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Chicago Like a Local Blog

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

Category - Arts/Culture/Entertainment

Why go to see another run-of-the-mill movie when you can catch a live, world-class, kid-friendly show at a downtown theater for less than $8? The Exelon Family Series performances are designed for children ages 4–12 and hit the stage of the Harris Theater at 2 p.m. on Saturdays: that means you can spend a weekend afternoon with your whole family at the theater, complete with educational materials, discussion questions, and a "no hush" policy to allow for your young art lovers to experience the theater in their own way. You'll want to save some time to explore adjacent Millennium Park, too!

Chicago is the fabled city of big shoulders, big buildings and with a renowned foodie scene, big appetites. But at its core, this is really a city of neighborhoods and diverse ethnic communities. You can travel through dozens of countries and cultures of the world just by exploring Chicago neighborhoods and cultural institutions. The Chicago Cultural Alliance (CCA) serves as connector to 35 museums and cultural organizations representing 24 different neighborhoods and 28 different ethnic communities. Forget about airfare, you can discover China, Haiti, Puerto Rico and Ukraine all in a few days in Chicago.

Chicago's Year of Public Art rolls on with an exciting addition to the already amazing diversity of programs, talks, and of course, compelling new public art installations. Kerry James Marshall, the celebrated contemporary artist is bringing a massive new piece to the Chicago Cultural Center over the coming weeks — and at 132 by 100 feet — it will be nothing short of epic.

"Saturday Night Live: The Experience" opens on October 21 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications. The 12,000-square-foot installment takes you on a journey behind the scenes of the late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show that continues to be an American staple as it enters its 43rd season.

The American media image of Indian American culture focuses on curries, yoga gurus and Bollywood dancers, but there are many more aspects to discover. The Field Museum presents a fascinating glimpse with its exhibit, "Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation". Tracing the paths that many Indian immigrants took to the U.S., the exhibition displays the daily lives, achievements and varied cultural contributions of Indian Americans.

The leaves aren't the only thing changing in Chicago right now. Michigan Avenue is preparing for the opening of a flagship Apple store, and we're all planning out which identities we'll assume for Halloween festivities ahead of October 31. It finally feels as though we're settling into the brisker weather, so we're glad so many of this weekend's events are cozy, indoor ventures. 

Once a year, Chicago's closed-to-the-public architectural gems open their doors wide to welcome visitors from near and far. If you've ever dreamed of going behind-the-scenes, inside a Chicago masterpiece, you won't want to miss Open House Chicago, hosted by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. This free, two-day public event, held this year on October 14 and 15, offers access to our city's exclusive, magnificent mansions, skyscrapers, theaters, private clubs, industrial facilities, private offices and sacred spaces. While the open sites can be discovered in just about every neighborhood in the city, this year marks the first time that the Northwest Side neighborhood of Logan Square/Avondale will be joining the mix.

Halloween time in Chicago is filled fill plenty of slightly spooky fun for the whole family. From a not-so-scary haunted house to a ghostly cooking class, there is something for every little ghost and goblin. Here are seven kid-friendly must-dos this Halloween in Chicago.

Although your "get set, go" might have nothing to do with a course, there's still plenty to do in Chicago this weekend. A touch of rain in the forecast makes a great case for checking out one of these 10 shows you shouldn't miss this October, performances for the inaugural Chicago International Latino Theater Festival (showing at Steppenwolf and Victory Gardens Theatre) or the South Side Film Festival. Here are some other events in Chicago that should be on your radar. 

Even the most die-hard urbanologist could never possibly visit all of Chicago’s distinguished buildings in two, three, or four lifetimes. It would be a formidable task, indeed. Fortunately, there is a weekend of great repute that happens to afford wonderful access to over 200 buildings that would make any student of architecture envious.

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