What awesome thing can I do this weekend in Chicago?
July 13, 2010 2:06 PM   Subscribe

What awesome, secret, impossible-to-get-in-to thing in Chicago can I take my friends to this weekend?

(anonymous in case any of them see this)
I'll be in Chicago this weekend, and will probably be having a few out-of-town friends coming to hang out somewhere in Friday/Saturday/Sunday. I'm somewhat known for coming up with absurdly awesome, last minute things to do, so I'd love to surprise them this weekend, especially since one of them would be driving several hours.

I'm thinking maybe something along the lines of the Signature Room, which is the sorta' unknown alternative to the What you talkin' 'bout, Willis Tower. Or maybe something like one of the street festivals that I've been hearing about. Or even a big tour of the pedway that no one has ever hear of.

Yes, I realize those are a bit boring (but we are out of towners..) Really, I'm in Chicago just rarely enough that I don't even know where the iceberg of cool begins. And yes, I realize it might be a bit late to get two tickets to that thing you love, but I'm sure y'all can help me find something anyway.

Thanks hivemind!
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (21 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
well, i did just get this in the mail:

Good news Pitchfork Music Festival Fans!!

Although Saturday and Sunday tickets have been sold out for weeks, and Friday will be gone very soon, we’re going to release a limited number of tickets for all 3 days that you can buy in person at Union Park on Thursday, July 15th. The box office will be open from 11 am to 6 pm on Ashland Ave, in the middle of Union Park. First come, first serve, cash only, while supplies last.

No Refunds. No Exchanges. No Re-Entry.

See you soon!
posted by Oktober at 2:11 PM on July 13, 2010

The Cubs are in town all weekend. Tickets are easy to come by. But if you're still around on Monday, 7/19, though, you can take a tour of Wrigley Field.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:18 PM on July 13, 2010

Dress up & have a good meal in the west loop (Sepia or Blackbird, maybe?) and then finish the night with drinks and dancing in the lobby of the Peninsula.

So fucking cool.
posted by felix betachat at 2:27 PM on July 13, 2010

Take them for drinks at The Violet Hour. You'll have to wait in line. You should dress up a bit. It's fabulous and worth it. Afterward, go directly across the street for some of the most delicious pork belly tacos you'll ever try. Go to the taco window or in to the bar—the table service outside stinks.
posted by smich at 2:40 PM on July 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

How about the Ferris Bueller Chicago Experience!
posted by Vindaloo at 2:56 PM on July 13, 2010

I'm somewhat known for coming up with absurdly awesome, last minute things to do

I will always recommend checking out the Neo-Futurists. They do thirty plays in sixty minutes. Mixture of comic, political, poignant, weird. It runs late-night (doors at 11pm) on Friday and Saturday. You could easily be hanging out at a bar around the corner and then just say, "Oh yeah, we're going to see this crazy play thing. It's next door."
posted by lholladay at 3:04 PM on July 13, 2010

Seconding The Violet Hour. A friend of mine went there and couldn't stop raving about it. Plus, unicorns get a mention on the front page of the website; how can you go wrong with that?
posted by SugarAndSass at 3:07 PM on July 13, 2010

I've gone to the Violet Hour a few times right when they opened (6 pm) and did not have to wait in line.
posted by jennyb at 3:39 PM on July 13, 2010

-Neo-futurists: win

-Violet Hour: cool, but I literally drove past it twice, then walked past it twice more before someone walked out of their cleverly designed door.

-Drink at the top of the john hancock tower (apparently the womens room has the best view in the city)

-Instead of punching each other whenever you see a volkswagon beetle, do it whenever you see a Walgreens ... my GF and I started doing that in Chicago (you'll see why) and just kept it up (bonding over violence is healthy, right?)

-DO NOT: go to the Navy Pier

posted by milqman at 4:29 PM on July 13, 2010

My favorite working blues band, Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials, is playing Friday/Saturday at Rosa's Lounge. They're an awful lot of fun, and how can you pass up a blues bar in Chicago? Also, Clandestino is throwing an underground cocktail party on the river on Saturday. Have fun!
posted by GamblingBlues at 5:46 PM on July 13, 2010

nthing the Violet Hour!
posted by roomwithaview at 6:11 PM on July 13, 2010

If you're feeling mellow and want to look at some pretty flowers in a tony neighborhood and listen to live music and drink beer, the Sheffield Garden Walk may be just your speed.
posted by Work to Live at 6:21 PM on July 13, 2010

Schwa (previously)
posted by timsteil at 6:39 PM on July 13, 2010

Apparently WhirlyBall is big in Chicago.
posted by armage at 7:25 PM on July 13, 2010

From mefi's own Gapers Block:

BBQ History @ Chicago History Museum
Smoque's Barry Sorkin (and journalist Craig Goldwyn) will talk about the history of 'cue today at the Chicago History Museum, Broadway and North Avenues, today at 10am. Event sponsored by Culinary Historians of Chicago. Admission $3-5.
posted by eamondaly at 10:01 PM on July 13, 2010

Also, not sure when your friends are leaving, but there's an interesting X-rated event at the Admiral: "a special live performance of Strip For Pain, the game show where contestants get the ultimate reward for the amount of pain they can endure!"
posted by eamondaly at 10:05 PM on July 13, 2010

I'm a big fan of the Green Mill -- a Capone-era jazz bar -- but I haven't been there in years.
posted by hawkeye at 8:20 AM on July 14, 2010

Sailing on Lake Michigan in a tall ship! I love the schooner ship Red Witch. Go on a twilight/sunset cruise on Saturday night to watch the Navy Pier fireworks from (the very cool vantage point) 2 miles out on the lake. Bring some snacks and wine!

The Signature Room is wonderful! If you or your guests are on a budget, lunch at the Signature Room is a lot cheaper than dinner. The views from both the Hancock and Willis Tower are wonderful. Willis Tower might have the edge with the newish addition of The Ledge which is really cool! You can't go wrong either way.
posted by Hop123 at 9:51 AM on July 14, 2010

One more item: you didn't mention budget, but for $50 a head you can go inside Buckingham Fountain.
posted by eamondaly at 2:32 PM on July 14, 2010

You want impossible to get into this weekend in Chicago?

You are talking about The Girl and The Goat.

(Top Chef Season 4 winner's new restaurant just opened.)
posted by achmorrison at 2:40 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

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