Events, Festivals

Things to do in Chicago in April

Chicago Events

April 2018

Easter restaurants

April 1, 2018

Chicago locations

OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special menus for Easter. Also see Easter Bunny Brunches.

Easter brunch with a view

April 1, 2018 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

0.8 miles north

Easter Brunch includes a buffet, an entree, desserts, and a visit from the Easter Bunny at The Signature Room at the 95th.

Easter dining cruise

April 1, 2018

1 mile east

Odyssey Cruises offers a brunch cruise with the Easter bunny, and a dinner cruise departing from Navy Pier.

Easter in the garden

April 1, 2018

24 miles north

Enjoy a festive Easter Egg Brunch and bring a basket for the Easter egg hunt at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.

Easter at Cantigny

April 1, 2018 (begins March 31)

27 miles west

Breakfast with the Bunny on Saturday includes a breakfast buffet, the Easter Bunny, face painting, and a balloon artist. The elegant Easter Brunch is Sunday. Both events are at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.

Easter at the arboretum

April 1, 2018 (begins March 30)

27 miles west

Enjoy a breakfast buffet or a fine brunch, plus a visit with the Easter Bunny at Morton Arboretum in Lisle.

Films from Europe

April 1 – 5, 2018 (begins March 9)

0.5 miles SW

Chicago European Union Film Festival screens 62 new feature films from the 28 nations of the European Union at Gene Siskel Film Center.

Flower show

April 1 – 8, 2018 (begins March 25)

0.5 mile south

Macy’s Flower Show features flowers and exotic topiaries in landscapes, plus scheduled events at Macy’s on State Street. Free.

Latino film festival

April 5 – 19, 2018

Chicago locations

See 100+ films from Latin America, Brazil, South America, Spain, Portugal, and the U.S. during the Chicago Latino Film Festival at AMC River East 21 theaters and venue partners throughout Chicagoland.


April 6 – 7, 2018

3 miles SW

Chicago’s best chefs serve bacon dishes and drinks for lunch and dinner at Baconfest Chicago in UIC Forum.

Blues dance

April 6 – 8, 2018

multiple locations

BluesShout includes weekend workshops and dances with live music that go late into the night.

Asian film festival

April 6 – 19, 2018

0.5 miles SW

Asian American Showcase screens independent dramas and documentaries, including selected screenings with filmmakers in person, at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Festival of colors

April 7, 2018

32 miles west

Wear white and buy brightly colored organic flour for $2 to throw at friends and foes to celebrate Holiand mark the arrival of spring, with music and Indian food for sale at the Grand Pavilion in Naperville.

Superhero convention

April 7 – 8, 2018

17 miles NW

Heroes & Villains Fan Fest celebrates comics, sci-fi, TV, and movies with guest actors, panel discussions, costume contests, role-playing, and vendors in the Rosemont convention center.

Discount tickets $9 to $35.

Zombie, horror, sci-fi convention

April 7 – 8, 2018

17 miles NW

Zombie lovers unite at Walker Stalker Con for panels, celebrities, vendors, and a costume party at the convention center in Rosemont.

Discount tickets $9 to $35.

Robots at the museum

April 7 – 15, 2018

8 miles south

Celebrate National Robotics Week by viewing robots on display, interacting with some, hearing talks by robotics professors, and watching a live robotics competition at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Pig feast

April 8, 2018 (5 p.m., VIP 4 p.m.)

1.2 miles south

Cochon is a stand-up tasting featuring dozens of chef-made dishes plus wine, cocktails, and beer at Hilton Chicago for age 21+.

Discount tickets $98 (VIP $150).

African fashion show

April 12, 2018 (6 to 9 p.m.)

0.4 miles south

The $150 Fashion Challenge is a designer runway show that highlights scarves made by African women, followed by a $40 party with drinks and dessert at Chicago Cultural Center. Attend either or both.

Quilt festival

April 12 – 14, 2018

17 mile NW

Shop for quilts and take mini-classes at Quilt Festival Chicago in Rosemont convention center.

Teen literature festival

April 13 – 14, 2018

1 mile south

Teenagers express themselves and attend workshops at ChiTeen Lit Fest on Saturday at Columbia College Chicago. The Friday night kick-off party is at a nearby library. Free.

Audio expo

April 13 – 15, 2018

26.8 miles NW

Audio Expo North America (AXPONA) features 400 vendors of high-end audio (headphones, speakers, turntables, musical instruments, amps, and vinyl), plus 125 listening rooms, live concerts, and lectures by industry leaders at Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center.

Discount tickets $7.75.

Diabetes expo

April 14, 2018

3 miles south

Learn how to prevent and manage diabetes at the American Diabetes Association Expo, which has health screenings, cooking demonstrations, experts, and exhibitors at McCormick Place. Free.

Silent films + live music

April 14, 2018 (7 and 9:30 p.m.)

8 miles north

Watch modern silent films as a new score is played live at Sound of Silent Film Festival at Davis Theater. The late show is R-rated.

Beer and wine festival

April 14, 2018

28 miles SW

Tinley Park Brew & Vine Festival features breweries, vintners, restaurants, and live entertainment at Tinley Park Convention Center.

Cheese tasting

April 15, 2018 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

3.4 miles NW

Taste cheesy foods like pizza, grilled cheese, poutine, and macaroni & cheese from restaurants and cheese vendors during Say Cheese Fest at Concord FiftyFive. Held in April and October.

Discount tickets $20 to $30.

Roaring Twenties musical

April 16 – May 27, 2018

4.8 miles north

It’s 1928, the world is at peace, and the stock market is booming, but issues of life and death face diverse characters we meet as they share their hopes and dreams in the lobby of the Grand Hotel at Theater Wit.

Discount tickets $13 to $28.

Cocktail evening

April 19, 2018

1.7 miles NW

A ticket to Chicago Cocktail Social gets you premium cocktails made by bartenders from 17 establishments, gourmet food, and live music at Galleria Marchetti.

Villa Park arts & crafts

April 20 – 22, 2018

21 miles west

See hundreds of craft booths at Spring Festival, An Arts & Crafts Affair in the Odeum Expo Center. Children age 10 and younger are free.

Modern pop festival

April 20 – 28, 2018

10 miles north

International Pop Overthrow (IPO) is a cutting-edge pop and rock music festival based in Los Angeles that brings dozens of the latest bands to The Red Line Tap.

Brunch walk

April 21, 2018 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

0.9 miles west

A ticket to Brunch Bites lets you sample brunch food and drink at 8 restaurants in River North for age 21+.

Mexican children’s day

April 21, 2018

2.8 miles SW

Celebrate Mexican culture and family health at Día del Niño Family Festival. Begin with a two-mile walk from the National Museum of Mexican Art to UIC Pavilion. Continue with games, art, and activities. Free.

Chocolate & wine

April 21 – 22, 2018

2.5 miles west

Chocolate, Wine & Spirits Expo promises 50 vendors displaying products for you to sample and purchase, with wine and spirits tasting, and chef demonstrations at Stephen M. Bailey Auditorium.

Discount tickets $16.

Money week

April 21 – 28, 2018

Chicago locations

Money Smart Week is a series of classes and activities designed to help you better manage your personal finances. Search for events near your zip code. Free.

Films about Palestine

April 21 – May 3, 2018

0.5 mile SW

The Chicago Palestine Film Festival exhibits and promotes films by Palestinian directors as well as films about Palestine at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Famous speakers

April 24, 28, 29, 2018

Chicago locations

Hear today’s leading authors, thinkers, and fashion icons speak at the Springfest organized by the Chicago Humanities Festival.

Wine tasting

April 26, 2018

8 miles NW

Sample wine plus hors d’oeuvres on the Spring Wine Stroll in the shops of Lincoln Square and Ravenswood. Repeats in Nov.

Adventure race

April 27 – 28, 2018

1.9 miles SW

Questival is a 24-hour race that begins with a check-in party at Brooklyn Boulders. Your team completes the challenges assigned by a smartphone app to win prizes. Video.

Crafts fair

April 27 – 29, 2018

1 mile west

One of a Kind Show and Sale features handmade crafts by 300 artists, food, and entertainment at the Merchandise Mart. Repeats in Dec.

Bach festival

April 27 – May 4, 2018

Chicago locations

Bach Week Festival is a series of three classical music concerts in North Chicago and Evanston.

Japanese children’s festival

April 28 – 29, 2018

24 miles north

Learn about children’s celebrations in Japan at Malott Japanese Garden Spring Festival. Listen to koto harps and shakuhachi flutes, hear folktales, and watch a tea ceremony at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. Free except parking. Repeats in Aug.



You Might Also Like