Wowsers! There’s a wide range of fun to be had in Chicago this weekend. Kick off autumn with Oktoberfest fun in Oak Park, see a temporary art installation encouraging tolerance at Navy Pier, attend a cultural fest and more! Better rest up — you’re going to be busy. Read on for our Editor’s picks for finding smiles.

photo: Navy Pier’s Ship of Tolerance


Lincoln Park

Last Chance! Strike a Pose at the Bixbee Imagination Station
The Bixbee Imagination Station is an experiential popup and retail shop featuring an immersive, interactive experience for kids and the kid in you. Fri.-SunEvent details.

Millennium Park

Experience Young Chicago Talent at YAS! Fest
The free and open to the public YAS! Fest is Chicago’s largest celebration of young artists and youth arts organizations. The day will feature the creative work of musicians, actors, dancers, artists and more. Sat. Event details.

Navy Pier

View the Ship of Tolerance
A conceptual free public art installation is docking in Navy Pier’s Polk Bros Park as a visual representation and vessel of tolerance and peace. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

New! Say Hi to Familiar Faces at a Mo Willems Exhibit
The Chicago Children’s Museum is debuting a sure to be kid-favorite, The Pigeon Comes to Chicago! A Mo Willems Exhibit, inspired by the art and characters of the beloved children’s book author and illustrator. Sat. & Sun. Event details


Run Away and Join Midnight Circus in the Parks
Chicago’s offbeat and totally entertaining circus takes its act on the road! The troupe does high-wire acts, juggling, clowning and acrobatics. It’s all for a good cause: The tour raises money to improve public parks. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Various Locations

World Music Festival
Introduce your future globe trotter to music by performers from Latin America, Africa and beyond as they play in venues all throughout the city. Fri.-Sun. Event details

West Loop

Now Open! Explore wndr Museum, Chapter 3
Guests are encouraged to explore new installations and create their own stories through thought-provoking, multisensory, interactive experiences at In A Hero’s Journey Through wndr. Sat. & Sun. Event details



Traverse a Brick Safari at Brookfield Zoo
Brookfield Zoo’s temporary exhibit, Brick Safari, features more than 40 life-size animal sculptures created from millions of LEGO bricks located along a winding, wooded path. Fri.-SunEvent details.


Choo Choo! Get Your Train Fix at Model Railroad Garden
Experience the delightful sights and sounds of miniature trains traversing high and low tunnels, across bridges and around buildings at Chicago Botanic Garden. Fri.-SunEvent details.


Travel Across Europe with the Passport Europe Festival
Sample delectable eats, groove to authentic music and be impressed by a variety of dancers that give an entertaining picture of the many cultures of Europe. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Long Grove

Expect Bushels of Fun at an Apple Festival
Take in the beautiful fall outdoor ambiance of charming Long Grove and participate in the many activities offered, including free live music, apple pie-eating contests and more. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Oak Park

Have Oktoberfest Fun at Oaktoberfest
This two-day event offers live music, craft beer and seasonal food, as well as a Kids’ Root Beer Garden, which includes a ninja obstacle course, zucchini car races, kid games and activities. Fri. & Sat. Event details.

— Maria Chambers


Harvest Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss

Field Day! 8 Local Corn Mazes to Get Lost In

How ‘Bout These Apples? U-Pick Apple Orchards Worth the Trek

. . . and check out our Events calendar for even more suggestions.