THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Autumn Favorites Include Some Pre-Halloween Fun!

As we continue to embrace all that October has to offer us here in Chicago, this weekend brings a variety of autumn favorite events as well as gearing up for the arrival of Halloween!

Autumn’s cool breezes are a perfect backdrop for the 6th annual Lincoln Park Wine Fest taking place in Jonquil Park (1001 W. Wrightwood Ave.) this Saturday (11 a.m. – 10 p.m.). This fest transforms the park into an open-air market featuring wine and food pavilions where sommeliers and brand ambassadors coach you through a two-hour tasting session. A general admission ticket comes with a sample of 12 varietals of wine and a commemorative tasting glass while a VIP ticket also includes an extended tasting with five additional specialty wines! There will also be products/services of wine-centric vendors to help you become a wine connoisseur and impress your friends!

Now through October 31st, the Lincoln Park Zoo (2200 N. Cannon Dr.) celebrates the wonderful world of autumn with Fall Fest. This annual fest is loaded with fall festive activities that include a pumpkin walk, live professional pumpkin carvers, animal viewings and learning chats, musical entertainment, an endangered species carousel, a Lionel train adventure and much more!

It’s never too early to begin celebrating Halloween, especially when there’s an abundance of events to attend! Now through October 31st, Rizzo’s Bar & Inn (3658 N. Clark St.) in the Wrigleyville neighborhood offers their Sweet Dreams: Halloween Pop-up Experience. Guests will step into a fragmented, macabre world where 20 classic horror movies collide for an epic and twisted Halloween experience! Come meet Freddy, Jason, Leatherface and IT – if you dare!

Come have a howling good time at Brookfield Zoo’s annual Halloween celebration Boo! at the Zoo kicking off this Saturday and Sunday (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.). Don your favorite costume and check out the creatures, creepy crawlers, and more while taking memorable snapshots at the many Halloween-themed photo frames and vignettes throughout your journey.  Afterwards, head on over to the West Mall for the Crazed Maize corn maze or take a spin on the Creepy Carousel or even the Haunted Hayride. Plus, “Pumpkins To The Animals” takes place at 10:30 a.m. both days with the goats and wallabies on Saturday and the polar and brown bears on Sunday. As you exit the park youngsters will also receive sweet treats courtesy of Ferrara Candy! It’s a fun-filled and not-so-scary event for the entire family to enjoy!

In case you weren’t aware of it, it’s also the Bank of America Chicago Marathon this Sunday which means you’ll have to deal with some street closures if you’re out and about that morning. While it’s too late to be a runner, come join tens of thousands of spectators cheering on the participants as they make their way through the 26.2-mile course on the city’s streets! And while the start and finish line in Grant Park isn’t open to the public, it’s suggested that spectators head to neighborhoods like Greektown, Lincoln Park, Boystown, Chinatown and Pilsen where crowds of onlookers will be toting handmade signs, blaring music and encouraging all the participants as they whiz by!  There will be a Runner Reunite area in Grant Park (9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) where you can meet your runner. Please note that face masks are recommended in both the reunite area and along the marathon route.  Now get out there and do some cheering!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago