Green Mill

It's a joy to live in a city like Chicago, especially when it comes to outside-the-box entertainment options. Whether indoor or outdoor, art-focused or casual, family friendly or adult-themed, the array of social options available in this city is unbelievable. On this occasion, we're keeping it unique; choosing a few non-traditional Chicago adventures for your entertainment.

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Myopic Books (1564 N. Milwaukee Ave.)

Myopic Books at 1564 N. Milwaukee Avenue hosts a weekly improvised/experimental music session in their Wicker Park shop. Every Monday at 7:30 p.m. you can listen to new music or join the not-so-amateur musicians holding their own. Myopic Books is said to be "Chicago's longest running experimental music venue." Also, since this is an eclectic bunch, you can always simply peruse the store's excellent reading selections. 

Elastic Arts Foundation (2830 N. Milwaukee Ave.) 

The Elastic Arts Foundation, located at 2830 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square, presents music shows, multi-disciplinary performances, theater pieces, literary readings, art exhibitions and so much more. The organization encourages innovative, non-conventional artists and their work by providing a performance environment free from commercial restraints. 

Weeds Tavern (1555 N. Dayton Ave.) 

One of the longest running poetry nights in the city takes place at Weeds Tavern, located at 1555 N. Dayton Avenue at Weed Street. The open mic, hosted by Gregorio Gomez, has the reputation of not giving a flying hoot about who is best or giving out prizes. It's all about the joy of self-expression, as outlandish as that may be. Things get started at 10:00 p.m. and run until closing time. It's free and the invitation to participate is open to everyone. Creative heckling allowed!

Slampapi at The Green Mill (4802 N. Broadway St.)

The Green Mill isn't just known for its jazz, it's also world famous for its Sunday night poetry slam competition. This is a must for lovers of spoken word and rhythmical compositions. Since 1986 Marc Kelly Smith, known as "Slampapi," has hosted the weekly competition after the hour-long open mic portion. Smith says the night has "played to over 60,000 faces, tongues and pairs of ears." Become a statistic, just this once.

Reggie's Music Joint (2105 S. State St.)

Bring your favorite vinyl selections to Reggie's Music Joint "Wax On Wax Off" Wednesdays, where new and seasoned DJs and music fans who are interested in sharing their personal sounds get featured in 20 minute slots. The evening also includes a special guest host from Chicago's music community who encourages communication and inspiration between DJ and listener. 

Rhythm Revolution at Mozart Park (2036 N. Avers St.)

Rhythm Revolution seeks to connect people through music, specifically by facilitating drum classes, percussion performances and monthly drumming circles. They assure us that, "Drumming is just an extension of the basic beat of your own heart. Anyone can drum, and anyone can join a drum circle." They host their open drumming circle at Mozart Park at 2036 N. Avers the third Friday of the month from 7:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. 

Multiikulti (1000 N. Milwaukee Ave.)

Looking for a new creative outlet? MultiKulti at 1000 N. Milwaukee has a collective dark room, the Chicago Community Darkroom, for film and print development. Learn new techniques with fellow photographers, at all levels, who gather weekly to work and socialize via the art of capturing and producing images. 

Feeling more adventurous? Let's add fire and dancing to that drum circle. These pop-up events usually include glow sticks and hula hoops aside from the fire-breathing contortionists twirling batons. The monthly live performances, usually near the end of the month and weather permitting, are known with a quick online search as the Full Moon Fire Jam and take place near the Foster Beach area at dusk.

Written by: Sandra Trevino for Arte y Vida Chicago