Open House Chicago
Take the opportunity to witness the hidden gems and architectural treasures of Chicago's diverse neighborhoods during the Chicago Architecture Foundation's Open House Chicago. The free public festival offers behind-the-scenes access to more than 200 buildings across the city including skyscrapers, mansions, magnificent theaters, private clubs and offices and sacred spaces. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 14-15. openhousechicago.org/.
In its 15th year, Andersonville Arts Week boasts more than 70 local shops, restaurants and businesses hosting more than 150 artists. This year's event will focus on nine genres of art: visual, theater, dance, music, culinary, handmade, kids/family, literary and public art, with a range of festivities and activities to represent each. There's a districtwide self-guided art walk to view artists' works at participating businesses; Andersonville Farmers Market with performances; outdoor Makers Market; a public art mural reveal; literary readings; DIY public art; kids and family activities; artist receptions; and much more throughout the entire week. Tuesday through Sunday, Oct. 10-15. For a schedule and map, visit andersonville.org/aaw.
Enjoy autumn color in Lincoln Park as the Patio at Cafe Brauer celebrates seasonal flavors with a special event. The Fall Harvest Dinner promises to be an extraordinary feast featuring locally sourced ingredients, seasonal fruits, vegetables, whole roasts and wine under the harvest moon. A few dishes to note include the roasted assorted fall squash and pear salad, roasted Amish chickens with natural au jus and charred peach trifle. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, at The Patio at Cafe Brauer, 2021 N. Stockton Drive, Chicago. Tickets cost $65 for adults and $30 for kids and are available at eventbrite.com/e/fall-harvest-dinner-at-the-patio-at-cafe-brauer-tickets-37707977576.
China lights up Milwaukee
A talented team of Chinese artisans and technical staff from Sichuan Tianyu are returning to Wisconsin to create a more magical paradise of light with extraordinary new displays during China Lights. Plus, there will be live performances, cultural displays, a marketplace and activities for kids. Acts include spinning tops, string instruments, juggling, unicycles and martial arts demonstrations from China. Sip beer, wine, sake and soft drinks while sampling Asian and American fare. Each night at about 6:15 p.m., watch the parade as members of the entertainment staff lead a procession through the audience in the Botanical Gardens. The Illumination Parade concludes at the main stage in time for the first performance of the night. 5:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, Oct. 10-22, at Boerner Botanical Gardens, 9400 Boerner Drive, Hales Corners, Wisconsin. Tickets cost $15 for adults; $10 for seniors and kids 5-17; free for kids 4 and younger. (414) 525-5601 or chinalights.org/
There are lots of haunted houses ... but a haunted train? All aboard an antique steam train for a mile and a half of Halloween fun. Kids can ride the Spooky Halloween Train before dark, but once the sun goes down, the full fright Haunted Train begins. Each ride lasts about 20 minutes through the haunted forest. There's plenty of food, hot chocolate, cider and coffee and games for the little ones while you wait. 3 to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 3 to 9 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 14-29, at Thresherman's Park, 51 E. Cox Road, Edgerton, Wisconsin. Tickets cost $8 for ages 8 and older, $5 for kids 4-7, and free for kids 3 and younger (cash only).
Germany lights up Cedarburg
Celebrate Oktoberfest in downtown historic Cedarburg, Wisconsin, next weekend. Don't miss the German music or the live Glockenspiel Show, which happens every two hours. German food, beer, wine and desserts include sauerbraten, Wiener schnitzel and a German sausage platter plus Hofbrau, Hacker Pschorr and Leinenkugel Oktoberfest beer. Contests with prizes include Best Lederhosen/Dirndl Judging Contest, Sauerkraut Eating Contest and a German Spelling Bee. Browse the merchant's marketplace and visit the Cedarburg History Museum and Visitor Center, the historic Kuhefuss House (1849), Paul J. Yank Cedarburg Brewery (1843), Cedar Creek Winery in the Cedar Creek Settlement (1864), the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts and the Cedarburg Art Museum. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, at W63 N641 Washington Ave., Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Free admission and parking. cedarburgfestival.org/oktoberfest.