30 of the Best Things to Do in Chicago This April

Spring has arrived in Chicago and with it comes can’t-miss events for “Star Wars” fans, foodies, bookworms, and really anyone looking to get outside after a long winter.


April 27: Trevor Noah: The Loud & Clear Tour

“The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah is coming to Chicago for one hilarious night. United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago


April 11-14: “Whipped Cream

American Ballet Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of this production, which the New York Times called “exuberantly nutty.” Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive, Chicago

April 24 to May 5: “Across the Pond

Things to Do This April in Chicago: "Across the Pond" at Joffrey Ballet
Alessa Rogers and Christian Clark in “Vespertine,” part of “Across the Pond.” (Photo by Kim Kenney.)

Joffrey’s Ballet’s spring engagement features two world premieres in a program highlighting the U.K.’s top artists. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive, Chicago (Make It Better is proud to be Joffrey Ballet’s 2018-2019 season content partner.) 


April 5-6: Baconfest Chicago

Things to Do This April in Chicago: Baconfest Chicago
Photo by Anne Petersen.

Bacon lovers, rejoice! Some of Chicago’s best chefs will be cooking up creative bacon dishes, and a portion of proceeds will benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository. UIC Dorin Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt, Chicago

April 11-15: “Star Wars” Celebration

Things to Do This April in Chicago: "Star Wars" Celebration
Photo courtesy of “Star Wars” Celebration.

“Star Wars” fans from across the globe will converge on Chicago for “the ultimate fan experience,” which will feature cast and crew appearances, cosplay, exclusive merchandise, screenings, exhibits, and much more. McCormick Place, 2301 S. King Drive, Chicago

April 12-14: I Heart Halal

Back for its second year, this year’s festival will feature an expanded food court as well as the return of a Modest Fashion show, Grand Bazaar, cooking and beauty demonstrations, and more. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago

April 14: Party for the Planet

Get ready for Earth Day (April 22) at Brookfield Zoo, where your family will discover ways to make a difference for our planet and animals around the world through green activities and crafts. Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield

April 18: Bites & Brews

The Glenview Chamber of Commerce presents this craft beer festival with beer, wine, and food samplings, as well as live music. The Glen Club, 2901 W. Lake Ave., Glenview

April 20: Delia Owens Author Event

The Book Stall will welcome Delia Owens, author of No. 1 New York Times best-seller and Reese Witherspoon book club pick “Where the Crawdads Sing.” The Book Stall, 811 Elm St., Winnetka

April 25 to May 4: Chicago Humanities Festival 2019 Springfest

Melinda Gates will headline CHF’s Springfest, celebrating 30 years with the theme “Power.” Various

April 26: Bark ‘n Ball

Join Philanthropy Award winner SitStayRead for a dog-friendly evening supporting the mission of advancing youth literacy skills. Galleria Marchetti, 825 W. Erie St., Chicago

April 26-28: One of a Kind Spring Show

Things to Do This April in Chicago: One of a Kind Spring Show
Photo courtesy of One of a Kind Spring Show.

Shop clothes, jewelry, art, bath and body items, and more from 300-plus artists and makers. The Mart, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago

April 26 to May 6: James Beard Eats Week

Before the James Beard Awards on May 6, more than 100 Chicago area restaurants will serve dishes or menus inspired by James Beard and donate to the James Beard Foundation Scholarship Fund. Various

April 27: Chicago Wine Fest

Sample a variety of wines, dine on delicious food, and rock out to live music. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago

April 27-28: Malott Japanese Garden Spring Festival

Things to Do This April in Chicago: Chicago Botanic Garden's Malott Japanese Garden Spring Festival
Photo courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden.

Learn about Japan through music, crafts, a tea tasting ceremony, and more. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe


April 5-7: Chicago Comedy Film Festival

Filmmakers from around the world will showcase their work during this festival, now in its ninth year. Columbia College Chicago, 1104 S. Wabash St., Chicago


Opens April 8: “Silver Screen to Mainstream: American Fashion in the 1930s and ’40s

Thirty garments from designers like Chanel and Valentina will be on display during this exhibit showcasing Hollywood’s impact on American fashion at the time. Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago

April 13: Pilsen Murals Walking Tour

Explore Pilsen with a local guide during this Chicago History Museum event. Meets at the National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St., Chicago 

April 13: ‘Scopes in the City: Chicago Botanic Garden

Adler Planetarium astronomers and educators will visit Glencoe to give you a chance to view space through telescopes. This event is part of CBG’s Unearth Science FestivalChicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe 


April 7: Time for Three

Things to Do in Chicago This April: Time for Three
Photo by Shervin Lainez.

This trio performs classics from Bach to The Beatles and even mashups of favorites by artists like Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake. Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston

April 13: Callisto Quartet

This concert will include Thomas Adès‘ “The Four Quarters” and Beethoven‘s String Quartet No. 8. Bennett Gordon Hall at Ravinia Festival, 201 St. Johns Ave., Highland Park


Opens April 18: “The Children

This “brave, humane and beautifully written play” makes its way to Chicago after stints in London and New York to tackle the idea of what responsibility every generation has for how it leaves the world.

Opens April 27: “Hamilton: The Exhibition

Things to Do This April in Chicago: Hamilton: The Exhibition
Rendering courtesy of David Korins Designs.

Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s “Hamilton” has taken the world by storm and now fans will have a chance to dive into Alexander Hamilton‘s story even more through this exhibit featuring an audio tour narrated by Miranda. Northerly Island, Chicago

Media Sponsorships

Make It Better is a proud media sponsor of these events:

April 4: Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Illinois Chapter’s Reason to Hope

Now in its 10th year, this luncheon will honor caregivers as well as those living with Alzheimer’s. The Standard Club, 320 S. Plymouth Court, Chicago

April 6: UNICEF Gala Chicago

This event will raise funds for UNICEF’s work around the world in the areas of health, education, child protection, emergency relief, and more. The Geraghty, 2520 S. Hoyne Ave., Chicago

April 10: The Ounce Annual Luncheon

Activist, playwright, and actor Anna Deavere Smith will give the keynote speech at this year’s Ounce of Prevention Fund luncheon. Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

April 29: American Cancer Society ResearcHERS

This new initiative centers around supporting female cancer researchers. The University of Chicago Gleacher Center, 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive, Chicago

Additional events Make It Better is proud to support:

Anna Carlson writes the weekly Weekend 101 column and monthly Recommended Events. A graduate of the University of Missouri, her work has been published in Chicago Parent, Inside Columbia Magazine, and Central California Parent Magazine. She is a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital






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