We’re flipping out for fall!
With the Autumn Equinox and Chicago’s breathtaking Chicagohenge spectacle now behind us, October is here and we have a month of Chicago in fall ahead. Rather than looking over our shoulders melancholically at the passing of summer, we can look ahead at what is arguably Chicago’s most beautiful month.
From here on out the city’s aesthetics begin to peak as a hundred shades of autumnal color befall Chicago. The air is cool and crisp, the sun is still warm in the afternoons, and there is plenty of fall fun taking place. Plus, Halloween is hiding around the corner.
From pumpkin picking and spiked ciders to haunted houses and spooky spectacles, here is our list of the top October activities to do in and around Chicago!
1. Check out the changing leaves
For many, the most magical part of fall is the changing leaves. October marks the month that autumn shades sweep through the city turning trees and parks from green to crimson.
The first thing to do is bask in this entrancing transition. We’ve picked out 10 of the best spots to view the changing leaves in Chicago for those who can’t get enough of the golden fall foliage, or just feel like doing a cannonball into a big ole pile of crackling leaves. Follow the link to discover our favorite places to watch the changing of the seasons in Chicago!
You can see the full list here.
2. Pop into Chicago’s largest pumpkin pop-up
With fall’s arrival comes a plethora of pumpkin patches. Our pick of the bunch, and one of Chicago’s most popular Halloween time events, is most certainly Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up.
This celebration of fall is one of Chicago’s most popular October events and also the only one that takes place 100% outside. This year there will be a corn maze, axe throwing, carnival games, food trucks, full bars, and much more, all spread out over 2 acres in Goose Island!
3. Lurk in the light of 1,000 jack-o-lanterns
This year, the Chicago Botanic Garden is going full Tim Burton with their Halloween event, Night of 1,000 Jack-O-Lanterns, for 10 spooky nights of October.
Even though you won’t be able to eat any of the pumpkins on display at Chicago Botanic Garden’s Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns, you can still admire the brilliant intricateness of more than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins — with some weighing up to 150 pounds!
4. Peruse Navy Pier’s Pier Pumpkin Lights event
Navy Pier will transform this October for its month-long Pier Pumpkin Lights. The experience returned last year after it was canceled in 2020 due to the global pandemic and will once again feature hundreds of jack-o’lanterns, towering light installations, and special pier-wide deals for a spectacular fall transformation.
5. Immerse yourself in The Art of the Future at Holographic Art Gallery
Another event taking place at Navy Pier this month is Verse: The Art of the Future. Art and technology come together allowing you to step right into the metaverse in this digital art exhibition featuring augmented reality holograms and artwork by top-selling artists from the burgeoning world of NFTs.
With the help of an AR headset, smartphone, or tablet, each guest will experience their own reality in the same activation area (like a silent disco for holograms!). Verse provides an introduction to the people, technology, and stories that are shaping this disruptive evolution of the art world.
Get your tickets for Verse: The Art of the Future in Chicago here!
6. Check out the interactive multisensory ‘Prince’ experience
Music lovers, casual fans, and superfans of legendary musician Prince can now rejoice in the dynamic, multisensory, first-of-its-kind immersive experience, making its worldwide debut in Chicago right now through January.
Superfly and The Prince Estate are collaborating to present Prince: The Immersive Experience, a multi-faceted musical universe revolving around the iconic artist, inviting guests to be completely immersed in the exhilarating, singular talent of a superstar who brought us hits like “When Doves Cry,” “Raspberry Beret,” and “Purple Rain.”
More information and tickets for Prince: The Immersive Experience can be found here.
7. Marvel at a 360° exhibition featuring the iconic art collection of the Louvre™
The Musée du Louvre™ in Paris is undeniably one of the most iconic and recognizable art museums worldwide, drawing over 7 million visitors a year to its famous rhombus-shaped glass museum.
Louvre™ Fantastique: The Exhibition arrived in Chicagoland this summer offering Chicagoans a 360° experience, showcasing over 70 reimagined masterpieces that are famously on display at the Louvre™. Closing on Sunday, October 9, this month is the last chance to experience one of Paris’ main attractions right here at our doorstep.
More information and tickets can be found here.
8. Revel in the raucous The Roar: A Prohibition Era Speakeasy
Go back in time to Chicago’s Prohibition Era at The Roar on Rush! A lively Speakeasy that lights the way to a hidden 4-room cocktail experience where you will meet vibrant figures from the elaborate web of a Roaring Twenties bootlegging operation. Each room tells a story and is paired with a cocktail tasting from Prohibition times! Afterwards, take a seat in the Speakeasy for more cocktails, food, and live music with special performances. Break out your best flapper dresses and linen jackets, this cocktail party at The Roar is not to be missed!
9-10. Hop on a Halloween Bar Crawl
Of course, with the spooky season creeping up on us, plenty of terrifyingly fun Halloween events are starting to announce themselves. If you’re not one for testing your courage with an interactive experience and prefer just to engage in the hysteria with some dressing up and drinking there are hordes of Halloween Bar Crawls taking place.
From dance parties, DJs, and live bands, to costume contests; go back to the good old days of trick or treating with an adult twist by hopping around some of Chicago’s best bars with your costume-sporting crew.
Both the 2022 Halloween Bar Crawl in Lincoln Park on Saturday, October 29, and the Trick or Drink Chicago Halloween Bar Crawl starting at River North’s Rock Bottom Brewery on October 28, 29 and 31 offer two fantastic Halloween bar crawls.
Grab tickets to the 2022 Halloween Bar Crawl in Lincoln Park here.
Grab tickets to the Trick of Drink Chicago Halloween Bar Crawl here.
11. Test your fortitude at Chicago’s 13th floor haunted house
Looking for a real thrill this Halloween season? Rated as one of the Top 5 Haunted Houses in the U.S.A. by USA Today, 13th Floor Haunted House Chicago has officially returned from the grave for its terrifying ninth season in Chicagoland to add some fuel to your nightmares!
Set amongst forty-thousand square feet of fun at 5050 River Road in Schiller Park near the Rosemont entertainment district, the new site features two all-new, scary-as-hell exhibits entitled Outcast Carnival and All Hallows Eve that reportedly takes the fear-inducing experience to levels that 13th Floor has never gone to before.
12. Brave the Midwest’s only haunted house inside an actual abandoned prison
For those interested in a real thrill ride, outside of Chicago the huge Joliet Correctional Center, known colloquially as Joliet Prison, last year opened as a haunted house making it the Midwest’s only haunted house inside an actual abandoned prison.
13th Floor Entertainment Group, has again transformed the old prison into one of the most exciting (and terrifying) Halloween attractions in the entire state. Located in the annex building at 401 Woodruff Road in Joliet, the breathtaking haunted house has opened with two attractions – The Abominations and Tormented – all for the price of one ticket.
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.
You can read the full article here.
13. Roam the city for lost spirits
Or take matters into your own hands and roam the city for lost spirits. Chicago is an enchanting city, perhaps, more enchanting than you might hope. With a complicated history rife with tragedy, the city’s spiritual underbelly finds a way to show its ghostly face to unsuspecting witnesses.
Meet the local ghosts in your neighborhood with this list of the 10 most haunted places in Chicago.
Click here for the 10 most haunted places in Chicago and get yourself into the spooktacular spirit!
14-19. Be captivated by a Candlelight Concert
Chicago’s sublime Candlelight Concert series offers breathtaking spectacles throughout the year but this fall there are some extra special concerts taking place in extraordinary venues all over the city.
Flickering candles and melodic sounds combine phenomenally to create magnetic atmospheres in some of Chicago’s most unique spaces with surreal acoustics. Here are some of our favorite Candlelight concerts taking place this month:
- Candlelight: A Tribute to The Miles Davis Classic Quintet at the Arts Centre of Oak Park on October 14
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Queen and More at Theater on the Lake on October 19
- Candlelight: Favorite Anime Themes at Stan Mansion on October 20
- Candlelight: A Haunted Evening of Halloween Classics at the Arts Centre of Oak Park on October 21
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Juan Gabriel at Salvage One on October 26
- Candlelight: A Tribute to ABBA at Stan Mansion on October 27
See the full list of candlelight concerts taking place in Chicago here.
20-21. Enjoy an intimate live jazz show at Le Piano
When it comes to live music, few places offer a better jazz experience than Chicago. There are so many wonderful places to see live jazz in its rawest form here in the Windy City. Alongside esteemed venues like South Loop’s The Jazz Showcase, and Uptown’s Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, Le Piano has emerged as a phenomenal new jazz hideout.
In the middle of Le Piano sits a magnificent grand piano where some of Chicago’s most talented pianists and jazz performers come to play. Here you will find a mind-blowing musical experience merging dinner and intimate performances. Immersive Live Jazz & Dinner for Two and Immersive Live Jazz & Cocktails both ensure memorable nights of dining, drinking, and the magic of jazz in a truly vivacious venue.
Grab tickets for Immersive Live Jazz & Dinner for Two here and Immersive Live Jazz & Cocktails here.
22-25. Revel in the many events at the Grand Cabaret After Dark speakeasy
If you really want a buzz we suggest you head down to Porkchop’s speakeasy “Grand Cabaret After Dark” in West Loop this month for a roster of rip-roaring revelry.
On Fridays’s STRIPPED provides a decadent and debaucherous night of burlesque followed by The Grand Cockpit: Chicago’s hottest cabaret show with jaw-dropping steamy performances from Bad Boys Live.
Both action-packed shows are no-holds-barred adult fun that makes for the perfect Friday night adventure while on Saturdays you’ll find vintage evenings of cabaret, jazz, and magic at The Grand Cabaret After Dark from 6 pm followed by Peep Show Burlesque at 9 pm and then Boozy BBQ Drag Brunches on Sundays to solve the Sunday scaries.
Check out all the chaos going on at Porkchop’s Grand Cabaret After Dark here!
Tickets and information for Grand Cabaret After Dark! can be found here.
Tickets and information for STRIPPED a Decadent, Debaucherous Burlesque Revue can be found here.
Tickets and information for The Grand Cockpit: Chicago’s hottest cabaret show can be found here,
Tickets and information for Boozy BBQ Drag Brunch can be found here.
26. See a burlesque and belly dance show at the Newport Theatre
Grand Cabaret is far from Chicago’s only speakeasy burlesque experience. Catch some of Chicago’s finest burlesque, belly dance, drag, and variety entertainers plus screenings of incredible digital content at The Newport Theatre’s Newport Peek-Easy Burlesque Show. Specialty cocktails, intimate tables, and a true speakeasy feel make this a night like no other!
More information and tickets can be found here.
27. Revel in the pandemonium of a Drunk Shakespeare show
Another brilliant experience comes in the form of a live Drunk Shakespeare show. Taking place on a stage in a hidden speakeasy located behind the Chicago Theater, guests will find a glam cocktail bar and library with over 10,000 books. Five classically-trained actors meet as members of “The Drunk Shakespeare Society”. One of them has had at least 5 shots of whiskey and then they (quite over-confidently) attempt to perform a major role in a Shakespearean play!
Hilarity and mayhem ensue while the four sober actors try and keep the script on track. Every show is different depending on who is drinking… and what they’re drinking!
Grab tickets to a Drunk Shakespeare show here.
28. Chuckle away at Chicago comedy show
We could all do with a chuckle after the tumultuous last couple of years and luckily there’s no place better for that than at a Chicago comedy show.
At Laugh Factory Chicago some of today’s biggest names and local comedians are delivering something for every taste and style throughout October.
Grab tickets to a show at Laugh Factory Chicago here.
29. Kick back with goats and beer
If live shows are a little bit too lively for you after an intense summer we’ve got just the ticket. Some days you just need some one-on-one time with a pasture full of adorable goats, you know?
Experience the pinnacle of wholesomeness by hanging out with the billy kids over at GlennArt Farm and afterward, double down on those warm fuzzy feelings with a few flights of delicious craft beers on the rooftop of One Lake Brewing with this exclusive Brews n ‘Baahhs’ experience.
If there’s one way to relax and let your mind unwind it’s with a pasture full of adorable billy kids followed up by a selection of craft beer.
Grab tickets to Brews n ‘Baahhs’ here.
30. Enjoy a flight of beer at the Pilot Project Tasting Room
If craft beer floats your boat another fun tasting experience this month comes in the form of a beer flight at Pilot Project Brewing. Pilot Project Brewing is a brewery incubator, tasting room & cafe located on Milwaukee Ave in Logan Square, Chicago. Pilot Project was launched as a collaborative and artistically curious space to help support talented brewers in an industry with exceptionally high barriers.
Modeled after the music industry, Pilot serves as a launchpad for start-up breweries, offering assistance with fine-tuning recipes, production, business development, marketing, distribution, and more. They are Chicago’s incubator dedicated to the art of brewing and a community inspired by the craft. Pick from 24 taps to make your perfect flight of beer and taste and compare with your besties
You can purchase a flight of beer at the Pilot Project Tasting Room here.
31. Get your gameshow on at Bye Bye Liver: The Original Chicago Drinking Game Show
Get ready to laugh at this action-packed drinking game show event. The fast-paced sketch show is set at the fictional Franks Bar and includes a dedicated “bar staff” and an exciting narrative storyline that highlights the pitfalls of drinking culture. This long-running interactive game show is the perfect place to gather with friends for an unforgettable, humor-focused evening.
More information and tickets can be found here.
32. Go apple picking
While we’ll miss the blooming gardens and sunflower fields of summer, we’re excited for the changing leaves, pumpkin patches, and orchards to harvest the fruits of fall. The peak season for apple picking starts rolling from the end of September through October.
If you want to take measures into your own hands, head to our article on the best places to pick apples in Chicago to find out where to get your pick of the season’s best apple batch.
You can find the full article here.
33. Sip on some spiked cider
There are two top contenders vying for the title of the true fall drink: the pumpkin spice latte and hard apple cider. While the former has pumpkin (a big plus) and caffeine, the latter has alcohol — a slight advantage, we’d say.
Get your fill of all the warm fuzzy feelings of fall by visiting one of these watering holes for a cup of spiked apple cider.
You can find our list of where to get hard apple ciders here.
34. Have a Pumpkin Patch Shake at Jojo’s Shake Bar
Jojo’s Shake Bar, famous for its over-the-top milkshakes and biggie hot chocolates, has elaborately decked out its adjacent patios in the heart of River North and Naperville with hay bales, hundreds of pumpkins, and some exceptional fall photo ops.
Visitors can feast on gourmet caramel apples, pumpkin & apple pies, spiked ciders, and biggie hot chocolates & of course, their notorious shakes. If you’re a fan of those over-the-top milkshakes down at JoJo’s Shake bar make sure you don’t miss out on their Famous Pumpkin Patch Shake. The one-month-only special comes topped with a pumpkin pie slice, a taffy apple, roasted marshmallows, and a toffee pretzel.
35. Explore some of Chicago’s most popular museums for free midweek
Free admission days are somewhat of a rarity during the summer months when Chicago’s tourism industry is thriving. Luckily though, as we enter the fall months many of our marvelous museums and attractions begin bringing back frequent free admission days. This month there are various free days at many of Chicago’s most amazing museums.
Both Chicago’s Museum of Science & Industry and The Field Museum are offering free admission on October 4 and 5 whilst Field Museum has announced several more dates throughout the month.
36. Get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at The Field Museum of Natural History
For an extra special museum tour for those who thrive in places like The Field Museum, you can now enjoy a guided tour of the museum’s popular dinosaur collections before the crowds roll in with exclusive early access.
See SUE, the most complete T. rex skeleton ever discovered, Máximo, a 120-foot-long titanosaur cast, and plenty of other prehistoric creatures. After the tour, enjoy 30 mummies, an African watering hole, and learn about ongoing conservation efforts. The museum also boasts a range of rare fossils and models of extinct birds, and kids can play out their paleontologist dreams in the Crown Family PlayLab.
Grab your exclusive tickets here.
37. Indulge your artistic side at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art
Another standout museum from Chicago’s plethora of world-renowned museums is the Museum of Contemporary Art. This unique, grand structure houses exciting temporary and permanent exhibitions that are sure to leave you awestruck.
Make it a whole family day and prepare for an unforgettable experience in contemporary art or gather a group of friends and embrace your whimsical, artistic nature as you explore the fascinating collections. Filled with endlessly intriguing paintings, sculptures, and photos, this museum is always one for the books.
More information and tickets can be found here or opt for a reduced entrance if you’re a senior resident, teacher, or student.
38. Gaze at the stars at the Adler Planetarium for free on a Wednesday
Yet another of Chicago’s famed attractions, The Adler Planetarium, reopened this year after a two-year hiatus. The planetarium now boasts a brand new telescope in the Doane Observatory which holds the title of the largest public telescope in the Chicago area.
As well as a new observation park, guests will notice the planetarium’s shiny new dome roof which has been restored with brand-new copper tiles giving the 80-year-old dome an iconic new glow. The best news, however, is that Illinois residents can enter for free every Wednesday evening from 4-10 pm provided they bring proof of residency.
More information and tickets can be found at adlerplanetarium.org.
39. See Art on the MART’s fall projections
Holding the title of the “largest permanent digital art projection in the world”, Art on theMART attracts thousands to the Riverwalk and Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago every week from spring through fall by transforming the 2.5-acre river façade of the Merchandise Mart.
Taking place nightly at 8:30 pm and 9:00 pm, 34 digital projectors will be displaying the fall schedule with ‘Trap Moulin Rouge’ by Jasmin Taylor and ‘Love Letters’ by Yuge Zhou through Friday, November 18. Both shows are presented in alignment with the City of Chicago’s 2022 Year of Chicago Dance.
40. Attend a drinks and games night at Midlane
Logan Square’s Midlane E-Sports is Chicago’s newest Esports venue providing both the group gratification of days gone by and the luxuries of modern technology. With high-end gaming computers, the latest consoles, tournaments, viewing parties, social gatherings, and a full-service bar it is the perfect gaming hideout for gamers of all genres.
Fancy a game? Call up your favorite gamer friends and head on down to Midlane Esports for a night of gaming fun and drinks specials. Whether you are a casual gamer or want to compete in tournaments – there is something for everybody!
More information and tickets can be found here.
41. Drink at the new 360 CHICAGO bar up in the clouds
Sip on an Orange Line or opt for the Gold Coast Manhattan at 360 Chicago’s new CloudBar, a luxe new lounge located on the 94th floor of 360 Chicago’s Observation Deck. With trendy drinks inspired by local neighborhoods and places around the Windy City, the $2 million lounge also features food and additional drink options from local businesses like Revolution Brewing, Moody Tongue Brewery, and more.
42. Embrace the peak of patio season at Chicago’s largest patio
Back down at ground level, another place to grab a drink this fall is West Loop’s Recess. Despite the end of summer on the horizon, it’s still very much patio season in Chicago and you’ll likely agree Chicago doesn’t play around when it comes to patio season. Rain or shine, if a patio is opened somewhere in the Windy City, guaranteed Chicagoans are out there clinking drinks. We’ve rounded up the very best patios and beer gardens in and around Chicago to give you an essential range of options but if there is one that’s ideal for soaking up the last of the sunshine it has to be Recess’s gigantic patio bar.
Nestled within 30 shipping containers on a West Loop corner, Recess is home to a cozy amalgamation of bars, food stands, and cabana houses within a 14,500 -square-foot space that holds the title of the largest patio in Chicago. The stacked shipping containers give it an unusual reclaimed industrial vibe while the fusion of plant life and vibrant murals make it a brilliant hideout all year round. There are few better places to grab a drink this fall!
Find our full list of Chicago’s best patios here!
43. Get lost in the ‘World’s Largest Corn Maze’
From Chicago’s largest patio to the world’s largest maze, pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and corn mazes — some of our favorite autumnal activities — are emerging and the Midwest has some of the best around.
When it comes to corn mazes, in particular, we have some of the best on the planet and Richardson Farm in Spring Grove, Illinois, is a testament to that.
Holding the title of the world’s largest corn maze, the farm’s 28-acre labyrinth has opened and this year will pay homage to none other than the world’s most famous spy.
44. Head out of the city and see Illinois’ natural spectacles
If you’re one who enjoys leaving town once in a while to be surrounded by nature then heading out to the quiet of Illinois’ natural beauty as the leaves begin to change makes for an unforgettable experience.
Though our state may not boast wonders with the universal magnitude of the Grand Canyon nor the grandiose reputation of Niagra Falls, Illinois is teeming with diverse ecological landscapes that transform into incredible spectacles this time of the year.
From monolithic marvels to cascading waterfalls, here are 7 natural wonders of Illinois that you can visit while they’re about to peak:
- Garden of the Gods: Saline County
- Wildcat Canyon in Starved Rock State Park: La Salle County
- Cache River State Natural Area: Johnson County
- Cave-In-Rock: Hardin County
- The Pomona Natural Bridge: Jackson County
- Cascade Falls in Matthiessen State Park: La Salle County
- Bork Falls in Ferne Clyffe State Park: Johnson County
More information can be found here.
45. Stay in a Starved Rock Getaway cabin
One of the aforementioned spots, Starved Rock State Park, has just opened a selection of minimalistic cabins with floor-to-ceiling windows allowing guests to wake up fully immersed in the wilderness.
Located in lush landscapes and with minimalistic yet comfortable designs, they offer the perfect escape for those wanting to disconnect from busy city lives with restorative stays in the middle of nature.
Undoubtedly one of our state’s most impressive natural spectacles, Starved Rock offers over 13 miles of hiking trails, numerous cascading waterfalls, and 18 different canyons.
46. Discover the Windy City’s small pockets of Eden
Or course, Chicago is no far friend from nature and there are many places you can get back in touch with Mother Nature all over Chicagoland. The Lakefront, lush parks, and incredible hiking trails offer great natural experiences but Chicago also has numerous secret gardens hidden across the city.
Read our full article on 10 of the best spots around the city to stop and smell the roses here.
47. Try a mystery picnic in Chicago
To spice up any park or garden experience in the city you can book an exciting mystery picnic experience. This self-guided food adventure is the perfect way to explore Chicago’s best neighborhoods and avoid the crowds! Starting with a picnic basket, have fun solving personally curated clues and riddles sent to your smartphone that’ll take you on a journey to collect your special gourmet picnic food bit by bit.
Each clue you solve will lead you closer to your next picnic food pickup and even closer to your final stunning secret picnic spot. You can expect a 3-4 hour all-inclusive stress-free date with this fantastic picnic experience.
Grab tickets and select the date here and everything will be planned for you.
48. Peruse the magnificent street art murals of Chicago
The consequence of a thriving artistic community is not just a plethora of museums and attractions. Today the street art and graffiti scene in Chicago is alive and kicking more than ever before with new pieces popping up all over the city every week. Some of these are so esteemed that they’ve embedded themselves in the very fabric of Chicago and are now part and parcel of the Windy City’s identity.
With more formality and respect from the local community street art has thrived in Chicago over the last decade and with the events of the last two years many, many, astounding new murals have gone up of late. Today murals do more than just provide an extraordinary spectacle for our eyes. They pay homage to icons, fight for racial equality, celebrate different heritages, and honor the essential workers of our societies during turbulent times.
Hunting down the many masterpieces in our great city is a rewarding experience any time of the year. Many of these wonderful murals reside in West Town in the mile-long street art corridor in Chicago’s Fulton Market meatpacking district known as the B_Line. With the West Town Street Art Walking Tour run by Tours By Native you can enjoy an immersive tour that will engage the senses like never before!
Grab tickets to the West Town Street Art Walking Tour here.
49-51. Savor sensational food samples on a food tour
For foodies who prefer to sample tasty delicacies over perusing extraordinary street art, there is a range of fantastic food tours for all manner of foodies.
Taste all of Chicago’s classic eats on a four-hour guided bicycle tour courtesy of America’s longest-running city bicycle tour company with Bikes, Bites, and Brews: Chicago’s Signature Dishes Bike Tour. The journey is 14 miles in total (traversed at a nice leisurely pace) and includes a slice of deep-dish pizza, a gourmet brownie, a Chicago-style hot dog, and a few samples of Chicago’s legendary craft beer!
Alternatively, you can sign up for the ultimate foodie adventure in Chicago’s historic River North with Lonely Planet Experiences: River North Historical Food Tour. Join a local expert and uncover hidden gems and the best spots for some of the city’s best-loved dishes. This tour will leave you filled with delicious local foods as well as some insider knowledge of the city’s culinary history and culture.
Despite having a kaleidoscopic food scene offering all manner of savory and sweet treats, nothing in Chicago has truly celebrated donuts in all their glory, until now. The Underground Donut Tour is Chicago’s first-ever donut tour and was born to give those who truly enjoy donuts the perfect excuse to sample the Windy City’s very best. Tours include such favorites as Do-Rite Donuts, Firecakes, Stans, and Doughnut Vault as well as some lesser-known spots.
Grab tickets to the Bikes, Bites, and Brews tour here.
Grab tickets to a River North Historical Food Tour here.
Grab tickets to a donut tour here.
52. Learn to make your own sushi
If touring all the wonderful cuisine has you inspired you might be interested in acquiring a new culinary skill. Learning to make sushi from the comfort of your own home is another fulfilling activity you can do this month. In this hands-on and interactive cooking class, a highly-experienced chef will teach you step-by-step how to make sushi rolls from scratch.
You will learn the basics of cooking and preparing the perfect sushi rice, practice knife skills to prepare the ingredients, and make a special dipping sauce. Then, of course, comes the most fun part: laying the seaweed papers and all ingredients onto the bamboo mat and rolling! Using fresh sushi-grade tuna, salmon, vegetables such as cucumber and avocado, and some secret ingredients presented by the chef, you will be surprised how easily you can recreate these recipes at home once you master the skills. It’s super easy and fun as a family activity, couple’s date night, or as a way to spend quality time with friends!
Grab tickets to a sushi-making class here.
53. Shop at Chicago’s largest thrift shop
Walking into the Brown Elephant in Andersonville, you know it’s something special. The massive space holds endless finds, standing tall with cavernous ceilings and spacious rooms.
The Brown Elephant is actually a local thrift chain in Chicago with three locations throughout the city, but their Andersonville location draws a crowd. Located in an old theater, the space feels welcoming with people milling around– it’s not hard to picture the area, once known as the Calo Theater, it was built in 1915 as a gathering place for live theater and held seating for over 880 people.
54. Kayak down the Chicago river
An unforgettable Chicago activity can be enjoyed courtesy of Urban Kayaks. Kayaks and paddleboards can be rented from various operators at both Monroe Harbor and Chicago Riverwalk locations but it is the river where the most unique experience can be found.
Flanked on either side by Chicago’s famous highrise architecture, you can venture through the city’s heart via skyscraper canyons and under historic bridges. An evening kayak makes for a truly memorable night navigating the waters while the sun sets and the hustle and bustle of the riverwalk activity takes off around you.
The kayaking season operates as the weather allows which means this month is one of the last chances you’ll get for a while!
55. Try an indoor skydiving experience
If you’re the outdoorsy type who likes a thrill you’re probably the type who would be interested in testing your skydiving skills in one of Chicago’s state-of-the-art indoor skydiving centers. With an iFly Indoor Skydiving Center in Lincoln Park and another iFly Indoor Skydiving Center in Rosemont, there are two conveniently located cutting-edge centers to choose from. Kids and adults can both experience the same sensation you’d get 12,000 feet up in the sky and if you feel you have what it takes, you can test your vertigo above Chicago’s iconic skyline at Skydive Chicago, one of the world’s largest skydiving resorts.
56. Hit up the largest outdoor adventure park in America
For even more taste of the action, take a short drive down to Lemont, where The Forge: Lemont Quarries offer an all-around day of fun. From mountain biking and climbing walls to yoga to a tactical laser tag course, the 300-acre park is packed with everything you can think of with something for everyone!
57. See the world’s largest display of LEGO art in Chicago
Another superlative claim, but this time it’s about that magnificent invention that has captured the imagination of children and adults for decades. One of the most bizarre yet brilliant exhibitions we’ve seen in a while is currently taking place at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry and it has just been extended through January 2023 giving you more time to experience it if you haven’t done so already!
‘The Art of the Brick’ features more than one million LEGO bricks transformed into more than 100 sculptures by award-winning artist Nathan Sawaya. You’ll walk through recreations of famous masterpieces like Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’, Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’, and Grant Wood’s ‘American Gothic’, as well as a sculpture of a 20-foot-long Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton.
58. Travel back 20,000 years with Brookfield Zoo’s ‘Ice Age Giants’
Brookfield Zoo is currently hosting an exhibition that offers guests the chance to travel back 20,000 years to the last major ice age and hang out with the enormous megafauna that roamed the earth in its most glacial days.
Taking place zoo-wide, ‘Ice Age Giants’ features over 30 life-sized animatronic recreations of the gigantic animals that existed in North America and Eurasia during the last major ice age, which peaked about 20,000 years ago. Having opened this spring it will be run through Sunday, October 30, 2022, meaning this month is the last opportunity to check it out.
59. Grab tickets to Chicago’s incoming Harry Potter experience
Potterheads, prepare for a first-of-its-kind Harry Potter™ interactive experience that will inspire your inner wizard coming to Chicago this November!
Wizards of all ages will be enthralled with this hands-on adventure. There will be plenty of magical moments to enjoy in a massive 30,000-square-foot space when Harry Potter™: Magic at Play unveils at the Water Tower Place at 835 Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, at the corner of North Michigan Avenue and East Pearson Street.
60. Secure a spot at Chicago’s upcoming light shows
Ok granted, the last recommendation isn’t strictly for October either, but we heavily advise you get booking tickets to Chicagos light shows coming up in November. Chicago has some of the best in the country but many of them sell out fast!
Morton Arboretum, Chicago Botanic Gardens, Lincoln Park Zoo are just a few that guarantee an extra special festive spectacle. With each respective light show event starting up in November it’s this month that tickets go on sale and we recommend snapping them up quickly!
Tickets to both Chicago Botanic Garden’s enchanting ‘Lightscape’ and Morton Arboretum’s magical “Illumination: Tree Lights” are already available.
[Featured Image from Unsplash]