18 Fun Fall Things to Help You Get Over Summer Ending
Summer is breaking up with us. It’s sad, but we’ve got the perfect rebound: fall. Between the city’s myriad cultural events (museums, movies, art… um, pumpkins) and stuffing our face at a host of new restaurants, we have a feeling we’ll move on in no time.
1. Visit the Wndr Museum
This new West Loop museum mashes up art and science, presenting concepts like zero gravity in visually mesmerizing installations. There’s also a Yayoi Kusama mirror room, so get ready to selfie it up.
2. Volunteer with 826CHI
If fall makes you nostalgic for fresh new pencil cases, then head to this after-school tutoring program in Wicker Park. We promise you’ll get much more out of it than you put in.
3. Get sweaty at Studio Three
This River North fitness triple threat is gearing up to open a second location in Lincoln Park late this fall. Get ready by trying its cycling, yoga and interval classes (and basking in its amazing amenities).
4. Drink wine at Bar Ramone
Lettuce Entertain You brings the Catalan tradition of porróns to River North in this new bar. The porrón is a wine vessel with a watering-can shape, and you pour its contents (traditionally, Txakoli, a light sparkling white wine) directly into your mouth. Sounds just like another Tuesday to us.
5. Be awed by the fall series at Hubbard Street Dance
Take choreographers Emma Portner, Jon Boogz and Lil Buck. Add music by Devonté Hynes (aka Blood Orange) and Third Coast Percussion. The result is unreal, and you have exactly one weekend to see it (September 27 to 30).
6. Cheer on the runners in the Chicago Marathon
If, every year, you gripe about street closures during the marathon, why not join in on the fun this time? Even if you don’t have a relative or coworker running, it’s seriously inspiring to watch (October 7).
7. See Courtney Barnett at Riviera Theatre
You’re still kicking yourself for missing the Aussie singer at her Cultural Center show earlier this year. Have no fear: She’s playing the Riviera on October 18. Make a whole night of it with dinner at Demera before and drinks at the Green Mill after.
8. Peek behind closed doors during Open House Chicago
If you always loved trick-or-treating for the glimpse into strangers’ homes, then this event (October 13 and 14) is for you. Peek inside architectural beauts, from the Elks National Memorial to the Yale Building (pictured). Sorry, no candy.
9. See the award-winning Caroline, or Change
Tony Kushner (Angels in America) and Jeanine Tesori co-wrote this 2003 musical, which follows Caroline Thibodeaux, a black woman working as a maid in Louisiana in 1963. We can’t think of a better theater to see it in than Firebrand (September 22 to October 28).
10. Eat your way through the West Town Food Truck Social
As street festival season comes to a close, we can think of no better bookend than this mobile smorgasbord (October 5 and 6). Permission to stuff your face granted.
11. Have a movie night (or day) at the Chicago International Film Festival
Guess what? Your favorite Netflix bingeing routine becomes highbrow when it’s at a film festival. This one happens to be the country’s longest-running competitive festival. It runs from October 10 to 21.
12. Say prost at Funkenhausen
When Oktoberfest rolls around, hoist a stein of pilsner at this new West Town spot. It combines Bavarian cuisine with Southern hospitality. While you’re at it, check out these seven other hot new restaurants.
13. Commune with spirits at the Halloween Parade of Artists
Admit it, the little kid in you loves all that spooky Halloween stuff. Indulge with this free and family-friendly parade (October 20). Produced by LUMA8, it features costumed artists, giant puppets, fanciful floats and live music.
14. Learn something at the Chicago Humanities Festival
The Chicago Humanities Festival (October 27 to November 11) brings together thinkers, writers and artists for inspiring talks and panels. This year’s lineup has not yet been announced, but with alumni like Lena Dunham, Cheryl Strayed and Mark Bittman, we’re champing at the bit to buy tickets.
15. Get arty at Expo Chicago
Every year since 1980, this exposition brings together some of the world’s best contemporary and modern galleries at Navy Pier. This year’s event (September 27 to 30) is no exception, but we have to confess: The people watching might be our favorite aspect.
16. Pick up pumpkins at Gethsemane Garden Center
You’ve successfully passed another summer without incurring avocado hand. Put those knife skills to good use with some good ole pumpkin carving. We recommend Gethsemane Gardens for sourcing.
17. Go on a slice crawl with Pizza City, USA
Get to know the many delicious faces of Chicago pizza on a bus or walking tour with Pizza City, USA, founded by the guy who literally wrote the book on the subject.
18. Kick off the holiday season at the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Yes, it’s a little scary to think about now, but the Mag Mile holiday lights go on November 17. That’s also the day after Christkindlmarket starts up.