Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 6/30 and Beyond

Holy moly, It’s Fourth of July weekend! That snuck up on us. Luckily there are tons of really fun events for everyone to do this weekend! 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) and events are rolling in.

While it may seem like we’re 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!


Pier Dance @ Polk Bros Performance Lawn City Stage (Navy Pier), 600 E. Grand Ave, 6:00pm – 7:30pm, All Ages
: Learn to dance in a beautiful outdoor stage
SO WHAT: Navy Pier will be giving guests a little help on the dance floor this year with a  series of free dance lessons on the Polk Bros Performance Lawn City Stage. Each week a different style of dance will be taught by some incredible instructors. After the focused lessons, the floor will be opened to free dance.
NOW WHAT: Head over to Navy Pier and show off some newly acquired dance skills!


Half Acre x Vienna Beef present Only Gold @ Half Acre, 2050 W Balmoral Ave, 3:00pm – 9:00pm, All Ages
: Beer & hot dogs, what more could you want!
SO WHAT: Half Acre have partnered up with Vienna Beef to the perfect hot dog beer—Only Gold Golden Ale. This is cause for celebration! So they’re throwing a little party featuring the tasty Only Gold, Chicago Style Hot Dogs with all the Vienna toppings, limited-edition shirts, hats, pins and glassware.
NOW WHAT: $10 at the door gets you a dog and a beer. Entry is then $5 for guests under 21 (no beer, obviously).


Twilight Tunes @ Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W 31st St, 6:00pm – 9:30pm
WHAT: Music and animals
SO WHAT: Twilight Tunes, Brookfield Zoo’s summer concert series, will be taking over the ground on Fridays and Saturdays in July! Enjoy 10 nights of live music while having access to afterhours exhibits like the big cats, Pinniped Point and underwater viewing, Seven Seas’ dolphin underwater viewing, Ice Age Giants (East Trail), and Wild Encounters (no Aviary) until 8:30pm. Each night will end with a laser light show at 9:00pm! Check out the music lineup below and more info on each act over at the Brookfield Zoo website.

  • Friday, July 1 – Hello Weekend
  • Saturday, July 2 – Trippin Billies
  • Friday, July 8 – ARRA
  • Saturday, July 9 – Boy Band Review
  • Friday, July 15 – Sixteen Candles
  • Saturday, July 16 – American English
  • Friday, July 22 – 7th Heaven
  • Saturday, July 23 – Hillbilly Rockstarz
  • Friday, July 29 – Southern Accents
  • Saturday, July 30 – House Party

NOW WHAT: Tickets are $15 adults and $13 children and seniors. Brookfield Zoo Member Tickets are $10 adults and $8 children and seniors


39th American Music Festival @ Fitzgerald’s, 6615 W Roosevelt Road, Friday 4:00pm – 11:30pm, Saturday Noon – 11:30pm, Sunday Noon – 10:30pm, Monday Noon – 10:30pm, All Ages
WHAT: A celebration of amazing homegrown music!
SO WHAT: Fitzgerald’s American Music Festival has grown from a three-band barbecue night to an astounding four-day shindig! It’s a celebration of Roots Music with some tasty backyard cooking bringing together die-hard music fans, families, and foodies for some fun. this year’s lineup is stellar with headliners Son Volt, Rebirth Brass Band, Alejandro Escovedo, North Mississippi Allstars and an undercard featuring the likes of Robbie Fulks, Marcia Ball, Joe Pug, Lydia Loveless, Waco Brothers, and so many more!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $50 per day or $175 for the 4-Day pass!

ChiTown Movies @ Pilsen Neighborhood, 2343 S. Throop St, Various Times, All Ages
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!

NOW WHAT: Tickets are $33 per car for these movies, so bring the family for a safe movie watching experience

The Neo-Futurists’ The Infinite Wrench @ The Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N Ashland, Friday and 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


Chosen Few DJs Picnic and Festival @ Jackson Park, E Hayes Dr & E 63rd St, 8:00am – 10:00pm
WHAT: A full day of great music and more!
SO WHAT: After a pair of digital editions of the fest, Chosen Few DJs Picnic and Festival are returning to an in-person event! The wonderful day will include DJ sets from The Chosen Few DJs Alan King, Andre Hatchett, Jesse Saunders, Mike Dunn, Terry Hunter, Tony Hatchett, and Wayne Williams. There will also be sets from special guests Osunlade, DJ Spen, Teddy Douglas, Natasha Diggs, J Star, D Train, and Dajae.
NOW WHAT: Tickets start at $60 for this amazing outdoor fest! Kids 12 and under are free to enter!

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.
NOW WHAT: It’s free!  Just make your way to Navy Pier, find a spot, and enjoy the show !


29th African/Caribbean International Festival of Life @ Washington Park, 5531 S. King Dr., 2:00pm – 10:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: A fantastic festival that puts the spotlight on African/Caribbean culture
SO WHAT: The African Caribbean International Festival of Love is bringing a little bit of everything to Washington Park for four days of fun! Enjoy wonderful Afro-Caribbean food, games, crafts and amazing music from the likes of I-Octane, Mr. Killa, Al Hudson & One Way, Doc Payne & Payne Relief Blues Band, and many more.
NOW WHAT: One day admission is $25 in advance ($20 for seniors), $40 day of after 5pm. 3-Day ticekts are $60 in advance. VIP passes are also available! Children under the age of 12 are free to enter!

The Billboard by WBEZ’s Natalie Y. Moore @ Abbott Hall at Northwestern University, 710 N. Lake Shore Dr., June 23-July 17, 2022
WHAT: Reproductive justice on Chicago’s South Side.
SO WHAT: As we absorb the full meaning of SCOTUS overturning Roe, The Billboard presents an in-depth look at reproductive rights set at a fictional women’s clinic in the Englewood neighborhood, where politicians weaponize women’s bodily autonomy to forward their careers. The Vagina Monologues creator V (formerly Eve Ensler), said “The Billboard is a provocative and timely play ripe with the political complexities and nuances of our times.” #TrustBlackWomen
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $25 and available at and 708-795-6704. Vaccination proof and masks are required for all live events. Copies of The Billboard are available from Haymarket Books.


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!

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
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 Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Apples, Crimes of the Future (!) Mad God, The Music Box 70MM Film Festival 2022 (final day Thursday), midnight screenings of Ghost in the Shell 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. 
NOW WHAT: Head over to take a look at their past events here! You should also sign up for their email list to get updates on upcoming talks in 2022.

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.

Julian Ramirez
Julian Ramirez