We’re all looking for something to do on the weekend, with pandemic numbers slowing down and it feeling a little more normal to go out. Especially since Chicago is dropping the masking and vaccination proof mandates on February 28 (for better or worse).
However the mandate is still in effect this weekend, so if you do plan to go out this weekend, make sure you check out the venue’s policies and take initiative. Wear a mask, social distance, and get your vaccination shots and your booster even if the venue/event is lax. Protect yourself and those around you. If you still don’t feel entirely safe to go out (and quite honestly, who can blame you?) you can always stay in and support these places from home.
Now, let’s get on with your Chicago Curated Weekend!
- 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 2020 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 Wanderlust from shawnimals starting on February19th! So if you feel comfortable mask up and see the work in person.
- 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!
- Immersive Frida is another immersive art experience that will take you on a trip to the beautiful world of Frida Kahlo
- WNDR Museum
- 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!
- Chicago Botanic Garden is open! Book a reservation to see all the beautifully lit up gardens safely!
- “The Office Experience Chicago” is open for all you die hard fans of the show!
THURSDAY, SATURDAY & SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24th, 26th, 27th
Highs & Lows @ Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave, Various Times
WHAT: A film series daring to go where you never really expected
SO WHAT: Take in the wide breadth of cinema as Music Box Theatre presents a new series Highs & Lows, Presented by Oscarbate and Hollywood Entertainment, sponsored by DePaul University. As the Music Box Theatre’s website puts it: “Highs & Lows: a mini-film fest questioning, bridging, and destroying the gap between the idea of bad vs good, high vs low, and art vs pleasure.” Find the surprising similar themes between these tonally dissonant film pairings.
- 2/24 Mouchette + Angus – 7:00pm
- 2/26 How High + Daisies – 7:00pm
- 2/27 How Stella Got Her Groove Back + Fear Eats the Soul – 2:00pm
- 3/1 Graduate First + American Pie – 7:00pm
- 3/3 EdTV + Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One – 7:00pm
- 3/5 Peggy Sue Got Married + The Last Temptation of Christ – 2:00pm
- 3/6 Dumb and Dumber + Y tu mamá también – 2:00pm
- 3/8 The Phantom of Liberty + Billy Madison – 7:00pm
- 3/10 How High + Daisies – 7:00pm
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $15 for these double features! And remember, Music Box Theatre has other movies playing in person and through their digital platform, so support this great theater from anywhere! Don’t forget: all visitors ages 5 and up to the Music Box Theatre will need to show proof of full vaccination for all screenings and events at the theater.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 24th
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.
- February 24 – Marques Carroll Quintet Live
- February 25 – VINO & VINYL: Closing Night Art Inspired By Artists (in person only)
- February 27 – Livia Nestrovski/Henrique Eisenmann Album Release
- March 1 – Paul Motian’s 1992 release MOTIAN IN TOKYO performed live at JRAC
- March 2 – Jack Sundstrom Quartet w/Riichiro Fujiki Quintet
- March 3 –Blueshift Big Band perform VIDEO GAMES live
NOW WHAT: The shows are free! Also you should definitely support Fulton Street Collective by becoming a member!
FRIDAY – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25th – 27th
ChiTown Movies @ Pilsen Neighborhood, 2343 S. Throop St, Various Times, All Ages
WHAT: An old school experience for the modern age
SO WHAT: Take a trip back in time and head out to a drive-in movie with ChiTown Movies. Ever since the pandemic started and shut down traditional movie screening, a few pop up drive-ins have arrived and ChiTown Movies has persevered, offering up modern movies in this retro setting. Check out their lineup below for showings this weekend and in the future!
- 2/25 Moana – 7:00pm
- 2/25 Friday the 13th – 9:30pm
- 2/26 Shrek – 5:30pm
- 2/26 Jurassic Park– 7:30pm
- 2/27 Despicable Me – 5:30pm
- 2/27 Black Panther– 7:30pm
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $33 per car for these movies, so bring the family for a safe movie watching experience
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26th
Music Frozen Dancing: A Winter Block Party @ Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western Ave 1:00pm – 7:00pm
WHAT: Oh you know, just a little block party in the middle of winter
SO WHAT: Clearly the most logical thing to do in February is to throw a party outside the Empty Bottle. Presented with their pals at Goose Island Beer Co, Music Frozen Dancing 2022 will be welcoming some fantastic artists to their chilly stage including Stuck, Surfboat, Automatic, Pixel Grip, Sweeping Promises and Divino Nino!
NOW WHAT: It’s free! Bundle up and rock out! While the show is free, they will be accepting donations at the gate – all proceeds benefit the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
Liam Kazar / Lake Cadien / Wyatt Waddel @ Metro, 3730 N Clark St, 7:00pm
WHAT: Three great acts on one bill
SO WHAT: Liam Kazar has been busy this past year. On top of cooking for his Isfahan pop-up, Kazar has been celebrating the release of his debut solo album Due North. The collection of songs is a joyous sound, blending elements of indie rock madness with alt country twang for a perfect slice of Chicago music. Joining him will be the debut of Lake James (the solo outing of Twin Peaks‘ Cadien James) and the incredible voice of Wyatt Waddel as Wyatt for Sale!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are only $17 in advance, $20 at the door for this fantastic show!
Tierra Whack @ House of Vans & Vans Channel 66 , 7:00pm
WHAT: A fantastic show at the always fun House of Vans
SO WHAT: House of Vans is back in action and their first show will feature the amazing Tierra Whack! Whack’s irresistible flow and perspective is just so good. Whether it’s explosive micro tracks that made up her debut album Whack World or the fuller songs that comprised her recent EPs: Rap?, Pop?, and R&B?, Whack is making some of the most interesting music of the last few years and needs to be experienced live. Thankfully everyone will have the opportunity as Vans Channel 66 will livestream it!
NOW WHAT: Tickets for the in person portion of the show are sold out, but you can watch the concert over at Vans Channel 66!
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26th & 27th
The Neo-Futurists’ The Infinite Wrench @ The Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N Ashland, Saturday 10:30pm, Sunday 7:00pm, 16+
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! Plan ahead as vaccination cards will be checked and booster will be required to be fully vaccinated.
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, FEBRUARY 27th
Vegan Market @ Thalia Hall, 1807 S Allport, Noon – 5:00pm, all ages
WHAT: Chicago’s Vegan Test Kitchen is a community of local plant-based chefs and vendors of cruelty-free goods, and beauty and wellness products.
SO WHAT: Chicago’s Vegan Test Kitchen is back and is getting the year started on the right foot with this Vegan Market at Thalia Hall. You’ll get the chance to talk and purchase some delicious food from local plant-based chefs and cruelty-free makers. There will be some family-friendly activities including Story Time with Cruelty Free You+ Me
NOW WHAT: Entry is free!
THE WHOLE SELF-DISTANCING WEEKEND & BEYOND
The Frequency Festival @ Constellation & William Eckhardt Research Center , 3111 N Western Ave. & 5640 S. Ellis Avenue, Room 161, Constellation shows at 8:30PM, William Eckhardt Research Center concert at 8:00PM
WHAT: New and interesting music
SO WHAT: Constellation has hosted the Frequency Series for nearly decade, growing it to be a flourishing night that highlights Chicago’s new music scene. The Frequency Festival follows the series’ mission to present the most exciting and important artists in new music. Check out this weekend’s lineup below and discover something a little different from the norm.
- 2/24 Hanna Hartman @ William Eckhardt Research Center – FREE
- 2/25 Susan Alcorn / Jordan Dykstra @ Constellation – $15
- 2/26 Tomeka Reid, Sam Bardfeld, Curtis Stewart & Stephanie Griffin* / Krista Franklin, Ben LaMar Gay, Sam Scranton & Katherine Young @ Constellation – $15
- 2/27 Ensemble Dal Niente @ Constellation – $15 (livestream tickets available)
Weekend Shows @ Lincoln Hall & Schubas, 2424 N Lincoln Ave & 3159 N Southport Ave, various times, 18+
WHAT: A full weekend of amazing shows at Schubas!
SO WHAT: Lincoln Hall and Schubas are some of our favorite venues in the city and they always have something great going on. Check out what’s going this weekend at these great venues!
- February 24 – Schubas Open Mic Hosted by Naomi Spungen @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 7:30pm – FREE – 21+
- February 24 – The Laughing Hearts / Asi Asi / Santrio @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 7:30pm – $10 – 18+
- February 24 – Magdalena Bay & Cecile Believe @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave – Doors 7:30pm – $22 – 18+
- February 25 – Chaz Cardigan @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 6:30pm – $15 – 18+
- February 25 – The Weather Station & Helena Deland @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave – Doors 8:00pm – $20 – 18+
- February 26 – Claud / Jackie Hayes / Interlochen Songwriters @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave – Doors 6:00pm – $18 – All Agees
- February 26 – Lilly Hiatt & The Harmaleighs @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 6:30pm – $15 – 18+
NOW WHAT: Head out to Schubas & Lincoln Hall and enjoy this great lineup of shows! Please note: proof of vaccination is required for entry to all shows at Lincoln Hall and Schubas in Chicago. Click here for more information on this policy.
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 Worst Person in the World, Compartment No. 6 (Thursday only), Strawberry Mansion, Nightmare Alley: Vision in Darkness and Light, the Highs and Lows series, 2022 Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts, a midnight screening of Teen Witch 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 is required for entrance!
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 always bring some of the best ideas to the surface with entertaining programming that captures your imagination. Be on the lookout for the upcoming season as their website is constantly updated with new talks. They just announced their first talk of the new year! Click the link below for more details!
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 Livestreams 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.