If you’re looking for a great time and place to close out the summer in style, there’s no better option than Chicago – and no better time than Labor Day weekend. This year, the Windy City boasts a full schedule of fun events to keep you busy and help you forget that the warm season is coming to an end. Read on for a list of fun things to do in Chicago to spice up your Labor Day weekend plans.
Chicago Jazz Festival (Millennium Park)
This free event—a tradition since 1974 and formerly held in Grant Park—offers three days of jazz music performed by artists such as Atomic, the Ben Peterson Organ Quartet and Donald Harrison and the Congo Square Nation with special guest Willie Pickens.
North Coast Music Festival (Union Park)
Billed as “Summer’s Last Stand,” the North Coast Music Festival in Union Park is a three-day concert featuring acts such as the Wu-Tang Clan, Afrojack and the Disco Biscuits. With a series of off-site after parties scheduled featuring various acts from the festival itself, these are sure to be three days of nonstop fun and musical immersion.
24th Annual African Festival of the Arts (Washington Park)
Dedicated to the celebration of African arts and heritage, the African Festival of the Arts is celebrating its 24th anniversary in 2013. Brandy is headlining the event this year; she hits the main stage at 8 p.m. on Labor Day. Legendary blues artist Otis Clay plays on Sunday, Sept. 1, also at 8 p.m. Other opportunities for entertainment at this cultural extravaganza include a special quilting pavilion, a beer and wine garden, a drum village, and a fine arts pavilion.
The Book of Mormon (Bank of America Theater)
If you’re yearning for theatrical entertainment, look no further than “The Book of Mormon.” Although not strictly a Labor Day activity, this play—penned by the same two men who brought us the TV show “South Park”—is making waves with its hilarious dialogue, fun musical numbers and controversial subject. This is a can’t-miss event for any trip to Chicago; over Labor Day weekend, shows are scheduled for August 30 and 31 as well as Sept. 1. Book your tickets now because these shows sell out quickly.
Cirque Shanghai: Dragon’s Thunder (Navy Pier)
Labor Day weekend represents your last chance in 2013 to see the Cirque Shanghai perform live at Navy Pier. In addition to regular performances, special shows will be held on Sunday, Sept. 1, at 8 p.m.; and Monday, Sept. 2, at 2 and 4 p.m. Go to see the Imperial Thunder, a daredevil motorcycle troupe; stay to gasp audibly at the death-defying acrobatics performed during Gravity Swings and the Chinese Flex Bar.
Chicago is the perfect place to spend your Labor Day weekend: You’ll find plenty there to entertain you all weekend long—so much so, in fact, that it might be difficult to choose which events to attend. Plan your trip well in advance and use the above list as a jumping-off point to be sure you make the most of your time in the Windy City.
She enjoys baking red velvet cupcakes and walking her puppy, Pete.