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9 ways to spend Earth Day in Chicago

9 ways to spend Earth Day in Chicago
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

Clean up your local park

What better way to celebrate than by showing Mother Earth some love? Parks citywide are hosting Earth Day cleanups, so come ready to get dirty. Pack mulch around trees, plant native plants and de-trash your local green space. Find your nearest park and get to work! (Various locations, find cleanup events here)

March for Science

Members of the scientific community nationwide—including the Field Museum, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Lincoln Park Zoo and more—are protesting in defense of science. Join them to enable curiosity and support measures to reduce climate change. (Grant Park, 101 E Congress Pkwy, Sat 10am–3pm. Free)

Party it up for Mother Earth

After getting down and dirty all day, you deserve a drink. Garfield Park Conservatory has teamed up with Land and Sea Dept. (Longman & Eagle, Lost Lake) for Earth Day 2017: NOT A HOAX. The party includes performances from Air Credits (The Hood Internet and ShowYouSuck), beer from Lagunitas, DJ Audio Jack and drinks from Lost Lake’s Paul McGee. (Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N Central Park Ave, 7–10pm. $25 general admission, VIP $100)

Explore the night sky

Sure, it’s Earth Day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate other planets, too. La Villita Park is hosting a free stargazing night. The Chicago Astronomer will provide a large-format refractor telescope, as well as instruction for amateur astronomers. (La Villita Park, 2800 S Sacramento Ave, Sat 6:30–9:30pm. Free)

Spend your day at the Adler

The Adler Planetarium is offering free admission for Illinois residents for Earth Day. On top of that, they’re hosting their second annual Earthfest, including chats with Adler scientists, solar observing, photo ops and programming for families and young children. (Adler Planetarium, 1300 S Lake Shore Dr, Sat 9am–4pm. Free with Illinois ID)

Earth Day at the Shedd

Like their fellow museum campus institution, the Shedd Aquarium is also offering special programming for Earth Day. Chicago-based chalk artist Shaun Hays will greet visitors with ocean-inspired work, with the Shedd’s Learning team engaging visitors with educational games and trivia. You can also take the #SheddTheStraw pledge—a vow to not use single-use plastic straws. (Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Sat 9am–6pm. $15 with Illinois ID)

Check out an enlightening documentary

The City Dark explores the toll light pollution takes on our environment. It’s playing at five different locations across the city on Earth Day as part of One Earth Film Festival. Check out the list of free screenings—there could very well be one near you. (Various venues, various times, see site for full details. Free)

Get your bouldering on

Brooklyn Boulders is hosting a two-day Camp BKB, which includes a DIY solar panel workshop, yoga, sleep mask demos by LUSH, a park cleanup, a meditative climb and more. On top of that, 10 percent of proceeds will go directly to the National Parks Foundation. (Brooklyn Boulders, 100 S Morgan St, Fri 5pm–Sat 9am. $15 Friday only, members; $32 Friday only, guest; $45 VIP weekend, $65 VIP weekend guest)

Ditch your car for a Divvy

Divvy is launching its fourth annual “Divvy Week” on Earth Day, with a series of discounts to coax Chicagoans into the Divvy light. For the next week, new riders can get a $5 24-hour pass, and with each new membership comes a buy-one-get-one-free Chipotle card.

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