Bacon and Beer Classic

The best of what to do in and around Chicago this week

The long-awaited Broadway musical Hamilton has finally made its way to Chicago, and it’s the hottest show in town. If you can’t get your hands on tickets, snag some seats to see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra instead. Also back for fall is the Chicagoland Unconventional Bicycle Expo, which is fun whether you’re in the market for a new bike or not. Finish the week with some beer and bacon (this should always end the week, in our opinion) at the Bacon and Beer Classic.

AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S. 

Ongoing | Musical
The long-anticipated show is finally gracing Chicago, and tickets are ridiculously hard to get, as expected. Starring Miguel Cervantes as Alexander Hamilton and Ari Afsar as Eliza Hamilton, performances officially began on the 27th, and tickets are already sold out through January.  So start planning now to attend the show in the New Year, or try to snatch up resale tickets to see it sooner.
Times vary | The PrivateBank Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago | Prices vary | website

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September 29–October 1 | Concert
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The Symphony Orchestra opens its season with Joyce DiDonato performing Martucci’s La canzone dei ricordi. It’s her debut performance with the orchestra, and it’s a highly anticipated one, as this mezzo-soprano has won multiple Grammies. The program will conclude with Beethoven’s Symphony no. 7—one the CSO excels at. This will be an especially exciting performance, as the orchestra welcomes back its principal oboist, Alex Klein, who had to leave the CSO in 2004 due to a nerve disorder. Now fully recovered, Klein is back where he belongs.
Times vary | 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago | From $36 | website

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October 1 | Festival
Bacon and Beer Classic
For one day, the home of the Chicago Bears will become a bacon and beer paradise. Get ready to walk around Soldier Field eating more than 50 bacon-infused dishes created by local chefs and sampling more than 100 craft beers from local breweries. Also compete in bacon-eating contests, do bungee runs, play a giant game of Jenga, or pose in the photo booth.
Times vary | Soldier Field, 1410 S. Museum Campus Dr., Chicago | From $69 | website

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

September 30–October 2 | Expo
Chicagoland Unconventional Bicycle Expo (CUBE)
You don’t have to be in the market for a bicycle to want to check out this expo, which will have everything from basic accessories to the latest and greatest in bike gear. Of course, they’ll have the weird and wild too, including unicycles. Plus there will be seminars, demonstrations, and training sessions for shop mechanics, DIY enthusiasts, and the simply curious.
Times vary | Tinley Park Convention Center & Holiday Inn, 18451 Convention Center Dr., Tinley Park | From $15 | website

October 1–2 | Escape the city
Palestine, Illinois
It’s the ideal weekend to get away to Palestine, where you can wander through the Wabash Valley Wine & Arts Festival (October 1 and 2). At this fest, more than a dozen local wineries will be on hand for tastings, along with local and regional fine artists and crafts makers. If history's more your thing, you've come to the right place: Palestine, also known as Pioneer City, is the oldest city in Illinois. Wander the downtown shops and stop in for antiques at LaMotte Trading Post or art at the S.D. Meadows Gallery.

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Danielle Braff lives in Chicago with her husband, two daughters, two cats, and her dog. When she’s not writing, she’s out photographing her city and running around frantically trying to fit as many events as she can into her day. You can check out her other articles at

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