With summer coming to a close, it may feel like the season of fun is over. However, as fall kicks off in Chicago, there are still plenty of ways to have fun, including many outdoor options to enjoy the cooler temperatures. There’s a range of festivals slated for this September centered around food, music, the arts, and more, giving you plenty of options for fun with your friends and family. Our team at Allied Plumbing & Heating Supply Co. created this guide of some of the best September events in Chicago, so you don’t miss out on the excitement.

Riot Fest

Riot Fest returns to Douglass Park for another year of rocking. This three-day independent music fest started in 2005 as a multi-venue event showcasing rock and punk music. However, it grew rapidly, and, in 2012, it transitioned into an outdoor festival in a single location and added carnival rides, delicious food options, and more. The festival still includes additional after-parties and sideshows at venues throughout the city.

The 2022 Riot Fest lineup includes dozens of musicians each day, and the lineup still primarily focuses on rock and punk artists. Festival headliners include My Chemical Romance on Friday, the Original Misfits on Saturday, and Nine Inch Nails on Sunday. Several bands on the lineup will play their iconic albums in full, such as the Get Up Kids playing “4 Minute Mile” for its 25th anniversary, the Menzingers playing “On the Impossible Past” for its 10th anniversary, and Yellowcard playing “Ocean Avenue.”

Riot Fest will be September 16, 17, and 18, 2022. There are single-day and multi-day tickets available, and you can also purchase VIP upgrades for the weekend to enjoy amenities such as re-entry, beverage tickets, air-conditioned areas, and more. The festival offers free admission to Douglass Park residents who live within a certain area to support community inclusion.

The Great American Lobster Fest

The Great American Lobster Fest is back for the first time since 2019, and it takes over Navy Pier on September 2, 3, and 4, 2022. This family-friendly festival is the largest lobster and seafood festival in the Midwest. Feast on dishes made with fresh lobster flown directly from the East Coast’s chilly waters, and enjoy live music, shopping opportunities from local vendors, and a range of other food options.

Attending the Great American Lobster Fest is free, but you can purchase your lobster meal in advance to save some money and time at the festival. Each lobster meal includes your choice of a whole lobster or lobster roll with sides of corn and potatoes, a dinner roll, butter, lemon wedges, and at least one drink ticket. Other options for food that may be available for purchase include lobster mac and cheese, steak, regular mac and cheese, and more.

Hyde Park Jazz Festival

The Hyde Park Jazz Festival celebrates its 16th anniversary this fall. The Hyde Park Jazz Society began this event to celebrate jazz music and Chicago’s South Side and to attract new audiences to the area, but it’s now an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The two-day event features more than 35 programs in various venues to showcase dozens of esteemed musicians to crowds of more than 20,000.

The Hyde Park Jazz Festival will be on September 24 and 25, 2022. Admission to the 2022 festival is free, but the event encourages donations of $10 per person to help ensure the festival remains free for many years to come. The event also operates with the help of more than 250 volunteers, and it’s also possible to volunteer for the event.

Fifth Third Bike the Drive

Fifth Third Bike the Drive is the perfect option if you’re looking for something active to do before the weather gets too cold. This benefit bike ride shuts down Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive to allow cyclists of all ages and skill levels to enjoy a ride down the scenic route. While the entire stretch is nearly 30 miles, you can choose to ride as long or short of a distance as you like. The event also has bikes available for rental and ends with a festival in Grant Park.

The event requires registration to participate. Adults can register for $51 in advance or for $70 on the day of the event, and youth participants can register for $18 at any time. Proceeds from the event benefit the Active Transportation Alliance, which is a nonprofit advocacy organization. The aim of this organization is to improve transportation conditions, specifically biking, walking, and public transit conditions, throughout Chicago.

The 2022 event is on Sunday, September 4. Participants can begin riding at 6:30 a.m., and the event encourages beginning before 8 a.m. to ensure you have plenty of time to enjoy the ride. Closures start along the route beginning at 10:45 a.m., and normal car traffic resumes completely by noon. The event has multiple rest stops and checkpoints available along the route, and you can also get help from experienced bike mechanics.

Chicago SummerDance Celebration

Chicago SummerDance Celebration is a summertime tradition. The all-day event marks the end of the Chicago SummerDance event series, which includes outdoor dance lessons and performances all summer long. This free event includes more performances, lessons, and activities to mark the end of the season.

Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) presents the event to help enrich the city’s culture and relationship with the arts. The event is conveniently located throughout Millennium Park, specifically on the Great Lawn, near Cloud Gate, and at Wrigley Square and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. It’s scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2022.

Well, there you have it. Allied Plumbing & Heating Supply Co. just told you about some of the best September events in Chicago. We hope you discovered an event you may want to attend this fall. Do you know about an exciting event that we didn’t include on our list? Reach out to us today with the details. We may even update our guide to share your recommendation with our readers.

Photo Credits: RiotFestGrounds by digboston is licensed with CC BY 2.0