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 wearing masks indoors. Now if you’re 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, 2343 S. Throop St – Next week and beyond will feature screenings of
- 10/27 Halloween (2018)
- 10/28 Hocus Pocus
- 10/29 Matilda
- 10/30 Monsters, Inc.
- 10/31 Hocus Pocus
- 11/1 – Coco
- 11/3 – Mean Girls
- 11/4 – A Quiet Place Part II
- 11/5 – Space Jam: A New Legacy
- 11/5 – Night of the Living Dead
- 11/6 – Godzilla vs. Kong
- 11/6 – Scream
- 11/7 – F9: The Fast Saga
- 11/9 – Godzilla vs. Kong
- 11/10 – Grease
- 11/11 – F9: The Fast Saga
- 11/12 – A Quiet Place Part II
- 11/12 – Friday the 13th
- 11/13 – Nightmare on Elm Street
- 11/14 – Godzilla vs. Kong
- ChiTown Movies (2343 S. Throop St) will also be hosting Music Box Theatre’s Music Box of Horrors: Dawn of the Drive-in Presented by Shudder!Check out the AMAZING lineup below and get ready for a few frights!
- ChiTown Movies, 2343 S. Throop St – Next week 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! 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! 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” !
- Galerie F has a fun stock of prints from concert posters, pop culture prints and more!
- Rotufugi will be showing a new exhibit Skullicious New Works by Cherry Moth Cake! 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!
- “The Office Experience Chicago” is open for all you die hard fans of the show!
- Nightmare on Clark Street is Deuce’s Major League Bar‘s Halloween transformation! Enjoy spooky themes food and drinks while you dine in a autumnal wonderland!
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29th
Dead Singers for Dead Ringers @ American Blues Theater’s rehearsal space, 4809 N. Ravenswood Ave., Suite 128, or via Zoom. 6-7pm, cocktails and costumes; 7-8pm live performance.
WHAT: “Bloody Holly,” or Zachary Stevenson, best known for his role in The Buddy Holly Story, performs music from beyond the grave. You might hear tunes by ghosts such as Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Prince, Janis Joplin and others.
SO WHAT: This is a fundraiser for the theater’s reopening. Guests are encouraged to dress as their favorite musician from the great beyond; special prizes will be awarded. Guests can also join the band with a tribute song.
NOW WHAT: American Blues Theater needs to raise $25,000 for its reopening; all donations up to $25k will be matched dollar for dollar by the Queen of Hearts for $50,000 total. Suggested ticket price is $25. Buy tickets here.
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.
- October 29 – VINO & VINYL: Closing Night DREAMS & NIGHTMARES @ Fulton Street Collective
- November 2 – Jazz Vocalist Julia Smulson Live at Fulton Street Collective
- November 3 – Tribute to Breno Sauer LIVE at Fulton Street Collective
- November 4 – Eric Hines & Pan Dulce Live at Fulton Street Collective
- November 5 – UNITY NIGHT! Fundraising party for Fulton Street Collective – 6:30pm
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!
Campfire Horror @ Various Parks, 7:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Some scary movies in the parks
SO WHAT: Chicago Park District is bringing campfire fun and spooky films to bring the community together. Head out and enjoy some tasty marshmallows, get a little scared with movies ranging from R-rated fare to more family friendly flicks, and just enjoy being out! Check out the lineup below!
- October 29 – Beetlejuice @ Northerly Island
NOW WHAT: Remember to dress warmly, mask up when you’re not enjoying some snacks, and have a fun time!
Mucca Pazza @ Martyrs’, 3855 N Lincoln Ave, 9:00pm, 21+
WHAT: An impressively jovial show that you need to see!
SO WHAT: Mucca Pazza is a Chicago institution, blending a myriad of sounds including Balkan, noise rock, big band, and so many more with a marching band aesthetic that ends up creating an eccentric and downright explosive show! They will cram their huge band in Martyrs’ for a night of colorful uniforms, amazing musicianship, and just a damn good time!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $17 in advance, $20 at the door for this night of musical ecstasy!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30th
Pumpkin Party @ Gallagher Way, 3635 N Clark St, 1:00pm – 4:30pm, All Ages
WHAT: The fourth annual Pumpkin Party!
SO WHAT: Head over to Gallagher Way for a fun Halloween Eve afternoon! Old Town School of Folk Music will be on hand with Laura Dohertry & The Heartbeats providing some great tunes while the kids can enjoy a variety of activities including slime creations, paper ghosts, and more! There will also be tons of lawn games, balloon animals, giveaways for those dressed up, free jfunior pumpkins, and so much more! Plus stick around for a screening of Hotel Transylvania to finish of the event.
NOW WHAT: It’s free!
Día de los Muertos Xicágo @ National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W 19th St, 3:00pm – 8:00pm, all ages
WHAT: A Day of the Dead event for your weekend
SO WHAT: Celebrate Día de los Muertos at the National Museum of Mexican Art as they transform the museum and surrounding outdoor area into a beautiful space to remember departed loved ones. Guests will enjoy ofrenda (altar) demonstrations, live musical performances, face painting, art activities, and Pan de Muerto (traditional Day of the Dead Bread).
NOW WHAT: This event is free and open to the public and will take place rain or shine.
Arts in the Dark Parade @ State Street between Lake and Van Buren, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: A magical evening parade!
SO WHAT: The event brings together some incredible local institutions like the Joffrey Ballet, Lookingglass Theatre Company, important programs like After School Matters and aspiring artists in every field to put on a beautiful evening of floats, puppets, performances, and more!
NOW WHAT: It’s free !
Chicago Vampire Ball 2021 @ Twisted Hippo, 2925 W Montrose Ave., 8:00pm – 2:00am, 21+
WHAT: Vampires, pinball, and a good time!
SO WHAT: Head over to Twisted Hippo for a night of Vampiric delights as you enjoy retro horror films played throughout the night, burlesque performances from the BimBamBoom vampiresses, access to the venue’s pinball arcade, and more. And by the night’s end there will be a new Queen Vampire crowned! A live DJ will take over the vibe at 10pm, so head out early and check out all the vampire-themed goodness!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $60 for this fun evening! Vampire attire is required as fangs will be checked! Entry also requires a vax card or recent negative COVID test!
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30th & 31st
The Neo-Futurists’ The Infinite Wrench @ The Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N Ashland, Saturday 10:30pm, Sunday 7:00pm
WHAT: Quick plays live and online!
SO WHAT: The Neo-Futurists are back! Their Infinite Wrench is an ongoing, ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes for a live audience. Now it’s actually a live audience that will be enjoying the performance in person! With plenty of COVID precautions in place, you’ll be able to enjoy the funny, disgusting, profound, terrifying, irreverent, and downright entertaining show with friends!
NOW WHAT: Join the Neo-Futurists this weekend for $10! Head over to their website to see all they have planned now that in-person audiences are a thing again! If you’re still a little anxious about going out, The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral will be continuing til February (and possibly beyond) over at their Patreon!
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31st
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!
Northalsted Halloween Parade @ Halsted between Aldine and Waveland, 5:00pm – 10:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Fun times in Northalsted!
SO WHAT: Nothing says Halloween like a good ole fashioned costume contest. Bring your A game to this enormous costume contest and parade in Northalsted where everyone is welcome! Registration for the contest starts at 5pm at Halsted and Aldine where the parade starts and goes up towards Waveland. At 6:45pm the awards show begins followed by a performance from iPop!
NOW WHAT: It’s free!
Sylvan Esso: Shaking out the Numb w/ Lido Pimienta @ Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W Lawrence Ave, 7:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: A perfect night of music for your Halloween plans
SO WHAT: Get ready for a fantastic Halloween as the always incredible Sylvan Esso, the duo of singer Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn take over the Aragon Ballroom! Their latest album Free Love came out last year right in the midst of the pandemic, so this tour is the first time they’re touring to support it. Joining them will be the wonderful sounds of Lido Pimienta!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $37.50 for this fantastic Halloween concert!
THE WHOLE SELF-DISTANCING WEEKEND & BEYOND
New Talks and Video Archives @ Various Locations & 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
- October 28 – This Jungian Life: A Live Podcast Taping with Third Coast Percussion (Virtual) – 7:00pm – 8:00pm
- November 6 – Imagining Chicago’s Future: A Film Screening & Conversation @ Columbia College Chicago – 1:30pm
- November 6 – Debbie Millman: Why Design Matters @ Columbia College Chicago – 4:00pm
- November 6 – Eli Saslow: Voices from the Pandemic @ Columbia College Chicago – 6:00pm
- November 6 – Kal Penn with Chasten Buttigieg @ the Harris Theater – 7:00pm
- November 11 – What’s Next: Money (Virtual) – 7:00pm
- November 13 – Teju Cole: Black Paper @ Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts – 10:30am
- November 13 – Speculative Infrastructure @ Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts – Noon
- November 13 – Illinois Poet Laureate Angela Jackson: A Celebration @ Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts – 1:00pm
- November 20 – Nikole Hannah-Jones of the 1619 Project @ the Symphony Center – 1:00pm
- November 21 – Alan Cumming @ the Music Box Theater – 6:00pm
- December 12 – Annie Leibovitz @ the Harris Theater – 7:00pm
- December 9 – Maggie Nelson: On Freedom (Virtual) – 700pm
Open House Chicago @ Various locations and on Zoom, Various times, all ages
WHAT: A chance to see some of the beautiful buildings Chicago has to offer.
SO WHAT: The Chicago Architecture Foundation will be opening doors to the city’s most interesting places, with more than 100 sites in 30 neighborhoods offering a chance to experience behind-the-scenes access. You’ll be able to explore the culture and diversity of our amazing city through its impressive architecture. All the tours are free and taking place on Oct. 16 & 17. In the meantime there are plenty of virtual events going on throughout the month, so visit the Open House Chicago website for a full list of locations and virtual events!
NOW WHAT: It’s all free, so plan these 48 hours accordingly.
Back on the Big Screen and Virtual Cinema @ Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave and 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 Last Night in Soho, The Rescue, Titane, Cat People, Karen Dalton: In My Own Time, The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Halloween Edition, and more! 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 vary, so sit back and enjoy! Remember that a physical/digitial vaccination card or a negative PCR Covid test within 72 hours is required for entrance!
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! If you feel comfortable head out to the film center and enjoy the ambiance of in person screenings again!
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-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!!
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 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!
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.