Once nicer weather prevails, Chicago comes alive with a wonderfully wide variety of festivals to suit every taste. Although there are plenty of music and food festivals in the Summer, it’s fun to shake off the icicles once Spring is in full swing.
Here are some of the best cultural festivals relating to the theatre or arts that we’re looking forward to this Spring in Chicago!
Manifest Urban Arts
Manifest is the 16th annual showcase of Columbia College’s student work. Attendees will be treated to a multisensory and multimedia experience featuring live performances, fashion shows, gallery exhibitions, literary readings and more. Come support the arts from the ground, up, by attending this event and seeing what Chicago’s art students have worked so hard to create.
Chicago Improv Festival
Price varies by show
Second City fan? Although we love Chicago’s premiere center for all things improv (and the career start for many famous SNL actors), the Chicago Improv Festival gives participants a chance to see Chicago’s many other unique improv offerings, at a variety of theaters around the city. Check out the schedule, then go out to a few shows and discover something new. No matter what time of year, improv shows make for a great date night spot or an activity for a night out with friends.
Chicago Comedy Festival
Prices vary by show
If you like the theater but are more interested in comedy than improv, you’ll enjoy the offerings at the 3rd Annual 26th Annual Comedy Festival, presented by The Onion and A.V. Club. Star-studded headliners include Tracy Morgan and Sarah Silverman, but you’ll enjoy a wide range of additional comedic talents and stylings. With a sponsor like The Onion, you can’t go wrong (Check out a set put on by the writers of ClickHole).
Chicago Critics Film Festival
$10-15 per show
If you’d rather watch the silver screen than live actors and comedians, perhaps you’d enjoy the 4th annual Chicago Critics Film Festival. Passes to see every movie and attend a special closing night event are $150, but admission to individual movies has traditionally been $10-15. Visit the festival’s website for a complete list of movies and their critically-acclaimed directors. You’ll recognize a lot of the big name actors in these films!
Chicago Humanities Festival
April 28 – May 1
$10-15 per ticket, depending on membership
The Chicago Humanities Festival combines art, history, and some prolific speakers for a whirlwind weekend of digging deeper into things that tug on our curiosity. Satisfy your inner intellectual with tickets to an event (or two!) covering many interesting topics. A best bet? Arianna Huffington will be talking about her new book at one event, with the opportunity to grab drinks with other attendees afterwards and continue the conversation.
Randolph Street Art
The Randolph Street Market is not so much a festival as a regular occurring vintage market, but it has all the trappings and necessities for a fun day out. Shop vintage finds, modern Chicago-made crafts, listen to live music, and indulge on treats from some of your favorite Chicago food spots. Even if you don’t leave with anything (which is next to impossible), you’ll still have a fun time shopping around this unique market and getting ideas for future purchases and gift giving!
There are so many different festivals and fun events happening soon, we hope you’re looking forward to some (or many!) of these Spring festivals in the Windy City.
Where will we be seeing you in the near future? Let us know your plans in the comments!