Everything You Need to Do in Chicago This Fall

Updated On 09/11/2017 at 05:26PM EST Updated On 09/11/2017 at 05:26PM EST
Thursday - Sunday
Sep 14-17
Dust off your pocket protector for Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival
Dust off your pocket protector for Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival
Lake View
Nerds get their day (three days, actually) in the spotlight with nerdy comedy including stand-up, cabaret, and a variety of performances, from superhero and Dungeons & Dragons improv, to improv takes on Shakespeare and Jane Austen.
Cost: $10 a show; $50 for day passes
riot fest
Flickr/Covert Nine
Friday - Sunday
Sep 15-17
Douglas Park
Chicago’s last major music festival of the season may be its best, with a killer lineup including Nine Inch Nails, Wu-Tang Clan, Queens of the Stone Age, plus carnival rides, burlesque and all manner of spiky-haired punk weirdness.
Cost: $80 day passes; $200 for the whole weekend
Friday - Saturday
Sep 22-23
West Town
The Goose flings open the doors of its Fulton Street brewery to welcome this annual end-of-summer affair with Goose Island beer (duh) and a standout roster of bands including Animal Collective, Ted Leo, and Joey Purp.
Cost: Free to attend with suggested charity donation of $10
Saturday - Sunday
Sep 23-24
West Town
Rejoice! Everyone’s favorite fall festival returns to everyone’s favorite dive bar with a finely curated lineup of bands in celebration both of Sputnik’s 60th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of legendary local studio Electrical Audio.
Cost: Free-$20 depending on the event
Friday - Sunday
Sep 29-Oct 1
Lake View
Handmade bratwurst, massive beer steins, crazy German bands... it’s Oktoberfest, you know the drill, just inside St. Alphonsus Church. And it’s the one day of year (OK, three) when going to church doesn’t feel like a chore.
Cost: $5 admission before 5pm; $10 after
Wednesday - Sunday
Oct 4-29
Washington Park
This traveling circus picks up where Ringling Bros. left off (quitters), pitching the tent in Washington Park for a month of eye-popping interactive performances from a vivacious global cast that make the Bearded Lady look like a quaint relic.
Cost: Tickets start at $17
Thursday - Saturday
Oct 5-Nov 4
Various locations
Original dance, music, and theatre fan out across Chicago neighborhoods impacted by violence bringing a message of peace through the arts as this community-focused event hosts three-day performances in Hamilton Park, Kelvyn Park, and La Follete Park.
Cost: Admission is free, but donations are encouraged
Friday - Sunday
Oct 13-15
University of Chicago
This three-day showcase honors the South Side roots of Chicago blues with live performances from top local blues acts as well as workshops, food, film, and conversation taking place throughout the University of Chicago’s Logan Center.
Cost: Varies by date and artist, but many of the events are free
Friday - Sunday
Oct 13-15
Near North Side
North America’s oldest competitive film festival hosts two weeks of special screenings as well as film industry events and competitions in the areas of international posters and 60-second films.
Cost: Tickets start at $8
Saturday - Sunday
Oct 14-15
LaBagh Woods
Instead of leaf-peeping at some fancy nature retreat, get out into the forest preserves and enjoy fall the Chicago way: by eating food out of stationary automobiles, with the aid of outdoor games and sangria and beer gardens.
Cost: Admission is free, but beer and sangria are not
Travor Noah
Trevor Noah
Monday - Thursday
Oct 16-19
Athenaeum Theatre & Chicago Theatre
The Daily Show comes to Chicago for a week of live tapings as part of its “Undesked Chicago 2017: Let’s Do This Before It Gets Too Damn Cold” series and, if that’s not enough, you can also see Trevor Noah perform five shows at the Chicago Theatre Oct. 20-28.
Cost: Admission is free, which is 1. great, and 2. also means you'll have to beat the long lines on N State Street to get in.
Thursday - Saturday
Oct 26-28
Concord Music Hall & Aragon Ballroom
React Presents’ annual Halloween freakfest features three days of EDM and crazy costumes at two local venues, with the event also expanding to the additional cities of Milwaukee and Ann Arbor, Michigan this year.
Cost: Tickets start at $25
Wednesday - Friday
Nov 1-Dec 1
Various locations
Red Bull Sound Select hosts its 30 Days concert series in Chicago for the first time, featuring a concert every night of month (excluding Thanksgiving) with hip-hop acts like Young Thug and Migos. as well as indie favorites including Parquet Courts and Polica.
Cost: Varies by date and artist
Nov 4
Chicago’s best beer fest makes its glorious return with two sessions of tastings from 150+ craft breweries paired with eats from Happy Lobster, Cheesie’s, and Pierogi Wagon, plus a homebrew competition.
Cost: $49
Nov 4
Lake View
Chicago’s leading dance club celebrates its 35-year anniversary the only way it knows how... with a 23-hour dance party starting with a sunrise set at 7am Saturday and ending at 5am Sunday (or until you pass out).
Cost: $20
guns n roses
Nov 6
United Center
Even though they said last year’s Not In This Lifetime Tour was a one-time thing, we can’t stay mad at Axl. The tour returns this fall and, if it’s anything like last year’s triumphant Soldier Field set, is well worth the Tuesday hangover.
Cost: Tickets start at $59
Monday - Wednesday
Nov 6-8
James Murphy and company return to Chicago after dominating this summer’s Pitchfork Fest for a three-night run of highly anticipated shows of dance-rock bliss, hot on the heels of newly released instant classic American Dream.
Cost: Tickets start at $56
Nov 18
Near Southside
Just when you thought music festival season was over, this hip-hop fest rolls into one of America’s preeminent incubators for hip-hop talent with a stacked lineup led by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
Cost: $85
TBOX Bar Crawls
TBOX Bar Crawls
Dec 9
It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas or, in this case, TBOX... the infamous annual Wrigleyville bar crawl that starts with a morning bowl of beer cereal and ends with you face down in an alley with penises drawn on your forehead (or so we hear).
Cost: $35