If it feels like summer ended too quickly, you’re probably right. COVID-19 has upended a lot of our plans but if you want to explore Chicago, you still have a chance. Fall is here and while it might be different than we’re used to, there are still plenty of things to do. Here at 606 Movers, we’ve put together a guide for fun and socially-distant fall activities and events. But be sure to always wear a mask, it’s how we protect ourselves, our communities, and Chicago. 

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

If you love Fall as much as we do, then pumpkin patches are the highlight of the season. Start prepping for Halloween and Thanksgiving early. Some of these farms also have apple orchards, corn mazes, and tractor rides. It’s a great way to get out of the city and take in the beautiful changing leaves. Whichever pumpkin patch you go to, be sure to check their website and review their safety guidelines and protocols. 

Local favorites include: 

  1.  Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm & Garden Center
  1.  Didier Farms
  1.  Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm 

Explore a Hiking Trail 

If you’re eager to get out of the city but a pumpkin patch is not quite socially-distant enough, there are a wide range of hiking trails near Chicago to explore. While many may be familiar with Starved Rock, there are lesser known trails that should keep you occupied during these autumnal months. Also make sure to check their websites and review their safety guidelines and protocols. Here are just a few for you to check out:

  1. Starved Rock State Park 
  1. Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve 
  1. Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
  1. Morton Arboretum

Catch this years Music Box Horror Movie Fest

While past iterations of this Horror movie fest have taken place inside the Music Box’s theater on Southport, our new reality has forced them to make changes to the venue, a creative change at that. This year, they’ve partnered with Pilsen’s Chi-Town Movies Drive-In for nightly screenings throughout the month of October. They’ll feature both obscure and mainstream films so be sure to check out their full line up on their website. And for all our Latinos out there, we’re happy to say that La LLorona does make an appearance!

*The Music Box of Horrors at the Drive-In

Have a Picnic at Your Local Park

If you’re eager to get out of your home but still want to stay safe, consider a picnic. Support your favorite restaurant and dine out at our local park. Take advantage of the pleasant October weather while we have it!

The Flowers of Monet Exhibit at Garfield Park

Head over to the Garfield Park Conservatory for the The Flowers of Monet exhibit. This exhibit is a special presentation in partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago and features flowers inspired by Claude Monet and his work. It will run until October 31st so head out and be inspired. 

*The Flowers of Monet Exhibit 

Catch a Show at the Hideout, Virtually 

If you were an avid concert-goer before COVID-19, there are still ways you can support this community even now. The Hideout, a beloved music and entertainment venue, has shifted to streaming. While no one knows when venues will open up again, consider supporting the Hideout, local artists, and the Chicago live music scene from home. Tune in and let’s dream about the great shows still to come!

*The Hideout

If you’re looking for a warm and inviting place to escape the winter, Shokran is the place. While located in the Irving Park neighborhood, most would call this off-the-beaten-path. It’s not downtown and it’s not in a fancy restaurant area like Wicker Park. But that doesn’t mean it’s not special. Shokran (meaning ‘thank you’) is extremely special. And insanely good.

Despite it’s simple and nondescript location, the interior is anything but. The ceilings are adorned with fabric and booths are covered in jewel tone cushions. It’s orange, red, yellow, and blue decor transports you far away from the busy and bustling Irving Park Road. In addition, walls are covered in photographs of Morrocan markets, ornate lanterns light up the space, and candles add to a cozy atmosphere. 

And the food! You will not be disappointed. It’s affordable and the portions are generous. One of my favorite dishes is the lamb Fez, a tagine made with prunes, almonds, and hard-boiled eggs. Be sure to try the lamb kabob and don’t leave before you have had the Chicken Bastilla. It’s a traditional dish served at weddings made with crispy phyllo dough, layered with chicken, eggs, and almonds. It was so good, we forgot to take pictures. Staples like the hummus and the Morrocan mint tea were also incredibly good. 

The service was also friendly and prompt, really rounding out a wonderful experience. It is cash only but it really shouldn’t deter you. The atmosphere and food make Shokran a must. If you’re new to the neighborhood or a long time resident, make sure to go, support, and enjoy Shokran.

Shokran

 4027 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60641

Spring is so close, can you feel it! While it’s still cold, you can still make the most of the sunshine. Go out and explore the city and hopefully spring will get here in the meantime. 

30th Annual Festival of Films from Iran

Through to March 1st

Gene Siskel Film Center – 164 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601

If you’re interested in expanding your horizons or if you just love films, make sure to support this annual Iranian film festival. Featuring documentaries, comedies, and dramas, you’ll be sure to find something that speaks to you. It’s a great opportunity to embrace and support this community. Check out the Gene Siskel website for showtimes. 

The Orchid Show

Through March 22nd

Chicago Botanic Garden – 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, IL 60022

The Chicago Botanic Garden is not only a summer destination. Beat the cold by surrounding yourself with orchids and art installations at The Orchid Show. Explore beyond the city limits and you’ll be rewarded with beautiful blooms. 

The Pancakes and Booze Art Show

Friday February 21st – Saturday February 22nd 

Reggies – 2105 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616

Enjoy booze and pancakes at Reggies for this unique traveling art show this weekend. Relax and indulge while you browse. Be inspired by the more than 100 local artists with live music performances. 

As our first ever neighborhood spotlight, I thought I’d devote it to something dear to my heart. Pie. If you’re moving to the Humboldt Park neighborhood then you have to check out this nostalgic bakery.

I’d had my eye on this place ever since it opened in 2015 but just never got around to going. It was only recently that a realized that it was owned by husband and wife team Parker Whiteway and Dinah Grossman. Women owned business are important and deserve support so I couldn’t wait to check it out.

I think it’s safe to say, I walked away in love.

Atmosphere is everything to me and Spinning J has it. There are vintage booths, olive green velvet curtains, and pink walls with gold stencils throughout. As their website states, Spinning J was built with reclaimed and recycled materials, and it was artfully done. The details, like the soda fountain light fixtures to the throwback tile floors, add charm and personality. I can tell they had fun making the space. It’s nostalgic, warm, and unique.

And the pie. It exceeded my expectations if that was even possible. I went with my mom and sister and together we had the Dirty Chai, the S’mores, and the lemon poppyseed cake all on charmingly mis-matched china. The Dirty Chai was creamy and light, the S’mores pie was dark and rich, and lemon cake was moist and citrusy. And the coffee! It was strong and complimented the sweet pastries perfectly. I was blown away, full, and happy. I regret not trying any of the shakes or sodas but I think I’ll wait, since they’ll be perfect for the summer months. I’ll be coming back to try everything on the menu!

So go, the minute you have a chance. It’s small and almost always busy but it’s really worth the wait.

Spinning J

1000 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t. Roscoe Village is a small community that’s easy to miss if you aren’t looking too closely. What it lacks in mileage, it makes up for in charm. Nestled within the larger North Center neighborhood, Roscoe Village really is a village within a city. The community itself began as the Riverview Amusement Park in the early 20th century at the Belmont and Western intersection. After it was demolished, it became a residential area and has continuously evolved into the neighborhood we know today. It remains a family oriented community and you can feel it, and see it. Yes, there are strollers at just about every corner in the summer but it is so much more than that. It is a unique neighborhood punctuated by amazing breakfast spots, independent shops, and beautiful outdoor spaces. It’s a neighborhood I know well so be sure to explore it when the weather permits and support the local community. 

Chicago Rowing Foundation – 3400 N Rockwell St, Chicago, IL 60618

If you’re a rower, then this is the place for you. They offer classes for all ages in their impressive facility. If you’re not, it’s still a beautiful building and area to admire. It was designed by resident Chicago architect Jeanne Gang along the Chicago River. 

Roscoe Village Discount Outlet – 2043 W Roscoe St, Chicago, IL 60618

Roscoe Village is also the home of one of the best thrift stores in Chicago. I’ve been countless of times and I’ve always walked a way with more than I could handle. If you enjoy thrifting then make sure to check this spot out. 

Lazy Dog Antiques – 1903 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

In addition to thrift stores, Roscoe Village is also a destination for antiques. Lazy Dog Antiques has been a staple in the community for years. Explore this great shop, you just never know what you’ll find. 

Roscoe Books – 2142 W Roscoe St, Chicago, IL 60618

Independent books stores are a favorite of mine so you know I have to include Roscoe Books. This small and endearing space is the perfect place to find your next read. They always have events and be sure to watch out for those strollers during story time. 

Kitsch’n – 2005 W Roscoe St, Chicago, IL 60618

I love this place! It’s fun, vibrant, and yes, kitschy. It’s the perfect place for breakfast and lunch. I’ve had some of the best french toast here so make sure to stop by. 

For the artistically inclined, Ravenswood is a hub of creativity and talent. Filled with artist workshops and retail shops featuring handmade products, it is a beautiful place to be inspired by. It’s one of my favorite neighborhoods, and just walking around can be a pleasure. Here you can find refurbished industrial buildings and factories mixed with impressive victorian houses, all along tree-lined streets. When Ravenswood was first founded, it was advertised as a suburb outside the city, where people could relax and escape. Much of that sentiment never really went away and you can feel it. It’s a peaceful neighborhood filled with families, coffee shops, and artists. People truly and work and play within Ravenswood in way that just doesn’t happen anywhere else, creating a really unique community-driven atmosphere. Ravenswood has a “handmade” quality to it and it makes sense as so many local printmakers, iron workers, and beer brewers have settled here. Take a class at Lillstreet Art Center or just walk around to enjoy everything Ravenswood has to offer.


Lillstreet Art Center – 4401 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

If you love art and want flex your creativity, go to Lillstreet Art Center. They have so many classes from jewelry making to pottery to photography. Lillstreet is a staple in the community, where people work and make amazing things. They have artist residencies and features a gallery space as well. So take a class or two and maybe fall in love with a new craft.

Ravenswood Used Books – 2005 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

One of the many joys of going to a used bookstore is that you’ll never know what you’ll find. Filled with an enormous selection, Ravenswood Used Books is a small space but it never disappoints. So head over to get your book fix and support a local business.

River Valley Farmer’s Table – 1820 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

If you’ve ever been to one of the many Chicago farmer’s markets, you’ve probably seen River Valley’s table. They are a staple, always providing fresh and flavorful products. Their brick-and-mortar location is in Ravenswood and features a cafe so be sure to check them out.

Marmalade – 1969 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

I can’t say enough great things about this place. It’s a small, unassuming breakfast and lunch spot that you could easily miss driving or walking down the street. But don’t! They have some of the best biscuits and gravy that I’ve ever had and their service is really great. I’ve been coming for years and will continue to do so as long as they’ll support my biscuit habit.

Spacca Napoli Pizzeria – 1769 W Sunnyside Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

This is another casual restaurant that is truly underrated and will thoroughly surprise you. They have some of the best Neapolitan-style thin crust pizzas in the city. Beloved by Ravenswood, it has slowly been winning over the rest of the city. While you’ll likely have to wait for a seat, it’s absolutely worth it. Be sure to swing by during the summer months to really enjoy the space and atmosphere out on the patio.

Roger’s Park just feels different. Located on the northernmost point of Chicago, it’s a unique place as elements of both a college and beach town converge. With Loyola University as a huge part of the neighborhood, Rogers Park remains a young and vibrant community with students spilling out of train stations and coffee shops. The many street end beaches are incredible to see and experience, especially as someone who grew up on the industrial west side where nature was more a destination rather than an integrated and accessible element of everyday life. It’s also a really diverse place, as represented by the wide variety of multicultural restaurants from Ethiopia to Peru and everywhere in between. Rogers Park is the home of artists, writers, hippies, and activists and it shows as streets are lined with cool bookstores, public murals, and theaters. This utopian community is as idyllic as it is devoted to uplifting Chicago and its residents and it’s an amazing place to spend the day.


Helen Doria Beach
1040 W Columbia Ave, Chicago, IL 60626
A very quiet and peaceful stretch of beach where you can appreciate both the lake and Chicago’s skyline from afar.


The Rogers Park Historical Society
7363 N. Greenview Ave, Chicago, IL 60626
If you’re interested in immersing yourself in the neighborhood, consider the annual House tour they host taking place in late September.


Leather Archives & Museum
6418 N Greenview Ave, Chicago IL, 60626
This unique space is both an archive and museum dedicated to preserving the leather, BDSM, and kink community and history. A place that would no doubt make Robert Mapplethorpe proud.


Rogers Park Social
6920 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60626
Beloved by the community for it’s cocktails and atmosphere, it’s also a welcoming place that regularly hosts Drag and Burlesque shows.


Caribbean American Bakery
1539 Howard St, Chicago, IL 60626
This Jamaican bakery is also a neighborhood favorite for its breads and pastries that will definitely hit the spot and perfect for our cold Chicago winters.


The Armadillo’s Pillow
6753 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL, 60626
Okay, this place is amazing. It’s quirky, unique, stacks-upon-stacks-kind of bookstore. You never know what you’ll find and that’s the absolute charm of a bookstore like this.

It’s no secret that Andresonville has Swedish roots. It’s pride is visible, 365 days a year, which makes this neighborhood a unique place to visit and live in. It’s a beautiful neighborhood, filled with families, wonderful shops, and a small town charm that’s hard to find anywhere else. Many Swedes made their way to Chicago back in the 1800s and 1900s. Originally settling in the downtown area, they soon moved north due primarily to the Chicago Fire. There they created businesses and cultural centers that bolstered their Swedish roots. Today, some of these places include the Swedish American Museum, that contains gallery spaces, a genealogy center, and Children’s museum. In addition, one of the most famous emblems of Andersonville would have to be the iconic water tank decorated with the Swedish flag, the original replaced by a fiberglass replica. Andersonvile also became a thriving LGBTQ neighborhood in the 1990s, right after Boystown. While it was often referred to as ‘Girlstown’ due to the large influx of lesbian couples, it has since opened up to a larger LGBTQ community. It’s one of my favorite neighborhoods as it showcases the beauty of migration and movement, about how a place can benefit and even thrive when it opens its doors instead of closing them.


Check out some of these beautiful places!


Reza’s
5255 N Clark St Chicago, IL 60640
If you’re in the mood for persian, head over to Reza’s Restaurant, an Andersonville staple with a legendary buffet option. So good!


Svea
5236 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
If you’re headed to Andersonville to check out the Swedish atmosphere and food, make sure to visit Svea. This tiny and cute place offers breakfast food and some lunch items.


Lost Larson
5318 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
One of the newest and most exciting additions to Andersonville is Lost Larson. The chef and owner has an impressive culinary background, and it clearly translates to the freshness of the baked goods from pastries to bread loaves. It’s also just a really beautiful space to be in.


Brown Elephant
5404 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
Not only does this resale shop do good in the healthcare community, it also has amazing things, from mid-century modern furniture to wacky home decor and everything in between. It’s a super fun place to browse.


Women and Children First Bookstore
5233 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
This is probably one of the most famous and fearlessly independent, open minded, and feminist bookstores in Chicago. With amazing events and an incredible selection, it’s one of my favorite stops in Andersonville.


Martha Mae: Art Supplies & Beautiful Things
5407 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
Wonderfully curated, this shop is filled with art supplies, journals, and stationary. Whatever you’re background, you’re bound to walk away inspired. Also who doesn’t love a shop named after a beloved dog, especially the owner Jean Cate’s cute king charles spaniel.

When I think of Little Italy, the first thing that comes to mind is getting Italian Ice in the summer. It took me years and countless amazing PBS neighborhood programs to really grapple with the importance of Little Italy beyond my childhood memories. Predominantly made up of Irish, French, and Italian immigrants, Little Italy began to take shape in the late 1800s as Chicago expanded and needed more labor. Jane Addams made these cross cultural transitions easier with the Hull House, a settlement and organization that helped immigrants gather to learn, socialize, and acquire skills as a means to integrate into their new environment. While the neighborhood was forced to change due to urban renewal projects such as the construction of the UIC campus in the 1960s, it adapted nonetheless. Chicago still has a large Italian population, with Little Italy as a convergence for food, culture, and history. It’s a neighborhood that deserves a lot of love, as do so many of the immigrant neighborhoods and their tireless efforts to create space in Chicago.


Here are some places to visit and support!


Jane Addams Hull-House Museum

800 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60607

This is probably one of my favorite places in the city. As mentioned above, this was once a settlement that consisted of 13 buildings started by founders Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr. They built it to help Chicago’s large immigrant communities and provided English and Citizenship programs, day care for working parents, and art and theater classes. While most of the buildings were torn down to make way for the UIC campus, 2 buildings still stand which have become the museum. It’s not only a beautiful space dedicated to the rich history of Chicago’s immigrant past but the museum also hosts countless events throughout the year.


Arrigo Park

801 S Loomis St, Chicago, IL 60607

If you’re looking to escape, consider this little park. It’s near the UIC campus with a great view of the city skyline from the south.


Mario’s Italian Ice

1068 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607

Mario’s Italian Ice is one of those iconic places you have to check out. It’s uniquely situated on a residential block, close to the homes around it and making it integral to the neighborhood. They have amazing flavors and while there is bound to be a line in the summer, it’s absolutely worth it.


Conte Di Savoia

1438 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607

This neighborhood favorite is both a gourmet Italian grocery shop as well as deli offering sandwiches, subs, and salads. If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or want to discover more Italian ingredients, be sure to stop by.


Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap

1073 W Vernon Park Pl, Chicago, IL 60607

If you’re looking for a more traditional sit down Italian meal, then Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap is the place. Having been owned by the same family since it started in the 1930s, this restaurant is a staple of the Little Italy community. It’s both a laid back spot with amazing food.

Chicago is an amazing city for neighborhood festivals, with a wide variety of people and communities making themselves present and heard. If the Air and Water isn’t your jam, there are countless other festivals happening around the city that might spark your interest. Not to mention, the summer is winding down. Make the most of these last few August weekends before September rolls in and it starts feeling like fall once more.


Monarchs & Me Festival Celebration
8/17
South Shore Cultural Center
7059 South South Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60649
*Free
If you’ve spent time outside this summer, you’ve probably noticed all the beautiful butterflies passing through. If you’re interested in learning more about their migration, check this event out.


CHICAGO CARIBBEAN CARNIVALE PARADE & FESTIVAL
8/17
Midway Plaisance Park
1130 Midway Plaisance Park, Chicago, IL 60637
It seems like Hyde Park always has amazing events happening all the time. Stop by this weekend to check out the food, music, and culture of the Caribbean.


Thai Food Festival Chicago 2019
8/17-8/18
Thorek’s Parking Lot
851 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613
*Free w/ donation appreciated
This is the 2nd Annual Thai Food Festival with 14 different food vendors. If your a lover of Thai food as much as I am, do check it out.


Sangria Festival Chicago
8/17-8/18
1400 N Humboldt Dr, Chicago, IL 60622
Humboldt Park will transform into an outdoor tapas bar where Sangria will be served alongside food from local restaurants. There will be a painting station as well as flamenco dancers. Sounds like the perfect way to spend a day at the park.


Pilsen Fest 2019
8/17-8/18
1800 S. Blue Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60608
Explore Pilsen at this years Pilsen Fest. It will be a weekend filled with food, artists, musicians, authors there to celebrate Pilsen and the talent it encourages.