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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...

  • Heritage Markers: Local Native American History and Culture

    Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
    3001 Central St
    Evanston, IL 60201
    Heritage Markers: Local Native American History and Culture

    From street signs to statues, Native American heritage is all around us. While Illinois no longer has any reservations, over 40,000 American Indian peoples representing over 150 tribes live in the Chicagoland area. Dotted throughout the area are markers of Native American heritage from yesterday and today. Expanding on the existing fishing and hunting wigwam and the mural of the Skokie lagoons on the museum’s second floor, "Heritage Markers: Local Native American History and Culture" uses local heritage markers, contemporary Native organizations, street signs, and town names as touchstones to discuss the local Native history.

    The exhibit begins with projectile points and potsherds found in the backyards of Evanston and Wilmette. In this section, the exhibit explains the tribal presence throughout Illinois before European contact and highlights the development and decline of these many tribes including the Illinois Nation. Origin stories will be contrasted with archeological interpretation of regional sites like Cahokia, Aztalan, and Dickson Mounds. Visitors can learn about the culture of the Ho-Chunk and Potawatomi peoples who lived in this area with quotes from descendants who returned to make this area their home again today.

  • Darling Grenadine

    MARRIOTT THEATRE
    10 Marriott Dr
    Lincolnshire, AZ 60069
    Darling Grenadine

    Set in modern-day Manhattan, Darling Grenadine centers on songwriter Harry and his girlfriend Louise, brother Paul, and his Labrador Retriever Paul. Through Paul's eyes, the story explores romance and reality and how they intertwine.

    Darling Grenadine is directed by Kristin Hanggi who is best known for being the director of Rock of Ages, which went on to receive five Tony Award nominations. Harry will be played by Bryan Fenkart, who starred in A Sign of the Times last summer. Illusion is at the center of Darling Grenadine with plenty of tricks, stage magic and props appearing out of thin air for you to be in awe of.

  • Build It!

    Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago
    2100 Patriot Boulevard
    Glenview, IL 60026
    Build It!

    Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago celebrates the return of the popular temporary exhibit “Build It!,” a larger than life collection of building blocks that allow children to explore their creativity while learning about architecture, science, and storytelling.

    Kids are able to discover, stack, bridge, enclose, make patterns, name and symbolize using blocks, which are the seven stages of block play. Block play teaches several important mathematical concepts, including measurement, numeral awareness, part-to-whole relationships and social concepts such as sharing and collaboration.

  • The Harvey L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition

    Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
    9603 Woods Dr
    Skokie, IL 60077
    The Harvey L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition

    Make a Difference! provides an age-appropriate and highly interactive space where hands-on activities for kids ages 8-12 foster leadership skills, empathy, self-esteem, and positive decision making. Children can:

    • Peek inside school lockers to learn about Upstanders like Rosa Parks and Ryan Herljac, who took a stand for positive change.
    • Help problem-solve situations they might encounter at school, on the playground, or in the neighborhood.
    • Create self-portraits through the power of words, learning more about what makes you, you.
    • Make a pledge to be an Upstander and learn how other visitors are making a difference.
    • Tell their own stories on video about local or global issues that matter to them, and share how they might work toward change.
  • The Teaching Wigwam

    Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
    3001 Central St
    Evanston, IL 60201
    The Teaching Wigwam

    Located on the second floor of the museum, the teaching lodge is an interactive exhibit that provides unique hands on experience for museum patrons. The exhibit focuses on an Anishinaabek (Potawatomie, Oddawa, and Ojibwe) hunting lodge and aspects of Anishinaabek culture. Wiig-i-waams varied in size from 8 to 20 feet in diameter, and could house two people to a family of 8-10 members.

    Our exhibit features a Bajiishka'ogaan (ba-jeesh-ka-o-gaan) which is made up of two words; bajiishkikodan (to be made into a point/pointed); and o'gaan (house/shelter). It is a low-lying, conical lodge used for temporary purposes, such as hunting and fishing camps, unlike the larger dome shaped wiigiwaam which tend to be larger and more permanent. This type of lodge could house anywhere from two to four adults and would be used primarily for sleeping, while most camp activities would be conducted outside. The lodge in the exhibit is constructed of rough birch and box elder limbs and covered with sheets of birch bark.

  • Amplified: Chicago Blues

    Chicago History Museum
    1601 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL 60614-6038
    Amplified: Chicago Blues

    Southern black migrants brought the blues to Chicago, where the music helped them forge connections and transform an unfamiliar, often inhospitable city into a new home. The music was also transformed—electrified and amplified to compete with urban noise. The photography of Raeburn Flerlage captures the streets, clubs, homes, and studios where a community of musicians defined the Chicago blues sound.  Immerse yourself in the Chicago scene of the 1960s through Flerlage’s images, and experience the blues by playing guitar, designing an album cover, writing lyrics, and singing karaoke.

  • Underground Adventure

    Field Museum
    1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Underground Adventure

    In this immersive exhibition, you’ll “shrink” to 1/100th of your actual size—smaller than a penny—to take a closer look at the soil beneath our feet.

    Once you’re down to size, you’ll meet a creepy, crawly cast of characters, including a giant mole cricket and a wolf spider. You’ll learn about the diversity of life that soil supports and how every species needs soil to survive and thrive.

  • Morning Glories

    Garfield Park Conservatory
    300 N. Central Park Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60624
    Morning Glories

    Enjoy learning together with your little one during this weekly drop-in session. Activities are fun, interactive, and encourage children’s curiosity about the natural world. Children and their care-givers rotate to different stations around the Children’s Garden. Stations include planting projects, soil digging stations, tours, story-time, and more. Participation is free, but donations for material costs are appreciated.

    Please note that while all children 5 years old and under are welcome to take part in Morning Glories with adult supervision, some projects are designed specifically for children ages 3-5 years old. Younger children are welcome to participate in all stations with the support of their care-givers. Adult supervision is required for participation in the Morning Glories Program.

  • Brick Safari at Brookfield Zoo

    Brookfield Zoo
    31st St. and First Ave.
    Brookfield, IL 60513
    Brick Safari at Brookfield Zoo

    Brick Safari features more than 40 life-size animal sculptures created from millions of individual colored LEGO® bricks. The menagerie of animals will be located along a winding wooded pathway on the east side of the park. Colorful graphics featuring interesting animal facts and statistics such as the size of each figure, how many bricks were used to build each one, and the amount of time it took to create each sculpture are displayed. To commemorate their visit to Brick Safari, zoogoers can take a selfie in the Safari Jeep created from LEGO® bricks or behind a life-size photo frame.

  • Christien Meindertsma: Everything Connects

    Art Institute of Chicago
    111 South Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    Christien Meindertsma: Everything Connects

    Since graduating from the Eindhoven Design Academy, Christien Meindertsma has become known for her research-oriented work that explores the potential of raw materials and reveals processes that have become obsolete due to industrialization. Her prototypes, documentary videos, and finished objects highlight our relationship to the materials and products in the world around us and address concerns of environmental sustainability.

  • THE COLLECTION: Where Art Meets Fashion

    Fashion Outlets of Chicago
    5520 Fashion Outlets Way
    Rosemont, IL 60018
    THE COLLECTION: Where Art Meets Fashion

    THE COLLECTION: Where Art Meets Fashion, the multifaceted contemporary art program of Fashion Outlets of Chicago, will welcome a rotating exhibition by 2018 Olympic costume designer Dr. Keysook Geum to the shopping center this February. Dr. Keysook Geum’s rotating exhibition will feature three life-sized sculptural forms, entitled Enlightenment III, Nirvana in Red IV and NIGHTINGALE. Dr. Geum is an author and professor of Textile Art and Fashion Design at Hong Ik University in Seoul, Korea, and recently served as the Artistic Director for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in 2018, designing both the uniforms and dresses worn in the opening ceremony. Dr. Geum’s dramatic sculptures of elegantly posed forms embody the fusion of timeless Asian aesthetics and philosophy with contemporary air. They are constructed of paper-wrapped or enamel coated wires, gems, beads and silk. Starting with a central focal point, Dr. Geum works outwardly in a concentric manner reminiscent of a spider. As the artist weaves, twists and bends wire two-dimensionally, intricate forms and unintentional patterns emerge. The natural tensions of interlacing wire push and pulls out until ¬-figurative shapes begin to take form.

  • A Regional Tour of American Indian Cultures

    Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
    3001 Central St
    Evanston, IL 60201
    A Regional Tour of American Indian Cultures

    This exhibit brings visitors on a tour through the major regions of the US and Canada and highlights the art and material culture of the tribes who lived there. Many of the objects you’ll see were collected by John and Betty Seabury Mitchell. This couple shared their passion for Native American art and culture with Evanstonians both old and young. In that spirit the exhibit strives to provide a deeper understanding of Native American art, history, and cultures to all our visitors.

     

  • Indigenous Entrepreneurship: Tribal Enterprises & Co-ops

    Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
    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!

  • Chicago: Crossroads of America

    Chicago History Museum
    1601 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL 60614-6038
    Chicago: Crossroads of America

    Climb aboard L car no. 1, visit a jazz club, picture yourself in the fashions of the Marshall Field’s store window, and learn what makes Chicago home sweet home. Explore the city’s history through a series of galleries that highlight artifacts through interactive features and multimedia presentations.

  • Chicago Authored

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

    Discover how those who write about Chicago shape our understanding of the city. Through a digital experience in a café-style space, our first-ever crowd-sourced exhibition features diverse, insightful, and inspiring writing. Explore a collection of works by contemporary authors and literary giants. Add your voice by writing a postcard or composing magnetic poetry.

  • Inside Ancient Egypt

    Field Museum
    1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Inside Ancient Egypt

    Unwrap the mysteries of this civilization with mummies and more.

    Inside Ancient Egypt is an up-close look at the daily lives of ancient Egyptians—as well as how they thought about death.

    Enter through a three-story replica of a mastaba, a type of ancient Egyptian tomb, that houses two authentic chamber rooms from the burial site of 5th Dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Unis’s son Unis-Ankh.

  • D-Day Warriors: American Indians in the Military

    Field Museum
    1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
    Chicago, IL 60605
    D-Day Warriors: American Indians in the Military

    On June 6, 1944, Charles Shay landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. As a young Army medic, he was one of an estimated 500 American Indian soldiers who participated in the D-Day invasion to retake France in the fight against Nazi Germany.

    In D-Day Warriors: American Indians in the Military, hear Shay’s story and explore the important role that Native servicemen and servicewomen continue to play in the armed forces.

  • Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech”

    Museum of Contemporary Art
    220 E Chicago Ave
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech”

    The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents Virgil Abloh: "Figures of Speech," the first museum exhibition devoted to the work of the genre-bending artist and designer Virgil Abloh (American, b. 1980). Abloh pioneers a practice that cuts across media and connects visual artists, musicians, graphic designers, fashion designers, and architects.

    Abloh cultivated an interest in design and music at an early age, finding inspiration in the urban culture of Chicago. While pursuing a master’s degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, he connected with Kanye West and joined West’s creative team to work on album covers, concert designs, and merchandising. In 2013, Abloh founded his stand-alone fashion brand Off-White™ in Milan, Italy, and in 2018 assumed the position of artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear.

  • Hans Haacke: Gift Horse

    Art Institute of Chicago
    111 South Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    Hans Haacke: Gift Horse

    Since 1965 Hans Haacke (German, born 1936) has been living in New York making work that explores the uncomfortable and often hidden connections between art, power, money, politics, and business.

    Haacke's imposing bronze sculpture Gift Horse (2014) was created as a commission for London’s Fourth Plinth project, which invites artists to fill the vacant space in Trafalgar Square originally designed for an equestrian monument to King William IV (1765–1837). The base intended for the monument was left empty due to a lack of funding; since 1999, it has featured temporary installations by contemporary artists.

    For his contribution, Haacke took inspiration from an engraving by the British equine artist George Stubbs (1724–1806) to create a monumental bronze horse skeleton that stands more than 15 feet tall. In its original display, Gift Horse stood across the square from a statue of King George IV (1762–1830) riding bareback, complementing the scale of George IV’s equestrian sculpture while challenging its intentions.

  • Seadog River & Lake Architectural Tours

    Seadog Cruises
    Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Seadog River & Lake Architectural Tours

    A 75-minute cruise through the historic Chicago Locks and up the Chicago River
    Up-close views of all the famous bridges of the Chicago River
    Entertaining narration with amusing stories and facts on Chicago’s history
    Fascinating stories about some of Chicago’s most famous buildings including the Tribune Building, Willis Tower, Lyric Opera and the Merchandise Mart
    An exciting speedboat ride along the lakefront featuring views of Chicago including Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park, Chicago Harbor, Chicago’s Museum Campus and more!

  • The Murder Mystery Company

    Salvatore's
    525 W. Arlington Pl.
    Chicago, IL 60614
    The Murder Mystery Company

    The Experts in Mystery Entertainment are now performing live public and private interactive murder mystery dinner shows in Chicago and surrounding areas throughout Illinois. Join us for a night of intrigue, deception, and delicious food in this comedic thriller!

  • SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical

    James M. Nederlander Theatre
    24 W Randolph St
    Chicago, IL 60601
    SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical

    She was a girl from Boston with a voice from heaven, who shot through the stars from gospel choir to dance floor diva. But what the world didn’t know was how Donna Summer risked it all to break through barriers, becoming the icon of an era and the inspiration for every music diva who followed. With a score featuring more than 20 of Summer’s classic hits including “Love to Love You Baby,” “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff,” this electric experience is a moving tribute to the voice of a generation.

  • Miracle: A Musical 108 Years in the Making

    ROYAL GEORGE THEATRE MAINSTAGE
    1641 North Halsted St
    Chicago, IL 60614
    Miracle: A Musical 108 Years in the Making

    As Chicagoan as a deep dish pizza or Millennium Park's Bean sculpture, Michael Martinez, Anthony Rizzo and other members of The Chicago Cubs baseball team are one of the finest in the major league. During their historic 2016 season, the North Siders' clinched their first World Series title in 108 years, filling the Windy City with joy, relief and celebratory chaos. Commemorating this auspicious event, Miracle the musical takes a bow at the Royal George Theatre this summer. 

    Directed by local theatermaker Jason Brett and written by librettist Jason Brett and composer Michael Mahler, Miracle follows a northside family with generational ties to the Cubbies. Charlie is the landlord of local watering hole Maggie's Place, but was once an ex-pitcher. Determined to stop his daughter Dani from following in his footsteps, he renounces his Cubs fandom, whilst dreaming of a fresh start -  his wife Sofia drives for Uber to supplement her pittance of a teacher's salary and the bar has racked up unpaid taxes - even if it means tearing down the community's favorite place. All the while, the Cubs go about making their mark on sports history, possibly ushering in a much needed change in Charlie, Sofia and Dani's lives. A little belief goes a long way...

  • Six

    CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER
    Navy Pier, 800 East Grand Ave
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Six

    Henry VIII's six wives are stepping out from the big man's shadow to take their turn in the spotlight. Created by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, this musical celebration of 16th Century girl power debuted on the West End in 2018 to fantastic reviews. Much like Hamilton, Six injects its historical story with modern day attitudes and modern day music, serving up a dizzying whirl of pop and comedy, and an all-female cast. 

  • Bye Bye Liver: The Chicago Drinking Play

    Stage 773
    1225 W. Belmont Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60657
    Bye Bye Liver: The Chicago Drinking Play

    2 Parts Comedy, 1 Part Drinking Game, it's the show that blends Chicago's two favorite past times...drinking and laughing. Now in it's 10th Year!
    Whether it’s the girl that should never, ever drink liquor, that one guy that confuses courage with shots of Jameson, or a boozy time-traveller shooting down a bad date in every century, we’ve all known them…or been them. This is the hilarious romp that satirizes all of those fun times and f*ck ups we’ve all had when we had just one too many. Interspersed with hilarious, interactive drinking games, you’ll laugh until you cry at “Bye Bye Liver: The Chicago Drinking Play.”

  • The Public House Theatre

    The Public House Theatre
    3914 N. Clark St
    Chicago, IL 60613
    The Public House Theatre

    With its skillfully executed shows, cabaret-style seating, and comfortable and inviting lobby, The Public House Theatre has an experience for everyone! 

    We offer only the best comedy and theatre, and you’ll be delighted at our incredibly friendly staff that strive to make you feel welcome…because you are.

    Our drink specials are amazing and every show is lovingly put together and polished into something you can’t help but enjoy. We’re ready to make any night of your week a very special, entertaining evening.

    We want you to come, we want you to laugh, and we look forward to your visit.

  • Magic & Mystery

    The Den Theatre
    1331 N. Milwaukee Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60622
    Magic & Mystery

    Experience a miraculous world of magic, mind reading, and hypnosis from world class ‘Astonishment Artist’ Mat LaVore.

    Is it possible to change someone's memories? Read minds? Predict the future? Magic & Mystery showcases 90-minutes of the most spellbinding and revolutionary magic and hypnosis ever performed on stage.

    Witness LaVore swallow needles, hypnotize people to forget their own names, and even predict the future in this amazing showcase of mystery arts that is guaranteed to leave even the most discerning audiences astonished.

  • The Second City After Hours: A Late Night Improv Show

    The Second City
    230 W. North Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60614
    The Second City After Hours: A Late Night Improv Show

    Stay up late with The Second City as we bring you our latest and greatest. It’s interactive. It’s hyperactive. It’s the most fun you’ve had past bedtime. Come see an entirely improvised, entirely ridiculous 60 minutes that’ll leave you with a full-fledged comedy hangover. Suggested Rating: R