30 of the Best Things to do in Chicago and the Suburbs in April 2022

April in Chicago – when the first legitimately nice days start stacking up, and we can all gingerly put our snow boots in the closet (albeit at the front). We don’t know about you, but nothing makes us want to go out and do All The Things more than a beautiful spring day and a packed social calendar. Here are 30 events to hit this month.

All Month

Winnie the Pooh Show

winnie the pooh
Photo courtesy of Evan Zimmerman

You can take yourself down to the Hundred Acre Wood all month long, Thursday through Sunday, and experience the magic of Pooh and the gang. The fantastic puppet show features the whole life-sized gang covered in fur or feathers, and obviously stuffed with fluff. The show will also include a number of the original songs (and if you don’t sing along under your breath to “Winnie the Pooh,” you’re not having enough fun).

3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago

SIX, The Musical

six the musical

This author is green with envy, but Six, the musical about the many – actually, six – wives of Henry the Eighth is coming to Chicago. After experiencing smashing success on Broadway, Chicago audiences can enjoy the rollicking soundtrack and the fierce fabulousness of the Tudor Queens. Tickets start at the incredibly reasonable price of $39, so run, don’t walk. And don’t brag, either, because some of us still haven’t seen it.

18 W. Monroe St., Chicago  

North Shore Theaters: Special Offers

Chicago’s North Shore theaters welcome you back with a bang and very special offers — from March 24 through April 24 — to sweeten your evening. The stages are set for incredible entertainment and the restaurant selections will help you really make a night of it. Check out offer codes and offerings at their website.

Author Events at The Book Stall

The Book Stall in Winnetka offers several exciting author visits and events this April, including:

Author Open House with Ruth Spiro: Maxine and The Greatest Garden Ever!
Apr 9: 10:00am to 12:00pm

Author Open House with Emma Noyes: The Sunken City
Apr 23: 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Girls Who Green the World: Thirty-Four Rebel Women Out to Save Our Planet (A Book Stall Event with Diana Kapp and Kaitlin Mogentale)
Apr 27: 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Author Open House with Jessica Vitalis: The Wolf’s Curse 
Apr 30: 10:00am to 12:00pm

Check out their events calendar for the latest information and registration details.

811 Elm Street, Winnetka

April 1: Selena Forever

If the Tejana icon Selena lives on in your heart, then you need to snag tickets to the Selena Forever event at Stereo Nightclub. With all of the beloved star’s greatest hits including “Como La Flor,” “Amor Prohibido,” and this author’s personal favorite, “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” it will be a rhinestone-encrusted night to remember. 

April 3: A Marvel-Ous Passover

Passover is just around the corner, and what better way to get into the unleavened spirit than with DC Comics? Hosted on Zoom by Skokie’s Congregation Kol Emeth, the interactive experience will be moderated by Jordan B. Gorfinkel, a comic book creator, newspaper cartoonist, and animation and multimedia entertainment producer. The experience will use clips from the Marvel universe, pop culture icons, and a Passover Haggadah graphic novel. L’chaim!  

April 5: Beginning Mah Jongg Class

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to play Mah Jongg but never had the chance, now is the time to try. Over the course of five classes, you’ll learn the suits, the tile setups, the rules of the game, and the card of standard hands. Then, you’ll get the chance to sit down and actually play. Come alone and meet new friends, or bring along some old ones – even if they already know how to play, a little refresher never hurt anyone. The cost is $165.

1-3 p.m. 7 N Happ Rd, Northfield

April 6: Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Group discussing Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein

If you love sci-fi and fantasy, then this virtual book club is for you. Read Stranger In A Strange Land, and come prepared to discuss. Be prepared to whip out your best language arts terminology (are you prepared to discuss theme, characterization, and literary devices?) as you dive into the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human being raised on Mars who has recently returned to earth. Virtual

April 7: Adults Night Out at the Zoo

It’s hard to imagine a way to improve Lincoln Park Zoo, but for some people, adding a boozy brunch, a live DJ, and a dress-up theme might help. Enjoy animal encounters at the zoo with the added benefit of a cocktail or beer (and no 4th grade field trips). Plus, the $15 ticket helps support the beloved zoo in staying free and open 365 days a year. Whether you’re interested in a cup of the – shall we say, punchy – punch, or looking to relive your childhood with face painting, Adults Night Out at the Zoo is sure to be a roaring good time. 

April 7: Respect the Mic at the Poetry Foundation 

Get ready for the first in-person Poetry Foundation event since its closure with Respect the Mic, an evening of poetry from Oak Park and River Forest High School with the editors of Respect the Mic: Celebrating 20 Years of Poetry from a Chicagoland High School. Past and present students from Oak Park and River Forest High School’s Spoken Word Poem will also join the editors for an evening of incredible art.

7-8 p.m. 61 W. Superior St., Chicago 

April 7 and 8: Adler Planetarium Presents Spektral Quartet

Experience Enigma, a combination of music and film, from the Grammy-nominated Spektral Quartet. Enigma comes to life in the Adler Planetarium’s 360° dome Grainger Sky Theater in partnership with ExpoChicago. Inspired in part by the 2017 solar eclipse, the “enchanting and beautifully disorienting sounds” are even more impressive in combination with the visual art, promising an experience that will make any viewer…shall we say, star-struck?

6-6:45 p.m. and 8 to 8:45 p.m. 1300 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr. Chicago

April 7-10: EXPO Chicago

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Back for its ninth year, The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art is proud to host more than 140 leading international exhibitors at EXPO CHICAGO 2022 in Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. Featuring international gallerists alongside local artists-made-good, the EXPO is a weekend of art you won’t soon forget. If the thought of that much art makes you feel overwhelmed, you can even tack on a guided tour to your ticket price.

600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago

April 9: Art on the MART

art on the mart

In partnership with Shedd Aquarium, this new program features the premiere of two climate change-themed projections on the side of the historic Merchandise Mart. ‘Floe’ by Carrie Hanson, featuring contemporary dance company The Seldoms, and run alongside ‘Choral,’ a piece spotlighting marine life, by Marlena Novak and Jay Yim. The 2022 Spring Program will run twice nightly at 8:30 and 9 p.m. from April 9 through June 29.

April 9: An Evening with Renée Elise Goldsberry at The Auditorium Theatre

Renee Elise Goldsberry

Whether you know her from her Tony Award-winning role in Hamilton, or as one of the fabulous characters on Tina Fey’s latest show, Girls 5Eva, Renee Elise Goldsberry’s first Chicago performance is not an event to miss. Goldsberry will make her concert debut performing pop, soul, and Broadway classics. If you want even more Renee, there will be an optional fundraising celebration immediately following the performance. You will be able to enjoy cocktails, buffet, dessert, and live music all on the Auditorium Theatre’s iconic stage. All proceeds benefit the Auditorium Theatre, a nonprofit National Historic Landmark.

7 p.m. 50 Ida B. Wells Dr., Chicago

April 10: Yuja Wang at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Don’t miss classical pianist Yuja Wang and a program that includes Beethoven, Kapustin, and Ligeti at the beautiful Symphony Center. Truly, does anything feel more elegant than going to see classical music on a Sunday? Very ladies-who-lunch. Quite apart from that, Wang’s captivating performances are world-renowned, so you can truly enjoy your afternoon of artistic patronage in addition to feeling superior.

3 p.m. 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

Through April 10: King James at the Steppenwolf Theatre

Yes, the Steppenwolf Theatre is putting on a play about none other than basketball phenom-turned philanthropist Lebron James. Told over the course of 12 years, King James is an “intimate exploration of the place that sports occupy in our lives and relationships.” Billed as a comedy, the show follows two friends who communicate best through their shared love of basketball. While friendships grow and blossom, the specter of King James’s greatness looms in the background.

1650 N. Halstead St., Chicago

April 13: The Sound of Music at Marriott Theatre

Not sure if you’ve heard, but apparently a lonely goatherd has been spotted high on a hill. That’s right, the beloved musical The Sound of Music is returning to the (almost equally) beloved Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. It goes without saying that the production will be of impeccable quality, as we have all come to expect from the Marriott, and it will be fun for the whole family. Just try not to sing along too loudly. Through June 5.

April 14: Open Door Reading Poetry Reading

The Poetry Foundation has continued this long-standing series of local talent online, but is excited to host in-person readings again. Featuring poems from Madeleine LeCesne, Michell Nicole Miller, Nat Pyper, and Ang Zheng, the evening will include work from new and emerging poets and highlight writing instruction and poetic partnerships.

7-8 p.m. 61 W. Superior Street, Chicago

April 16: Principles of Garden Design

For the advanced garden architect, the Chicago Botanic Garden is hosting a two-part class (on Saturday, April 16 and Saturday, May 21) to put those skills to the test. Students will apply their knowledge and skills developed in previous design courses to understand landscape materials and their application to design principles. Be the architect of your own sweeping English garden or tightly designed Japanese zen garden. Please be advised that previous design skills and knowledge are a prerequisite. $495.00 for members, $619.00 for non members.

1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe 

April 16: Easter Egg-Stravaganza, Presented by Kinder Joy

Celebrate spring at the Lincoln Park Zoo with this fun family event. Featuring multiple egg hunts for different age groups, photo opps with the Easter bunny, free rides on the carousel and train adventure, games, activities, music and more, this is the perfect event to ring in spring. This year, your $35 ticket also includes a $5 ZooBucks voucher, accepted at Park Place Café during the Easter Egg-Stravaganza event. A variety of delicious breakfast and lunch options, including only-for-adults beverages, will be available for purchase.

8 a.m.-12 p.m. 2400 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago

April 16: Chicago Wine Fest

If you’ve always liked the Museum of Science and Industry but wished you could enjoy it with a glass of vino in your hand, then you’re in luck – that’s just what the Chicago Wine Fest has on offer. Featuring over 100 wines from around the world, after-hours access to the full museum, and gourmet food offerings, this will surely be a night of oenological fun. Want a more exclusive experience? Select the VIP admission ticket for $100 and enjoy an extra hour of tasting with a smaller crowd, food vouchers, access to higher-end wine selections, and a keepsake wine glass. Enjoy general admission for $70, starting at 8 p.m., and try out the unlimited wine tasting with separately available food.

7-11 p.m. 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicag

April 18: A conversation with Ari Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor

This exclusive event is only for members and guests of The Economic Club of Chicago, where you’ll listen to Wilmette native and super-agent Ari Emanuel in conversation with ECC Club Chair Mary Dillon. Emanuel will dish on his secrets to success and deal-making expertise, and maybe even spill a few secrets about the celebrity entrepreneurs he’s helped along the way…people like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and a little-known Chicago native called Oprah Winfrey. There is no fee for most ECC membership types, but non-resident members and guest tickets are $250.

5:45-9 p.m. 151 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago

April 20: Stories in the Woods

10-11 a.m. Take advantage of beautiful spring weather at the Heller Nature Center with Stories in the Woods, hosted by the Park District of Highland Park. Accompanied by their adults, kiddos will get to engage in a hands-on nature-inspired activity, enjoy storytime, and take a short hike alongside a naturalist. This is the perfect event for the budding explorer in one of the North Shore’s loveliest nature preserves.

2821 Ridge Rd., Highland Park

April 21: Monica Ong: Planetaria Visual Poems at the Poetry Foundation

Explore an exhibition of visual poems by Monica Ong, author of Silent Anatomies (2015), selected by Native author Joy Harjo as winner of the Kore Press First Book Award in poetry.  Planetaria “leverages the visual language of astronomy to explore the precarious territories of motherhood, women in science, and diaspora identity.” Explore the physical side of poetry with letterpress and foil stamped Chinese constellation maps and experience the intersection of poetry and astronomy.

61 W. Superior St., Chicago 

April 22: All’s Well That Ends Well at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

Life has been hard, so settle in for one of Shakespeare’s finest comedies at one of the finest Shakespearean theatres in the country. To be fair, All’s Well That Ends Well is one of the bard’s darker comedies, but a wedding still happens at the end, so it’s fair game! If you’re in the mood for the story of a determined woman (who is more likable than, say, Lady Macbeth), then you’re sure to enjoy this captivating performance in the beautiful Courtyard Theatre. Through May 29.

800 East Grand on Navy Pier, Chicago

April 22 – 24: CineYouth Festival

CineYouth is the Chicago International Film Festival’s yearly film fest that showcases short films made by global filmmakers 22 years old and younger. Taking place April 22-24 at Facets on Fullerton, CineYouth supports diverse youth voices by providing opportunities to have their work showcased, to learn about from industry experts in hands-on workshops, and network. All events at CineYouth are free and open to the public, and there will be virtual screenings available. For more information, check out CineYouth’s website.

1517 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago

April 23: Chicago Donut Fest

Chicago donut fest

Chicago is renowned for a lot of things: the best pizza (don’t argue with me, reader), beautiful parks, accessible beaches, and a yearly bright-green river. But it has also become donut central over the last few years, and what better way to celebrate than with the Chicago Donut Fest? Enjoy donut tastings and three drink tickets for beers or mimosas with your ticket price. Prepare to chow down!

12-4 p.m. 155 W. Kinzie St., Chicago 

April 27: From Infection to Inflation to the Great Resignation: What’s Next For The U.S. Economy?

Join the Executives Club of Chicago for a in-person discussion with industry experts on the effects of Covid-19 on the U.S. economy. Businesses are struggling to adapt and millions of people have quit their jobs, part of a sudden workforce shift known as the Great Resignation. With markets at record levels, investors are waiting for a correction, and a recession, that may arrive sooner or later. Tickets are $99 for members and $159 for non-members.

11:15 to 1:15 p.m. Fairmont Chicago – Millennium Park, International Ballroom | 200 N Columbus Dr

April 27: The Joffrey Ballet presents Serenade and Of Mice and Men

The Joffrey’s spring double-bill features George Balanchine’s Serenade, the choreographer’s first ballet created in America in 1934, and Cathy Marston’s world premiere adaptation of Steinbeck’s tender tale of friendship, perseverance, and sacrifice, with an original score by Academy Award®-nominated composer Thomas Newman. Through May 8th.

20 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago

April 28: Going Green at Shedd Teen Workshop

If you have an eco-minded teen, the Going Green Workshop at our beloved Shedd Aquarium is the perfect opportunity to think about how we can help be better stewards of the environment. At the Going Green workshop, participants can learn more about Shedd’s various programs that help make the world greener, including a conservation department, on-site breeding programs and gardens where we grow food and plant native species. Paid entry to aquarium required, but your reserved ticket is free.

5-7 p.m. 1200 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr., Chicago

April 29: Spring Benefit, COMMON THREAD, at The Art Center Highland Park

Come support The Art Center’s annual spring benefit, and enjoy a return to a fully live and in-person event after two years of virtual galas (which are nice and supportive, but not nearly as much fun). The title “Common Thread” was inspired by the Center’s concurrent exhibit, Fiber –  Fashion – Feminism. Enjoy passed appetizers, cocktails, desserts, a silent auction, a live DJ, skill demonstrations by art faculty instructors, and a fashion show featuring designs by Maria Pinto, designer for Michelle Obama, and Katrin Schnabl, the current chair of the fashion department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Tickets are $175.

7 p.m. 1957 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park

April 29: ONE OF A KIND Show

Over the weekend of April 29, 300 jury-selected independent artists from across the country will convene for The One of a Kind Show. Shop unique artisan wares including fashion, home goods, fine art, accessories, and 14 more categories. Show attendees will have the opportunity to interact with artists and artisans as they browse, and everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy live music, gourmet cafes, and hands-on workshops throughout the weekend. Tickets are $10 a day, but handmade art is priceless. Running April 29, April 30, and May 1.

10 a.m. – 7 p.m. 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago

April 30: The Best Magnolias for the Midwest

Is there anything lovelier than the first magnolia trees blooming every spring? Possibly, but the trees are pretty high up there on the list. With the help of the Chicago Botanic Garden, you can learn about the best varieties of magnolia trees to grow (successfully!) in your midwestern yard or garden. Dress for the weather, as a hands-on walk through the extensive Gardens is included!

9 a.m.-12 p.m. 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe 

April 30: Chicago Whiskey Tasting Festival

Whiskey lovers, unite! Here, no one will roll your eyes as you argue over whether the whiskey you’re nosing is more smokey or more peaty. Enjoy the opportunity to sample over $2,000 worth of whiskey at an exclusive event of only 200 fellow whiskey aficionados. The event will feature two world-class sommeliers from the number one sommelier service firm in the world, The Sommelier Company, so all attendees will come away with some new knowledge or a better understanding of their own whiskey preferences.

2:30-6:30 p.m. 120 N. Canal St., Chicago

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Jessica Morrison is a native Chicagoan residing in Washington, D.C. She is currently getting her master’s degree in secondary English education at the University of Maryland. She enjoys petting other people’s dogs and is faithful to Lou Malnati’s alone. Jessica is also a supporter of MAZON and No Kid Hungry