While everything seems to be open like the old days, there is still that looming presence of the Delta variant in the background threatening all we’ve done to get back to normal. So much so that we’re back to having to wear masks indoors. Now if you’re like me, that means not much has changed since you’ve been wearing your mask indoors the whole time anyway. But now we have to be doubly careful to keep COVID numbers down and be diligent of the new recommendations and rules.
So if you do plan to go out this weekend make sure you check out the venue’s policies and quite honestly, take initiative. Wear a mask, social distance, and get your vaccination shots even if the venue/event is lax. Protect yourself and those around you.
Now, let’s get on with your Chicago Curated Weekend!
- Drive-In Movies
- Support Local Venues
- Art Galleries and Special Events
In addition to all the previous and following events, we highly recommend you check out all the music performances that are part of DCASE’s Chicago in Tune! This new citywide festival celebrates music in the key of Chicago during the 2021 Year of Chicago Music. This month is meant to bring us all together through the whole spectrum of music events in a variety of venues. Check out all the participating venues and shows over at their website!
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th
Torres & Ariana and the Rose @ Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western Ave, Doors 7:30pm, 21+
WHAT: A chance to see the amazing Mackenzie Scott at the Empty Bottle
SO WHAT: Torres is Mackenzie Scott’s excellent musical project. She is back with her fifth album Thirstier; once again evolving her songwriting and sound. Torres’ live shows in the past have been filled with incredibly beautiful guitar work and ethereal vocals that leave you entranced by the electric atmosphere she and her music create. Check out our previous coverage of Torres shows at House of Vans & Metro! Torres will be joined by the dazzling songs of Ariana and the Rose.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are only $14 in advance or $16 at the door!
THURSDAY – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th – 18th
Weekend Shows @ Lincoln Hall & Schubas, 2424 N Lincoln Ave & 3159 N Southport Ave, various times, 18+
WHAT: A full weekend of amazing shows at Schubas!
SO WHAT: Things have opened back up for the most part and two of our favorite venues are stacking up some stellar lineups! Check out what they have going on this weekend.
NOW WHAT: Head out to Lincoln Hall or Schubas and enjoy this great lineup of shows! Please note: proof of vaccination is required for entry to all shows at Lincoln Hall and Schubas in Chicago. Click here for more information on this policy.
THURSDAY & SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th & 19th
Fulton Street Collective Jazz Series @ Fulton Street Collective & Their YouTube channel, 1821 W. Hubbard St, Suite 307, or the coziest spot in your home, 8:00pm
WHAT: Some excellent jazz for your evening
SO WHAT: Fulton Street Collective are back with in-person events, but they are still determined to give Chicago its much needed dose of jazz at home! Most of their shows are also streaming so you can see and hear the beautiful music on their YouTube channel! Below are just some of the upcoming shows from the collective.
NOW WHAT: The shows are free online, but in person there is a $15 suggested donation unless noted! Also you should definitely support Fulton Street Collective by becoming a member!
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
New Talks and Video Archives @ Chicago Humanities Festival YouTube channel, your favorite browser or YouTube app, any time you want some inspiration, All Ages
WHAT: Interesting conversations with interesting people!
SO WHAT: Chicago Humanities Festival is back with some in person events! They always bring some of the best ideas to the surface with entertaining programming that captures your imagination. Their website is constantly updated with new talks, so check out the wealth of upcoming and previous events in their archives! Below is just a taste of what is coming in the next few weeks
FRIDAY & SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th & 18th
Englewood Jazz Fest @ Hamilton Park and Cultural Center, 513 W 72nd St, Friday 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Saturday Noon – 6:00pm, all ages
WHAT: The 20th Annual Englewood Jazz Festival!
SO WHAT: As part of Chicago in Tune, the Englewood Jazz Festival will be celebrating its 20th year with two days of sensational jazz artists performing at Hamilton Park and Cultural Center. Day one will feature Marquis Hill’s Made in Chicago starting at 6:30pm. Day two will feature a full day of music starting at 1:00pm. Check out the the schedule below!
- Noon – The Young Masters under the direction of Ernest Dawkins
- 1:00pm – The Detroit Tenors: Salim Washington and Wendell Harrison
- 2:15pm – Live the Spirit Residency Tentet
- 3:20pm – Spirit of Jazz Award
- 3:30pm – Amina Claudine Myers
- 4:50pm – Guitar Summit featuring George Freeman, Fareed Haque, Curtis Robinson Jr. and Larry Brown
NOW WHAT: The whole event is free and a wonderful way to experience Chicago jazz!
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th
Craft Brews at the Zoo @ Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Drive, 5:00pm – 10:00pm, 21+
WHAT: Craft Brews at the Zoo
SO WHAT: Lincoln Park Zoo and Lou Dog Events are hosting the 6th annual Craft Brews beer festival at Lincoln Park Zoo! Indulge in a selection of 150-plus specialty beers from more than 40 local and regional breweries at this one-of-a-kind event. Beer tasting stations will be set up throughout the zoo’s beautiful gardens during this after-hours experience just for adults. Plus enjoy food for purchase, DJ entertainment, lawn games and views of the zoo’s amazing animals!
NOW WHAT: General Admission (6:00pm – 10:00pm) tickets are $55, Early Access (5:00pm – 10:00pm) tickets are $65, and designated driver tickets are $20
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th & 19th
West Loop Art Fest @ West Loop, Washington Street starting on the corner of N Halsted St., 10:00am – 7:00pm, all ages
WHAT: A place to shop for some wonderful art
SO WHAT: Take a nice late summer stroll around the West Loop neighborhood as you take in the beautiful art on sale at the West Loop Art Fest. Four blocks of amazing artists will be on hand with their unqiue and varied works ready to go to their new home!
NOW WHAT: It’s free, just head out and enjoy the wonderful art and purchase some for your place!
Illinois Brewery Running Series @ Whiner Beer Co. & One Lake Brewing, 1400 W 46th St & 1 Lake St, Oak Park, 11:00am – 2:00pm, all ages
WHAT: A fun run for beer!
SO WHAT: Take a quick run and be rewarded with a beer at these series of 5k walks and runs! All the Illinois Brewery Running Series events are untimed, emphasizing a fun time more than anything else! All the runs include one beer, collector’s glassware or seasonal swag item, and an invitation to enjoy the day’s scheduled festivities like live music, food, goodies, and giveaways!
NOW WHAT: 10% of proceeds helps support a growing list of non-profits like Chicago Parks Foundation, Chicago Run, and Survivor Vision! There is also chance to volunteer! These runs will be respecting all COVID-19 safety guidelines as outlined by the CDC and the local department of health.
Renegade Craft Fair @ Wicker Park, Division Street between Damen and Paulina, 11:00pm – 7:00pm, all ages
WHAT: A craft fair focused on independent makers.
SO WHAT: Hundreds of independent crafters and makers will be at this Renegade Craft Fair celebrating DIY spirit for two amazing days celebrating years and years of this flagship hometown fair. Head over to their event page for a full vendor list and more info!
NOW WHAT: The event is free and open to the public. The fair will be on Division Street between Damen and Paulina, giving you tons of space to shop and support DIY crafters.
Sam Adams Lakeview Taco Fest @ Southport between Addison and Roscoe, 11:00am – 10:00pm,
WHAT: All the tacos you could ever want in one place
SO WHAT: The glorious taco will get the spotlight it has long deserved. Whether you’re looking for a hard or soft shell tortilla filled with meat, chicken, guacamole, fish, mushroom, duck or any of the other imaginative ingredients, this festival is for you. The Southport Corridor, on Southport between Addison and Roscoe, will be host to special beer and taco pairings, crowd-pleasing luchadores, plenty of music, and a chance for visitors to text vote for Chicago’s “Best Taco.”
NOW WHAT: There is a $10 suggested donation, which benefits the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce. Check out their website for a full lineup of vendors, music, and entertainers that will be making your weekend better.
The Neo Futurists’ The Infinite Wrench @ The Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N Ashland, Saturday 10:30pm, Sunday 7:00pm
WHAT: Quick plays live and online!
SO WHAT: The Neo Futurists are back! Their Infinite Wrench is an ongoing, ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes for a live audience. Now it’s actually a live audience that will be enjoying the performance in person! With plenty of COVID precautions in place, you’ll be able to enjoy the funny, disgusting, profound, terrifying, irreverent, and downright entertaining show with friends!
NOW WHAT: Join the Neo Futurists’ this weekend for $10! Head over to their website to see all they have planned now that in-person audiences are a thing again! If you’re still a little anxious about going out, The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral will be continuing til February (and possibly beyond) over at their Patreon!
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19th
Pilsen Vendor Market @ Pilsen Art House, 1756 W 19th St., Noon – 5:00pm
WHAT: A socially distanced mini handmade market!
SO WHAT: This is a weekly market for artists and makers to come together, make new friends and sell their wonderful wares.
NOW WHAT:Entry is free, just be sure to wear your mask as they are required!
THE WHOLE SELF-DISTANCING WEEKEND & BEYOND
Riot Fest 2021 @ Douglass Park, 1401 S Sacramento Dr, Thursday 2:30pm – 10:00pm, Friday – Sunday 11:00am – 10:00pm, all ages
WHAT: After a lot of waiting for news, the three-day fest of punk, rock, hip-hip and everything in between is upon us!
SO WHAT: This year’s very different festival season is coming to an end soon but not before one of the most raucous and high-energy events: Riot Fest! This awesome three-day festival brings together the loudest and most fun sounds in the music world for a wild time. This year’s headliners include Morrissey, The Smashing Pumpkins, Run the Jewels, Slipknot and more! And the local lineup looks just as good with Vic Mensa, Beach Bunny, Lupe Fiasco, Ganser and Ratboys just barely scratching the surface.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are still available! Thursday Preview Party tickets are $45. Three Day passes are still available for $199 (plus fees) and Single Day Passes are still available for $124.95(plus fees)!
Ear Taxi Festival @ Various Locations, Various Times
WHAT: Something a little different than the usual music festivals
SO WHAT: Ear Taxi Festival isn’t one of those typical rock/hip hop festivals. Instead it places its focus on the experimental, improvisational, contemporary classical, and electronic musicians with an enormous lineup of events happening all over the city. This year’s mission is “Hear Chicago,” an urge to audiences to appreciate the wide array of styles that make up Chicago’s amazing modern musical identity. The theme also brings to light the contributions of Black Musicians and takes notice of the long history of injustice and inequality in our world. This weekend up until September 29 is the Spotlight Series Concerts portion of the fest (with a few Mainstage concerts mixed in). You can check out the amazing lineup over at their website!
NOW WHAT: Tickets depend on the performance, so head over to their lineup page and see exactly what’s happening on any given night!
Asian Pop-Up Cinema @ Various Locations, Various Times
WHAT: The 13th season of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema series
SO WHAT: This great series lets you experience films from all over the world (including China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the U.S. and Canada) focusing on Asian filmmakers. The Asian Pop-Up Cinema series celebrates and promotes understanding of Asian cultures through cinema, giving you a glimpse of the vast wealth of films being made today! This season will highlight women in film, stories with humanitarian themes and action thrillers, including four restored martial arts classics. The series is featuring in-person theater screenings, drive-in experiences, and at-home digital streaming so you can enjoy their amazing films from anywhere!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are available over on their website!
Mind Maintenance @ Constellation, 3111 N Western Ave, or in the most musically inclined room in your home, 8:30pm
WHAT: An amazing show for your weekend!
SO WHAT: Constellation has been putting on some incredible shows during the pandemic and this weekend is no different! Whether you decide to stay home and watch the livestreams or head out to the venue and enjoy the live music in person, Constellation is a great way to spend the night! Check out some of the upcoming shows below!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $15 (unless noted); head out and enjoy the incredible shows this weekend! There is also a streaming option for most of Constellation;s shows, so if you stay home, be sure to donate to support Constellation!
Back on the Big Screen and Virtual Cinema @ Music Box Theatre, unsurprisingly at your home, any time you want to watch a movie
WHAT: A great way to support a great local theater
SO WHAT: The Music Box Theatre is currently open to the public, so if you feel comfortable you can go out and have a theater experience this weekend with The Nowhere Inn, Prisoners of the ghostland, Mogul Mowgli, Midnight Showings of Akira in 4K, Mornings with Marlene: A Matinee Series, the fun Music Box Garden Movies, and more! But if you want to watch some first run movies at home, you can still watch great moves and support them online! They are currently screening films via their The Music Box Direct series! There also tons of select titles available on their new platform!
NOW WHAT: Digital tickets are $12, in person screenings vary, so sit back and enjoy!
Film Center from Your Sofa @ The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute, your couch or preferred movie watching spot in your place, pretty much any time
WHAT: The Film Center at Home
SO WHAT:The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute is open again and they are continuing their excellent series Film Center from Your Sofa. This is a fun way to stay in digital touch with the Film Center and watch some great films from the comfort of home! Head over to their listings and start watching–in person or from your sofa!
NOW WHAT: Digital tickets are $12, so sit back and enjoy! If you feel comfortable head out to the film center and enjoy the ambiance of in person screenings again!
Pitch In for the Parks! @ Various local parks, Various times, all ages
WHAT: A good way to keep your community nice and clean!
SO WHAT: The nonprofit Chicago Parks Foundation (CPF) is currently in the second season of its citywide volunteer effort “Pitch In for the Parks!” to help keep the city’s 600+ public parks clean. The program is open to anyone who wants to host a clean-up group or join an existing event from the interactive map on the CPF website. CPF is providing trash pick-up supplies, volunteer coordination and safety guidelines to supportthe parks’ ongoing maintenance from June through October.
NOW WHAT: Clean-ups continue at parks citywide June-October. Anyone can host a Pitch In clean-up group or join a free volunteer event on their calendar.
Lyric Opera Streaming On Demand @ Your favorite streaming device, the most lavish spot in your home
WHAT: The Lyric Opera at home
SO WHAT: Revisit some of your favorite Lyric moments, or experience for the first time performances you’ve missed.Check out their website for schedule of upcoming shows. Currently streaming is Luisa Miller (2019), The Queen of Spades (2020), and Die Walküre (2017).
NOW WHAT: It’s free!!
The Great Grow Along @ Your home, next to your soon-to-be-thriving home garden, Friday 1:00pm – 5:00pm, Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm, and Sunday 1:00pm – 3:45pm
WHAT: A chance to make your thumb a little greener
SO WHAT: The Great Grow Along was a three-day virtual garden festival that will provide gardeners with 40+ hours of sessions with plant pros to help up everyone’s growing game! There will be learning tracks to guide you through the talks and they have made the festival’s content available on demand to watch at your own pace over the next six months!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $29.95 for this great collection of gardening talks!
Fun Times with Local Museums @ the comfort of your own home, a various collection of websites, whenever you want a little dose of educational fun, All Ages
WHAT: A chance to explore and help out some great local museums during these quarantine days
SO WHAT: Our incredible Museums editor Mariel Bokor has compiled a great list of interesting programming available from museums like the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum, MSI, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium during this stay at home time. It also notes which are closed for the season and how you can help support them during these times!
NOW WHAT: Check out our most recent update on what museums are doing as they reopen and continue their online presence!
Concerts Live-streams and Local Shows Archives @ Your House, Any time you please, All Ages
WHAT: There’s tons of concerts from Chicago’s yesteryear available online for your enjoyment!
SO WHAT: Oh My Rockness and Do312 has done a fantastic job of cataloging some of the upcoming live-streams from the awesome musical acts out there! Check out Oh My Rockness’ listings here, Do312’s roundup of shows here, and tune in to these great shows from the comfort of home! Do312 have also shared some past Chicago shows that are certainly worth a watch. There are also so many great local concerts recorded for posterity and what better time to check them all out than during this self isolation period. Audiotree has a fantastic and huge list of sessions with links to band’s websites and merch to help support them even more. In addition to our previous recommendations like Fran, Tasha, KAINA, Divino Nino, and The Ophelias, we also recommend ROOKIE, Emily Blue, Sen Morimoto, Beach Bunny, Tennis, and Gia Margaret! Then head over to their record concerts from Lincoln Hall, Schubas, and beyond to check out Orville Peck, of Montreal, and so many more! JBTV is also a fantastic resource for sessions from bands that have come through Chicago! Just take a look at this playlist of Blind Melon’s ’95 set at Metro!
NOW WHAT: Stay home, watch some live music, and be sure to check out your favorite artists’ social media, you never know who might be live streaming next!
Video Games @ Your home PC or Console, As long as it takes, Just check the game rating
WHAT: Video-games for all!
SO WHAT: Check out our games page for some recommendations of what games to download (and avoid) while we’re stuck at home. If you’re a PC user, head over to the Epic Games store as they will be releasing a few new FREE games for you to download ! There are also tons of free games on Twitch Prime waiting for you to download!
NOW WHAT: Wash your hands and dive head first into some fun games!
Bring the Zoo to You @ Brookfield Zoo’s Facebook page, when you want to see some animals besides your pets or specifically 11:00am, All Ages
WHAT: A great way to make your kids’ time at home entertaining and educational
NOW WHAT: Join Brookfield Zoo on Facebook every weekday at 11:00am for a “Bring The Zoo To You” Facebook Live featuring one of their animals as well as plenty of educational, informative insight from one of our Animal Care Specialists. If you can’t make it at 11, that’s okay. The video will be saved afterward on Facebook as well as on their YouTube channel.
SO WHAT: Just jump in to the chat at their Facebook page to learn something new
Masque of the Red Coronavirus! @ Black Button Eyes Productions, Any time on your computer or mobile device. For 18+.
WHAT: Written by Black Button Eyes Productions producing artistic director Ed Rutherford, this short satirical piece is available online free as a combined script-and-video experience.
SO WHAT: In addition to reading the play, you will see various Chicago artists act out portions of the script on video, recorded remotely. The event includes puppets, burlesque, original music, fire dancing and more in a brief, darkly comedic confection.
With the Red Coronavirus running rampant across the countryside and a vaccine still months away, what’s a Prince to do? Lock himself in a secure bunker in an undisclosed location along with a cohort of his top donors, of course. To prevent him and his rich supporters from becoming bored, the Prince has also brought a few artists into the bunker to entertain the crowd. But as the hour grows later and the night grows weirder, it’s clear that something else has also invaded the party.
NOW WHAT: Settle down for an evening of magical weirdness. Click here and begin reading and watching the videos.