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BEST Things To Do In Chicago

The Event Oracle knows ALL the fun things to do in Chicago. Select your date above then scroll down for all the Arts, Entertainment, and Events in my crystal ball...

  • The Chinese Helped Build the Railroad – The Railroad Helped Build America

    238 W. 23rd St
    Chicago, IL 60616
    The Chinese Helped Build the Railroad – The Railroad Helped Build America

    The Chinese American Museum of Chicago is excited to host a new year-long temporary exhibition, The Chinese Helped Build the Railroad – The Railroad Helped Build America, beginning March 2, 2019, to coincide with the 150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit in Utah.

    The bilingual exhibit, which features photographs by Li Ju, pays tribute to the approximately 12,000 Chinese workers who completed the west coast portion of the world’s first Transcontinental Railway.

  • The Photographs of Edward S. Curtis

    3001 Central St
    Evanston, IL 60201
    The Photographs of Edward S. Curtis

    Between 1900 and 1930, Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952) traveled from Mexico to the Arctic, compiling a vast store of information covering more than Indian tribes, in the form of 40,000 photographs, 10,000 recordings of songs and stories, and several volumes of field notes. The published result, The North American Indian (1907), spanned 20 volumes of illustrated text, accompanied by 20 photo portfolios.

    Most critics agree that the work is an impressive achievement, and that Curtis overcame many obstacles, including difficult field conditions and a chronic shortage of funds, to complete such a comprehensive project. However, opinions diverge about the value and integrity of his undertaking. Do these photos have merit beyond the world of art? In his quest to preserve “vanishing” tribes, Curtis promoted, and helped to shape, the public’s view of Indians as “noble savages.” Because he staged many of his scenes with overly fancy accessories or culturally inaccurate details, some scholars have criticized his work. However, others praise Curtis’ genuine interest in the Native people he photographed, in an era when tribes had been forced onto reservations and children sent to government-run boarding schools that stripped them of their language and traditions.

  • Tinkering Lab

    Chicago Children’s Museum
    700 East Grand Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611-3428
    Tinkering Lab

    Welcome to Tinkering Lab, Chicago’s first DIY maker-space for families! Step into the ultimate workshop where we provide the space and resources, and you decide what to do next. We’re talking REAL tools, REAL materials and the freedom to innovate and explore life outside those fancy computer and smartphone screens.

  • The S. Leigh Pierson and Douglas R. Conant Readers Hall

    180 N Michigan Ave
    Chicago, IL 60601
    The S. Leigh Pierson and Douglas R. Conant Readers Hall

    In addition to being the museum’s primary event space, Readers Hall also offers interpretive exhibits celebrating the critical role of the reader in American literature, both now and in the past. Visitors can get a glimpse of what everyday Americans were reading throughout history, and weigh in on their favorite reading material.

  • Indigenous Entrepreneurship: Tribal Enterprises & Co-ops

    3001 Central St
    Evanston, IL 60201
    Indigenous Entrepreneurship: Tribal Enterprises & Co-ops

    As there are no reservations in Illinois, most tribal based businesses are not well known in this area. While many people are familiar with the arts, crafts, and casinos, there are many other products and services offered by Indigenous businesses today.

    The Mitchell Museum is proud to present the latest exhibit showcasing Indigenous-owned businesses, tribal co-ops and enterprises; Indigenous Entrepreneurship: Tribal Enterprises & Entrepreneurs about the expansion of tribal initiatives that support tribal sustainability and the incorporation of tribal values into business models.

    The exhibit also covers the challenges that many tribal entrepreneurs face, their unique opportunities based on their sovereign nation status, and the programs that offer them support. Learn about the various products and services offered by tribal enterprises and Indigenous entrepreneurs, from Ioway Honey to buffalo meat Tanka Bars!

  • Nuestras Historias

    National Museum of Mexican Art
    1852 W. 19th street
    Chicago, IL 60608
    Nuestras Historias

    Nuestras Historias (Our Histories) highlights the Museum’s Permanent Collection to showcase the dynamic and diverse stories of Mexican identity in North America. The exhibition presents cultural identity as something that continually evolves across time, regions, and communities, rather than as a static, unchanging entity, and features ancient Mesoamerican and colonial artifacts, modern Mexican art, folk art, and contemporary works from both sides of the U.S.–Mexican border. The vast diversity of Mexican identities demonstrated in these works defies the notion of one linear history and a singular identity.

  • The Shape of the Future

    Museum of Contemporary Art
    220 E Chicago Ave
    Chicago, IL 60611
    The Shape of the Future

    The Shape of the Future features works from the MCA permanent collection that reckon with the dubious dream of a universal design language. Coinciding with the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the exhibition explores global modernism as a framework for utopia and speculative world making, marked by traces of labor, political fantasy, and cultural turmoil. Highlighting the histories and ideologies embedded in the built environment, these artists reveal the complexity—and at times absurdity—of the modernist project as a collection of disasters and reveries.

  • Dinosaur Expedition

    Chicago Children’s Museum
    700 East Grand Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611-3428
    Dinosaur Expedition

    Explore this re-creation of the real Saharan expedition where Chicago paleontologist Paul Sereno discovered a NEW type of dinosaur. See a life-size skeleton of suchomimus (sue-co-MY-muss), dig for bones in the excavation pit, compare skulls, teeth, and claws with a T-Rex, and learn what it would be like to be part of Paul's expedition team.

  • A Nation of Writers: John and Cathie Estey

    180 N Michigan Ave
    Chicago, IL 60601
    A Nation of Writers: John and Cathie Estey

    English is our de facto national language, a legacy of colonization. Yet today’s Americans speak more than 350 languages, a reflection of the nation’s immigrant history and the enduring presence of our indigenous people. Given such diversity, is it possible to say that there is a single American literature, a body of work with a distinctive character? In a word, yes.

    The 100 authors featured here represent the evolution and flourishing of American writing. Writers of the 1600s and 1700s borrowed forms and themes from Europe, applying them to New World settings and issues. Then, over the course of the 1800s, a new, democratic style emerged, rooted in the way Americans talked and thought. Previously underrepresented voices began to be heard, culminating with an explosion of perspectives in the modern era. Taken together, this rich literary heritage reflects America in all of its complexity: its energy, hope, conflict, disillusionment, and creativity.

  • Remembering Dr. King

    Chicago History Museum
    1601 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL 60614-6038
    Remembering Dr. King

    Remembering Dr. King: 1929-1968 invites visitors to walk through a winding gallery that features over 25 photographs depicting key moments in Dr. King’s work and the Civil Rights movement, with a special focus on his time in Chicago.

    Chicago, like other U.S. cities, erupted in the wake of King’s assassination on April 4, 1968. While the center of his activism was focused on dismantling southern Jim Crow, the systems that kept African Americans oppressed in the American South, he spent time in Chicago and often spoke out on the realities of northern discrimination, particularly around the issues of poverty, education and housing.

  • Sensing Chicago

    Chicago History Museum
    1601 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL 60614-6038
    Sensing Chicago

    Use your five senses to uncover the past and discover that history is all around Chicago. Children can ride a high-wheel bicycle, hear the Great Chicago Fire, catch a fly ball at Comiskey Park, smell the Union Stock Yard, and dive into a giant Chicago-style hot dog!

  • Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Field Museum
    1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    From simmering volcanoes to the whiskers on a walrus, experience the beauty and intrigue of our natural world.

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year, produced by the Natural History Museum in London, showcases 100 of the world’s best nature photographs. An international panel of experts selected these images from over 45,000 entries.

    Striking scenes of diverse animal life and changing landscapes come into focus on immersive light panels. Trek through China’s mountains among endangered monkeys and glimpse owls in a bustling Indian city. Experience the many sides of life in the wild—at times surprising and even devastating, but also heartwarming and humorous.   

  • Goldilocks and the 3 Bears

    5900 W. Belmont
    Chicago, IL 60634
    Goldilocks and the 3 Bears

    Chicago Kids Company Theatre for Children (CKC) presents Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, a one-hour musical adaptation! This musical is JUST RIGHT! This show is based on the classic story of a young girl who ventures into the woods and stumbles on a cute house with 3 bowls of porridge, 3 chairs, and 3 beds. The show runs one hour with no intermission, and is targeted for kids aged 2 to 12.

  • Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

    151 W Randolph St
    Chicago, IL 60601
    Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

    This holiday season discover the perfect gift for everyone on your list!  Start with a timeless tale of joy and goodwill, fill it with classic Irving Berlin songs, top it off with glorious dancing and lots of snow and head on over to the Cadillac Palace Theatre to see IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS.  Performances begin December 10 for this must-see classic in a lavish new production that the New York Times says to “put on your wish list.”  IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS tells the story of a song-and-dance team putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and falling for a stunning sister act in the process. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written!  Give everyone the gift they’re dreaming of with this merry and bright holiday musical.

  • Tight Ship @ Riverview Tavern

    1959 W. Roscoe St.
    Chicago, IL 60618
    Tight Ship @ Riverview Tavern

    Tight Ship Comedy is a professional independent showcase featuring the city's vast talent EVERY THURSDAY at Riverview Tavern (1958 W Roscoe St). Our first show is taking place 9/28 at 7:30pm, and you can purchase tickets online for $5, plus a small service fee. With each online ticket purchased, you’ll receive a FREE domestic beer when you arrive the night of the show.

  • Dream Freaks Fall From Space

    1616 N. Wells St.,
    Chicago, IL 60614
    Dream Freaks Fall From Space

    Dream Freaks Fall from Space holds a funhouse mirror up to the already bizarre times in which we’re living. The powerhouse cast delivers a show that’s surreal, musical, maniacal, and utterly entertaining all at the same time. You’ll fall for this other-worldly adventure that’s unlike any other show on the planet!

  • Máximo the Titanosaur

    Field Museum
    1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Máximo the Titanosaur

    The titanosaur Patagotitan mayorum is a big deal—literally, the biggest dinosaur that scientists have discovered to date. This long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur lived over 100 million years ago in what is now Patagonia, Argentina. 

    Named Máximo, meaning “maximum” or “most” in Spanish, our titanosaur cast reaches 122 feet across Stanley Field Hall on our main floor and stands 28 feet tall at the head. Modeled from fossil bones excavated in Argentina, this touchable cast conveys the sheer size of the biggest animal ever to live (It’s longer than a blue whale!). Patagotitan weighed about 70 tons in life—that’s as much as 10 African elephants, like the two specimens on display next to Máximo.