Current Things To Do in Chicago

Although Chicon 8 isn’t scheduled to take place until August 2022, that doesn’t mean Chicago is lacking in activities for the science fiction and fantasy minded visitor (or resident). Come back to this page to find out what is going on in Chicago and the suburbs that you can take advantage of.

In addition to these exhibits and events, Chicago fan Neil Rest created an extensive page looking at things to do in Chicago and giving information about the city and moving around in it.

Elmhurst History Museum

120 E. Park Avenue, Elmhurst

To the Moon: Snoopy Soars with NASA

In May of 1969, just before the first man landed on the moon, Snoopy soared through space with NASA’s Apollo 10 mission launching the beloved beagle’s role as an ambassador for the U.S. space program. Visitors will learn about the role the Peanuts characters played in NASA’s Manned Flight Awareness safety program and see displays including a 1969 series of NASA-themed comic strips, official NASA photographs and video footage, a historical timeline about the Apollo program, posters, and Peanuts collectibles. Find out about NASA astronauts from the Chicago area including Apollo 10 lunar module pilot Eugene Cernan and Mae Jemison. Train like an astronaut by trying out the NASA-approved Astronauts Training Academy course located outdoors on the north side of the museum.

Through August 29, 2021

Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention

Westin Chicago Lombard, 70 Yorktown Center, Lombard, IL

Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention 20

A convention with a strong focus on pulps, but with a wide range of popular culture products showing up every year. An enormous dealers room in addition to an amazing art show, auction, and programming.

September 9 – 12, 2021

Chicago Cultural Center

78 E. Washington Street

Chicago: Where Comics Came to Life, 1880-1960

The exhibition focuses on the origins of the comics in popular publishing, the immeasurable importance of African-American cartoonists and publishing, the first woman cartoonists and editors, the first daily comic strip, and finally the art and comics of undeservedly forgotten Frank King, who with “Gasoline Alley” captured not only the rhythms and tone of everyday existence in his characters that aged not only at the same daily rate as its newspaper readers, but were also fictionalized versions of real people.

Through October 3, 2021

Museum of Contemporary Art

220 E. Chicago Avenue

Chicago Comics: 1960s to Now

Chicago has been a center for comics for decades—a haven not only for making and publishing cartoons, but also for innovating on the medium. Chicago Comics: 1960s to Now tells the story of the art form in the influential city through the work of Chicago’s many cartoonists: known, under-recognized, and up-and-coming.

Through October 3, 2021

Museum of Science and Industry

5700 S. Lake Shore Drive

Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes

Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes celebrates Marvel history with more than 300 artifacts including original comic book pages, sculptures, interactive displays, and costumes and props from Marvel’s blockbuster films. Examine the origins of iconic characters such as Spider-Man, Black Panther, Hulk, and Captain Marvel and see how they have evolved alongside society over the past 80 years, making these characters a pop culture mainstay. 

Through October 24, 2021

Windycon

Westin Chicago Lombard, 70 Yorktown Center, Lombard, IL

Windycon 47 in 2021: Urban Fantastic

Windycon 47 in 2021 will be celebrating the Urban Fantastic this year. Urban Fantasy is a subgenre wherein urban elements feature strongly in the narrative. Many examples feature fantastic elements in a real-world urban setting, or modern urban features in secondary world fantasy.

Most major metropolitan cities offer urban fantastic versions of themselves and Chicago is home to several series, imbuing our city with vampires, witches, magicians, and other things that go bump in the night.

November 12 – 14, 2021

Capricon

Sheraton Grand Chicago, 301 E. North Water Street

Capricon 42: Rockin’ in the Outer Realms

The time to celebrate our love of sci-fi/fantasy in person is coming! Capricon 42: Rockin’ In The Outer Realms. It is our sincerest hope to gather together again in 2022 to celebrate our collective love of all things sci-fi/fantasy. 

Science fiction has had a profound impact on the rock music genre over the years – and vice versa. From psychedelic to pop rock to all the sub-genres in between, Rock has had an obsession with the literary genre’s ability to think Beyond. David Bowie introduced us to Ziggy Stardust in The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars and Hawkwind had us flying high in Space Ritual. Queen had us breaking our vocal chords and pumping our fists to Princes of the Universe and yelling “Flash! Aaah!” Sun Ra introduced us to what would later be coined Afrofuturism with the album The Space Age Is Here To Stay and Janelle Monae blew us away with ArchAndroid

Come with us as we explore all the ways music has come to affect our lives and the science fiction/fantasy world.

February 3 – 6, 2022

American Writers Museum

180 N. Michigan Avenue

Ray Bradbury: Inextinguishable

Ray Bradbury is perhaps best-known for writing Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and The Illustrated Man. He was much more than those stories though: a screenplay writer, a friend to Walt Disney, and an amateur painter, just to name a few.

From a young age, Ray was obsessed with finding a way to live forever. He will certainly be remembered for his writing, but his influence elsewhere may surprise you.

Through May, 2022