The best things to do this week in Chicago

Find the biggest and best events, activities and things to do in Chicago this week, as chosen by Time Out's editors

Photograph: Jason Little
Chicago Gourmet: Bon Appetit’s annual Chicago Gourmet festival was held in Millennium Park this weekend.

When you're spending time in a city as big as Chicago, it's never too early to start planning for the week ahead. You can pack a lot of living into seven days, whether you're someone who likes to spend an afternoon at the theater or prefers to stay out late at a concert. We sifted through hundreds of listing to weed out a handful of the week's best events, shows and things to do.

Jenny Lewis

Former Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis is the picture of California cool on The Voyager, her third solo effort. Its songs attack sexism and aging with wit, couching the barbs in warm folk-rocky production. The new batch is a welcome addition to Lewis's growing live repertoire, which includes some Rilo Kiley throwbacks for good measure.

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Vic Theatre Until Mon May 18

Big Jones and The Kitchen Chicago Trash Fish Dinner

The third annual Trash Fish Dinner will bring together chefs from some of Chicago's best restaurants to create an eight-course, family-style dinner. They'll use fish like dogfish, smelt, bluefish, triple tail and triggerfish, often known as "trash fish."

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The Kitchen Until Mon May 18


Anyone who was lucky enough to watch tadpoles grow into frogs in a grade school classroom knows that amphibians are among the most amazing creatures on the planet. These highly adaptive animals are the focus of the Shedd Aquarium's latest exhibit, which brings more than 40 species of frogs, salamanders, newts and caecilians (a type of limbless, snake-like amphibian) to the facility.

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Shedd Aquarium Until Friday January 27 2017

The Little Foxes

Critics' pick

“Cynicism is an unpleasant way of telling the truth,” sneers Larry Yando’s contempt-dripping Ben Hubbard, in a moment of cold-hearted negotiation with his equally scheming siblings, Oscar (Steve Pickering) and Regina (Shannon Cochran). The Hubbards’ truths and lies alike are coated in cynicism in Lillian Hellman’s 1939 melodrama. The Goodman’s lavish new staging, featuring gorgeous work by set designer Todd Rosenthal and costumer Jenny Mannis, benefits from an embarrassment of acting talent in its ten-member cast.

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Goodman Theatre Until Sunday June 7 2015

"Doris Salcedo"

Bogotá sculptor Doris Salcedo is well known for her site-specific installations which make use of abandoned objects, including hospital furniture that has been filled in with concrete and stacks of white shirts. Salcedo's work is informed by the political and social turmoil present in her native country, seeking to evoke a sense of loss and fragility. The exhibition represents the first retrospective of her work and features a film documenting some of her ephemeral installations.

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Museum of Contemporary Art Sunday May 24 2015

NW Side Craft Beer Ride

The third annual NW Craft Beer Ride invites attendees to explore some of the best bars and breweries located on Chicago Northwest Side. Participants will be able to take advantage of a "craft beer transit system" comprised of four buses which ferry thirsty patrons to each location on the tour. Pipeworks, Ale Syndicate, Finch's, Lake Effect and more Northwest Side brewers will be tapping beers at locations like Rabbits Bar and Grill, Side Kicks and Temple Stowe Pub.

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Various venues Until Thu May 21

Third Coast Percussion + Glenn Kotche

Critics' pick

Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche joins local ensemble Third Coast Percussion to perform a new composition entitled "Wild Sound." The piece features field recordings that Kotche collected while touring around the world and tasks the Third Coast ensemble with playing a score composed for invented instruments. The program also features performances of pieces by Steve Reich and Joao Gilberto.

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Museum of Contemporary Art Theater Until Fri May 22

Welles Park Craft Beer Fest

Critics' pick

Chicago Craft Beer Week moves its closing festivities from the West Loop to Lincoln Square for the inaugural Welles Park Craft Beer Fest. More than 60 breweries will be participating in the event, pouring samples for attendees during the four-hour event. If you find yourself in need of something to soak up the plentiful suds, fear not! Food vendors will be on hand to provide you with a snack.

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Welles Park 23 May 2015

Memorial Day Parade

Critics' pick

After a wreath is laid at the eternal flame in Daley Plaza, Chicago's annual Memorial Day Parade heads down State Street, from Lake to Van Buren, as onlookers wave the stars and stripes. The procession has been a city tradition since 1870, honoring the men, women and families who have fought for our country.

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Daley Plaza Saturday May 23 2015 Free

Bike the Drive

Critics' pick

Have you ever dreamed of cruising down Lake Shore Drive on your bicycle? Bike the Drive makes that dream a reality for one day this year, closing down the popular lakefront thoroughfare to cars early on a Sunday morning. Participants can bike from Bryn Mawr Ave to the Museum of Science industry (and back) during the five hours of car-free riding.

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Bike the Drive Route Sunday May 24 2015