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10 Things You Don’t Want To Miss In Chicago: September 17

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10 Things You Don’t Want To Miss In Chicago: September 17

Happy Friday Chicago!

Secret Chicago wants to help you make the most of your free time and keep you informed! We’ll be putting out “Don’t miss” and “ICYMI” plans and news for you each week, so you’ll always catch an incredible event or story. Here are some of them that you may have missed over the last week.

1. A Verdant New Italian Restaurant Has Opened In West Loop With Stunning Outdoor-Indoor Aesthetics

West Loop’s Bellemore space on Randolph Restaurant Row has been replaced by what looks to be a more-than-adequate successor. Those who frequent the vibrant strip between Halsted and Ogden Avenue will now find Alla Vita – an exciting new Italian restaurant from Boka Restaurant Group sporting hanging greenery and encased in a breathtaking arched pergola interior.

Opened on Monday, September 13, the restaurant’s eye-catching setup courtesy of Kehoe Designs offers a stylish and celestial atmosphere in the dynamic neighborhood. For many, however, the elegant indoor-outdoor aesthetics may not be the most prominent pulling factor. The restaurant, which translates as “to life” in Italian, offers an authentic Italian experience with a variety of delicious Italian cuisine from Chef Lee Wolen at modest, affordable price points.

You can read the full article here.

2. The Old Joliet Prison Near Chicago Will Open As A Haunted House Experience This Saturday

The huge Joliet Correctional Center, known colloquially as Joliet Prison, will soon open as a haunted house just in time for the 2021 Halloween season and it looks utterly terrifying.

If you are fascinated by the tales of purportedly haunted places, get a buzz from exploring abandoned buildings, and wish to celebrate this Halloween with more than a costume party, this is for you. For there will be few Halloween experiences spookier than a trip to what will be Chicagoland’s first and only haunted house inside a real abandoned prison.

You can read the full article here.

3. Nearly 1,000 Jack-O’Lanterns Will Decorate Navy Pier This October For A Spectacular Fall Transformation

Navy Pier will transform next month for its month-long Pier Pumpkin Lights event. After the event was canceled last year due to the global pandemic the spectacle returns allowing guests to wander through nearly 1,000 pumpkins for the entire month of October.

The pumpkins, and a variety of pumpkin pop-up installations, will be on display from Friday, October 1, until Sunday, October 31. According to the Navy Pier website the “insta-worthy experiential fall spectacle” will be accompanied by other Halloween festivities throughout the month. The Pier Pumpkin Lights event will once again be completely free with no additional admission fees and many of the pier’s restaurants and bars will be offering special deals.

You can read the full article here.

4. Morton Arboretum’s “Illumination: Tree Lights” Walking Experience Is Returning This November

Morton Arboretum Illuminations 2016

Chicago’s beloved Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum is returning for its ninth edition. Having resorted to a drive-through event last year, this time around it will once again be a walking experience and will feature five new unique light displays including a special Human+Nature display.

The mile-long walk-through spectacle will take place across 50 acres of the nonprofit public garden and outdoor museum from November 20th through January 2nd, 2022. A paved walking path will take guests snaking through the Arboretum’s majestic landscape amid dazzling light spectacles accompanied by music soundtracks that together highlight the beauty of trees in winter.

You can read the full article here.

5. Christkindlmarket Will Return This Winter For Its 25th Anniversary

Chicago’s German-inspired annual Christmas market is making a return this winter! After taking to the internet last year due to the global pandemic the 25th edition of the beloved Christmas market will return on Friday, November 19th.

This year both The Christkindlmarket Daley Plaza and The Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville will be welcoming guests into villages to peruse handmade gifts whilst enjoying German food and beverages beneath the snowflakes and glistening lights. Prepare for the smell of roasted nuts, fresh pretzels, bratwurst, hot spiced wine, and the magic of festive music all in the coziest of atmospheres.

You can read the full article here.

6. Chicago’s Infamous Wieners Circle Will Reopen Next Month With Patio Seating & A Bar Serving Alcohol

After closing at the start of the year, many worried about the iconic stand’s fate only for manager Evelyn Morris to reveal that extensive renovations were underway and it would open over summer. The Delta variant and supply chain problems caused unforeseen delays and the stand will is now mooted to open in early October.

You can read the full article here.

7. The Largest Official Interactive ‘The Office’ Experience Is Coming To Chicago Next Month

From October 15th fans of the long-running hit series will be able to immerse themselves in the world of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company and celebrate their favorite characters and iconic moments from the hit show.

Created by Superfly X and Universal Live Entertainment in consultation with The Office’s U.S. creator Greg Daniels, The Office Experience will be located at The Shops at North Bridge on the Magnificent Mile at 540 N. Michigan Ave where they previously held their FRIENDS Experience.

The interactive two-story experience will feature 17 rooms filled with original props, costumes, set re-creations, and more. Celebrating the series’ major characters and timeless charm there will be photo ops at places like Pam’s desk, Michael’s office, Ryan’s closet, Schrute Farms, and others as well as a themed retail store replicating the Warehouse.

You can read the full article here.

8. The ‘World’s Largest’ Corn Maze Has Opened At Richardson Farm Outside Chicago

When it comes to autumnal activities the Midwest has some of the best in the country. When it comes to corn mazes in particular, however, we have some of the best in the world and Richardson Farm in Spring Grove, Illinois, is a testament to that.

Holding that title of the world’s largest corn maze, the farm’s 28-acre corn maze opened to the public on Saturday, September 11. Featuring 9-10 miles of trails, Richardson Farm’s corn maze is in fact composed of 4 smaller mini mazes weaved together by the multiple meandering walking trails. Within you’ll find a piece of all 4 seasons: tulips, sunflowers, Christmas trees, and an adventure farm.

You can read the full article here.

9. Chicago’s Eclectic ‘The Other Art Fair’ Returns At The End Of The Month

The Other Art Fair is returning to Chicago this fall for its third edition! Running from September 30 to October 3, the much-anticipated art fair will this time take place within West Loop’s exciting Revel Fulton Market venue.

The chic urban warehouse in Chicago’s former meatpacking district will soon be filled with a mesmerizing amalgamation of artforms. From the thought-provoking to the astonishingly life-like, the fair will showcase an array of affordable creations from 120 different artists for as little as $150.

But there will be more than just an exceptional selection of works of art to satisfy your senses. DJ sets, live performances, immersive installations, mural making, and a fully stocked bar ensure an all-encompassing experience in the 30,000 square foot space.

You can grab your tickets here.

10. 50 Spectacular Things To Do In Chicago In September

September is here and the summer’s weather is about to transition into autumn cheer. We’ve been treated to an erratic summer with sunshine and summer storms taking it in turns for a spot in the skies above. There’s plenty taking place in Chicago right now, from enchanting candlelight concerts to an eclectic array of museum exhibits. On top of that, there are unmissable one-off events like Labor Day celebrations and the Autumn Equinox.

Head to our article on the best things to do in Chicago this September here.

[Featured image from Unsplash]

See more: 10 Essential Chicago Bucket List Experiences For 2021