These six only-in-Chicago events will define any successful trip to the city.
When the weather doesn’t want to cooperate Chicago’s museums provide world-class entertainment. During Museum Week 12 cultural institutions will offer must-see exhibits, special presentations, and discounts. The Art Institute, Chicago History Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Museum of Science and Industry are just some of the powerhouse museums participating.
For 48 hours Open House Chicago from the Chicago Architecture Foundation gives the public free, exclusive access to 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.
For 52 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, nonfiction, or animation. From showing Martin Scorsese’s first feature film and premiering films like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Grey Gardens,” the festival has done it all. This year the festival will honor Peter Bogdanovich and Steve McQueen, host the North American premieres of “One Week and a Day” and “Are We Not Cats,” and screen 25 feature films.
Bacon and Barley
After a popular first year, Bacon and Beer Classic returns to Soldier Field serving up over 30 bacon-infused dishes from local restaurants and over 80 craft beers from local and regional breweries. Not only is the festival filled with America’s favorite liquid and solid but there is also music, interactive games, educational opportunities, and the opportunity to explore Soldier Field.
The days are shorter and the lack of sun can start to create a lack of energy, but Michigan Avenue will brighten your nights when they turn on the holidays at the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. This parade lights up over one million lights on Michigan Avenue making it a winter wonderland. You can get the celebration started earlier this year as it has stretched into two days with the first day including family friendly activities, live entertainment, and Santa Claus appearances.
Ride the holiday spirit the following week and start your Thanksgiving with 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.