The best things to do in Chicago this weekend

Find the best things to do in Chicago this weekend with our guide to concerts, exhibitions, festivals and more.
Punks and rockers gathered in Douglas Park for the final day of Riot Fest, September 13, 2015.
Photograph: Max Herman
By Time Out Chicago editors
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Fall in Chicago officially arrives this weekend and there's more to look forward to than the approaching sweater-friendly weather. Get your fill of beer (and some great bands) at Goose Island's annual 312 Block Party or head to a helicopter hanger to sample local brews at the BeerHoptacular. You can also celebrate Chicago creative young people with performances from Desiigner and Ravyn Lenae at the very first YAS! Fest in Millennium Park. If you're hungry, head to Polk Bros Park for World Dumpling Fest or check out the Mexican cuisine at Fiesta Familiar. Feel like staying inside? There are some great screenings taking place at the Music Box 70mm Film Festival. Read on to find even more awesome things to do in Chicago this weekend.

Things to do this weekend in Chicago

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Goose Island
Photograph: Max Herman
Music, Music festivals

312 Block Party

icon-location-pin United Center
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Didn't get the invite to your neighborhood block party this summer? No worries—Goose Island is inviting everyone to its annual 312 Block Party, which takes place right in front of its Fulton Street brewery. A $10 donation to a local charity at the gate gets you access to live music, food truck fare and more than 20 different beers, which are only $3 each. On Friday, September 21 experimental rockers TV on the Radio headline the music stage, joined by psych outfit Sunflower Bean and local rapper Mick Jenkins. Americana act the Drive-By Truckers top the bill on Saturday, September 22, with support from indie-rockers the Hold Steady and country singer Lillie Mae.

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Andy Borowitz
Photograph: Courtesy the artist
Comedy, Stand-up

Andy Borowitz

icon-location-pin Loop
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New Yorker satirist Andy Borowitz brings his Make America Not Embarrassing Again tour to the Chicago Theatre, which explores his comedy about the Trump presidency and his hope for a better nation. The show features stand-up comedy, an interview with a prominent (yet-to-be-announced) local figure and a question and answer session.

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pitchfork 2018, ravyn lenae
Photograph: Carolina Mariana Rodriguez
Things to do, Festivals

YAS! Fest: Youth Arts Showcase

icon-location-pin Millennium Park
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Young artists from throughout Chicago take the spotlight at YAS! Fest, a one-day event in Millennium Park that showcases local performers and creators. Throughout the day, you'll be able to see youth orchestras and choirs, artworks creates by Chicago youth, local dance troupes and winners of the Chicago Park District’s Teens In the Park contest. The evening will conclude with a concert in Pritzker Pavilion, headlined by rapper Desiigner (best know for his hit, "Panda") and local R&B singer Ravyn Lenae, who graduated from the Chicago High School for the Arts. It's all free and open to the public—yas!

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Beer Hoptacular
Photograph: Courtesy Beer Hoptacular
Things to do, Festivals

BeerHoptacular

icon-location-pin Little Italy, UIC
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One of the Chicago's most expansive craft beer festivals sets up in a helicopter hanger this year, offering more than 150 different brews to taste over the course of an afternoon. The Beerhoptacular also features a homebrew competition, DJs spinning vinyl, a live insult booth where you can take out your frustration and many more attractions.

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Photograph: Nick Murway
Things to do

World Dumpling Fest

icon-location-pin Streeterville
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Celebrate the glory of the dumpling in its many forms—pot stickers, empanadas, pierogi and more—at World Dumpling Fest. The one-day event includes tastings from a wide variety of Chicago restaurants as well as live music, cultural art vendors and dance performances. Hosted by the Chicago Cultural Alliance, the festival is free to attend, but guests will have to pay for pillowy morsels. Hungry? Grab a tasting pack: three tickets for $10 or nine tickets for $25. 

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"Guitao", Ed Paschke (1978)
Photograph: Courtesy the Ed Paschke Art Center
Art, Painting

“Break A Rule: Ed Paschke’s Art and Teaching”

icon-location-pin Evanston
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Displaying a collection of Chicago-native Ed Paschke’s vibrant paintings, this exhibit connects the artist's experimental images to the tenants he taught his students as a professor at Northwestern University: to learn the rules in order to break them, trust your instincts and get out of your comfort zone. 

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Spring Awakening Music Festival 2016, Friday
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
Music, Dance and electronic

Deadmau5

icon-location-pin River North
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Mouse-eared EDM mascot Joel Zimmerman (a.k.a. Deadmau5) is still one of the genre's most well-known figures, regularly headlining festivals and clubs across the world. To celebrate the opening weekend of Tao Chicago, Deadmau5 will break in the club's new DJ booth with an evening of wobbling bass and epic drops. You'll definitely need to reserve a table if you want to guarantee a spot at this show—an intimate set from one of EDM's top producers is sure to generate a long line to get in the door.

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U.S. Open
Photograph: Shutterstock
Sports and fitness

Laver Cup

icon-location-pin United Center
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Six of the top European tennis players face off against a team of six contenders from the rest of the world in this year's edition of the Laver Cup tournament. Taking place at the United Center, the competition will unfold over five sessions (day and night sessions on Friday and Saturday as well as a single day session on Sunday). Fans will have the chance to see world-class tennis players like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Kevin Anderson and John Isner—names that will hopefully justify the steep price of a ticket.

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Photograph: Elias Garcia
Kids

Fiesta Familiar

icon-location-pin Lincoln Park
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Celebrate Hispanic culture outside at the zoo with hands-on art, health, gardening, science and music projects. Plus, the whole family can enjoy cultural dance and music performances.

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Edgewater Art Festival
Art

Edgewater Fall Art Fair

icon-location-pin Edgewater
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Children's art and creativity come with a hyperlocal focus at the 3rd Annual Edgewater Fall Art Fair. Local schools showcase student artwork programs through gallery exhibitions, while smaller-size budding Rembrandts can face- and finger-paint at the Children’s Activity Corner. This family friendly fest includes a children's music talent showcase, costume contest, pet parade. Adults can enjoy the beer garden as well.  

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11
Burnt City Brewing
Photograph: Courtesy Burnt City Brewing
Things to do, Festivals

Burnt City Brewing Oktoberfest

icon-location-pin Sheffield & DePaul
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You can bring your own stein to Burnt City Brewing, where they'll fill you up with a one liter pour of its Oktoberfest Märzen for just $6. Don't forget to order some sausage, schnitzel and sauerkraut—you're going to need something to soak up all that booze.

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Midnight Circus in the Parks
Photograph: Laura Collins Britton
Things to do, Performances

Midnight Circus in the Parks

icon-location-pin Streeterville
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The Little Big Top heads out on its longest tour of the Chicago Parks District to-date, bringing acrobats, tightrope walkers, aerialists, jugglers and more to parks throughout the city. The Midnight Circus touches down in a new park each weekend, staging intimate performances that allow audiences to get up-close to the onstage action. This weekend, the circus heads to Lake Shore Park.

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Photograph: Courtesy Driehaus Museum
Museums, History

“Treasures from the White City: The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893”

icon-location-pin River North
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In addition to introducing attendees to the Ferris wheel, Juicy Fruit gum and the hamburger, the sprawling complex of buildings that Daniel Burnham designed for the 1983 World's Columbian Exposition hosted companies that were eager to show of their latest products. The Driehaus Museum will display silver pieces designed and produced by Gorham Manufacturing Company and Tiffany & Company, which were showcased at the exposition. Another gallery will contain a Benedictine candelabra and a stained-glass window created by Louis Comfort Tiffany, in addition to ephemera from the exposition, such as vintage tickets, programs and maps.

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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Movies, Action and adventure

The Music Box 70mm Film Festival

icon-location-pin Wrigleyville
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The Music Box Theatre isn't just one of our favorite places to see a movie in Chicago, it's also one of the only theaters left in the world with the equipment needed to project 70mm film. This weekend, you can see Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Remains of the Day and The Dark Crystal.

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15
H.A.T.
Photograph: Courtesy DCASE
Music, Latin and world

World Music Festival

icon-location-pin Lincoln Square
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Expand your musical tastes at the annual World Music Festival, a series of free concerts at venues throughout the city that feature artists from all corners of the globe, including France, China, Gambia and more. During the event's final week, check out audio-visual artist H.A.T. at Chop Shop on Friday, Congo musicians Jupiter & Okwess at Concord Music Hall on Saturday and a host of performers playing at the World Dumpling Fest at Navy Pier on Sunday.

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Chicago Half Marathon
Photograph: Mehmet Ali Engin
Sports and fitness, Running

Chicago Half Marathon

icon-location-pin Woodlawn
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Go on a scenic run that will take you on Lake Shore Drive (without traffic, obviously) and through Jackson Park and Hyde Park at the Chicago Half Marathon. With construction on the Obama Presidential Library about to start, 2018 is likely the final year that the 13.1-mile race will stick to its current course. Runner can also opt to complete a 5K insteal of the full course—the start and finish lines are located near 63rd Street and Cornell Drive in Jackson Park.

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