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Chicago Like a Local Blog

Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.

Posts from August 2017

Another Labor Day rolls around, but Chicago holds on to summer as long as it possibly can. We’ve written a guide to most of the festivals happening around town this weekend, such as the African Festival of the Arts, Taste of Polonia, the North Coast Music Festival and more. Of course, don’t miss out on the fireworks at Navy Pier. Here's our roundup of things to do in Chicago this weekend!

With more than 250 theater companies, Chicago is known across the world for its large and vibrant theater community. Add a theater performance (or two!) to your Chicago itinerary—plus, experience many shows on a budget with half-price theater tickets from Hot Tix! From Broadway musicals to intimate dramas to sidesplitting comedies, every night you can choose from dozens of shows, including these top plays with discount tickets during the month of September:

A morning of traipsing around the city of Chicago calls for a relaxing, tea-filled afternoon. A hot pot of your favorite blend and savory and sweet treats are the perfect follow-up to a hectic museum or zoo visit. Here are three outstanding non-hotel afternoon teas in Chicago that pair well with a morning museum of zoo adventure.

The Art Institute of Chicago always knows how to bring together artists in ways that are thoughtful and whimsical, inviting conversations across artistic styles, periods and mediums. Currently, there are two adjacent exhibits that bring together the work of Saul Steinberg and Cauleen Smith, and they are both delightful.

Bookworms big and small will want to make a beeline to Chicago's brand-new, amazing American Writers Museum (AWM) and its Children’s Literature Gallery. As the first and only museum of its kind in the nation, this word-filled museum celebrates diverse American writers while also exploring their influence on our cultural identity.

If you're raising a reader, here are seven things kids can see and do at the must-visit American Writers Museum.

The sounds, flavors and fashions of the African diaspora will transform Washington Park into a lively African village during the 28th annual African Festival of the Arts.  The fest offers visitors the chance to travel through African culture with art, film, food, fashion and music that represents a diversity of traditions and history. Divided into pavilions and villages including Nubia for fine art, Timbuktu for fashion and Bank of the Nile for the food court, the African Festival of the Arts is an explosion of sensory experiences.

Arrive early to grab a spot near the Dee Parmer Woodtor main stage and check out these dynamic acts at the 2017 African Festival of the Arts.

Hamilton is the hottest ticket in Chicago. Ever since it hit the stage of the PrivateBank Theatre last year, fans have been holding their breath, searching high and low, and trying to find a golden ticket of their very own. While you can now book Hamilton Chicago tickets online, they are at price point that might just break your bank account, and until now, the hard-to-win online lottery has been the only way to secure affordable tickets. But beginning on Sunday, August 27, there's a new, easier way to enter the musical HAMILTON's popular lottery: the brand new HAMILTON app.

The end of the summer season pushes many locals to grab every last drop of outdoor fun and on Labor Day weekend, that means soaking up sublime rhythms at the Chicago Jazz Festival. This free event will fill the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park with an impressive line-up of international, national and local artists from a broad spectrum of jazz categories. Consider these Jazz Fest highlights during the last days of summer.

Like much of pre-19th Century Chicago, Ravenswood (once part of Lakeview Township) was inhabited by various Native American tribes. Modern day Clark street was once an important trail, named Green Bay Trail, that led to Green Bay, Wisconsin.  By the mid-1800s, Chicago was growing and the population was booming. Real estate planners sought ways to make a buck while offering residents an escape fro the hustle and bustle of the city.  Many of our city’s neighborhoods developed in this fashion, and Ravenswood—which was to become the home to Chicago brewery Band of Bohemia—was a first of its kind. 

As August cruises toward an end, we’re taking advantage of some of the last summertime street festivals and outdoor events in Chicago. If you don’t catch us running around these events in Chicago this weekend, you might find us eating alfresco on one of these off-the-path patios or indulging in these desserts unique to the city. Header photo credit: lizzyfay.com 

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