Warm days are back again just in time for Memorial Day weekend (and the Memorial Day Wreath-Laying Ceremony & Parade on Saturday) and of course there is something great going on in Chicago! And with the pandemic numbers staying relatively low (but rising a bit), it’s feeling a little more normal to go out since Chicago dropped the masking and vaccination proof mandates on February 28 (for better or worse).
While we’re hopefully at the tail end of things, many venues are keeping their mask and vaccination requirements for the foreseeable future. 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 doesn’t require it. And if you still feel that wearing a mask is a must (like many still do), then please wear one. 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
- 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! This week sees the opening of “Saturday Morning Fever” featuring the works of Griffin Goodman! Pus you can 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! Their current show “Saturday Morning Fever” featuring the works of Griffin Goodman is up now, so you can see it in person or through their virtual gallery! 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! They will also be showing Smalls to the Walls: A Group Exhibition of Petite Proportions!
- Rotufugi is the perfect nexus of art and toys! Head over to see what new pieces of art they have in stocks and on display in their gallery space! This month they have Flora & Fauna: New Works by Michael Fleming!
- 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!
- Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony & Parade on Saturday, May 28th
- Wreath Laying Ceremony, Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St. at 11am
- Parade, State Street from Lake St. to Van Buren St. at Noon
THURSDAY, MAY 26th
French Market @ Gallagher Way, 3635 N Clark St , 4:00pm – 8:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: A little taste of France in Wrigleyville!
SO WHAT: French Market will be a perfect way to spend your Thursday evening with its casual, European flair and wide variety of vendors. Each day of the market will feature 20+ vendors! Whether your looking for some tasty treats, hand made goods, or just a good time in the setting summer sun, French Market is there for you! Plus there will be a kids craft corner to keep the kid’s imaginations growing. You can bring your blanket on the grass or pick a patio table to sit back and enjoy the live music each week! Check out the music schedule below!
- May 26 – The DB’s (Americana Blues)
- June 9 – Akasha (Reggae)
- June 23 – Jared Rabin (Classic Rock ‘n Roll)
- July 21 – The Heavy Sounds (Funk & Soul)
- July 28 – The Roy McGrath Menjunje Quintet (Latin Jazz)
- August 11 – Dave Specter (Chicago Blues Legend)
- August 18 – Big Sadie (Americana Roots)
- September 1 – Dr. Mark & the Sutures (Beatles cover band)
- September 15 – Imperial Boxmen (World Jazz Trip Hop
THURSDAY – SUNDAY, MAY 26th – MAY 29th
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!
- 5/26 The Batman
- 5/27 Uncharted
- 5/27 Friday the 13th
- 5/28 Encanto
- 5/28 Us
- 5/29 Spider-Man: No Way Home
- 5/30 The Batman
- 5/31 Encanto
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $33 per car for these movies, so bring the family for a safe movie watching experience
FRIDAY & SATURDAY, MAY 27th & 28th
Makaya McCraven @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave, 8:00pm, 18+
WHAT: Expanding you your mind with stellar soundscapes from Makaya McCraven
SO WHAT: Makaya McCraven is an accomplished jazz composer, drummer, and beat scientist creating some of the most interesting collections of music you’ll hear today. Take his 2018 album Universal Beings, where McCraven worked in Chicago, London, New York and Los Angeles to record jam sessions with musicians from each locale. He then pieced together portions of each session to create a collection of brilliantly smooth and sometimes muted suites that erase any division between jazz and hip-hop. he’s a master at his craft and this show will be an excellent example of where his compositions are heading.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door for this great show! Tickets for the May 27 show are here and tickets for the May 28 show are here!
FRIDAY – SUNDAY, MAY 27th – 29th
Festival Mole de Mayo 2022 @ Pilsen on 18th Street Between Ashland & Blue Island, Friday & Saturday Noon – 10:00pm, Sunday Noon – 9:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Mole, a staple of Mexican dishes, is delicious. That alone should be enough to convince you to go.
SO WHAT: Mole De Mayo is an excellent three-day event showcasing the wonderful dish mole and pitting local chefs and restaurants against one another to find out whose version of the Mexican staple is best. Two awards will be up for grabs: Mole de Mayo’s Best Mole Award & People’s Choice Award. There will also be live music the whole weekend including Kinky (!), Galli lucha libre (that’s some good old fashioned wrastlin’) on Saturday and Sunday, an open-air Mercado/Market with plenty of merchants and artisans, amazing food vendors, and a whole bunch of other cool stuff in Chicago’s epicenter of Mexican culture. Check out the rest of the festivities at their event page!
NOW WHAT: There’s a $5 suggested donation for individuals and $10 for families at the gate.
SATURDAY, MAY 28th
Summer Fireworks @ Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue, 10:00pm – 10:10pm
WHAT: Enjoy the spectacle of fireworks all summer long
SO WHAT: Take a trip to Navy Pier and check out their dazzling display of fireworks!. Each show features dramatic and popular music soundtracks with some special occasion soundtracks sprinkled throughout the season. It’s the first fireworks sho of the year so kick off summer with this explosive tradition.
NOW WHAT: It’s free! Just make your way to Navy Pier, find a spot, and enjoy the show !
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, MAY 28th & MAY 29th
Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival @ Sheffield from Belmont Ave. to Roscoe St., 3200 N. Sheffield Ave., Saturday and Sunday 11:00am – 10:00pm, all ages
WHAT: The annual Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival!
SO WHAT: Spend your weekend at the Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival and catch some fun local tribute bands on the main stage (near Roscoe), great eats, a few drinks (beer and wine) and pick up some cool items from some incredible artisans. There will also be an eclectic “community” entertainment stage (near Belmont) featuring with fun neighborhood music acts, DJs, and other performers. Check out the lineups at their event page!
NOW WHAT: Head out and enjoy the Northside festival!
Sueños: El Festival Latino @ Grant Park, 337 E Randolph St, Noon – 10:00pm, 18+
WHAT: The brand new Latin Music festival Sueños !
SO WHAT: Sueños is the perfect festival for Latin music fans! This brand new 18+ fest will be taking over Grant Park with over 15 talented Reggaeton & Latin artists for an unforgettable weekend. Dance your weekend away with the likes of J Balvin, Ozuna, El Alfa, Wisin & Yandel and many more!
NOW WHAT: General admission passes are $275, VIP are $600, and Platinum passes are $1500!
Mayfestiversary 2022 @ Dovetail Brewery, 1800 W Belle Plaine Ave, Saturday Noon – 10:00pm, Sunday Noon – 9:00pm
WHAT: Mayfestiversary returns!
SO WHAT: Begyle Brewing and Dovetail Brewery are teaming up again for two days of amazing beer, live music, the finest food trucks this city has to offer! Check out the full lineup of music and food over at their event page.
NOW WHAT: Entry is free! There is a suggested donation of $5 which goes to The Friendship Center and their mission of fostering hope and dignity through access to food, vital resources, and critical social services in the community!
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, MAY 29th
South Side Book Fair @ Whiner Beer’s Taproom The Plant, 1400 W. 46th St., 1:00pm – 4:00pm
WHAT: A book fair to reignite your reading habits
SO WHAT: Head over to Whiner Beer’s Taproom to buy some books and other items from local vendors, renew your Chicago Public Library card, and learn about great organizations doing amazing work right here in Chicago! Vendors will have books available in both English and Spanish! There will also be plenty of fun activities happening at the plant during the book fair and Whiner Beer will donate 20% of each core beers (Le Tub, Miaou, and Curb Cutter) to Liberation Library! Head over to their event page for a list of vendors and more info!
NOW WHAT: Entry is free, just bring some cash for some great books and beer!
THE WHOLE SELF-DISTANCING WEEKEND & BEYOND
Chicago Japan Film Collective Film Festival @ Logan Theatre (2646 N Milwaukee Ave), Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N State St), & Their Website’s streaming platform, the comfiest movie watching spot in your home, various times
WHAT: The opportunity to discover some of the best contemporary Japanese indie cinema
SO WHAT: The Chicago Japanese Film Collective Festival is back and this time with a mixed in-person and virtual fest! The festival has a strong focus on narrative, documentary, and animated work created by women, the LGBTQ community, and minority filmmakers. Through these films, they hope to connect Japanese and American cultures and create mutual understanding and respect. They will be showing 13 films for their second year and it looks like a great one as this year’s theme is “Love.”
NOW WHAT: In-Theater Tickets are $12 and an All Access Pass is $25! Virtual Tickets are $10 for single films, $20 for 5 Virtual Tickets (5 Films)! Go watch some incredible films!
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!
- May 26 – Schubas Open Mic Hosted by Adrienne Stout and Aaron Klinger @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 7:30pm – FREE – 21+
- May 26 – Podcast About List / Pierce Campion @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 7:00pm – $20 – 21+ SOLD OUT
- May 19 – Podcast About List / Pierce Campion (Late Show) @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 9:00pm – $20 – 21+
- May 26 – Remo Drive / Boyish + Heart To Gold @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave – Doors 6:00pm – $18 – All Ages
- May 27 – Doso / Melvin Knight + Semiratruth @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 7:30pm – $15 – 18+
- May 27 – Makaya McCraven / Jeremy Cunningham & Dustin Laurenzi @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave – 8:00pm – $20 – 18+
- May 28 – Makaya McCraven / MXMRYS @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave – 8:00pm – $20 – 18+
- May 28 – Quiet Pterodactyl Showcase: MIIRRORS, Vinyl Palace, Bird & Butterfly @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 7:30pm – $12- 21+
- May 29 – Covet Hikes, King of Heck @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave– Doors 6:00pm – $20 – All Ages
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 really to fill that art house need in you with some excellent movies including with The Northman, Pleasure, Men, Hit the Road , midnight screenings of Thrilling Bloody Sword, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Part of: Anchors Aweigh Matinees!, Jambon et Fromage 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!
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 brings some of the best ideas to the surface with entertaining programming that captures your imagination. Be on the lookout for updates to the upcoming season as their website is constantly updated with new talks. Check out the links below for the current lineup of talks on their schedule!
- 6/1 KAINA & Ben LaMar Gay: A Concert @ Navy Pier Lake Stage
- 6/2 Simu Liu on Superheroes, Stardom & Writing a Memoir @ Music Box Theatre Chicago
Fulton Street Collective Jazz Series @ Fulton Street Collective, Prairie Moon (635 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, IL), & Their YouTube channel, 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, which has a great back catalog for you to enjoy! Below are just some of the upcoming shows from the collective.
- May 19 – Emily Kuhn Quintet/Chase Elodia CD Release Livestream @ Fulton St Collective
- May 24 – Adam Larson Quartet Livestream at Fulton Street Collective
- May 25 – MOON JAZZ with ALEX BELTRAN ORGAN TRIO @ Prairie Moon (635 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, IL)
NOW WHAT: The shows are free, but there is usually a $15 suggested donation to help support the musicians and Fulton Street Collective. ! Also you should definitely support Fulton Street Collective by becoming a member!
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.