Best things to do this weekend in Chicago

Time Out Chicago's editors pick the top parties, concerts, cultural events and more this weekend in Chicago

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Friday

German-American Fest

  • Free

Relive the famous Ferris Bueler scene at this parade celebrating Deutschland heritage. The street party features German food, music and dancing and the Von Steuben Parade kicks off on Saturday at 2pm.

  1. Western and Leland Aves 2312 W Leland Ave, at Western Ave
  2. Fri Sep 5 - Sun Sep 7
More info

Man or Astroman?

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

It was back in 1992 that the Alabama sci-fi geeks Man or Astroman? came into being, and they have come out of a hiatus to travel through the fourth dimension with style. With their most recent album, Defcon 5...4...3...2...1, produced a decade after their last, the surf-punks showcase a new wave of space jams. These guys are the science professors you wish you had.

  1. Empty Bottle 1035 N Western Ave, at Cortez St
  2. Fri Sep 5 - Sat Sep 6
Buy tickets

Stupid Fucking Bird

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Con (Nate Whelden), the frustrated young playwright at the center of Aaron Posner's cheeky update of Chekhov's The Seagull, is like his Russian counterpart obsessed with pushing theater into "new forms." Unlike in any translation of Chekhov I've read, however, Con's conciliative pal Dev (Matt Fletcher) asks him, "Like this? This play we're in right now. Is this the kind of new work you mean? New forms?" To which Con replies, "No no no. Fuck no! Better than THIS!" Posner's take, if not a "new form," is a bracingly fresh take on Chekhov's "comedy" in which everyone ends up dead, crazy or at the very least compromised.

  1. Victory Gardens Biograph Theater 2433 N Lincoln Ave, between Fullerton Ave and Montana St
  2. Until Sun Sep 21
Buy tickets

X

  • Price band: 3/4

The original four members of the L.A punk band X will be coming together at the city Winery for four nights, as they do a rendition of one of their classic albums for each night. Tonight, X will play their final album More Fun in the New World.

  1. City Winery 1200 W Randolph St, at Racine Ave
  2. Tue Sep 2 - Fri Sep 5
Buy tickets

The Improvised Shakespeare Co.

  • Price band: 1/4

Suggestions from the audience inspire the improv team to create an entirely new show with Elizabethan flair. Expect a full hour of Shakespeare references, proper language, and plenty of laughs.

  1. iO Del Close Theater 1501 N Kingsbury St
  2. Thu Sep 4 - Fri Jan 2
More info

Saturday

The Hideout Block Party & Onion A.V. Fest

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

The annual throwndown on the dead end of Wabansia always brings a solid mix of roots music and '90s indie nostalgia. Death Cab for Cutie, the Dismemberment Plan, the Meters, Mac DeMarco and the War on Drugs top the bill in 2014. Check out the lovely synth-pop stylings of duo Sylvan Esso, too.

  1. Hideout 1354 W Wabansia Ave, between Willow and Ada Sts
  2. Fri Sep 5 - Sat Sep 6
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Garfunkel & Oates

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Beneath the sugary goodness of comedic songwriting duo Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci are sly, hilarious songs that point out the awkward and uncomfortable in life. The pair's tour coincides with the launch of their IFC sitcom, which premieres August 7.

  1. House of Blues 329 N Dearborn St, between Kinzie St and Lower Wacker Dr
  2. Sat Sep 6
Buy tickets

Internet Cat Video Festival

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Curated by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Internet Cat Video Festival comes to the Metro, hosted by feline celebrity Lil Bub. The event features a screening of a 75-minute compilation of cat videos as well as adoptable cats and kittens from Chicago Cat Rescue and Tree House Humane Society. It's sure to be a purr-fectly hilarious afternoon.

  1. Metro Chicago 3730 N Clark St, between Waveland and Racine Aves
  2. Sat Sep 6
Buy tickets

Bit Bash

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Step into the Threadless HQ, grab a joystick and enjoy more than 30 new indie video games at this first annual interactive arts festival. Delve into the 10-player madness of Killer Queen or strap on an Oculus Rift and experience the elephant trunk-enabled destruction of Dumpy. Arcade Brewery and Dark Matter Coffee provide refreshments, with a portion of proceeds benefitting local charity Chicago Loot Drop.

  1. Threadless HQ 1260 W Madison St
  2. Sat Sep 6
Buy tickets

The Great American Bacon Festival

  • Price band: 2/4

Does Chicago really need another bacon festival? If you're one of those people who just can't get enough pork, you'll want to head to Union Station to pig out on unlimited samples of every conceivable variety of America's favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner meat. Attendees will be able to learn about bacon recipies, test their bacon knowledge and help the city put the bacon craze to bed (until next year).

  1. Great Hall at Chicago Union Station 500 W Jackson Blvd
  2. Sat Sep 6
Buy tickets

Sunday

Renegade Craft Fair

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The 12th annual fair is an opportunity for serious crafters from around the country to sell their handmade arts and wares. And for serious shoppers to buy them. Workshops, local food vendors and live music invade Division Street.

  1. Division St between Damen Ave and Leavitt St Division St, between Damen Ave and Leavitt St
  2. Sat Sep 6 - Sun Sep 7
More info

Kegs for Kids

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

An annual benefit for Peirce Elementary School in Andersonville, Kegs for Kids takes over Hopleaf, putting more than 60 beers on tap for attendees to sample. When you're not drinking a brew, you can munch on food provided by local restaurants or bid on items in a massive silent auction.

  1. Hopleaf 5148 N Clark St, between Winona St and Foster Ave
  2. Sun Sep 7
Buy tickets

"Michael L. Abramson: Pulse of the Night"

  • Free

A selection of black and white prints by photographer Michael L. Abramson depict nightlife in blues clubs on Chicago's South Side in the mid-1970s. The candid photos portray a time when people dressed up in their best clothes for a night full of drinking, dancing and celebrating. This show marks the first major exhibition of Abramson's work since 1977, as well as the first time some of these photos will be seen by the public.

  1. Columbia College Chicago Library 624 S Michigan Ave, at Balbo Ave
  2. Tue Sep 2 - Fri Dec 19
More info

Four Star Bike & Chow

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Food-loving cyclists can hop on their rides for a 12, 20, 40 or 62 mile ride through Chicago's South Side. Along the way, riders will stop to partake in samples of pizza, pierogis, Chinese cuisine and more. The event is a fundraiser for Active Transportation Alliance, an organization that strives to make the city's streets safer for cyclists.

  1. Various venues Chicagoland
  2. Sun Sep 7
Buy tickets

Midnight Circus in the Parks

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Get under the big top at parks all over the city, as an eclectic ensemble of acrobats, aerialists and eccentrics perform in an intimate setting. Proceeds from these family-friendly events benefit the Chicago Park District.

  1. Welles Park 4400 N Lincoln Ave, between Montrose and Sunnyside Aves
  2. Sat Sep 6 - Sun Oct 19
Buy tickets
See all recommended events this weekend

Monday

"Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938"

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The 100+ work show, which first ran at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Menil Collection in Houston, focuses on the dozen years in which Magritte began to explore the themes and aesthetics that would define his career.

  1. Art Institute of Chicago 111 S Michigan Ave, at Adams St
  2. Until Mon Oct 13
Buy tickets

Bristol Renaissance Faire

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Have a jolly olde time and butcher your favorite European accent as you engage in live-action fantasy play, enjoy interactive riddles, cheer on your favorite jousting knight or revel in period performances from 1574. The festival takes place Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day in July, August and early September.

  1. Bristol Renaissance Faire 12550 120th Ave
  2. Until Mon Sep 1
Buy tickets

Taste of Polonia

  • Price band: 1/4

Feast on potato pancakes, kielbasa, pierogi and more at this Polish celebration. After you've stuffed yourself, dance to some polka music, watch a cover band or play a few bingo cards.

  1. Copernicus Center 5216 W Lawrence Ave
  2. Until Mon Sep 1
More info

The Second City's Improv All-Stars

  • Price band: 1/4

It's the same old improv games we've seen a hundred times before, but played to perfection by a whip-smart team of pros who manage to create laughs out of thin air and aren't afraid to go off-color when appropriate. The legendary Mick Napier directs (and it shows).

  1. UP Comedy Club 230 W North Ave, at Wells St
  2. Until Mon Dec 29
More info

Noir City: Chicago

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

In its sixth installment, this festival continues to celebrate the best of film noir including Rififi, Caged and M.

  1. Music Box 3733 N Southport Ave, between Grace St and Waveland Ave
  2. Until Thu Sep 4
Buy tickets


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