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Amazing Things to do in Chicago over the Summer

Posted June 25, 2019
Photo By: Courtesy DCASE

Chicago Summer Dance (Things to do, Festivals)

All ages and skill levels are welcome at this annual event series that will allow practicing your dancing skills, twirls, and jumps. the dancing breaks out Thursday through Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons in the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, where a professional teacher gives dance lessons for the first hour before allowing participants to cut a rug with the accompaniment of a live band. The series culminates with a day of dancing and performances in Millennium Park until August 24th. To learn more, click here.

Photo By: Austin D. Oie Photography

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Theater)

Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre has built its success on taking large-scale musicals and shrinking them down to storefront size. But with this rip-roaring revival of John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, director Toma Tavares Langston delivers a show that’s perfectly tailored to the company’s intimate Evanston digs. This rock musical has always had an in-your-face quality to it, but in a theater like Theo Ubique—decked out by designer Colt Frank to look like a grungy rock club—it’s actually in your face. When Hedwig scream-sings about the injustice of the mangled mound of flesh hanging between their legs, you don’t just feel the anger; you have to wipe away the spit.

To learn more and buy ticket, click here.

Photo By: Heidi Zeiger Photography

Pier Pride (LGBT)

Navy Pier’s annual LGBTQ Pride celebration is a family-friendly day of performances and partying downtown. Enjoy and take a spin on the Ferris wheel or splurge on Rainbow Cones for the whole family – an ideal way to celebrate Chicago Pride. To learn more, click here.

Photo By: Hallie Duesenberg

Randolph Street Market Festival (Shopping)

There will be more than 100 vendors of antique housewares, furniture, ephemera, clothing and more at this indoor-outdoor festival. How about a stop in for vintage clothes and jewelry, a vinyl swap meet, a fancy food market and global goods bazaar or bring your own items for appraisal. This event only happens during the warm-weather months of May-September, there is an outdoor area, offering even more vintage shopping. To learn more, click here.

Photo By: Reilly Drew

Sportsman’s Club Summer BBQ Series (Bars)

Sportsman’s Club backyard BBQ series is back again and stronger than ever, with a total of 18 events hosted by some of the best restaurants in Chicago, including Elske, Galit and Lula Cafe. For the uninitiated, the takeovers are first-come, first served, with the featured chef holding court over the bar’s grill and menu. For $20, guests are treated to a heaping plate of food and a beverage pairing. It’s one of our all-time favorite summer pastimes. Check out the full lineup below and start planning your Sunday afternoons accordingly. To learn more, click here.

Photo By: Matt Beard

Cirque du Soleil: Volta (Theater, Circuses & Magic)

In its newest show, the French Canadian megatroupe Cirque du Soleil once again delivers the spine-tingling spectacle that is its raison d’être. Strung together by a gossamer-thin plot, Volta incorporates street-style sports like BMX riding and double dutch jump rope alongside traditional circus arts; its themes include smartphone addiction, reality shows and the search for belonging. To buy tickets, click here.

Photo By: David Korins

Hamilton: The Exhibition (Museums, History)

Do you know the musical Hamilton? Experience the life of Alexander Hamilton created by the team behind the hit musical Hamilton. Debuting in Chicago, “Hamilton: The Exhibition” takes visitors on a journey from a trading post in St. Croix to the New Jersey hilltops where the Founding Father was shot in a duel, using imaginative environments to immerse guests in the historical tale. To buy tickets, click here.

Photo By: Joshua Brott

Art on the MART (Art, Film and Video)

Every night until December 31, 2019, 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 Monday through Sunday, with projections beginning approximately 15 minutes after sunset. To learn more, click here.

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