Your DO List: Fun Events on Chicago’s North Shore This September
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North Shore Do List September 2021

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With plenty of daylight and warm evenings yet to enjoy, get out and about to see invigorating live music, experience compelling art, and savor tasty eats from local restaurants and food trucks. Blockbuster musical acts and emerging local talent are abundant, while stunning/moving visual arts and mouthwatering treats will delight your eyes and tastebuds. Feeling sporty? Find out What’s There to Do in Chicago’s North Shore including our detailed Events Calendar. Plan an overnight getaway, check out hotel deals here. 

Northwestern Wildcats, Northwestern University, Evanston
Northwestern Wildcats, Northwestern University, Evanston

Northwestern Football
Northwestern Wildcats football has returned for the 2021 season! Enjoy a game and dine, shop and enjoy all Evanston and the North Shore has to offer. We have hotel deals for you, special area events, wonderful spots to shop, restaurants that will wow you, dazzling nightlife and activities for the whole family. This year's home games include Michigan State (Sept. 6), Indiana State (Sept. 11), Ohio (Sept. 25), Rutgers (Homecoming, Oct. 16), Minnesota (Oct. 30) and Iowa (Nov. 6). 


Ravinia Festival, Highland Park
Ravinia Festival, Highland Park

Ravinia Festival
200 Ravinia Park Rd., Highland Park
Multiple shows, through Sept. 25

The fall schedule at Ravinia continues longer this season delivering shows in their incredible outdoor setting through the end of September.  Ravinia’s Dining Pavilion has reconceived food options with expanded menus to add to your picnic — from the taqueria, brick-oven pizza joint or smokehouse — or for gourmet dining service. 

Emerge Winnetka
Emerge Winnetka

Emerge Winnetka: A Live Music Event
Winnetka Skokie Playfields, 540 Hibbard Rd., Winnetka
Sept. 11; 2:00 pm–10:45 pm

Bringing the best of new music to the North Shore, Emerge Winnetka is a one-day variation of the popular Winnetka Music Festival. Discover the next great artists in the line-up like the blue-eyed soul of Allen Stone, singer/songwriter/trumpeter Spencer Ludwig, Master DJ Squaropolis and country/Southern rock duo Walker County. A new food court gives you tons of options from an array of food trucks and local restaurants. Listen to the music with beer or wine, stroll the grounds or let the kids frolic in the special area behind the Food Court while you sit in comfort. 

Ribfest, Northfield
Ribfest, Northfield

Northfield State Fair/Ribfest
Clarkson Park, 1950 New Willow Rd., Northfield
Sept. 11, 4:30 pm–10:00 pm

Celebrate that hint of fall in the air at the annual Northfield Park District "State Fair" and Ribfest for a fun evening with family and friends. The event honors the community’s long-standing tradition of grilling ribs and picnicking together. Live music, food and beverages from Stormy’s Tavern and Grille and kids’ activities are followed by a fireworks display at 8:00 pm. Local grillers are invited to enter the Steve Soler Northfield Rib Contest and park picnic tables will be available on a first come/first serve basis. 

Art in the Village, Winnetka
Art in the Village, Winnetka

Art in the Village
Hubbard Woods Park, 939 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka
Sept. 11, 10:00 am–6:00 pm; Sept. 12, 10:00 am–5:00 pm

Join this free, two-day celebration of fine arts. Sponsored annually by the North Shore Art League, this juried art fair features the talents of local artists in a beautiful park setting. Visit airy booths to check out paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, fine art jewelry, photography and more. You’ll find wonderful gifts and adornments for loved ones, yourself and your home. Before or after your art experience, stroll Green Bay Road's nearby restaurants and shops with their unrivaled collection of flavors and treasures.

Maz Jobrani, North Shore Center, Skokie
Maz Jobrani, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie

North Shore Center for the Performing Arts
9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
Multiple shows, dates

Musicians are back on the stage of the Center Theatre, the North Shore’s unique, award-winning, state-of-the-art performance venue. Highlights for this return season include Grammy-winning blues artists The Robert Cray Band (Sep. 17), comedian Maz Jobrani (Sep. 18) and an oldies night of Herman’s Hermits with Peter Noone (Sep. 25). Something tells me you’re in for something good. The convenient location and free parking help make it a local favorite. (Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination required for entry.)

Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston
Block Museum, Northwestern University, Evanston

The Block Museum at Northwestern University
40 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston
Sept. 22–Dec. 5

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, this stellar museum introduced a major initiative to acquire works of art that encourage critical thinking about the representation of history. Who Says, Who Shows, What Counts: Thinking about History with The Block’s Collection highlights 80+ modern and contemporary recently acquired artworks by a wide-ranging selection of artists, such as Dawoud Bey, Shan Goshorn, the Guerrilla Girls, Louise Lawler, Man Ray and Kara Walker. Showing concurrently, watch “Sky Hopinka: Cloudless Blue Egress of Summer,” an immersive, two-channel video installation by Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga). 

Songs for Nobodies, Northlight Theatre, Skokie
Songs for Nobodies, Northlight Theatre, Skokie

Northlight Theatre Presents “Songs for Nobodies”
9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
Opening Sept. 23

Join Northlight Theatre for a show celebraiting the reknowned work of Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Maria Callas. Featuring such favorites as “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Crazy,” and “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do,” Songs for Nobodies illuminates the power of song to share a story, heal a heartbreak, and inspire a dream.



Oktoberfest at Hangar Two
1100 N. Milwaukee Ave., Glenview
Oct. 1-3

Tangled Roots Oktoberfest will be in Glenview the weekend of October 1-3. The festival will take place inside of Tangled Roots' newest restaurant, Hangar Two. This event will have music, food, and a wide selection of beer from Tangled Roots, Ace Cider, Maplewood Brewery & Distillery and St. Bernardus.

Glenview Blocktoberfest
Downtown Glenview
Oct. 2

Glenview Chamber of Commerce, Friends of Downtown Glenview, Ten Ninety Brewing presents the second annual Blocktoberfest! The 11 am - 11 pm fest takes place along Glenview Rd. between Church St. and Pine St., with a special VIP area in the breezeway of the Midtown Square Apartments offering premium views of the bands plus several other deluxe amenities.  Food and beverages, including craft beer and wine, will be available for purchase. A kid friendly section with games, arts/crafts, prizes will be on Church Street from 11am-3pm.

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe
See the magnificence of fall colors throughout the garden. Night of 1,000 Jack-o'-Lanterns (Oct. 13-17 & Oct. 20-24) is not to be missed either, featuring more than 1,000 elaborately hand-carved pumpkins. Parking reservations required for some weekends in advance.

Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement at the Illinois Holocaust Museum
Illinois Holocaust Museum, Skokie
Opening Oct. 17

Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement explores the June 1969 police raid of the Stonewall Inn as the flashpoint that ignited the modern gay rights movement in the United States. In the last fifty years since the Stonewall Uprising, America’s LGBTQ population has struggled for equal rights and representation under the law. Rise Up shares the voices and tells the stories of this movement.

North Shore Center for the Performing Arts
9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
Multiple shows, dates

The Feature Series at the North Shore Center is your spot on the map to get a broad spectrum of top-notch theater, comedy, music, dance and family entertainment. Offering a variety of performing arts representative of every genre and mix in world-class artists with local productions and flavor. The series includes, Linda Eder (Oct. 1), Boz Scaggs (Oct. 5), Chris Thile (Oct. 7), Jake Shimaburkuro (Oct. 8) , Taj Mahal (Oct. 14), Jane Lynch and Kate Flannery (Oct. 15), Charlie Berens (Oct. 16) and Music of the Baroque (Oct. 17-18).

Music Theater Works presents “Ragtime” at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts 
9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
Oct. 28 - Nov. 7
Music Theater Works brings this 13-time Tony Award-nominated musical with its rich, award-winning score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens – the lyricist and composer duo behind Once on This Island and Seussical to its stage. Ragtime, based on the E. L. Doctorow, tells the unforgettable story of an upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant and a young, daring Harlem musician living during the early years of the 20th century. Showcasing the great struggle that accompanies the American Dream and featuring some of the most well-known figures of the time, Ragtime tells the tale of three different individuals who desire a brighter future but must unite to achieve their goals.


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