10/02/2013 03:18 pm ET Updated Oct 02, 2013

21 Amazing Things To Do This Fall In Chicago


Yes, it's that beautiful time of year again.

Soon, the leaves will be crunching under our feet as we stroll along, pumpkin spice latte (or one of these arguably superior local alternatives) in hand on many a crisp Chicago day.

And, while that's all well and good, there's much more to do than to simply let your inner Mr. Autumn Man foliage-freak flag fly while counting down the days to the winter.

We've rounded up 21 Chicago events that caught our eye in the weeks ahead to help you give your Roku box some rest and enjoy some of the finest entertainment our city has to offer.

  • 'It's All-Right To Have A Good Time - The Story of Curtis Mayfield' @ The Black Ensemble Theater
    The Black Ensemble Theater Facebook
    Ongoing at The Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark St. Ticket prices vary.
    The story of Chicago music legend Curtis Mayfield told in a dazzling show that covers his work from the Impressions-era soul ("Gypsy Woman") to his later funk genius ("Super Fly").
  • 'A Study in Midwestern Appropriation' @ The Hyde Park Art Center
    Hyde Park Art Center
    Ongoing at the Hyde Park Arts Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Free.
    The Michelle Grabner-curated group exhibition examines what the HPAC calls "the defining trait of appropriation in contemporary art from the heartland," and features artists from Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis.
  • Chicago Reader's Fall Cocktail Challenge
    Andrea Bauer
    Oct. 4 at the State and Lake Chicago Tavern at theWit Hotel, 201 N. State St., 6 p.m. Tickets $40.
    This "autumnal mixologist mash up" inspired by the Reader's ingredient challenge feature is bringing together 20 of the city's finest mixologists including representatives from Three Dots and Dash, Sable, The Bristol, La Sirena Clandestina, Hot Chocolate and more. A panel of judges -- including the Reader's food critic Mike Sula, "Check, Please!" host Catherine De Orio and cocktail consultant Todd Appel -- will name a winner, with the help of attendees' votes, in this boozy showdown.
  • Chicago International Film Festival
    CIFF Facebook
    Oct. 10-24 at AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St. Ticket prices vary.
    The 48th annual Chicago International Film Festival kicks off Oct. 10 for two weeks of must-see foreign films by big name directors, underground auteurs and everyone in between.
  • Chicago, I Love You
    Chicago, I Love You Facebook
    Oct. 10-20, various locations around town. Free.
    A masterfully-curated 10-day celebration of the Windy City's music, art, photography, film, literature and comedy at venues stretching to all corners of the city, including The Green Mill, Lilly's and The Underground Lounge.
  • 40th Annual Historic Pullman House Tour @ Historic Pullman Visitor Center
    Historic Pullman Society Facebook
    Oct. 12-13 at the Historic Pullman Visitor Center, 11141 S. Cottage Grove Ave., $17 (advance tickets through Oct. 10), $20 at the door. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Pullman residents open their homes to the public for the annual Historic Pullman House Tour. These 120-year-old landmark homes range from executive mansions to 14-foot wide worker's cottages to multi-unit apartments, all with a charm and uniqueness that is part of the Pullman experience.
  • Goblin @ The Metro
    Oct. 13 at The Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., 9 p.m. Tickets $25.
    Best known for their eerie soundtracks to '70s Dario Argento Italian horror classics like "Suspiria" and "Profondo Rosso," Goblin is coming to Chicago as part of their -- wait for it -- first ever North American tour including three original members. It's going to be super spooky.
  • The Blow @ Lincoln Hall
    Oct. 14 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., 8 p.m. Tickets $14.
    Much to the delight of their fans, Brooklyn-based electro pop outfit The Blow -- Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne -- is back in action with a new album out this year and a new tour in support of that, including their first stop in Chicago since 2010. Their music is pop perfection, the kind that sticks in your mind for days at a time upon just one listening.
  • Day of the Dead Celebration @ Chicago Public Library, Dunning Branch
    Oct. 15 at Chicago Public Library's Dunning branch, 7455 W. Cornelia Ave., 4 p.m. Free.
    Art teacher Amanda Rachmaciej directs children and adults as they make colorful calaveras and skeletons for an art exploration celebrating Mexican heritage and beloved relatives that have passed.
  • Margaret Cho @ Chicago Theatre
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images
    Oct. 19 at the State and Lake Chicago Tavern at theWit Hotel, 201 N. State St., 8 p.m. Tickets $29.50-$59.50.
    Comedian and actress Margaret Cho is returning to Chicago for the first time in four years for her new show ("Mother") on a topic familiar to her fans: yes, her mother. Though we're excited for new material about Cho's mother's many quirks, we're also raring to hear her take on the government shutdown, Obamacare hysteria and other current events.
  • Music Box of Horrors @ The Music Box
    Oct. 19 at the Music Box Theater, 3733 N. Southport Ave., 12 p.m. Tickets $40.
    It's back! Chicago's very own 24-hour annual horror festival features another packed schedule of spine-tinglers new and old, including the shot-in-Chicago classic "Child's Play," Bela Lugosi classic "Night Monster," a new restoration of "Maniac Cop 2" and Polish horror hero Andrzej Zulawski's "Possession."
  • Fall Ball @ Logan Square Auditorium
    Mucca Pazza/Facebook
    Oct. 19 at Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie Blvd., 8 p.m. Tickets $15 (limited), $20.
    The inaugural Fall Ball is intended to honor the artistic expression and independent entrepreneurialism thriving in the city's Logan Square neighborhood and beyond with performances from Mucca Pazza, KOKUMO, The Fly Honeys, DJ Swaguerrilla on the decks and much more. Attendees are being encouraged to dress to the nines, naturally.
  • Bucktown Apple Pie Contest @ Holstein Park
    Oct. 20 at Holstein Park, 2200 N. Oakley Ave., 2-5 p.m. $25 registration, pie-tasting tickets vary.
    The 9th annual lust for crust continues in 2013 with the Bucktown Apple Pie contest. Local bakers pit their best pies against one another and judges crown a prize-winning pastry by day's end. For non-bakers, slices can be purchased with all proceeds benefiting Holstein Park.
  • Open House Chicago
    Chicago Architecture Foundation
    Oct. 19-20, various locations, 9 a..m to 5 p.m. Free.
    The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) opens the doors of some of the city's greatest buildings for its third-annual Open House Chicago. Some 150 buildings will be open for two days: repurposed mansions, hidden rooms, sacred spaces, private clubs, iconic theatres, offices, hotels and more.
  • Vintage Garage Chicago Season Finale @ 5051 N. Broadway Ave.
    Vintage Garage Chicago/Facebook
    Oct. 20, 5051 N. Broadway Ave., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $5 donation.
    The Vintage Garage goes out with a bang with a special sale including a record ramp with CHIRP Radio and exciting goods from dozens upon dozens of vendors including Danielle Colby-Cushman (of American Pickers fame)'s 4 Miles 2 Memphis Wicker Park store. Last Vintage Garage until April!
  • Sound Opinions presents 'High Fidelity' @ The Music Box
    The Music Box
    Oct. 24 at the Music Box Theater, 3733 N. Southport Ave., 7:30 pm. Tickets $10 in advance through Sound Opinions, $12 day-of.
    WBEZ's "Sound Opinions" hosts a screening of what's among the best Chicago-based movies of all-time. "High Fidelity" (starring Windy City native John Cusack) explores the grumpy lovelorn past, present and future of Wicker Park record store owner and resident "sad bastard," Rob Gordon.
  • Zola Jesus @ Garfield Park Conservatory
    Oct. 24 at Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., 7 p.m. Tickets $25.
    Zola Jesus is joined by industrial pioneer JG Thirlwell, who arranged many of the experimental singer-songwriter's songs for strings for her latest album, "Versions." Those stunning arrangements will figure prominently in this special show.
  • Englewood International Film Festival
    Oct. 24-27 at various locations, various times. Tickets $8/screening.
    The Englewood International Film Festival returns for its third annual edition with an impressive lineup of panels, features and shorts. Closing the festival is Stuart Connelly's indie psycho-noir thriller "The Suspect" on Oct. 27.
  • 'Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World's Fair' @ The Field Museum
    Oct. 25-Sept. 7, 2014 at The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. Admission varies.
    The Field Museum opens its "secret" archives to reveal artifacts from one of the most defining events in Chicago's history, the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition (at which the Field Museum itself made its debut).
  • 'The Normal Heart' @ TimeLine Theatre
    T. Harrison Hillman/TimeLine Theatre
    Opens Oct. 26 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., various times. Tickets $24 (previews)-$50.
    MacArthur Fellow-certified genius director/actor David Cromer (left) returns to Chicago to star in TimeLine's highly anticipated production of Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart." Nick Bowling directs the first Chicago staging of the production since the Tony-winning Broadway premiere in 2011.
  • Chicago Beer Hoptacular @ Lacuna Artist Lofts in Pilsen
    Chicago Beer Hoptacular
    Nov. 8-9 at the Lacuna Artist Lofts, 2150 S. Canalport Ave., time TBD. Tickets $45-$85.
    Explore the depth of the local craft brewing scene with tastings, demos and beer-based presentations in this two-day celebration of suds.


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