Plan out your week in Chicago with the city’s best concerts, culture, cuisine and more. Monday Navy Pier Water Flicks Summer Film Series at Polk Bros ParkNavy Pier's waterfront summer movie series screens Tim Burton's 2005 version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which doesn't quite match the pure imagination of Gene Wilder's turn as Willy Wonka in the 1971 original. “The Science Behind Pixar” at Museum of Science and IndustrySee how characters like Buzz Lightyear and Mike Wazowski come to life in this exhibition, which provides a behind-the-scenes look at the computer magic employed in Pixar's classic films. Tuesday A$AP Ferg + IDK at House of BluesThe A$AP Mob's most reliable emcee performs in support of his latest mixtape, Still Striving, which balances Ferg's street-smart bravado with his art school roots. “Chicago Works: Mika Horibuchi” at Museum of Contemporary ArtIt's opening day for the MCA's latest local artist showcase, displaying the hyper-realistic style of Mika Horibuchi, who creates detailed images that appear to be three-dimensional. Wednesday Chicago SummerDance at Humboldt Park BoathouseHead to Humboldt Park at 6pm to learn salsa and mambo moves, then test them out on the dance floor to live music from Afinca’o and Denita Inez. Fireworks at Navy PierFourth of July may be over, but the fireworks at Navy Pier continue through the summer. Show up at 9:30pm to see a dazzling show every Wednesday through August 29. Thursday Anoushka Shankar + Hol
There are plenty of things to do this weekend, but we wouldn't blame you if you opted to lounge around in the sun with a drink in hand. Lucky for you, four new rooftops and patios have debuted over the last few weeks, offering more ways to get tan and tipsy. Here's where you'll find us sunning ourselves this weekend. Z Bar: Located inside the Peninsula Chicago, this super swanky rooftop has indoor and outdoor seating, intricate cocktails and breathtaking views of the downtown skyline. Nosh on decadent shareables like daikon frites, wagyu beef sliders, foie gras bon bons and caviar-topped Ants on a Log. Conclusion: It's a great place to take persnickety parents and your friends visiting from New York. Beatnik on the River: If you couldn't tell by its name, this buzzy new opening comes from the folks behind West Town's wildly popular Beatnik. The riverside addition fills the former Peal Tavern space along the Chicago River, affording guests views of the busy waterway. Order fresh juices and smoothies, sandwiches, shared plates and cocktails. It's worth noting that the restaurant is closed on Saturday and Sunday, so save this one for happy hour. Ballast Point: If you'd rather chill out with an ice-cold beer, head to Ballast Point in the West Loop and ask for a table on the sprawling rooftop. The industrial space offers a clear view of the skyline alongside dozens of draft lines and a menu of burgers, salads and hearty appetizers. Terrace 16: Meet Michelin-starred Sixteen's
Last summer, a gigantic deer sculpture could be seen standing guard on a section of the Chicago Riverwalk between Franklin and Lake Streets, surprising riders on passing boat tours and providing a popular selfie backdrop for pedestrians. Yesterday, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events announced that the western section of the Riverwalk will once again host a public art installation this summer, when a new site-specific piece by Chicago-based artist Robert Burnier takes up residence in the coming months. Commissioned by the City of Chicago, Burnier's piece is made up of three brightly colored geometric structures formed from a combination of steel, nylon mesh and rope. The installations will hang over a small strip of grass on the Riverwalk, making them partially visible from Wacker Drive. Though a rendering of the piece depicts vibrant colors, the name of the work is Black Tiberinus—a reference to the Roman god of the Tiber river. Burnier's colorful structures will remain on the Riverwalk until May 2019, which means that viewers will be able to observe the sculptures during different seasons. Here's hoping that Black Tiberinus doesn't get buried in a mountain of snow when winter arrives. The nylon mesh creations aren't the only new work of art that will be debuting on the Riverwalk this year. This fall, the "Art on theMart" installation will project videos across 25 stories, turning the historic building into a canvas of moving images. Want more? Sign
We curate a Chicago weekend itinerary of the city’s best concerts, culture and cuisine, every week, just for you. Friday Taste of Chicago in Grant ParkThe granddaddy of Chicago food festivals runs through Sunday evening. If you're willing to brave the crowds (and the sun), you can trade tickets for a taste of Chicago's street fare, including Rainbow Cones and Billy Goat Tavern cheezborgers. Check out our favorite new dishes at the fest. Jimmy Buffet at Wrigley FieldParrotheads take over Wrigleyville for a day as Hawaiian shirt-clad “Margaritaville” singer Buffet returns to headline the home of the Cubs. Black Star at Petrillo Music Shell in Grant ParkHip-hop heavyweights Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) and Talib Kweli join forces as Black Star at this free Taste of Chicago concert. Windy City Smokeout at 560 W Grand StCountry acts Brett Young and Midland headline the opening night of this twangy barbecue festival, which features pitmasters from across the U.S. and music from the likes of Brett Eldredge and Brothers Osborne throughout the weekend. Square Roots Festival in Lincoln SquareHead to Lincoln Square to see Matthew Sweet perform on the first night of this eclectic three-day street fest, which also features alt-country pioneers the Jayhawks, Americana explorer Pokey LaFarge and Appalachian folk duo the Handsome Family. Saturday The Flaming Lips at Petrillo Music Shell in Grant ParkOklahoma weirdos the Flaming Lips bring psychedelia, streamers and costumed da
Ever since the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus went out of business, one of the only remaining annual displays of acrobatics, dancing and other eye-popping feats is the Midnight Circus in the Parks series. Beginning in August, the touring circus sets up in a different Chicago park each weekend, welcoming guests into the Little Big Top tent for an evening of intimate performances, including trapeze artists, jugglers, tightrope walkers and more. This year's tour takes place over nine consecutive weekends, bringing the Midnight Circus to nine Chicago parks throughout the city. It's the event's longest tour to-date and, in response to popular demand, organizers have added more Friday night shows. Each two-hour circus features a lineup of local acts, as well as performers from France, Canada and Australia. Attendees can bring a blanket and sit directly along the ring or snag a seat on the bleachers—either way, you'll likely find yourself closer to the action than at a conventional circus. Tickets to each performance are $5–$22 and can be purchased in advance via the Midnight Circus in the Parks website, while kids 2 or younger can attend the show for free. As always, proceeds from the events are donated to the Chicago Parks District to fund improvements throughout the city's park system. Take a look at Midnight Circus in the Parks' complete 2018 schedule below. Garfield Park – August 25, 26 McKinley Park – Aug 31, Sept 1, 2 Hamilton Park – September 8, 9 Holstei
The sun is shining, the Loop is crawling with tourists and dozens of Chicago restaurants have set up shop in Grant Park, which can only mean one thing: It's time for Taste of Chicago. The free five-day food festival kicked off today and continues through Sunday, July 15, leaving you plenty of time to stop by for a treat (or avoid downtown altogether). RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Taste of Chicago This year's lineup features a whopping 73 restaurants and food trucks, 26 of which are appearing at the event for the first time. Notable newbies include Sun Wah Barbecue, Arun's Thai Restaurant, Aloha Wagon and Chiya Chai Café. We visited Taste of Chicago on opening day to scope out this year's tastiest new bites, and we ranked our findings from best to worst. If this is your first time visiting Taste of Chicago, many of the returning vendors haven't changed their menus, and we've been ranking them since 2010. Check out our food reviews from 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010. Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas 10. Fried Fish Quenelles with Cucumber Salad from Arun's Thai Restaurant We had high hopes when we saw fine-dining giant Arun's on the Taste of Chicago lineup, but this bite just isn't worth your tickets. Disks of rubbery, herb-speckled fish are somehow devoid of flavor. Though the accompanying cucumber salad is light and cooling, it wasn't enough to save this bland dish. Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas 9. Spam Musubi at Aloha Wagon On seco
It's already July and we're still hearing about new summer music festivals joining Chicago's already-crowded calendar in the coming months. The latest addition to the slate is the Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash, which will take over Douglas Park (also home to Riot Fest) on August 19, with a hip-hop-focused bill headlined by Brooklyn emcee Joey Bada$$, cloud rap phenomenon Trippie Redd and local rapper Vic Mensa. The festival is curated by Chicago hip-hop blog Lyrical Lemonade, which is run by Cole Bennett, a 22-year-old videographer and artist manager who has established himself as a rap tastemaker, working with rising acts like Ski Mask the Slump God, Yung Bans and Lil Skies (all of whom will perform at the fest). Bennett has helped organize summer concerts at the Portage Theatre for the past two years, but this year's event, presented in partnership with local production company SPKRBX, marks the first time that the one-day festival will be held in an outdoor venue. Tickets for the fest are on sale now, with general admission passes priced at $55 and VIP tickets going for $100 (the latter includes Lyrical Lemonade-branded goodies). The Summer Smash will take place less than a month before the Breaks Vol. II, another Chicagoland hip-hop music festival that will bring the Wu-Tang Clan and Curren$y to Toyota Park. Check out the complete Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash lineup below. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Last year, the city announced its intention to build a new CTA Green Line station at Damen Avenue and Lake Street, filling in a 1.5-mile gap that currently exists between the line's Ashland and California stops. Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled a set of renderings for the forthcoming station, which marks the first major CTA project on the Green Line since the completion of the Cermak-McCormick Place station in 2015. The renderings released this morning reveal a modern design for the new stop, which features an entrance outfitted with gigantic floor-to-ceiling windows (much like the building replacing the former Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's, it kind of looks like an Apple Store) and a bright green, glass-enclosed pedestrian bridge over the platform that also sports some great views of the Chicago skyline. A Divvy station located near the station's entrance will make it easy to rent (or return) bikes, though the renderings don't depict storage options for individuals who might want to lock up a personal bike near the station. The location of the new Green Line stop will provide another public transportation option for anyone traveling to the nearby United Center, which will hopefully ease post-event crowds at the Illinois Medical District Blue Line station. The addition will also make it easier to travel to the western end of the burgeoning Fulton Market District, where businesses like Rhine Hall Distillery and Metric Coffee have set up shop. According to a release, work on th
Plan out your week in Chicago with the city’s best concerts, culture, cuisine and more. Monday Happy Place at 1004 N Elston AveDive into a ball pit in front of an inflatable double rainbow, enter the world's largest confetti dome and make all of your Instagram followers jealous at this pop-up exhibition of selfie-friendly installations. “Charles White: A Retrospective” at Art Institute of ChicagoThe latest retrospective at the Art Institute looks back on the career of Chicago-born and educated artist Charles White, a painter and muralist who was inspired by the socially-charged work of Diego Rivera. Tuesday “A Johnson Publishing Story” at Stony Island Arts BankCheck out a collection of furniture, art, periodicals and more artifacts that were once housed in the Chicago offices of the publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines. Navy Pier Water Flicks Summer Film Series at Polk Bros ParkPitch Perfect, the 2012 film about an a cappella group that turned a song called “Cups” into a chart-topping hit, will be screened this week at Navy Pier's free summer movie series. Wednesday Taste of Chicago in Grant ParkThe granddaddy of Chicago food festivals kicks off in Grant Park today, where it will remain through Sunday, July 15. You can trade tickets for a taste of Chicago's street fare—from the Billy Goat Tavern's cheezborgers to Eli's Cheesecake—or catch a free concert. Brandi Carlile at Petrillo Music Shell in Grant ParkAmericana singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile headlines the f
We curate a Chicago weekend itinerary of the city’s best concerts, culture and cuisine, every week, just for you. Friday Radiohead at United CenterThom Yorke and company kick off their latest North American tour in Chicago—prepare for deep cuts from the band's experimental rock catalog and a killer light show. West Fest at Chicago Ave between Wood St and Damen Ave This three-day street festival in West Town kicks off with performances from local hip-hop artists Joey Purp, Sen Morimoto and oddCouple. Look out for additional sets from Kevin Morby, the Make-Up and Ohmme. Dark Matter Coffee Block Party at Dark Matter Coffee MothershipFree music, libations and food greet visitors at this annual coffee-fueled party, but attendees are encouraged to make donations to nonprofit organization Hope for the Day. Navy Pier Water Colors Jazz Series at Polk Bros ParkPack a blanket and head to the inaugural concert of Navy Pier's free waterfront jazz series, featuring a performance from Chicago horn combo the Lowdown Brass Band. Saturday Chosen Few DJs Music Festival at Jackson ParkLocal house music legends the Chosen Few DJs throw the group's annual picnic and concerts in Jackson Park, with support from the Basement Boys, remix artist Ralphi Rosario and local singer Sheree Hicks. “Counterparts” at Vertical GallerySelf-taught street artist Pizza in the Rain, fine artist Joseph Renda Jr. and multimedia creator Crop take the spotlight in Vertical's showcase of rising Chicago talents.