Can you believe it? Another summer has come and gone and now we welcome fall to Chicago’s North Shore. Fortunately, the good times will continue to roll thanks to a variety of can’t-miss events for residents and visitors of all ages. So grab your calendars and save the dates for these 10 festivals, exhibitions, tours, and more.
Sept. 16: Shermerfest
The Northbrook Historical Society and Northbrook Park District will host the 40th year of this fall event at Village Green Park with a collectible and antique car display, kids' activities, music, food, and more.
Sept. 21-23: American Craft Exposition
For the 34th year, this fine craft show will bring more than 140 artisans exhibiting hand-crafted pieces in 12 media, including ceramics, furniture, glass, jewelry, and paper, to the gorgeous grounds of Chicago Botanic Garden.
American Craft Exposition, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
Sept. 23: Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park Tour
This local sculpture park covers two miles and features more than 60 sculptures from artists around the world in four sections. This month, get a free, docent-led tour of Section II, which features pieces from artists Sharon Loper, William Wareham, Ted Gall, Leslie Bruning, and more.
Sept. 29: Oktoberfest
The Wheeling Park District will host this free Oktoberfest celebration at Performance Pavilion at Heritage Park with both German and domestic beer, food, and live music from Dan Mateja and the IPA (International Polka Association) Tribute Band and 7th Heaven.
Various Dates: Northwestern University Football
The Wildcats are looking to build off of a successful 2017 season with home games against Michigan (Sept. 29), Nebraska (Oct. 13 — Homecoming), Wisconsin (Oct. 27 — Family Weekend), Notre Dame (Nov. 3), and more. Get your tickets now and cheer on NU all season long.
Northwestern University Football, Evanston
Oct. 7: The Grove Folk Fest
Go back in time to celebrate fall at The Grove in Glenview. Enjoy folk music, square dancing, hayrides, food, a live animal show, a Native American flute circle, and more. Plus, new this year, author Ronald Vasile will read from his book "William Stimpson and the Golden Age of American Natural History."
Oct. 13-14: Open House Chicago in Evanston
Open House Chicago in Evanston is a free festival hosted by the Chicago Architecture Center to give the public behind-the-scenes access to buildings around the Chicago area, with 16 in Evanston.
Oct. 14: Evanston Oktoberfest
Evanston is home to a thriving brewery/distillery and food scene. Explore everything the city has to offer during this afternoon of food and drink, live music, and fall fun in the lot behind Hilton Garden Inn.
Various Dates: Halloween at Chicago Botanic Garden
If you love Halloween, then Chicago Botanic Garden is the place to be this fall. The festivities begin Oct. 20 with the annual Spooky Pooch Parade, the only time dogs are allowed at the garden. Dress your pup to impress with their best canine costume. Prizes will be awarded for Best Costume Overall, Best Dog/Owner Costume, Best Horticultural Interpretation, and more. Then, come back Oct. 24-28 for Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns, when more than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins will decorate the garden’s grounds. Visitors will also meet characters and watch live carving and trains decorated for the season in the Model Railroad Garden.
Spooky Pooch Parade, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
Nov. 2-4: Antiques + Modernism Show
One of the North Shore's biggest events of the year, this show is "the ultimate destination for interior designers, shoppers, and collectors alike." Visitors will find furniture, artwork, clothes, jewelry, and more, all while supporting the programming of Winnetka Community House (which is also the location of the show). A preview party will take place on Nov. 1.
Antiques + Modernism Show, Winnetka