Weekend 101: Oct. 12-14

Weekend 101: Oct. 12-14 (Boo! at the Zoo — Brookfield Zoo)

This week marks the beginning of an annual film festival in Chicago and a Halloween event in Brookfield. Plus, make a difference at a wine walk in Wilmette, explore some of Chicago’s coolest buildings, celebrate Oktoberfest in Evanston, and more.

Chicago International Film Festival

Weekend 101 (Chicago): Chicago International Film Festival
Image courtesy of the Chicago International Film Festival.

Begins Oct. 10

More than 150 films will be featured during this festival, which is now in its 54th year. Highlights include “The Hate U Give,” based on the best-selling book by Angie Thomas, starring Amandla Stenberg and directed by George Tillman, Jr., and “Windows,” directed by Steve McQueen, co-written by Gillian Flynn, and starring Viola Davis and Liam Neeson. The festival runs through Oct. 21.

Wilmette Wine Walk

Weekend 101 (Chicago): Wilmette Wine Walk
Oct. 13

Enjoy wine tastings and food pairings at participating Downtown Wilmette businesses while supporting NSSRA (Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association).

Open House Chicago

Weekend 101 (Chicago): Open House Chicago (Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio)
The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park (Photo courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, James Caulfield.)

Oct. 13-14

Go behind the scenes of more than 250 buildings around Chicago and the surrounding suburbs during this annual Chicago Architecture Center festival. Sites include the Chicago Board of Trade Building, Civic Opera Building, Goodman Theatre, FEW Spirits Distillery, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, and Wintrust Arena.

Boo! at the Zoo

Weekend 101 (Chicago): Brookfield Zoo's Boo! at the Zoo
Youngsters can wear their Halloween attire to Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo and show it off in the Costume Parade and Contest. (Photo courtesy of Brookfield Zoo.)

Begins Oct. 13

Start celebrating Halloween early with this Brookfield Zoo event featuring candy stations, giant pumpkin carving, crafts, a haunted hayride, costume contest, corn maze, and more. Boo! at the Zoo runs Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 28.

Evanston Oktoberfest

Weekend 101 (Chicago): Evanston Oktoberfest
Photo by Lukas from Pexels.

Oct. 14

More than 40 styles of craft beer and hard cider will be available for sampling from Sketchbook Brewing Company, Temperance Beer Co., Hopewell Brewing Company, Revolution Brewing, and more. Plus, enjoy food, arts activities for kids, games, and live music.

More Can’t-Miss Events:

  • American Writers Museum will host an author reading and signing with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Oct. 12 at Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center. Admission is free and first-come, first-seated.
  • FLEUROTICA, Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance’s signature fundraiser on Oct. 12, features a runway show of garments made only from flowers, plants, and natural materials. Hiplet and Chicago West Community Music Center will also perform.
  • Evanston’s Ice House Gallery is celebrating one year with an artist reception featuring owner Hannah Litvan’s work, music, and wine on Oct. 13.

Looking Ahead

  • Chicago Ideas Week returns Oct. 15-21 with speakers like David Hogg, co-founder of March For Our Lives; actress Ellie KemperTina Tchen, leader of Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund; author and chef Carla Hall; and Michael Strautmanis, chief engagement officer of the Obama Foundation.



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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