Your Guide To Chicago In September

Everything You Need To Know For A Great Time During Your Stay in September

••• Photo courtesy of Illinois Restaurant Association

Post-Labor Day means that summer tourism season is officially over in Chicago.

That doesn't indicate, of course, that the city's slowing down by any means. While typical summer tourist attractions like Millennium Park and Navy Pier will be a little less hectic, it's prime time for theater season. September is when most companies debut their fall productions, and there's plenty to look forward to from the likes of Goodman Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Joffrey Ballet.

We hope you enjoy your time in the city!

September Weather

  • Average High Temperature: 74°F (23°C)
  • Average Low Temperature: 55°F (13°C)
  • Average Precipitation: 3.4"

What to Wear

Bring an extra layer because Chicago weather can be unpredictable, particularly at night. A nice, thin sweater or sweatshirt will do.

• We also recommend checking out Chicagoland shopping malls for additional apparel, including comfortable shoes if you plan to walk a lot.

September Perks

• The weather is warm--at least through mid-September--enough to explore outdoors during one of the many walking and biking food tours.

• Hotel prices decrease due to the end of tourism season until the winter holiday season. That information will especially come in handy if you're planning to visit the city as a single person. Here are 10 of the best hotels for single people. Or, if you're looking for an exciting weekend staycation, these awesome hotel packages should leave you satisfied.

September Negatives

• Chance of flight/travel problems if a storm comes through; here's where to dine and drink if you get stranded at one of the airports.

• After Labor Day, Chicago beaches are officially closed until the following summer.

Highlights of September in Chicago

Chicago Jazz Festival (Sept. 1-4): A major city music festival since 1979, the event spans over the Labor Day weekend and features jazz styles from across the board.

It occurs in Grant Park and features jazz legends and up-and-coming stars. It's free, open to the public and for all ages. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and picnic baskets. 

African Festival of the Arts (Sept. 2-5): Live music, markets, food and more are the attractions at this annual event taking place over Labor Day weekend. The family-oriented event happens in Washington Park as it's transformed into a simulated African village.

North Coast Music Festival (Sept. 2-4):  Another significant live music festival, North Coast also takes place during Labor Day weekend. In addition to top billed performances by Odesza and Bassnectar, the event features a number of high-profile house music deejays. It takes place in Union Park.

Chicago SummerDance (through Sept. 11): Learn some new dance moves, or perfect old ones, during this annual summer-long event taking place in Grant Park's Spirit of Music Garden. There's a restored 4,900-square-foot, 100 percent recycled, open-air dance floor, where participants can bust a move to programs ranging from bhangra to step dancing. It's important to arrive early for the half-hour dance lesson.

Green City Market (through Oct. 29): More than 50 vendors are on hand at Green City Market, which celebrates its 18th anniversary in 2016.

Three of those vendors are brand new to the bi-weekly festival and include seafood, pastry and organic meat suppliers. A number of programs are also essential to GCM. From chef demonstrations by local and nationally known chefs to events for school-age children, the market is unique and one of the largest in the country. It takes place in Lincoln Park.

Riot Fest (Sept. 16-18): The three-day event occurring in Douglas Park is said to rival Lollapalooza with its musical lineup. Riot Fest this year features the likes of The Flaming Lips, Morrissey, The Original Misfits, Ween, Julian Marley and Nas.

Chicago Gourmet (Sept. 23-25): The annual Chicago food festival--sponsored by Bon Appetit, the Illinois Restaurant Association and Southern Wine & Spirits of America--occurs in Millennium Park. Chicago Gourmet showcases local, national and international culinary talent during a three-day festival.