: The annual CIMMfest brings an eclectic lineup of film screenings and live music to venues all over the city.
Apr 16–19: If you're an aspiring artist or an established creative professional, you'll find informative panels and discussions at the free Lake FX Summit + Expo.
Apr 20–26: Chicago Improv Festival presents a lineup of national troupes and local groups with groan-worthy, pun-filled names.
Apr 24–26: Put on a costume and geek out at C2E2 amid crowds of cosplayers, halls filled with celebrities and aisles lined with merch.
Apr 30–May 2: While players are being drafted at the Auditorium Theatre, fans can interact with player and have a drink at the NFL Draft Town in Grant Park.
Apr 1: Wicker Park gets a scone-focused spot called Scone City. No, this is not an April Fool's joke.
Apr 17–18: Get ready to pig out at Baconfest, where chefs find new ways to use everyone's favorite pork product.
Mid-April: New York's Dinosaur Bar-B-Que will be opening in Lincoln Park.
Apr 3: Vin Diesel is joined by Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in the latest stunt-filled sequel, Furious 7.
Apr 10: Domhnall Gleeson has an encounter with artificial intelligence in Alex Garland's slick sci-fi thriller, Ex Machina.
Apr 10: Kill Me Three Times casts Simon Pegg as a jaded hitman in this dark Australian comedy.
Apr 17: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Gary Oldman star in an adaptation of the Soviet thriller novel Child 44.
Apr 24: A failed entrepreneur played by Nick Kroll moves in with his sister and brother-in-law in Adult Beginners.
Apr 9: Chicago native turned Broad City star Hannibal Buress brings his Comedy Camisado tour to the Chicago Theatre.
Apr 18: Writers from America's top "fake news" show demonstrate their comedic prowess as part of The Daily Show Writers Standup Tour.
Apr 23–26: Rising comic James Adomian comes to Zanies to show off the deliciously weird character work that has made him a Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast regular.
Apr 4–Jun 21: "Spreading Devotion: Japanese and European Religious Prints" brings a collection of historic religious images and texts to the Art Institute.
Apr 6–Jul 12: The Museum of Contemporary Photography's "Dandy Lion: (Re)Articulating Black Masculine Identity" explores a popular culture phenomenon that defies stereotypical understandings of masculinity.
Apr 24–Sep 27: Los Angeles sculptor Liz Larner displays two of her most recent sculptures on the Art Institute's Bluhm Family Terrace.
Apr 2–May 9: Bailiwick Chicago turns part of the Flat Iron Arts Building into a downtown dive bar for the Chicago premiere of the immersive rock & roll musical Murder Ballad.
Apr 2–Jun 7: Steppenwolf's The Herd presents a warm comedy about a young man with severe developmental disabilities and his relationship with his family.
Apr 3–May 3: An Issue of Blood ventures back to 17th-century America and a woman known as Negro Mary in order to reflect upon current events.
Apr 10–May 3: The Lyric Opera's spring staging of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel stars Steven Pasquale and Laura Osnes as Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan.
Apr 16–May 23: A teenage boy unaccountably adopts extreme fundamentalist Christian views in the U.S. premiere of Martyr, a drama by German playwright Marius von Mayenburg.
Apr 17–May 24: House slave Pseudolus tries to make a match for his master to earn his freedom in the 1962 musical comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Apr 10–12: South Indian dance and music ensemble Ragamala Dance Company collaborate with jazz saxophonist and composer Rudresh Mahanthappa in "Song of the Jasmine".
Apr 22–May 3: "Joffrey Ballet: New Works" ends the company's 2014-2015 season with a mixed repertory program, including two Chicago premieres.
Apr 3: Scottish pop darlings Belle & Sebastian bring their Britpoppy new tunes to the Riv.
Apr 9: Bratty retro rock act Foxygen hits town for the last time on a farewell tour—so it says.
Apr 14: Get those taxes in early so you can sing "Sweet Caroline" with Neil Diamond at United Center.
Apr 14: Swedish folkie José González brings his lovely latest, Vestiges & Claws, to Lincoln Hall.
Apr 24: Take a Milky Chance on this German folk-hop duo, who scored an unlikely smash with "Stolen Dance."
Apr 27: "Hideaway" with Canadian pop newcomer Kiesza, who should be right at home in the birthplace of house.
Apr 24, 25: Indie dreamboat Sufjan Stevens wrote has a new record about Oregon, but he'll likely appease Chicago Theatre with "Illinoise."
Apr 30, May 1: Ben Gibbard broke up with Zooey and his band's guitarist, so expect a particularly emo set from Death Cab for Cutie at Chicago Theatre.