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17 things to do before summer ends

Summer's days are numbered. Here's how to make the most of the sunshine before fall starts

By Time Out editors |
Instagrammers capture summer in Chicago 2014.
Photograph: @iamtheozzy Instagrammers capture summer in Chicago 2014.

You knew this time would come. Summer can't last forever, though we wish daily it would. So how can you make the most out of the time we have left before fall officially starts on September 23? These 17 things, from drinking a summer cocktail to catching that last summer music festival, will help you squeeze out every last drop of summer. And then it's on to bars with fireplaces.

RECOMMENDED: Things to do in the summer in Chicago

Things to do, Festivals

Learn to dance outside

All ages and skill levels are welcome at this annual series of jives, twirls and jumps. The dancing breaks out Thursday through Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. A professional instructor conducts dance lessons for the first hour before you cut a rug on the 4,900 square-foot recycled-materials dance floor.

Theater, Experimental

See a solo show (meaning, by yourself, with a phone)

The Australian theater group one step at a time like this, which brought the astonishing self-guided mobile piece en route to Chicago in 2011, make their highly anticipated return to partner with Chicago Shakespeare Theater on a new piece inspired by Measure for Measure, Since I Suppose. Audience members, who will be assigned staggered time slots throughout the day, will be loaned a Motorola Moto G smartphone preloaded with custom-built apps to guide them on their solo journey through the piece.

Comedy, Stand-up

See a hilarious songwriting duo

Beneath the sugary goodness of comedic songwriting duo Garfunkel & Oates (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.

Museums, Art and design

Visit the MCA before Bowie arrives


The Museum of Contemporary Art is going to be crowded this fall, when the highly anticipated “David Bowie Is” exhibit finally opens on September 23. Visit before the hordes descend and take in some of the museum’s great exhibits that don’t have anything to do with androgynous rock stars, including the conceptual art of “Simon Starling: Metamorphology” and the provocative works on display in “Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo”.

Thalia Hall

Check out the two new music venues on the South Side

The folks behind the Empty Bottle and Evanston's SPACE teamed up for two restaurant-and-concert-hall reclamation projects, The Promontory in Hyde Park and Thalia Hall in Pilsen. Both cater to a more mature set, though the former leans more soul and jazz while the latter lures killer rock acts like the Black Lips and Ty Segall. Thalia Hall also hosts a regular market, the Thalia Hall Haul (Sept 7).

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