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BEST Things To Do In Chicago Today

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...

  • His Shadow

    6420 16th Street
    Berwyn, IL 60402
    His Shadow

    In His Shadow, a disgruntled college freshman tries to step out of his older brother's towering shadow and make a name for himself on the football field. When tragedy strikes, the course of his career is challenged, and his life is altered. His Shadow is a story of ambition and activism: which one will emerge the victor when the two collide? A world premiere by the author of the 2018 hit The Light.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Above and Beyond

    National Veterans Art Museum
    4041 N Milwaukee Ave 2nd floor
    Chicago, IL 60641
    Above and Beyond

    Above and Beyond is comprised of 58,307 dog tags. Each dog tag represents the death of military personnel in the Vietnam War and is arranged in date order of death. And, each dog tag shows their name, date of death and military branch.

    Above and Beyond was commissioned by the National Veterans Art Museum and created by veteran artists: Rick Steinbock, Ned Broderick, Joe Fornelli and Mike Helbing. It was originally installed at 1801 S. Indiana Ave. on May 26, 2001 to coincide with Chicago’s Memorial Day parade. Above and Beyond was created over a 2-year period as each dog tag was stamped by hand using a former military Graphotype machine.

  • 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.

  • Prisoner of Love

    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.

  • 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.   

  • 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!

  • Anything Goes

    111 West Campbell Street
    Arlington Heights , IL 60005
    Anything Goes

    A high-seas romp showcasing one of Cole Porter's most magical scores. Music, dance, and romance are set to the age old tale of boy meets girl in this breezy classic. The S.S. American sets sail from New York to London, hauling a cast of characters including night club singer Reno Sweeney, lovesick Wall Street broker Billy Crocker, and socialite Hope Harcourt with fiance Sir Evelyn Oakleigh. Among them is "Public Enemy #13" Moonface Martin, trying to make his getaway. These characters come together in a jumble of misunderstandings, love triangles and all around confusion. Porter's genius radiates through incredible numbers like "You're the Top," "It's De-Lovely" and more Broadway favorites. Melodies will delight, toes will tap and hearts will soar.

  • Something Rotten

    10 Marriott Dr
    Lincolnshire, IL 60069
    Something Rotten

    The 10 time Tony Award-nominated musical Something Rotten comes to Chicago's Marriott Theatre. The hilarious musical comedy which sees two brothers create the world's first musical was a hit as soon as it premiered.

    When brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom want to create a hit play, better than anything that poser William Shakespeare has produced! On consulting a local prophet, they discover that their masterwork will be made up of simultaneous singing, dancing and acting - the world's very first musical! Will this new artform put the Bottom brothers on the map, or are they destined to play second fiddle to Shakespeare forever? Don't miss this buoyant and silly musical full of jokes, laughter and just a tiny bit of romance!

  • The Facts of Life

    5400 N. Clark Street
    Chicago, IL 60640
    The Facts of Life

    Ed Jones stars as Mrs. Edna Garrett - the house mother with a deep dark secret in this parody of the beloved TV sitcom The Facts of Life. The Eastland seemed to be the place for the best and the brightest girls. But when a series of girls die mysterious accidental deaths, ace reporter Claudia Collins (David Cerda), who is as beautiful as she is talented, goes undercover to avenge her kid sister's death.

  • Hello Again

    721 Howard Street
    Evanston, IL 60202
    Hello Again

    An adult musical fantasy suggested by Arthur Schnitzler's LA RONDE. A series of love affairs among ten characters during the ten different decades of the 20th Century as though seen through the lens of a combination time machine and bawdy, old-time kinescope. HELLO AGAIN crisscrosses beds and jumps from decade to decade, intimately examining the painful secrets that drive characters into each other's arms and towards the bruising effects of reckless passion.

  • Bernhardt/Hamlet

    170 North Dearborn St
    Chicago, IL 60601
    Bernhardt/Hamlet

    Following a successful world premiere in New York in 2018, Therese Rebeck's witty 'love letter to the theatre' Bernhardt/Hamlet will open the Goodman's upcoming season, directed by Donna Feore. An exploration of iconoclastic 19th Century actress Sarah Bernhardt and her career-making turn as Shakespeare's Danish Prince. Humorous, dynamic and full of salacious backstage drama, don't miss the Chicago debut of what is sure to become a classic of Rebeck's oeuvre.

    One of the most respected actresses of her time, Bernhardt received great notices for the part, with critics labeling her performance as 'youthful, energetic and volatile' - a marked difference from the usual melancholy given to Hamlet at the time. Instantly successful, the production and Bernhardt went on to tour Europe before arriving here.

  • The King's Speech

    Navy Pier, 800 East Grand Ave
    Chicago, IL 60611
    The King's Speech

    With his country on the brink of another unfathomable war with Germany, King George VI (affectionately known as Bertie) is wracked with nerves as he steps up to address his subjects. Suffering all his life from a debilitating stammer, the public speaking expected of a monarch in the growing age of radio has Bertie on the back foot. Coupled with a responsibility he never expected, he must find his voice. Enter charismatic speech therapist Lionel Logue, an Australian with dramatic flair - and the man who's going to teach his King to overcome his problem, however unorthodox the treatment.

    Based on the true story of the unlikely partnership that flourished between Logue and Bertie, The King's Speech is recognizable to many as 2010's multi-award winning film starring Colin Firth and Geoffry Rush. But writer David Seider always envisioned his work on the stage, an ambition now realized by Chicago Shakspeare Company. Opening their 2019/20 season, this much anticipated theatrical adaptation will once more explore the men's extraordinary friendship that outgrew the bounds of Royal and subject - and saw Bertie able to speak to his nation unimpeded. 

  • Robin Hood: A Little John Goes a Long Way

    1225 W Belmont Ave
    Chicago, IL 60657
    Robin Hood: A Little John Goes a Long Way

    We've all heard the tale of Robin Hood and the Merry Men: rob the rich, give to the poor, and show how fun the Middle Ages really was. But what if everything you've been told is not the real story? What if the Merry Men had interesting stories of their own? What if robbing the rich and giving to the poor was actually a pyramid scheme? What if Robin Hood...was really a big jerk?

  • Something Rotten!

    10 Marriott Drive
    Lincolnshire, IL 60069
    Something Rotten!

    Set in 1595 where farthingales and codpieces are the latest fashion trends, and the biggest celebrity in England is a playwright named William Shakespeare, SOMETHING ROTTEN! tells the story of brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom who are desperate to write a hit play and keep their acting company afloat, but are stuck in the shadow of a Renaissance rock star known as "The Bard." In a desperate attempt to outshine the Bard, Nick consults with a local soothsayer who foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting, which leads Nick and Nigel to set out and write the world's very first MUSICAL! But amidst the scandalous excitement of opening night, the Bottom Brothers realize that reaching the top means being true to thine own self, and all that jazz. The Tony-nominated score includes "Welcome to the Renaissance," "God, I Hate Shakespeare," "Bottom's Gonna Be on Top," and "Right Hand Man."

  • Southern Gothic

    2229 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60616
    Southern Gothic

    It's 1960. Ashford, Georgia. Tom Collins is the drink of choice. Dean Martin's on the radio. Everyone's driving a Cadillac, and Suzanne Wellington is about to turn 40. Four couples gather to celebrate the big day -- old college buddies who've known one another for decades. But even best friends keep secrets, and over the course of this evening's party, a few of those are bound to be revealed ... from a political scandal, to a hidden pregnancy, a secret love affair, and a business' corruption. Come to Chicago's Windy City Playhouse, explore, and be a fly on the wall for all the juicy drama of Southern Gothic. Mad Men meets Desperate Housewives in this one-of-kind, voyeuristic theater.

  • 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!

  • Be Here Now

    1229 W Belmont Ave
    Chicago, AZ 60657
    Be Here Now

    Bari, an atheist and misanthrope, loses her job teaching nihilism in NYC and ends up working in a fulfillment center in her small hometown. Her empathetic co-workers push her toward yoga, meditation, and a blind date in the pursuit of happiness. But recently, her recurring headaches have gotten more intense, manifesting as ecstatic and almost religious experiences - and they are changing her entire outlook. She's almost... happy! When she finds out that these rapturous headaches may be killing her, Bari needs to choose: does she live a shortened, joyful life - or does she risk a return to her past life of misery. Be Here Now takes audiences on a hilarious and poignant quest for meaning in modern life.

  • 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.

  • Big Fish

    2257 N Lincoln Avenue
    Chicago, AZ 60614
    Big Fish

    Edward Bloom leads an extraordinary life-at least according to the stories he tells his son, Will. But Will, who is getting married and expecting a child of his own, doesn't think there's any truth to the extravagant tales his father tells about meeting witches, kissing mermaids, or joining the circus. He doesn't even believe the story of how his father proposed to his mother, Sandra, in a field full of daffodils. But when Edward's health begins to decline, Will must decide whether to accept his father's wild stories as fact or risk losing him completely. Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, BIG FISH is a heartfelt, powerful, and truly magical musical about fathers, sons, and the stories that we use to define our identities.

  • The Color Purple

    100 Drury Ln
    Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
    The Color Purple

    Pride of the Chicagoland theater scene, the Drury Lane theaters have been the chosen Broadway touring venue and influential champion of local productions for over six decades. Named after the historic Theatre Royal Drury Lane, the theaters have made their own history since opening in the late 50s with over 2,000 productions passing through their proscenium arches and season programming packed to the rafters with exciting new shows. Featuring a host of Tony Award Broadway blockbusters, their latest 2019/20 season continues with the critically acclaimed, landmark musical The Color Purple, directed by local theater make Lili-Anne Brown. 

    Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning story by American novelist and poet Alice Walker, The Color Purple revival features an adapted book by Tony winner Marsha Norman and a jazz, ragtime and gospel-infused score by Grammy Award winning writing team Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. Opening in late 2015 and running for two years thereafter, it won two Tony Awards, including the award for Best Revival of a Musical. A tale of hope and resilience in the face of adversity, it chronicles 40 years in the life of Celie, an African American woman who survives abuse and prejudice in the American south.

  • 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. 

  • Equivocation

    1133 West Catalpa Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60640
    Equivocation

    In the aftermath of the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605 to assassinate King James I and destroy the British Parliament, playwright William Shagspeare (after a contemporary spelling of the Bard's name) is commissioned by the powerful Lord Robert Cecil to write the "true historie" of the plot...to the particular specifications of His Majesty. As they work to unravel the truth behind the conspiracy, navigating clandestine meetings, betrayals, and brawls, the King's Men acting company tests just how far they're willing to go for each other and to speak truth to power. When duty to country and pursuit of the truth collide, the Globe Theatre becomes the stage for Shag's darkest play yet - and the battle for a nation's soul. Fact, fiction, politics and comedy all vie for control in this critically acclaimed dramatic account of an historical national crisis.