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Photograph: Roy Luck

51 exciting openings in April in Chicago

Written by
Nick Kotecki

It's official: Spring has sprung in Chicago. Song birds have returned from their respite down south and you can probably hear them from your favorite seat at the city's best rooftop bars. As we move our brunch plans outdoors and sip the best Bloody Marys on restaurant patios, it's time to start planning what to do as the weather gets warmer. Get ahead on finding the best spring events with our guide to Chicago's most exciting openings in April.


Apr 1, 15: Get your kid's creative juices flowing with an all-ages performance during the Juicebox Series, held at the beautiful Chicago Cultural Center.

Apr 2: What would April be without International Tom Hanks Day? Well, it'd still be April, but this fundraiser gathers Hanks fans to raise funds for the movie star's favorite charity, Lifeline Energy, while enjoying some of his best films.

Apr 3: St. Patrick's Day might be over, but the Shamrock Shuffle 8K parades through Grant Park..

Apr 7–9: The International Quilt Festival packs Rosemont's Donald E. Stephens Convention Center with hundreds of fabric vendors.

Apr 8–21: The Chicago Latino Film Festival returns for another year with a wide variety Spanish-language feature films and documentaries from around the world.

Apr 9: Vinyl fans can dig through the crates at CHIRP Record Fair & Other Delights while sipping on some Dark Matter Matter coffee and enjoying eats by Moxee American Kitchen.

Apr 14–17: Chicago Botanic Garden's Antiques, Garden & Design Show celebrates the coming of spring with a blue-and-white motif.

Apr 16–17: The Chicago Artisan Chocolate Festival indulges Chicago chocoholics with tastings from 40 chocolate artisans paired with wine.

Apr 16: Lovers of wine unite to sip on more than 150 varieties at Pinot Days.

Apr 13–17: In its eighth year, Chicago International Movies and Music Festival returns to Logan Square and Wicker Park with a stellar lineup of alt musicians and films.

Apr 17: Shop for everything anything retro, from home goods to clothes at Vintage Garage.

Apr 17: The Greek Independence Day Parade marches through Greektown along Halsted Street.

Apr 21: April's edition of Adler After Dark explores the mind-boggling size of the cosmos alongside the music of the Beatles and the late 1960s with the theme "Across the Universe."

Apr 21: Slo' Mo brings dancing to the Whistler at this monthly polysexual party.

Apr 23: Another month, another edition of Randolph Street Market Festival comes to the Plumbers Union Hall Building.

Apr 24: Indulge in desserts from Osteria Langhe, Beatrix, Black Dog Gelato and more at Time Out Chicago's Treat Yo' Self tasting event at Fulton Market Kitchen.

Apr 24: Run through Chicagoland's most-expansive arbor in the sixth annual Champion of Trees 10K Run at Morton Arboretum.

Apr 30: Get ready to pig out at Baconfest, where chefs find new ways to use everyone's favorite pork product.


Apr TBA: Four Corners Tavern Group and Hogsalt open SteakBar, with a casual fine-dining feel and a “cheeky bar program” with takes on classic cocktails.

Apr or May: Lowcountry boil restaurant Angry Crab is planning to open a second larger location in Wicker Park. You'll probably still have to wait in line.

Note: Restaurant and bar openings are subject to change and can be delayed; call ahead before setting out.


Apr 2: Once a ballet dancer, Le1f brings his unconventional rap lyricisms and vision to Schubas.

Apr 6: Living rock legend Iggy Pop is joined by a band that includes Queens of the Stone Age frontman Joshua Homme at the Chicago Theatre.

Apr 6: Boston trio Quilt pieces together the patchwork sounds of '70s folk rock and ’60s psychedelic guitar riffs at Schubas.

Apr 7: Brooklyn instrumental trio Dawn of Midi create complex rhythmic compositions that draw inspiration from the work of contemporary electronica.

Apr 7: Black-clad post-punk rockers Savages peddle their distortion-ridden anthems at Metro.

Apr 14: Two icons of Chicago early ’90s alt-rock scene, the Smashing Pumpkins and Liz Phair, join forces for an evening of throwback tunes at the Civic Opera House.

Apr 14, 15: Sardonic crooner Joshua Tillman comes to the Riviera Theatre under the guise of his cynical alter-ego, Father John Misty.

Apr 15: Rihanna has been work, work, working on Anti for a long time, but she's finally bringing her tour to the United Center to celebrate the album's release.

Apr 16: Minneapolis band Poliça returns to town to perform its addictive blend of trip-hop and synth-pop.

Apr 20: We can't think of a better way to celebrate the high holiday of 4/20 than with hard-spitting, Gary, Indiana emcee Freddie Gibbs.

Apr 21–23: Ahead of the release of a new record, the Avett Brothers blend folk, bluegrass and pop balladry during a three-night stand at the Chicago Theatre.

Apr 22–May 6: It's Bach! Classical music festival Bach Week celebrates the Baroque composer in all his intricate glory with concerts performed by a supergroup comprised of players from the city's best orchestras.

Apr 22: You'll be sorry if you miss out on Justin Bieber's stop at Allstate Arena supporting the EDM-inspired pop of his latest album, Purpose.

Apr 24: Enjoy Music Under Glass, a peaceful set of music by Brahms, Debussy and Rachmaninoff performed by pianist Gleb Ivanov among the lush surroundings at Garfield Park Conservatory.

Apr 25: Chicago guitarist Zvonimir Tot combines jazz and chamber music with his five-piece string ensemble in a performance at Constellation.

Apr 28: Grammy-nominated Aussie indie-rock sensation Courtney Barnett brings her witty, monotone lyricism to the Riviera Theatre.

Apr 28: Led by a former James Brown impersonator, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires play a set of effortless soul and R&B grooves.

Apr 30: White Denim winds through guitar solos that flirt with psychedelic, jazz and funk influences.


Apr 3–Jul 7: Local artist Rodrigo Lara Zendejas creates porcelain sculptures that confront challenges faced by Latino immigrants in “La Paz.”

Apr 8–Jul 5: The Intuit presents “Self Portraits” a posthumous display of embellished photos by self-taught artist Lee Godie.

Apr 21–Jul 10: A collection of photographs entitled “Burnt Generation” examines the toll that decades of political turmoil have taken on Iran.


Mar 31–May 29: Steppenwolf artistic director Anna D. Shapiro directs Mary Page Marlowe, a production about an ordinary woman living an ordinary life, played out by seven different actresses.

Mar 31–May 29: The world premiere of Hazel opens Drury Lane's 2016–17 season with play about a wholesome family's live-in maid, created in a series of cartoons in the Saturday Evening Post, that spun off into a TV sitcom.

Apr 2–May 1: A black Republican politician takes to the stage to explain his existence in the new provocative comedy Carlyle.

Apr 8–May 15: Porchlight Music Theatre revisits the 1981 Broadway musical Dreamgirls, about the offstage drama of a Supremes-like girl group.

Apr 19–May 1: Woody Allen's 1994 period flick, Bullets Over Broadway, about the rocky marriage of art and commerce returns as a fizzy, jazzy musical romp at The PrivateBank Theatre.

Apr 29–May 22: The King of Siam debuts in Lyric Opera's grand staging of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic, helmed by British director Lee Blakely.


Apr 29: Second City e.t.c. presents its latest (and currently untitled) revue, featuring a cast of performers that are well on their way to the comedy institution's main stage.


Apr 29, 30: The Miami City Ballet pays a visit with two distinct programs including works by George Balanchine, Liam Scarlett, Alexei Ratmansky and Justin Peck.

Apr 1–10: Chicago Tap Theatre gives a new meaning to "step in time" with Time Steps: A Time Travel Love Story with a live score performed by Kurt Schweitz.

Apr 28–May 1: The Abraham.In.Motion company returns to the MCA with When the Wolves Came In, a suite of three dances engaging with questions of civil rights and racial equality. 

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