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Things to Do in Chicago: Saturday, September 6, to Friday, September 12

BY: Tyler Clark | Sep 5, 2014
Things to Do in Chicago: Saturday, September 6, to Friday, September 12On this week’s agenda: the Renegade Craft Fair, Natalie Merchant, and festivals celebrating wine, wild animals, and wicked German beers. Enjoy yourself, and as always, check Groupon for even more great things to do in Chicago. things-to-do-in-chicago-september-6-to-september-12-renegade_600c390 Renegade Craft Fair Wicker Park | Saturday, September 6, and Sunday, September 7 Hundreds of makers, artisans, and designers from around the country turn Wicker Park into a living manifestation of Etsy during this 12th-annual craft fair. After browsing handmade jewelry, vintage clothing, and wall-ready art, guests can recharge with refreshments from Black Dog Gelato, Chicago's Dog House, Goose Island, and others. (Division St. between Damen Ave. and Paulina Ave.; free) things-to-do-in-chicago-september-6-to-september-12-wine_600c390 Windy City Wine Festival Grant Park | Friday, September 5, and Saturday, September 6 The space around Buckingham Fountain transforms into an open-air tasting room during this festival, which benefits the Grant Park Conservancy. Samples of more than 300 wines from America's most notable grape-growing regions are the main attraction; between sips, guests can up their vino knowledge with wine seminars, or watch cooking demonstrations for tips on future pairings. (301 S. Columbus Dr.; $30+, designated drivers $15; buy tickets here) Natalie Merchant The Loop | Thursday, September 11 Singer, activist, and former 10,000 Maniacs vocalist Natalie Merchant brings her unmistakable voice to the Chicago Theatre for a concert in support of her new self-titled record. The record is her first album of original material since 2001's Motherland, but retains the penetrating soulfulness that's been a trademark of her work. (175 N. State St.; $25+; buy tickets here) things-to-do-in-chicago-september-6-to-september-12-fest-600c320 Lions, Tigers, and Brews Lincoln Park | Friday, September 12 On Friday night, brewers from Finch's Beer Company, Upland Brewing Company, and dozens more join five local food trucks for a four-hour mini festival at the Lincoln Park Zoo. In addition to hobnobbing with party animals (wild or otherwise), guests can take in live music sets or try their luck at games of cornhole and giant Jenga. (2001 N. Clark St.; $39+; buy tickets here) Berghoff Oktoberfest Lincoln Park | Wednesday, September 10, to Friday, September 12 For the 29th year in a row, the Loop's most iconic German brewhouse ushers in post-summer festival season with an Oktoberfest bash on Federal Plaza. Brats, giant pretzels, and steins of the Berghoff's signature beer mix well with the emphatic oom-pahs of lunchtime polka sets from the Johnny Wagner Band. (50 W. Adams St.; free) Image credits: Steff Bomb plushes photo courtesy of Renegade Craft Fair; Windy City Wine Festival photo by Elizabeth Ashby Photography; Lions, Tigers, and Brews photo courtesy of Cannonball Productions; Johnny Wagner photo courtesy of the Berghoff