Of course visitors to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle and the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe would expect to see trees changing their summer colors to seasonal autumn rose, gold and bronze.
However, both popular Chicago area destinations also annually welcome fall with ales, pumpkins and more.
Go this weekend to find hand-blown glass pumpkins. Art fair goers have been collecting these delicate pieces for the past few years but the Glass Pumpkin Patch that is going on now through Oct. 13, features about six thousand choices.
On the spookier side, do the Troll Hunt which is still going on. These giant-sized, artistically crafted, wooden creatures can be found through June 2020 but are a fitting addition to a season filled with other-world spirits. Sculpted by Danish artist Thomas Dambo, the trolls are supposed to protect the environment.
Expect to see really good ceramics, fiber art, metal work, wood working, jewelry and other crafted items when walking through the Regenstein Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden this weekend. But also, expect the unexpected.
While browsing the American Craft Exposition during a Thursday preview party that benefited mental health services at NorthShore University Health System, an attractive wall piece that looked as if it could have been painted clay turned out to be wood.
There was also a charming floral wall arrangement that might have been aluminum or steel but was pewter and works that appeared to be oils and water colors were actually fine stitchery.
But it’s not all serious. A booth of unusual and fun objects turned out to be jewelry.
Just don’t expect a visit to ACE, as it is known in the art show world, to be a quick walk through.
A highly competitive, juried show of nearly 150 artisans, ACE booths stretch from a tent at the north end of the Regenstein Center through the building to the Greenhouses at the south end and into rooms and hallways on either side.
Visitors will likely see old favorites but many crafters, such as St. Joseph, MI artist Rebecca Hungerford who works in peweter and Marquette, MI artist Joseph Graci who works with wood, are first timers and good show addiions.
However, as glass worker Joseph Pozycinski of Pozycinski Studios in Sparta, Missouri said, pointing to its high quality.. “I’ve been coming over 25 years. It’s a very good show.”
Tip: Don’t neglect the side rooms indicated to by signs that say More Art. The works there are just as good as what is seen on the main walkways.
DETAILS: The American Craft Exposition is at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., just east of Edens Expressway, Glencoe, IL, through Sept. 22, 2019.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is by three-day passes, $18 for Garden members and $20 non-members. A three-day pass with one-day parking is $35. General admission to the Chicago Botanic Garden is free but parting costs $25 weekdays and $30 Saturday and Sunday.
It’s free. It’s open to the public beginning Sept. 19, 2019. And it’s a very different experience and scope from two years ago.
Titled” And Other Such Stories,” this year’s exposition focuses on neighborhoods, their make-up and revitalization in countries and cities across the globe, environmental and industrial impact and it encompasses North America’s indigenous populations.
The main venue is the gorgeous Chicago Cultural Center, a city treasure at 78 E. Washington St. formerly known as the People’s Palace, where there is a southern marble staircase lined with beautiful mosaics, a third floor that has two glass domes including one by Tiffany and exhibits on first, second and fourth flours.
Off-site curatorial venues range from the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, 8000 S. Halsted St. and the former Anthony Overton Elementary School at 4935 S. Indiana Ave. to the National Public Housing Museum at the Jane Addams Homes, 1322 W. Taylor St. and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago at Homan Square, 906 S. Homan Ave.
In addition, are more than 100 institutions partnering with the biennial such as The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Architecture Center, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Beverly Arts Center and Dusable Museum of African American History. Go to the Chicago Architecture Biennial for a complete list and more exhibition activities and places.
For kids, there’s a redone, restaurant up at tree-level in Lincoln Park Zoo. For adults, there’s an art show to view high on a building on Wacker Dr. And for adults who want to relive a kids-experience, there’s a museum field-trip night that will take them down a shaft.
Restaurant at Lincoln Park Zoo
When entering the main entrance at Lincoln Park walk straight ahead and look up, tree-level for the Bird’s Eye Bar & Grill perched above the gift shop. There is a ramp around the side for strollers and folks who can’t do stairs.
Formerly the Café at Wild Things, the space is geared to families with Foosball and air hockey tables, and games such as Jenga plus a menu that includes burgers and BBQ sandwiches. But there are also salads and flatbreads.
Recently opened, the restaurant is seasonal with hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p., Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. However, the space can be booked for private events. Lincoln Park Zoo is at 2200 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago. Admission is free. For more information visit lpzoo.org.
MSI adult field trip
Adults get to go down to the popular Coal Mine, board the U-505 Submarine and visit Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle and other stuff at the Museum of Science and Industry after hours (age 21+) on Sept. 20 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Some things they didn’t have when on a kids’ field trip is Improv Comedy iO Theater Chicago doing behind-the-scenes MSI stories and a chance to play such board games as Clue, Operation, and Guess Who (courtesy of Lakeview’s Bonus Round Café). Plus take part in a scavenger hunt.
Admission is $30 (MSI members: $25). It includes free parking in the underground garage, coat check, light snacks, a complimentary drink, and access to select exhibits. A cash bar will also be available. For more information visit msichicago.org/fieldtripnight
New art projected on theMART (former Merchandise Mart) kicks-off Sept. 21 with food trucks and a DJ on Wacker Drive at 6:30 p.m., the projection starting at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks at 8 p.m. The projections feature works by Charles atlas and Petra Cortright. For more information visit visit artonthemart.com.
Of course you know the Chicago Air and Water Show haappens across the city’s near-north lake front Aug. 16 (practice) then Aug. 17-18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
But there is also a yummy food fest throughout Chicago from Aug. 14 through Sept. 1 and an interesting theater festival up in Skokie Aug. 16 to 18.
If your attention span stops you from seeing plays that are three hours long, Skokie Theatre has the answer in its Fifth Annual Short Play Festival. Six,15-minute plays take the stage beginning at 7:30 p.m. each night. The low ticket price of $15 shouldn’t dent the culture budget.
They run the gamut from a woman who makes a strange request while planning her father’s funeral in “A Funeral Home in Brooklyn” to What happens in an antiquities gallery stays in an antiquities gallery in “Museum Piece.”
Skokie theatre is at 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie, IL. For tickets visit OvationTix.
If you count yourself a foodie and also like the idea of meeting different chefs, trying different cuisines and giving back to the community check out the Chicago Tribune Food Bowl. It takes place at restaurants throughout the city, Aug. 14-Sept.1, 2019.
Then, if you like to see how the Riverwalk has developed with restaurants, bars and pop-up places, go down and over to the area from 201 West to 305 West Riverwalk South where you see Art on theMART at the Confluence and the Jetty for the Food Bowl Night Market, Aug. 23-25. (Franklin/Orleans Streets to Wells Street).
But an alternate to going the day before or milling with the crowds during the show is to watch from somewhere between Ohio Street and Fullerton Avenue such as the places listed below where you can eat lunch or brunch during the show.
Celebrate summer while it’s here. This weekend, art booths fill downtown Glencoe and Renee Fleming is doing Stoppard’s “Penelope” at Ravinia. Next week the Oriental Institute in Hyde Park has Hieroglyphics for kids and the Edgewater neighborhood celebrates summer with food,beverages and music
What: Festival of Art
When: July 27-28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Where: Center point is 700 Vernon Ave. near Park Avenue west of Green Bay Road in north suburban Glencoe.
Think “The Music Man.” Then add such shows as “Come From Away,” “Frozen” and “Hamilton.” But as the guy on TV says, “Wait, there’s more.” Add in opera star Maria Callas to make three spectacular evenings – one in July, another in August and the third one in early September.
“The Music Man”
Goodman Theatre and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) has a double bill of a short performance by “The Music Man” cast members followed by a screening of the movie featuring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones.
When: July 23, 6:30 p.m. remarks, 6:34 p.m. performance and 6:45 p.m. film.
Where: The Jay Pritzker Pavilion and The Great Lawn at Millennium Park at Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue.
Broadway In Chicago Summer Concert (Coming shows peek)
Co-sponsored by DCASE and ABC 7, several shows from Broadway In Chicago’s 2019-2020 season will be live in concert including “The Phantom of the Opera, The Band’s visit, Summer: the Donna summer Musical, “Once on this Island, “My Fair Lady”, “Mean Girls,” Hamilton” Fronzen, “Dear Evan Hansen and “Come from Away.”
When: Aug. 12 at 6:15 p.m
Where: Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park at 201 E. randolphg st.
Some of Callas’ greatest performances have been digitally re-mastered using state-of-the-art 3D hologram technology by Base Hologram Productions. They will be backed by the Lyric Opera Orchestra conducted by Elmear Noone.
When: Sept 7, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive.
Co-presented by Lyric Opera of Chicago and Live Nation.
In Chicago, the place to go to hear about and celebrate Apollo 11’s historic moon landing 50 years ago is the Adler Planetarium July 18-20, 2019.
Those folks around 50 years ago likely remember where they were when they heard “The Eagle has landed.” That was July 20, 1969 when the Apollo 11 lunar module, Eagle, landed on the moon.
They likely remember where they were when Commander Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon’s surface six hours later on July 21. Televised across the world, they heard him say the famous “one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Buzz Aldrin, the lunar module pilot, stepped out 19 minutes later. The two of them collected lunar material during their more than two hours outside while Michael Collins kept their command module, Columbia, in the lunar orbit.
They rejoined him, using the Eagle’s ascent stage. Leaving the Eagle in space, they maneuvered out of the lunar orbit and splashed down in the Pacific on July 24.
Now, 50 years later, the Planetarium starts its three-day celebration with Adler After Dark, its regular, Third Thursday fun evening for adults that mixes cocktails, music with the museum’s shows and exhibits from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Calling the July 18 event “Moonshot,” the Adler celebrates the anniversary with period-themed cocktails, a special double-dry IPA called “Project Apollo, music by the Stingers covers band, and a tuning-in to The Washington Post’s “Moonrise” podcast in the Grainger Sky Theatre among immersive visuals before it is released to the public. Oh, and late 60’s style apparel or space=age attire is encouraged.
Then, “Moon Bash” programs follow on July 19’ and 20. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Incuded with Museum Entry pass and frree to members)
Friday’s events include:
Exploration Stations. Launch a rocket, train like an astronaut, and learn all about the Moon with hands-on programs.
To The Moon, with I Play Games. Relive the Apollo 11 mission in virtual reality. Sit in the cramped cockpit of the Eagle, see Earth from a different perspective, and take steps on the surface of the Moon.
Sketch the Moon. Explore the work of noted space artist Chesley Bonestell and imagine a future mission to the Moon in this art activity.
Small Steps, Giant Leaps – Voices of Apollo. Explore a series of personal stories inspired by this historic event in a temporary exhibition and share your own stories with us. Check out our related online exhibition Voices of Apollo.
Saturday highlights Include:
The Day We Walked on the Moon. This documentary from the Smithsonian Channel tells the story of how he got to the Moon through spectacular footage and interviews with key figures in the Apollo 11 mission.
Exploration Stations. Launch a rocket, train like an astronaut, and learn all about the Moon with hands-on programs.
Performances & Talks. Live puppet performances, museum theater pieces and special talks from astronomers & other experts, some of whom worked on the Apollo program.
Chicago’s Moonshot Mural. Help create a community mural that highlights the Apollo 11 anniversary and your own “moonshots.”
Small Steps, Giant Leaps – Voices of Apollo. Explore a series of personal stories inspired by this historic event in a temporary exhibition, and share your own stories. (11 a.m. to noon)
The Adler planetarium is at 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. For tickets and more information call (312) 922-7827 and visit Adler Planetarium.
You don’t have to be interested in entomology to enjoy and be fascinated by the new exhibit opened the end of June at Chicago’s Field Museum. You are even likely to go home from the exhibit, called “Fantastic Bug Encounters!” with some interesting facts to pass along such as how one of the species, the jewel wasp, performs’ brain surgery” on cockroaches to turn them into zombies.
By the way, the word “fantastic” is a perfect description because the exhibition is on loan from New Zealand’s famed Te Papa Tongarewa museum where it developed the exhibition with the Academy Award-Winning Weta Workshop.
Think “Lord of the Rings” and you will walk in prepared for what you will encounter. The Weta Workshop produced sets, costumes, weapons, armour, and creatures for director Peter Jackson’s film trilogy. And Weta is the name of a giant, flightless prehistoric cricket group native to New Zealand.
So be warned, you walk into giant, pod-like homes of such real bug creatures as the Japanese honey bee and the jewel wasp. Take a selfie if you dare turn your back on one of them.
But for those visitors who would like to know more about the insects and some spiders, there are several interactive stations that tell about different creatures’ wing design, camouflage, speed, reflexes and superpowers.
Not all of insects will be dead. The exhibit includes a small Live Bug Zoo where a museum staffer will handle some of them so visitors can see them up close.
These encounters are on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a patent leather beetle, a lubber grasshopper, a death feigning beetle and a Madagascar hissing cockroach.
Plus, there are some live bugs in glass enclosures to see and not touch such as the emperor scorpion, a stick mantis and a pink-toed tarantula.
“Bugs are weird, beautiful, and fascinating creatures, and we’re proud to be able to share them with visitors of all ages in Fantastic Bug Encounters!” said Jaap Hoogstraten, Field Museum Exhibitions Director. “This exhibition is full of gorgeous larger-than-life models that show what these animals look like close-up and how they’ve perfectly adapted to the world around them—our visitors will never look at bugs the same way again.”
DETAILS: Fantastic Bug Encounters!” is at the Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, on Chicago’s museum campus near Soldier Field, Chicago now through April 19, 2020. For hours and ticket information call (312) 922.9410 and visit Field Museum.