This post covers the best things to do in Chicago this April, including, free, family-friendly, as well as nighttime activities, all updated for 2022.
- Top 10 Things to Do
- Free Things to Do
- Nighttime Activities
- Family Friendly
- How’s the Weather
- Free Tours by Foot
TIP: Find Chicago Hotel Deals on TripAdvisor – If you haven’t already booked your accommodations.
TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN APRIL
Chicago is lovely in April, but don’t forget your umbrella since April showers bring May flowers.
Check out the suggestions below for a variety of activities, including sports, theatre, music, and lots of indoor activities to stay warm!
For some of the more popular things to do in Chicago, read the following posts:
- Best Historic Bars
- Where to find a Locally Brewed Beer
- How to get downtown from Midway Airport and O'Hare Airport
1) Go to a Sporting Event
Chicago loves sports no matter what season, so if you are visiting and want to feel like a local- be sure to catch a game. In April, you can head west to the United Center for a Basketball or Hockey game.
Although the MLB season is still up in the air due to the threat of a lock out, we're certainly hopeful that they are capable of coming to an agreement soon enough that we can enjoy baseball in April!
For a list of all sporting events happening this month, check this list.
2) Go to a Concert
Chicago is a music-loving city! There are many music venues in Chicago to explore throughout the city where great concerts are held year-round.
Here are just a few of the larger-scale concerts happening in April of 2022.
- Daryl Hall | Apr 1st
- The Avett Brothers | Apr 1st, 2nd
- The Flaming Lips | Apr 6th
- They Might Be Giants | Apr 7th
- Gladys Knight | Apr 8th
- Patti Labelle | Apr 8th
- Del Amitri | Apr 11th
- Jack White | Apr 12th
- Senses Fail | Apr 12th
- Mogwai | Apr 12th
- The Story So Far | Apr 16th
- Key Glock | Apr 22nd
- Wilco | Apr 22nd, 23rd
- Lorde | Apr 22nd, 23rd
- LP | Apr 24th
- Opeth | Apr 28th
- Mastodon | Apr 28th
- John Mayer | Apr 28th, 29th
- Kem | Apr 29th
3) Go to the Theater
Chicago is home to many many regional theatres, small black box spaces, and Broadway Tour houses. There is something for everyone!
Some of these shows will take place in Chicago, while others are in cities just outside of Chi-town. If you're willing to travel to Oakbrook Terrace or Lincolnshire, you might want to consider these options as well.
Here are just a few of the many shows happening in April 2022:
- Blue Man Group | Apr 1st - 3rd
- Moulin Rouge | Apr 1st - 30th
- Six: The Musical | Apr 1st - 30th
- The Notebook | Apr 2nd - 24th
- Tosca ( Opera) | Apr 3rd - 10th
- The Prom | Apr 19th - 24th
- Of Mice and Men and Serenade (Joffrey Ballet) | Apr 27th - 30th
Oakbrook Terrace and Lincolnshire
- The King and I | Apr 1st - 30th
- The Sound of Music | Apr 13th - 30th
- Shrek: The Musical | Apr 21st - 30th
You can find tickets for shows here.
Check out our self-guided theatre tour to admire the exterior of some of the oldest movie palaces in the downtown Loop.
4) See More for Less with a Chicago City Pass
Many of Chicago’s biggest attractions have entry fees.
While you do pay for a tourist discount pass, it can give you a bulk discount and free admission into some interesting tours and museums, saving you up to 55%.
They can also save you time with skip-the-ticket-line privileges.
Each Chicago tourist discount pass includes a variety of fun activities and attractions.
Here are a few examples of what you can visit with a tourist pass, for a discount or for free.
- Shedd Aquarium
- Skydeck Chicago
- Adler Planetarium
- Art Institute of Chicago
- The Field Museum
- Museum of Science and Industry
- 360 Chicago Observation Deck
For more details, make sure to read our full post covering Chicago tourist passes.
5) Go to a Stand-up Comedy Show
There will be several notable and famous comedians performing stand-up in Chicago throughout the month of April. If you're in need of a good laug h, this is the perfect time to visit the windy city.
Here are a few of the more popular comics coming to Chi-town this month:
- Patton Oswalt | Apr 9th
- Tom Segura | Apr 15th, 16th
- Carol Burnett | Apr 28th
- Heather McMahon | Apr 29th
- Marc Maron | Apr 29th
- Lewis Black | Apr 30th
If you're looking for even more opportunities to laugh, make sure to check this list of stand-up comedy performances in Chicago during April.
6) Attend the Chi-town Blues Festival
Even if you're not interested in any of the artists holding concerts this month, you may want to consider heading out to the Chi-Town Blues Festival. This event will be celebrating it's 16th year on April 9th, 2022.
Surprisingly, this event is actually taking place in Hammond, Indiana, which is just outside of Chicago. The current lineup includes names like Sir Charles Jones, Lenny Williams, Willie Clayton, Bobby Rush, and many more.
If you're a blues or jazz fan, this is one event you definitely won't want to miss. That said, it's worth noting that we have a Chicago Blues post for a few suggestions to enjoy the blues.
7) Go on a Sightseeing Tour
We offer pay-what-you-like walking tours every day of the week in April in the Windy City.
Be sure to bring your umbrella as April often has showers! Our guides will be ready to show you the city
If you’d prefer a heated bus tour, we have a great comparison of Chicago’s best. From hop-on-hop-off buses to dedicated tours, you’ll find one to suit you here.
8) See the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Aside from all the modern concerts taking place this month and the Chi-town Blues Festival, there will also be several opportunities to hear live performances of classical music from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra this month.
No matter who your favorite composer is, chances are you'll have a chance to hear them in April. Chicago's orchestra will be performing the work of masters such as Mahler, Beethoven, Mazzoli and more.
They will also be hosting the Symphony Ball on April 2nd, and if you can afford it, patrons will be welcomed to the after-concert party for dinner, dancing and more.
9) Heroes and Villains FanFest Chicago
Imagine a world where sci-fi, horror, and all Heroes and Villains come together in a convention center…
This is FanFest! It is a fun opportunity to geek out about your favorite character.
This year some of the guests include Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Pilou Askbiek from Game of Thrones!
Find more information about this event.
NOTE: While the currently reported date of this event is April 16th - 18th, 2022, that is subject to change. Make sure to keep an eye on their website for more details.
10) Enjoy Easter Activities
There are a lot of options for celebrating Easter in Chicago as well as MANY places to give the Bunny a high-five.
You could enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt with the family on April 10th at Cantigny Park. They will also have another event called Hoppy Easter on April 14th. Both of these activities are perfect for young kids!
There will be Easter-themed brunches throughout the city- let us know which one you discover!
FREE THINGS TO DO IN APRIL
There are many free activities to take advantage of in Chicago, during every season of the year.
Many of our Top Ten are also free to explore, but below you will find a couple of other free options this month.
Check out our comprehensive post, Top Free Things to Do in Chicago, for more ideas.
CANCELLED: Macy's Flower Show
During this two week show (exact dates TBD), Macy’s welcomes spring with beautiful flowers on display, breathtaking blooms, and plants from around the world.
This festival includes themed events and specialty gardens.
Learn more about the history of the historic building that Macy’s calls home on our Loop and Millennium Park Tour.
NOTE: Sadly, Macy's has decided to end their yearly flower show.
UNCONFIRMED: Made in Chicago
Shop local vendors at the Made in Chicago Event! Expect handmade art, clothing, jewelry, food & drink. This event takes place in April, August, and November at Plumbers Hall.
NOTE: Official dates have yet to be announced for 2022.
Stroll along the Riverwalk
Now that the weather is getting warmer, this is a perfect time to explore more of the Riverwalk.
This beautiful stretch allows you to make your way from Wolf Point all the way to Lake Michigan while going under bridges and getting breathtaking views of the buildings that line the river.
Learn more about the Riverwalk and history that surrounds it on our Riverwalk and History Tour.
Maxwell Street Market
Bundle up to enjoy the international flare at the Maxwell Street market on Sunday mornings between 7:00 am – 3:00 pm which has been a Chicago tradition for over 100 years.
Take in the bargains and culture at this year-round market. The market has free admission.
Attend a Free or Donation Museum
There are many wonderful museums in the Windy City that are actually free!
Check out the Chicago Cultural Center
The Cultural Center was completed in the 1890s and served as the city’s first public library.
It is free and open for the public to explore, and the Cultural Center offers its own free tours every Thursday and Friday at 1:15 pm.
Beyond the art that lines the walls, you will find free traveling films, lectures, and performances.
Check out their calendar of events to see what is going on during your visit.
THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT IN APRIL
Many of our top ten activities are perfect for the evening hours, such as seeing a sporting event, going to the theater, or attending a concert.
Below are some more ideas. Be sure to read our post about the top things to do in Chicago at night for even more suggestions.
Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt
Bring the kiddos out to hunt easter eggs at twilight! The event is for kids ages 3-12. B.Y.O.F. Bring Your Own Flashlight.
NOTE: This event has yet to be confirmed for 2022. Check here for more details.
Head to the Howard Brown center to dance and drink with performances by Jeezy’s Juke Joint at the LGBTQ community.
Laugh at a Comedy or Sketch Show
Chicago is known for its food and funny! Some of the best comedians came out of the Windy City. Amy Pohler, Tina Fey, Chris Farley- to name a few.
In the chilly nights of April, a good laugh will be sure to warm you up. Check out Second City for sketch comedy, stand up and improv.
MSI After Dark
The MSI After Hours is an Adults Only experience to explore the museum after the day time guests have left.
Each After Hours event lets you enjoy cocktails, beer, snacks, and new programs each month.
Adler After Dark
On the third Thursday of each month, Adler Planetarium opens up for a fun night-time event for adults.
There will be drinks, music, and entertainment while enjoying looking at the stars. Escape the cold and enjoy this monthly event.
THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS IN APRIL
Below you will find several great options to keep your children entertained this month, including parks, museums, and theater!
Be sure to check out our post about family-friendly activities in Chicago for a more complete guide.
UNCONFIRMED: ChiTeen Lit Fest
In April, you can attend a Lit fest that focuses on works by teens FOR teens. There will be panels and workshops, but also access to published authors for connections and advice.
Essays, poetry, graphic novels and more are welcome as part of the festival competitions and reviews.
Chicago Children’s Theater
Chicago is known for its theater scene, and while there will be shows that are fun for the whole family, a great place to start would be the Children’s Theater.
In April check out The Relocation of Nokwsi.
UNCONFIRMED: Juice Box Concerts at the Cultural Center
Head to the Cultural Center with your family of little ones every first and third Friday and Saturdays at 11:00 am-11:45 am for an engaging musical event!
While this will be enjoyable for the whole family, it is geared to kids between the ages of 1-6.
Go to a Family-Friendly Improv Show
ComedySportz is known for being family-friendly! It is a game inspired improv show- similar to Who’s Line is it Anyway?
If anyone on the team uses a curse word- they actually lose points! This means that this show is really made for all ages.
Go to a Museum
Chicago has a lot of museums that are very interactive and ideal for kids. Some of our favorites include:
- The Field Museum- There is a giant T-Rex skeleton!
- Museum of Science and Industry - Watch baby chicks hatch!
- Children’s Museum- Loads of interactive and positive play!