MAY 2017 – Oooh look at what just happened: another month in 2017 has passed you by. Did you get out and enjoy all that you could in April? Don’t worry, we didn’t do as much as we wanted to either — there’s just so much going on all over Chicago. Thankfully we all get another shot at everything cultural this city has to offer. So check out some of our top picks below and get ready to get busy!
What: If you see one big musical this year, it must be Aladdin (if you can’t get tickets to Hamilton, that is). Aladdin is truly a showstopper for everyone in the family no matter your age. It’s funny, gripping, magical and downright entertaining. From Aladdin to Jasmine to Jafar to Genie, every character has his or her moment and everyone truly shines. The stage set and the costumes are truly glorious. We give this show two very large thumbs up!
When: Through Sept. 10
Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, Loop
James Beard Foundation Awards
What: Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson from ABC’s Emmy-winning sit-com Modern Family hosts this year’s Oscars of the culinary world, which return to Chicago for the third year in a row. The biggest names in the country’s culinary community will gather at the Lyric Opera for a festive black tie awards ceremony and gala. Parties will take place all over the city the weekend before the awards and a bevy of bashes will follow the ceremony late into the night.
When: May 1
Where: Lyric Opera of Chicago
Tickets: Tickets for the general public cost $500
Kids & Kites Festival
What: Imagine beautiful, colorful kites in all shapes, sizes and characters filling up the sky high. Now imagine hundreds of smiling, happy, giggly kids staring at the kites in wonder and amazement. This is the 19th annual Kids & Kites Fest — and it’s free to everyone. Windjammers International Kite Team will put on a synchronized show while the city will hand out free kite-building kits to the kids. Stick around for the afternoon Big Kite Candy Drop — yes, it’s exactly like it sounds.
When: May 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Cricket Hill near Montrose Harbor in Lincoln Park
What: Come celebrate the mindful movement with likeminded enlightened people while you take part in a 5k run, an outdoor yoga flow class and a guided meditation. You’ve never done a “triathlon” like this.
When: May 13 from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Where: Butler Field in Grant Park
Tickets: Participation costs about $60, not including the $21 picnic lunch
Chicago Critics Film Festival
What: Numerous movies that played the festival circuit and other unreleased films will screen over the course of seven days.
When: May 12-18
Where: Music Box Theatre
Beer Under Glass
What: The kick off for Chicago Craft Beer Week brings together 200 craft beers under the beautiful dome surrounded by exotic plants at the Garfield Park Conservatory while food trucks park outside.
When: May 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (VIP entrance at 5:30)
Where: Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., Garfield Park
Mole de Mayo
What: The 8th annual festival has local chefs competing for the best mole, a deliciously rich Mexican sauce that often has more than a dozen sometimes secret ingredients, over the three-day event. Between the people’s choice awards, live music, lucha libre wrestling and more, this is a big celebration of Chicago’s Mexican culture.
When: May 26-28
Where: 18th and Ashland, Pilsen
American Writers Museum Opening
What: The country’s first-ever museum dedicated to celebrating American writers.
When: Opens to the public May 16
Where: 180 N. Michigan, second floor
Bike the Drive
What: For one of our favorite events all year, the city shuts down Lake Shore Drive to cars for about five hours so cyclists of all ages and skill levels can ride along the beautiful lakeside highway. Riders can opt to ride 15 miles north to Bryn Mawr and back, 15 miles south to the Museum of Science and Industry or do all 30 before the Drive opens back up to cars.
When: May 28 starting at 5:30 a.m.
Where: Start at Columbus and Jackson