Lovers of Major League Baseball and the Chicago Cubs in particular should be sure to visit the Chicago Cubs Convention, an annual Chicago event happening in late January which has been running for well over 20 years. The Chicago Chinese New Year Parade, taking place in Chicago’s Chinatown is another late January staple Chi-town event well worth checking out.
The Chicago Auto Show, taking place in early February each year, is the largest and longest-standing auto show in the country, making it a must-see event for the automobile enthusiasts among us. Foodies should be sure to check out Chicago Restaurant Week, the best time of the year to experience the top restaurants in Chicago in rare form. Science fiction buffs may want to pay a visit to Capricon, an annual science fiction convention held in the Windy City in February for over 30 years.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Columbus Drive is one of the better Chicago event in March, as is the Chicago Polar Plunge and Meltdown Party. The Chicago Flower and Garden Show is another popular March event for those looking to expand their horticultural knowledge, or simply stop to smell the roses and take in the greenery. March also brings the long-standing Chicago Underground Film Festival each year, as well as the Chicago Beer Festival, a craft-beer enthusiast’s playground.
April is exciting month for baseball fans in Chicago as it means its time for the Chicago Cubs’ and the Chicago White Sox’ home openers. For lovers of the international arts, the Chicago International Music and Movies Festival is another prominent April event you might consider attending.
The Chicago Green Festival is a major Chi-town event happening in May each year that the environmentally conscious among us will be sure to appreciate. Celtic Festival Chicago is another popular annual event celebrating a variety of Celtic cultures which has been running for well over 10 years. There are also a variety of Cinco de Mayo festivities occurring each year in Chicago, generally including a major park festival and a street parade.
When the warmer months roll around, Chicago becomes a veritable playground for the music enthusiasts among us. Prominent June music festivals include the Grant Park Music Festival, a weekly symphonic music event occurring weekly through August, and the Chicago Blues Festival, which is considered the largest free blues festival in the world. The annual Gay Pride festivities in Chicago also occur in June, as does long-standing Windy City food institution the Chicago Ribfest.
Food-lovers should be sure to enjoy Taste Of Chicago, taking place in July each year in Chicago’s Grant Park, as it is considered the largest food festival in the world, drawing in millions of patrons each year. The Pitchfork Music Festival, held in mid-July in Union Park, is one of the better yearly music events in the city featuring the best in indie, hip-hop and alternative music.
August brings the legendary music festival Lollapalooza to Chicago’s Grant Park each year, as well as the Chicago Air and Water Show held on the Lake Michigan lake front. The Chicago Jazz Festival happening in late August through early September is another special summer event in Chicago well worth checking out.
The Guinness Oyster Fest in Roscoe Village is a can’t miss September event for oyster-fiends, while Oktoberfest Chicago, held at historic St. Alphonsus church, and the long-standing Berghoff Oktoberfest at the John C. Kluczynski Federal Plaza are sure to delight beer and German culture and fare lovers. Chicago Gourmet, presented by Bon Appétit magazine is the place to be in September for five-star food enthusiasts wanting to taste the best the city’s high-end restaurants have to offer.
Film buffs rejoice in October when the Chicago International Film Festival, the longest standing competitive film festival in the United States rolls around each year. The festival has been running for almost 50 years and is a North American cinematic institution. The Chicago Marathon is another long-standing institution in the city taking place each October, featuring an after-marathon party in Grant Park.
The Christkindlmarket, starting in November each year and running through late-December, is a German-style Christmas market which is the largest event of its kind in the United States. The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival and Parade is another November Christmas event you may want to check out, while the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, known by many names over the years, is a long-standing Chicago tradition celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier is a popular kid-friendly December festival celebrating the holiday season running all month into January. The production of A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre, and the Nutcracker with the Joffrey Ballet, are other long-standing December traditions in the Windy City sure to delight the young and old alike.