April is full of fun and activities. In addition to Easter and Passover, April is also the new National Brunch Month. Meanwhile, our favorite activities are also returning as the weather lifts up! Highlights this month include EXPO Chicago‘s 10th Anniversary Edition, Easter dining in Chicago, National Brunch Month celebrations, and spring activities you cannot miss!
Visit Daisies in Logan Square
2375 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
After several delays and much anticipation, Daisies, Joe Frillman’s vegetable-focused, pasta-driven restaurant finally opened doors for dinner at its brand-new location in Logan Square. The new iteration of Daisies continues to take inspiration from the seasonal bounty of the Midwest, directly tapping into Frillman Farms, his brother Tim’s 30-acre farm located just outside St. Joseph, Michigan. Daisies’ menu will once again be centered around handmade pasta, in-house fermentation, and diligent up-cycling practices–an approach that’s allowed Daisies to earn numerous accolades including a Jean Banchet award and a MICHELIN Bib Gourmand ranking.
Premier Fondue Dinner at Geja’s Cafe
340 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
For the first time in the restaurant’s history, Geja’s has decided to introduce a seasonal premier dinner celebrating spring flavors. Geja’s new Spring Premier Fondue Dinner will feature Spring Cheese Fondue, Dippers and Salad as the first course, Spring Entrée Fondue with succulent meats including beef tenderloin, gulf shrimp, and chicken breast as the second course, and the first-time-ever raspberry white chocolate spring dessert fondue as the final touch.
Cheers on Tax Day
Who doesn’t deserve a good glass after paying Uncle Sam? Especially if you’re an entrepreneur! This year, many bars and restaurants in Chicago are running Tax Day happy hours: what a brilliant idea, eh? Participants including Cody’s Public House, aliveOne, Uproar, and many more. Take a look at our list of Tax Day specials and treat yourself to being a responsible adult! Also, anyone who mentions back tax is buying a full round for everyone.
The Smith Launches Martini Hour
400 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
Just in time for spring, The Smith in Chicago’s River North neighborhood is pleased to announce the launch of their new Martini Hour. Available on Mondays through Fridays from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm, diners can enjoy discounted specialty martinis and bites. On the menu, enjoy the Espresso Martini, The Dirty Martini, Midtown Manhattan No. 3, Lychee Gimlet, Basil Lemon Drop, and more for just $12.00.
Lagunita’s Tap Room
2607 W 17th St, Chicago, IL 60608
For three years, Chicagoans have waited patiently for Lagunitas TapRoom & Beer Sanctuary to reopen. Well, the wait is over, and it officially opens to the public on Thursday, April 13! Lagunitas will serve up the same shenanigans and imbibables that fans loved once before that fuel stories and songs. Truly there’s sumpin’ for everyone. Upon entering the purple building doors, travel through what can only be described as a Willy Wonka-esque corridor lit by a celestial mural and a dancing laser light that will take guests on a journey beyond pure imagination.
Dinner with a View
The exclusive, immersive dining experience Dinner With A View is coming Pioneer Court on Chicago’s iconic Magnificent Mile for a limited time on select nights from Friday, April 7 through Sunday, May 14. Dining in beautiful, intimate clear frameless geodesic domes that have been transformed into terrariums, each highlighting unique terrains found across the world meant to stimulate the senses by marrying an elevated culinary experience with a unique view. Guests will enjoy a three-course, locally sourced meal designed by an award-winning Chef that has been influenced by cuisines around the world.
Dome reservations are available online for $199.99. Dinner reservations for all guests are $129.99 per guest. A minimum of 4 guests are required per booking, and domes can accommodate 6 guests. However, use code URBAN60 at checkout and receive 60% off your dome reservation, bringing your price per dome below $100 to split between your party.
Sno-Ball Social at Ina Mae Tavern
1415 N Wood St, Chicago, IL 60622
Join Ina Mae Tavern on Saturday, April 29th and Sunday, April 30th for their Sno-Ball Social where there will be a Sno-Ball sampling happy hour from 3-5 PM! Specialty and classic Sno-Balls will also be available for purchase at Ina Mae’s to-go window as well as by dining in. Live music will also take place all weekend long in honor of Ina Mae’s Jazz Fest weekend!
Bourbon, Bacon, and Bubbles
1072 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
Bourbon, bacon & bubbles: have you heard of a better lineup? Frontier will be hosting their Bourbon, Bacon, & Bubbles Fest on Saturday, April 15th from 1-4 PM. For just $39 a person. Guests can sample over fifty types of bourbon and bubbles, while also feasting on passed apps by Chopped’s 2022 Champion, Chef Jupiter.
Smoke Sessions at Frontier
1072 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
From 7 PM-9 PM on Thursday, April 20th, 2-time James Beard Award Semifinalist & Food Network’s 2022 Chopped Champion, Executive Chef Brian Jupiter will debut a handful of Frontier’s newly launched menu items!
For only $68 a person, attendees will receive five dishes and four cocktails, becoming one of the first to personally experience Frontier’s newly launched dinner and spring cocktail menu. While guests are mingling and sipping spring spirits on Frontier’s exceptional beer garden, Chef Jup will be presenting, preparing, and plating dishes, such as Elk Sliders, Lamb Belly Empanadas, and Camel Bolognese (among others!) for guests to indulge in.
Wine Pairing Dinner at LIVA
Join Executive Chef Andrew Graves, and Winemaker Erik Subrizi at LIVA located in Chicago Winery for a five-course wine pairing dinner on Thursday, April 20th at 7:00 pm in their private dining room with views of their working winery and enjoy an evening of exquisite Chicago Winery wine and food pairings. Tickets are available for $135 per person (does not include tax or gratuity).
As a space to gather and share in wine, food and life’s special moments, Chicago Winery is proud to differentiate itself by focusing on chef-driven cuisine, the onsite winemaking process, and its mission to serve neighbors with genuine Midwest hospitality.
Explore Dusek’s New Menu
Dusek’s Dining Room, a Pilsen neighborhood favorite, is introducing a new rotating wood-fire menu by Chef Ryan Pfeiffer. Some new current menu items in the four coursed meal include a Petunia Ocean Trout with cucumber, citron vinegar and dill, Fritto Misto with oyster mushroom, winter squash, basil, and Atlantic Black Cod with ruby red grapefruit and spicy mustard greens. Pastry Chef Aja London has also added to the dessert course a Carrot Cake with orange cheesecake puree and ginger chantilly, and a Berry Cream Puff with a spiced cream puff, blackberry curd, and honey diplomat.
Art & Music
EXPO Art Week
Speaking of things to do in Chicago this April for art lovers, EXPO Art Week, the unique 10th-anniversary edition programming of the famous EXPO Chicago, definitely comes on top of our list. On top of the expose featuring national and international galleries setting the dialogues in the art industry, EXPO is partnering with galleries and organizations across Chicago neighborhoods to throw a week-long art party of openings, exhibitions, screenings, performances, and artist talks. Stay tuned, as Urban Matter will be running a dedicated coverage on art week spotlights, commentaries, and social media previews. So, if you haven’t followed us on Instagram, now is the time!
Spring Exhibitions to View
Looking for other lesser-known shows that are just as fascinating? Check out our hand-curated list of spring exhibitions to view in Chicago. These exhibitions span from film screening, performance, installation, public art, to traditional gallery exhibitions. Each is chosen with care and love, so, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did finding them for you!
Self-Guided Mural Tour in Wicker Park
One of the best places in Chicago to check out a wide array of public art displays and murals is in the Wicker Park & Bucktown neighborhoods of Chicago. The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber and the Special Service Area #33 have created an ever-expanding virtual map easily accessible online (by way of your phone on a stroll through the neighborhood) containing key details about the area’s murals and the artists behind them— several of which are registered with the official City of Chicago Mural Registry.
This self guided tour is an ideal activity for families and visitors alike to spend time outdoors and learn more about the diverse talent decorating Chicago’s community. With more than 20 highlighted stops along the way with work from a variety of artists including JC Rivera and Wreckzilla that spans the course of several decades, this interactive tour offers a self-paced journey showcasing art installations that represent Chicago’s rich cultural history.
Resident Artists Return to Pendry
Chicago artists are expanding the scope of traditional artistry, combining bright colors and shapes to tell stories of mental health, social change and activism, and a few will be under the spotlight at luxury boutique hotel Pendry Chicago. The second installment of these residencies will once again take place in their Michigan Avenue facing Billiards Gallery, where visitors can observe the artists creating live and exhibit existing works of art. The weekend will conclude with an unveiling of the finished artwork, followed by an intimate Champagne party and a brief artist talk. For April, explore Hailey Losselyong’s bold murals and illustrations with abstract female portraits on April 21- 23!
NoMI Gallery at Park Hyatt Chicago
Widely known for its outstanding private art collection, Park Hyatt Chicago worked closely with a number of local artists as part of the iconic hotel’s recent $60 million renovation. As a former destination for classic artwork, guests will now find a more inclusive and dynamic approach to the hotel’s art program, showcasing more modern, progressive pieces.
NoMI Gallery will feature a series of rotating exhibits celebrating the artwork of esteemed Chicago-based artists that will live on the acclaimed hotel’s seventh floor. The gallery’s first installation—a collection titled “Not Your Mom’s Dining Room” by local artist Stef Ross—will officially open to the public Saturday, April 8.
Evenings at Renaissance
1 W Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601
Evenings at Renaissance at Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel is a new series of event to discover intriguing performances and inspirations from the soul of the Loop at the hotel’s restaurant Staytion Market & Bar. Full April programming include:
May I Have Moor’s: Local, black-owned, Moor’s brewery brings beer making with a unique approach. Stop by the mixology station for tasty beer & food pairings on Thursday, April 6th, from 5 pm to 7 pm.
Live Entertainment: Make dinner plans at Staytion Market & Bar, a modern restaurant serving creative twists on authentic Chicago fare, and enjoy live performances from Rebecca Brummer on Friday, April 14th, from 5 pm to 7 pm; and from Molly Adamson on Friday, April 28th, from 5 pm to 7 pm.
Waste Not, Want Not: Put your artistic talents to work! Create your own custom reusable canvas bag inspired by Chicago’s The Unwaste Shop. While you color, learn from Renaissance’s house mixologist Kevin Fahey about tips and tricks on zero-waste ingredients in cocktail creations. Waste Not, Want Not will take place Thursday, April 20th, from 5 pm to 7 pm. It’s a great way to celebrate Earth Month!
2nd Annual Munch March in Ravenswood
The time for hibernation is over! Grab a friend and get ready for a sweet and salty kick-off to spring in Chicago. The Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) welcomes back the 2nd Annual Munch March on Montrose for an evening of sweets and crunchy treats.
Join the Ravenswood community on Thursday, April 20th from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm as small businesses team up for a dessert and appetizer crawl. Located along Montrose Avenue between Seeley and Ashland, the event features a scrumptious selection of appetizers, desserts, beverages, and candies while guests munch their way in and out of small businesses.
Easter Egg Hunt in Chicago
Speaking of things to do in Chicago this April, of course, we cannot miss out on celebrating our hoppy friend. Regardless of your belief, you can’t deny that Easter is perfect for a family fun day. Dress your little one up in cute picnic attire, grab a basket, and head out to one of the easter egg hunts in Chicago. We hope you all have a fruitful day!
Chicago Rum Festival
The Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N Kedzie Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647
The 7th Annual Chicago Rum Fest is back and better than ever, bringing together rum lovers and trade professionals from all over the country on April 22, 2023. This year’s event promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience, featuring premium rum expressions poured, speaker programming, entertainment, and more. Also, your loyal readership is paying back! We’re giving away 2 sets of GA tickets to this year’s Rum Festival. Want to know how? Follow @urbanmatterchicago on Instagram!
Pixar Putt Returns to Navy Pier
There are no if’s, and’s or putts about it — Pixar Putt took Chicago by storm last Summer and is thrilled to announce their return to Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier for 2023 – opening April 22 with tickets officially on sale now! New for 2023, the pop-up will introduce an Illinois resident discount – offering $3.50 off each ticket with proof of residency. Perfect for date night or a little healthy competition with friends, Pixar Putt After Dark will start the par-tee with experiences available for adults 18+ from 7-10 pm Thurs-Sun.
In the Burbs
Italian Wine Bar, Davanti Enoteca Comes to Naperville
47 E. Chicago Avenue, Naperville, IL 60540
Davanti Enoteca is a lively wine bar and restaurant with shareable contemporary twists on rustic Italian cuisine. Guests will be transported to the Italian countryside from the moment they arrive. The Davanti Enoteca food and wine menus are unique, taking guests through different regions of Italy, with rotating offerings to experience the finest Italian cuisine, with an extensive wine selection. Guests will also experience a few unique tableside presentations, like the creamy mascarpone polenta, ragu, and a whole roasted eggplant, exclusively available at this location.
Yorktown Center Small Business Pop-Up Market
203 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard, IL 60148
On Saturday, April 15th from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Yorktown Center will host a Small Business Pop-Up Market featuring all local businesses and vendors. Each vendor will have products available for purchase while building awareness for their small business. Participating businesses include Nature’s Drip, Shi Shy Jewelry Box, Pet Wants, Desired Fashion, and many more.
Long Grove Craft Beer Fest
360 Historical Lane, Long Grove, IL 60047
This year’s celebration of locally-made hand-crafted beer will feature a record 30 breweries transforming historic downtown Long Grove into Lake County’s largest tented beer garden. The annual festival is a homage to Long Grove’s beer-loving history, with the curated list of breweries pouring unlimited beers for one ticket price on April 29 from 12 pm to 4 pm. \
Attendees of this one-of-a-kind beer event will experience some of Chicagoland’s most renowned breweries outside under the spring sun with a vintage village as the backdrop. In addition to unlimited 3 oz. tastes and a commemorative take-home taster glass, Craft Beer Fest attendees will also enjoy live music and local food vendor options.
Featured Image: EXPO Chicago