things to do

Things to Do in Chicago Today

Wind down for the weekend with these local activities

Start the weekend off by enjoying the various events Chicago has to offer.

From cooling down with a drink to watching outdoor art installations, here are some local activities you can check out today:

Party With Penguins

The Shedd Aquarium is throwing "The Great Penguin Party" from 6:30 to 11 p.m.

At the 1920s-themed bash, guests can sip drinks from an open bar, munch on hors d'oeuvres and hear live music performed by the Alan Gresik Swing Orchestra throughout the aquarium.

While there is no dress code, the penguins will be — naturally — in tuxedos.

Tickets are available here.

Watch Art on theMart

Art on theMart is running its spring programming at 8:30 and 9 p.m. nightly. 

The artistic installation will display 30-minute video projections across the 25-story Merchandise Mart throughout June 29. 

Climate change is at the center of this year’s theme, which is presented in partnership with the Shedd Aquarium.

The Chicago Riverwalk, particularly the section between Wells Street and Franklin Street, offers the best views of the show. More information about the show is available here.  

Grab Drinks at Rooftop Bars

With the weather warming, many bars are taking their experiences to another, more elevated level.

Bars are opening up their rooftops, so guests can kick back with a drink, soak in the sun and catch prime views of the city ahead of summer's onset. 

Here's a list of 10 local rooftop bars that are open: 

  • Bar Avec
  • Ceris
  • Cindy’s
  • Kennedy Rooftop
  • Offshore
  • Raised
  • Tanta
  • Utopian Tailgate
  • Vu Rooftop Bar
  • Z Bar

Wander Through an Outdoor Art Exhibit

The Morton Arboretum’s new outdoor exhibition currently houses five soaring sculptures — collectively called “Human+Nature” — by artist Daniel Popper. 

Each sculpture draws parallels between a human figure and nature. The pieces range in height from 15 to 26 feet and are made of glass-reinforced concrete, wood, fiberglass and steel. 

Access to the exhibit is included with a timed-entry admission to the Morton Arboretum. Tickets are available here here

Promenade at a “Bridgerton” Ballroom Dance

Esteemed members of the Ton are invited to a soiree in Chicago. “The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience,” transformed the XS Tennis courts in the city into Regency-era London for fans of Netflix’s global hit.

The pop-up features immersive decor and costumes, Instagramable floral drapes, towering powdered wigs and a cast of royal actors for guests over 21 years old to enjoy.

Organizers also plan to have a live string quartet playing iconic tracks from the show, including a rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams.”

The immersive extravaganza will run for 90 minutes. Tickets are available here

Tour an Immersive Art Exhibit

“Immersive Frida Kahlo” opened Feb. 24 in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood and illustrates several stages of the Mexican-born artist's life on a grander scale with animated projections of her artwork set to music. 

Visitors can book a 35-minute yoga session with a certified instructor in the multi-sensory Kahlo exhibit, too. After class, guests can wander the exhibit for 25 minutes. The experience will be open until May 28. Tickets can be purchased here.

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