Looking for the top events in Chicago this weekend? Well you're in the right place. Whether you're looking for booze fests, a place to shop, arcade bar or all of the above, Chicago is the place to be this weekend. Be one of the first to check out the opening of The Backroom pop-up bar at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel this Saturday. Or explore Northerly Island Park during Polar Adventure Days. It's time to make weekend plans.
Kicking off the weekend early, Navy Pier is jazzing up Thursday evenings at Tiny Tavern with a FREE jazz concert series starting tonight February 23 through April 6. The series will feature local jazz ensembles Cole D'Genova Quartet (March 2 & April 6), Kenthaney Redmon Quartet (February 23 & March 16), and Josh Ross Quartet (March 23 & 30). Performances begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 7 p.m. During the jazz sets, Tiny Tavern will offer guests complimentary appetizers with the purchase of a bottle of sparkling wine or champagne.
You can also check out the opening weekend of Romeo and Juliet (February 25-March 25) at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, part of their Short Shakespeare! series. Following the performance, the cast remains on stage for a question-and-answer session, then joins the audience in the lobby for conversation and photos. Also on stage: The Book of Joseph, a world premiere, and Love's Labor's Lost.
The Backroom | Pop-Up Bar Celebrates The Field Museum's New Exhibit
February 25-March 25
The Chicago Athletic Association hotel, The Field Museum, Johalla Projects and Land and Sea Dept. are excited to announce the opening of The Backroom: a pop-up bar experience in the hotel's ground floor Tank space (formerly the Chicago Athletic Association's pool). The bar will be open on Friday and Saturday nights from 5pm - midnight. The Backroom will feature free events that will give guests the rare opportunity to chat in person with leading experts in the fields of botany, zoology, geology, history, and more, all while enjoying cocktails from LSD beverage director Paul McGee. The bar will also offer late night programming until midnight following each workshop, like DJs, trivia, karaoke, and much more.
Chicago Vintage Clothing and Jewelry Show
February 24-25 // $5
Chicago Vintage Clothing and Jewelry is the first ALL vintage jewelry and clothing fashion event in Chicago. Nearly 50 vendors will bring their best vintage fashion inventory to showcase and sell: estate jewelry, designer clothes, costume jewelry, handbags, dresses, sweaters, shoes and accessories. On Friday night along with shopping, they'll have their first annual Vintage Prom with Rosie and the Rivets! Wear your finest vintage, enjoy the spiked punch, dance and shop!
Frost Fest Craft Beer Festival
February 25 // $10-$35
The 3rd annual Frost Fest is the Northalsted Winter Warm-up! This area known as one of Chicago's most dynamic entertainment districts offers this winter party as the cure for anyone's cabin fever, with activities for everyone! The fest features 50 local brewers serving their most famous craft beers in a 5,000 square foot HEATED tent! 2,000 attendees can dance the afternoon away with live music and sample up to 15 beers at one of two tasting sessions.
Polar Aventure Days at Northerly Island
February 25 // FREE
It's winter in Chicago — come out and enjoy it! Have fun while enjoying all the wonders of nature at the 12th annual Polar Adventure Days at Northerly Island. Explore and come face-to-face with live animals, engage in winter activities, and create nature-inspired crafts. Activities include seeing Siberian huskies, wolves, and other live animals, making nature-inspired winter crafts, sipping hot cocoa while strolling across the prairie and more.
Mardi Gras Crawl Through Rush & Division
February 25 // $11-$33
"The world's largest Mardi Gras bar crawl" (formerly at Navy Pier) is back and taking over the Gold Coast nightlife district around Rush & Division Streets. Tickets include admission, two free drink tickets, beads, masks and additional entertainment. Participating bars and restaurants include Original Mother's, Hangge-Uppe, She-Nannigan's, Lodge Tavern, Coconutz and Mother's Too.
Randolph Street Market
February 25-26 // FREE
This urban antique market in the historic West Loop neighborhood features 200 select purveyors of high quality, amazingly priced "finds", offering unlimited creative inspiration and hours of fun. Shoppers can find furnishings, vintage clothing, jewelry, collectibles, etc.
February 26 // $30 in advance | $40 at the door
Join the Emporium Arcade Bar in Wicker Park for their 5TH ANNIVERSARY, celebrating the dark goodness paired with vintage arcade games. This event was originally conceived as a way for craft beer drinkers, new and veteran, to explore dark beer. Darkside allows you to sample and explore some of the best dark beer on the market, some of which you may never see again!
For more to do, see our Ultimate Guide to Chicago Festivals which breaks down the biggest events of 2017 by month.