Choose Chicago Media Relations Contacts:
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What’s New and Happening in Chicago – Winter/Spring 2024

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (January 25, 2024) – Choose Chicago is delighted to announce that Chicago has been selected to host the Democratic National Convention in August 2024. Following last year’s historic seventh consecutive win as Conde Nast Traveler’s “Best Big City, we know the below tally of exciting new hotels, inventive restaurants, dynamic exhibitions, and eclectic festivals offers just a taste of what’s in store this winter/spring of 2024.

Come and discover big city culture, Midwestern hospitality, and urban adventure; visit for more information.

Recent Accolades:

To read more about Chicago in the news, click here.


Hyatt Regency Chicago, a modern, upscale hotel nestled in the heart of the city, will unveil a $102 million reimagination this spring. The renovation will encompass 2,032 guest rooms and suites along with the Regency and Crystal Ballrooms. The latest update to Illinois’ largest hotel comes on the heels of a $168 million lobby and meeting space rejuvenation in 2013, bringing the total investment into the hotel to more than $270 million in less than 10 years.(Neighborhood: The Loop)

Bringing one of Asia’s most prominent and beloved hotel brands stateside for the very first time, South Korea’s largest hotel group Lotte Hotels and Resorts introduces its vibrant, lifestyle-centric L7 HOTEL to downtown Chicago (225 N. Wabash at E Wacker Pl), opening Spring 2024. Designed by award-winning design firm AvroKO, the aesthetics of the property reflect both its brand origins in Korea as well as the surrounding spirit of Chicago with 191 guest rooms (including 22 suites), unique wellness-focused amenities, a curated contemporary art program featuring Chicagoan, Korean, and Korean-American artists, and a signature ground-floor restaurant, PERILLA Korean American steakhouse, from acclaimed local restaurateurs, and ambassadors of Korean fare, Executive Chef Andrew Lim and Partners Thomas Oh and Alvin Kang. Located just steps from the Chicago Riverwalk and the iconic Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue, L7 HOTELS BY LOTTE offers guests proximity to the city’s tourist attractions and business district, bringing the best of an iconic brand to the United States in grand fashion. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

Under the direction of new spa director Anne Templeton, Spa @ theWit has relaunched with a new spa menu, couples treatment suite, and group luxury packages and programming. Templeton has over 15 years of experience overseeing spas. In addition to Spa @ theWit, she also oversees The Spa at Palmer House, a luxury day spa in Chicago. She will bring unparalleled expertise, high-touch service, and premier services to theWit. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

Food and Libations:

Cariño, located at 4662 N. Broadway, is an immersive culinary journey offering a Latin-inspired tasting menu and taco Omakase by Chef Norman Fenton. Each dish has been meticulously crafted to highlight the rich tapestry of flavors and ingredients found across Latin America. (Neighborhood: Uptown) 

Farm Bar Ravenswood, Farmheads Hospitality’s newest concept in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood, opened in the former Land & Lake restaurant space at 1970 W Montrose Avenue in November. Farm Bar brings approachable Midwestern fare straight from the farm, with an extensive menu of fresh salads and handhelds, craft cocktails, and a carefully crafted wine list. Under the helm of Executive Chef David Wakefield, chef at Farm Bar Lakeview and Ravenswood concepts, the Ravenswood location will include the same approachable Midwestern bites while introducing new and innovative twists. (Neighborhood: Ravenswood)

Feverdream, the second concept from Chicago’s Milkhorse Hospitality (after Common Decency, opening next door this Winter 2024),will be made up of a team of industry veterans including Mark Steuer, Felipe Hernandez, Kelsey Kasper, and Jason Turley. Taking over the “Thank You” space that provided the food for Logan Square’s iconic Lost Lake (3154 W Diversey Ave), like the team’s first concept (Common Decency), Feverdream is built on the foundation of ensuring hospitality employees have a sustainable work/life balance with health insurance, access to an employee loyalty program, and other benefits. In line with Milkhorse Hospitality and Common Decency’s mission, Feverdream will incorporate dietary accessibility within its menus and ensure that everyone can have a great meal and killer cocktail in an intimate, cool, vibey setting and space. Expect familiar concepts, but turned on their heads.(Neighborhood: Logan Square)

After announcing early plans for a flagship restaurant in Chicago in early 2023, Hawksmoor, one of London’s best-loved restaurants that’s currently ranked #2 Best Steakhouse in the World, is slated to open its location at 500 N. LaSalle Street (The LaSalle Street Cable Car Powerhouse, a designated Chicago landmark) in spring 2024. The award-winning restaurant serves steaks from ethically reared cattle and sustainably sourced seafood alongside a progressive cocktail program. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants is celebrating new openings in 2024:  

  • Tre Dita, set to open this winter, is a collaboration between Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants and award-winning Los Angeles Chef Evan Funke (Felix, Mother Wolf). The Tuscan steakhouse is the second of the two-restaurant project from Lettuce Entertain You in the St. Regis Chicago, following the opening of the lauded all-day Japanese restaurant Miru in May 2023. The space located at 401 E. Wacker Drive, which will feature a temperature-controlled pasta lab and a open-hearth wood-fired grill, is being designed by David Collins Studio. (Neighborhood: The Loop)
  • Sushi-san is slated to open a new location in Lincoln Park in early 2024, joining the River North and Willis Tower locations. Located on Halsted just north of Armitage, the new location will serve Sushi-san’s beloved sushi, maki, nigiri/sashimi, and other signature dishes, along with a few exclusive new items. (Neighborhood: Lincoln Park)

Maxwells Trading is the brainchild of Underscore Hospitality partners Josh Tilden and Erling Wu-Bower. Josh and Erling opened Maxwells to have their ideal place to unwind, eat, drink, and listen to music with their family and friends. The 1516 W. Carroll Avenue location offers an eclectic menu with soul-satisfying food, crisp cocktails, and engaging wines. (Neighborhood: West Loop)

Signature, the upscale sports bar and restaurant bar co-owned by Chicago chef and restaurateur Stephen Gillanders (S.K.Y, Valhalla, Apolonia) and his business partner, former Chicago Bears defensive end Israel Idonije (2003-2012; 2014), opened this January not far from Soldier’s Field (1312 S. Wabash Avenue). It will replace Great Lakes-themed restaurant Harbor and the owners hope to draw sports fans and players with their sophisticated take on sports bar favorites. (Neighborhood: South Loop)

The Dearborn, Chicago’s iconic Loop destination spot known for its world-class culinary program and exceptional hospitality, will open its second location at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport Terminal 5 in 2024. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

Chicago is about to experience a sensational burst of razzle-dazzle as Broadway Diner, a thrilling Broadway-themed pop-up, arrives at The Tin Lizzie at 2483 North Clark Street on Sunday, February 18 and 25. Residents and visitors can immerse themselves in an extraordinary dining experience combining captivating performances, delectable diner classics, and an unforgettable atmosphere. (Neighborhood: Lincoln Park)

Exhibitions (Immersive Art & Museums):

The Art Institute of Chicago has announced its winter/spring programming. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

  • David Goldblatt: No Ulterior Motive (through March 25, 2024) – Known for his nuanced portrayals of life under and after apartheid, South African photographer David Goldblatt (1930–2018) devoted himself to documenting his country and its people. Born into a family of Lithuanian Jews who emigrated to South Africa, Goldblatt focused much of his work on Johannesburg, the city where he lived for most of his life. His relative freedom to move within a society bitterly divided by racial segregation influenced the critical perspective of his work. In a church facade, down a mineshaft, through the exchange of glances between a passing man and woman, Goldblatt recorded the uneven application and reception of South Africa’s political values and beliefs. The highly descriptive captions he wrote for his photographs—which grew increasingly detailed over time—express his incisive attention to the country’s land, people, and history.
  • Radical Clay: Contemporary Women Artists from Japan (through June 3, 2024) – Radical Clay celebrates thirty-six contemporary ceramic artists—all women—through 40 stunning, virtuosic pieces. Since World War II, women have made influential contributions to the ceramics field in Japan that have not been adequately recognized. This exhibition focuses on the explosion of innovative and technically ambitious compositions by such artists since 1970—a body of work that developed in parallel with, but often separately from, traditional, male-dominated Japanese practice and its countermovements.

Chicago History Museum’s Back Home: Polish Chicago is open now through June 8, 2024. Through the lens of Chicago’s Polish communities, experience the journeys immigrants have taken to get to the city, how they have established themselves in its neighborhoods, and the duality of feeling a deep connection to two places at once. Back Home: Polish Chicago features more than 90 artifacts and documents  and more than 100 reproduced photographs to help tell the story of the Chicago area’s vibrant Polish communities from the mid-1800s to today. Explore personal narratives, music, and community involvement, and art installations from five local Polish artists. (Neighborhood: Lincoln Park) 

Cleve Carney Art Museum will present UNEARTH: Karen Perl, Emily Rapport & Gwendolyn Zabicki (January 20-March 10, 2024). The built environment is an aspirational reflection of social self-awareness. Buildings are torn down, built up, and then torn down again. An empty lot holds space like a pause. The push to optimize our bodies, schedules, and relationships underscores the impermanence of all structures to time and calamity. In the tradition of American painters from the early 20th century who described the activities and moments that comprise daily life, the three artists represented in this proposal find beauty and meaning in everyday urban scenes. United by their choice of materials, painters Perl, Rapport, and Zabicki follow strong individual sensibilities to delve into perceived reality and unearth a moment or interaction that, when painted, reveals an intensely present experience. (Glen Ellyn, Illinois)

NBCUniversal and Imagine Exhibitions have announced that Downton Abbey: The Exhibition (until March 31, 2024), an immersive experience celebrating the global hit series, is set to take up residence at the Westfield Old Orchard Shopping Center. Chicago marks the sixth U.S. stop of the exhibition’s hugely popular U.S. tour, following successful engagements in New York; West Palm Beach, FL; Boston; Atlanta; and The Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. (Skokie, IL)

Elmhurst Art Museum’sexhibit A Love Supreme (January 20-April 28, 2024), a solo exhibition by Norman Teague inspired by legendary jazz musician John Coltrane, will have an adjoining installation in Mies van der Rohe’s McCormick House by Chicago-based BIPOC designers. Teague uses Coltrane’s album “A Love Supreme” as a personal, cultural, and spiritual touchstone to consider design influences from his life-long home in Chicago, exploring how the power of bold improvisational jazz and unapologetic Black aesthetics have expanded the minds and inspired creative communities of color.(Elmhurst, Illinois)

Hyde Park Art Center presents Aimée Beaubien: Through the Hothouse (March 2-June 2, 2024). The installation by the internationally exhibited artist, who has established herself as an educator and peer in the Chicago art community, showcases her innovative techniques and transforms a 92-foot-long hallway into a green corridor by integrating elements such as plant matter, weaving, photographs, and 3D drawings. These elements symbolize the intricate interplay between ecological, social, and cultural dimensions within the vibrant creative community of the Art Center. (Neighborhood: Hyde Park)

  • Alice Shaddle: Fuller Circles (March 23-June 16, 2024) – Discover the intricate world of Alice Shaddle (1928 – 2017), an artist whose practice centered more than 60 years on paper-based creations in Chicago. The exhibition introduces Shaddle’s ingenious, original manipulations of paper, including daring papier mâché bas relief sculpture; shadow boxes with haunting visages; enigmatically constructed and layered collaged objects; documentation and remnants from Shaddle’s elaborate, immersive installations with related, large-scale colored pencil drawings; and her meticulously constructed, cut paper mosaic collage compositions. The exhibition will reveal Shaddle’s intensive modes of working and inventive use of materials. Among these is a collection of handcrafted collaged notecards with missives to her closest artist friend, Kathryn Kucera, revealing her sharp sense of humor and evidence of their deep friendship and support for each other’s creative lives.
  • The United Colors of Robert Earl Paige (April 6-October 27, 2024) – The largest exhibition of Robert Paige’s work to date, The United Colors of Robert Earl Paige, surveys the iconic textile designs and painted fabric of one of the most generative artists/designers from the South Side of Chicago. In addition to the fabric work made over the past sixty years, the exhibition will debut recent clay, wall/floor paintings, drawings, and collage work made during his Radicle Residency at Hyde Park Art Center in 2022-23. 

Illinois Holocaust Museum presents a new temporary special exhibition,Shtetl in the Sun: Andy Sweet’s South Beach 1977-1980 (through October 13, 2024). In the late 1970s, more than 20,000 elderly Jews, many of them New York transplants and Holocaust Survivors, called South Beach home. This area of barely two square miles had become a modern-day shtetl, reminiscent of the tightly knit, predominantly Jewish Pre-World War II Eastern European villages. Sweet’s photographs capture the liveliness of this “shtetl in the sun,” their interactions with one another, day-to-day activities, outdoor Jewish services, and the hustle and bustle of a vibrant, energetic populace. They dispel the stereotype of 1970s South Beach being “God’s Waiting Room.” Instead, we see an array of daily activities on the sand and in the sun, in cafeterias and delis, and the constant flow of parties that fill the neighborhood. The lightheartedness, bright colors, and geniality of the people Sweet photographed illustrate the ways Survivors lived full and joyful lives after the Holocaust. (Skokie, Illinois)

Poetry Foundation will feature Kara Walker: Back of Hand from February 15 to May 18, 2024. The exhibition features 2015 Book, a series of 11 typewritten pages with ink and watercolor illustrations and two large-scale drawings, The Ballad of How We Got Here and Feast of Famine. Completed in 2021, this will be the first time these works are shown in Chicago. The mural-like compositions present a disorienting tableau of inked collaged forms surrounded by swirling forms of handwritten text. Words and sentence fragments jump out from the deluge, appearing like excerpts from a larger, ongoing conversation around power and history. In The Ballad of How We Got Here and Feast of Famine, these torrential narratives unfold as visual poems, yielding a multiplicity of parallel readings. New York-based artist Kara Walker is best known for her candid investigation of race, gender, sexuality, and violence. Her work can be found in museums and public collections throughout the United States and Europe including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Tate Gallery, London; the Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo (MAXXI), Rome; and Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt. (Neighborhood: River North)

The Museum of Science and Industry has annually displayed the Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition since 1970. On view through April 21 2024 and included in the Museum Entry, this exhibit features paintings, drawings, fine art prints, sculpture, mixed-media, ceramics and photography by African Americans, including youth artists between the ages of 14 and 17. (Neighborhood: Hyde Park)

The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture is hosting “Caribbean Indigenous Resistance / Resistencia Indígena del Caribe ¡Taíno Vive!”(Until June 16, 2024). The exhibition from the Smithsonian presents the history of the Taínos, the Indigenous peoples of the northern Caribbean islands, and how their descendants are reaffirming their culture and identity today. (Neighborhood: Humboldt Park)

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum will present A Tale of Today Sif Itona Westerberg: Twin Flame, Double Ruin (February 16-April 14, 2024) this spring. This is the first solo US museum exhibition of Copenhagen-based artist Sif Itona Westerberg, featuring recent bronze and concrete sculptures that draw from popular mythological narratives in dialogue with the museum’s richly-ornamented 1883 Nickerson Mansion. Curated by Stephanie Cristello, Sif Itona Westerberg: Twin Flame, Double Ruin is presented as part of the Driehaus Museum’s contemporary art series, A Tale of Today, in which emerging artists build upon the immersive experience and cultural history of the Gilded Age building to expand our understanding of the world through the art, architecture, and design. (Neighborhood: River North)

Festivals & Events:

2024 Chicago Auto Show (February 10-19, 2024) – The Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America and has been held more times than any other auto exposition on the continent. This year marks the 116th edition. Held in McCormick Place, the Chicago show features multiple world and North American introductions and the complete range of domestic and imported passenger cars, trucks, sport-utility vehicles, minivans, and experimental and concept cars. In total, the 2024 Chicago Auto Show boasts hundreds of different vehicles from more than two dozen different manufacturers. In addition, you’ll find numerous automotive accessories and auto-related exhibits, competition vehicles, project cars, antique and collector vehicles, and interactive exhibits.(Neighborhood: South Side)

Chicago Restaurant Week (January 19-February 4, 2024) – This 17-day celebration of the city’s award-winning culinary scene includes over 350 restaurants across the city. Diners can enjoy special prix-fixe menus for brunch ($25), lunch ($25), and/or dinner ($42 or $59). (Multiple Neighborhoods)

2024 Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade (March 16, 2024) – Chicago’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade​ and River Dyeing returns on Saturday, March 16 at 12:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Chicago Plumbers Local 130 UA, this iconic St. Patrick’s Day celebration will be celebrating its 69th anniversary in 2024.(Multiple Neighborhoods)

Chicago Theatre Week (February 8 – 18, 2024) – Experience everything Chicago theatre has to offer for just $15 or $30 (or less!). Chicago Theatre Week features value-priced tickets to more than 100 performances at theaters across the city, from musicals to improv to dramas and beyond. Chicago Theatre Week is presented by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. Now in its 12th year, this highly anticipated event allows visitors and locals to sample the extraordinary range of theatrical offerings throughout the Chicago area. (Multiple Neighborhoods)

Chicago Winter Whiskey Tasting Festival (January 27, 2024) – Calling all whiskey lovers and connoisseurs. Take your taste buds on a flavor adventure at the Winter Whiskey Tasting Festival! Experience hours of whiskey tasting bliss with over 20 different local and international whiskies. Learn all there is to know about whiskey directly from whiskey ambassadors while meeting and mingling with other whiskey lovers and grooving to live music. Additional tasting cups are available for purchase, with 100% of proceeds being donated to Bear Necessities to fund pediatric cancer research.(Neighborhood: West Town)

EXPO CHICAGO (April 11 – 14, 2024) – The 11th edition of the in-person exposition returns to Navy Pier this spring. The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art features leading international galleries alongside the highest quality platform for contemporary art and culture. In 2023, EXPO CHICAGO hosted 170 leading international exhibitors at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. The exposition draws upon the city’s rich history as a vibrant international cultural destination, while engaging the region’s contemporary art community and collector base. (Neighborhood: Streeterville)

Groundhog Day Movie Cast Reunion at Harry Caray’s Tavern Navy Pier (February 2, 2024) – Fans are invited to join in the celebration of Harold Ramis’ extraordinary life and career with an official Groundhog Day Celebration honoring the 10th anniversary of Harold’s passing. To commemorate Chicago’s officially declared Harold Ramis Day, cast members from the 1993 comedy Groundhog Day (co-written and directed by Ramis) will join Erica Mann Ramis (wife of Harold Ramis) in a special public event on Navy Pier. Harry Caray’s Tavern will transform into a truly immersive Groundhog Day experience, featuring food and beverages inspired by Groundhog Day’s Tip Top Café, a snowman, and large ice sculptures like those seen in the movie. Several artifacts from Harold’s storied career will be on display including the Armani coat Bill Murray wore in Groundhog Day, the bust of Harold Ramis that appeared in the 2016 version of Ghostbusters, the jumpsuits worn by Harold Ramis and Bill Murray in Ghostbusters, and several of Harold’s leather-bound shooting scripts including Groundhog Day. Navy Pier will also participate in the festivities. The film and soundtrack will play inside the Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion, and an image of a groundhog will be featured as the centerpiece of the Centennial Wheel. Various restaurants on the Pier will be doing Groundhog Day specials, and Navy Pier’s Sable Hotel will be calling itself the “Pennsylvanian Hotel” for the day in honor of the hotel featured in the movie. (Neighborhood: Streeterville)

The Inspired Home Show (March 17 – 19, 2024) – The Inspired Home Show is North America’s largest housewares trade show. Every year, home and housewares professionals from more than 120 countries converge upon Chicago to discover new housewares products and industry trends, meet face-to-face with executives from top retail and manufacturer brands, and gain the insights, leads, and exposure to jump-start a successful year. The Show, held at McCormick Place, is owned and operated by the International Housewares Association (IHA). (Neighborhood: South Side)

La Femme Dance Festival (March 14-16,2024) –  This three-day biennial celebration of women in dance brings choreographic works created by women of the Black/African Diaspora to Chicago audiences. On March 14, the festival kicks off with a VIP opening reception at The Arts Club of Chicago, featuring a fireside chat with Emmy-nominated hip-hop and pop music choreographer Fatima Robinson about her legendary career. On March 15, Robinson and the festival will host a masterclass and professional development workshop for professional dancers at Red Clay Dance Company’s Center for Excellence. The closing performance at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance on March 16 will include the Chicago premiere of Portraits in Red by Paris-based choreographer Wanjiru Kamuyu. (Neighborhoods: Streeterville, The Loop and Woodlawn)

Lunar New Year Parade (Feb 18, 2024) – Welcome the Year of the Dragon with traditional lion dances, cultural performances, and more during this colorful celebration. The parade will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the intersection of 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue and travel north on Wentworth towards the viewing stand at Cermak and Wentworth. The parade will feature traditional dragon and lion dancing teams, colorful floats, marching bands and marching groups. (Neighborhood: Chinatown)

Lunar New Year on Argyle (Feb 17, 2024) The Uptown neighborhood will welcome the Lunar New Year with their annual parade, featuring community groups, cultural institutions, dancers, and performers. (Neighborhood: Uptown) 

Mac & Cheese Crawl – Chicago’s Cheesiest Crawl (February 24, 2024) – Say CHEESE! You definitely won’t go hungry as you crawl through Wrigleyville’s best bars eating mac and cheese while throwing back some drinks with friends. (Neighborhood: Wrigleyville)


ART on THE MART (April 12 – June 5, 2024) – ART on THE MART’s spring season will kick off to coincide with EXPO Chicago’s 11th edition with a commission by internationally acclaimed artist Nora Turato. On view alongside Turato’s work for the 2024 spring season will be the annual Chicago Public Schools (CPS) projection (May 1 – 12) made in conjunction with the All-City Visual Arts program and featuring artwork by CPS seniors. The 2024 lineup will also include new commissions by leading artists Yinka Ilori, Cory Arcangel, and Brendan Fernandes, as well as a new collaboration with the Poetry Foundation. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

Chicago Electric Boat Company, the city’s premier river boat rental operator, has officially announced the launch of private Hot Tub Boats as the newest way to enjoy the river this winter season. Launching from their Marina City location at 300 N. State Street, the heated six-person boats will center cruises on the main branch of the Chicago River for iconic skyline views, taking riders as far east as Michigan Avenue and as far west as Wells Street. If hot tub cruising isn’t your speed, the team will also be unveiling 22-foot Heated Luxury Duffys— a winterized version of a favorite riverboat offering. The easy-to-operate vessels fit groups of 12 of all ages and depart from their Marina City location. (Neighborhood: River North)

Flyover, the highly anticipated attraction headed to Navy Pier, will officially open on March 1, 2024. The multi-sensory experience, which incorporates leading drone technologies along with impressive aerial shots and first-person narratives, will showcase our city from perspectives never seen before. From climbing skyscrapers 13,000 ft. high to diving straight down buildings, skimming sidewalks, swooping into iconic landmarks like the Chicago Theatre to floating through fireworks and more, this experience will be the first of its kind to hit Chicago. (Neighborhood: Streeterville) 

Chicago’s First Lady Cruises are bringing back their wildly popular St. Patrick’s Day Clover Cruise on March 16, 2024, offering arguably the best spot to witness the dyeing of the Chicago River green! This 21+ event includes a 2-hour cruise experience, live bagpipe performance, specialty Irish cocktails, corned beef sandwich box, festive photo booth, climate-controlled interior salon and open-air upper deck, and festive décor.(Neighborhood: The Loop)

Inside Chicago Walking Tours, ranked #1 of 386 Tours and Activities in Chicago on TripAdvisor, will be running two public tour routes in January and February 2024: 

  • The World Within (I) – Everyone does a boat tour when they visit Chicago.  But as fun as that is, it’s a very tiny sliver of what Chicago has to offer architecturally!  Let Inside Chicago Walking Tours guide you inside some of the most stunning interior spaces you’ll ever see — spaces you’d surely pass by without a second glance if you weren’t shown them by a seasoned, in-the-know tour guide. Chicago’s Loop, full of offices, courtrooms, retail spaces, and business, is truly an overlooked treasure in terms of its gorgeous interior spaces. There is so much beauty there, behind that well-known exterior: it’s a beauty that is available to you to experience. (Neighborhood: The Loop)
  • Open Your Eyes: Chicago’s Underground Pedway & Other Secrets of the Loop – Come experience Chicago’s famous “Pedway” – the mysterious underground tunnels downtown that keeps us all warm & dry in bad weather. Walking in the Pedway, through hidden corridors of stained glass and even underground swimming pools, we’ll access interiors that seem to come up out of nowhere as you’re exploring the tunnels. We’ll explore the hidden passages, overlooked details, rich symbolism, and quirky stories that add wonderful bits of color and texture to the overall narrative of the city.  The details people walk by every day will amaze you, and you’ll feel like you’ve truly seen a hidden side of Chicago by the end of this walking tour. This is not a typical “must-see” tour for typical tourists – it’s a “must see” experience for travelers who want something BEYOND what’s typical. Ending with a fabulous “secret” interior not far from the Art Institute, you’ll be in the perfect central spot for continuing your exploration of downtown Chicago on your own after the tour. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

Kindling, Chicago Loop’s newest live-fire hotspot on the ground floor of Willis Tower under the helm of James Beard Award Winning Chef Jonathon Sawyer, is teaming up with the nation’s tallest observation deck, Skydeck, to offer the ultimate experiential family activities this winter. (Neighborhood: The Loop)

  • Golden Hour Package: Watch the sunset over the Midwest horizon from the top of the highest observation deck in the US at Skydeck, then end your evening with Kindling’s Golden Amaro cocktail for a finale worth raising a toast to. Ticket packages include expedited access through all of Skydeck’s experiences (including the museum and the Ledge), followed by a Golden Amaro cocktail at Kindling. Available Monday through Friday. 
  • Saturday Lunch Package: After experiencing the views from the 103rd floor of one of Chicago’s most thrilling attractions, Skydeck, enjoy a prix fixe lunch at the base floor restaurant, Kindling. Choose from our Not A Smash Burger, Hearth Bowl, and more to complete your Downtown Chicago experience. Tickets include general admission access to the Skydeck, museum, and The Ledge, followed by lunch at Kindling. Available every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Visitors arriving and departing from O’Hare International Airport’s Terminal 5 (T5) will begin to see an extraordinary new public art collection as several works by more than 20 Chicago artists finish the installation. The $3.5 million public art commission, led by Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), is the City’s largest single acquisition of works by Chicago artists in the last 30 years. The exhibition Del Otro Lado / The Other Side featuring 17 original works curated by Behar X Schachman is now on view throughout the International Arrivals Corridor. The new projects at T5 join recently completed projects at the O’Hare Multi-Modal Facility (MMF): 

  • Installed in April 2023, REACH is a large-scale sculpture by New York-based artists Hank Willis Thomas and Coby Kennedy consisting of two arms, approximately 27 and 31 feet long, suspended between nine and 34 feet off the ground in the North Escalator Hall of the MMF.
  • The final commission Immigrant Owned by Jonathan Michael Castillo will finish installation in 2024 in the Baggage Claim of Terminal 5.

Born in the late 1920s as a movie theater, the newly-preserved iconic Ramova Theatre has made a triumphant return. Reimagined as a 1500-capacity music venue, it is one of the largest of its kind on Chicago’s south side and notable for celebrity co-owners Chance the Rapper, Jennifer Hudson, and Quincy Jones. (Neighborhood: Bridgeport)

Shedd Aquarium recently welcomed a sea otter pup rescued in late October by the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC). The new addition, temporarily referred to as Pup EL2306, is a rescued male northern sea otter. He will remain behind the scenes in the Regenstein Sea Otter Nursery for a few months as he reaches development milestones and builds bonds with the care staff and the other otters at Shedd before being officially introduced to the otter habitat and the other rescued otters at Shedd. (Neighborhood: South Loop)

Meetings, Conventions, & Venues:

Chicago will host this year’s Democratic National Convention, which will take place August 19-22, 2024, at the United Center. The Marriott Marquis Chicago and Hyatt Regency at McCormick Place, both connected to the McCormick Place convention center, will be the official headquarters hotels for the convention.

Chicago has been selected as the host city for U.S. Travel Association’s IPW in 2025. The last time Chicago hosted the leading inbound travel trade show was 2014. The conference will be held June 27 – July 1, 2025, at McCormick Place.

Theatre & Performing Arts:

Belmont Theater District will present these productions in the coming months:

  • Saint Sebastian Players: An Enemy of the People (February 16 – March 10, 2024) – Henrik Ibsen’s drama An Enemy of the People concerns the actions of Doctor Thomas Stockmann, a medical officer charged with inspecting the public baths on which the prosperity of his native town depends. He finds the water to be contaminated. When he refuses to be silenced, he is declared an enemy of the people. Ibsen addresses a number of challenges in an engaging manner that remain highly relevant today, such as environmental issues versus economic interests, the professional responsibilities of experts in policy debates, and the moral dilemmas and tensions involved in whistle-blowing.
  • Love Song (March 21 – April 21, 2024) – Beane has always been different. Joan, his sister, is his only real bridge to the outside world, but she is consumed with her own life, climbing the corporate ladder and sparring with her husband, Harry. When Beane falls madly in love with Molly, Beane’s world suddenly expands, and the seismic shift forces all of them to reexamine their own relationships and discover new facets of human connection. An off-kilter romantic comedy, Love Song by John Kolvenbach is a quick-witted exploration of the countless complexities of love and the endless capacity of the heart.

Broadway In Chicago is proud to produce the following shows as part of its winter/spring lineup:

  • Girl from the North Country (playing February 13-25, 2024, at the CIBC Theatre) is the Tony Award-winning new musical that the Chicago Tribune declares is “a Broadway revelation!” Written and directed by celebrated playwright Conor McPherson and featuring Tony Award-winning orchestrations by Simon Hale, Girl from the North Country reimagines 20 legendary songs of Bob Dylan as they’ve never been heard before, including “Forever Young,” “All Along The Watchtower,” “Hurricane,” “Slow Train Coming,” and “Like A Rolling Stone.” It’s 1934 in Duluth, Minnesota. We meet a group of wayward travelers whose lives intersect in a guest house filled with music, life, and hope. Experience this ‘profoundly beautiful’ production (The New York Times) brought to vivid life by an extraordinary company of actors and musicians.
  • Mrs. Doubtfire (playing February 27 – March 10, 2024, at the James M. Nederlander Theatre) – Everyone’s favorite Scottish nanny is headed to Chicago! Rob McClure will reprise his Tony-nominated Broadway performance on tour alongside co-star (and real wife!) Maggie Lakis in this internationally acclaimed hit musical critics call “wonderful, heart-warming, and laugh-out-loud funny” (Manchester Evening News) and “a feel-good, family-friendly comedy that delivers” (The Hollywood Reporter). Based on the beloved film and directed by four-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Zaks, Mrs. Doubtfire tells the hysterical and heartfelt story of an out-of-work actor who will do anything for his kids. It’s “the lovable, big-hearted musical comedy we need right now,” raves the Chicago Tribune – one that proves we’re better together.
  • Peter Pan (playing March 26 – April 7, 2024, at the James M. Nederlander Theatre) – This high-flying musical has been thrilling audiences of all ages for close to 70 years and is now being brought back to life in a new adaptation by celebrated playwright Larissa FastHorse, directed by Emmy Award-winner Lonny Price and choreography by Lorin Latarro. The adventure begins when Peter Pan and his mischievous fairy sidekick, Tinker Bell, visit the bedroom of the Darling children late one night. With a sprinkle of pixie dust and a few happy thoughts, the children are taken on a magical journey they will never forget. This extraordinary musical full of excitement and adventure features iconic and timeless songs including “I’m Flying”, “I Gotta Crow”, “I Won’t Grow Up” and “Neverland”. Peter Pan embraces the child in us all, so go on a journey from the second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning – your entire family will be Hooked!
  • Mamma Mia! (playing April 30 – May 19, 2024, at the James M. Nederlander Theatre) – A mother. A daughter. 3 possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Set on a Greek island paradise where the sun always shines, a tale of love, friendship, and identity is beautifully told through the timeless hits of ABBA. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the father she’s never known brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited decades ago. For nearly 25 years, people all around the world have fallen in love with the characters, the story, and the music that make Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good show.
  • Pre-Broadway World Premiere of Death Becomes Her (playing April 30 – June 2, 2024, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre) – Madeline Ashton is the most beautiful actress (just ask her) ever to grace the stage and screen. Helen Sharp is the long-suffering author (just ask her) who lives in her shadow. They have always been the best of frenemies…until Madeline steals Helen’s fiancé away. As Helen plots revenge and Madeline clings to her rapidly fading star, their world is suddenly turned upside down by Viola Van Horn, a mysterious woman with a secret that’s to die for. After one sip of Viola’s magical potion, Madeline and Helen begin a new era of life (and death) with their youth and beauty restored…and a grudge to last eternity. Starring Tony Award nominees Megan Hilty (Wicked, Smash) and Jennifer Simard (Company, Disaster!), Death Becomes Her, based on the classic 1992 film, is a drop-dead hilarious new musical comedy about friendship, love, and burying the hatchet…again, and again, and again. Life’s a bitch, and then you die. Or not!

Chicago Opera Theater will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a gala, Fifty & Fabulous: A Golden Night of Song and Celebration, on April 5, 2024. The 50th anniversary season will feature these productions:

  • Book of Mountains and Seas (January 26 – 28, 2024) – Presented in partnership with the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, Book of Mountains and Seas examines our modern-day relationship with the natural world. Four fables centered around the creation and destruction of the earth are uniquely told by a company of 12 singers, two percussionists, and six puppeteers, with staging by celebrated puppeteer Basil Twist. Huang Ruo’s vibrant and inventive score, which draws inspiration from Chinese folk music, breathes new life into the ancient stories. This is a powerful and extraordinary work that will challenge the way you interact with nature and the environment.
  • The Weight of Light(April 27, 2024) – COT premieres its fifth full-length opera developed and commissioned as part of its industry-leading Vanguard Initiative. When a child inherits a magical ability that allows them to speak with objects, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Their mother, who shares the same ability, does not see it as a gift but as a source of shame. Both child and parent learn to navigate their powers and the responsibilities that come with them in this heartwarming original coming-of-age story.
  • Before It All Goes Dark(May 25 – 26, 2024) – This world premiere, commissioned and produced by Music of Remembrance, is based on the true story reported by Chicago Tribune columnist Howard Reich about an ailing Vietnam war veteran who learns he is the heir to a priceless art collection stolen by Nazis. His arduous voyage to Prague in search of his inheritance leads him to embrace an identity that had been hidden from him, and through art, he discovers a deeper truth in his life.  

Chicago Philharmonic is pleased to present the following performances:

  • Blade Runner Live In Concert (February 17, 2024) – Experience Ridley Scott’s multi-Academy Award-nominated cult classic, Blade Runner (2007 Final Cut), on a vast HD screen while Vangelis’ synthesizer-led score is performed by a Chicago Philharmonic chamber orchestra in sync with the 1982 motion picture.
  • Batman 1989 In Concert (April 13, 2024) – Celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Warner Bros. Pictures’ iconic 1989 DC Superhero film, “Batman,” live in concert with Chicago Philharmonic! With the soundtrack composed by acclaimed composer Danny Elfman, it was the Batman 1989 score that made Elfman one of the biggest composers of Hollywood and established him as the top choice for comic book movie music. Elfman is known for his film scores for The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Mission Impossible (1996), Planet of the Apes (2001), and more with over 100 credits to his name. Danny Elfman’s iconic score for the 1989 Batman film sets a dark and atmospheric tone, with the memorable “Batman Theme” that became instantly recognizable. The film will be accompanied by Chicago Philharmonic, conducted by James Olmstead, providing the perfect opportunity to revisit a classic fan-favorite film based on one of the world’s most popular DC comic characters, or to introduce it to a new audience.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater will present the following performances this winter:

  • Illinoise (January 28 – February 18, 2024, at The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare) – Grammy and Oscar-nominated Sufjan Stevens’ acclaimed album enjoys the cult status for its lush orchestrations and wildly inventive portrayal of our state’s people and places—landing on “best of the decade” lists in Rolling Stone, NPR, and Paste. Now, one of today’s most in-demand directors and choreographers, Tony Award winner Justin Peck (New York City Ballet, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story), embraces the album in an ecstatic pageant of storytelling, theater, dance, and music, with a narrative crafted with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury. The virtuosic cast and a live band lead audiences on a journey through our state—from campfire stories to the edges of the cosmos.
  • Richard III (February 2 – March 3, 2024, at Courtyard Theater) – Power, greed, ambition. A world where to win is everything. And to win at all costs. Tony Award nominee, Paralympic champion, and bilateral above-knee amputee Katy Sullivan makes her Chicago Shakespeare debut in Edward Hall’s first production as artistic director. Full of scathing dark comedy and high-stakes family drama, a divided kingdom provides fertile ground for the charismatic, unscrupulous Richard to seize power and exact revenge—and no one is safe from his tyranny. This marks the first major US production of Richard III to feature a woman with a disability in the title role. 
  • Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet (February 24 – March 16, 2024, at Courtyard Theater) – Short Shakespeare! returns with the tragic romance Romeo and Juliet. Verona burns under summer’s heat—and the division of two prominent families. Against a backdrop of violence and an endless cycle of vengeance, Shakespeare sets his tale of young love found—and tragically lost. This 75-minute adaptation, told in Shakespeare’s own words, poses a profound question—can true love survive in a divided community? The production combines Shakespeare’s original verse with dynamic staging to connect young audiences with the characters’ journeys. 

Congo Square Theatre and Broadway in Chicago will present the Chicago premiere of August Wilson’s autobiographical show, How I Learned What I Learned. Directed by Ken-Matt Martin and featuring Chicago’s own Harry Lennix, this limited engagement will run from April 20 – May 5, 2024, at Broadway in Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.

Chicago’s Deeply Rooted Dance Theater joins the stage with Muntu Dance Theatre for Munto + Deeply Rooted (February 3, 2024). The performance will showcase authentic and progressive interpretations of contemporary and ancient African and African-American dance, music, and storytelling.

Goodman Theatre will present two new shows this season:

  • Highway Patrol (January 20 – February 18, 2024, in Goodman’s Albert Theatre) – Emmy Award-winner Dana Delany (China Beach, Desperate Housewives) stars in this new thriller—part love story, part ghost story—crafted from hundreds of tweets and DMs. When Cam, a 13-year-old fan in a desperate medical situation, captures actress Dana Delany’s attention on Twitter, she’s quickly swept into an intense, around-the-clock online friendship. But when Cam starts receiving messages from beyond, Dana is thrust into a world where unexpected revelations raise the question of how far we go to love and be loved.
  • The Matchbox Magic Flute (February 10 – March 10, 2024, in Goodman’s Owen Theatre) – In her acclaimed signature style, Mary Zimmerman conceives a brand new theatrical adaptation of Mozart’s beloved opera. Playful and imaginative, it’s big music in a small space. This “matchbox” presentation of The Matchbox Magic Flute features a cast of 10 and an orchestra of five—following the fantastic adventures of Prince Tamino and Princess Pamina. With dragons, a man who is a bird, trials by fire and water, and underground corridors, Day and Night do battle.

Guarneri Hall presents its winter/spring lineup: 

  • Rands at 90 (Part 1 & Part 2) (March 8 – 9, 2024) – Renowned composer Bernard Rands (b. 1934) will celebrate his 90th birthday with a two-day residency at Guarneri Hall. The event will feature works that deeply influenced Rands, compositions from his own seven-decade career, and pieces written by composers on whom Rands has had a profound influence.
  • George Crumb: Ancient Mysteries and the Universe of Dreams (April 2, 2024) – American composer George Crumb (1929-2022) will be the focus of an evening dedicated to his work. Scott Yoo, star of PBS’ popular series Now Hear This, will host the program with performances by flutist Alice Dade, members of NEXUS Chamber Music, and members of the Grossman Ensemble.

The Joffrey Ballet is pleased to present Studies in Blue February 15 – 25, 2024, at the Lyric Opera House. The performance celebrates a mixed rep program featuring deeply moving works by choreographers Liam Scarlett and Andrew McNicol, and an innovative world premiere by emerging artist Stina Quagebeur.

Lyric Opera of Chicago is proud to welcome the following performances this winter and spring:

  • Cinderella (January 21 – February 10, 2024) – Rossini’s enchanting fairytale heroine returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago stage in classic style. Cinderella (La Cenerentola) tells the story of the downtrodden daughter of a selfish father, Don Magnifico. When Prince Ramiro (disguised as his own valet, Dandini) meets her, they fall instantly in love, leading — after a few complications — to a heartwarming happy ending. Rossini’s score provides endless sparkle, with Cenerentola’s and Ramiro’s arias abounding in fabulous vocal virtuosity. There’s also hilarity, thanks to the antics of Magnifico and Dandini. Two rising stars, Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, and Jack Swanson, will be joined by the incomparable Alessandro Corbelli to lead Lyric’s cast in Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s world-famous production led by the exciting Taiwanese conductor Yi-Chen Lin.
  • Champion (January 27 – February 11, 2024) – Lyric Opera of Chicago welcomes Champion, the first opera written by composer Terence Blanchard. Based on a true story and featuring a libretto by Michael Cristofer; the drama unfolds in what composer Terence Blanchard calls “an opera in jazz.” Welterweight boxer Emile Griffith is tortured by the complex realities of his life: decades-long guilt from defeating a challenger in the ring, who died from Griffith’s blows; and desperately conflicted feelings regarding his own sexuality. James Robinson’s production arrives in Chicago with a remarkable cast. Joining Lyric favorites Reginald Smith, Jr., Whitney Morrison, and Paul Groves is Justin Austin, a brilliant new star who triumphed in Fire Shut Up in My Bones, with Music Director Enrique Mazzola leading the Lyric Opera Orchestra.
  • Aida (March 9 – April 7, 2024) – Opera at its grandest! While Aida delights audiences with its visual splendor, it also captivates them with a score ranging from exquisitely intimate arias to deeply dramatic duets and trios and the most thrilling choruses Verdi ever composed. At Lyric Opera of Chicago, each of the five principal artists boasts not only a sumptuously beautiful voice but also the charismatic presence to bring these characters and the opera’s story of a riveting love triangle vividly to life. Conducting Francesca Zambello’s striking production will be Music Director Enrique Mazzola, acknowledged internationally as an exceptionally authoritative Verdian.


After a historic inaugural race in July 2023,NASCAR Chicago Street Race will return to downtown Chicago from July 6-7, 2024. Stay tuned for additional updates and information.

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