Fall is always an exciting and glamorous time in Chicago. The weather is crisp and brisk and the most fascinating and satisfying cultural events are afoot. Lucky for NEMA residents, many of these opportunities to enjoy great food and drink, stylish company, and fine art, will take place not far from the new apartments at NEMA Chicago in Chicago’s South Loop.

The perfect way to celebrate fall and Halloween in high style is to attend the Halloween Masquerade at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, which combines all the fun of dressing up with some very sophisticated treats and plenty of lively dancing. You have the option of dressing up in a costume of your choice or showing up in evening wear and a mask — both of which will reignite your childhood imagination for reinventing yourself for the season. To be held in the Lyric Opera House on Oct. 26, this grand party offers an open bar featuring the best of local breweries and distilleries, light bites from local restaurants, and a dance floor hopping to the music of DJ Metro. Touted by Modern Luxury as “Chicago’s premier Halloween party … with a purpose,” this special event benefits the The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, where some of today’s greatest opera stars perfected their art.

Another fall tradition in Chicago is the Columbus Day Parade on Oct. 14. Located in the heart of South Loop and sponsored by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, the festivities will begin with a mass at The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, followed by the parade itself starting at 12:30 p.m. on State Street. The parade, which will feature marching bands and more than 150 floats, draws throngs from the city into the streets. It’s a great way to feel connected to your neighbors and to celebrate Chicago’s Italian-American community.

Another uniquely Chicago fall event is the Bacon and Beer Classic, coming to Soldier Field on Oct. 12. Expect to find live music and, of course, plenty of smoky meat and tasty beverages served up by local breweries and restaurants. This is also the time of year to catch brand-new films from Rian Johnson, Noah Baumbach, and Terrence Malick at the Chicago International Film Festival (Oct. 16 through 27), and to hear world-famous poets read at the Poetry Foundation, one of the most celebrated writing centers in the country.

But the most rewarding fall activities of all may be taking advantage of the cooling weather to walk around your South Loop Chicago neighborhood, or simply curling up on the couch with a hot cider and taking in the turning trees and the sparkling city all around you, knowing the possibilities for celebrating the season are endless.