October 2018 events calendar for Chicago

Plot out your October in Chicago with our calendar of things to do, including the best theater and concerts
Arts in the Dark
Photograph: Courtesy Arts in the Dark

The spookiest month of the year has arrived and there's no better time to make the most of fall in Chicago. In October, you can cheer on tireless runners along the Chicago Marathon course, catch some at the Chicago International Film Festival or explore skyscrapers during Open House Chicago. It's also one of the best months for concerts, especially if you're a fan of Nine Inch Nails, Gorillaz or Christina Aguilera. And don't forget about beer festivals, Chicago Ideas Week, Bloody Mary Fest and tons of spooky Halloween celebrations. If you're looking for things to do in October, let us guide the way.

RECOMMENDED: Events calendar for Chicago in 2018

Featured events in October 2018


Randolph Street Market Festival

icon-location-pin Plumbers Hall,

More than 200 vendors hawk their antique housewares, furniture, ephemera, clothing and more at this indoor-outdoor festival. Stop in for vintage clothes and jewelry, a vinyl swap meet, a fancy food market and global goods bazaar or bring your own items for appraisal. This event typically occurs on the last weekend of each month. During the warm-weather months of May–September, the market adds an outdoor area, offering even more vintage shopping and a beer garden.

Concerts in October 2018

La Boheme
Photograph: Ivor Kerslake, Courtesy Royal Opera House
Music, Classical and opera

La bohème

icon-location-pin Civic Opera House | Chicago, IL, Loop

If you've ever seen Rent, you'll probably recognize the plot of the Italian opera it was based on. In La bohème, four young Bohemians living in Paris struggle to pay the rent as they make art, fall in love and quarrel with one another. Giacomo Puccini's is one of the most popular operas (and a great place for first-time opera-goers to start) thanks to the identifiable narrative about being young and broke. Produced in collaboration with London’s Royal Opera House-Covent Garden and Teatro Real Madrid, this classic production kicks off the Lyric's latest season before returning to the stage in January.