October has enough food, music, art and fall events to fill several calendars. Here are just a few of the events to tack up on the board.
Two art shows
“Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys1917-1918” is at Navy Pier beginning Oct. 5 and continuing through Nov. 18, 2018 in Polk Bros Park (across from the Pier’s entrance). A free exhibit, the works are by photo journalist Michael St. Maur Sheil.
Taken over eight years, the compilation tells stories of battleground transformations, peace and remembrance. It works well with Navy Pier’s history. Originally called the “Municipal Pier” it was later renamed Navy Pier in honor of naval veterans who served in World War I. (It became a training center for the U.S.Navy in 1941before returning to public use for an education institution and then an entertainment destination).
An opening commemorative event is at the Pier Oct. 5 at 5:15 p.m. followed by the Navy Band Great Lakes Wind Ensemble that plays at 6 p.m. in the Crystal Gardens. For more information call (800) 595-PIER (7437 and visit Navy Pier. Navy Pier is at 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago.
The Chicago Creative Coalition (C3) is holding its 20th Annual Gallery Walk Oct. 18 2018 at four River North galleries. Basically a semi- private tour, the Gallery Walk requires registration. C3 members $15, general admission $20, students $5. Visit Gallery Walk Registration.
All-Inn fest, a three-day indoor music festival will be at Halsted Street bars from aliveOne to The Store from Oct. 11 through Oct. 13, 2018. Admission is free with a wristband gotten from aliveOne, Tonic Room or The Store. Bar and band hop beginning at 8 p.m. For more information visit Lincoln Park Chamber All Inn.
Randolph Street Market goes indoors with Octoberfest Oct. 27-28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. An indoor venue featuring more than 125 vendors, the Market is at 1341 Randolph St. The Octoberfest celebration will have pumpkins but also antiques and clothing. For more information visit Randolph Street Octoberfest.
Two spooky-ish fall color destinations
Visitors to the Morton Arboretum can combine leaf looks with the scarecrows, cider and scary adventures of the season at the Morton Arboretum during the Fall corol festival. Also, look for the Glass Pumpkin Patch and Jack o Lantern Hikes dates.The Morton Arboretum is at 4100 Hwy 53. Lisle, IL For more information go to Morton Arb.
Pumpkins at the Chicago Botanic Garden will be lining the walkways Oct. 24-28, 2018 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. during the annual Night of 1000 Jack o Lanterns. Take photos for some ideas of how to carve your pumpkin next year. The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd. Glencoe. The event has timed tickets. For tickets and other info visit Chicago Botanic.
Who wants to celebrate Labor Day Weekend falls into the debatable category. If returning or starting school is on the can’t wait list than OK. Same goes for “I love fall.” But if it means the end of summer free time, maybe not so much.
So what makes sense on how to say goodby summer, hello labor? Here’s three ways (actually more if you count all the days of the weekend listening to different bands at the Chicago Jazz Festival) to take advantage of now. Two of them won’t be available again until next year.
Chicago Botanic Garden Butterflies and Blooms
Go before the annual butterfly exhibit leaves the Chicago Botanic Garden Sept. 3. The garden is basically open from sun up to sun down but the butterfly house hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s a ticketed exhibit with the last ticket sold at 4:30 p.m.
For this exhibit the best parking lot is the first one visitors come to left of the first traffic stop sign after the parking lot booth (not the “if someone is in the crosswalk” warning signs). The exhibit is next to the Regenstein Learning Center and outdoor children’s hilly play area.
The popular Miller Lite Beer Garden on Navy Pier is doing its “Live on the Lake” music series from Friday through From Friday, August 31 through Monday, Sept. 3. Come Friday to toast the weekend with special Happy Hour prices from 4 to 6 p.m. then stay for the music. Or return Saturday for music and stay for Navy Pier’s fireworks at 10:15.
Navy Pier is at 600 E. Grand Ave., The Beer Garden is considered 700 E. Grand Ave. For more Beer Garden info call (312) 595-5446 and visit Beer Garden. For Navy Pier information cal (800) 595-Pier (7437)and visit Navy Pier.
Chicago Jazz festival
Good jazz is happening right now in Chicago venues as it does every week but this last week of August and first weekend of September are special. The Chicago Jazz Festival is happening downtown and around the city through Sept. 2, 2018. The festival is celebrating its 40th year with several area bands and headliners Ramsey Lewis, Kurt Elling, Dianne Reeves, Maceo Parker and Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. See the schedule to catch the jazz artist or band you don’t want to miss or just go over to Millennium Park and enjoy the concerts. They’re all free. Programming is by the Jazz Institute of Chicago. It’s produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Jay Pritzker Pavilion 6:30-9pm – Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic: Legends and Lions
Jay Pritzker Pavilion: 5pm – Second-line Procession led by Mystick Krewe of Laff featuring the Big Shoulders Brass Band (starts at the west side of the Great Lawn); 5:25–6:15pm – Geof Bradfield Nonet; 6:30–7:25pm – Nicole Mitchell and Mandorla Awakening; 7:45–9pm – Kurt Elling featuring Marquis Hill and Jeff “Tain” Watts.
Chicago Cultural Center: 11am–12pm – What Is This Thing called Jazz? Ernie Adams: Insights on Improvisation 12:30–1:30pm – Carmen Stokes Quartet, in collaboration with the South Side Jazz Coalition; 2–3pm – Paul Giallorenzo Trio, in collaboration with the Elastic Arts Foundation; 3:30–4:30pm – Chicago Cellar Boys, in collaboration with the Iliana Club of Traditional Jazz.
Park Grill Plaza: 12–2pm – Julius Tucker, 4–6pm – Thaddeus Thukes Vibez
Jay Pritzker Pavilion: 3:45 pm – Second-line Procession led by Mystick Krewe of Laff featuring the Big Shoulders Brass Band (starts at the west side of the Great Lawn) 4:15–5:05pm – Tribute to Dr. Muhal Richard Abrams; 5:25–6:15pm – Sabertooth Organ Quartet 25th Anniversary 6:30–7:25pm – Louis Hayes Quintet: “Seranade for Horace;” 7:45–9pm – Dianne Reeves.
Von Freeman Pavilion (Chase Promenade South): 11:30am–12:25pm – Junius Paul Quartet; 12:40–1:35pm – Quin Kirchner Group 1:50–2:45pm – Chris Speed Trio 3–4pm – Greg Ward and 10 Tongues.
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion (Chase Promenade North): Noon–1pm – Gayle Kolb Sextet 1:30–2:30pm – Roy McGrath Remembranzas Quintet 3–4pm – Million Brazilan Project featuring Sarah Marie Young and Guy King.
Park Grill Plaza Stage: 12–2pm – High Hat; 4–6pm – Bomanville.
Jay Pritzker Pavilion: 3:45pm – Second-line Procession led by Mystick Krewe of Laff featuring the Big Shoulders Brass Band (starts at the west side of the Great Lawn); 4:15–5:0; 5pm – Tribute to Willie Pickens 5:25–6:10pm – Kenny Barron Quintet; 6:25–7:25pm – Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society; 7:45–9pm – Ramsey Lewis.
Von Freeman Pavilion (Chase Promenade South): 11:30am–12:25pm – Black Diamond; 12:40–1:35pm – Dustin Laurenzi and Natural Language; 1:50–2:45pm – Matthew Shipp and Ivo Perelman; 3–4pm – Amina Claudine Myers Trio.
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion (Chase Promenade North): Noon–1pm – Bruce Henry; 1:30–2:30pm – The Chuck Webb Band featuring Margaret Murphy; 3–4pm – Nolatet.
Park Grill Plaza: 12–2pm – Petra van Nuis; 4–6pm – Isabella Sherwood.
Young Jazz Lions (Harris Rooftop): 11–11:30am – ChiArts Jazz Combo; 11:45am–12:15pm – Morgan Park High School Jazz Combo; 12:30–1pm – CYSO Jazz Combo; 1:15–1:55pm – Eric Solorio High School Jazz Ensemble; 2:10–2:50pm – Whitney Young High School Jazz Ensemble; 3:05–3:45pm – Kenwood Academy Jazz Band.
Jay Pritzker Pavilion: 3:45pm – Second-line Procession led by Mystick Krewe of Laff featuring the Big Shoulders Brass Band (starts at the west side of the Great Lawn); 4:15–5:05pm – Matt Ulery’s Loom Large; 5:25–6:10pm – Arturo O’Farrill Sextet; 6:25–7:25pm – Charles McPherson-Barry Harris Quartet; 7:45–9pm – Maceo Parker.
Von Freeman Pavilion (Chase Promenade South): 11:30am–12:25pm – Tribute to John Wright; 12:40–1:35pm – Jaimie Branch’s Fly or Die; 1:50–2:45pm – Jason Stein Quartet; 3–4pm – Eric Revis Quartet featuring Ken Vandermark.
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion (Chase Promenade North): 12–1pm – Quentin Coaxum Quintet;1:30–2:30pm – Alejandro Urzagaste’s Flow featuring Bill Carrothers; 3–4pm – Fareed Haque and his Funk Brothers.
Park Grill Plaza Stage: 12–2pm – Lucas Gillian; 4–6pm – Irvin Pierce.
In Chicago, food and music just go together. Ergo, no surprise that two big food festivals also feature bands and two mega music festivals include food vendors. Even a free summer jazz series is steps away from a slew of food counters and restaurants.
Diet after Labor Day. Head over to Grant Park July 11-15, 2018, to taste more than 70 restaurant favorites that have made Chicago a foodie town. The festival is free but tasting is by tickets. They are sold in strips of 14 for $10 (expect a $3 charge for Taste amenities). Also available are 1-6 tickets for smaller “Taste of Portions” from each food vendor. Look for pop-up restaurants, food trucks and five-day regular booths. New this year is the Taste Oasis tent, a cool AC place in the park’s Butler Field to hang out and taste. Taste Oasis is $50 for the day you choose.
Great a great mix of country music and food at the Windy City Smokeout, July 13-15, 2018. The event stretches between Grand Avenue and the Chicago River. What to expect: barbeque flavors and styles from all over including Nashville and Chicago plus such folks as Renee Blair and Brett Young. For tickets, hours and other info go to Windy City Smokeout.
How do you like to celebrate Independence Day? If in the Chicago area and looking for really spectacular fireworks, you are likely to find none better than the Aon Summer Fireworks’ July Fourth show at Navy Pier. You can make it an all-day Pier experience or go out on a boat to watch.
If you like the idea of saluting US troops, love entertainment and enjoy a good fireworks show but don’t want to deal with crowds or transportation concerns, there is a really good, gather-round-the-TV option.
The fireworks are spectacular and Navy Pier is a fun destination with good skyline views, its famous Centennial Wheel, games, shops, restaurants and entertainment in the Miller Lite Beer Garden.
The Pier does fill to capacity on the Fourth so go early. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the Fourth. Gates actually close when the pier is filled. but guests with advance tickets for shows or restaurants will be allowed on. See the Capacity and Transportation categories at Navy Pier.
Take advantage of public transportation or the Pier’s free trolley service. Offsite parking is cheaper than the Pier’s garages. In addition check the holiday’s Code of Conduct on the same site. For instance, no pets are allowed except service dogs because of the crowds.
Watch the fireworks with 3D glasses aboard a Mercury Cruises boat. Mercury is hosting a 2. 5 hour lakefront, skyline tour that includes Chicago’s spectacular fireworks show off Navy Pier. Guests will be given 3D glasses to enhance the fireworks experience.
The cost, $64 adults and $49 children under age 15, includes the cruise, treats and glasses. The cruise leaves at 8 p.m. to tour the lakefront. Fireworks are at 9:30. For tickets and dock location and information visit Mercury Cruises.
Watch the country’s annual Capitol Fourth celebration that is broadcast live from the West Lawn. On PBS from 8 to 9:30 p.m. ET, the celebration honors the men and women in uniform and their families with a star-studded concert, then presents Washingtin D.C.’s fireworks.
Four-time Grammy Award-winning soprano Renee Fleming will be singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from “Carousel,” John Williams be on video on the 40th anniversary of “Superman” and there will be a tribute to the Beach Boys.
Also featured are music legend Jimmy Buffett with the “Escape to Margaritaville cast, three-time Grammy Award-winning Pentatonix, pop siner/songwriter Andy Grammer, legendary actress/singer/dancer Chita Rivera, Motown stars The Temptations and multi-platinum country music star Luke Combs.
In addition, the amazing lineup also includes, Gospel singer CeCe Winans, Grammy-winning violinist Joshua Bell, The Voice season finalist Kyla Jade and the National Symphony Orchestra led by pops conductor Jack Everly.
The celebrations is funded by grants fromn The Boeing Company, the National Park Service, the Department of the army and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.
Special dinners, teas and parades mark Chicago’s Chinese New Year celebration of the Year o the Dog 4716.
With a vibrant Chinatown and several excellent Chinese restaurants plus venues such as the Chicago Cultural Center and Navy Pier promoting Chicago’s ethnic groups, there are plenty of places to learn more, see more and enjoy more Chinese dancing and dishes.
Often called the Lunar New Year and sometimes known as the Chinese Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year in 2018, begins Feb. 16 and ends 15 days later. However, tied to the Chinese lunisolar calendar, celebrations start the eve of the first day and culminate in the Lantern Festival.
If you go to any of Chicago’s Chinese festivals or restaurants, expect to see lots of red and the words “happiness” and “good fortune.”
Here are some Chinese New Year events to put on your go-to calendar.
Decorated with red lanterns and a décor that celebrates the Year of the Dog, The Peninsula Chicago is a thoroughly Asian hotel (it is celebrating its 90th anniversary in Hong Kong).
This is a good place to stop in for Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea in The Lobby where tangerine trees and red flowers wish everyone good fortune. The tea includes special savories and sweets for $65. The Peninsula is at 108 East Superior Street.
In addition, there will be a Lion Dance that weaves through The Lobby during Afternoon Tea at 3:30 pm., Feb. 17. Children can “feed” lettuce to the lion for good luck in the coming year. The Lion Dance begins at the hotel’s front entrance amid drumbeats and cymbals (scares evil spirits) at 3:15 p.m.
For an authentic, eight-course Chinese dinner, reserve a table at The Peninsula Chicago’s award winning Shanghai Terrace. It includes, among many other dishes, ginger wild chicken, seafood siewmai with black truffle, pan-fried prawns and kung pao beef tenderloin. Cost is $138.
For more information please call (312) 573-6620 or (866) 288-8889 and visit Peninsula Chicago.
Feb. 15-Feb. 28
Stop in at Koi Fine Asian Cuisine in Evanston for dishes from its “Lucky Menu.” Different dishes represent wealth, long life, happiness, prosperity, good relationships and family. Reservations will be needed for the Lion Dance there Feb. 24. Koi is at 624 Davis St., Evanston. Call 847-866-6969 and visit Koi.
Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center hosts Chinese dancers, martial arts and music from noon to 1 p.m. There will also be a peek at the Chongqing Chuanju Theater Troupe which performs at Symphony Center the next day. The Chicago Cultural Center is at 78 E Washington St. For more information visit Chinese Fine Arts Events.
See acrobatic choreography, gorgeous costumes and enjoy Chinese arts during an afternoon at Symphony Center, home of the CSO. Performances featuring the Dong Fang Performing Arts and the Yellow River Performing Arts are from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m. in Buntrock Hall.
This is followed with opera segments by the Chongqing Chuanju Opera Theatre and folk music by Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra at 3 p.m. in Orchestra Hall.
The first program is free to ticket holders of the second program. Symphony Center is at 220 S. Michigan Ave. For tickets and other information visit CSO tickets.
Head over to Navy Pier’s Aon Grand Ballroom for Chinese activities, shows and food. Navy Pier partners with the Chinese Fine Arts Society to present the Chicago Chinese Cultural Center Lion Dancers, Martial arts, Chinese music and the Flying Fairies dance troupe from 1 to 5 p.m.
The event is part of Navy Pier’s free Global Connections sponsored by ComEd. Navy Pier is at 600 E. Grand Ave. For more information call (800) 595 Pier (7437) and visit Navy Pier Global.
The Uptown neighborhood’s Argyle Street has a parade with floats, dragon dancers and marchers from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The procession goes from Argyle and Broadway Streets to Winthrop Avenue. For more information visit Explore Uptown.
Go to Chinatown for the community’s annual lunar parade and to celebrate this neighborhood’s 106th anniversary. It’s a fun, colorful event featuring lion and dragon dancers, marching bands, floats and Ronald McDonald. The parade starts at 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue at 1 p.m. then goes north on Wentworth and west on Cermak. For more information visit CCC Foundation.
Hey, any year still alive is a good time to celebrate a birthday. So with its new Polk Bros Park Performance Lawns now completed out front, the folks at Navy Pier decided to celebrate the 101st birthday of the pier’s existence with a free, all-day program July 15, 2017.
The birthday bash features programs on the Polk Bros Park’s lawns starting at 11 a.m. then culminating with Felicia Fields, E. Faye Butler and Victor Garcia paying tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne and Dizzy Gillespie on the lawns’ Lake Stage beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Originally called Municipal Pier to handle freight and passenger traffic plus public recreation, Navy Pier opened July 15, 1916. It was built by famed architect Charles Sumner Frost based on Daniel Burnham and Edward H. Bennet’s design plan
Since then it has undergone several reincarnations including a World War II naval training center, a University of Illinois Chicago campus, home to Chicago Fest and an exposition center before it was redesigned in 1995 for retail and cultural use and updated in 2014 under what has been termed “The centennial Vision” to include more gardens, play areas and fountains.
If at the pier during the day Saturday, go to the Polk Bros Park at 11 a.m. to see Native American drumming and dancing by Seven Springs and World Champion Fancy Dancer Larry Yazzie. Return at 1 p.m. for an African drumming followed by Asian drumming and then a Lion Dance presented by the Chinese Fine Arts Society at 2 p.m.
Because the event is a birthday celebration Navy Pier is holding a Group Quinceañera Celebration that includes free group photos. Interested parites can participate by clicking register here . The photos will be at the Wave Wall staircase on the South Dock at 2 p.m. There will also be musical performances by the Mexican band, Sones de Mexico.
Navy Pier is at 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. For more information call (800) 595-PIER (7437) and visit Navy Pier.
If you’re a fan of legendary rockers Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and their Rolling Stones band you needn’t ask why go to Navy Pier to see Exhibitionism.
An all encompassing retrospective, the traveling show that opens April 15 and goes through July 30, 2017, has rooms of costumes, films, posters, art, recordings, instruments and personal paraphernalia, that are likely to bring back memories of concert tours and albums.
But even if other bands have had you screaming and shaking, the exhibit is still worth seeing as a cultural and musical phenomenon that goes back to the 1960s and continues in the 21st century.
A British export that is a combo of blues and rock ‘n’ roll, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. But they proved they could still draw crowds with their record breaking concerts: Voodoo Lounge Tour in 1994–95 and Bridges to Babylon Tour, 1997–98, to their Licks Tour in 2002–03 and A Bigger Bang Tour, 2005–07.
What to expect at “Exhibitionism.” The show recreates the Chelsea (London) flat in Edith Grove shared in 1962 by Jagger, Richards and Brian (Jones shared in 1962. Also recreated is a Stones’ recording studio and a backstage area. There is a guitar room that includes Richards’ Maton that came apart during “Gimme Shelter.”
But where some visitors may be snapping photos and selfies is the fashion gallery of impressive costumes. They’re devilishly wild and what would be expected of the Stones. Save time to watch the films that include a concert near the exhibit’s end.
“We’ve been thinking about this for quite a long time but we wanted it to be just right and on a large scale,” said Mick. “It’s not going to be like walking into a museum. It’s going to be an event, an experience. It’s about a sense of The Rolling Stones – it’s something we want people to go away talking about it.”
“While this is about The Rolling Stones, it’s not necessarily only just about us,” said Keith. “It’s also about all the paraphernalia and technology associated with a group like us, and it’s this, as well as the instruments that have passed through our hands over the years, that should make the exhibition unforgettable.”
Details: “Exhibitionism is at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Av., Chicago, April 15 to July 30, 2017. For tickets and other information visit Stones Exhibitionism.
There is always so much going on in Chicago it is easy to miss something you will want to see or find that the tickets you wanted are gone. So check out the following events and opportunities.
If you love the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, you will love his beautiful, dramatic “Eugene Onegin” opera. The Lyric Opera of Chicago completes its 2016-2017 series with the musically lush opera starting Feb. 26 and going through Mar. 20, 2017.
Based on a Alexander Pushkin’s poetic novel about ill-fated romantic attractions, the Lyric production stars soprano Ana Maria Martinez as Tatiana Larina and baritone Mariusz Kwiecień as Eugene Onegin. The Lyric production is at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago. For tickets and other information visit Lyric Opera.
Tickets are available for the Chicago stop of “Exhibitionism,” the first major touring exhibit of Rolling Stones memorabilia. Opened first in London and currently in NYC, the show will take over Navy Pier’s Festival Hall April 15 –July 30, 2017. Time dated tickets range from StonesExhibitionism.com. $25- $35 for adults to $20-$22 for juniors. Special tickets are $80 for two visits, any time, fast-track entry.m Group tickets are available from Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. Navy Pier is at 600 E. Grand Ave. Chicago.
The Art Institute has a full Chinese menu of activities the last Saturday of January. If you at the Art Institute of Chicago Jan. 28, follow the exotic sounds you hear.
They will pull you into Gallery 101 at 10:30 a.m. and noon for Chinese Guzheng performances and to the Griffin Court in the Modern Wing at 11:30 a.m. for a Lion Dance. Then, it’s back to Griffin Court at 1 and 2 p.m. for the China National Peking Opera.
In addition to the performances there is a Mandarin tour of the museum’s Asian collection at noon and calligraphy demonstrations in the Ryan Learning Center (near the Modern Wing entrance) from 1:30 through 4 p.m.
But even before Jan. 28, the Art Institute is celebrating with drop-in Chinese New Year fun for kids in the Ryan Center, Jan. 17 through Feb. 11.
Best entrance to use for the celebration and Ryan Center is the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing at 159 E. Monroe St., Chicago, IL 60603. General admission fee and free to children age 13 and younger and free to Chicago teens 14-17. Visit AIC.
If all you have is the lunch hour to celebrate, go over to the Chicago Cultural Center Jan. 30 for Chinese dances, martial arts and music in the very impressive Preston Bradley Hall. Jackie Chan’s Long Yun Fung Fu Troupe will be performing from noon to 1 p.m (free).
For more information visit DCAS The Chicago Cultural Center is across from Millennium Park at 78 E. Washington St., Chicago, IL 60602.
To see the full Long Yun Kung Fu Troupe’s program get tickets to show at the Auditorium Theatre Feb. 4. Tickets start at $33. Show time is 7:30 p.m. The discount code is CFAS. The program blends dance and martial arts. The Auditorium Theatre is at 50 E Congress Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60605. Visit Auditorium and call (312) 341-2300.
The following week, Navy Pier’s ‘Neighborhoods of the World’ series spotlights the Chinese culture on Feb 12, from noon to 4 p.m. Go up to the Crystal Gardens for arts performances and a Chinese marketplace. Navy Pier is at 600 E Grand Ave Chicago, IL 60611. Visit CFA
Instead of subjecting oneself to all the election noise on TV and social media, try to feel good about the world, at least for a little while, by going to a fun event. An old fashioned musical opens this week. See what creative folks are doing with functional art. Visit an outdoor destination that has an unusual indoor exhibit this weekend.