Things to do in Chicago

Riot Fest, Zoo Brews: Things to Do in and Around Chicago This Weekend

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As the city winds down for summer and prepares to enter cooler months, Chicagoans still have time to enjoy a busy weekend of activities among the warmth and sunshine.

From Riot Fest and Craft Brews at Lincoln Park Zoo to taco and art festivals, there are plenty of ways to spend the weekend in and around Chicago.

Here are some things to do around the city this weekend:

Rock Out in Douglass Park at Riot Fest

Riot Fest music festival returns to Chicago this weekend, running through Sunday in the city's Douglass Park.

The music festival will feature a variety of rock, hip hop and indie artists, including Machine Gun Kelly, Morrissey, Smashing Pumpkins, Beach Bunny, Run the Jewels and The Flaming Lips, among others. Single-day tickets are still available at about $125.

Full lineup here.

Sip on a Craft Brew at Lincoln Park Zoo

Guests can sip on a craft beer while roaming Lincoln Park Zoo Saturday evening from 5 to 10 p.m. The tickets, ranging from $20 to $65 in price, provides three tasting tickets, as well as a souvenir glass.

Tickets available here.

Taste Tacos in Lake View

Sam Adams Lakeview Taco Fest brings local favorite bites and drinks to the Southport Corridor this Saturday and Sunday for it's eighth year.

The fest features beer and taco pairings, two live music stages, Mexican wrestlers and activities for kids, according to organizers. From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. both days, the taco fest runs on Southport between Addison and Roscoe.

Peruse Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park

On Division Street between Damen Avenue and Ashland Avenue in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, the Renegade Craft Fair will bring unique artwork on both Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Lineup of artists available here.

Explore Old Town's New HideSeek Museum

Old Town's new immersive museum is meant for people to "feel like a kid again" with a ball pit, slinky room and giant bean bag chairs, among other features.

Located at 1620 N. Wells St., HideSeek is open Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Stroll Through the Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden in suburban Glencoe is open this weekend from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., although the Rose Terrace closes at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Due to COVID-19 mitigations, all visitors must pre-register to walk through the gardens and wear a mask indoors if not vaccinated against the virus. Parking on the weekends is free for members and costs $30 for non-members.

Go on a Food Tour Around Chinatown

Chicago Food Tours offers a guided 3-hour long food tour through classic spots in the city's Chinatown neighborhood every Saturday and Sunday through October.

The tour includes five sit-down meals and tastings of foods like Hong Kong Dim Sum, spicy Szechuan and sweet milk egg tarts. Tickets cost $80 for adults and $50 for children over 6 years old.

Visit a Classic Chicago Museum

Chicago museums return to normal operational hours last weekend, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced, as part of Chicago's move to a full reopening.

Some museums will continue to have COVID-19 protocols in place, though. The Shedd Aquarium still asks that visitors purchase tickets in advance, but will no longer require vaccinated guests to wear masks.

Savor a Bite at Chicago Restaurants Indoors or Outside

Restaurants and bars across Chicago are allowed to return to full capacity in Phase 5, as well as allow for fully vaccinated guests to walk around without a face covering.

However, some establishments may opt to keep COVID-19 restrictions in place until further notice.

As Chicago expected sunny skies and warm temperatures this weekend, many could be on the hunt for places to wine and dine outdoors. The city is known for its foodie scene, filled with plenty of patios and rooftops.

Choose Chicago has offered up a list of places currently offering outdoor dining in Chicago. Here are some highlights:

Avli Taverna: 1335 W. Wrightwood Ave.
Beatrix Fulton Market: 834 W Fulton Market
Beatnik on the River: 180 N Upper Wacker Dr.
Aba: 302 N. Green St. 3rd Floor
Ema: 74 W Illinois St.
Mesler: 1401 E. 53rd St.
The Duck Inn: 2701 S. Eleanor St.
Theater on the Lake: 2401 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Beatnik on the River: 180 N. Upper Wacker Dr.
BOKA: 1729 N. Halsted St.
Formento's: 925 W. Randolph St.
Siena Tavern: 51 W. Kinzie St.
Offshore: 1000 E Grand Ave
Wood: 3335 N. Halsted St.
Happy Camper: 1209 N. Wells St.
Tzuco: 720 N. State St.
LuxBar: 18 E. Bellevue Pl.

Take a Trip South to See the Caverns Opening Weekend For First Time in Over 10 Years

Caverns in southern Illinois reopened to the public for the first time in over 10 years this summer, after being closed due to an abundance of caution, officials announced.

The southern attraction reopened as another spot for residents to enjoy as the state moved into Phase 5 of its coronavirus reopening plan. Until October, the caves will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Take a Swing at the Maggie Daley Park Miniature Golf Course

Maggie Daley Park’s 18-hole, Chicago-themed miniature golf course, and ribbon is open daily. In the summer, the ribbon is transformed to welcome scooter users, rollerbladers, and roller skaters. Weekend rentals are now available.

Pick Seasonal Produce at a City Farmers Market

Farmers markets across Chicago are welcoming residents back for the 2021 season into the fall. Scattered throughout the city, the markets are open at various times throughout the week.

Sail Down the Chicago River or Lake Michigan By Boat, Kayak

Take in the city's iconic architecture while sailing along the Chicago River on one of several boat tours. The 90-minute tours run every hour and a half and cost $40 for an adult and $18 for a child.

Due to COVID-19 mitigations, the Wendella boat tours require that passengers wear a face covering while on the vessel and practice social distancing.

Trying to see the city's skyscrapers from a new angle? Guided kayak tours and rentals give you a trip down the Chicago River into Lake Michigan.

Enjoy the Skyline While Relaxing on Chicago's Lakefront Beaches

Chicago beaches along Lake Michigan opened to the public with lifeguards on duty Memorial Day weekend, and have seen many residents heading over to enjoy the water.

The city's beaches were closed during the summer of 2020 in line with COVID-19 restrictions.

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