This Summer Discover 12 Great Chicago’s Exhibitions

The Art Institute of Chicago has a full slate of spring/summer programming. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

  • The Arranged Flower: Ikebana and Flora in Japanese Prints (until July 9, 2023) – Ikebana is considered a form of Japanese high art, reflecting the principles of minimalism, asymmetry, and the appreciation of space. The arrangements are designed to create a sense of balance and harmony between the flowers and the environment in which they are displayed. Today, Ikebana is practiced by people of all ages and backgrounds in Japan and around the world. There are many different schools and styles of ikebana, each with its own unique techniques and aesthetic principles. Several works on display are surimono—privately commissioned prints circulated among members of poetry circles on special occasions—featuring representations of this practice.
  • Van Gogh and the Avant-Garde: The Modern Landscape (May 14 – September 4, 2023) – Between 1882 and 1890, five artists—Vincent van Gogh, along with Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Emile Bernard, and Charles Angrand—flocked to villages on the fringes of Paris. Each artist explored the use of discrete brushstrokes and strong colors in innovative ways, and in turn developed novel styles of painting: Divisionism, Pointillism, and Cloisonnism. More than 75 paintings and drawings from this intensely creative period—many from private collections and rarely publicly displayed—come together for this insightful presentation. 
  • Ellsworth Kelly: Portrait Drawings (July 1 – October 23, 2023) –  It is not surprising that an artist’s work reflects their artistic influences and friendships. In the case of Ellsworth Kelly, his drawings show the impact of the artists he encountered during his travels to Europe in the 1940s, such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. This exhibition spans most of Kelly’s 70-year career, showcasing his evolving and wide-ranging approach to both portraiture and drawing. 
  • Remedios Varo: Science Fictions (July 29 – November 27, 2023) – The exhibition brings together more than 20 paintings created by Varo during her time in Mexico from 1955 until her death in 1963. These paintings offer a glimpse into Varo’s distinct and diverse practice and are supplemented by additional materials from the artist’s archive, including large-scale cartoons, notebooks, sketches, detailed studies, ephemera, and personal possessions. Varo was a key figure in the Surrealist movement, and her work reflects many of the movement’s core values and beliefs. Furthermore, the exhibition marks a milestone in the museum’s efforts to expand the borders of the global Surrealist movement, as it is the Art Institute’s first solo exhibition dedicated to a woman Surrealist painter and to a woman artist working in Mexico.

Chicago History Museum’s exhibit Millions of Moments: The Chicago Sun-Times Photo Collection (until December 31, 2023) features 150 images from the Chicago History Museum’s Chicago Sun-Times. It is a first look at highlights from five million negatives spanning the 1940s-early 2000s, one of the largest newspaper photograph collections ever acquired by an American museum. As the Museum continues to process negatives from this extraordinary collection, new images will be shared through their online portal, CHM Images. (Neighborhood: Lincoln Park)

  • Back Home: Polish Chicago – Opening May 20, 2023, the exhibition features more than 90 artifacts and documents as well as more than 100 reproduced photographs to help tell the story of the Chicago area’s vibrant Polish communities from the mid-1800s to today. Explore personal narratives, music, community involvement, as well as art installations from five local Polish artists. Guided tours are available for groups of 10 or more. 

Cleve Carney Museum of Art and the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at the College of DuPage will present Warhol: Featuring Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop / Works from the Bank of America from June 3 – September 10, 2023. The Warhol exhibition will feature 94 works from “Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop / Works from the Bank of America Collection” on loan through Bank of America’s Art in our Communities® program. Aside from the Bank of America collection, which will be on display in a dedicated space in the exhibition, there will also be over 100 works from the College of DuPage Permanent Art Collection. Educational and interactive elements will include a biographical exhibition highlighting key points in Warhol’s life and career, video installation, a Children’s Print Factory area, Studio 54 and Silver Cloud Room experiences, and Central Park-inspired outdoor space, creating an immersive, multifaceted exhibition focused on the life and work of one of the most influential artists of the past century. (Glen Ellyn, Illinois)

The Field Museum’s newest exhibition First Kings of Europe (open through January 28, 2024) explores how ancient farming villages led to the earliest tribal kingdoms in Europe, gathering together more than 700 exquisite objects from the Neolithic, Copper, Bronze, and Iron Ages. The countries represented (and collaborating in this exhibition) include Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia. Highlights include some of the oldest gold treasures in the world from the cemetery of Varna, the gold crown of a Thracian prince, masterpieces of swordmaking and armor, weapons, jewelry, and more. (Neighborhood: South Loop / Museum Campus)

Harry Potter: Magic At Play extends its worldwide debut run in Chicago through September 4, 2023 at Chicago’s iconic Water Tower Place. The first-of-its-kind experience allows fans of all ages to engage with the Wizarding World like never before through 30,000 square feet of hands-on magical interactivity including games, exploration, sensory activations, and more that celebrate Harry’s own journey in discovering the wizarding world. Guests can explore the Dursley’s living room, step onto a boat and prepare to cross the Great Lake, attend some of Hogwarts’ most beloved classes, practice Quidditch fundamentals, and more. (Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile)

The Hyde Park Art Center’s new exhibit, Destination/El Destino: a decade of GRAFT, the largest exhibition to date of the Puerto Rican artist, educator, and community organizer Edra Soto, will be on display through August 6, 2023. The exhibition features a new large-scale commission of the artist’s GRAFT series with porous sculptures, documentary photographs, drawings, and games that activate the Art Center’s indoor/outdoor main gallery. (Neighborhood: Hyde Park)

The Illinois Holocaust Museum presents The Girl in the Diary: Searching for Rywka from the Łódz Ghetto (May 18 – September 24, 2023). In I945, a diary was discovered in the liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp written by Rywka Lipszyc, a 14-year-old Jewish girl documenting her life in the Łódz Ghetto between October 1943 and April 1944. More than 60 years after its discovery, the diary traveled to the United States, where it was translated to English, supplemented with commentaries, and published. Rywka Lipszyc’s diary, a moving memoir of life and adolescence in the Łódz Ghetto, is the focal point of this exhibition. Selected excerpts of the diary are supplemented by expert commentary from historians, doctors, psychologists, and rabbis. Blended with original artifacts and fleeting candid photographs of others’ lives in the ghetto, these commentaries help us understand the experiences Rywka describes in her diary. Through historical artifacts and documents, interactive touch screens, documentary videos, and exceptionally rare photographs, The Girl in the Diary explores the story of a young girl’s fight for survival in the Łódz Ghetto and reconstructs what might have happened to Rywka after her deportation to Auschwitz and beyond. There are no known photographs of Rywka. She exists for us only through words she wrote. (Skokie, Illinois)

Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago’s current exhibition Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius (running through the end of May 2023), has Massimiliano Siccardi, immersive art installation pioneer, using state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence as inspiration to craft astonishing visuals inspired by the 18th-century destinations of Mozart’s world. With video direction by Vittorio Guidotti, legendary dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov’s tortured portrayal of Leopold, Mozart’s father, will enthrall audiences. Luca Longobardi re-arranged and recomposed 17 selected works from Mozart’s repertoire for the eclectic soundtrack, which also features exclusive music from the Italian composer and was recorded by a 45-piece symphonic orchestra and conducted by four-time Grammy®-nominated Constantine Orbelian. (Neighborhood: Lincoln Park)

Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) welcomes Gary Simmons: Public Enemy (June 13 – October 1, 2023), the first comprehensive career survey of the work of multidisciplinary artist Gary Simmons. Since the late 1980s Simmons has played a key role in situating questions of race, class, and gender identity at the center of contemporary art discourse. Notable for his early application of conceptual artistic strategies, Simmons exposes and analyzes histories of racism inscribed in U.S. visual culture. This exhibition covers thirty years of the artist’s career, encompassing approximately seventy works. (Neighborhood: Streeterville)

  • This summer, visitors can also enjoy “Tuesdays on the Terrace” when it returns from June 13 – August 29, 2023. This annual, free summer concert series on the MCA’s Anne and John Kern Terrace Garden highlights artists from Chicago’s internationally renowned music community. For the first time, this year’s roster of performers extends beyond a purely jazz focus to include more diverse genres and styles that have unique Chicago roots, incorporating hip-hop, house, blues, bomba, and more.

The Museum of Science and Industry is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a series of exciting events including the museum’s first Meet Her! (Katya Echazarreta) event on May 13, 2023, which celebrates the first Mexican-born woman to go to space. Katya Echazarreta is featured in “Mission Unstoppable” on CBS, hosted the YouTube series “Netflix IRL,” and recently was honored with her own Barbie. She’s also an accomplished electrical engineer who worked at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (Neighborhood: Hyde Park)

Stage 773’s new immersive walk-thru experience, WHIM, blends carefully curated cocktails and a world where every art form comes together – paintings, music, sculpture, street art, and live performance – all by Chicago artists. The experience includes the “Lobby of Second Chances,” the “Second Shots Bar,” and the “Enchanted Forest,” featuring a live performance stage and a giant enchanted tree towering over it all. (Neighborhood: Lakeview)

WNDR Museum, Chicago’s original immersive art and technology experience will, starting May 12, 2023, debut a three story immersive infinity installation by the globally iconic Yayoi Kusam. Featuring a series of floating yellow and black polka dots alongside walk-in and peep-in installations, Dots Obsession will fill WNDR’s atrium and transport visitors into Kusama’s obsession with polka dots, repetition, celestial bodies, and the experience of the infinite. (Neighborhood: West Loop / Fulton Market)

About Choose Chicago

Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor and meetings destination, leveraging the city’s unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. Follow @choosechicago on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok and tag #ChicaGOandKNOW. For more information, visit choosechicago.com.

Discover Chicago’s New & Trending Food & Libations

A new barbecue restaurant in Canaryville, Bell Heir’s BBQ opened its doors in January 2023. Located at 704 W. 47th St., this casual spot offers diners brisket, ribs, burgers, and more. (Neighborhood: South Side)

Bistro Monadnock, a French bistro from the owners of Victor Bar and Love Street, will open in Spring 2023. Located inside the 130-year-old Monadnock Building at 325 S. Federal St., the menu will feature classic French dishes prepared by executive chef Johnny Besch. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

The Cauldron, a magic and wizard-themed restaurant and bar that brings fantasy to life through food and beverage spaces around the world, is pleased to announce the grand opening date of its third location in the U.S. in Wicker Park (1612 W Division St.) on May 4, 2023. As the brand’s largest U.S. location yet, The Cauldron Chicago fills the space of a 10,000-square foot former bank that will boast a ticketed and ever-evolving Potion-Making Experience, a walk-in restaurant and bar with weekly programming, and more. (Neighborhood: Wicker Park)

Dawn, a new brunch spot from the owner of Caribbean bar and restaurant 14 Parish, will open Summer 2023 at 1642 E. 56th St. at the former home of Piccolo Mondo. Restaurateur Racquel Fields, a South Side native, is planning to offer a combination of new American fare and Southern staples like fried green tomatoes. (Neighborhood: Hyde Park)

Vegan cuisine is on the menu at Don Bucio’s Taqueria in Logan Square. James Beard Award-nominated chef Rodolfo Cuadros opened the plant-based restaurant at 2763 N. Milwaukee Ave. in early 2023. (Neighborhood: Logan Square)

West Loop Mexican restaurant and bar Federales will open a second Chicago location in Logan Square at 2471 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Spring 2023. Four Corners, the hospitality group behind Federales, Ranalli’s, Benchmark, and Kirkwood, will transform the former Marcello’s Father & Son restaurant space into Federales’s Logan Square outpost. (Neighborhood: Logan Square)

Fioretta is a new steakhouse from the team behind Siena Tavern and Prime & Provisions set to open in Spring 2023. The menu at the 318 N. Sangamon St. location features Italian-American fare. (Neighborhood: Fulton Market) 

After debuting Gordon Ramsay Burger in December 2021, celebrity chef and restaurateur Gordon Ramsay plans to pay homage to one of his most popular TV shows with Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen. Set to open in River North in 2023, the 18,000-square-foot two-story restaurant will be one of only a handful locations in the U.S. and will include a few unique-to-Chicago, to-be-determined menu items. (Neighborhood: River North) 

Kindling | Downtown Cookout & Cocktails, a new concept from The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group, opened January 2023 inside the Catalog at Willis Tower. The 17,000-square-foot live fire show kitchen restaurant is helmed by James Beard Award winner Jonathon Sawyer, formerly of the Four Seasons Hotel’s Adorn Restaurant & Bar. (Neighborhood: The Loop) 

New York City restaurant Kohoku-Ku Ramen is opening its first Chicago location in Spring 2023. The shop at 1136 W. Thorndale Ave. offers diners 12 different types of ramen with a variety of broths. (Neighborhood: Edgewater) 

Michelin-star Chef Daniel Rose returned home after years in New York and abroad to open a French restaurant Le Select in Chicago with the industrious Boka Restaurant Group in January 2023. The menu features traditional French brasserie fare, showcasing the best ingredients and classic French techniques. (Neighborhood: River North) 

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises will open two new Ramen-san and Sushi-san restaurants in Lincoln Park later this year at 1962 N. Halsted St. and 1948 N. Halsted St., respectively. The Lincoln Park Ramen-san will open in early 2023, while the Sushi-san will open in late 2023.

Ramen-san’s Lincoln Park outpost will mark the fourth location of the noodle shop. Sushi-san’s debut will signal the sushi restaurant’s third location. (Neighborhood: Lincoln Park)

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises has announced the following two restaurants that will open at the highly anticipated St. Regis Chicago hotel. (Neighborhood: The Loop) 

  • The first restaurant, Miru (pronounced mē-rōō), from Executive Chef Hisanobu Osaka will open Spring 2023 in tandem with the hotel. Miru, Japanese for “view,” will showcase Chef Osaka’s unique take on Japanese cuisine and boast two terraces and a dining room that overlooks the Chicago River and Navy Pier. The Japanese restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu will include sushi, sashimi, and raw selections from the sushi bar, complimented by a selection of Izakaya-style dishes like hand-made dumplings, skewers, fried rice, and hot pots, as well as a robust wagyu and seafood section.
  • The second restaurant, Tre Dita (pronounced trā dē-tä), Italian for three fingers, is a nod to the thickness of a properly cut bistecca Fiorentina that the restaurant will be serving from its open-hearth wood fired grill. The Tuscan Steakhouse is in collaboration with award-winning Chef Evan Funke (Felix, Mother Wolf) and will open later in 2023.
  • Netflix’s School of Chocolate winner and Jean Banchet Award nominee Juan Gutierrez has been named Executive Pastry Chef, while
  • will oversee the restaurants’ beverage programs as Beverage Director.

Little Goat Diner, the newest location from James Beard Award-winning chef Stephanie Izard, will open its doors at 3325 N. Southport Ave. in Spring 2023. The menu features new takes on classic diner dishes like burgers, French toast, and chicken and dumplings. (Neighborhood: Lakeview) 


The Oakville Grill & Cellar, another new restaurant from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, designed to evoke the effortless ease of Napa Valley dining, opened April 2023 at 163 North Green St. (Neighborhood: Fulton Market)

About Choose Chicago

Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor and meetings destination, leveraging the city’s unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. Follow @choosechicago on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok and tag #ChicaGOandKNOW. For more information, visit choosechicago.com.

Celebrating Ancient Grains: Heritage Baking Cookbook

            A history major and bread aficionado, Ellen King became intrigued by the abundance of grains once available and commonly grown in the United States that had, since World War II, completely disappeared from the marketplace and which often didn’t seem to exist anymore.

          “I spent some time in Norway and bread was about all I could afford to eat,” says King, who earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in history and then attended the Seattle Culinary Academy and worked in several Seattle restaurants before she moved to Evanston, Illinois. Shocked at finding that Chicago didn’t have the types of breads she yearned for, she began a search for heirloom grains and began making bread the old fashioned way—using natural wild yeasts as an ingredient, mixing and turning the dough by hand for several hours and then injecting steam for a crisp crust while it bakes in an imported European oven.  

          But that wasn’t enough for King, who in 2013 opened Hewn Bakerywith partner Julie Matthei in Evanston, Illinois and is the author of Heritage Baking: Recipes for Rustic Breads and Pastries Baked with Artisanal Flour with Amelia Levin (Chronicle Books).  For her hand foraged breads she wanted to harken back to the grains of a century or so ago instead of using the homogenous flour currently turned out by big corporate mills.

          What good was opening a bakery if I couldn’t find good ingredients, King remembers thinking. Partnering with farmer Andrea Hazard who was interested in growing heirloom grains, the two finally connected with Stephen Jones, a wheat breeder and the Director of The Bread Lab at Washington state University. Jones, who earned a PhD in Genetics from the University of California at Davis, suggested she and, a farmer who was interesting in growing heritage wheat, read old farming journals to find out what varieties that were grown at the turn of the last century.

          “There are literally over 10,000 varieties of wheat,” King says. “One person told me 100,000.”
          The names are romantic–Rouge de Bordeaux, Turkey Red and Marquis. But the seeds seemed ephemeral.  Take Marquis, a hard red spring wheat first introduced in Canada in 1895.  It was among the most widely grown wheat in the United States between the 1910s through the 1930s. During the 1920s, Marquis accounted for 59% of the wheat produced in Wisconsin. By the time King went looking for it, Marquis was no longer grown and she couldn’t find the seeds.

          But her years during historical research paid off.  Countless queries led to a college professor who had 2.2 pounds of Marquis wheat. Planting the seeds  King and Hazard were able to produce 30 pounds the first year. Now they hope to have 3000 seeds which will yield enough to both make bread and save seeds.

          “That way we can grow more and share with other farmers,” she says.

     Selecting a loaf of bread from Hewn is like taking a step back into history. The menu of hand-forged breads made from organic, locally sourced re-discovered wheat varieties include those made with Turkey Red, a heritage variety of wheat grown in Wisconsin and Kansas   Lower in gluten the bread has a nutty flavor and Red Fife–a heritage variety of wheat grown and milled in Wisconsin.

     Why did these varieties disappear, I ask King.

     “After World War II the cherished varieties fell out of favor,” she says. “And when we did that we lost the uniqueness of each region where the wheat grew and we lost the flavor. Along with the homogenization of our wheat, we added fertilizers and products like Round-Up and made bread less healthy.”

     It was all about efficiency and mass production.

     “General Mills flour is always exactly the same and large scale baking needs that consistency,” she says. “At Hewn, I invest in people, not machinery. For us, it’s about training the baker in how to treat and understand the flour.”

     Just as wine connoisseurs can recognize the terroir of grapes, King can do the same with wheat. And though heirloom produce like tomatoes, squash and peppers has become a major player in farming, she says wheat varieties are still lagging.

     But she enjoys the challenge of finding farmers who are growing them.

     “There are more and more people doing it,” she says. “I met this guy who is growing Pedigree Number 2. At first I couldn’t find any one growing Red Kharkoff anywhere, but now I’m connecting with a farmer in Washington state who is growing it and all sorts of grains. It takes time, but it’s worth it—it’s better for the soil, for the environment and for our health. It tastes great. And also, it’s history.”

Heritage Corn and Berry Muffins

Excerpted with permission from Heritage Baker by Ellen King

Note: Most of the recipes in Heritage Baker require preparing a starter which is a process that takes several days. King recommended that beginners start with one of her muffin recipes as they are the simplest to make. She also notes that the flavor of flint corn is rich and pronounced but if you can’t find Floriani, any flint corn variety from your region will work well for this recipe. You can also, more easily, substitute regular or coarsely ground cornmeal which is found in supermarkets. Be sure to avoid finely ground cornmeal. Brands available in grocery stores like Bob’s Red Mill offer coarse ground coarse meal and a variety of flours. There are several places in Michigan where you can order specialty heirloom flours.

Country Life Natural Foods in Pullman, Michigan is a wholesaler but also sells in small amounts. They offer mail order and delivery. 641 52nd St., Pullman, MI  800-456-7694.

DeZwaan Windmill on Windmill Island in Holland, Michigan sells stone ground cornmeal and flour. Click here for more information about their products.

Ingredients for some of the grains in King’s book such as flint corn can be found online, at specialty stores or at farm markets.

Janie’s Mill in Askum, Illinois offers a wide variety of flours including Organic Black Emmer, Organic Einkorn, and Organic Red Fife Heirloom Flour as well as other products such as Whole Organic Spelt Berries, Organic Bloody Butcher Cornmeal, and Organic Turkey Red Flour among many others.

Batter:

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 13/4 cups sifted heritage flour, such as White Sonora or Richland
  • 1/2 cup fine-milled Floriani Flint or other heritage cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 cup  strawberries, quartered, or blueberries

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup stone rolled heritage oats
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 12-cup muffin pan.

To make the batter, stir together the granulated sugar and eggs in a large bowl until combined. Stir in the heavy cream, sour cream, and vanilla, followed by the melted butter. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir just until combined.

Using a wooden spoon, very gently fold in the berries. Do not overmix. Using an ice cream scoop, spoon the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups; the cups should be three-quarters full.

To make the streusel topping, combine the brown sugar, oats, and butter in a small bowl. Using a spoon or your hands, stir until the mixture becomes crumbly. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the topping over each muffin.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until a metal skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, or freeze in a resealable plastic bag for up to 3 months. To reheat, set on the counter until thawed and warm in a 325°F oven for 10 minutes.

Hewn in the News:  Food & Wine magazine featured Hewn as one of the Best Bakeries in America and in the article The Best Bread in Every State. Hewn was listed among the Best Bread Bakeries at the Food Network, and as one of the Best Bakeries in Chicago by Thrillist. Click here to listen to their recent interview on the WBBM Noon Business Hour.  Click here to read Midwest Living Magazine’s “Best of the Midwest.”  Click here to watch  Steve Dolinsky’s recent segment on the bakery on NBC5 Chicago.  To learn more about their expansion to Libertyville, click here.

Photos by John Lee reprinted with permission by Chronicle Books. Additional photos by Siege Food Photo, Kailley Lindman and Julie Matthei

What’s New and Happening in Chicago – Winter/Spring 2023

The New Year brings a plethora of new opportunities to explore Chicago. Whether it’s the host of new, hot restaurants, haute shopping experiences, or high-energy, immersive shows and attractions,

it’s clear: the Best Big City in the U.S. (six years running!) isn’t resting on its laurels. In fact, it’s just getting started.

January signals the triumphant, sold-out comeback of First Bites Bash after a three-year hiatus. The all-inclusive January 19 event inside the iconic Field Museum kicks off the 16th annual Chicago Restaurant Week, celebrating the area’s acclaimed culinary scene across 17 days and more than 300 top restaurants. Restaurant Week includes special prix fixe menus ($25 for brunch or lunch and $42 and/or $59 for dinner).

These signature events are a great way to indulge in around-the-world delicacies without leaving the city. Immersion takes on a new form with Stage 773’s WHIM, a walk-thru experience inviting guests to partake in a whimsical night out inside a world where every art form comes together – paintings, music, sculpture, street art, and live performance – all by Chicago artists.

And, on the heels of Black History Month, Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center debuts The Negro Motorist Green Book, an exhibit dedicated to African American travel in the Jim Crow era.

February is well-known for being a month dedicated to and all about love, and this year, there’s no shortage of events to fall in love with.

This month marks the beginning of a bevy of bold performances at stages across the city, from Broadway in Chicago, the Belmont Theatre District and the Joffrey Ballet. And with the return of Chicago Theatre Week (now in its 11th year), that means these can’t miss live performances are available from February 16-26 for $30 or less!

The Chicago Auto Show, the largest auto show in North America, returning to McCormick Place Feb. 11-20. And throughout the month, raise a glass to great American writers at the American Writers Museum’s new Get Lit happy hour series.

Complete with the 60-plus-year tradition of dyeing of the Chicago River green, March makes a colorful point to the world that no city celebrates St. Patrick’s Day quite like we do. From the signature parade downtown to neighborhood-specific festivities, Irish history and culture run deep in neighborhoods like BeverlyAlbany Park, and Mt. Greenwood.

With so much in store this year, go ahead: Discover big-city culture, Midwestern hospitality, and urban adventure. Come explore the city that feels like home! Visit ChooseChicago.com for more information.

Please click here for the full list of What’s New in Chicago for Winter/Spring 2023: https://www.choosechicago.com/press-media/whats-new-in-chicago/whats-new-and-happening-in-chicago-winter-spring-2023/

6 Unique Things to do in Chicago That Every Local Should Know About

Check out the recent Redfin article written by Ana Guzman that Travel/Food was featured in.

If you’re living in Chicago, chances are you’ve seen popular tourist attractions like Cloud Gate, also known as the Bean, or have walked around the Navy Pier. Although these attractions make Chicago unique, have you ever wondered what else is out there? If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered. We’ve gathered Chicagoans to share their favorite unique things to do in Chicago to give you some fresh ideas. So whether you’re ready to shake up your routine or new to the city looking for apartments for rent in Chicago, check out locally approved attractions you want to take advantage of.

Are you looking to step back in time? The Art Institute of Chicago will help transport you as you like. The museum houses one of the country’s largest permanent collections and other centuries-old artwork.

1. You can’t go wrong with the Art Institute of Chicago

Martin, a local Chicagoan from SmartMoneyMatch, a network that connects the global investment community, recommends the Art Institute of Chicago when the weather is terrible. “It’s always worth a visit. It’s filled with masterpieces from every era, from Georges Seurat’s iconic painting A Sunday on La Grande Jatte to Andy Warhol’s print of actress Elizabeth Taylor.”

2. Visit the Chicago River in the summer

In the summertime, Chicago becomes an outdoor oasis for all residents and visitors. From the various parks and the waterways, you’ll find a place you’ll love to explore.

“My favorite unique thing to do in Chicago is to go kayaking on the Chicago River in the summer,” says May, a Chicago local from Nutrition Happens, a space dedicated to health, wellness, and nutrition. “Whether you’re a resident or just visiting, there’s nothing better than soaking in the famous skyline views with a peaceful paddle down the river.”

Chicago local Jane Simon Ammeson agrees. “Rivers were the highways of the past, but the Chicago River offers uniquely modern adventures for me. I can paddle its waters and shiver at scary stories during a Ghost and Gangster kayak tour, and sip a Spanish Rioja while gazing at the city lights. I love to stroll along the Riverwalk, choose a favorite place to dine, and plan my next adventure while watching the boats go by.”

3. Take a visit to the Shedd Aquarium

A unique helicopter view of the John G. Shedd Aquarium on Lake Michigan, Chicago.

Bungee QC Fitness shares that their favorite unique thing to do in Chicago is visiting the Shedd Aquarium. “With over 1,500 species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates from around the world, the Shedd Aquarium showcases an impressive array of aquatic life. 

The Shedd Aquarium is one of the country’s oldest and most respected aquariums. If you’re in the area, you don’t want to miss it.

4. Explore nearby neighborhoods

Chicago is full of charming neighborhoods like River North and Edgewater. You’ll indeed find beautiful places in Chicago that will blow you away within a matter of minutes from each other. So grab your shoes, head out the door, and get ready to explore.

“Chicago is a great city for food and family fun,” says Jenny and Sheena, local Chicagoans from “And Then We Had Kids” Podcast. “Park & Field, located in the Logan Square neighborhood, is an excellent restaurant for all ages, and they even host fun family events and a bottomless boozy brunch on the weekends. If you’re looking for a place to host your event, Park & Field features fee-free party rentals. And the best part is they’re dog-friendly.

5. Dine in local favorite restaurants

Whether you’re searching for homes for sale in Pilsen because of the authentic eats or just looking for hidden gems in Chicago, you’re sure to find something that will make your mouth water. 

If you’re a foodie, you’ll want to check out the Irish Nobleman Pub on the West Side. Enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine while enjoying the lush foliage, flowers & hummingbirds in the summer. The patio is lined with AstroTurf, so it’s like a green oasis near downtown Chicago – and that also makes it super comfortable for bringing my dog along. It’s not just a Chicago favorite spot to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day; the summertime patio is an attraction on its own.

Are you looking for a fancy night on the town? Vess, a local from Bus Connection, a sophisticated transportation service, recommends stopping by Bavette’s Bar and Bouf. “One of Chicago’s finest steakhouse restaurants, Bavette’s Bar and Bouf is truly a hidden gem. Feel the swanky ambiance of a prohibition-era speakeasy, softly lit with red velvet wraparound booths and sultry jazz music soundtracks. It’s the most unique and intimate place to wine and dine.”

6. Go to any event hosted by Sofar Sounds

Sofar Sounds connects the community with secret concerts in unique spaces. You’ll receive the address of the event within 36 hours before the event. You’ll experience different shows, from musical genres and comedy to dance. 

“My recommendation for a unique thing to do in Chicago is to go to events hosted by Sofar Sounds,” says Emily from Mezz Entertainment. “Through this experience, you can attend intimate gigs throughout the city, like the loop and Lincoln Park. I love discovering new artists to listen to from these shows.” 

About Ana Guzman

Ana is part of the Redfin content marketing team and enjoys writing about home improvement and life & style. Her dream house would be a contemporary style with lots of natural light.

29 Reasons to Visit Chicago This Holiday Season

Halloween is so over and now is the time to move on to the magic of Chicago during the holiday season. From skating rinks, tradtional Christmas Markets to show-stopping parades, there’s plenty to enjoy. Here’s some of Choose Chicago’s tips on what to see and do

See the Lights

  • Lightscape, the acclaimed holiday event, returns from November 11, 2022 – January 8, 2023 with a new path and new light-filled installations created just for the Chicago Botanic Garden. Featured artistic works will include favorites such as the luminous Winter Cathedral and a reimagined fire garden. Tickets start at $32 for adults ($30 for members), $16 for children ($14 for child members) and all little ones under 2 can enter for free. 
  • The City of Chicago’s “official” Christmas tree in Millennium Park will shine brightly near the intersection of Michigan Ave. and Washington St. from November 18, 2022 through January 8, 2023. A pre-show will begin at 5 p.m. (with performers including the cast of Cabaret ZaZou and several Broadway in Chicago productions), followed by the lighting at approximately 6:30 p.m. and culminating in a fireworks show. 
Photo credit: Phil Parcellano
  • The annual, one-of-a-kind holiday experience ZooLights (Presented by ComEd and Invesco QQQ) at Lincoln Park Zoo will return from November 19, 2022 – January 1, 2023. Tickets are now on sale for $5 General Admission, Members-only Nights and Sensory-friendly Night. Tickets to Free Admission Mondays will be released the Tuesday prior at 11 a.m. each week.
  • Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum returns for its 10th year during Morton Arboretum’s 100th anniversary year, from November 19, 2022 – January 7, 2023, Explore 50 acres of the Arboretum’s majestic trees during this one-of-a-kind spectacle of color, light, and sound featuring six dazzling new displays as well as returning favorites. You will be awed and delighted by the first-ever Illumination display in the Arboretum’s new Grand Garden, leading to a spectacular laser-light finale. Craft beer lovers won’t want to miss IllumiBrew, November 17-18. This 21-and-over event provides a first look at Illumination while sampling local brews along the trail. New this year is a special series of Electric Illumination late-night experiences (December 16, 23 and 30; 9:30-11:00 PM) for adults 18+ with an eclectic, curated mix of Trance and Progressive House music, synchronized to the light displays. Ilumination ticket costs will run between $11-$22 for members and $16-$27 for guests, depending on the date and other available discounts.
  • Navy Pier’s Light Up The Lake returns from November 25 2022 to January 7, 2023. Visitors can experience the magic with interactive light displays, a whimsical skating rink, journeys through the birch tree maze, visits with Santa, and more. Pricing is $27 for an adult ticket, and 17 for a child’s ticket (ages 3-12).
  • In the nearby suburbs, Brookfield Zoo is hosting their annual Holiday Magicdisplay, a local tradition for more than 40 years. Zoo-goers can stroll along the many pathways lit with more than two million twinkling LED lights, including the 600-foot-long Tunnel of Lights with thousands of colored lights all synchronized to music as well as enjoy a skating rink, illuminated animal sculptures, numerous photo opps, drop-off letters for Santa and more.

Who Doesn’t Love a Parade?

  • The holiday season in Chicago officially kicks off with The Wintrust Magnificent Mile Lights Festival (November 19, 2022) a day-through-night, mile-long extravaganza drawing more than one million celebrants. Its centerpiece is the largest nighttime parade in the U.S. — a spectacular parade down Michigan Avenue. Led by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse of The Walt Disney World Resort, the parade features fabulous floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, celebrities, musical performances, Santa Claus, fireworks and more —illuminating one million lights on The Avenue’s 200+ trees. Broadcast on ABC 7 Chicago on Sunday, November 20, 2022, Lights Festival will also air throughout the holiday season.
  • The Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade promises a fun-filled morning in the heart of downtown Chicago on November 24, 2022. Starting at iconic State Street in the Loop at 8:00 AM, the procession makes its way up State from Ida B. Wells Drive to Randolph Street. This free, all-ages event features more than 100 floats filled with entertainers, performance artists, helium balloons led by Teddy the Turkey (the parade’s official mascot) and a visit from Santa Claus.

Find That Perfect Gift

  • The Christkindlmarket Chicago, the most authentic traditional holiday market of its kind outside of Europe, returns November 18, 2022 and runs through the Christmas season, with the main location at Daley Plaza, along with outposts in Wrigleyville and Aurora. Of-age visitors can enjoy a mug of glühwein (hot spiced wine) as well as sweet and savory German snacks while shopping for handmade and traditional souvenirs. There are also musical performances and plenty of family-friendly activities for kids.
  • Now in its 21st year in Chicago, the One of a Kind Holiday Show (December 1-4, 2022) brings together hundreds of talented artists, makers and designers with thousands of happy shoppers who love art and original work. The show continues to be the best place in Chicago to find thousands of handmade products, truly unique and meaningful gifts for the holidays.
  • At the iconic Macy’s on State Street, take a break from holiday shopping to enjoy the annual Holiday Windows or have a peek at the Great Tree inside the historic Walnut Room, the first restaurant ever opened in a department store. With Circassian wood paneling imported from Russia and Austrian chandeliers, the 17,000 square foot dining room is both elegant and comfortable and a favored place to enjoy a festive afternoon treat.

Enjoy a Holiday Exhibit

  • At the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), the annual Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibits return November 16, 2022-January 4, 2023. A simple tradition that began in 1942 with a single tree now features a four-story, floor-to-dome Grand Tree, surrounded by a forest of more than 50 trees and displays decorated by volunteers to represent the holiday traditions from cultures around the globe.

Lace Up Your Skates

  • The scenic rink at Millennium Park offers panoramic views of Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) and the surrounding city skyline dusted in snow. The rink is open daily from November through March, weather permitting. Skate rentals are available, or you can bring your own.
  • Nearby, Maggie Daley Park is known for its one-of-a-kind Skating Ribbon, an icy path that curves through the park’s whimsical landscape. The Skating Ribbon is open from November through March. You can reserve skate rentals ahead of time or use your own.
  • The Gallagher Way Rink in Wrigleyville offers ice skating from November 18, 2022 – January , 2023, weather permitting. The Rink welcomes all skill levels to skate on their own or ride ice bumper cars on the newly expanded 12,000 square-foot ice rink, located inside Wrigley Field. Tickets are required for access and may be booked ahead of time here or on site. Activities at Gallagher Way also include holiday movie nights, a wreath-making workshop, a branch of Chicago’s Christkindlmarket and meetings with Santa.

Catch a Festive Live Show

Hotel Happenings 

The Peninsula Chicago is back with the Merry & Bright Holiday Package (ideal for couples) and Holly Jolly Family Holiday Package (great for families), valid for stays from November 26 – December 31, 2022. Guests are also encouraged to make a reservation for The Peninsula Hotel’s Holiday Afternoon Tea, where the 20-foot Christmas tree and lavish holiday décor at The Lobby enhance the traditional English tea menu of finger sandwiches, scones with house made preserves and Devonshire clotted cream, and petite seasonal pastries. Vegan and gluten-free options are available. 

The Langham Chicago is again offering its traditional Thanksgiving Feast on November 24, 2022 at its onsite restaurant Travelle, where the menu curated by Executive Chef Damion Henry includes holiday favorites, turkey and stuffing, as well as complementary enhancements such as seafood and carving stations. Chef Henry is also preparing a Christmas Day Brunch on December 25, 2022 and afternoon tea is available throughout the holiday season. 

The Pendry Chicago is offering a series of seasonal happenings, from a “Friendsgiving” dinner at onsite restaurant Venteux on November 23, 2022 to lighting the Menorah each night at 5 p.m. from December 18 – December 26, 2022 to Christmas Eve Dinner and Christmas Day brunch at Venteux on December 24 and 25, 2022.

Grab your partner and head to The Emily Hotel for the ultimate winter rooftop curling experience, complete with an overnight stay for two, curling for two players and two complimentary cocktails at Stone’s Throw. Stone’s Throw, located on the fifth floor of the hotel, features four Olympic sized curling rinks and heated yurts decked out in 80s nostalgia serving up a menu of winter sips and snacks. Offer valid for reservations of 1 or more nights booked by March 27, 2023 for stays between November 11, 2022 and March 31, 2023.

Celebrate winter at Fairmont Millennium Park Chicago’s Fairmont Lodge where you can relax, recharge and have fun with their cozy decor, indoor “fire pits”, festive programming, overnight packages and more. 

The annual Winter Wonderland returns to the IlO Godfrey Rooftop at The Godfrey Hotel with its heated, clear-domed igloos which are available to rent (for groups of up to six people) with purchase from the menu. Order a hot cocktail and s’mores to roast over the outdoor firepits and enjoy winter in Chicago under the city lights. 

From November 1 through January 3, LondonHouse Chicago is hosting Rudolph’s Rooftop from November 1, 2022 – January 3, 2023. This fun holiday-themed experience, complete with whimsical decor, photo opps and igloos, takes place on the 22nd level terrace, featuring breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Holiday cocktails are available from Executive Chef Elizabeth Sweeney. 

Chicago Voted “#1 Best Big City in the U.S.” for Historic Sixth Straight Year by Readers of Condé Nast Traveler

Choose Chicago President and CEO Lynn Osmond announced today that Chicago has been named the Best Big City in the U.S. for the sixth straight year by Condé Nast Traveler through their 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards. This award, which is voted on by Condé Nast Traveler readers, has been bestowed on Chicago every year since 2017 and is a testament to Chicago’s enduring status as an exciting, welcoming and world-class travel destination. This unmatched recognition comes as Choose Chicago releases performance data from Summer 2022 which shows leisure and business travel approaching a full return to 2019 levels.

“There are so many reasons why Chicago is the Best Big City in the U.S. – we have world-class restaurants, top-tier hotels and meeting spaces, cultural institutions and entertainment venues that can rival the best in the world and vibrant, diverse neighborhoods that make sure there is something for every visitor,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Most importantly, our city is full of people and organizations that care deeply and work tirelessly to make Chicago the most welcoming and inviting city in the world. I want to thank the tourism and hospitality professionals that make this award possible year after year and the millions of visitors that keep coming back to Chicago to explore everything our city has to offer.”

“Condé Nast readers know what Chicagoans have always known…our city is the best in the nation,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Chicago has everything: picturesque lakefronts, extraordinary architecture, world-class museums, the kindest people you’ll ever meet—and yes, the best pizza, too. Here’s to six years strong and many more to come.” 

http://www.AdamAlexanderPhoto.com ©Adam Alexander Photography 2019

Each year, Condé Nast Traveler garners input on travel experiences from hundreds of thousands of readers to determine the winners of their Readers’ Choice Awards, which is the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. This year, more than 240,000 readers weighed in on their favorite American cities and Chicago was ranked first overall for an unprecedented sixth straight year – no other city has been voted Best Big City in the U.S. more than three straight times in the 35-year history of the Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Awards.

“It is an incredible honor to once again be voted the Best Big City in the U.S.,” said Lynn Osmond, President and CEO of Choose Chicago. “This recognition does not happen by accident – it is a testament to the hard-working people that make Chicago an inviting and welcoming city. Winning this award for six straight years combined with the successful summer of travel we just wrapped up make it clear that the past, present and future of tourism in Chicago is a bright one.”

“I want to thank our partners in the hospitality and tourism industry for ensuring Chicago is a world-class destination and for making this award possible,” continued President Osmond. “I also want to thank all Chicago residents for creating such a friendly and hospitable city for tens of millions of visitors each year. Finally, I want to thank the readers of Conde Nast Traveler for choosing Chicago year after year and for recognizing all the amazing attributes of our city that is second to none.”

“This unprecedented honor is a testament of how Chicago is continually evolving as a dynamic destination for everyone,” said Glenn Eden, Chair, Choose Chicago Board of Directors. “From our restaurants and hotels, to our theaters, museums, neighborhoods, cultural attractions and sporting events, Chicago’s tourism and hospitality community brings world-class service and experiences you cannot find in any other city. Without a doubt, Chicago is the Best Big City in the U.S. for six record-breaking years because we’ve been able to help the savviest travelers positively reimagine what to expect when visiting Chicago and any big U.S. city for that matter.”

In the summer of 2022, Chicago welcomed visitors back to the city in droves, with hotel room demand approaching, and in one segment exceeding, pre-pandemic levels. Total hotel room demand during the summer months (June, July and August) exceeded 3 million room nights, which is nearly 90% of summer 2019 levels. Summer 2022 group hotel room demand, which represents rooms occupied specifically by delegates of large meetings and conventions, exceeded summer 2019 levels, with 1.06 million hotel room nights in summer 2022 compared to 1.03 million in summer 2019.

Chicago’s successful summer of travel followed the launch of the new When You Go You Know campaign in June. This campaign along with Choose Chicago’s summer messaging that started earlier generated more than $150 million in hotel revenue between April 18 and September 5. Additionally, the campaign drove 8.1 million searches for hotels and 1.2 million searches for flights. Choose Chicago also worked with Expedia and the Chicago hotel community on a focused consumer campaign to drive room nights. The campaign ran from May 9 through September 5 and drove more than 63,000 room nights with an estimated hotel revenue of $20 million.

Chicago’s historic recognition as the Best Big City in the U.S. for six straight years is a testament to the resilience of Chicago’s hospitality and tourism industries as the strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Condé Nast Traveler readers recognize that Chicago is home to world-class entertainment, impressive architecture, first-rate museums and an exceptional restaurant scene. 2022 has been a banner year for events in Chicago as well, with the first-ever Sueños Festival in May and the first US Sail Grand Prix Chicago race at Navy Pier in June, not to mention the successful full return of Chicago mainstays such as Lollapalooza, the James Beard Awards and the International Manufacturing Trade Show (IMTS), the largest and longest-running tradeshow in North America.

The 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards are published on Condé Nast Traveler’s website at cntraveler.com/rca and celebrated in the November issue. Follow @cntraveler on social media and tag #RCA2022.

Grub Street: 2022 James Beard Award Winners: The Full List

Grub Street: 2022 James Beard Award Winners: The Full List. https://www.grubstreet.com/2022/06/2022-james-beard-chef-and-restaurant-award-winners-full-list.html

Chicago Hits Peak Festival Season with Exciting New Summer Programming 

With summer fast approaching, peak festival season in Chicago will soon be upon us.  See below for a list of some of the most exciting programs returning in 2022 (many of them free) along with a few new surprises!

June 2022

Grant Park Orchestra and Chrous. Photo credit Norman Timonera.

  • Chicago Gospel Music Experience (June 4, 2022): This outdoor festival at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, celebrating the Chicago-born genre, brings together traditional choirs, contemporary urban gospel artists, and more. FREE
  • Chicago Blues Festival (June 9-12, 2022): With a diverse lineup in Millennium Park celebrating the blues’ past, present and future, the Chicago Blues Festival, the largest free blues festival in the world, shares the great Chicago-born music tradition while shining a spotlight on the genre’s contributions to soul, R&B, gospel, rock, hip hop and more. FREE

Andersonville Midsommarfest (June 10-12, 2022): For more than 50 years, this summer festival has celebrated Andersonville’s Swedish heritage, LGBTQ+ pride, and vibrant local business community. For three nights and two days, this vibrant and diverse community will bring together over 75,000 people to celebrate a proud Swedish summer tradition with eclectic music, great vendors, food and free kids’ activities. Suggested donation of $10, as well as proceeds from beer sales, benefit the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, along with several local non-profit organizations.

Grant Park Music Festival (June 15 – August 20, 2022): For more than 80 years, the Grant Park Music Festival has been Chicago’s summer musical sensation, demonstrating that classical music, performed by a world-class orchestra and chorus, can have a transformative impact on the city. This year will offer a thrilling lineup of music at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion with a mix of contemporary compositions and classical favorites such as Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Plus there’s plenty of family fun with the Independence Day SaluteLights on Broadway, and Cirque Goes to Hollywood featuring live aerialists soaring above the stage. FREE

The Summer Smash Festival (June 17-19, 2022): SPKRBX presents The Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash Festival, the premier Hip-Hop music festival in the Midwest. For three days, on three stages, some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop will perform, including Post Malone and Wiz Khalifa. Tickets range from a 3-Day $275 General Admission Pass, to a $449 VIP Pass.

Chicago Pride Fest(June 17-19, 2022): Celebrate Pride in Northalsted, the country’s oldest official gay neighborhood at this lively fest, featuring live music, dance queens, local food, and more. The following weekend the Chicago Pride Parade (June 26, 2022), one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world, marches through the neighborhood. Suggested donation of $15 for Chicago Pride Fest.

Millennium Park Summer Music Series (June 20 – August 18, 2022, Mondays & Thursdays): With the backing of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), this outdoor program features a wide variety of music from established and emerging artists at the iconic Jay Pritzker Pavilion. FREE

Pride in the Park (June 25-26,2022): An annual outdoor music festival held downtown in Chicago’s Grant Park at the end of June features LGBTQ+ performers, artists, vendors and more. 2-Day General Admission Passes to Pride in the Park start at $100.

Sail Grand Prix

Chicago has been chosen to host the United States Sail Grand Prix (SailGP) at Navy Pier (June 18-19, 2022). If you are not familiar, SailGP is one of the fastest emerging properties in world sports featuring exciting, up-close action as teams race identical F50 catamarans – a highly-technical, hydro foiling race boat that boasts highway speeds – in an annual global championship held in some of the most iconic cities around the world. Ten national teams will compete, comprising the best athletes in the sport representing the United States, Great Britain, France, Denmark, Spain, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, plus two new franchises from Canada and Switzerland. In June, the F50s will race on Lake Michigan directly in front of the Chicago skyline, marking the first time the championship has ever competed on fresh water! Tickets for single-day waterfront viewing access begin at around $40.

Ravenswood On Tap (June 18-19, 2022): Sip your way through Ravenswood, one of Chicago’s top craft beer neighborhoods and home to many small craft producers. Malt Row is one of the most prolific craft brewing communities in the country – and it’s right in Ravenswood! Enjoy brews from Malt Row, KOVAL Distillery cocktails, plus ax throwing, live music and some of Chicago’s favorite restaurants and food trucks.  Suggested donations and proceeds from this event benefit the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce, Ravenswood Community Council, and several other community organizations.

July 2022

  • Chicago SummerDance (July 6–September 17, 2022, select dates): The beloved  series returns this summer at parks throughout the city this summer. Dancers of all ages and skill levels are invited to take part in introductory dance lessons by professional instructors followed by live music and dancing. FREE
  • Taste of Chicago (July 8-10, 2022): A bite-sized version of the classic lakefront extravaganza will take place over three days in July — showcasing an estimated 30–40 eateries and food trucks each day, and three mainstage evening concerts.  Prior to the main event, a series of Taste of Chicago pop-ups will return this year with food and music events in three Chicago neighborhoods in June. FREE admission; tickets for food and beverages are sold in strips of 14 for $10.
  • Southport Art & Music Fest (July 9-10, 2022): Chicago’s iconic Southport Corridor blooms to life when Southport Art Fest takes over Waveland and Southport in July. Festival fans will visit the beautiful tree-lined streets of the picturesque neighborhood. Just steps away from the friendly margins of Wrigley Field, the two-day festival will showcase some of the city’s best and most diverse artists. FREE admission; all donations and proceeds benefit the Southport Neighbors Association.
  • Millennium Park Summer Film Series (July 12–August 30, 2022, Tuesdays): Guests may take a seat at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion or lounge on the Great Lawn as crowd-pleasing movies are presented on the state-of- the-art, 40-foot LED screen. FREE
  • Pitchfork Music Festival (July 15-17, 2022): Since 2006, the Pitchfork Music Festival has consistently proven to be one of the most welcoming, comfortable, reasonably priced, and rewarding weekends of music around. Hosting 60,000 attendees of all ages from all 50 states and dozens of countries, Pitchfork Music Festival showcases the best up-and-coming music from around the world, as well as special performances from touring stalwarts and legends alike. Featuring diverse vendors, as well as specialty record, poster, and craft fairs, the festival works to support local businesses while promoting the Chicago arts and food communities as a whole. Single day General Admission tickets start at $99 while the 3-Day, General Admission pass is $200.

  • Wicker Park Fest (July 22-24, 2022): As one of Chicago’s most anticipated summer festivals, and dubbed “Chicago’s Best Street Festival of the Summer ” by the Chicago Tribune, Wicker Park Fest is one of Chicago’s top-drawing festivals, attracting visitors from across Chicagoland and the country with its fantastic music line-up. Building on the area’s unique character, the weekend celebrates the neighborhood with eclectic music, great local food, arts and crafts, and retail vendors. Suggested donation of $10 and all proceeds benefit the local Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce.
  • Pizza City Fest (July 23-24, 2022): Steve Dolinsky – a 13-time James Beard Award-winning food reporter, currently “The Food Guy” at NBC 5 –  is creating a pizza festival unlike anything that’s ever been done, over two days in the West Loop. Pizza City Fest: Chicago brings together 39 of the region’s best pizza makers (and one out-of-town guest) for two days of pizza making and appreciation, all in one location – Plumbers Union Hall in the West Loop. Thanks to 10 PizzaMaster ovens on-site, guests will be able to see each pizza maker create, bake and serve up their remarkable pies in the massive parking lot at the Hall. There will also be live music, pizza-themed art, merchandise and a few special treats. Attendees will also be able to take in a series of highly curated seminars and panel discussions with some of the country’s greatest pizza makers in attendance. General Admission 1-Day tickets start at $59 and 2-Day tickets at $89.

Sundays on State (July 24–September 4, 2022, select Sundays): After its enormously successful debut in 2021, Sundays on State, presented by the Chicago Loop Alliance, will return for Summer 2022, with portions of Chicago’s most iconic street, State Street, closing to vehicular traffic again for select Sundays this summer. Join neighbors from every Chicago community and beyond for this free, interactive block party, while safely enjoying art, culture, active recreation, food, drinks, shopping, and local attractions in the heart of everyone’s neighborhood. FREE

August 2022

  • Windy City Smokeout (August 4-7, 2022): It’s like a weekend-long tailgate at this popular country music festival, known for drawing in the industry’s top names. The 2022 festival lineup includes some of the biggest names in the industry, including Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Sam Hunt, Willie Nelson, and more. Along with today’s hottest country acts, the lineup also includes some of the world’s best pitmasters. Barbecue pros from all over the country will be serving up ribs, brisket, smoked meats and more, highlighting styles from Kentucky, Nashville, Missouri, and Chicago. Local barbecue vendors include Bub City, Lillie’s Q, and Pearl’s Southern Comfort. Ticket prices range from $45 for a 1-Day Sunday General Admission ticket to $185 for a 4-Day pass.

  • Northalsted Market Days (August 6-7, 2022): The 40th Northalsted Market Days is a weekend long live music street festival celebrating community in Chicago’s landmark Northalsted/Lakeview district. The 1/2 mile long festival features all-day lineups of live music on 6 stages, 250+ unique vendors, arts, crafts, food and drink, DJ’s and dancing, sponsor booths, and more! Estimated attendance of 120,000 people from near and far, representing all colors of the rainbow! Suggested donation of $15, as well as proceeds from festival support local nonprofits, and fund community projects like the Chicago Pride Crosswalks.
  • Chicago Air and Water Show (August 20-21, 2022): The largest free show of its kind in the country, this waterfront show features stunning aerial displays above Lake Michigan. The show can be viewed along the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street, with North Avenue Beach as the focal point. FREE

For more information and a full  list of Chicago’s festivals and events, please visit: https://www.choosechicago.com/articles/festivals-special-events/chicago-festival-event-guide/ 

About Choose Chicago

Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor and meetings destination, leveraging the city’s unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. For more information, visit ChooseChicago.com. Follow @ChooseChicago on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. #CaptureChicagoExcitement