Pack away the fake blood and prepare for turned-out umbrellas: blustery November’s upon us. While you step away from your Halloween candy stockpile and inch towards a tryptophan-induced coma, we’ll keep your antsy hands busy in the intervening weeks with a host of fall-friendly activities.
Reeling Film Festival
Reeling: The Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, making it the second-oldest LGBT film festival in the world. Join them for a 65-screening showcase of innovative gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender films showing at six area theaters. Feeling overwhelmed? Check out our guide for film reviews and information about the festival.
When: Friday, Nov. 4 - Saturday, Nov. 12
Price: Varies, see website
Umbrella Music Festival
Chicago's jazz scene doesn't fade after summer ends--it just moves inside. Get your fix at the ongoing Umbrella Music Festival, running all weekend and spotlighting jazz and improvised music from Chicago and beyond. Elastic, The Hideout and Hungry Brain host this weekend's festivities, which include the Nick Mazzarella Trio and Locksmith Isidore.
When: Friday, Nov. 4 - Sunday, Nov. 6
Price: Varies, see website
First Fridays at the MCA
The Museum of Contemporary Art’s standing First Fridays program grants free admission on the first Friday of each month, with November’s running this week. Catch current exhibitions, including "Eiko & Koma: Time is Not Even, Space is Not Empty," "Chicago Works: Scott Reeder" and "The Language of Less (Then and Now)."
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave., Chicago
When: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4
We Are Spark
Support the work of We Are Spark, a nonprofit working with Hope Ministries in Zambia to improve the quality of life for the nation’s poorest children. The organization will showcase its work at a fundraising event, including their recent investments in a poultry farm whose profits will fund an orphanage. Drinks and heavy h’ors d’oeuvres will be served.
Where: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Ave., Chicago
When: 7 p.m. - 10 p.m., Friday, Nov. 4
Price: $60 pre-sale, $75 at the door
Sample more than 100 different craft beers while helping decide which will rule them all at the second annual BeerHoptacular at the Aragon Ballroom. In two sessions, thousands of beer lovers will sample and judge varieities supplied by 35 breweries from the Midwest and across the country, and decide a competition of 20 home brew clubs facing off.
Where: Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago
When: Session 1 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Session 2 6 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Saturday Nov. 5
Price: $35 pre-sale, $45 at the door
Pack your to-go tofu and hike to Chicago's third annual VeganMania, a free, daylong celebration of vegan culture, commerce, community, cuisine and couture. Speakers include Nathan Runkle, founder of Chicago-based Mercy for Animals, and natural vegan body builder Robert Cheeke, and cooking demos will be led by local stars including the Chicago Diner, the Vegan Food Truck and Chicago Soydairy.
Where: Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk, Chicago
When: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5
Burlesque and Pin-up Makeup Workshop
Does your Facebook profile pic lack luster, sexiness and feather boas? Learn how to sex up your look, and get photo evidence of your purrfection, at Studio L’Amour’s makeup workshop, where makeup artist Delia Aces will break down tips and tricks to perfecting the pin-up look. False eyelashes provided, fiery red lipstick basically mandatory.
When: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday Nov. 6
Price: $40, RSVP required