Neighborhood News-Chicago Loop, Lincoln Park, Chicago Riverwalk, Bucktown

A beer with a dinosaur? A pumpkin festival on the Chicago River? Here are some of the more unusual events this week in our local Chicago neighborhoods this week! And don’t forget to salute the runners at this weekend’s Chicago Marathon

Have a beer with the world’s largest dinosaur at the Chicago Beer Festival! The event stages a takeover at the Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, on Saturday, October 9, from 7pm to 11pm. Featuring over 65 breweries, you can sample fall seasonal beers while enjoying access to museum exhibits. Early admission is $65 and general admission is $50. Early admission will include early entry at 7pm and specialty beers poured during the first hour. Admission includes beer samplings with food sold separately. Tickets will not be sold at the door.  Masks will be required by the State of Illinois for everyone regardless of vaccination status, except when actively eating and drinking. 

Friday, October 8 marks the 150th Anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, and the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark Street, commemorates the occasion with City on Fire: Chicago 1871, a family-friendly event to learn, explore, and discover the impact the Great Chicago Fire had on the city and the people who lived here. The exhibit guides visitors through the crucial events and conditions before, during, and after the fire—many of which draw striking comparisons to today’s social climate. The exhibit runs from October 8 to December 31. Admission includes access to all exhibitions in the museum, including audio tours. Children 12 and under and Illinois residents 18 and under are admitted free. Adult admission is $19, seniors and students are $17. 

A pumpkin festival in Downtown Chicago? Island Party Hut, located on the Riverwalk, transforms into a Fall Fest Pop-Up starting Friday, October 8 and runs weekends through October 31. Throw on your favorite sweater and enjoy all the activities that fall has to offer! Whether you’re looking to get a group of friends together to enjoy some much-needed adult beverages or bring the kids out for a stress-free day of fun, this is the perfect destination. A $10 admission fee includes live music, amazing Photo Ops, a visit to the pumpkin patch, games and more! For an additional charge, you can also take a scenic hayride on the river, purchase a pumpkin & decorating kit, and enjoy a wide variety of fall-favorite food and drink!

Dive into the wonderful world of autumn, from picking the perfect pumpkin to sipping festive drinks, at Lincoln Park Zoo’s annual Fall Fest. This free, family-friendly celebration is full of harvest days fun this October. Fest guests can enjoy a pumpkin walk, live pumpkin carvers, a festive pop-up bar, animal chats, musical entertainment and more! New this year is an Instagram photo contest! The festivities run Friday, October 8-October 31, from 10am-5pm.

This may be the perfect weekend to explore Bizarre Bucktown, a small-group guided walking tour of the Bucktown neighborhood. The tour features the area’s history, mysterious lore, and even some ghosts. Each candlelit tour at Walsh Park, 1722 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, is personally conducted by Gordon Meyer, a neighborhood resident, Second City graduate, and magician. Tours run through December 18, and start at 8:30pm. The Dark Tales of Bucktown tour begins on what appears to be a quiet residential street. We’ll walk briskly, for about a mile, visiting sites with stories that are sure to leave you with a chill down your spine. The tour concludes about 75 minutes later outside Club Lucky, a gem of a cocktail bar and restaurant, with a spirit of its own. Admission is $30.

Alison Moran and Dean’s Team Chicago