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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...

  • 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.

  • Grainger Hall of Gems

    Field Museum
    1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Grainger Hall of Gems

    Celebrate precious stones in every form.

    A visitor favorite since the museum opened in 1921, the Grainger Hall of Gems has a history older than the Field Museum itself. 

    At the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Tiffany & Co.’s gem collection captivated viewers from all walks of life. When the exposition closed, World’s Fair President Harlow Higinbotham purchased the entire collection and donated it to Chicago’s then-new natural history museum.

    Today, the Grainger Hall of Gems is more stunning than ever. Our collection has grown to include more than 600 gemstones and 150 pieces of antique and contemporary jewelry. (Several pieces were donated by Chicago philanthropist Thuy Ngo Nguyen, who visited often and would offer her stunning baubles to the museum on the spot!)

    Each display features a gem in its three stages of transformation: raw crystal, cut and polished stone, and mounted jewel in a finished ring, brooch, or necklace.

  • Waking the T. rex 3D: The Story of SUE

    Field Museum
    1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Waking the T. rex 3D: The Story of SUE

    In this thrilling 3D adventure, scientists trace the events of SUE’s life, following this T. rex’s growth from a tiny hatchling to seven tons of pure carnivorous glory. Learn the amazing story of SUE’s discovery in South Dakota’s badlands, and join Field Museum paleontologists on an excavation as they search for and excavate ancient fossils. If seeing the world’s largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton gives you goosebumps, dare to come face-to-face with this roaring, earthshaking, and breathtaking dinosaur like never before. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Lincoln’s Chicago

    Chicago History Museum
    1601 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL 60614-6038
    Lincoln’s Chicago

    Lincoln was a frequent visitor to Chicago, which became his second home and political headquarters during his rise to prominence. This gallery features portraits of Lincoln’s contemporaries with lithograph views of Chicago created in the 1860s. The pairings provide a glimpse of the city that Lincoln knew—a dynamic young metropolis on the verge of greatness.

  • Christien Meindertsma: Everything Connects

    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 Fifth Star Challenge

    Chicago History Museum
    1601 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL 60614-6038
    The Fifth Star Challenge

    If Chicago’s flag had a fifth star, what would it represent? Discover highlights from the city’s past, cast your vote, and see how your choice stacks up. While in the gallery, be sure to look beneath your feet and explore Chicagoland on our wall-to-wall floor map.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • The Great Chicago Adventure Film

    Chicago History Museum
    1601 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL 60614-6038
    The Great Chicago Adventure Film

    This dynamic film presentation in our newly renovated theater transports visitors through major events in Chicago’s history. Feel the intensity of the Great Chicago Fire and splendor of the World’s Columbian Exposition. Explore the sights of bustling Maxwell Street in the 1950s and peer down from an I-beam of the Sears Tower in the 1970s. Relive Chicago sports victories and cheer on President Obama during his Grant Park victory speech.

  • Teatro ZinZanni

    32 W Randolph St
    Chicago, IL 60601
    Teatro ZinZanni

    Enter a realm where reality and dreams converge; an experience unlike any other! Teatro ZinZanni is a three-hour whirlwind of international cirque, comedy and cabaret served with a multi-course feast. Described as the “Kit Kat Klub on acid,” the fast-paced action unfolds around, above and alongside guests as world-class acrobats, musicians, divas, illusionists, madmen, and aerialists fill our intimate Spiegeltent ZaZou, a unique jewel box mirror tent located in the heart of Chicago’s Downtown Theater District. At center ring is the sensual Madame ZinZanni, inviting all who attend to a celebratory evening featuring a dazzling combination of improv comedy, vaudeville revue, music, dance, circus acts,  while served a scrumptious menu designed by The Goddess herself — Chicago’s own Debbie Sharpe. Teatro ZinZanni’s signature blend of Love, Chaos & Dinner has played to sold out audiences in Seattle, San Francisco and Costa Mesa. Don’t miss the show The New York Times calls, “A feast for the senses” and the “city’s hottest ticket!”  

  • SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical

    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.

  • 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.

  • Best of Enemies

    902 South Ridgeland Avenue
    Oak Park, AZ 60304
    Best of Enemies

    The Grand Cyclops of the KKK, C.P. Ellis and African-American civil rights activist, Ann Atwater, battled each other during the desegregation of the Durham, North Carolina schools in 1971. This true story exposes the poison, prejudice and hatred found in the hearts of both Atwater and Ellis. Confronting each other, they are forced to face the worst and the best in themselves. It's a story of hate, redemption and hope, featuring Jordan Gleaves, Felisha, McNeal, Brendan Murphy and Kit O'Kelly. Directed by Sonita Surratt and Mary Pat Sieck.

  • Facing Freedom in America

    Chicago History Museum
    1601 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL 60614-6038
    Facing Freedom in America

    What does freedom mean? To whom should freedom be extended? How are denied rights gained?

    Based on the central idea that the history of the United States has been shaped by conflicts over what it means to be free, this new exhibition uses images, artifacts, and interactive elements to explore familiar and not-so-familiar stories from the nation’s past. From women’s suffrage and the formation of labor unions, to Japanese internment, to a local school boycott, the exhibition highlights some of the ways Americans have struggled over the true meaning of freedom.