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24 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Weekend

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on May 13, 2016 4:00PM

Get creative with Manifest and ACTIVATE this Friday. Photo by Alexis Ellers.

There's so much to do in Chicago this weekend! Here are just two dozen of our favorite options to get you out of the house.


MANIFEST + ACTIVATE: Every year Columbia College Chicago’s Manifest festival takes over the Loop with art exhibitions and more than 100 free public programs. This year they’re integrating with Chicago Loop Alliance’s first ACTIVATE event of the year. This one day event kicks off at noon and includes live music, fashion shows, gallery walks and so much more. There’s even an adult ball-pit filled with 100 4’x8’ gold inflatables. Visit the Manifest website for the full schedule and more information.

LAKE FX SUMMIT + EXPO: The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events presents Lake FX taking place at the Chicago Cultural Center. The Summit and Expo includes more than 100 talks, panels and workshops for those working in the culinary, fashion, film and media, music, performing arts, technology and design and visual arts fields, but it also includes showcase performances from the likes of Lupe Fiasco, Rhymefest and MONAKR. Many other local artists will perform over the two day event, and it’s all free. Register on their website.

GOOD VYBES FEST: Head to the Empty Bottle for some Good Vybes this weekend. It’s the third festival with the help of Eye Vybe Records, presenting heavy psych from all over the country, including bands from right here in Chicago like Rabble Rabble. Visit event page for lineup and ticket info.

TUSCANY WINE DINNER: Feel like you’re spending a “Night in Tuscany” with a wine dinner at The Florentine. The four-course dinner is presented in collaboration with family-owned and operated winery Marchesi de’Frescobaldi. Tickets are $75. For reservations, call (312) 660-8866 or email.

TWEEDY SOLO SHOW: It’s time again for Jeff Tweedy’s annual benefit shows at the Vic. The Wilco frontman performs to raise for the Montessori school. Expect to hear tunes from every stage of his career, from Wilco to Uncle Tupelo to Loose Fur. Tickets are $75.

RECORD RELEASE: Chicago's Twin Peaks release their latest album Down In Heaven this week. It shows the band further tempering their early sonic rowdiness without losing any of the manic garage rock energy they're known for. The '60s-style production makes it sound like the band is telegraphing their songs into the future, buoying melodies along a bed of scrappy pop hooks. Every time we've seen this band live, they've torn up the stage, so expect this new LP's more tempered sound to explode in a live setting when they play Lincoln Hall this Friday. Tickets are $20.


WANDERLUST YOGA: Get your yoga on in Grant Park at this year’s expanded Wanderlust event. They’re calling it a mindful triathlon with 5K run and 30-minute guided meditation sessions on the schedule. Check Wanderlust’s website for schedule and ticket information.

PUSS ‘N’ BOATS CRUISE: Take a ride on the Puss ‘n’ Boats Cruise and support the Real Tree House Cats at the same time. Chicago's First Lady and the Chicago Architecture Foundation have donated an Architecture River Cruise to benefit the nonprofit that is saving kitty lives every day through their many programs. Cruise sets off at 9 a.m. Tickets are $35 ($10 kids).

SCIENCE ON SCREEN: Watch the AI film Ex Machina with some experts at the University of Chicago, and then stick around for a discussion at Max Palevsky Cinema inside Ida Noyes Hall at 7 p.m. Professors of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and the Machine Learning Group of Computer Science will tackle questions about the mechanics and ethics of artificial intelligence. Admission is $5 at the door (cash only), but you can RSVP for a spot here.

CHARITY BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT: The Power of Play two-day Basketball Tournament at Windy City Fieldhouse will raise money for The Boys and Girls Club of Chicago and Right to Play with 5-on-5 games. Kids play on Saturday and the adult tournament is on Sunday, plus there will be live entertainment from the Chicago Luvabulls and giveaways by Sports Authority and Buffalo Wild Wings. For last minute sign-up, visit Power of Play's website.

HANDMADE MARKET: Shop wares from local artists at Handmade Chicago at Plumbers Hall this weekend. The “Hand-u-Factured Art” includes jewelry, wearables, soaps, furniture, candles and more. The festival also has live music and food and will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

BROWN ELEPHANT DESIGNER SALE: The Brown Elephant flagship store in Lakeview hosts “The Best of Brown Elephant” on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The weekend fashion event features the best designer wares collected from their donations over the last six months for a pop-up boutique experience. High-end and vintage items for sale include Chanel, Alexander Wang, Thom Browne, Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, Dior and more. Entry is free. Profits from the resale shops support Howard Brown Health.

Photo courtesy of Francis W. Parker School.

GREAT PARKER GARAGE SALE: Francis Parker School holds their annual “Great Parker Garage Sale” on Saturday and Sunday til 4 p.m. They’ll have clothing, housewares, toys and more for sale plus a higher-end “Boutique” in the cafeteria. All proceeds support the school’s Financial Aid Program. Free.

BOOKCON: The “largest storytelling and pop culture convention in the country” lands at McCormick Place on Saturday. HGTV’s Property Brothers, actor Chris O’Dowd, and Divergent author Veronica Roth are among the celebrities scheduled to appear. There will be panels, screenings, autograph sessions and more. Tickets are $30 in advance.

KIDS MUSIC SERIES: Tavern on Little Fort kicks off a new kid’s music series on their patio this Saturday at 11 a.m. Adults can enjoy new brunch and drink specials while the kids sing along with Mr. Dave at the “Beer Garden Bear Hunt." Admission is $8.

Photo courtesy of High Concept Labs.

ARTIST LAB OPEN HOUSE: Get to know the artists of High Concept Labs at their Spring Open House from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. at Mana Contemporary Chicago. The open warehouse art party will include performances, installations, music, and film screenings by artists from the organization’s past and present. They’ll also have light bites and drinks. Tickets are $15 with one drink ticket, $20 for Special Admission with three drink tickets or $40 for VIP that includes an early VIP reception, open bar and two free tickets to a future HCL public event.

MOMOSA BRUNCH: Equality Illinois’s MOMosa Brunch celebrates the moms that support their LGBT children. From 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Sidetrack Bar LGBT individuals and their families can enjoy a brunch buffet while introducing loved ones to the LGBT community. Tickets are $35.

Photo courtesy of Intercontinental Chicago.

FREE POOLSIDE YOGA: CorePower Yoga and InterContinental launch a new complimentary summer series with a 9:30 a.m. poolside class. The C1 Yoga class will take place every second Saturday of the month all summer long. Reservations are required. To book a spot, email them here.

CHICAGO24 TOURS: Chicago History Museum kicks off tour season bright and early Saturday morning with 24 hours of tours extending into Sunday. There’s more than 40 expert-led tours up for grabs including neighborhood tours, crime tours, cemetery tours and more. Prices vary by tour. Visit the Chicago 24 website for the full schedule and to book a spot.

SEXY SOULMAN IN HIS UNDERWEAR: He might be short and stocky, but there's something undeniably compelling about Har Mar Superstar's physical presence. He often performs in his tighty-whities, which might tempt people to not take him seriously, but his songs are honestly solid compositions rooted in soul and R&B. And Har Mar's supple voice is actually a really beautiful instrument. On his latest album, Best Summer Ever, he adds a healthy dollop of electropop to the mix, creating an infectious blend of styles, all of which are designed to get you dancing along with him. Har Mar Superstar plays Saturday at Lincoln Hall and tickets are $20.


In Fine Spirits. Photo courtesy of the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce.

ANDERSONVILLE WINE WALK: The 10th annual Andersonville Wine Walk takes place from 3 to 6 p.m. Choose one of two routes that will include 12 retail stores where you’ll be tasting 36 wines including H2Vino, Vinejoy, Winebow and more. Tickets are $35 in advance ($40 week of) and include a commemorative glass.

GLAAD HATTER BRUNCH + TEA DANCE: “Don your fancy hat and be fabulous” at the GLAAD Hatter Brunch & Tea Dance at Pasteur Restaurant. There will be cocktails, tea, dancing and hat parade led by the daughter of Shira Kollins and Meg Streit. Brunch is at 11:30 a.m., the Tea Dance begins at 2 p.m. and you can purchase separate tickets or a bundle for $95. A significant portion of ticket sales and other funds raised at the event supports GLAAD.

TUNE-UP BLOCK PARTY: “Pedal on over” to The Promontory for their annual Spring Tune-up block party from noon to 6 p.m. The folks from Blackstone Bicycle Works will be offering free tune-ups and selling restored bikes while you nosh on street food and drinks from The Promontory. The Hyde Park Handmade Artisan Farmer’s Market will also be going on, plus music from DJ Sean Alvarez of WeLoveSoul. Free.

GODFATHER OF NEW WAVE: Gary Numan's pioneering use of synthesizers to create pop hits can be heard in music from bands like Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, and countless younger bands. His debut solo album, 1979's The Pleasure Principle, still sounds fresh, even over three decades later. Sunday night begins Numan's three-night stand performing classic albums from his catalog at The Metro. On Sunday Numan will play Replicas, on Monday he'll play The Pleasure Principle, and on Tuesday he'll close out with Telekon. Tickets are $30 a night or $80 for a three-night pass.