Fall Event Guide for Chicagoans
With the heat of summer finally abating, but the icy cold of midwestern winter not yet arrived, autumn is an incredible time to enjoy the rich culture of Chicago. We’ve assembled a few of our favorite annual, ongoing events that Chicago residents can check out to take advantage of this great season.
Generally taking place each year in September, Riot Fest is a three-day music festival centered in Douglas Park. Having begun in Chicago back in 2005, there are now Riot Fests in a few other U.S. cities as well. The festival features a variety of artists generally united by a focus on a punk rock style and ethos. Hitting up Riot Fest is a great way to rock out and unleash some of that pent-up aggression that can accumulate with modern city living.
Chicago International Film Festival
The Chicago International Film Festival began in 1964 as an alternative to commercial Hollywood movies. After all, there’s no reason Hollywood should have a monopoly on the art of film, and the Chicago International Film Festival serves as a refreshing yearly reminder of that fact. Not only are plenty of great films screened, but attendees often have a chance to meet, interact with, and listen to the actors, directors, writers, producers and others that are behind these cinematic works.
Starting in 2019 and hopefully continuing far into the future is a new festival called Inherit Chicago, a “month-long celebration of intercultural art, ideas, and performance at neighborhood heritage institutions” (as described on the Inherit Chicago website). The festival aims to highlight the rich diversity across the neighborhoods of Chicago and promote cultural/community understanding. It lasts for nearly a full month.
November and Beyond
Zoolights at Lincoln Park Zoo
Finally, a tried-and-true way to see off the end of autumn as it fades into winter is the Zoolights display at the Lincoln Park Zoo. This free, family-oriented event boasts hundreds of unique light displays. Attendees can take part in seasonal activities that include the consumption of spiced beverages, musical light shows, ice-sculpture carving, and photos with Santa, all while basking in the warm glow of some 2.5-million lights.
The event lasts from late November to early January, taking place on specified days. Check out the webpage for more details.