Free things to do in April
You don't have to spend a fortune in order to visit some of Chicago's best museums and cultural institutions. If you're willing to plan ahead, you can take in masterpieces at the Art Institute or gaze at tropical fish while strolling through Shedd Aquarium without spending a dime. You'll need to be an Illinois resident to take advantage of many of these offers, but that's just one of the perks of living in Chicago.
In 1989, acclaimed artist Keith Haring came to Chicago to create a gigantic 488-foot-long mural in collaboration with 500 Chicago Public School students. After remaining on display at Midway Airport for several years, 36 panels of the mural will return to the Loop, going on display alongside a selection of Haring's photographs, correspondence, designs and his now-iconic drawings.
Christopher Piatt hosts this weekly "live magazine," a cavalcade of culture, politics and wit featuring journalists, actors, comedians and musicians offering idiosyncratic reports on the news of the day. Head to Uptown's iconic Green Mill for a Saturday afternoon of drinks, hot takes and laughs.
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.
Set a new high score at this arcade bar’s monthly queer night. Guests can take advantage of free pinball (make sure you take a turn on the classic Star Wars and PIN·BOT tables), enjoy bar specials or bust a move in the back room with resident DJ Essential Logic.
This biweekly nocturnal Latinx and LGBTQ gathering is always filled with clever decorations, dancing queens and underground Latin club music from resident DJ [X]P. It also serves Jarritos cocktails.
This eclectic reading series is where good writing and good beer mix. Every month five local writers and authors put together pieces to read while you order off Hopleaf's extensive beer menu.
Burliness is optional at this night for bearded boys, funky folk and all other queers and allies, which takes over Logan Square dive the Burlington. Resident DJ Butch Sassidy and the Come Dance Kid spins punk, disco and new wave galore.