5 Can’t-Miss Fall Fests & Events

From the most anticipated architecture event of the year to the original craft beer fest, here's five can't-miss events.

Open House Chicago
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Cultural Musts

For 48 hour, Oct. 14-15, Open House Chicago from the Chicago Architecture Foundation gives the public free, exclusive access to more than 200 hidden gems and architectural landmarks that are rarely ever seen by the public. Highlights include visiting the Suite of Presidents at the Blackstone Renaissance Hotel where 12 sitting presidents have stayed, step inside the vault of the Chicago Board of Trade Building, and more across the city. Logan Square and Avondale will be making their Open House Chicago debut this year. Tucked among the neighborhoods’ graceful boulevards are surprising cultural venues like Stan Mansion, whose Greystone front conceals an enormous ballroom, and Aloft Circus Arts, a historic church building adapted into a circus arts school. In the area’s industrial pockets, you’ll be able to see the production facilities of some of Chicago’s hottest brands, including Metropolis Coffee and Revolution Brewing.

For 53 years the Chicago International Film Festival  has been in the forefront of the film world in presenting the world’s best in cinema whether it be fiction, non-fiction, or animation. From showing Martin Scorsese’s first feature film, premiering films like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Grey Gardens,” the festival has done it all. Running Oct. 12-26, highlights include the opening night premiere of Marshall on Oct. 12 and a special tribute and award presentation to “Star Trek: The Next Generation” commander and a stalwart of the London and Broadway stage Sir Patrick Stewart on Oct. 25.  

Chicago BeerHoptactular

Craft Beer Lovers, Unite
There’s barely enough space in Chicago to house all the breweries that call the city home and those from afar who set up shop here. Discover if 1.45 million square feet is enough at the Seventh Annual Chicago Beerhoptacular. The event will take place on Nov. 4 at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, the massive film studios that house the productions of “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago PD,” and many feature films. The space is needed to celebrate all the craft beer in the city, region, and country with 75 brewers pouring more than 150 craft beers. In addition to the hoppy beer, attendees will enjoy food trucks, a vinyl DJ, a bicycle kegerator, and more.

BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

Holiday Beginnings

As we head into November, Chicagoans don’t mind the cold as much because we’re starting the holiday season, and what better way to kick it off than the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival on Nov. 18. With family-friendly activities, a tree-lighting ceremony with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, performances by top musical artists, and fireworks over the Chicago River, it’s hard to find a better way to get that warm holiday feeling. One of our favorite holidays is Thanksgiving, and you can start yours with some entertainment at the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade. Ronald McDonald will lead a procession of marching bands, characters, floats, and national acts along with Teddy Turkey down State Street that will bring a smile to faces of all ages.

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