Neighborhood News-Chicago Loop, Lakeview, Wrigleyville, Lincoln Park

The first weekend of Fall brings cooler temperatures and many opportunities to enjoy the autumnal splendor of the season!

There’s a big weekend happening as Chicago Gourmet kicks off on the Harris Theater Rooftop, 205 E. Randolph St. at Millennium Park.  Renowned Chicago Chef Rick Bayless hosts ‘Tacos & Tequila on Thursday, September 23. On Friday, September 24, the Hamburger Hop, hosted by Chef Stephanie Izard! Cold beer, wine & spirits, and skyline views on the Harris Theater rooftop at Millennium Park. ‘Just Cru It’ Grand Cru takes place on Saturday, September 25. The exclusive affair will showcase the world’s finest wines curated by the nation’s leading wine experts, also an enhanced focus on artisanal craft spirits in a newly added Artisanal Cocktail Lounge, and unforgettable cuisine prepared by Chicago’s award-winning chefs. All events are individually priced; see website for details!

Pull out your lederhosen and dancing shoes! One of Chicago’s most popular celebrations of fall and all things Bavarian- Oktoberfest Chicago at St. Alphonsus, at 1429 W. Wellington Ave., in Lakeview returns for its 19th year of seasonal revelry Friday, September 24 to Sunday, September 26. Come enjoy in and outside the iconic church located in Chicago’s West Lakeview neighborhood. Two entertainment stages feature diverse entertainment such as The School of Rock and Sgt. Sauerkraut’s Polka Band. Hours are 5pm-10pm Friday and Saturday, and 11am-7pm on Sunday. Admission is $10 Friday and Saturday, and $5 on Sunday. Free admission to those with a military ID. Gemutlichkeit!

It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame, as the old song says. This is the final weekend of Chicago Cubs home baseball, 1060 W. Addison, in Wrigleyville, for this season, and you can’t close out a home stand any better than with their centuries-old rivalry with the St. Louis Cardinals! Beginning Friday, September 24 and ending on Sunday, September 26, the rivalry, which began in 1892, starts hot and fierce with a Friday day/night doubleheader starting at 1:20pm and 7:05pm in the Friendly Confines, followed by afternoon games on Saturday and Sunday. Ticket prices vary. 

Come out early to Lincoln Park Zoo on Saturday September 25 and have ‘Breakfast with the Animals!’ from 9-11 am. This ongoing series pairs a delicious pancake breakfast with exclusive access to information about animals. This month, learn all about Jamaican iguanas and Hoffman’s two-toed sloths as you enjoy fresh fruit and pastries, coffee, juices and more, hosted by Dan Boehm, Curator of Small Mammals.  Tickets are $50 per person, $45 for Zoo members.

For a spectacular event on Chicago’s beautiful lakefront, Chicago’s Water Lantern Festival is coming up on Saturday, September 25, at the South Lagoon in Lincoln Park, 2045 N. Lincoln Park West, from 4pm-8:30pm. The Water Lantern Festival is a floating lantern event that is all about connections. Magical nights in cities across the U.S. include food, games, activities, vendors, music and the beauty of thousands of lanterns adorned with letters of love, hope and dreams reflected upon the water. A festival of community, music and food makes it a special evening. All adult ticket holders will receive an eco-friendly lantern, commemorative drawstring bag, and marker.  Tickets are $25-$55. 

Alison Moran and Dean’s Team Chicago