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Wisch list: Plenty of hits coming to Chicago this October

September 30, 2018

For a long time, I’ve generally considered September to be my favorite month of them all in Chicago. But I have to tell you that in recent years, October has been making a run at the crown.

That’s all thanks to the Cubs.

But whether you’re a fan of the team making October festivals in Wrigleyville a North Side tradition or don’t care about postseason baseball at all, this coming month still offers plenty of treats throughout the city. And here are a few ways to enjoy the first full month of autumn in Chicago.

Bacon and Beer Oct. 6

A lot of people love bacon. And a lot of people love beer. So, it’s only natural that a festival would be established devoted to what it calls “the best things in life.”

On Oct. 6, the fourth annual Bacon and Beer Classic will be held at Soldier Field offering more than 100 craft beers from local breweries and unlimited servings of more than 30 bacon-inspired dishes from top Chicago chefs. Music, interactive games and more will also be on tap.

For more information, visit baconandbeerclassic.com.

Chicago Marathon Oct. 7

Maybe you’re running 26.2 miles through the streets of Chicago on Oct. 7. Or perhaps you’re tired just thinking about the idea of it.

But no matter your fitness level, if you’re interested in watching the Chicago Marathon — one of the city’s most impressive sporting events, with 45,000 participants — then there are a number of great spots to do so.

One of them is right at the start. From atop the Randolph Street overpass above Columbus Drive just north of Millennium Park, you can watch as the rough equivalency of a Cubs game day crowd — including the rooftops — passes beneath you.

Other hot spots include the corner of North Avenue and Wells Street, Chinatown near Cermak and Wentworth, and Michigan Avenue south of Roosevelt Road, where you can watch as the runners power — or struggle — through the race’s final mile.

For more information, visit chicagomarathon.com.

Columbus Day Parade Oct. 8

Chicago’s 65th annual Columbus Day Parade sets sail this year at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 8, from the corner of State Street and Wacker Drive in the Loop south to Van Buren Street.

The event features 150 floats, bands and other marching groups celebrating the voyage of Christopher Columbus to America in addition to Italian-American culture.

For more information, visit cityofchicago.org.

Open House Chicago Oct. 13-14

Visit 250 cool places in Chicago over 48 hours for zero cost. On Oct. 13-14, the Chicago Architectural Foundation will again swing open the doors to more than scores of the city’s most interesting places, offering free behind-the-scenes looks at architectural gems and private spots that you’ve always wanted to get into.

This year’s list features several Open House newcomers located in South Side neighborhoods. Locations include the Ingersoll-Blackwelder House, lavish Victorian residence in Morgan Park; Optimo, a classic hat maker working out of a century-old decommissioned firehouse in Beverly; and Third Unitarian Church in Austin, designed by modernist Paul Schweiker in 1936.

The free tours take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. all weekend long on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit openhousechicago.org for a full list of locations — and be sure to pick your top spots and plan ahead as lines can get long.

Spooky Zoo Oct. 27

Kids can prep for Halloween by donning costumes, trick-or-treating, making crafts, and visiting a Haunted House during the free annual Spooky Zoo event at Lincoln Park Zoo on Oct. 27. Also on location is a corn maze, a Ferris wheel and plenty of animals.

For more information, visit lpzoo.org.

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