Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 5/11 and Beyond

After a warm start to the week, we're back to the middling temps this weekend. Luckily there's plenty of amazing events to take your mind off the cooler spring atmosphere. So enjoy it as you check out some incredible markets, movies, concerts and more in this weekend's events!

While it feels like the pandemic is behind us, you still need to be mindful when you go out this weekend and beyond. The winter season has seen a lot of colds, flu, RSV, and of course bouts of COVID. It's better to be safe and wear a mask when you go out to big events. And if you're still a little hesitant to go out, there are many events and things to do from home. So whether you're staying in or going out, keep safe and stay healthy!

Now, let's get on with your Chicago Curated Weekend!


Chicago Humanities Festival Spring 2023: 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's coming up!

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 2023


Whisky Fest @ Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E Wacker Dr, 6:30pm – 9:30pm, 21+
The delicious nectar that is whisky/whiskey
SO WHAT: This is the perfect opportunity to try a huge variety of whiskies from around the globe! Seriously, whether you’re looking for Canadian or Japanese, rye or bourbon, you’ll find it here. WhiskyFest will also include seminars conducted by master distillers and blenders to get you all the more acquainted with the wonderful spirit!
NOW WHAT: Tickets start at $295 for this incredible whisky experience. 

The Great Penguin Party @ Shedd Aquarium, , 6:30pm - 11pm, 21+
WHAT: Waddle, dance and have a swinging good time with the penguins at The Great Penguin Party.
SO WHAT: Head over to the Shedd Aqyuarium and enjoy some delicious hors d'oeuvres and an open bar with beer and wine selections (cash bar for cocktails) all the while seeing the wonderful penguins and other aquatic animals at the aquarium! Alan Gresik Swing Orchestra of the Green Mill will be on hand to give the night a fantastic soundtrack!
NOW WHAT: GA tickets are $89.95 and VIP tickets (which include exclusive bar access and a signature cocktail included in the open bar package) are $124.95!

FRIDAY & SATURDAY, MAY 12th & 13th

Sauced Night Market @ House of Vans, 113 N Elizabeth, 5:00pm – 10:00pm, All Ages
A night-time market in Chicago’s coolest venue
SO WHAT: Sauced Night Market returns to House of Vans to help finish off the Spring season. The roving night market has been showcases vendors for quite a few years now and they’ll be returning to the West Loop warehouse/skate park/concert hall with another great lineup of local vendors slinging their awesome wares across two nights! The full lineup of vendors  can be found at their website.
NOW WHAT: It’s free with RSVP!

FRIDAY - SUNDAY, MAY 12th - 14th (& BEYOND)

Chicago Mayfest @ Lincoln Park (Armitage & Sheffield), Friday 5pm-10pm,, Saturday Noon - 10pm, Sunday Noon - 9pm
WHAT: Fun times in Lincoln Park!
SO WHAT: Chicago Mayfest offers a wide variety of entertainment for all ages. There will be plenty of live entertainment at two stages showcasing Chicago’s most acclaimed musicians. A Kids area will  be open with tons of carnival like fun and much more! There will also be delic ious summertime food and all the libations needed to light up your weekend! The Armitage Art Show will also be on hand with plenty of amazing works on display for you to purchase and take home!
NOW WHAT: There is a suggested donation of $10 that will help support RANCH Triangle Community Conservation Association 

Chicago Cabaret Week @ Various Locations, Various Times
WHAT: Chicago Cabaret Week returns for its second year!
SO WHAT: Chicago Cabaret Week is a 10-day festival featuring a variety of blues, jazz, American songbook, world music, pop, and Broadway by some of Chicago’s finest artists. This is the perfect opportunity to experience Chicago’s revitalized cabaret scene.
NOW WHAT: Tickets vary, head over to the event page for the week's schedule and links to tickets!

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!
NOW WHAT: Join the Neo-Futurists this weekend for $15! 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


Burger Time! @ Marz Community Brewing Co., 3630 South Iron Street, Noon - 3pm
A burger competition for the ages!
SO WHAT: Now is the time to decide on who makes the Best Burger in Chicagoland at BURGER TIME! 8 different Burger experts will be compete to be the Burger Time Champion as they prepare their tasty burgers on flattops and charcoal grills! So get ready for this delicous event and help choose the best burger in town!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $45 and include one sample of each burger and one beer or NA drink!


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

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!

NOW WHAT: Head out to Schubas & Lincoln Hall and enjoy this great lineup of shows!

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 Blackberry, Beau is Afraid, 30 for 30: A Comedy Series, Other People's Children, The Conformist, a midnight screening of Venom 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 subscription is $4.99 a month, $49.99 a year, in person screenings vary, so sit back and enjoy!

University of Chicago Folk Festival @ Your favorite spot in your home, All Ages
WHAT:A fantastic folk festival
SO WHAT: University of Chicago Folk Festival might have come and gone but their digital presence is still around, making sure the wonderful music reaches as many people as possible! You can check out the past few years of performances on their Facebook page and their YouTube channel any time you want! This past year's performers included Balfa Toujours, Donka & Nikolay Kolev, Juan Rivera, Henry Barnes & Conner Vlietstra, Po' Ramblin' Boys, Jerron Paxton; Tim Britton, John Williams and Katie Grennan!
NOW WHAT: Head over to their Facebook page and their YouTube channel and enjoy the show! We highly encourage you to donate to help support this fantastic folk festival!

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 this great story!

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Julian Ramirez