In the Loop
When the clock hits 5pm on Friday 2, we aren’t rushing home for once. Thanks to Looptopia—Chicago’s second annual dusk-till-dawn celebration of culture-—the business district will teem with afterhours revelry; a few hundred artists, dancers and musicians will perform. If you suddenly never want to leave your office area again—or at least, not until sun-up—here’s how you can do just that.
Start with a concert by local indie act Bang! Bang! at the Daley Plaza (5–5:30pm, Washington and Dearborn Sts). Now that you’ve bobbed your head to the beat, see the real dancing commence. Head down the street to Federal Plaza (corner of Adams and Dearborn Sts) for Hot Hands, a show of ESPN 2007 Salsa Champions (5:45–5:55pm).
Walk around the corner to DePaul Center (1 E Jackson Blvd at State St) to watch Young Chicago Authors present spoken-word artists in Louder Than A Bomb (6–7pm). Rest up for the long night in W Chicago City Center (172 W Adams St between LaSalle and Wells Sts), where you can play all the Xbox you can handle at Get Your Game Face On (6:30–9:30pm).
If you have kids in tow, and they’re starting to drop, stop by Funky Hats and Face Painting (Seventeenth Church of Christ, 55 E Wacker between Wabash and Michigan Ave), where reps from Chicago Children’s Museum will engage tots with arts and crafts (5–9pm). At 7:20pm, psychedelic lights and synths of pop group May or May Not beckon from Daley Plaza. If you’re more in the mood for classical music, check out the Windy City String Ensemble (First United Methodist Church, 77 W Washington St between Clark and Dearborn Sts) performing works by Vivaldi, Gorecki and Grieg (7:30–9pm).
In the final hour of sunlight, pass through Riverwalk Gallery (Riverwalk along Wacker Dr between State St and Michigan Ave) to see work by more than 80 emerging artists, presented by Around the Coyote (5–11pm).
White Hot Knife performs its new wave sound at Federal Plaza (9:30–10pm). As the evening activities wind down, be on the lookout for Cirque du Soleil as the group’s performers run around the Loop previewing their upcoming spectacle KOOZA Kite Action (5–10pm).
Now that it’s a totally inappropriate hour to be in a museum, feel like you’re doing something sneaky: At the Art Institute of Chicago (111 S Michigan Ave at Adams), take in a late-night viewing of the Impressionist rooms (10pm–1am). Then, in case you didn’t get your circus fill earlier, watch Midnight Circus perform at Daley Plaza (10–11pm).
The party’s just heating up, with music, wine and storytelling from theater group 2nd Story (11pm–1am) at Goodman Theater (170 N Dearborn St between Randolph and Lake Sts).
Ring in Saturday with video collective Look At Rubbish. Its Midnight Film Fest screens short flicks (midnight–5am) at DePaul Center. Soon after, vaudeville act the Weird Sisters takes to the stage of the historic Auditorium Theatre (12:30–1:20am, 50 E Congress Pkwy at Wabash Ave).
Stick around the theater for The Game Show Show and Stuff (2:50–3:40am), which promises games and prizes galore. Follow it up with the hilarity of sketch-comedy troupe The Cool Table performing at the theater in the wee hours (4–4:45am).
Aw, sunrise! Now that it’s light out, find out where everyone’s hiding during a huge game of hide-and-go seek in Millennium Park (55 N Michigan Ave at Washington St) presented by local arts venue Elegant Mr. Gallery (5–6am).
Get your second wind with complimentary treats from Dunkin Donuts and a Sunrise Retrospective at Millennium Park (7–8am), so that—if the sleep deprivation is getting to you—you can review all the crafts you made and the performances you saw over the long night. Now take your weary butt home.