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The best things to do in Chicago this week

Find the very best things to do in Chicago this week including cultural events, concerts, festivals and more
Walker Stalker Con 2016
Photograph: Jose Calvo

Easter is just around the corner, which means that this week's slate of things to do in Chicago is packed with Easter events. Kids can head to Maggie Daley Park for the Great Chicago Egg Hunt, grown-ups can join in on the search at Longman & Eagle's annual Adult Easter Egg Hunt, and everyone can enjoy a delicious Easter brunch. Make a trip to Daley Plaza this week to take part in a House Music Dance party or sample local cuisine at the weekly Chicago Food Truck Fest. Music lovers can catch acts like Sunn O)), Of Montreal and Deerhoof this week, while art aficionados head to the Stony Island Arts Bank to see the Chicago debut of Rob Pruitt's "The Obama Paintings" exhibition. There are also some notable comic book conventions in Rosemont this weekend, including the zombified Walker Stalker Con and the superpowered Heroes & Villains Fan Fest. Solidify your plans with our guide to the best things to do in Chicago this week.

Best things to do in Chicago this week

Clayton Hauck for Longman & Eagle
Clayton Hauck
Things to do, Quirky events

Adult Easter Egg Hunt

icon-location-pin Longman & Eagle, Logan Square

Being a grown-up doesn't mean that you have to give up hunting for Easter eggs. Longman & Eagle hosts this annual scramble, hiding eggs throughout Logan Square and allowing teams of two people to scour the neighborhood searching for them. The teams that find the most eggs win a variety of great prizes (usually provided by local businesses) and all participants help raise money for One Tail at a Time. The hunt runs from noon to 2pm, but attendees can stick around after it's over for food and drinks at Longman & Eagle.

Photograph: Liz Lauren

Lottery Day

icon-location-pin Goodman Theatre | Chicago, IL, Loop

The final play in Ike Holter’s seven-show Rightlynd Saga, Lottery Day is the rare team-up event that hits the jackpot. Pulling in characters from the previous plays, Lottery Day builds on its predecessors with an eye toward tearing the whole complex to the ground. Holter’s characters have gathered for a backyard barbecue hosted by local matriarch Mallory (J. Nicole Brooks, in a titanic performance). And while Mallory throws the best damn parties in town, this get-together is more than that: It’s a chance for her to set things right—or so she thinks. 

Time Out says
Photograph: Jared Saul
Things to do

Yes We Cann: 420 Edition

icon-location-pin Multiple venues

Emporium Chicago and Modern Cannabis team up to celebrate stoner holiday 4/20 with the hemp-derived substance that's currently legal in Illinois: CBD. The festivities kick off at Emporium's Logan Square location on Friday, April 19 with a ticketed CBD dinner and cocktail bar, curated by chef Manny Mendoza. On Saturday, April 20, Emporium Logan Square will host a Cannabis Market, where attendees can get information about medical cannabis and enjoy CBD cocktails and food. In the evening, the party moves to Emporium Wicker Park, where Grateful Dead tribute band Terrapin Flyer will perform.

Walker Stalker Con 2016
Photograph: Jose Calvo
Things to do, Conventions

Walker Stalker Con

icon-location-pin Donald E. Stephens Convention Center,

AMC's television adaptation of The Walking Dead continues to shamble on, as does this annual convention devoted to the franchise's undead universe. This year, the festivities take place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, where attendees will also have access to the concurrent Heroes and Villains Fan Fest. Confirmed guests include Jon Bernthal (Shane) and Lennie James (Morgan)—you can expect even more past and present zombie slayers to join the lineup as the convention draws near.

The Obama Paintings Rob Pruitt
Photograph: Courtesy Stony Island Arts Bank
Art, Painting

“The Obama Paintings”

icon-location-pin Stony Island Arts Bank, South Shore

The Obama Presidential Library in Jackson Park is years away from completion, but a new exhibition near the facility's future home pays tribute to the former Illinois Senator in a fascinating way. "The Obama Paintings" is an exhibition made up of nearly 3,000 red- and blue-tinged paintings depicting scenes that correspond to each day of Obama's presidency. Artist Rob Pruitt renders everything from a walk with the Obama family dog, Bo, to State of the Union addresses and meetings with heads of state.

The Second City's 107th MainStage Revue Cast
Photograph: Todd Rosenberg Photography

Algorithm Nation or The Static Quo

icon-location-pin The Second City, Lincoln Park

Second City’s 107th mainstage revue takes on the horrifying, exhilarating, entirely overwhelming experience of being alive in 2019. Featuring Second City cast members Ryan Asher, Tyler Davis, Jeffrey Murdoch, Emma Pope, Nate Varrone and Kimberly Michelle Vaughn, laughs are algorithmically guaranteed to ensue.

Easter Maggie Daley
Photograph: Courtesy Medieval Times
Kids, Quirky events

Great Chicago Egg Hunt

icon-location-pin Maggie Daley Park | Chicago, IL, Millennium Park

Medieval Times and Maggie Daley Park join forces for the Great Chicago Egg Hunt, a Middle Ages-themed Easter extravaganza. Royalty and knights on horseback show up to preside over a series of egg hunts on the park's main lawn, which allow children ages 2-12 to search for more than 25,000 candy-filled eggs. There are four sessions throughout the morning (at 10:30am, 11am, 11:30am and noon), but guests can stick around to decorate doughnuts from Stan’s Donuts or participate in knights-in-training drills.

Laurie Simmons, Big Camera, Little Camera, 1976.
Photograph: Courtesy the artist and Salon 94
Art, Photography

“Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera”

icon-location-pin Museum of Contemporary Art, Streeterville

Best known for her photos of dolls and miniature objects (as well as for being the mother of Girls creator and star Lena Dunham), New York artist Lauris Simmons has been creating work that views reality through a surreal lens for nearly five decades. The MCA's career retrospective, entitled "Big Camera/Little Camera," includes work that explore scale, female gender roles and the artificiality of social media. In addition to photographs, guests can view a collection of miniature props that Simmons used in her imagery, sculptures that comment on society's obsession with the female body and a trio of short films, including one in which actress Meryl Streep interacts with vintage puppets.

Photograph: Courtesy the artist
Music, Rock and indie

Deerhoof + Palm + Bleach Party

icon-location-pin Lincoln Hall, Sheffield & DePaul

Endlessly catchy and boundlessly energetic, Deerhoof's two-plus decades of musical output is still full of surprises. The quartet's 2017 album, Mountain Moves, finds the group collaborating with artists like Lætitia Sadier and Xenia Rubinos, providing a contrast to the chirpy vocals of lead singer Satomi Matsuzaki and the band's blistering funk-punk arrangements. Here, the band returns to Lincoln Hall in celebration of the venue's 10th anniversary, joined by experimental Philadelphia rockers Palm and local outfit Bleach Party.

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
Things to do, Festivals

Chicago Food Truck Fest

icon-location-pin Daley Plaza, Loop

From April to September, Fridays are for the food trucks. The City of Chicago's Small Business Center organizes the weekly Chicago Food Truck Fest, which brings some of the city's best mobile eateries to Daley Plaza for an afternoon. While the lineup will sometimes shift, you can usually find Harold's Fried Chicken, the Fat Shallot and DönerMen among the trucks serving lunch to hungry folks in the Loop.

Heroes & Villains Fan Fest
Photograph: Courtesy Fan Fest
Things to do, Conventions

Heroes & Villains Fan Fest

icon-location-pin Donald E. Stephens Convention Center,

If you're attending Walker Stalker Con, your ticket also gives you access to this superhero-focused event that takes place in the very same convention center. Heroes & Villains Fan Fest brings together talent from TV shows like The Haunting of Hill House, Arrow, The Flash and The Punisher. In addition to signings and photo opportunities, you'll be able to test your superhero (or villain) skills on the convention floor by participating in indoor bungee jumping or safe archery.

Lothar Schreyer, “Heiland, Heiland,”
Photograph: Andreas Koerner
Art, Design

“The Whole World a Bauhaus”

icon-location-pin Elmhurst Art Museum, Suburbs

Germany's famed Bauhaus art and design school only existed for a mere 14 years (1919 through 1933), but the influence of the institution's holistic approach to creation still resonates in contemporary art, graphic designs and architecture. "The Whole World a Bauhaus" celebrates the 100th anniversary of the school's founding, exploring the output of its students and faculty through an exhibition that includes everything from a ceramic coffee pot produced in a Bauhaus workshop to vintage printed publications that still exude a sense of modernity. After gazing at the artifacts, visitors can walk next door to the McCormick House—a modular structure that was designed by former Bauhaus director Ludwig Mies van der Rohe—or explore the original Bauhaus school through a virtual reality experience. It's the exhibit's only U.S. engagement, so it's well worth a trip to Elmhurst.

Sunn O)))
Photograph: Ronald Dick
Music, Punk and metal

Sunn O))) + Papa M

icon-location-pin Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, University of Chicago, Hyde Park

Named for the boutique brand of amplifiers they favor, Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson front Seattle drone collective Sunn O))), which is typically augmented by a rotating cast of collaborators. Donning monk robes, the group doles out thick slabs of distortion and feedback, blurring the line between the chaotic disarray of noise music and the brutal melodies of contemporary metal. Sunn O))) comes to the Rockefeller Chapel is support of Life Metal, the first of the group's two planned 2019 release, both recorded with Chicago's own Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio studio. Pack your earplugs and show up early for a set from David Pajo's longrunning project, Papa M.

Grelley Duvall
Photograph: Courtesy Hideout
Comedy, Character

The Grelley Duvall Show

icon-location-pin Hideout, River West/West Town

Originating as a two-night run as part of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s LookOut series, actor Alex Grelle’s trippy tribute to Shelley Duvall and other underrated screen stealers hits the Hideout for its third year. Incorporating music (courtesy of local composer John Cicora), dancing, sketch comedy and acting, this surreal take on a variety show pays homage to its forbearers by celebrating overlooked and unexpected performers.

Bunny Rock 5K and Egg Hunt in Grant Park
Photograph: Courtesy Bunny Rock
Sports and fitness, Running

Bunny Rock Chicago 5K

icon-location-pin Montrose Harbor, Uptown

Bring along the kids to this festive, Easter-themed 5K race, where participants can throw on a pair of bunny ears (included in the price of entry) and run through a course that begins and ends at Montrose Harbor. After the race ends at 10:15am, children ages 2–10 can take part in an egg hunt, enjoy a petting zoo or line up to have their photos taken with the Easter Bunny.

Things to do

Brunch Bites

icon-location-pin Bottled Blonde, River North

Some of the best restaurants in River North are joining forces for a massive food fest devoted to everyone's favorite meal: brunch. The four-hour event includes breakfast bites and drinks at each stop, with participating restaurants like Hubbard Inn, ZED451, Hub 51, GT Fish & Oyster, Pink Taco, Joy District, Bottled Blonde and Hutch American Café. Cruise between restaurants and enjoy bellinis, tropical cocktails, Mexican bread pudding French toast, buffalo chicken and waffles and so much more.

True Widow
Photograph: Courtesy Relapse Records
Music, Punk and metal

True Widow + Telekinetic Yeti + Rezn

icon-location-pin Sleeping Village, Avondale

Half Acre celebrates the 10th anniversary of its ubiquitous Daisy Cutter Pale Ale with a concert at Sleeping Village, headlined by sludgy rock trio True Widow. The Texas act's 2016 release AVVOLGERE combines the heavy sounds of metal with the resolute rhythms and spacey atmosphere of shoegaze music, finding the eerie, captivating middle ground between the two seemingly contradictory genres. Iowa doom metal band Telekinetic Yeti and local stoner rockers Rezn round out the bill at Half Acre's heady Decades celebration (which just happens to fall on 4/20).

Photograph: Courtesy Soccer Club Club
Art, Contemporary art

“Activity Apparatus”

icon-location-pin Soccer Club Club, Belmont Cragin

Local singer-songwriter Haley Fohr (best known as the voice of Circuit des Yeux) is responsible for the eight-hour composition that accompanies this imaginative group show at the Soccer Club Club gallery. Visitors are encouraged to take their time while exploring the exhibition, which features paintings and visual works by Judith Lindbloom, Bill Nace, Meghan Remy and Emily Winter; videos by Nick Ciontea and Kim Alpert; and an interactive Light Geode constructed by Carlson Garcia.

Photograph: Evan Hanover

Remember the Alamo

icon-location-pin Neo-Futurarium, Uptown

Soft-rock icon Phil Collins plays a surprisingly central role in Remember the Alamo, Nick Hart’s moving if messy meditation on Mexican-American identity. Played with an amusingly atrocious accent by the droll Hal Baum, the Genesis singer-drummer and all-odds defier is one of the play’s central figures. This being a Neo-Futurists production, the show is an effervescently self-aware combination of elements: sketches, musical numbers, pop-culture references, shadow puppetry and personal stories from the performers, to name a few.

Time Out says
Art on theMART
Photograph: Joshua Brott
Art, Film and video

Art on theMART

icon-location-pin Merchandise Mart,

Five nights a week, a 25-story-tall video installation takes over the side of the Merchandise Mart, filling the building's historic facade with vibrant colors and moving images. Harnessing 34 digital projectors, the show features work by a rotating lineup of artists and is best viewed from Wacker Drive or the Riverwalk, between Wells and Orleans Streets. Art on theMART lights up the night Wednesday through Sunday, with projections beginning approximately 15 minutes after sunset.

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