Wicker Park and its clubs, cafes and community events have been popping up on “best of,” “hot” and “trendy” lists for so long, most people looking to relocate there already have a pretty good idea of what to expect from this blue-ribbon neighborhood along the Blue Line.
At least, they think they do.
As deservedly popular as some haunts are, Wicker Park is more than brunch at Café Robey, browsing the bins at Reckless Records and cocktails at the Violet Hour. Wicker Park events dot the social calendar in this most social neighborhood.
To get the lay of the land, you can walk, bike or jog Wicker Park’s northern edge on the 606, a much-loved recreation path on a former elevated railroad bed. For the first mile — from Ashland Avenue on the east to Western Avenue — you’re in Wicker Park, though the 2.7-mile trail continues westward. Alternatively, you can veer off the 606 a few blocks shy of Western at Milwaukee Avenue and cut southeast through the heart of Wicker Park.
Nor should you miss Wicker Park’s namesake green space, nearly five acres of well-tended ornamental gardens and play areas first established in 1870.
Remember, too, that Wicker Park shares a border and a Chamber of Commerce with Bucktown, which makes the areas less like neighbors and more like siblings. Once you know your way around, plan on making stops at some of these favorite events in Wicker Park in Chicago:
Wicker Park Fest: Long one of Chicago’s favorite music feasts, Wicker Park Fest was dubbed “Chicago’s Best Street Festival of the Summer” by the Chicago Tribune. The bookers at Subterranean, a cornerstone club of the Wicker Park music scene, line up 40 or so bands to play three stages over a three-day weekend in July.
Wicker Park Farmers Market: Indoors at the Den Theatre on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month through April 23, the market brings local, environmentally responsible food to its residents along with music and the opportunity to interact with many community groups. It moves outdoors from May through November.
ChillFest: Entering its eighth year in 2022, Chillfest fills February throughout Wicker Park and Bucktown with local musicians playing acoustic sets. Sample great new music and the treasures to be found in area shops.
Bucktown Arts Fest: In Holstein Park a half-mile north of the 606, this all-volunteer art sale benefits arts education in the Bucktown and Wicker Park neighborhoods. Started 35 years ago with four local artists, the fest now hosts nearly 200 artists each August.
Beer Baron Row: Architecture buffs can stroll past the historic mansions built by the area’s beer barons any time, but a Chicago Architecture Center app will trace your path for a self-guided tour amid these 19th century palaces built along Hoyne and Pierce Avenues.
From Restaurant Week (March 25-April 10) to the Halloween happenings of BOO-Palooza, there’s always an event to check out in Wicker Park, whenever you’re ready to make the move.