April is quickly approaching and to many, the best time to visit Chicago is during April and May. Summertime (meaning peak tourist season) hasn’t yet hit. Freezing cold and harsh winds make way for comfortable average temperatures in the 50s to 70s. It’s a perfect time for walking around and exploring the city. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and smaller crowds with the following top ten things to do in Chicago in April.
Baconfest – April 1
Bacon lovers can sample creative bacon dishes from some of the best chefs in Chicago, as well as cocktails, beer and wine designed to complement the meals. Festival attendees can buy tickets for either lunch or dinner admission, each of which offers a different roster of Chicago chefs and restaurants. Baconfest is held at the UIC Forum near downtown. Tickets range from $60-$200.
Chicago Improv Festival – April 1-2
The final weekend of the 20th Annual Chicago Improv Festival ends on April 1st and 2nd. The festival will welcome over 150 improv groups from all over the world. Shows and workshops take place at two venues within walking distance of each other: Stage 773 off W. Belmont Ave and the Athenaeum Theatre off N. Southport Ave. Check the festival schedule for info on times, venue and prices. Find that perfect parking spot between the two venues and enjoy the festival.
Shamrock Shuffle 8K – April 2
Work off all that indulging at Baconfest by signing up for Bank of America’s Shamrock Shuffle. Participants of this 8K through Grant Park receive a T-shirt, a medal and access to the post-race party featuring live music and refreshments. Entry fees range from $50 to $55 depending on when you register for the race. Shamrock Shuffle’s website recommends attendees use public transportation or, if driving, allow for congestion and street closures on race day. ParqEx will come in handy for a high-traffic event like this.
International Quilt Festival – April 6-8
Get crafty at the International Quilt Festival in Rosemont. The festival offers tons of mixed-media classes and access to hundreds of vendors selling quilts, fabrics, supplies, gifts and more. Festival goers can also observe four artists in an open studio working on individual projects. Admission ranges from $8-$25.
CHIRP Record Fair & Other Delights – April 8
Local community radio station CHIRP Radio and Vintage Garage Chicago team up to host a fair at Plumbers Union Hall. Attendees can browse through thousands of crates of vinyl records, DVDs, CDs, posters and more. Vintage Garage Chicago will host a special-edition vintage fair in the lower level of the hall as well. Admission ranges from $7-$35.
Chicago International Movies and Music Festival – April 20-23
Also known as CIMMfest, the four-day festival in Logan Square showcases films, concerts, industry Q&As, panels, presentations and more. Keep an eye out on their website or Facebook event page for more information on passes and lineups to come.
Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) – April 21-23
This pop culture convention offers fans of comics, movies, television, anime, video games and more a weekend of entertainment in downtown Chicago. C2E2 hosts panels and screenings from these industries, as well as areas on the show floor dedicated to artists, designers, fashion, collectibles and crafts. C2E2 is held in the South Building at McCormick Place off S. Lake Shore Drive. Passes range from $30-$70 for regular admission, while VIP passes run from $125 to $400. Parking at McCormick Place is available for a flat fee of $24 per day, so consider using the ParqEx app to avoid the rush of other convention attendees coming and going.
Chicago Artisan Chocolate Show – April 22-23
Sample some of the finest in artisan chocolate, foods and wine. Admission includes complimentary sampling from non-alcoholic exhibitors, talks and demonstrations. Discount tasting coupons for wine and alcohol benefit the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. The show will be held in the Stephen M. Bailey Auditorium in the Randolph Street Market District. Single admission ranges from $22.50-$40.
Vintage Garage Chicago – April 23
Didn’t get enough vintage browsing at the CHIRP Record Fair? Vintage Garage Chicago kicks off their sixth season of flea market shows on April 23. Flea markets are held every third Sunday (changed to the fourth for April due to Easter) in a three-floor parking garage in Uptown Chicago. Over 100 vintage vendors of furniture, clothing, jewelry, decor and more will be on site. Admission is $5 at the door.
Greek Independence Day Parade – April 30
The Greek Independence Day Parade, or Hellenic Heritage Parade, commemorates the 197th Anniversary of Greek Declaration of Independence. The free parade begins at 2:30 pm at Halsted and Randolph St. in Greektown.
Get to your event faster and avoid the hassle of searching for a parking spot: contact us to learn more about ParqEx. And for more information about things to do in Chicago, check out some of our other blog posts!