10 Best Things to Do in Chicago in September 2019

Summer vacation may be over, but there's still plenty of fun to be had in September in the form of new museum exhibits, the season's first fall festivals and can't-miss performances (we're especially excited for a Justin Roberts concert and a staging of Newsies!). Plan ahead for a busy month in Chicago with our top 10 September activity picks for families. 


1. Take in a show the whole family will enjoy! The Broadway hit Newsies will be on the Paramount Theatre stage in Aurora starting September 4. Tickets start at $36. 

2. The Fall Family Festival at Kohl Children's Museum is back on September 8 with train rides, a petting farm, old-fashioned carnival games and visits from Rapunzel from 9 to 11:30am. Don't leave without letting your little try to crank the apple cider press. $26.

3. Lace up your sneaks at Brookfield Zoo’s annual ZooRunRun event on September 8! Little runners can participate in the one-mile kids’ dash, or walk alongside mom and dad in the 5k race. 5k is $35; one-mile race is $20. 

4. Ring in fall and all its glory at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum’s Flutter Into Fall event on September 14 featuring butterfly-themed activities, Drag Queen story times, seasonal treats and a butterfly release. Free admission when you make a donation.

5. The super trendy, super Instagram-worthy wndr Museum is celebrating its first anniversary on September 21 with a brand-new installation. A Hero’s Journey Through wndr will feature thought-provoking, multi-sensory and interactive experiences sure to spark the imaginations of all its visitors. $32 (timed tickets must be purchased in advance at wndr.com).


10 Best Things to Do in Chicago in September 2019 wndr

6. Get free admission to Chicago-area museums and attractions like Adler Planetarium, the American Writers Museum, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and many others, as part of the Smithsonian Magazine's annual Museum Day Live! event on September 21. Tickets are free.

7. Rock out at one of the two Be Your Own Band performances featuring three-time Grammy nominee, Justin Roberts! On September 21 (at both 10am and 12:30pm) the kindie artist will perform his tunes alongside his five-piece band. $20.

8. Don’t miss Chicago Children’s Museum’s newest exhibition, The Pigeon Comes to Chicago! A Mo Willems Exhibit, hitting the museum floor on September 21. The experience will feature characters, story settings and artwork you’re sure to recognize, along with interactive and educational art-themed activities, too. Included in general admission—$13.95.


10 Best Things to Do in Chicago in September 2019 Children's Museum of Pittsburgh


9. The Lincoln Park Zoo Fall Fest opens on September 27 for the season! Visit for harvest-themed festivities in the heart of the city, like climbing a hay bale mountain, jumping in the giant corn pool or picking out your perfect pumpkin. Activities require tickets—tickets cost $3 per ticket.

10. Watch the timeless classic book A Very Hungry Caterpillar come to life at Chicago Children’s Theatre starting September 28. Tickets start at $25.

Looking for more fun things to do with your Chicago kid? Sign up for the Mommy Nearest newsletter

Main image: Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

10 Best Things to Do in Chicago in September 2019