Weekend 101: 10 Things to Do Around Chicago Sept. 20-22

If you love art, don’t miss two of the biggest exhibits of the year at Navy Pier and Chicago Botanic Garden. Plus, sample delicious fare at three food festivals and watch an Oscar-winning movie as the score is performed live.


Sept. 19-22

EXPO CHICAGO — Lee Krasner
Lee Krasner — Kasmin Gallery (Courtesy of EXPO CHICAGO.)

Back for its eighth year, the exhibitors at this year’s EXPO CHICAGO (The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art) represent 24 countries and 68 cities. The event also includes special programming like /Dialogues, panel discussions with artists, designers, and other professionals.

American Craft Exposition

Sept. 20-22

American Craft Exposition at Chicago Botanic Garden
Courtesy of Orly PR.

Shop jewelry, furniture, ceramics, and more works of art at this fine craft show at Chicago Botanic Garden. Proceeds benefit mental health services at NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Long Grove Apple Fest

Sept. 20-22
Long Grove

Long Grove Apple Fest near Chicago
Photo by Krishnam Moosaddee on Unsplash.

Celebrate the arrival of fall with apple-inspired treats like apple cider doughnuts and apple cotton candy, live music, apple-pie eating contests, games, and more.

“Get Out” With the Chicago Sinfonietta

Sept. 21

"Get Out" with Chicago Sinfonietta

Watch Jordan Peele’s mystery/thriller “Get Out” as Chicago Sinfonietta performs the score by composer Michael Abels, who will conduct the orchestra.

Lakeview Taco Fest

Sept. 21-22

Lakeview Taco Fest in Chicago
Photo by Tai’s Captures on Unsplash.

Enjoy a variety of tacos from restaurants like D.S. Tequila Company, Taco Joint, and Tuco & Blondie, plus seasonal beers from sponsor Sam Adams, Mexican wrestlers, live music, kids activities, and artisans.

Taste of Clark Street

Sept. 22

Taste of Clark Street in Chicago
Courtesy of Rogers Park Business Alliance.

Get to know the Rogers Park neighborhood during this food event featuring Mexican, Italian, and American fare from local restaurants, drink tastings, live music, and family-friendly activities.

More Can’t-Miss Events:

  • Head to Lake Forest Sept. 21 for Fall Festival with local bands, food and beer, kids activities, and more.
  • Shop even more art (and at discounted prices!) at the NorthShore Art Festival at Westfield Old Orchard Sept. 21-22.
  • Downtown Oak Park is the place to be Sept. 20-21 during Oaktoberfest. Enjoy live music, food and craft beers, and a Kids’ Root Beer Garden.
  • Travel to Europe without leaving the Chicago area during The Morton Arboretum’s Passport Europe Festival Sept. 21-22. Watch performances ranging from Polish polka music to Irish dancing, dine on authentic cuisine, and explore the arboretum’s European trees and plants.

Looking Ahead:

  • Join Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership Sept. 23 for the opening reception of its newest exhibit, “From Here to There.” The multimedia exhibit features pieces from four Chicago artists (Linda Robinson Gordon, Ellen Holtzblatt, Lilach Schrag, and Michelle Stone) that “explore the relationship between the physical and the spiritual.”

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