This week's free events | June 30-July 6
Nothing says summer quite like the week of the Fourth of July—fireworks, family activities, and outdoor fun abound. Independence Day is a day of guaranteed entertainment, but there's also tons of fun to go around in the city all week long (both patriotic and otherwise). So enjoy all Chicago has to offer for your ultimate summer extravaganza. Happy 4th!
Gold Coast Art Fair
10am-6pm, Grant Park (Butler Field)
Grant Park (and not the tony neighborhood) plays host to this 55th annual fest, which showcases the work of more than 350 juried artists.
Grant Park Music Festival: Golden Anniversary Choral Spectacular
7:30pm, Millennium Park (Pritzker Pavilion)
The Grant Park Chorus blows out 50 candles on the cake this year. The special performance, featuring artistic director–conductor Carlos Kalmar and chorus director Christopher Bell together on the podium, culminates in a performance of Carl Orff's ubiquitous and goose-bumping Carmina Burana. Stravinsky's Les Noces, Tormis's Raua Needmine and Eric Whitacre's lovely Cloudburst round out this strong program.
Movies in the Park
Dusk, various CPD locations
Grant Park movies are long gone, but the Chicago Park District has since picked up the slack with its neighborhood outdoor movie series. More than 100 local parks get their own big screen for a night or two. Tonight, travel to Paris with the Oscar-nominated Hugo at Gross Park, or sing along to your favorite songs at Chase Park's screening of Grease. "Grease Lightning," anyone? All movies begin at dusk.
Maxwell Street Market
7am-3pm, Desplaines & Roosevelt
This street market dates all the way back to 1900, when immigrant families would sell goods out of pushcarts. Today, the market has been moved and reestablished, however still remains an international experience of bargain hunting.
Independence Day Celebration
12-4pm, Richad H. Driehaus Museum
Happy birthday, America. Rejoice with a barbershop quartet on the Driehaus's stoop. Alongside crooners singing old-timey patriotic melodies, treats are served.
On Making Things Matter: Strategies for Preservation
12-9pm, SHoP (Southside Hub of Production)
As SHoP prepares to close Jul 31, artists including Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford, Hui-min Tsen, Alexander Stewart, Madeleine Bailey, Colleen Plumb, Edra Soto and Jim Duignan explore strategies for holding onto memories and experiences.
Lafayette Park: The Settlement of Shape
9am-5pm, Crown Hall @ IIT
Mies van der Rohe's pioneering Detroit residential complex Lafayette Park was a collaboration with the late landscape architect Alfred Caldwell and urban planner Ludwig Hilberseimer, who were also IIT professors. This exhibition's designs, models and documents trace its success as an urban-renewal project.
Downtown Sound: Joan of Arc + Daniel Knox
6:30pm, Millennium Park (The Pritzker Pavilion)
Self-taught pianist and songwriter Daniel Knox warms up Mill Park concertgoers before Chicago's own rockers Joan of Arc.
Just under your nose, butted up against sports pubs and forgettable watering holes, LOKaL Lounge is hosting cutting-edge DJ nights. Who knew? Tuesdays are one such night, when left-field lovers Abyss, Raj Mahal, Illiac and Cos gather to push buttons and boundaries as they spin house, hip-hop and off-kilter beats.
West Town Pup Crawl
6-10pm, bars in West Town
Fido no longer has to guilt you into walking him by flashing those puppy-dog eyes. Chill out with your pooch on outdoor patios at J. Patrick's, Clutch, Aberdeen Tap and the Matchbox. At this weekly event, each location offers food and drink specials.
Check your good judgment at the door at Hydrate's night of beats, boys and buck booze. DJ Laura B. provides the party jams.
Fourth of July Fireworks @ Navy Pier
9pm, Navy Pier
You didn't think we'd forgotten, did you? Navy Pier’s annual pyrotechnics show puts you in a summer state of mind with bright lights and loud noises. A patriotic soundtrack is synchronized to erupting fireworks.
Itasca's Fantastic Fireworks
4-11pm, Hamilton Lakes Office Campus
If you'd rather keep out of the city's chaos this Independence Day, no need to fret: You can still witness colorful explosions in the sky at one of Illinois’s largest fireworks displays. Live music starts around 6pm, and fireworks begin shooting around 9:30pm.
Loops and Variations
6:30pm, Millennium Park (The Pritzker Pavilion)
Winged Victory for the Sullen shares varied electronic sounds, and American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) opens with selections by composers Giacinto Scelsi and Andrew Norman.
9pm, The Scarlet Bar
Just try to find elbow room at this throwback to the house party days of college where beer pong, 20-ounce brews and hot boys ruled.
10am, Counter Culture Coffee Chicago
Java junkies and occasional sippers, come get your fix at these weekly tastings. Experts from the educational training center Counter Culture Coffee offer brewing demonstrations and samples.
9pm, SoFo Tap
Welcome to bearadise. Sofo wakes up the neighborhood with a smoking-hot night of woof-worthy men.