Macy's Great Tree

The weather may be getting colder, but hey, don't let that keep you from getting out and doing some really cool things! This weekend we have music, art, food and a Great Tree lighting. The Music Institute of Chicago has its fifth annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, the MCA hosts Holcombe Wallers "Wayfinders," Red Bull puts on its Art of Can exhibition, bellyQ hosts Ramenfest, and Marcus Samuelsson speaks at the Art Institute.

Last but not least, Ryan Seacrest and Lee DeWyze will be on hand at the 107th Macy's Great Tree Lighting ceremony on Saturday. Strap in - the holidays are soon upon us! 


Charlie Parker Jazz Festival

Celebrate the incredible career and influence of one of jazz music's most indelible figures at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, held for a fifth year by the Music Institute of Chicago. The festival opens with a rare performance of music on Friday from the legendary Bird with Strings recordings, with jazz veteran Charles McPherson (pictured) as saxophone soloist and Music Institute Artist in Residence Tammy McCann singing Easy Living and I Thought About You

Saturday's schedule includes a lecture and book signing with critic and author Stanley Crouch, and the festival concludes later that night with a Bebop Extravaganza. With Charles McPherson on sax and a Music Institute jazz faculty quintet, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is a treat for any music-lover.



This theatrically staged song cycle commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art integrates a 6-piece chamber ensemble with Waller Holcombe's vocal performance of a libretto about stories of navigation, orientation and travel. Looking to connect with others? Waller takes his interpretation of exploration to a radical place, making for an incredibly unique experience. Tickets are $28, $22 for museum members and just $10 for students!


RED BULL ART OF CAN 2014 (11/7-16)

The world's preeminent exhibition of Red Bull cans turned into works of art kicks off this weekend in Chicago. Red Bull Art of Can is a nationwide hunt for the most creative artists that used only Red Bull cans as their primary material, and whose work will be on display at a premium art exhibition at Millennium Park. Luckily, this art gallery is free to the public.



Macy's Tree

What? Is it Christmas already? Not quite, but it's time to unofficially kick off the holiday season with the 107th annual Great Tree Lighting at Macy's on State Street! Head to the historic Walnut Room to see 6,000 sparking LED lights come to life on the 45-foot Great Tree. This year, Ryan Seacrest and a 4-year-old Make-A-Wish® child will ring in the holidays, joined by "American Idol" winner Lee DeWyze, who'll be on hand to singa few songs.

For more on all of Macy's holiday festivities and events, visit their website.




Every college student's favorite delicacy, ramen has always generally been regarded as a quick and cheap dish. Now, ramen is taking the States by sotrm with authentic shops popping up all over the country. Chicago gets its turn to celebrate the beloved noodle dish with the inaugural Ramenfest at bellyQ this weekend. Owner and Executive Chef Bill Kim is gathering Chicago chefs such as Chef Lee Wolen (Boka) and Chef Jared Van Camp (Nellcôte) to prepare their culinary interpretations of the classic dish.



Chicago Humanities Festival Journeys

Celebrated chef Marcus Samuelsson returns to the Art Institute of Chicago this weekend, alongside photographer Dawoud Bey and curator Alison Fisher for a discussion of the changing social and cultural landscape in Harlem. Samuelsson, who has judged shows such as Top Chef, Iron Chef America and Chopped, opened his restaurant Red Rooster in Harlem in 2010. The conversation is part of programming surrounding the exhibition, The City Lost and Found: Capturing New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, 1960-1980. Purchase your ticket here!