Weekend Agenda: Sept. 25-27

Raise a glass to Oktoberfest and other fall festivals

Looking for something to do? Check out our lineup of events for the entire weekend.

Jump to: Saturday | Sunday

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors


Oktoberfest Chicago (all weekend)
Saint Alphonsus Church, 1429 W. Wellington Ave. 
The annual fest is back and promising more beer, brats and bands than ever before. Well, all right then. For extra dough, beer lovers can participate in Craft Beer Night on Friday and Saturday from 6-9 p.m. Tickets include tastings from European and local craft breweries and a commemorative glass and pretzel necklace. 5-10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sunday. $5 admission; free on Sunday for all. Craft Beer Night: $40, $30 for brewmasters.

Also on tap Friday:

Red Bull Flying Bach
Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St.
It's breakdancing meets classical music with a side of corporate sponsorship. All the things that make America great. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 4 p.m. Sunday. $30-$100. 

Black Panthers documentary
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St. 
Opening weekend for "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution," a film from celebrated documentarian Stanley Nelson who here uses rare footage and candid interviews to tell the story of the Panthers. Screenings continue through Oct. 1. $11, $6 for film center members. 

Chicago Critical Mass
Daley Plaza, Dearborn and Washington Streets
Tour city streets and take in late-summer sights during this long-running “celebration of riding bicycles” that’s open to all and doesn’t stop for season or weather. Meet at 5:30 p.m. Free.


Great Chicago Fire Festival
Northerly Island, 1521 S. Linn White Drive 
It's round two for the outdoor spectacle produced by Pilsen-based Redmoon Theater. If you recall, it didn't go over so hot last year (no pun intended), thanks to miserable weather which kinda put the kibosh on the fire part of the festival. This year, the scaled-back version of the free festival includes multiple performance stages, a fireworks finale and – if the stars align – the burning of a giant house. Fingers crossed. 5-9 p.m. Free. Read more about this year's festival.

Also on tap Saturday:

Fright Fest opens
Great America, 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee
This is night one of the fest, which runs through Nov. 1. Get chased around the park by creepers, freak yourself out in haunted houses and enjoy the general terror that is Fright Fest. 11 a.m.-midnight. $34.49-$53.99.

'Scream, Queen, Scream!'
Mary's Attic, Theatre, 5400 N. Clark St.
Inspired by "Creepshow" and "Tales from the Crypt" comes this horror film parody from longtime drag aficionado David Cerda. The trilogy includes "Taco Tuesday," "The Box," and "Shut Up and Die, Maggie!" and is hosted by Count Dragula (John Cardone). 7:30 p.m. $22-$30.   

Free Day
Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive
See the "stars" for free at Adler, which is offering complimentary general admission today as part of Smithsonian magazine’s 11th annual Museum Day Live. Download a ticket in order to gain free general admission to the museum for up to two people, with a limit of one ticket per household and e-mail address. The free ticket is available for download here. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Grand Art and Design Festival
Grand Avenue, between Wood Street and Western Avenue
Explore the Grand Avenue design district, home to interior designers and antique furniture dealers, at this annual event formerly known as Design Harvest. In addition to home and garden vendors, browse wares by local artists and crafters, including clothing and jewelry. Food trucks, activities for kids and two stages of live music programmed by the Hideout round things out. Though technically free, a $5 suggested donation is requested.11 a.m.-8 p.m. Through Sunday. 

Moon Festival Chicago
Chinatown Square, 2133 S. China Place
The traditional Chinese festival (aka the Mid-Autumn Festival) also includes a dumpling-eating contest and singing contest. Festivities begin at noon and continue through 9 p.m. Free.

More: Read about a free screening of "Hocus Pocus" at a cemetery.


Hyde Park Jazz Festival
Various venues
This is the ninth anniversary for the fest, which this year hosts more than 35 bands on 14 stages. Musicians include Angel d’Cuba, Fat Babies, Henry Threadgill and David Virelles, and Regina Carter and Xavier Davis, among others. Sunday highlight: Saxophonist Pat Mallinger – co-founder of the Sabertooth jazz ensemble – performs alongside pianist Bill Carrothers from 4-5 p.m. at the Wagner Stage. Various times, suggested donation $5. 

Also happening Sunday:

Fall Fest
Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St., Oak Park
Horse-drawn hay rides, crafts and mask-decorating for kids and even a scavenger hunt. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free.

18th and Allport streets
Dusek’s Board & Beer celebrates its two-year anniversary inside Pilsen’s Thalia Hall with a neighborhood bash (2-10 p.m.) with an Oktoberfest twist. Stop by the family friendly affair for sausages and other German-inspired fare from Dusek chef Jared Wentworth, beers, DJs, and face-painting for kids. Free admission.

Events listed are subject to change. We recommend double-checking times and locations before you head out the door. Want to share your upcoming events with us for consideration in a future roundup? Send us an email.

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors