Best Reasons to Dial Up the Sitter in October

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Doesn’t some adult-only time sound grand? You can hear yourself think, complete a sentence, ditch the diaper bag. Ahhhhh, sign us up! New restaurants, a much-anticipated musical, Oktoberfest and more round out our list of the best ways to step into the kid-free zone this month. (Don’t forget! Sweetest Day is October 15.)

Hamiltonphoto: Hamilton

The Birth of Our Nation Set to a Musical: Hamilton
Yes, we know. This is the hottest ticket in town and almost impossible to come by without giving up an arm and a leg. But, did you know Broadway in Chicago has opened a lottery system that allows winners to purchase tickets for just $10? Some of these seats are even front row. Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. A thoroughly inventive, wildly entertaining musical about the birth of our nation – with a score that blends hip-hop, pop, blues, jazz and Broadway. It’s a show you don’t want to miss.

Regular tickets $62+, lottery tickets $10
Performances all month long
The PrivateBank Theatre
18 W. Monroe
Theatre District

disturbia-in-the-parkphoto: Disturbia: Screams in the Park

Pretend You’re Teenagers Again at Disturbia: Screams in the Park
Kick it old school and grab your favorite squeeze for a big time scare at a haunted house . . . errrr, parking garage. MB Financial Park’s acclaimed interactive horror experience Disturbia: Screams in the Park is returning to the basement level of the MB Financial Park parking garage. This sinister attraction features 20,000 square feet of terror with more than 35 rooms.

All month long; Fri. & Sat., 7 p.m.-midnight; Tues.-Thurs. & Sun., 7 p.m.-11 p.m.
MB Financial Park
5501 Park Pl.

Smythphoto: Smyth

Be One of the First to Try Smyth
Take a break from chicken nuggets to try Chefs John Shields and Karen Urie Shields’ new dining concept in the West Loop, Smyth. Smyth is this husband and wife duo’s fine dining compliment to neighborhood restaurant bar The Loyalist housed downstairs. Many of their ingredients are sourced from a local farm in Bourbonnais, including a variety of heirloom and hard to find varieties of herbs, fruits, and vegetables. The experience at Smyth is a confluence of warmth, vitality, and artistry; from the friendly greeting from chefs through the open kitchen to the humble approachability of the sommelier and the relaxed, comfortable nature of the dining room.

Eight course menu is $135, with optional beverage pairings for $85
Tues.-Thurs., 4 p.m.-midnight; Fri. & Sat., 4 p.m.-2 a.m.
177 N. Ada St.
West Loop

Dine Amongst the Scoundrels
Dive deep into delicious food and a good amount of Chicago history at the Tortoise Supper Club. Owned by Keene and Megan Addington, a quick walk around the restaurant makes their love of the Second City very apparent. They worked with the Chicago History Museum to chose scandalous or rogue Chi-town residents in history and commissioned a caricature artist to create their likeness. These paintings, live jazz music played Friday and Saturday nights on a piano given to Keene’s grandmother on her 10th birthday, books acquired from the Newberry library and countless local artifacts should put this hidden gem on the top of every Chicagoan’s restaurant bucket list.

Mon.-Thurs., 11:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.; Fri., 11:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m.; Sat., 5 p.m.-11:30 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Tortoise Supper Club
350 N. State St.
Near North Side

11/24/15 8:10:03 PM -- Second City Main Company 104th Production: Fool Me Twice, Deja vu Jamison Webb surrounded by Rashawn Nadine Scott Daniel Strauss Sarah Shook Paul Jurewicz and Chelsea Devantez © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2015photo: Second City via © Todd Rosenberg Photography

Get Your Laughs at the Second City’s Fool Me Twice, Deja Vu
Everyone has a deja vu story or two to share. That 6th sense is a strong one and Second City is ready to take you on an uproarious exploration of intuition. Take a gleeful glance into funny mothers, millennials, christian media and contemporary nostalgia as you get fooled twice and come back for another round of fooling.

Tues.-Sun. evenings in September
Second City MainStage
1616 N. Wells
Old Town

Dance the Night Away at a Sweetest Day Bowtie Bash
Tired of celebrating Sweetest Day with that same old reservation at that same old restaurant in town? Looking for something new and exciting to do together? If so, swing into Fred Astaire Ballroom Dance Studio for their Sweetest Day Bowtie Bash. As you enter, you’ll be presented with a Sweetest Day rose, welcomed to enjoy a sweets and appetizers table and taught a romantic Beginners Ballroom Group Class.

Oct. 14; 7:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
Fred Astaire Ballroom Dance Studio
4187 Dundee Rd.

Throw Back a Cold One at Hofbräuhaus Chicago’s Oktoberfest
While the sister location to the legendary original in Munich is surprising family friendly on weekend afternoons, Hofbräuhaus Chicago is also a great spot to frequent after the kiddos hit the hay for a date night brew and traditional german fare. With the traditional Beer Hall bursting with nightly live entertainment and a touch of Bavaria around every corner, there’s no better place to celebrate Oktoberfest.

Daily thru Oct. 23; Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
Hofbräuhaus Chicago
5500 Park Pl.

Red Bull Illume Chicago 2016photo: Red Bull Illume Chicago

Red Bull Illume Chicago 2016
Kicking off the fourth edition of their exhibit tour in North America, Chicago’s Wrigley Square, located in Millennium Park, is the ideal place to showcase the finalist of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2016. The light boxes will stand side-by-side with the famous Millennium Monument and be a stone’s throw away from the famous Chicago Bean. To showcase the amazing imagery in a unique perspective, the exhibition will only be open after the sun goes down.

Thru Oct. 9; 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
Millennium Park
201 E. Randolph St.

Think Ahead to New Years!
Chicago’s premier entertainment, restaurant, and nightclub management company, Rockit Ranch Productions, is running a one-of-a-kind contest – The New Year’s Eve Ultimate Night Out Experience. A seasonal bonanza of prizes fit for partygoers, foodies, music lovers and fashionistas alike, Rockit Ranch Productions invites all playing to win one of three New Year’s Eve experiences. Check their website for details.

Free to enter online:

Need help with a sitter? Don’t forget Pump It Up Lisle hosts Parents Night Out every third Friday and there are plenty of online sitter services to help you in your date night quest.

Any fun date nights planned in September? Share your ideas in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers

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