We’re at the end of July, so why not go out and enjoy the wonderful summer? 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 28th
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!
- 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
FRIDAY & SATURDAY, JULY 29th & 30th
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 29 – Southern Accents
- Saturday, July 30 – House Party
FRIDAY – SUNDAY, JULY 29th – 31st (& BEYOND)
The 2022 Newberry Book Fair @ Newberry Library, 60 W Walton St, Thursday & Friday Noon – 8:00pm, Saturday & Sunday, 10:00am – 6:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: A huge book fair supporting the Newberry Library, finally back after a long hiatus!
SO WHAT: There is no such thing as too many books. Newberry Library knows this and their annual book fair is a great place to add one, two, or a dozen new books to your growing library. Whether it’s cookbooks, biographies, children’s literature or heartbreaking works of staggering literary genius; with over 120,000 books for sale there’s a good chance you’ll find it at the fair.
NOW WHAT: Make some room on your shelves for some new books because admission is free, and all proceeds support the Newberry. The fair is cashless, so bring a card with you and add to your to-read pile! Also, Sunday is half-priced day!
Jefferson Park Arts & Music Festival aka Jeff Fest @ Jefferson Park, 4822 N Long Ave
WHAT: The 21th annual Jefferson Park Arts & Music Festival aka JEFF FEST!
SO WHAT: Enjoy all the fun activities and ambiance of Jefferson Park in this three-day festival! You’ll get the chance to enjoy some great bands, tasty foods, and tons of family fun while enjoying the warm Chicago weather!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $6 in advance and $7 at the door for this great neighborhood fest! Children 12 and under are free with an adult!
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!
- 7/28 Back to the Future – 8:30pm
- 7/29 Encanto – 8:30pm
- 7/29 A Quiet Place Part II – 11:00pm
- 7/30 The Notebook – 8:30pm
- 7/30 Scream 5 (2022) – 11:00pm
- 7/31 Spider-Man: No Way Home– 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 30th
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 30th & 31st
Randolph Street Market Festival @ 1341 W Randolph St., 10:00am – 5:00pm
WHAT: This fun street market is back after a few years away!
SO WHAT: Celebrate the return of the Randolph Street Market Festival where you can experience over 175 vendors with a wide variety of items perfect for the summer season! Shop for vintaage and antique items while enjoying a drink and the live music playing throughout the market!
NOW WHAT: Tickets start at $10, which are good for both day and go up with a nice selection of tiers including drink packages, totes, and more!
Chinatown Summer Fair @ Chinatown, S Wentworth Ave & 23rd street, 11:00am, all ages
WHAT: An iconic event celebrating the beauty of Chinese culture
SO WHAT: Visitors to the event will be able to see the revered Dragon and Lion Dance Procession! There will be plenty of food from fantastic neighborhood restaurants, activities for families and children, and more! It a nice mesh of ancient and modern Chinese culture. Check out the packed lineup of events happening during the fair at their event page!
NOW WHAT: The event is free and a nice way to end your weekend
THE WHOLE SELF-DISTANCING WEEKEND & BEYOND
Lollapalooza @ Grant Park & Streaming on Hulu, 601 South Michigan Avenue
WHAT: The over the top, too many days of music, is back at Grant Park and streaming safely at home on Hulu
SO WHAT: Lollapalooza is back in Grant Park with a lineup featuring the likes of Metallica, Dua Lipa, J. Cole, Green Day and TONS more! If you don’t feel like getting into the usually massive crowds, you can sit back at home and watch selected sets over on Hulu, which is Lollapalooza’s official digital home this year!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are still available. If you’re opting to stay at home like we are, tune in for some live sets over on Hulu!
50th Annual Fiesta del Sol @ Pilsen, Cermak from Ashland to Morgan St.,
WHAT: Join the Pilsen Community for the 49th annual Fiesta del Sol!
SO WHAT: Fiesta del Sol celebrates the Pilsen neighborhood’s culture with live entertainment featuring a full music lineup, local art, a variety of food, carnival rides, a children’s area, educational resources for parents and youth, soccer games, and much more. This event spans an eight-block space down Cermak Road from Ashland to Morgan St. and can be seen from miles around thanks to the carnival’s huge Ferris Wheel!
NOW WHAT: Admission is free for these great cultural festivities!
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 28 – Schubas Open Mic Hosted by Naomi Spungen Adrienne Stout @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 7:30pm – FREE – 21+
- July 28 – The Regrettes / Jackie Hayes@ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave – Doors 10:00pm – $30– 18+
- July 31 – RISK! True Tales, Boldly Told @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave – Doors 7:00pm – $25 – 21+
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 Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Fire of Love, Ira (Thursday only), Resurrection, Hypochondriac, CatVideoFest 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.