2nd Fridays in the Chicago Arts District

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2nd Fridays in the Chicago Arts District
Photograph: Courtesy Chicago Arts District

On the second Friday of each month, The Chicago Arts District hosts 2nd Fridays Gallery Night, a series of receptions at the galleries and artists' studios centered around South Halsted Street, beginning at 1711 and ending at 2005 South Halsted Street. Pick up a map at the information center at 1945 South Halsted Street and visit the creative spaces free of charge as they open their doors to showcase an exciting display of art and artists from Chicago and beyond.

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I've never been one for museums or art crawls, but when my boyfriend told me about the free wine, I couldn't pass it up. This night completely exceeded any expectation I had. You don't have to be a hipster or an art snob to have an amazing time here. To paint a picture for you (bad pun), you bounce around from little shops selling handcrafted jewelry, to galleries with paintings and statues, to a gigantic warehouse with endless rooms of artists welcoming you in (did I mention the free wine?) One room even offered a guy dressed as Santa Claus so you could sit on his lap for pictures. But I'd say the real twist on the evening was when we got to watch a woman live flamenco dance to her violinist. How random! I'd definitely recommend checking out 2nd Fridays if you're in the mood for an interesting evening. I'll be going again next week, and my first experience will be hard to top.