Event Oracle - The Oracle knows all

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...

  • Treehouse Trails

    Chicago Children’s Museum
    700 East Grand Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611-3428
    Treehouse Trails

    Camp, climb, burrow, and pretend in this enchanted forest setting. Canoe and fish in the blue river, splash in a mountain waterfall, build a fort under the enormous tree house, and serve a stew in the log cabin. Babies can stretch, explore, and relax in the new infant area.

  • A Nation of Writers: John and Cathie Estey

    American Writers Museum
    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.

  • Skyline

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

    What’s the strongest shape? Find out when you design and build your own one-of-a-kind structure using wooden struts, real tools, and authentic gear. Take the Skyscraper Challenge to record yourself at work and tell the story of what you did. Includes special activities for babies and toddlers.

  • Dimensions of Citizenship: Architecture and Belonging from the Body to the Cosmos

    Wrightwood 659
    659 W. Wrightwood
    Chicago, IL 60614
    Dimensions of Citizenship: Architecture and Belonging from the Body to the Cosmos

    Dimensions of Citizenship: Architecture and Belonging from the Body to the Cosmos, the official U.S. entry at the recently-concluded 16th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, will be on view for the first time in the United States at Wrightwood 659, a new art space located at 659 W. Wrightwood Avenue in Chicago, from February 15 through April 27, 2019. Devoted to exploring the notion of citizenship today and the potential role of architecture and design in creating spaces for it, Dimensions of Citizenship comprises seven unique installations, each created by a transdisciplinary team of architects and designers. Commissioned by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and The University of Chicago (UChicago) on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the U.S. presentation of Dimensions of Citizenship on view at Wrightwood 659 in Chicago is made possible by Alphawood Foundation Chicago. The exhibition will be accompanied by a range of public programs exploring citizenship and belonging, including talks, performances, workshops, and engagement with local partners (to be announced shortly).

  • Zoom Room

    Chicago Children’s Museum
    700 East Grand Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611-3428
    Zoom Room

    Get ready for high-octane fun! Zoom Room puts kids in the driver’s seat as they send toy cars hurtling through the curves, loops, dips, and crash sites of a colossal, multilevel race course.

    Developed and designed by Chicago Children’s Museum, Zoom Room features hundreds of toy cars and more than 40 tracks of every length, height and angle, including two bi-level crash courses. It’s the ultimate toy car experience— for children and adults.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa

    Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University
    40 Arts Cir Dr
    Evanston, IL 60208
    Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa

    Travel with the Block Museum along routes crossing the Sahara Desert to a time when West African gold fueled expansive trade and drove the movement of people, culture, and religious beliefs.
    Caravans of Gold is the first major exhibition addressing the scope of Saharan trade and the shared history of West Africa, the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe from the eighth to sixteenth centuries. Weaving stories about interconnected histories, the exhibition showcases the objects and ideas that connected at the crossroads of the medieval Sahara and celebrates West Africa’s historic and underrecognized global significance.

  • Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell

    National Museum of Mexican Art
    1852 W. 19th street
    Chicago, IL 60608
    Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell

    Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell is the first comprehensive retrospective of photographer Laura Aguilar (1959-2018), as it assembles the largest collection of her work spanning three decades. In photographs that are frequently political as well as personal, Aguilar offers candid portrayals of herself, her friends and family, and her Chicana/Latina and LGBT communities. With her iconic triptych Three Eagles Flying (1990), Aguilar set the stage for her future work by using her nude body as an overt and courageous rebellion against the colonization of Chicana identities: racial, gendered, cultural, and sexual. Despite using the body to center her visual discourse, Aguilar never intended to speak for any specific political or feminist ideology. On the contrary, her practice intuitively evolved as she sought to negotiate and navigate her ethnic and sexual identity, her challenges with depression and auditory dyslexia, and the acceptance of her physique. This exhibition considers the story of the artist who for most of her life struggled to communicate with words, yet ironically emerged as a powerful voice for numerous and diverse marginalized groups.

  • Smart to the Core: Embodying the Self

    Smart Museum of Art
    The University of Chicago 5550 S. Greenwood Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60637
    Smart to the Core: Embodying the Self

    This exhibition brings together modern and contemporary artists who explore the visual construction of selfhood across a range of gender, sexual, racial, ethnic, and intersectional identities. 

  • 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.

  • Into the Void: Prints of Lee Bontecou

    Art Institute of Chicago
    111 South Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    Into the Void: Prints of Lee Bontecou

    The images of Lee Bontecou (American, born 1931) are unmistakably hers: black voids, cosmic orbs, floating serrated teeth, mutant flowers, and strange, hybrid forms. They reflect a post–World War II angst and existential fear brought on by the arms race and nuclear threat, coupled with awe at a technology capable of space travel. While best known for her wall reliefs that bridge the divide between painting and sculpture, Bontecou produced a series of important prints between 1962 and 1982 at Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE), a workshop founded by Tatyana Grosman in West Islip, New York, in 1957. This exhibition is the first show devoted to Bontecou’s prints since 1975 and is drawn from the Art Institute’s complete edition and significant archive of her ULAE production.

  • Prisoner of Love

    Museum of Contemporary Art
    220 E. Chicago Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Prisoner of Love

    Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death, by acclaimed artist and filmmaker Arthur Jafa, is a multilayered seven-minute montage of the black experience in America. The video tells a story of trauma and transcendence in a flurry of footage—from historic speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama, to clips of cultural icons Beyoncé and Notorious B.I.G., to flashes of concerts, home movies, news footage, music videos, and sports matches—all set to the soaring gospel tones of Kanye West's Ultralight Beam. Centered around this filmic journey, the exhibition features a rotating body of work from the MCA's collection that complements Jafa's video and captures some of the same intense emotions about life in America today. Powerful, moving works by artists such as Deana Lawson, Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Marilyn Minter, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Carrie Mae Weems alternate throughout the run of the show, alongside the mainstay of Bruce Nauman’s iconic Life, Death, Hate, Pleasure, Pain.

    The exhibition is curated by Naomi Beckwith, Manilow Senior Curator. It is presented in the Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel Galleries on the museum's second floor.

  • Abyss: Rocío Caballero

    National Museum of Mexican Art
    1852 W. 19th street
    Chicago, IL 60608
    Abyss: Rocío Caballero

    In Abyss, Rocío Caballero (b. Azcapotzalco, México D.F. 1964) brings us face to face with a world alive with allegories and symbolism, wherein the artist makes use of figuration as a kind of personal language. Abyss, mirrors a dreamlike realm that transports us from the voluptuous sensuality of a female body that lies within water and accompanied by seafaring creatures, to the image of a woman transgressed. Meanwhile, the representation of the man is lethal and cruel, full of power he celebrates, while he coaches and plays a treacherous game. In her artwork, Caballero places her characters at the edge of a psychological and moral abyss where many of them overstep, fall and disparagingly continue to exist in an aimless and impassive universe.

  • Groundings

    Museum of Contemporary Art
    220 E. Chicago Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Groundings

    Groundings explores movement, both seen and unseen, through a series of residencies with artists who work in dance, music, and performance art. During the run of Groundings, the performers hold open rehearsals in the gallery space alongside works from the MCA Collection and create performances and physical objects that speak to the themes of the exhibition. The exhibition considers movement and its relationship to identity, place, and action, and evokes the invisible forces that govern bodies in motion such as gravity and time.

  • Chicago Stories: Carlos Javier Ortiz and David Schalliol

    Museum of Contemporary Photography
    600 S Michigan Ave
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Chicago Stories: Carlos Javier Ortiz and David Schalliol

    Carlos Javier Ortiz (American, b. 1977) considers contemporary black life in comparison to the ideals of the Great Migration, which took place from 1916 to 1970 when six million African Americans left the South to find new opportunities in the North. Illustrating socioeconomic patterns that pave the way for a cycle of poverty and violence, his two projects, A Thousand Midnights (2016) and We All We Got (2014), document youth and families in Chicago from multiple perspectives over the course of many years. Ortiz focuses on those affected by gun violence, casting light on the larger forces fostering recurring tragedies in our city.

  • 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.   

  • Birmingham, Alabama, 1963: Dawoud Bey/Black Star

    Museum of Contemporary Photography
    600 S Michigan Ave
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Birmingham, Alabama, 1963: Dawoud Bey/Black Star

    The exhibition Birmingham, Alabama, 1963: Dawoud Bey/Black Star responds to the September 15, 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama—an event that resulted in six deaths of black children by white supremacists. Organized by Dr. Gaëlle Morel, exhibitions curator at the Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto, the exhibition pairs Dawoud Bey’s (American, b. 1953) The Birmingham Project (2012) with a selection of prints from the Black Star archive of photojournalism, providing a historical context for the bombing, and revealing the political and social turmoil that placed the American Civil Rights Movement in the media spotlight during the months leading up to the explosion. Commissioned by the Birmingham Museum of Art, Bey’s The Birmingham Project was created in memory of the children who were killed in Birmingham that day, nearing the 50th anniversary of the tragedy. Each diptych features a portrait of a child at the exact age of one killed in 1963 paired with a portrait of an adult at the age the child would have been in the year 2013. Also on view will be Bey’s 9.15.63, a split screen video exploring the social spaces of the black community in Birmingham alongside a route to the 16th Street Baptist church from the vantage point of a child in the back seat of a car.

  • WaterWays

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

    Make a splash in this flowing, squirting, pumping playground. Feel the power of water as you control the flow with pulleys, wheels, and pipes. Navigate your boat through the locks and dams of the mighty river. You may get wet as you immerse yourself in the sensory-rich world of water—hand dryers are available nearby!

  • Ornamental Traditions: Jewelry from Bukhara

    Art Institute of Chicago
    111 South Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    Ornamental Traditions: Jewelry from Bukhara

    Located in present-day Uzbekistan, the Emirate of Bukhara (1785–1920) was an important center of Islamic religion and scholarship and a major oasis on the famous Silk Road that traversed Central Asia from ancient times. As such, it was highly diverse—home to the majority Uzbek and Tajik populations in addition to communities of Arabs, Jews, and Turkmens who played a role in the emirate’s vibrant trade. Over time, Bukhara developed its own iconic style of jewelry characterized by intricate blue enamelwork that mirrored the region’s blue-glazed, tiled architecture. Russia’s colonization of Bukhara in 1866 brought with it more advanced enameling techniques, allowing for increasingly complex designs.

    In almost every context, the jewelry of Bukhara embodied great meaning and was rarely considered mere decoration. Large, ornate suits of jewelry were thought to protect the wearer from evil spirits, particularly during important events like weddings, and were the strongest assertion of a person’s power and wealth. Throughout Uzbekistan, such objects were designed to be worn as sets rather than exist as singular pieces.

  • 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!

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

    American Writers Museum
    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Yollocalli Arts Reach: Portraits of Little Village

    Loyola University Museum of Art
    820 Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Yollocalli Arts Reach: Portraits of Little Village

    Portraits of Little Village is a collection of photos and audio that portray the people, stories, and sounds of the Little Village neighborhood by youth artists of Yollocalli Arts Reach. From friends and families to issues on immigration and identity, each work reflects a unique piece of the neighborhood through the perspective and style of youth artists. Youth work was selected from three Little Village Yollocalli programs - Camera Flux - Framing the City with Photo and Video, Your Story, Your Way, and Digital Photo at Community Links High School.

  • Flash Forward: Luisa Dörr; Nina Röder; Nichole Sobecki; Jan Hoek; Duran Lantink and SistaazHood

    Loyola University Museum of Art
    820 Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Flash Forward: Luisa Dörr; Nina Röder; Nichole Sobecki; Jan Hoek; Duran Lantink and SistaazHood

    In partnership with non-profit arts publishing house, the Magenta Foundation, LUMA presents four winners from Magenta's international Flash Forward competition. This exhibition aims to foster engaged thinking and dialogue on the four proceeding central themes: Female-Identifying Photographers (Nina Röder from Germany), Climate and the Environment (Nichole Sobecki from Kenya), Racial Issues (Luisa Dörr from Brazil) and LGBTQ (Jan Hoek from the Netherlands).

  • The Children

    Steppenwolf Theatre Company
    1650 N. Halsted St.
    Chicago, IL 60614
    The Children

    On a summer evening in an isolated seaside cottage in the East of England, a pair of retired nuclear scientists are startled by a visit from a former colleague. As some crackers and wine are trotted out, so are various old jealousies, leading to the true reason for Rose's sudden reappearance: the revelation of a chilling and dangerous plan. Following sold out runs in London and New York, Steppenwolf is proud to present this brave, humane and beautifully written play that confronts the responsibility each generation must face for the way it leaves the world.

  • 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. 

  • Comedians You Should Know

    Timothy O'Toole's Pub
    622 N. Fairbanks Ct.,
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Comedians You Should Know

    Circumventing the tired, stale brand of comedy clubs, Comedians You Should Know delivers original, fresh, showcase-style stand up comedy in the revamped back room of Timothy O'Toole's Pub, a classy downtown bar in the Streeterville neighborhood. Their weekly show has garnered frequent sold-out crowds and a loyal local following.

    CYSK features a DIFFERENT LINE-UP every single week and thus makes it a must-see event again and again!

  • Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection

    Smart Museum of Art
    The University of Chicago 5550 S. Greenwood Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60637
    Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection

    Solidary & Solitary tells the history of art by African-American artists, with a particular emphasis on abstraction, from the 1940s to the present moment. That story is a complicated one, woven from the threads of debates about how to represent blackness, social struggle and change, and global migrations and diasporas.

  • Guards at the Taj

    Steppenwolf Theatre Company
    1650 N. Halsted St.
    Chicago, IL 60614
    Guards at the Taj

    India 1648. The dawn will reveal for the first time the extraordinary beauty of the Taj Mahal, built as a tribute to the ruler who demanded its construction. But for two hapless imperial guards, the morning light brings with it an unspeakable task that will shake their faith in God, the empire and their lifelong friendship. This boldly funny and deeply moving play examines the true meaning of beauty and the cost of transcendence in a world that confuses the value of both.

  • Hamilton

    CIBC Theatre
    17 N State St., Suite 810,
    Chicago, IL 60602
    Hamilton

    HAMILTON is the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, HAMILTON is the story of America then, told by America now.