Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 5/18 and Beyond

It’s another fun week in Chicago and the temps seem to be evening out! So let’s enjoy the spring vibes with some incredible markets, movies, spirited events, and more on this weekend’s calendar.

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


Margarita & Sangria Fest @ Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Drive, 6:30pm – 10:00pm, 21+
Margaritas and sangrias at the Zoo
SO WHAT: Lincoln Park Zoo are hosting an evening of delicious margaritas and sangrias! Indulge in a variety of tasty cocktails, wine, beer and more at this after hours party taking place throughout the zoo’s beautiful gardens. There will be a live DJ, live Salsa & Bachata music and lessons performed by Chicago’s own Enrique Calderon & His Orchestra, interactive games, giveaways and views of the zoo’s amazing animals!
NOW WHAT: General Admission tickets are $35

FRIDAY – SUNDAY, MAY 19th – 21st (& BEYOND)

Anime Central (ACen) @ Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N River Rd., Friday 10:00am – Sunday 4:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: A place to get your fill of anime and more!
SO WHAT: Anime Central (ACen) is the largest anime, manga and Japanese popular culture convention in Chicago and the Midwest. The event brings fans together to enjoy their fandom with a huge exhibit hall, a massive video-game room, concerts, dances, educational panels and workshops, premiere screenings, autograph sessions, 24-hour video rooms, tabletop gaming, and much more!
NOW WHAT: Registration for the event is currently open. Three-day passes are $85 for adults and $20 children aged 6-12. Single-day passes are $55 for Friday or Saturday and $45 for Sunday at the con! Face masks are strongly recommended for Anime Central 2023

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


The MRKT @ The Salt Shed, 1357 N Elston Ave, 1pm-7:30pm
WHAT: A fun ourdoor market for all!
SO WHAT: Enjoy the spring weather with this excellent market at the Salt Shed! Shop over 50 Midwest vendors with unique and beautiful wares while you enjoy a live DJ! Plus there will be interactive art installations ready for you to snap a few shot of, live screen printing, a photoboot, keychain making station, and more!
NOW WHAT: It’s free to enter but they are accepting donations! So head out, buy a few things, and enjoy the Salt Shed’s immaculate vibes!

Pilsen Cantina Crawl 2023 @ Pilsen, Noon – 6pm, 21+
WHAT: A little bar tour of Pilsen in support of Pilsen Fest!
SO WHAT: Take a trip to Pilsen and check out eight fantastic venues, each one with a cocktail or beer waiting for you for this year’s Pilsen Cantina Crawl! There will be live music and DJs throughout and shuttle stops available to help you get from cantina to cantina with ease!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $35-$50 for this great day in Pilsen!

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, MAY 20th & 21st

Renegade Craft Fair @ Andersonville, Clark St. between Bryn Mawr Ave. + Edgewater Ave., 11:00pm – 6:00pm, all ages
A craft fair focused on independent makers.
SO WHAT: Hundreds of independent crafters and makers will be at this Renegade Craft Fair celebrating DIY spirit for the first time in Andersonville! This great market/fair has been bringing some of the best vendors to Chicago for years and this one is sure to be great.. Head over to their event page for a full vendor list and more info.
NOW WHAT: The event is free and open to the public. The fair will be on Clark St. between Bryn Mawr Ave. + Edgewater Ave., giving you tons of space to shop and support DIY crafters.


Sour Beer Fest @ Delilah’s, 2771 N. Lincoln Ave, Noon – 5:00pm, 21+
A little taste of sour beers
SO WHAT: Delilah’s Sour Beer Festival will let guests partake in a wonderful lineup of brews! You’ll have the chance to try a variety of guezes, krieks, goses, flanders reds and so many more!
NOW WHAT: Admission is free but the cost to sample is $20 for 20 sample tickets and the tickets are only available at the door.


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!

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, L’Immensita, Millennium Mambo, Labyrinth, a midnight screening of Identikit and Rocky Horror Picture Show 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!

Julian Ramirez
Julian Ramirez