JULY 2018 – OK people, it’s official: we’ve hit peak summer. And if there’s one thing Chicago knows how to do, it’s summer. We’ve got miles of lakefront activities, rooftop bars, music festival, street fairs and so so so much more. So what are you gonna do to soak it all in? Here are our picks for some really cool stuff going down around town this July.
Dear Carmencita: A Mini-Bar
What: A celebration of The Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition, John Singer Sargent and Chicago’s Gilded Age, our latest pop-up bar re-imagines what the finely-appointed parlor of one of the prominent painter’s benefactors may have looked like. Step into the Gilded Age and stop in for complimentary nightly programming, sparkling drinks, hands-on art and more!
Where: Chicago Athletic Association hotel’s Tank on the ground floor
When: Thursdays-Saturdays, 5pm-12am from July 12-August 4 (and a bonus night on Sunday, August 5th!)
Cost: Complimentary and open to the public
John Singer Sargent and Chicago’s Gilded Age Exhibit at The Art Institute of Chicago
What: Presenting the full range of his work – including his beloved portraits – John Singer Sargent and Chicago’s Gilded Age chronicles a never-told story about the celebrated American artist, tracing his Chicago connections and illuminating the city’s vibrant art scene at the turn of the 20th century.
Where: Art Institute of Chicago
When: July 1 – September 30
Cost: Various prices
The Cher Show
What: Sequins! Feathers! Wigs! Bob Mackie gowns! It’s Cher! Yes, you can revisit six decades of the wonder that is Cher through three different actresses playing her throughout her iconic musical and acting career while performing 35 musical hits.
Where: Oriental Theatre
When: Now through July 15
Cost: Starting at $33
What: Do we even need to explain who Radiohead is?
Where: United Center
When: July 6-7
Cost: Various prices
Chosen Few DJs Picnic and Festival
What: Returning for its 28th annual soiree, this full-day festival, often called the “Woodstock of House,” features this pioneering South Side house music DJ crew joined by guests Ralphi Rosario, Sheree Hicks and Basement Boys. Let’s not forget the amazing picnic spreads people bring and yes, you can buy food from many of them.
Where: Jackson Park (6401 S. Stony Island)
When: July 7 starting at 8 a.m.
Cost: Starting at $40
Taste of Chicago
What: One of the country’s original food festivals features booths from dozens of Chicago’s favorite restaurants and food trucks across numerous ethnic categories, including Dia De Los Tamales, Ricobene’s, Original Rainbow Cone and Buona Beef. At night, free concerts take place at the Petrillo Band Shell from the likes of Brandi Carlile, Juanes and the Flaming Lips.
Where: Grant Park
When: July 11-15
Cost: Free admission, food and drink tickets for purchase on site for $10 for strip of 14 tickets.
Windy City Smokeout
What: Where top country artists (Brett Eldridge, Midland, Ashley McBride and more) cross paths with some of the country’s top barbecue pit masters (Smoque BBQ, Myron Mixon, Peg Leg Porker, etc.) for three days of rollicking fun.
Where: Grand Avenue near the Chicago River (560 W. Grand)
When: July 13-15
Cost: Starting at $45
Pitchfork Music Festival
What: One of the country’s premiere musical gatherings featuring emerging and established indie rock, hip-hop and electronic acts. This year has a stellar lineup including Tame Impala, Fleet Foxes, The War on Drugs, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Raphael Saadiq, Moses Sumney, Syd, Earl Sweatshirt, Noname and the incomparable Chaka Khan.
Where: Union Park (1501 W. Randolph)
When: July 20-22
Cost: Starting at $75 for single-day tickets.
Support Group For Men
What: The world premiere of a comedy described as “a warm-hearted, witty and timely new comedy about who we are, who we thought we were, and who we can become” from playwright Ellen Fairey.
Where: Goodman Theatre
When: Through July 29
Cost: Starting at $35
Logan Square Stir Up
What: Come sip on some of the city’s best cocktails as Logan Square’s top bartenders square off in this live mixology competition hosted by cocktail bar Billy Sunday. Land & Sea Dept.’s Paul McGee (who heads up the bar programs at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel’s Game Room) will take one of the judge’s seats. Guests will also enjoy a complimentary Lost Lake cocktail upon arrival.
Where: Logan Square Auditorium
When: July 22, 4-8 p.m.