Well, this year’s Thanksgiving crept up on me!
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 still 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
- 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! Plus they have a Black Friday Sale going on!
- 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 25th
IT’S THANKSGIVING! TAKE THE NIGHT OFF AND SPEND IT WITH FAMILY!
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26th
Millennium Park Holiday Sing-Along @ Millenium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., 6:00pm – 7:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Sing out and celebrate Chicago’s diverse holiday traditions
SO WHAT: The new Millennium Park Holiday Sing-Along series near Cloud Gate (previously “Caroling at Cloud Gate”) will invite Chicagoans and visitors to come together and sing their hearts out. This series has been reimagined to be more inclusive of Chicago’s many faith backgrounds, cultures and holiday music traditions. Each night will feature a different theme and musical group. Tonight will feature Chicago Latino Theater Alliance presenting Destinos al Aire: Posadas y Parranda, with Cuerdas Clásicas and the Frankie Diaz Trio featuring Milly Santiago!
NOW WHAT: It’s free! Head over to their website for more info! Face masks are required for all Holiday Sing-Along guests and masks will be available at the event while supplies last.
FRIDAY – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26th – 28th
Mercado Navideño @ National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W 19th St., 10:00am – 4:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: A fantastic shopping experience
SO WHAT: Stop by the National Museum of Mexican Art and shop the Mercado Navideño, their special Holiday Market! The shop will feature exquisite handmade keepsakes from Mexico including Christmas ornaments and nativity scenes to t-shirts to jewelry and so much more! Museum members will receive a 30% discount on all merchandise purchased during the Mercado.
NOW WHAT: It’s free! Head out and grab some great items for the holiday season!
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26th & BEYOND
Light Up the Lake @ Navy Pier, 600 E Grand, Various times, All ages
WHAT: Winter festivities without all the cold!
SO WHAT: Navy Pier will be putting on Chicagoland’s biggest indoor, temperature-controlled winter celebration! Light Up the Lake will feature a light garden, featuring large-scale light-sculpture displays; an Alpine ice rink, authentic holiday beer garden, kiddie train rides, gift market, Merry Main Street Presented By Brach’s—and, of course, a chance to visit with SANTA!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are available now and range from $15 to $26.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 27th
V.V. Lightbody & Gabacho @ Sleeping Village, 3734 W. Belmont Ave., 8:00pm, 21+
WHAT: Perfect tunes for your Saturday Night
SO WHAT: V.V. Lightbody, the incredible Vivian McConnell, is someone you need to see perform live. Especially since it’s been over a year and half since she released her beautiful album Make a Shrine or Burn It and those songs are aching for more people to hear them. McConnell’s voice is truly something to behold and this night at Sleeping Village should be a treat! Joining her will be the psychedelic jams of Gabacho!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $14 in advance, $16 at the door for this great show!
Yung Bae / Macross 82-99 / Tanuki @ House of Blues, 329 N Dearborn St, 8:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Future Funk for the masses!
SO WHAT: This is one for the book as three amazing electronic artists who specialize in some of the most danceable grooves you’ll hear are coming together for one night! Yung Bae, Macross 82-99, and Tanuki will take over House of Blues for what is destined to be a night of nonstop jams!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are going fast but are available right now!
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27th & 28th
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 28th
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
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’re still not feeling up to the crowds, their online marketplace will be up and running for those who want to stay home!
NOW WHAT: It’s free! Mask up and stay 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 per person (for all ages, including infants and LPZ members) 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.
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 The Power of the Dog, The Sound of Music Sing-a-Long, nearly midnight showings of Suicide Club (Part of: Music Box of Horrors Presents) & Last Night in Soho, and more! But if you want to watch some first-run movies at home, you can still watch great movies and support them online! They are currently screening films via their The Music Box Direct series! There are 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!
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 30 – Lee Morgan Tribute Live at Fulton Street Collective
- December 1 – Isaiah Collier Group at Fulton Street Collective
- December 2 – Davis & Griffin’s TOUGH TENOR FAVORITES performed @Fulton Street Collective
- December 3 – CHICAGO YESTET: Art Opening & Live Performance at Fulton Street Collective
- December 4 – HOLIDAY MARKET at FSC, Spudnik Press, Platform Stuidos, Cusic Photo & More
- December 6 – Shultz/McCullough Quintet w/Tim Hagans & Jon Irabagon @ FSC
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!
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
- 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
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.