We’re getting closer to the end of another summer month, but don’t fret! 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 still have 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
- Chicago Gamespace is the perfect spot to check out the hairy and future of the gaming realm! They are currently showing 鬼鎮 (Ghosttown) Spirit Simulator!
- All Star Press is constantly putting up new prints for you to decorate your space with! This week sees the opening of The Voyeurs, a solo Show by Steve Seeley! Plus 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! You can see their previous show “Saturday Morning Fever” featuring the works of Griffin Goodman 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 are currently moving to a new location, but you can check out their website in the meantime!
- 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! They are currently showing Midwest Style Graffiti New Works by Atomick! They’ll also be having a Dumpster Fire Customs show opening this weekend!
- 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
- “Prince: The Immersive Experience”
- WNDR Museum is an ever-evolving immersive art and technology experience designed to ignite your curiosity! See exhibits like the Light Floor, Try to Get Higher, and the Digital Gallery. Plus Keith Haring!
- 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!
THURSDAY, JULY 21st
French Market @ Gallagher Way, 3635 N Clark St , 4:00pm – 8:00pm
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 12 – Bowmanville (Hot Club Jazz)
- 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
Taco Crawl @ Clark St. between Devon Ave. and Rogers Ave., 3:00pm to 6:00pm
WHAT: Celebrate the delicious culinary masterpiece that is TACOS!
SO WHAT: This taco themed food crawl will let you experience a huge variety of filled tortilla goodness! The crawl will take place along Clark St. between Devon Ave. and Rogers Ave., allowing you to partake from 14 participating restaurants serving their signature tacos! Check out the full lineup of restaurants over at their website!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $20 in advance, $30 day of for this taco extravaganza ! You can pick up your passport and/or purchase tickets at 7056 N. Clark St. the day of the event from 3pm-6pm! Restaurants stop serving at 7:00pm.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY, JULY 15th & 16th
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 22 – 7th Heaven
- Saturday, July 23 – Hillbilly Rockstarz
- Friday, July 29 – Southern Accents
- Saturday, July 30 – House Party
FRIDAY – SUNDAY, JULY 22nd – 24th (& BEYOND)
El Gran Festival Colombiano – Chicago 2022 @ Humboldt Park,2800 W. Division St., Friday 3:00pm – 10:00pm, Saturday & Sunday Noon – 10:00pm
WHAT: A Celebration of Colombian culture
SO WHAT: Head over to Humboldt Park to experience Colombia’s culture from its cuisine, dance, its cumbia and vallenato music. Enjoy the explosive colors, festival carnival costumes, wonderful music and joyous celebrations. El Gran Festival Colombian will have a live main stage with international artists (including Wilfrido Vargas, Tito Nieves, Binomio de Oro, and more), food, drinks, fun for the whole family!
NOW WHAT: Friday is Free! Tickets are for Saturday and Sunday are $25 each day!
Wicker Park Fest @ Milwaukee Ave between Paulina St and North Ave., Friday 5:00pm – 10:00pm, Saturday & Sunday Noon -10:00pm, all ages
WHAT: An amazing festival in one of the cooler Chicago neighborhoods.
SO WHAT: It wouldn’t be a summer weekend in Chicago without a worthwhile festival taking place. Wicker Park Fest brings together great local food, arts and crafts, a kids’ area, local retail vendors, and an insane lineup of music. The lineup includes Local H, Cherry Glazer, Caroline Rose, Armand Hammer, NNAMDI, Lester Rey, and tons more!
NOW WHAT: It’s only a $10 donation, which keeps this great festival going year after year, so it’s no excuse not to head to Wicker Park and have a great time.
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!
- 7/21 Encanto – 8:30pm
- 7/22 A League of Their Own – 8:30pm
- 7/22 Nightmare on Elm St. (The Original!) – 11:00pm
- 7/23 Spider-Man: No Way Home – 8:30pm
- 7/23 Rocky Horror Picture Show– 11:30pm
- 7/24 My Best Friend’s Wedding – 8:30pm
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
SATURDAY, JULY 23rd
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 !
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, JULY 23rd & 24th
IL Hot Sauce Expo 2022 @ 121 N Chicago St, 11:00am – 11:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: The intersection of tasty pleasure and indescribable pain
SO WHAT: Come to The IL Hot Sauce Expo 2022 for two days of fiery foods festival to get the ultimate endorphin rush. The weekend promises to be like no other. There will be free hot sauce tastings from around the world, an epic amount of challenges including the Guinness Book of Records Reaper Eating Contest, wrestling, live plus, craft beers, specialty cocktails & tons more! Check out everything going on at this devilish tasty event!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are available now! General admission is $10! The Cradft Beer Package includes 4 Craft Beer Tokens, Burrito Bowl food Token, Limited Edition Expo Poster & Bottle of hot sauce for $40! The Ultimate VIP pass includesan All-Access Back Stage Pass into their exclusive VIP area, which features an open bar with cocktails & spirit/craft beers tastings, Limited Edition Expo Poster & Bottle of hot sauce, & VIP Gift bag stuffed with sponsorship goodies for $100!
Pizza City Fest Chicago @ Plumbers Hall, 1340 W Washington, Noon – 9:00pm
WHAT: A myriad of pizzas for you to try!
SO WHAT: Celebrate 10 styles of pizza including Sicilian, Detroit, Deep-Dish, Tavern, and Stuffed at this cheesy festival! Pizza City Chicago will bring 40 pizza makers, curated by Steve Dolinsky author of “Pizza City USA” and “The Ultimate Chicago Pizza Guide”, will be on hand making as many pizzas as they can! there will also be plenty of educational seminars on the history and future of pizza!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $55 per day or $89 for a two day pass to this pizza lovers dream!
SUNDAY, JULY 24th
Sundays on State @ State Street from Lake to Monore, 11:00am – 8:00pm
WHAT: From Lake to Madison, State Street becomes an open street full of surprises!
SO WHAT: Neighbors from every Chicago community and beyond are invited to Sundays on State, an interactive block party that will let you safely enjoy art, culture, active recreation, retail, bars, restaurants, and local attractions! Experience everyone’s neighborhood, the Loop, like never before!
NOW WHAT: This fantastic way to spend your Sundays this summer is FREE!
THE WHOLE SELF-DISTANCING WEEKEND & BEYOND
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!
- July 14 – Schubas Open Mic Hosted by Adrienne Stout and Aaron Klinger @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 7:30pm – FREE – 21+
- July 14 – Elf Power / E.R. Jurken @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave– Doors 7:30pm – $15- 21+
- July 15 – The Armed Pitchfork Music Festival Aftershow / Lynyn @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave – Doors 10:00pm – $25– All Ages SOLD OUT
- July 15 –Schubas Comedy Showcase @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 7:30pm – $10- 21+
- July 16 – HYD Pitchfork Music Festival Aftershow / Ouri @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 10:00pm – $20 – 18+
- July 16 – Spirit of the Beehive/ Wiki / DJ Soup Time Pitchfork Music Festival Aftershow @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave – Doors 10:00pm – $22 – 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 really to fill that art house need in you with some excellent movies including with Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Fire of Love, Ira, CatVideoFest (!), Rush Hour 2 Part of: Music Box Garden Movies (Thursday only), Once Upon a Time on Halstead (Saturday only), James and the Giant Peach & Robocop Part of: STOP! Motion: Matinees & Midnights, 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.