The cool temps are finally here and fall has begun. Break out your hoodies and coats because there is just so much going on during autumn in Chicago it would be a shame if you missed these great events. There are tons of events going on so you won’t have to look far and wide for something amazingly fun to do this weekend!
It’s feeling a little more normal to go out since Chicago dropped the masking and vaccination proof mandates (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 present and future of the gaming realm! They are currently showing 50th Anniversary of Magnavox Odyssey
- All Star Press is constantly putting up new prints for you to decorate your space with! 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!
- 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 Little Corners of the Universe New Works by Nellie Le!
- “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!
- Special Events this weekend only!
FRIDAY – SUNDAY & BEYOND, SEPTEMBER 30th – OCTOBER 9th
World Music Festival Chicago @ Various Locations, Various Times
WHAT: A little taste of music from around the world
SO WHAT: World Music Festival Chicago brings award-winning artists from around the world to share their amazing music for this citywide, multi-venue festival. Over 30 artists and ensembles representing 22 countries and regions of the world will be performing throughout the festival. This is their 22nd year of live, in-person performances, and they will also be celebrating 10 years of Ragamala, the largest all-night long presentation of live Indian classical music in the United States.
NOW WHAT: It’s free! Head over to their website to check out this year’s schedule!
FRIDAY – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th – OCTOBER 2nd (& BEYOND)
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, OCTOBER 1
Thee Best Western @ Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western Ave, Noon – 8:00pm, All ages
WHAT: A full day of western tunes and fun times at the ol’ Empty Bottle!
SO WHAT: Enjoy the sounds of Steve Gunn, Floatie, Spllit, Gabacho, Fran, and Tommy Goodroad while enjoying the cool October weather. There will so much to do like peruse the popup of amazing vendors; try some tasty treats from Pizza Friendly Pizza, Chef’s Special, and Taqueria Chingon; take a few choice photo booth pics; get some people wet with the Dunk Tank; tons of fun games, and more! One lucky person will also receive the coveted FOB (Friend of the Bottle) Gold Pass which grants entry to any/all Empty Bottle Shows in 2023!
NOW WHAT: It’s free! So make your way to the Empty Bottle and have a swell time, pardner!
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1st & 2nd
Wingout Chicago @ St. Michael’s Church Parking Lot, 1633 N Cleveland, Noon – 8:00pm
WHAT: Some delicious wings for your weekend
SO WHAT:WingOut Chicago is an outdoor, chicken wing block party, offering all-you-can-eat wings from the top vendors in the city. Beyond the delicious treats there will be a live music stage, a la carte food items for order, shopping, and cold beverages. Plus Sean Evans of Hot Ones will be on hand Sunday as a Featured Judge to crown some of the best wings in town!
NOW WHAT: General admission is $14 and gets you guaranteed entry and one sponsored drink from 2pm-8pm. VIP tickets are $79 and include unlimited wing sampling and sponsored drink package and early entry from noon to 2pm. You can also head out and enjoy the festival setting for free!
THE WHOLE SELF-DISTANCING WEEKEND & BEYOND
Reeling The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival @ Music Box Theatre (opening night only) – 3733 N Southport Ave, plus Chicago Filmmakers, 1326 W Hollywood Ave, & Landmark Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N Clark St, various times
WHAT:This LGBTQ+-focused festival returns in both in-person theater screeningem and online!
SO WHAT: Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival is the second longest-running film festival of its kind, showcasing the best LGBTQ+ films and videos each year. The festival always delivers a great range of films from award-winning international feature films to social documentaries to experimental shorts. Since things are a little better now, there will be both in-person screenings and events in addition to the streaming options from the last couple of years. Head over to their website for more info!
NOW WHAT: See info on tickets and passes here. Individual tickets for the Landmark Cinema and Chicago Filmmakers screenings are $12 and a full In-Person pass is $130! Tickets for the Opening Night at Music Box Theatre are $15 for the film, $40 for the film and pre-party. Single film streaming tickets are $10 and an all-access streaming pass is $125. Virtual film screenings premiere starting September 30 through October 6.
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!
- 9/29 Black Panther – 7:00pm
- 9/30 Hocus Pocus – 7:00pm
- 9/30 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – 9:00pm
- 9/30 Us – 11:00pm
- 10/1 Minions: The Rise of Gru – 7:30pm
- 10/1 Scream 5 (2022) – 9:30pm
- 10/2 Jurassic Park – 7:00pm
- 10/4 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – 7:30pm
- 10/5 Back to the Future – 7:30pm
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $33 per car for these movies, so bring the family for a safe movie watching experience
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 and Lincoln Hall!
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!
- September 29 – Mega Mango / Fredo Disco / Zorila @ Schubas
- September 29 – Schubas Open Mic Hosted by Naomi Spungen and Adrienne Stout @ Schubas
- September 29 – Reality Gays LIVE! with Mattie and Poodle!@ Lincoln Hall
- September 30 – Winona Forever / Late Nite Laundry @ Schubas
- October 1 – Dark Nights: The Stage Is Dark But The Bar Is Lit feat. The Misconstrued Tunes of Kriz Baronia@ Schubas
- October 1- Manwolves / Interlay / Preme @ Lincoln Hall
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 Pearl, Moonage Daydream, Music Box of Horrors: Scared Stupid, In the Mood for Love, Midnight Screening of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, 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. Here is a taste of what coming in September!
- 10/13 Award-winning Comedian Iliza Shlesinger
- 10/22 Black Women Will Save the World with April Ryan and Valerie Jarrett
- 10/22 Is the Public Still Persuadable? A Conversation with Anand Giridharadas with David Corn
- 10/22 Rick Lowe on the Transformative Power of Public Art
- 10/22 Miranda July on Art in All its Forms with Carrie Brownstein
- 10/22 Innocent & Behind Bars with Daniel S. Medwed
- 10/22 Will Bunch on the Higher Education Divide
- 10/22 Extremism in America: Pushing Back on Radicalism & Saving our Democracy
- 10/22 Somebody Feed Phil Comes to Chicago
- 10/22 Jeff Garlin: Our Man in Chicago with Susie Essman
- 10/23 Margo Price
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.