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Contact: Cole Schrand, Coordinator, Media Relations

What’s New and Happening in Chicago – Summer/Fall 2019

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (August, 2019) – As one of the top urban destinations in the world, Chicago continues to impress with new world-class hotels, groundbreaking exhibits and exciting food experiences. This fall, discover Chicago’s unique architectural legacy at the Chicago Architectural Biennial or tantalize your taste buds with a variety of celebrity chefs at Chicago Gourmet. Check out what’s new and happening in summer and fall 2019 below, and visit for more information.


Opened in summer 2019, Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown South Loop and Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown South Loop offers guests convenient access to the largest convention center in the country, McCormick Place, as well as Soldier Field, Grant Park, the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and more. The hotel features floor-to-ceiling windows with many rooms offering spectacular Grant Park and lakeshore views. The hotel has a shared 24-hour business center, fitness center and indoor pool for guests to unwind and relax. The property also offers flexible meeting space that can accommodate up to 85 people. In addition to the complimentary breakfast, the hotel features Mei’s, a refined Asian eatery open to both guests and the public. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers a menu of small plates curated to provide a balance of tastes, textures, fragrances and colors.

Set to open in winter 2019, the 21c Museum Hotel combines a 297-room boutique hotel, a multi-venue contemporary art museum and an independently branded, chef-driven restaurant in downtown Chicago. Building on the founders’ mission to bring contemporary art to the public through innovative exhibitions and programming that integrates art into daily life; 21c Museum Hotel will feature over 10,000 sq.-ft. of exhibition, meeting and event space showcasing rotating curated exhibitions, interactive site-specific art installations and a roster of cultural programming based on collaborations with local and national arts organizations. Welcoming local residents and visitors alike, the museum will be open to the public free of charge, 365 days a year. The property will also feature a unique, chef-driven food and beverage concept, full-service spa, business center and fitness center.

Offering 115 stylishly appointed guest rooms and suites, Nobu Hotel Chicago is centrally located in Chicago’s West Loop Neighborhood and famed “Restaurant Row.” Nobu Hotel Chicago allows guests to enjoy an unmatched luxury dining experience. Indulge in new-style Japanese cuisine at the 10,000 sq.-ft world renowned Nobu Restaurant on the ground level or experience ‘Nobu on the Roof’ complete with elegant indoor and outdoor bar space looking out onto Randolph Street. The hotel is scheduled to open fall 2019.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is transforming Chicago’s old Cook County Hospital into a dual-branded Hyatt House HotelHyatt Place, accompanied by medical office and retail space. The 14-story, 167,000 sq.-ft., 200-room development will be the first hotel in the Fulton Market district to cater to extended-stay corporate travelers. Amenities will include an indoor pool, green roof, fitness center, bar and lounge. The hotels are slated to open in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

The Hyatt House Chicago/West Loop – Fulton Market opened June 2019 across the street from the McDonald’s headquarters. This 14 story property offers 200 guest rooms, a rooftop pool, ground floor retail space and is conveniently located in Chicago’s famed “Restaurant Row”.

Jewelers Building Hotel, a 39-room boutique hotel is planned for the historic Jewelers Building on Jewelers Row in the Loop. The 137-year-old building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a city landmark. Completed in 1882, the Jewelers Building is the only example of the early work of famed Chicago architecture firm Adler & Sullivan left in the Loop. The facade will be preserved as much as possible, with soundproof windows installed to muffle the rumblings of the nearby ‘L’ train. The hotel will also plan for retail and restaurant tenants. Jewelers Building Hotel is expected to open in 2020 and will be managed by an undisclosed San Francisco-based hotel operator.

The Reserve Hotel, a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, will be a 234-room luxury hotel occupying the top five floors of the former Continental Bank building, which currently houses the JW Marriott Chicago on the first 12 floors. The Reserve Hotel began construction in late 2018, and is expected to open in late 2020. With its location in a historic office building in the heart of Chicago’s financial district and next door to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the design, finish and artwork throughout The Reserve Hotel will reflect the building’s history and the story of the LaSalle Street financial district.

The Vista Tower has recently taken the spot as the third largest building in Chicago. When completed, this Jeanne Gang-designed building will house the Wanda Vista Hotel, a 192 room contemporary hotel located in the low-rise portion of the tower. The hotel is scheduled to open October 2020 in the New East Side neighborhood.

Scheduled to open in 2021, the 58-story Equinox will have 165 hotel rooms and 370 residential units in the West Loop. It will include an on-site fitness club and parking for 150 vehicles accessible via Court Place.


Bobby’s Bike Hike – Combining health, history, and a whole lot of food, Bobby’s Bike Hike is offering a revamped “Bikes, Bites & Brews Tour – Westside Foodie Ride”, in addition to their other biking, walking, and food tours. Participants will bike through iconic Chicago neighborhoods such as Fulton Market, Ukrainian Village, and Wicker Park while learning about how immigration has shaped the city’s diverse, cultural landscape. As the tour name implies, this history is anything but dry. Participants will sample craft beer and burgers at Kuma’s Corner, decadent “sipping chocolate” from Cocoa & Co, delicious tacos from Antique Taco (ranked among the top 50 taco establishments in the country), and finish off with a special “Chicago Handshake” of Malört from Bucktown Pub. During the summer, Bobby’s Bike Hike offers this tour every day starting at 12 p.m., lasting four hours. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, this tour is offered at 12 p.m. as well as at 12:30 p.m.

Chicago’s first Topgolf Swing Suite is now open at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel opens. Rooted in the building’s rich history of athletics and spirited play, the hotel offers the most advanced indoor golf and interactive gaming simulators, available for its hotel guests and local neighbors alike. Located on the hotel’s second floor and operated by acclaimed Chicago-based restaurant group Land and Sea Dept., Topgolf Swing Suite offers a full food and beverage menu, ranging from playful takes on street food favorites to new, high-end offerings.  The suite is available daily for walk-ins from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., accommodating up to eight guests at a time for $100/hour. Walk-ins can book a time slot with Game Room’s Game Master, located on the hotel’s second floor.

Chicago Detours has redesigned their popular Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour to step inside the Gilded Age mansion that is now Lawry’s restaurant. This educational pub crawl tour shows a secret side to Michigan Avenue. Guests get to see opulent architecture, now including the hidden architectural details on the outside of Lawry’s. On this new tour stop, guests step inside to hear more history while enjoying a glass of wine or Lawry’s signature “Brown Gown Ale,” and taste house-made potato chips deliciously doused in Lawry’s famous seasoning. Located just a block off Michigan Ave, this building also once held a theater with quirky performances. This new revised tour is available year-round, five nights a week.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic masterpiece, the Frederick C. Robie House, re-emerged fully restored on March 29, 2019. The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust’s historic $3 million interior restoration reveals Wright’s original 1910 vision. Considered one of the 20th century’s most significant buildings, Robie House is the consummate expression of Wright’s Prairie style of architecture and a showcase of his groundbreaking architectural philosophy. Conceived as an integral whole, where site and structure, interior and exterior, furniture, ornament and architecture come together, the residence is the most forward-looking of Wright’s Prairie homes. The restored spaces brilliantly reflect Wright’s concept of a dwelling place as a work of art. The Frederick C. Robie House has recently been inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is among one of 24 sites on the list located in the U.S.

Tastebuds’ Chicago Food and History Tour explores the city’s downtown Loop area. The three- hour tour guides you to six restaurants and shops serving up Chicago’s iconic cuisine providing more than enough to be considered dinner! Think along the lines of: Al’s Italian Beef, Billy Goat Tavern Cheezborger, Chicago Kernel, Pizano’s Deep Dish Pizza, Fannie May, In-Field’s Chicago Style Hotdog and/or the Goddess and the Baker. The tour also highlights non-food-related history and landmarks like the Art Institute, works of Louis Comfort Tiffany at Chicago Cultural Center and Macy’s. Tickets are $64.50 (including all food and water), offered Monday-Sunday and can be purchased at

Untouchable Tours – Chicago’s Original Gangster Tour now offers their Gangster Tour daily. Their guides present an accurate account of the activities in Chicago during the 1920’s and 1930’s Prohibition Era. Guests can expect to learn about the exploits of Capone, Moran, Dillinger and the rest of the boys. Key sites included on the tour are the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, the Biograph Theater and the Holy Name Cathedral.


Located in the heart of Wrigleyville, the group behind Happy Camper in Old Town, Paradise Park in Wicker Park and Homeslice in Lincoln Park have opened a second Happy Camper location. Boasting three outdoor patios, this location will be an ideal spot for Cubs fans to frequent before and after games. Opening summer 2019, this location will offer the same menu items as the Happy Camper in Old Town.

DineAmic Hospitality’s new project, Bandit, is located in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago. A polished-casual restaurant and bar that combines the charm and character of a local watering hole/neighborhood bar, with the sophistication and quality of an upscale, chef-driven restaurant. The design of Bandit is a juxtaposition of rustic materials, vintage paraphernalia, and polished décor. It is lowbrow meets high style; glamour meets grit with warm ambient twinkle lights, combined with edgy neon bar signs creating an inviting feel to the restaurant. Nostalgic, “divey” elements are harmoniously married to elevated attributes throughout the concept in both look and feel, as well as the food and drink presentation. The menu is comprised of eclectic American comfort food with Executive Chef Shane Graybeal behind the creation of the dishes. Chef Graybeal brings his rustic American style of cooking to Bandit with an emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients. The restaurant opened in June 2019.

Chef Michael Taus of Charlie Trotter’s, Zealous and Taus Authentic opens his new venture, City Hall. Located in the West Loop neighborhood, Chef Taus is crafting craveable and elevated pub fare in this 20,000 + sq.-ft. venue. This freestanding, fully renovated brick and timber building offers patrons soaring, 40-foot-high ceilings, designed to celebrate the architectural ethos of the vibrant West Loop neighborhood. High-energy classic rock and pop from the ‘60s through the ‘90s is City Hall’s soundtrack, with DJs playing various evenings.

Dirty Root is an all-day, fast-casual restaurant that will focus on customizable bowls featuring whole, nutrient-dense, seasonal ingredients. Dirty Root will be led by Culinary Director, Justin Milius (The Purple Pig, BalenaFrasca Food & Wine, Plumpjack) and is inspired by the idea of ‘better-for-you food’ and being transparent about where ingredients are sourced. The quick-service restaurant will highlight fresh ingredients from local farmers and purveyors in a grab-n-go setting where guests can ‘create-their-own-adventure’ with choices of three house made bases, vegetable-centric sides and a variety of proteins and flavorful sauces. Co-founded by Matt Dobleman, a former finance lawyer, and Connor Lacy, a former accountant/consultant, the duo is pleased to announce their first restaurant concept, has opened its doors on Chicago’s bustling “Restaurant Row”.

Chicago’s eaters and drinkers get a highly-anticipated tropical destination in River North this week. Industry stars and married couple Liz Pearce and Jonathan Meyer debuted Flora Fauna in the former Bohemian House space; in hopes of giving downtowners a casual restaurant and bar to relax and indulge in drinks and dishes inspired by their travels to Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean.

Cafe and retailer, Foxtrot, is opening a new location in Old Town later this summer, and staff plan to roll out a completely updated cafe menu (including a few old favorites) with items prepped at their commissary and made-to-order in the store. Additional Foxtrot outposts are located in the West Loop, Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, and the Southport corridor. The Old Town location will also have a walk-up window for coffee, breakfast tacos and more.

Galley Group, the team behind the innovative food hall and restaurant accelerator concepts in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit, have launched their culinary concept, Fulton Galley. Located in Chicago’s Fulton Market, the 12,000 sq.-ft. space will have a 30-seat bar featuring an innovative cocktail program and curated craft beer lineup, as well as a cozy private dining space. New chefs will rotate in on a regular basis. Each chef will receive a fully built-out kitchen, front of house staff, and more, so that they are able to focus solely on launching their new concept and gaining a loyal following. The first five concepts to open inside of Fulton Galley are: Taco Mucho from Ron Aleman, Pink Salt by Palita Sriratana, Steingold’s Deli from Aaron Steingold, Italianette by Gerad Gobel and Alexis Rorabaugh and Fairview by Dennis Bernard.

The Gwen has partnered with James Beard Award-winning chef Carrie Nahabedian and Michael Nahabedian to open Kostali, a Southern European and North African style restaurant scheduled to open this fall. The restaurant will combine the Nahabedian’s many years in the hospitality industry — including restaurants like NAHA, Brindille, as well as The Ritz-Carlton and The Four Seasons hotels. The restaurant will be located in the former location of Circa, which will soon begin renovations.

Eric Zhou, owner of Chicago dumpling darling Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings in Chinatown is preparing to debut his second outlet. JIAO, a quick-serve spinoff of QXY, which is known for its soupy, hand-pressed, Northern Chinese-style dumplings will open in September 2019 in the Loop.

Multi-James Beard Award-winning Chef-Partner Tony Mantuano and legendary Cubs Manager Joe Maddon have opened Maddon’s Post, a modern, all-day Italian and Polish-inspired restaurant. Located just steps from Chicago’s historic Wrigley Field, Maddon’s Post brings playful, heartfelt dishes shaped by Mantuano and Maddon’s first-generation heritages, plus approachable global wines, and family-friendly brunch to the heart of the growing Lakeview neighborhood. Drawing from Chef Tony’s Italian heritage and Maddon’s Polish roots, Maddon’s Post Executive Chef Aaron Thebault and Mantuano have re-created an array of storied dishes, inspired by memories from Maddon’s childhood, like hand-folded pierogi. Mantuano and Maddon have designed Maddon’s Post to be a year-round destination for the neighborhood, especially for parents, kids and large groups on Chicago’s North Side.

In its fifth year of operation, Moody Tongue Brewing Company will be adding a world-class fine-dining restaurant and all-new high-design tasting room to open within their new South Loop headquarters this summer. Bringing on longtime friend of the brewery and nine-time Michelin star chef, Jared Wentworth (Mordecai, Heisler Hospitality, Dusek’s Board & Beer, Longman & Eagle) will help Moody Tongue Brewing Company continue their mission to thoughtfully elevate the intersection of food and beer. The new restaurants will include The Dining Room at Moody Tongue, an intimate fine-dining restaurant featuring a 10-course hyper-seasonal tasting menu expertly paired with a selection of Moody Tongue beers, and The Bar at Moody Tongue, an entirely fresh take on the brewing company’s existing high-design tasting room.

Offshore Rooftop & Bar is the nation’s largest rooftop venue that sits on the third floor of Navy Pier’s Festival Hall and offers panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline. This stunning, chic 36,000 sq.-ft. all-seasons/all-weather venue offers guests a full-service luminous bar and world-class kitchen, with a 20,000 sq.-ft. terrace, along with seven cozy fire pits, an entertainment and gaming area, and more. The team behind Offshore, in partnership with ACRON Group, includes Bob Amick of 2 Renegades and the James Beard nominated Concentrics Restaurant Group, and Robert Habeeb of Maverick Hotels and Restaurants, the company leading the massive hotel project coming to Navy Pier in 2020. Culinary direction for Offshore is led by Executive Chef Michael Shrader, a protégé of Jeremiah Tower who is credited as a pioneer in California cuisine.

Philz Coffee, a San Francisco-based company with a loyal following, has opened its first Chicago location in the Wicker Park neighborhood. Philz will also open Chicago locations in Hyde Park, Lincoln Park, and suburban Evanston in that order.

Since the opening of Pink Taco in early 2018, the restaurant has expanded with a renovation to the 2nd floor. The fun new Dia de los Muertos-themed space can accommodate seating for an additional 100 guests. The space features a bar offering the full cocktail menu and a private dining area that can seat up to 30 guests.

Lettuce Entertain You opened Pizzeria Portofino directly on the Chicago riverfront. The restaurant is a sun-drenched casual pizzeria that instantly transports the guest to the Riviera, offering expansive patio seating on its 130 ft. outdoor terrace. Expect hand-stretched pizzas, vegetable antipasti, and artisan pasta coupled with a robust spritz program and approachable coastal wines. The all-day restaurant will offer lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends in a lively and fun atmosphere for all to enjoy.

Politan Row Chicago is the new food hall from founder Will Donaldson which debuted May 2019 in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. Donaldson, also runs the popular food halls St. Roch Market New Orleans, Auction House Market New Orleans and St. Roch Market Miami. Politan Row Chicago will offer all-day dining, counter-side service and a variety of seating options allowing guests to dine, grab a drink, work or simply relax. Politan Row will feature a thoughtfully curated selection of 12 local chef-driven concepts including Sandra Holl, Chris Reed and Yosi Alhadif. New to Politan Row is Bar Politan, an inviting craft cocktail bar anchoring the center of the space, and Perle, a German-inspired, outdoor beer garden and the brand’s first standalone beverage concept. Housed in a sleekly designed matte-black shipping container, Perle will feature a selection of German beers on draft as well as seasonal German wine on tap.

With panoramic views of the Chicago River, RPM On The Water will open this fall from the RPM team of partners including R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, acclaimed chef Doug Psaltis and celebrity couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic. Designed by award-winning architecture and design firm Rockwell Group, the restaurant includes floor-to-ceiling windows, a second-floor mezzanine with two private terraces and a spacious main floor patio, all providing a waterfront backdrop from practically every vantage point. Building on the culinary successes of RPM Italian and RPM Steak, RPM On The Water features the truest expression of the world’s best fish and seafood paired alongside the brand’s well-established steak program, award-winning wine lists and impeccable service.

The Roosevelt Collection Shops will be bringing Chef Chad Rosenthal’s (Food Network Star: Seasons 9 and 10, Chopped Grill Masters) The Lucky Well to the South Loop. They will focus on barbecue, top-shelf whiskey and classic craft cocktails, and a live blues atmosphere. While researching the city, Rosenthal visited a number of local barbecue joints and legendary blues stages; he’s committed to making the restaurant a genuine coming-together moment of the iconic atmosphere of Chicago blues and delicious cuisine. In keeping with Philly-born Rosenthal’s love of his hometown, the restaurant will include design elements from old churches, schools, and other vintage items acquired through a partnership with Philadelphia Salvage Company.

Chicago will soon be home to Time Out Market, the food and cultural market bringing the best chefs, drinks and cultural experiences, based on editorial curation. Time Out Market Chicago includes chefs Brian Fisher, Thai Dang, Jimmy Bannos Jr., Zoe Schor and more. Time Out Market Chicago will serve an incredibly diverse range of cuisines which will make it affordable and accessible for all. Set to open in the second half of 2019 and located in a unique stand-alone brick building in the heart of the Fulton Market District, Time Out Market Chicago will offer a curated mix of 18 eateries, three bars and a demo kitchen. But this is not just about food and drinks; there will also be cooking classes with top chefs, cultural experiences and more.

Tortello is a classic family-owned pastificio (fresh pasta shop) and casual dining experience located Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Inspired by the classic pastificio found in many Italian towns, Tortello boasts a handmade pasta program where sfoglinas (pasta makers)— trained by a 65-year-old sfoglina from Puglia, Italy— can be seen crafting a variety of daily fresh “nonna-style” pasta by hand as guests dine. The open kitchen provides a firsthand glimpse of Italian culinary artistry while a pasta-making station set behind a large storefront window gives passersby a playful view into the heart of Tortello’s “made with love” pasta shop. Opened summer 2019.

Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim, fresh off winning the James Beard award for Best Chef: Great Lakes for their work at Parachute — the couple’s Michelin-starred Korean restaurant in Avondale — will open their second restaurant in summer 2019. After teasing their plans last year, Kim and Clark now reveal that Wherewithall will be an all-day restaurant serving breakfast pastries, a-la-carte lunch, and a four-course prix-fixe dinner located in the Avondale neighborhood. The restaurant will include a bar with snacks that pair well with wine, a courtyard and a private dining room.


The Hotel Chicago West Loop has announced a partnership with Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, the global leader in physical medicine and rehabilitation for adults and children with the most severe, complex conditions, to showcase more than 30 pieces of art by patients with functional impairments. The special exhibit made its official debut February 26, 2019, at the boutique hotel’s cultural gallery, The Annex. Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Showcase is being exhibited in one of the hotel’s gallery wings where it will remain on public view until September 2019. The exhibit temporarily joins The Annex’s 100-piece Permanent Collection of 2-D media that occupies all the hotel’s public spaces, and its renowned street murals by local urban artists that now cover six guestroom walls.

The Art Institute of Chicago presents The People Shall Govern! Medu Art Ensemble and the Anti-Apartheid Poster April 27 to September 2, 2019. The Medu Art Ensemble formed in the late 1970s in opposition to South Africa’s apartheid policy of racial segregation and violent injustice. The People Shall Govern! is the first-ever exhibition on Medu in North America and will feature amongst its 130 objects more than 60 posters by members of the ensemble and related markers which were all recently acquired by the Art Institute of Chicago. With this recent acquisition, the Art Institute is home to the most comprehensive holding of these vibrant works outside South Africa.

Art Institute of Chicago welcomes the Manet and Modern Beauty exhibit. The first Chicago exhibition of Édouard Manet’s work in more than 50 years—and the first to concentrate on the artist’s late career in the 1870s and early 1880s— showcases Manet’s evolution as an artist who drew inspiration from the fleeting vagaries of contemporary fashion to capture the distinctly modern and eminently artificial beauty of his time. Through over 70 paintings, pastels, and works on paper, Manet and Modern Beauty illustrates the late flowering of Manet’s talent as he put his work, ever responsive to the moment, under the sign of contemporary femininity. This exhibit runs until September 8.

Andy Warhol – From A To B and Back Again is the first US retrospective of Andy Warhol since 1989—reconsiders the work of one of the most inventive, influential, and important American artists. This Art Institute of Chicago exhibit reveals new complexities about the artist we think we know and introduces a Warhol for the 21st century. Featuring more than 300 works, the exhibition positions Warhol’s career as a continuum, demonstrating that he didn’t slow down after surviving the assassination attempt that nearly took his life in 1968 but entered into a period of intense experimentation. The exhibit runs from October 20, 2019 – January 26, 2020.

The Chicago Architecture Biennial announced that its 2019 edition, titled …and other such stories, will form an expansive and multi-faceted exploration of the field of architecture and the built environment globally. Developed through a research-led approach, the biennial will address the potency of space, architecture, and the natural world as they relate to four areas of inquiry: No Land Beyond, Appearances and Erasures, Rights and Reclamations, and Common Ground. The Biennial, which is free and open to the public across all citywide locations, will return September 19, 2019 and run through January 5, 2020. Press and professional previews will take place September 17 to 18, 2019.

The curtain lifts, a hush falls over the audience, and design takes center stage. Objects from more than 50 of Chicago’s storefront theaters, Tony Award-winning companies, back-of-the-bar comedy shows and improve troupes star in the Design Museum of Chicago’s new exhibition, “Setting the Stage: Objects of Chicago Theatre.” This design-focused show is part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, a citywide, year-long focus presented by the Chicago Mayor’s office, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the League of Chicago Theatres. Visitors will learn about the many design decisions and creative processes that translate text and ideas into each set piece, costume, lighting display and prop appearing in Setting the Stage. Objects in the show are generously loaned to the museum from participating local theaters. Opened summer 2019.

EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, is presented by Art Expositions, LLC at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, and hosts more than 135 leading International exhibitors representing 24 countries and 68 cities presented alongside one of the highest quality platforms for global contemporary art and culture. EXPO CHICAGO 2019 will kick off Thursday, September 19 with Vernissage, the opening-night benefit and preview of EXPO CHICAGO hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago’s Women’s Board. The exposition will continue through Sunday, September 22. Now in its eighth year as a leading international art exposition, EXPO CHICAGO offers strong, diverse programming including /Dialogues in partnership with the School of the Art Institute Chicago, IN/SITU, IN/SITU Outside, the Curatorial Forum, the Art Critics Forum, Special Exhibitions and OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project. Under the leadership of President and Director Tony Karman, EXPO CHICAGO draws upon the city’s rich history as a vibrant international cultural destination, while highlighting the region’s contemporary arts community and inspiring its collector base.

Fantastic Bug Encounters!, the Field Museum’s newest exhibition, gives visitors a peek into the hidden world of bugs. Through larger-than-life models and hands-on interactives, visitors will discover how bugs’ incredible adaptations—from flight to camouflage to performing “brain surgery” on prey—are changing the world. Fantastic Bug Encounters! will even feature a live bug zoo where visitors will be able to see (and even hold) bug species from around the world. The exhibition, presented in both English and Spanish, is included with either a Discovery or All-Access Pass. Fantastic Bug Encounters! Runs until April 19, 2020. Please visit bugs for exhibition updates.

Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago presents The Black Harvest Film Festival, the Midwest’s largest- and longest-running Black film festival, celebrates its 25th anniversary from August 3 to 29, 2019. The Gene Siskel Film Center’s most vibrant annual showcase features provocative films that tell stories, spark lively discussions and address issues relating to the experiences from the African diaspora. Black Harvest features Chicago premieres, filmmaker appearances, panel discussions and special events. Presented are a combined total of over 60 features, documentaries and shorts, including a number connected to Chicago, affirming the city’s role as a vital center for independent filmmaking.

On display from September 22, 2019 – January 12, 2020, at Illinois Holocaust Museum, Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross highlights rare, unearthed photographs that reveal the tragedy and devastation of Ghetto life during the Holocaust. An experienced photojournalist, Henryk Ross was assigned to take official identification photographs for the Nazi-controlled Jewish Administration and risked his life to capture powerful photos of Jewish life in the Lodz Ghetto from 1940 to 1944. There will be nearly 300 of Ross’ photos on display in this exhibit.

Roosevelt Collection, the mixed-use lifestyle center in Chicago’s South Loop will be reopening the U.S. Pizza Museum exhibit. The museum features Founder Kendall Bruns’ personal collection of pizza-themed memorabilia in exhibits on the history of pizza in America (including New York, Chicago, and other prominent pizza cities). The museum has been remodeled and reimagined to better tell stories about how pizza became America’s favorite food. New items on display include vintage pizzeria menus and advertisements, a 10-foot-tall Pizzeria Due sign that hung outside the restaurant in the 1980s, a Pizza Hut Electric Baking Oven from 1975 that allowed children to make pizza at home, and Forever Pizza, a real slice of pizza preserved in acrylic by artist Steph Mantis.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech,” the first museum exhibition devoted to the work of the genre-bending artist and designer Virgil Abloh (American, b. 1980). Abloh pioneers a practice that cuts across media and connects visual artists, musicians, graphic designers, fashion designers, and architects. The exhibition is open now through September 22, 2019.

The Oriental Institute (OI) of the University of Chicago commemorates 100 years of pioneering research and study of the earliest human civilizations in the ancient Middle East. The OI houses one of the world’s largest collections of Middle Eastern artifacts outside of the British Museum and the Louvre, with more than 350,000 objects mainly excavated by OI archaeologists and some 5,000 on display to the public at the OI Museum. The OI Museum is undergoing a multi-million-dollar gallery renovation that will be unveiled in conjunction with the Centennial celebration launching in September 2019. Additional OI Centennial programming throughout the 2019–20 academic year will include new OI Museum exhibits, artistic performances, academic conferences, visual art exhibitions, and a film series. For more information and the most up-to-date schedule of events, visit

Plastic straws. Index cards. Rubber bands. Artist and MacArthur “genius” Tara Donovan transforms the modernist galleries of the Smart Museum of Art on the South Side with an exhibition of elaborate, mind-bending objects made from mundane materials. On view June 14–September 22, 2019, Tara Donovan: Fieldwork features several freestanding, room-sized installations that the artist has created by manipulating materials over and over again, revealing how the formalism of order and structure can give way to the unpredictably sublime. Admission is always free.


The 2019 Lakeview East Festival of the Arts showcases more than 150 juried artists featuring world-class original paintings, sculpture, photography, furniture, jewelry and more. In addition to the diverse artists’ booths, the Festival also includes live music on multiple stages, an interactive children’s area, wine, beer and food booths, an interactive garden oasis and much more. The festival runs Saturday, September 14 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. with additional hours for live music, food and drink tents until 10 p.m. and Sunday, September 15 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. The festival is free admission – $5 donation upon entrance.

The Auditorium Theatre’s 2019-20 season begins September 21. They kick things off with a special presentation of Jordan Peele’s Academy Award-winning film Get Out. The Chicago Sinfonietta, the city’s most diverse and inclusive orchestra, will be conducted by Get Out’s score composer Michael Abels as they perform his heart-pounding music live to film. On September 24, the Auditorium Theatre’s National Geographic Live Series continues with Between River and Rim: Hiking the Grand Canyon, featuring photographer/filmmaker Pete McBride and writer Kevin Fedarko. The duo will discuss their trek across the Canyon, which celebrates its 100th anniversary of being named a national park this year, and delve into the myriad environmental threats that the park faces today. On October 4, two beloved Chicago companies that explore identity and culture through dance and music share the Auditorium Theatre’s stage in a one-night-only performance. The world-renowned Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, in residence at Northeastern Illinois University, is “pushing Spanish dance into the 21st century” (Chicago Tribune), fusing flamenco, folkloric, classical, and contemporary styles. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre “has never looked better” (See Chicago Dance), using dance, music, and visual art to contemplate the ideas and themes that shape our communities. Celebrate Halloween at the Auditorium Theatre on October 31 and November 1 with the Chicago Philharmonic as they perform alongside the classic stop-motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas. This new Chicago tradition has everything you need to celebrate Halloween with your family or your friends: Dress in your Halloween or Nightmare finest and come early for trick-or-treating, fun activities, and a costume contest in the Auditorium Theatre’s historic…and perhaps even haunted…lobby. On November 16, Chicago jazz, cabaret, and theater performers come together to salute the legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim. Directed and produced by Chicago’s own Joan Curto, Chicago Celebrates Sondheim! Features singers from across the city bring their unique voices to selections from Sweeney Todd, Follies, Company, West Side Story, and more. The legend’s beloved music will be performed by the Chicago Philharmonic, conducted by Rich Daniels.

Paris! The Show – Written & Directed by Gil Marsalla will grace the stage at the Athenaeum Theatre. After the success of Piaf! The Show starring the internationally acclaimed Anne Carrere — with a million tickets sold in more than 50 countries, including a sold out Carnegie Hall engagement, Gil Marsalla presents a brand new show highlighting the best repertoire of French music in the world. Thrilling casting, a live band and exquisite scenic design transport audiences to Montmartre and the stages of the great Parisian cabarets of the time, presenting a repertoire of the greatest songs of Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel, Maurice Chevalier, Lucienne Boyer, Charles Trenet, Josephine Baker and Yves Montand.

Babes with Blades Theatre Company presents Women of 4G. A story set 75 years into the future, where an all-female crew and their male captain depart on what appears to be a routine mission to Mars until the captain is murdered and the real mission comes to light. Part murder mystery, part space thriller, Women of 4G uses a science fiction world to ask questions about women in power as well as their leadership, responsibility and, ultimately, sacrifice. Written by Amy Tofte and directed by Lauren Katz. Shows run from August 1 – September 14. You can catch the show Thursdays – Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets for students and seniors are $15 and general admission is $28. More information can be found at

Running from September 27 – November 9, The Factory Theater presents Oh Sh#t! It’s Haunted!, written by Scott OKen. They say that the old Lockwood place is haunted, not just by a heartbroken old man, but by actual ghosts. Sounds of polka music, acid guitar and people chomping on pirogi can be heard inside. Can our gang of Darla, Mo, Slats and Henry get to the bottom of this before the opportunistic Mrs. Ingersson can get her hands on it? Find out in this very Scooby-Doo–like tale from ensemble member Scott OKen, author of Factory’s 2017 hit, Fight City. Performance run Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. with a ticket price of $25. More information can be found

Goodman Theater concludes its 2018/2019 Season with a major revival of The Music Man, a “musical comedy at its feel-good best” that “glows with enjoyment” (The New York Times), by Meredith Willson, based on the story by Willson and Franklin Lacey. Tony Award-winning Director Mary Zimmerman helms the production, her 16th at the Goodman, celebrating 25 years as the Goodman’s Manilow Resident Director. The Music Man originated on Broadway in 1957 and garnered five Tony Awards including Best Musical and was later adapted for the screen. Zimmerman’s production is led by Geoff Packard, who returns to the Goodman following his critically-acclaimed performances in The Jungle Book (2013) and Candide (2010), as the charismatic con man Harold Hill, who stumbles upon River City, Iowa with the grand promise of a marching band, but a lack of musicality; and Monica West as Marian Paroo, the local librarian who knows of Harold’s deceit, and teaches him a thing or two about moral responsibility. Performances of The Music Man begin June 29, 2019, at Goodman Theatre in the 856-seat Albert Theatre. Tickets ($45 – $142; subject to change) are available at

The House Theatre of Chicago presents The Nutcracker based on the story by E.T.A Hoffman and adapted by Jake Minton, Phillip Klapperich and Kevin O’Donnell. The House brings this wholly original, ballet-free show back for its 10th Anniversary production. Appearing again at the Chopin Theatre, and featuring all-new puppets, The Nutcracker is fast-paced, beautifully choreographed, family-friendly, and moving, even for those of us that might be on the Grinch’s side from time to time. This fantastical expansion of the holiday classic centers on young Clara’s journey to save Christmas in the face of grief. With the help of a magical nutcracker, the brave girl risks the darkness, fights the Rat King, and saves her family. A modern holiday tradition weaving together riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, original songs, this spellbinding spectacle tells a heartwarming, darkly moving story of magic and hope—a fun outing fit for the whole family. The show will run November 7 – December 29. Tickets will range from $30 – $50. More info can be found at

The Joffrey Ballet will whisk audiences away this winter with their performance of The Nutcracker. Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s acclaimed turn-of-the-century tale opens on Christmas Eve, 1892, mere months before the grand opening of the 1893 World’s Fair, as young Marie and her mother prepare for a Christmas Eve potluck celebration. The magic of the season takes hold when a visit from The Great Impresario sets off a whirlwind journey of romance and adventure through a dreamlike World’s Fair. Single tickets go on sale August, 1 2019.

Whose Body?, based on the classic mystery novel by Dorothy L. Sayer and adapted by Frances Limoncelli comes to stage at the Lifeline Theatre. When a dead body turns up in a bathtub wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez, amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey assigns himself to the case. However, when the mystery becomes labyrinthine he enlists the help of close friend Inspector Parker to follow his only lead, a teaching hospital near the scene of the crime. Could it be a harmless prank by a medical student or something more sinister? Follow the clues and uncover the truth in this beloved 1923 whodunit by Dorothy L. Sayers. The show runs September 19 – October 27, Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 4 p.m. Tickets will be $45. For more information, visit

Lips, the ultimate drag show and dining experience, will open its first Chicago location late summer 2019, joining its lineup of show-stopping spaces in New York City, San Diego, Fort Lauderdale and Atlanta. The upscale dinner theater, located in the South Loop neighborhood, will feature Chicago-based talent serving up top-notch drag looks along with a full food and beverage menu. Featuring primarily local talent, Lips’ queens will not only serve up a great show – they will also serve you dinner. Doubling as lively waitresses, the entertainers will take orders and deliver meals with a special side of camp, giving every audience member a front-row seat to the nightly show, which will include lip-syncing, live vocals, bawdy humor, choreographed numbers and campy comedy.

The longest running close-up magic show in Chicago, The Magic Parlour starring Dennis Watkins, casts its spell over Chicago audiences this summer with the addition of an add-on experience entitled The Encore Room.  For over seven years, Watkins has astounded intimate audiences with world-class magic and mystifying mentalism at Chicago’s legendary Palmer House. The Magic Parlour is an upscale event and cocktail attire is encouraged. This is a grown-up night out – guests age 12 and older will be admitted. Tickets for The Magic Parlour are $79 or $89 each, which includes wine, beer and soft drinks. Adding The Encore Room experience, total ticket fees are $109 or $119 each. A prix-fixe Magic Menu at Lockwood Restaurant & Bar, inside the Palmer House, is available before or after the show for The Magic Parlour ticket holders for $41 per person, all-inclusive. Dinner reservations can be made at the time of ticketing.

Windy City Playhouse – Windy City Playhouse presents the psychological thriller “The Recommendation” which began July 2019. Fresh off success productions at The Old Globe and the Flea Theater, the story follows two friends through the trials and tribulations of life and tests just how far they will go to get what they want. This fall, the Playhouse will debut “Every Brilliant Thing” starring Rebecca Spence. The play explores the comedy in tragedy, how we cope and the little things that make life brilliant. “Every Brilliant Thing” begins performances on September 18.


AVP Gold Series Championships – Looking to spend Labor Day weekend like a local? There’s no better place to be than Oak Street Beach watching the AVP Gold Series Championships. Chicago sports fans will pack the stands to watch volleyball pros battle it, while soaking up the sun and city views from the scenic lakefront. This high-stakes championship is known as one of the fiercest beach volleyball competitions on the sand and features the country’s very best talent. The championship games will take place at Oak Street Beach beginning Friday, August 30 – Sunday, September 1, from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Whether you’re ready to race or just joining the cheering committee, the 2019Bank of America Chicago Marathon will take to the streets of downtown, the lakefront, and several neighborhoods on Sunday, October 13, 2019. Celebrating its 41st year, this iconic running event is one of the most prestigious marathons in the world and is one of the six World Marathon Majors. Watch great marathon champions with the stunning Chicago skyline in full view.

2019 NFL Kickoff Bears vs. Packers The Chicago Bears are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, and they’re playing a soon-to-be-legendary matchup to mark the occasion. To kick off the NFL’s 100th season, the Bears will take on their fiercest rivals, the Green Bay Packers. The two teams have faced off 199 times, making them the league’s oldest and most played rivalry. This historic game promises to be a showdown for the ages. The kickoff game will take place at Soldier Field on Thursday, September 5 at 7:20 p.m. Tickets are currently available for purchase.


The Chicago Department of Aviation is overseeing major modernization not only at O’Hare International Airport but at Midway International Airport as well. At Midway International Airport, a nearly $400 million modernization program is underway to improve travel to and from the airport including a larger security checkpoint for faster screening; more dining and shopping options; and an expanded garage for convenient parking next to the terminal. These modernizations are set to be completed by summer 2020 and will improve the customer experience and meet the growing demand for air travel through Chicago.

O’Hare International Airport has added a number of new domestic and international routes beginning service in 2019:


Boston – Delta (September)

Cody – United (June)

Durango – American/United (June)

Eugene – United (June)

Ft. Walton, FL – American/United (June)

Grand Junction – United (June)

Joplin – American (June)

Kalispell, MT – American (June)

Manchester – American (June)

Panama City – American/United (June)

Redmond, WA – United (June)

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – American (December)


Barcelona, Spain – Norwegian (June)

Halifax, Canada – United (June)

Lisbon, Portugal – TAP Air Portugal (June)

Quebec City, Canada – American (June)

St. Lucia – American (December)


Midway International Airport has added new international routes beginning service in 2019:


Queretaro, Mexico – Volaris (June) – this service moved from ORD to MDW

Aguascalientes, Mexico – Volaris (June)


About Choose Chicago

Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor and meetings destination, leveraging the city’s unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. For more information, visit Follow @ChooseChicago on Twitter and on Instagram @choosechicago. Like us on Facebook.