Chicago History Museum Ask any Chicagoan what this place is about, and they’re likely to mention the Lincoln artifacts on permanent display. It’s great stuff, but to get people more familiar with its wide-ranging holdings, the museum has started “Unexpected Chicago,” which shines a spotlight on a single new artifact from the collection. The focus changes every other month. This summer’s other exhibit, “Magic!” offers a look at local prestidigitators, conjurers and legerdemain-iacs from Chicago’s past. 1601 N Clark St (312-642-4600). Mon–Sat 9:30am–4:30pm; Sun noon–5pm. $14, seniors and students $12; members, kids under 12 and Mondays free.
DePaul Art Museum The university’s museum used to be tucked into the same building as DePaul’s Richardson Library, which meant it often got undeservedly overlooked. But in 2011 DPAM made the move to a sensational new building of its own, more than doubling exhibition space. Filling part of that space this summer and fall are two shows of special note. “Drawn from Photography” exhibits the works of artists who use photography as a starting point and inspiration for their work. Beginning in September, “Afterimage” showcases the work of artists influenced by the Chicago Imagist movement. The show will include work from 21 contemporary artists, as well as offer a chance to exhibit 17 works from the museum’s permanent collection of Imagist work. 935 W Fullerton Ave (773-325-7506). Mon–Thu 11am–5pm; Fri 11am–7pm; Sat, Sun noon–5pm. Free.
Lincoln Hall In just three years, this bar/music venue/restaurant from the owners of Schubas has established itself as one of the hottest places in town to hear live music. The musicians who play here tend to be hot, up-and-coming rock acts, but the programming also offers some offbeat treats. This summer’s schedule includes English outfit the Duke Spirit on June 11, next-big-thing Walk the Moon on June 15, Jack White’s bandmate and buddy Brendan Benson on June 28 and the reunion of slowcore pioneer Codeine on July 1. Oh, and if you prefer a little comedy, Hannibal Buress takes to the stage on July 13. 2424 N Lincoln Ave (773-525-2508). Sun–Fri 11am–2am; Sat 11am–3am. During shows, the bar may be available only to ticket holders.
Lincoln Park Conservatory Chicago can feel pretty tropical, or at least humid, in summer, but if you want to check out some real tropical plant life, the Lincoln Park Conservatory’s Summer Tropical Flower Show (May 26–Sept 23) offers a lush sanctuary from city life. 2391 N Stockton Dr (312-742-7736). Daily 9am–5pm. Free.
Lincoln Park Cultural Center If you feel like making a little culture of your own, it’s worth looking into the woodshop, stained glass, ceramics and dance classes here. The auditorium plays host to a number of artistic programs. 2045 N Lincoln Park West (312-742-7726). Mon–Thu 9am–9pm; Fri 9am–7pm; Sat 9am–4pm. Free.
Lincoln Park Zoo Culture at a zoo? Sure. Every summer, the zoo hosts Jammin’ at the Zoo, a series of monthly concerts under the stars. Wonder how the animals feel about that? Find out on June 22, July 27 and August 24 (performers and price TBD). And if your taste in culture runs to agri-, you might enjoy Wine and Wildflowers, a garden party in the zoo’s wildflower-rich gardens on August 1, 5:30–8pm, $95 ($85 if purchased by July 1). 2001 N Clark St (312-742-2000). Mon–Fri 10am–5pm; Sat, Sun 10am–6:30pm. Free.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum You may have assumed (we did) that the Nature Museum is mostly a family destination, but that would be a mistake. Sure, it offers some wonderful programs for kids, but green-minded grown-ups might enjoy “Bikes! The Green Revolution,” an exhibit dedicated to Chicago’s bicycle culture. 2430 N Cannon Dr (773-755-5100). Mon–Fri 9am–5pm; Sat, Sun 10am–5pm. $9, seniors and students $7, kids ages 3–12 $6, kids under 3 free. Thursdays are free. Discounts for Chicago residents.