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
- 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 Happy Electronic Memories New Works by James ‘Jimbot’ Demski! 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!
- 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!
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18th
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.
- November 18 – IMAGERY CONVERTER Live at Fulton Street Collective
- November 23 – Kabir Dalawari Quartet w/ Bomar/Frosch Trio LIVE @ Fulton Street Collective
- November 30 – Lee Morgan Tribute Live at 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!
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19th
Sauced Night Market @ House of Vans, 113 N Elizabeth, 5:00pm – 10:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: A night time market in Chicago’s coolest venue
SO WHAT: Sauced Night Market returns to the recently reopened House of Vans. The roving night market has been showcases vendors for quite a while now and they’ll be returning to the West Loop warehouse/skate park/concert hall with another great lineup of 30 local vendors slinging their awesome wares! This event will also feature tunes from DJ Johnny Walker!
NOW WHAT: It’s free with RSVP! This event is all ages! Full COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results will be required to attend any House of Vans events.
Mavis Staples: A Benefit Concert for Beyond Hunger with Kelly Hogan@ Thalia Hall, 1807 South Allport Street, 7:00pm
WHAT: A benefit concert feature two amazing performers
SO WHAT: Honestly, what can you say about Mavis Staples that hasn’t already been said. She is a legendary artist that has influence music and beyond. Seeing her live is always a pleasure and this evening with fellow Chicago staple Kelly Hogan is a sure fire bet for your Friday night!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $70! Proceeds from the concert event will directly benefit the nearly 40,000 individuals Beyond Hunger serves across Chicagoland.
Sam Prekop & Jon McEntire w/ M. Sage @ Constellation, 3111 N Western Ave, 8:30pm
WHAT: An evening of interesting sounds
SO WHAT: Sam Prekop is making some of the most interesting music of his career. Equipped with a modular synthesizer that he amazed on his own, Prekop is crafting complex sounds that harness the beautiful qualities of repetitions, patterns, and the luck. Creating sounds on the fly, Prekop’s shows have been a marvel to experience and are highly recommended. Joining him will be fellow The Sea and Cake bandmate Jon McEntire, marking the second time the duo have performed as an electronic duo in US (Eurpoe got lucky witha entire tour). M. Sage will also be on hand opening up the show!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $15 for this great show!
FRIDAY – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19th – 21st
Millennium Park Art Market @ Millennium Park Chase Promenade North, 201 E Randolph St, Friday 3:00pm – 8:00pm, Saturday Noon – 8:00pm, Sunday Noon – 5:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: A little early holiday shopping
SO WHAT: Start your holiday shopping with one-of-a-kind items including jewelry, fashion, painting, sculpture, prints, drawings and more on sale by more than 30 local artists curated through BUDDY. There will also feature student artists from organizations including Marwen and After School Matters — plus a café, pop-up programming and a special visit by Dreezy Claus on Saturday and Sunday from 1–3pm.
NOW WHAT: FREE Admission! The Art Market is made possible by generous support from the Millennium Park Foundation. Face masks are required for all Art Market guests except while actively eating and/or drinking. Free Chicago masks available (while supplies last).
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19th & BEYOND
Christkindlmarket @ Daley Plaza & Gallagher Way, 50 W Washington St & 3635 N Clark St, Various Times, All Ages
WHAT: The Chicago Christmas time tradition is back in person!
SO WHAT: After going digital last year, Christkindlmarket is back with all the familiar foods, music, and ornaments you expect! Head over to their website for info on special events, hours, and more! If you still not feeling up to the crowds, their online marketplace will still be up and running for those who want to stay home!
NOW WHAT: It’s free! Mask up and stafe safe as you experience the wonderful marketplace!
ZooLights @ Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N Clark St, 4:00pm – 10:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: One of the largest displays of the season’s lights!
SO WHAT: ZooLights, Presented By ComEd and Invesco QQQ, at Lincoln Park Zoo makes the most wonderful time of year even better with the most wonderful lighting event. The one of a kind experience offers fun family oriented holiday celebrations that feature beautiful displays and incredible seasonal activities all under the glow of 2.5 million lights! Check out their event page for a full rundown of all the fun that is waiting for you at the annual ZooLights event!
NOW WHAT: Entry is free on Mondays and Tuesday, $5 every other day! Tickets for the Winter Experiences, including the carousal, Enchanted Forest, and much more will be available on site for $4 each, a package of 10 for $36, or a package of 20 for $69.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20th
BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festivals @ Magnificent Mile, 401 North Michigan Avenue, 11:00am -7:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: A Grand display of holiday cheer!
SO WHAT: This wonderful Lights Festival starts early in the day with a festive thoroughfare of booths and family activities, including photos with Santa Claus, until 4:00 p.m. Then at 5:30 p.m. the tree lightings commence with Grand Marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in attendance along with a parade featuring over an hour of fabulous floats, giant helium balloons, exciting marching bands, celebrities, musical performances, Santa Claus, and more! The event concludes with spectacular fireworks over the Chicago River at the DuSable Bridge at 7:00 p.m.
NOW WHAT: It’s Free! If your not feeling up to being there in person, ABC will be broadcasting the event throughout the holiday season!
Andersonville Viking Pub Crawl @ @atmostphere Bar (5355 N Clark) & Various Locations, 3:00pm – 6:00pm, 21+
WHAT: A little trip around the bars in Andersonville!
SO WHAT: The Andersonville Viking Pub Crawl returns with over12 stops and a whole lot of fun! each (plus fees). Groups are encouraged, so invite your friends and dress up – there will be a costume contest for for best group and best individual Viking costume!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $20 and include an appetizer at check-in at @atmostphere Bar (5355 N Clark), a 13oz. commemorative rascal glass designed by Transit Tees (you may use this glass for your drinks during the event), and a lanyard with souvenir badge which will unlock drink specials at each location! Bring cash for drinks as some venues do not take credit cards. This is a vaccination only event. There is also a Viking Drinking Horn available to purchase for $20!
Tasha: 2 Nights @ Sleeping Village, , 8:00pm, 21+
WHAT: Two nights with Tasha and a special guest
SO WHAT: Tasha, a born-and-raised Chicagoan, will be performing at Sleeping Village for two Saturdays in a row to share songs from her new album Tell Me What You Miss the Most. Whether you’ve had the opportunity to see her live or this is your first time, I guarantee you’ll be mesmerized by her breathtaking voice. Joining her on this second night will be the incredible Fran!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $15!
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20th & 21st
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
- 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 6 – Eli Saslow: Voices from the Pandemic (Virtual) – 7:00pm
- December 7 – Annie Leibovitz @ the Harris Theater – 7:00pm
- December 9 – Maggie Nelson: On Freedom (Virtual) – 700pm
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, NOVEMBER 21st
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!
THE WHOLE SELF-DISTANCING WEEKEND & BEYOND
Tony Fitzpatrick: Jesus of Western Avenue @ Cleve Carney Museum of Art, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, Various times Wednesday – Sunday, All Ages
WHAT: Prints, drawings, and collages from a local legend
SO WHAT: Cleve Carney Museum of Art will be housing Jesus of Western Avenue, a collection of 60 recent works from Tony Fitzpatrick’s great artistic mind! Fitzpatrick’s art is so intrinsically tied to Chicago and the Midwest, delivering stories and visuals that could only be birthed by our formidable city. You can read our review of The Secret Birds here!
NOW WHAT: The exhibit is free! You can RSVP and select times over at their website!
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 Power of the Dog, 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/digital 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!
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.