Rain showers are not the only thing that April brings to Chicago. This months guide of things to do in Chicago will have you stepping out in your most heavy-duty rain-repellant gear for some of the best spring events that the city has to offer. Yes, they are that good that can’t afford to miss out. Check out this month’s guide of unique events happening across Chicago this April.
Saturday – Sunday | April 21st – 22nd | 11:00 a.m.
Water Tower Place | 835 N Michigan Ave. | Free
The popular African inspired pop-up shop is back for its bi-annual stop in Chicago. Zuvaa Marketplace, the one-stop online community shop for African inspired fashion and accessories, will be in Chicago for their Midwest tour and will showcase garments and goods from some of the most talented designers from around the world. More event details and vendor information can be found on their event page.
The Black Women’s Expo
Friday – Sunday | April 6th – 8th | 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
McCormick Place | 1752 W 35th St. | Free
The Black Women’s Expo kicks off its three-city (BWe) tour this month in Chicago. BWe is an annual event that provides experiences made for African American. The event may highlight women but draws in nationally recognized speakers and entertainers that all ages and genders can enjoy. The expo showcases trends, products, services, and seminars where she can be informed, empowered, and enlightened. For more details on this event and the full schedule of events, visit the Black Women’s Expo and learn more about why #shematters.
Fashion Challenge X
Thursday| April 12th | 6:00 p.m.
Chicago Cultural Center | 78 E Washington St. | $120 – $200
Celebrate fashion and philanthropy at the Fashion Challenge X by RefuShe. RefuSHE identifies and protects unaccompanied and separated refugee children, youth, especially young women living in Kenya. The program celebrates 10 years of impact this April with a unique challenge for talented designers. Nine Chicago designers will debut original runway looks highlighting the RefuSHE’s artisan-made fabric. The evening would be nothing without fine foods, drink, entertainment, and much more, RSVP for your seat at the fashion show by visiting the RefuSHE website.
Style Studio Blog Launch Party
Sunday | April 8th | 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Venue 1420 | 1420 S Michigan Ave. | Free
MIx and mingle with Style Studio Blog. The NYC based company is dedicated to fulfilling personal shopping, image consulting, and wardrobe styling needs. This event will include mimosas and hors d’oeuvres, a DJ, photo booth, swag bags and even some celebrity appearances. Free to attend with anRSVP.
I Heart Halal
Friday – Sunday | April 13th – 15th | Time Varies
Navy Pier, Festival Hall A | 600 E Grand Ave. | $5 – $100
First ever Halal focused festival in America is coming to Chicago this month. I Heart Halal, developed Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA) exist to connect halal consumers in North America and around the world. The three-day event will feature a food hall, dedicated to traditional halal style food. As well as a bazaar, culinary demonstrations seminars and more featuring world-renowned speakers covering areas such as fashion, food, beauty, health/wellness, travel and more. Check out the first event of its kind by visiting the website here for more information on this even plus a full schedule of activities.
Say Cheese Fest
Sunday | April 15th | 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Concord FiftyFive |1355 W Concord Pl. | $40 – $45
Did somebody “Say Cheese?” This April, Say Cheese Fest presented by Social Power Hour is premiering early this year due to its high demand. The cheese-drive social event highlights restaurants and retailers that serve the cheesiest products in Chicago. Tickets include one sample cheese-driven dish from each food vendor, featuring items from vendors such as Blackwood BBQ, Gayle’s Grilled Cheese, Lou Malnati’s, Eli’s Cheesecake and many more. Grab your tickets to one of the city’s cheesiest fests ever, by making your way over to the event page.
Chicago Cocktail Social
Thursday | April 19th | 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Galleri Marchetti| 825 W Erie St. | $55 – $65
Sip and savor some of Chicago’s best cocktails all under one roof at the Chicago Cocktail Social. The 5th annual event will feature bartenders from some of Chicago’s most reputable beverage programs for a night of mixology matrimony. The social will provide crafted cocktails from participating venues such as Boleo, STK, drumBAR, and The Whistler, just to name a few. For more information and tickets to this event, visit the website here.
Sunday | April 8th | 5:00 p.m.
Moe’s Cantina River North |155 West Kinzie St. | $130 – $200
Cochon555 is a culinary tour dedicated to chef-driven experiences centered around heritage breed pigs. Over hundred-plus cooks, chefs, restaurants and bar owners join together for a day of innovative food and drink experiences. The tour makes its way to Chicago this month and features a culinary competition of five local chefs each presenting one whole, heritage breed pig to promote local family farming. The three-hour experience will also feature a 40-course gourmet tasting menu curated by some of the city’s most renowned chefs. Tickets start at $130 but if you are looking for an extra hour of extravagance without the wait, go for the VIP option. For more information and ticket availability, head over to the Cochon555 website.
Night in the Stacks
Friday | April 6th | 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Harold Washington Library Center | 400 S. State St. | $150
Enjoy an evening with Hughes, Shakespeare, Rowling, and more literary greats of the Night in the Stacks event at the Harold Washington Museum. The evening, hosted by the Chicago Public Library and its Foundation Associate Board, will feature food, drinks, and entertainment all to support the next generation of leaders who continuously use resources the innovative resources offered by the library. Tickets are available for purchase here.
Money Smart Week
Saturday – Sunday | April 21st – 28th |Time Varies
Location Varies | Free
Money Smart Week is a six-day series of community-centric events that focus on personal financial literacy. Events are free of charge and are open to the public of all ages at business, financial institutions, schools, libraries, community organizations and government agencies throughout the Chicago area. The educational events will cover a wide variety of money-management topics including saving money and building wealth, using credit wisely, and financial education for children. To RSVP for an event in your neighborhood, visit the website here.
Rally® HealthFest with Kevin Hart, Chicago
Saturday | April 14th | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Maggie Daley Park | 337 E Randolph St. | Free
Rally® HealthFest is coming to Chicago this month to kick off healthy habits this season with a fun, family-friendly focused event. Kevin Hart and Maria Menounos will host an all-day festival that of free fitness activities, healthy snacks, a kids’ zone, and self-improvement. The event fills up fast sign up now to reserve your spot. Get registered by visiting the website.
Arts + Culture:
Saturday | April 28th | 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
National Museum of Mexican Art |1852 West 19th St. | Free
Stomping Grounds is a free two-month citywide celebration of rhythmic dance featuring companies from various companies, representing a variety of world cultures. The series makes its ways to Pilsen and will feature the Mexican Folk Dance Company of Chicago alongside the Natya Dance Theatre and Trinity Irish Dance Company. Each event, also known as “Performalogue,” features the performers and Artistic Directors of selected companies in a narrated performance and Q&A with the audience. Learn more about this event and other performances taking place all spring long by visiting the website here.
Lost Labs Showcase
Friday | April 15th | 7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Lost Arts |1001 N. North Branch St. | $5
Celebrate the launch of new Chicago startups this April during Lost Labs Showcase event. Five cohorts who have gone through the incubator program at Lost Arts will showcase their forward-thinking ideas to the Chicago creative community. Celebrate the accomplishments of these innovative brands with food, friends, drinks, and entertainment. For more information on the event and the businesses visit the website here.
Sunday – Saturday | March 30th – May 6th | Time Varies
Soldier Field | 1410 Museum Campus Dr. | $10 – $45
Dragon Lights is an International touring exhibit making a stop in Chicago this April. The exhibit includes 39 larger-than-life illuminated displays crafted by Chinese artisans from Zigong, Sichuan, China’s cultural capital for the ancient art of lantern-making, custom-built for the venue in Chicago. This amalgamation of light and art is intended to both thrills, illuminate, and most importantly, provide an opportunity to explore the culture of China. The event will not only feature larger-than-life sculptures, but performances, authentic food, and handcrafted artisanal goods will also be for sales. This event is a perfect way to spend a spring evening in Chicago. Follow the link to score general admission tickets for only $14.
Chicago Latino Film Festival
Sunday – Saturday | April 5th – 19th | Time Varies
AMC River East |322 E. Illinois St. | $10 – $20
Experience Latin-based filmmaking this April at the 34th Annual Chicago Latin Film Festival. The Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) is a two-week festival featuring over 63 feature-length films and 47 shorts from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States. Three of the features are World Premieres, 11 North American Premieres, and 9 U.S. Premieres. All of the films will be shown in their original language with English subtitles (unless otherwise noted). The audience will also have the opportunity to participate in discussions with local and international filmmakers after most of the screenings. Check out this year’s schedule of films for the 34th annual event by heading over to Chicago Latino Film Festival.