While everything seems to be open like the old days, there is still that looming presence of the Delta variant in the background threatening all we’ve done to get back to normal. So much so that we’re back to having to wear masks indoors. Now if you’re anything like me, that means not much has changed since you’ve been wearing your mask indoors the whole time anyway. But now we have to be doubly careful to keep COVID numbers down and be diligent of the new recommendations and rules.
So if you do plan to go out this weekend make sure you check out the venue’s policies and quite honestly, take initiative. Wear a mask, social distance, and get your vaccination shots even if the venue/event is lax. Protect yourself and those around you.
Now, let’s get on with your Chicago Curated Weekend!
- Drive-In Movies
- ChiTown Movies – This weekend and beyond will feature screenings of:
- Support Local Venues
- Kingston Mines is open with some great lineups this weekend
- Fitzgerald’s Patio is also back in full swing with tons of artists playing throughout the week with artists like Clem Snide on Thursday and EG Vines on Saturday!
- Evanston Space‘s shop is open and you should consider donating to help the venue during these weird times. They are also having lower capacity shows at the venue!
- Head over to the Hideout ‘s regular shop and get yourself some great merch! Their Holiday Sale page is also still up with links to great local artists!
- Metro shop is full of fantastic concert posters from yesteryear and cool merch
- Lincoln Hall/Schubas always has great items in their shop waiting for you! Plus Schubas/Tied House is open and events are on their way back!
- Same goes for Thalia Hall’s merch store (those holiday socks? *chef’s kiss*)
- Let’s not forget Empty Bottle’s fantastic merch shop! While the annual Music Frozen Dancing may not be going on, celebrate with some special merch where a portion of the proceeds go to the Empty Bottle Staff! Plus they just added some new stuff designed by some awesome people that is sure to catch your eye! Shows are going on now as well, so head over to their venue site and go to some concerts if you’re comfortable
- Art Galleries and Special Events
- All Star Press is constantly putting up new prints for you to decorate your space with! They’ve started a whole new year-long series Naturally Beautiful with “What You Feed Will Grow” by Tanner Woodford releasing this week! Check out some of their prints from last year’s Vertical Gallery collab, which you can purchase here!! There is also a virtual gallery featuring all the works! And don’t forget to check out the virtual edition of JC Rivera’s new exhibition “Still Undefeated” , his latest collab with the gallery “Mind Games”, and new release “Bear & Square”by JC Rivera!
- Galerie F has a fun stock of prints from concert posters, pop culture prints and more!
- Rotufugi will be showing a new exhibit Ichijitsu Senshu: New Works by Shoko Nakazawa! So if you feel comfortable mask up and see the work in person.
- WOMANISH Experience is a cool pop up featuring the work of female and gender non-confirming artists exploring womanhood from a diverse range of perspectives.
- Immersive Van Gogh does exactly what its name says: immerses you into Van Gogh paintings via huge projections that bring the already lively art to life!
- Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes at the Museum of Science and Industry
- WNDR Museum is back
- Art on theMART will be projecting wonderful visual every night at 9:00pm and 9:30pm! Check out what they have planned here
- Garfield Park Conservatory is open! Book a reservation to see all the beautiful gardens safely!
- Lincoln Park Conservatory is open! Book a reservation to see all the beautiful gardens safely!
- Fireworks at Navy Pier are back! The 10-minute show starts at 9pm every Wednesday and Saturday in August!
- Explore the five towering sculptures by South African artist Daniel Popper at the Morton Arboretum!
- “Chicago Comics: 1960s to Now” @ Museum of Contemporary Art. Check out our review of the exhibit here!
In addition to all the previous and following events, we highly recommend you check out all the music performances that are part of DCASE’s Chicago in Tune! This new citywide festival celebrates music in the key of Chicago during the 2021 Year of Chicago Music. This month is meant to bring us all together through the whole spectrum of music events in a variety of venues. Check out all the participating venues and shows over at their website!
THURSDAY, AUGUST 12th
Fulton Street Collective Jazz Series @ Fulton Street Collective & Their YouTube channel, 1821 W. Hubbard St, Suite 307, or the coziest spot in your home, 8:00pm
WHAT: Some excellent jazz for your evening
SO WHAT: Fulton Street Collective are back with in person events, but they are still determined to give Chicago its much needed dose of jazz at home! Most of their shows are also streaming so you can see and hear the beautiful music on their YouTube channel! Below are just some of the upcoming shows from the collective.
- August 19 – LARSOMM Trio live at Fulton Street Collective
- August 22 – Joe Clark Big Band live @ Fulton Street Collective
- August 24 – Dalawari/Sundstrom Quintet live @ Fulton Street Collective
- August 25 – Blue Shift Big Band live @ Fulton Street Collective
NOW WHAT: The shows are free online, but in person there is a $15 suggested donation unless noted! Also you should definitely support Fulton Street Collective by becoming a member!
THURSDAY – SUNDAY, AUGUST 19th – AUGUST 22nd
Weekend Shows @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave, various times,
WHAT: A full weekend of amazing shows at Schubas!
SO WHAT: Things have opened back up for the most part and two of our favorite venues are stacking up some stellar lineups! Check out what Schubas has going on this weekend.
- August 19 – Little Bird / Dried Spider / North By North – Doors 7:30pm – $13 -18+
- August 20 – Julian Daniell / Lillie Mae / Thompson Springs – Doors 7:30pm -$10 -18+
- August 21 – Daniel Rodriguez / Ludlow [Duo Set] / Darren Garvey – Doors 6:00pm – $12 – 21+
- August 21 – Schtick Hosted by Seth Payne – Doors 9:30pm – $10 – 21+
- August 22 – Leland Blue / The Skinny Limbs / The Darling Suns – Doors 6:30pm – $10 – 18+
- August 24 – Emblem3 / Tiffany Stringer / Rookie of the Year @ – Doors 6:30pm – $30 – all ages
FRIDAY & SATURDAY, AUGUST 20th & AUGUST 21st
Grant Park Music Festival: Dvořák New World Symphony @ Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E Randolph St, 6:30pm
WHAT: A Chicago tradition returns!
SO WHAT: The Grant Park Music Festival and its deservedly acclaimed orchestra and chorus has offered some wonderful summertime concerts by classical, modern, and contemporary composers. You can check out their full schedule over at their website! This weekend will feature three events!
NOW WHAT: Head over to their website to register for the event and reserve a seat! The concerts are always free and will also be broadcast and streamed live on 98.7WFMT/wfmt.com.
FRIDAY – SUNDAY, AUGUST 13th – AUGUST 15th
Glenwood Ave. Arts Fest @ Glenwood Ave Arts District, N Glenwood Ave & W Morse Ave, Friday 6:00pm -10:00pm, Saturday 11:00am – 9:00pm, Sunday 11:00am – 7:00pm
WHAT: Art, music, food, and more in Rogers Park!
SO WHAT: The Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest is a free arts festival featuring over 120+ artist, open studios, and live entertainment on two outdoor stages. Attendees can view and purchase these artists’ wonderful artworks directly from the creators. Enjoy all the performances and art demonstrations alongside some tasty street food and craft beer! Musica performance include Waltzer, Air Credits, Ovef Ow, White Mystery, Wild Earp, Funkadesi, Plastic crimeware Syndicate, and more!
NOW WHAT: It’s free! If you don’t feel like heading out to the event, there is a Virtual Artist’s market available too! Support these great artists from home!
Ruido Fest @ Union Park, 1501 W Randolph St,11:00am – 10:00pm
WHAT: Another great year of this fantastic Latin alternative music
SO WHAT: Ruido Fest is back and will be celebrating Latin music and culture this summer! The fest brings together the arts and music scene in Chicago’s Latino community for three fun days with an impressive lineup of musicians from all over the Spanish-speaking world. Some of the amazing acts will include Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Panteón Rococó, Café Tacvba, Kaina, Rosalba Valdez, and many more. Check out the full lineup on their website.
NOW WHAT: Single day and three day passes are currently available!
The Summer Smash Festival 2021 @ Douglas Park, 401 S Sacramento Dr, Noon -10:00pm
WHAT: The Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash Festival!
SO WHAT: The Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash is coming to Douglas Park with some of the most cutting edge and celebrated hip hop artists around. Seriously, look at this lineup! Nearly every slice of the hip hop genre is represented, so don’t miss out on this incredible festival! Headliners include A$AP Rocky, Lil Baby & Lil Uzi Vert! The rest of the lineup bring the heat too with Lil Yachty, Earl Sweatshirt, Saba, Benny the Butcher, and more!
NOW WHAT: Tickets start at $95 for single day passes ($165 for VIP Friday) and $275 for three day passes ($435 for VIP). In accordance with the City of Chicago and in close cooperation with local partners, Summer Smash will be requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccinations or negative COVID-19 test results to gain entry to the event. Check out their FAQ for details
SATURDAY, AUGUST 21th
14th Annual Oak Park Micro Brew Review @ Downtown Oak Park, 100 N Marion St, Oak Park, 2:00pm – 6:00pm
WHAT: Brews, bites and tunes at the largest zero-waste craft beer fest in the Midwest!
SO WHAT: This awesome Micro Brew Review features over 85 unique and inventive brews from over 40 Midwest craft breweries for you to try! Additionally their will be plenty of live music and small plates from local restaurants available! Please note: the festival is requiring proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test for entry, check out their website for more info!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $50 in advance, $60 at the gate for the main tasting event! Enjoy a great beer festival and help raise funds for Seven Generations Ahead, an environmental non-profit working to promote healthy and sustainable communities.
Lincoln Square Artisan & Makers Market @ Ainslie Arts Plaza, 4844 N Lincoln Ave,
WHAT: A little summer shopping
SO WHAT: Stroll through a rotating selection of local artists and makers selling a variety of beautiful items. Beer and wine will also be available on-site from Bottles & Cans.
NOW WHAT: Admission is free! Check out the list of vendors and when they’ll be at the market here!
Summer Concert Series w/ Rok Brigade and The Atomic Punks @ Copernicus Center, 5216 W Lawrence Ave
WHAT: An eight-week outdoor concert series!
SO WHAT: Music lovers of all ages can come enjoy live bands at the Copernicus Center in Jefferson Park thanks to the Copernicus Foundation’s fun Outdoor Summer Concert Series. Enjoy drinks and snacks from a full bar and kitchen as you dance the evening away to some cover bands playing the hits! Tonight features Rok Brigade and The Atomic Punks! Check out the full lineup below and at their website!
New Talks and Video Archives @ Chicago Humanities Festival YouTube channel, your favorite browser or YouTube app, any time you want some inspiration, All Ages
WHAT: Interesting conversations with interesting people!
SO WHAT: Chicago Humanities Festival is back with some in person events! They always bring some of the best ideas to the surface with entertaining programming that captures your imagination. Their website is constantly updated with new talks, so check out the wealth of upcoming and previous events in their archives! Below is just a taste of what is coming in the next few weeks
- August 21 – Filmmaking on the South Side – 7:30pm – 9:30pm
- September 17 – Musical Legacies of the South Side -6:30pm
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, AUGUST 21st & 22nd
Illinois Brewery Running Series @ Cruz Blanca Brewery & Taqueria & ERIS Brewery & Cider House, 904 W Randolph St & 4240 W Irving Park, Saturday 10:00am – 1:00pm, Sunday 2:00pm – 5:00pm
WHAT: A fun run for beer!
SO WHAT: Take a quick run and be rewarded with a beer at these series of 5k walks and runs! All the Illinois Brewery Running Series events are untimed, emphasizing a fun time more than anything else! All the runs include one beer, collector’s glassware or seasonal swag item, and an invitation to enjoy the day’s scheduled festivities like live music, food, goodies, and giveaways! This weekend includes runs at:
- 8/21 – Cruz Blanca Brewery & Taqueria, 904 West Randolph Street – 10:00am – 1:00pm
- 8/22 – ERIS Brewery & Cider House, 4240 W Irving Park, – 10:00am – 1:00pm
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $30 (or $45 which gives you a shirt)! Click the ticket links above! 10% of proceeds help support a growing list of nonprofits like Chicago Parks Foundation, Chicago Run, and Survivor Vision! There is a chance to volunteer! These runs will be respecting all COVID-19 safety guidelines as outlined by the CDC and the local department of health.
Gold Coast Art Fair @ Butler Field in Grant Park, S Lake Shore Dr & E Monroe St , 10:00am – 6:00pm
WHAT: 64th year of Gold Coast Art Fair
SO WHAT: Head out to Butler Field in Grant Park to see the work of over 150 juried artists from across the country. Artists will be displaying beautiful pieces in a variety of mediums including painting, photography, ceramics, furniture, jewelry, and more. There will also be plenty of art demonstrations and art talks throughout the fair!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $10 for this fun art fair! Children 12 and under are free. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Glenwood Academy and Chicago Furniture Bank
Sangria Festival Chicago & Tour Of Latin America Food & Wine Festival @ Humboldt Park, 3021 W. Division St., Noon – 10:00pm
WHAT: Two great festivals all taking place in one spot on one weekend!
SO WHAT: Head over to Humboldt Park ans enjoy the pair of fests going on this weekend! Tour Of Latin America Food & Wine Festival and the 6th year of the Sangria Festival Chicago will be on hand delivering attendees some amazing food and drinks! In addition to all the appetizing food and delicious drinks, there will be music throughout the day, samba and flamenco shows, a Paint and Sip Lounge, and so much more!
NOW WHAT: Tickets start at $20 per day and go up with whatever add-on you’d like to partake in this weekend! The festival as always is helping to raise awareness and funds for community organizations including Humboldt Park’s San Lucas Church Hot Meals Program for their fight against hunger in our neighborhoods.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 22nd
Sundays on State @ State Street from Lake to Madison, 11:00am – 8:00pm
WHAT: From Lake to Madison, State Street becomes an open street full of surprises!
SO WHAT: Neighbors from every Chicago community and beyond are invited for this interactive block party that will let you safely enjoy art, culture, active recreation, retail, bars, restaurants, and local attractions! Experience everyone’s neighborhood, the Loop, like never before!
NOW WHAT: This fantastic way to spend your Sundays this summer is FREE! Sundays on State will strictly follow all public health guidelines in place at the time of each event.
Pilsen Vendor Market @ Pilsen Art House, 1756 W 19th St., Noon – 5:00pm
WHAT: A socially distanced mini handmade market!
SO WHAT: This is a weekly market for artists and makers to come together, make new friends and sell their wonderful wares.
NOW WHAT:Entry is free, just be sure to wear your mask as they are required!
New Music For Winds @ Constellation, 3111 N Western Ave, or in the most musically inclined room in your home, 8:30pm
WHAT: An amazing show for your weekend!
SO WHAT: Constellation has been putting on some incredible shows during the pandemic and this weekend is no different! Whether you decide to stay home and watch the livestreams or head out to the venue and enjoy the live music in person, Constellation is a great way to spend the night! Check out some of the upcoming shows below!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $15, head out and enjoy the incredible show this weekend! There is also a streaming option, so if you stay home, be sure to donate to support Constellation!
THE WHOLE SELF-DISTANCING WEEKEND & BEYOND
Neon Summer Chicago @ Neon Summer, 1265 W Le Moyne Ave, Various times
WHAT: A family friendly summer pop up
SO WHAT: Neon Summer takes over two acres of Chicago for a pop-up that splits its time between family friendly daytime fun and late night party! The pop-up provides access to a go-kart track, a miniature golf course, axe throwing, plenty of fun photo ops, a nice assortment of food, and of course NEON! There are multiple bars serving drinks throughout the venue including alcohol for those 21+ .
NOW WHAT: Tickets start at $19 and vary based on the chosen timed entry and the activities you want to partake in! Check out their website for full ticketing details!
Back on the Big Screen and Virtual Cinema @ Music Box Theatre, unsurprisingly at your home, any time you want to watch a movie
WHAT: A great way to support a great local theater
SO WHAT: The Music Box Theatre is currently open to the public, so if you feel comfortable you can go out and have a theater experience this weekend with Demonic, Ema and The Green Knight; and fun Music Box Garden Movies! But if you want to watch some first run movies at home, you can still watch great moves and support them online! They are currently screening films via their The Music Box Direct series! There also tons of select titles available on their new platform!
NOW WHAT: Digital tickets are $12, in person screenings are $11, so sit back and enjoy!
Film Center from Your Sofa @ The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute, your couch or preferred movie watching spot in your place, pretty much any time
WHAT: The Film Center at Home
SO WHAT:The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute is open again and they are continuing their excellent series Film Center from Your Sofa. This is a fun way to stay in digital touch with the Film Center and watch some great films from the comfort of home! Head over to their listings and start watching–in person or from your sofa!
NOW WHAT: Digital tickets are $12, so sit back and enjoy!
Pitch In for the Parks! @ Various local parks, Various times, all ages
WHAT: A good way to keep your community nice and clean!
SO WHAT: The nonprofit Chicago Parks Foundation (CPF) is currently in the second season of its citywide volunteer effort “Pitch In for the Parks!” to help keep the city’s 600+ public parks clean. The program is open to anyone who wants to host a clean-up group or join an existing event from the interactive map on the CPF website. CPF is providing trash pick-up supplies, volunteer coordination and safety guidelines to supportthe parks’ ongoing maintenance from June through October.
NOW WHAT: Clean-ups continue at parks citywide June 1st-October. Anyone can host a Pitch In clean-up group or join a free volunteer event on their calendar.
Lyric Opera Streaming On Demand @ Your favorite streaming device, the most lavish spot in your home
WHAT: The Lyric Opera at home
SO WHAT: Revisit some of your favorite Lyric moments, or experience for the first time performances you’ve missed.Check out their website for schedule of upcoming shows. Currently streaming is Luisa Miller (2019), The Queen of Spades (2020), and Die Walküre (2017).
NOW WHAT: It’s free!!
Steppenwolf NOW @ Your best streaming device, the most theatrical spot in your place, Any time through August 31, 2021
WHAT: The talented voices of Steppenwolf’s ensemble beamed straight into your home
SO WHAT: Steppenwolf NOW is a new virtual programming stream featuring a dynamic and innovative slate of immersive and visual experiences crafted and produced for the virtual platform. Membership will let you experience a one-time screening of the current lineup of six projects each until August 31, 2021. The newest production is Duchess! Duchess! Duchess!
NOW WHAT: The membership is $75 and a great way to experience six great shows and support a local institution.
The Great Grow Along @ Your home, next to your soon-to-be-thriving home garden, Friday 1:00pm – 5:00pm, Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm, and Sunday 1:00pm – 3:45pm
WHAT: A chance to make your thumb a little greener
SO WHAT: The Great Grow Along was a three-day virtual garden festival that will provide gardeners with 40+ hours of sessions with plant pros to help up everyone’s growing game! There will be learning tracks to guide you through the talks and they have made the festival’s content available on demand to watch at your own pace over the next six months!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $29.95 for this great collection of gardening talks!
Fun Times with Local Museums @ the comfort of your own home, a various collection of websites, whenever you want a little dose of educational fun, All Ages
WHAT: A chance to explore and help out some great local museums during these quarantine days
SO WHAT: Our incredible Museums editor Mariel Bokor has compiled a great list of interesting programming available from museums like the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum, MSI, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium during this stay at home time. It also notes which are closed for the season and how you can help support them during these times!
NOW WHAT: Check out our most recent update on what museums are doing as they reopen and continue their online presence!
The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral 30 Digital Plays in 60 Analog Minutes @ The Neo Futurists’ Patreon, one episode a week, 14+
WHAT: Quick plays online!
SO WHAT: The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral! 30 Digital Plays in 60 Analog Minutesis the online adaptation of the Neo-Futurists’, ongoing, ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes for a live audience. Since live audiences are still a no-no, this is the perfect way to experience this fun project from home! They also just released45 Plays for America’s First Ladies, a series of 1-5 minute plays that adopt a variety of shapes, tones, and theatrical conventions centered around the lives of the women who have served in the role of First Lady.
NOW WHAT: Join the Neo Futurists’ Patreon page for either $3, $5, or $9 a week (with added incentives in the higher tiers) and enjoy the 30 plays in an hour every week!
Concerts Live-streams and Local Shows Archives @ Your House, Any time you please, All Ages
WHAT: There’s tons of concerts from Chicago’s yesteryear available online for your enjoyment!
SO WHAT: Oh My Rockness and Do312 has done a fantastic job of cataloging some of the upcoming live-streams from the awesome musical acts out there! Check out Oh My Rockness’ listings here, Do312’s roundup of shows here, and tune in to these great shows from the comfort of home! Do312 have also shared some past Chicago shows that are certainly worth of a watch. There are also so many great local concerts recorded for posterity and what better time to check them all out than during this self isolation period. Audiotree has a fantastic and huge list of sessions with links to band’s websites and merch to help support them even more. In addition to our previous recommendations like Fran, Tasha, KAINA, Divino Nino, and The Ophelias, we also recommend ROOKIE, Emily Blue, Sen Morimoto, Beach Bunny, Tennis, and Gia Margaret! Then head over to their record concerts from Lincoln Hall, Schubas, and beyond to check out Orville Peck, of Montreal, and so many more! JBTV is also a fantastic resource for sessions from bands that have come through Chicago! Just take a look at this playlist of Blind Melon’s ’95 set at Metro!
NOW WHAT: Stay home, watch some live music, and be sure to check out your favorite artists’ social media, you never know who might be live streaming next!
Video Games @ Your home PC or Console, As long as it takes, Just check the game rating
WHAT: Video-games for all!
SO WHAT: Check out our games page for some recommendations of what games to download (and avoid) while we’re stuck at home. If you’re a PC user, head over to the Epic Games store as they will be releasing a few new FREE games for you to download ! There are also tons of free games on Twitch Prime waiting for you to download!
NOW WHAT: Wash your hands and dive head first into some fun games!
Bring the Zoo to You @ Brookfield Zoo’s Facebook page, when you want to see some animals besides your pets or specifically 11:00am, All Ages
WHAT: A great way to make your kids’ time at home entertaining and educational
NOW WHAT: Join Brookfield Zoo on Facebook every weekday at 11:00am for a “Bring The Zoo To You” Facebook Live featuring one of their animals as well as plenty of educational, informative insight from one of our Animal Care Specialists. If you can’t make it at 11, that’s okay. The video will be saved afterward on Facebook as well as on their YouTube channel.
SO WHAT: Just jump in to the chat at their Facebook page to learn something new
Masque of the Red Coronavirus! @ Black Button Eyes Productions, Any time on your computer or mobile device. For 18+.
WHAT: Written by Black Button Eyes Productions producing artistic director Ed Rutherford, this short satirical piece is available online free as a combined script-and-video experience.
SO WHAT: In addition to reading the play, you will see various Chicago artists act out portions of the script on video, recorded remotely. The event includes puppets, burlesque, original music, fire dancing and more in a brief, darkly comedic confection.
With the Red Coronavirus running rampant across the countryside and a vaccine still months away, what’s a Prince to do? Lock himself in a secure bunker in an undisclosed location along with a cohort of his top donors, of course. To prevent him and his rich supporters from becoming bored, the Prince has also brought a few artists into the bunker to entertain the crowd. But as the hour grows later and the night grows weirder, it’s clear that something else has also invaded the party.
NOW WHAT: Settle down for an evening of magical weirdness. Click here and begin reading and watching the videos.