Proof that Chicago is alive and kicking
December 23, 2017 5:49 AM   Subscribe

We need stuff to do in Chicago for this coming week. Our group isn't really into the Xmas stuff and we're looking for things we haven't done before. Transportation is not an issue so we're open to driving around.

Bonus points for anything lesser known.

Do NOT want
The bean
Shopping/window shopping
Ice skating
Any of the museums/zoos

Nice to have but not required
The winter equivalent of drag racing?
posted by jojo and the benjamins to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Oh man, if only it were the height of roller derby season. The next I see is January 5 at UIC for the Windy City Rollers.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 6:00 AM on December 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Southport Bowl: it's an old timey bowling alley where your ball is retrieved by a real person behind the pins. It's also a bar. There are a couple roller skating places, one in the south west suburb and another north west. King Spa for communal naked baths and unusual meditation rooms with Korean food. Queer friendly but not always trans friendly.
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 8:25 AM on December 23, 2017 [3 favorites]

Go to the movies.
posted by mai at 8:32 AM on December 23, 2017

Seriously the Music Box is an amazing theater.
posted by mai at 8:32 AM on December 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Jazz and other out-there music.
posted by mai at 8:35 AM on December 23, 2017

Uptown Underground, an underground speakeasy cabaret space, has two good shows on Friday the 29th, both queer friendly and super fun. There's Raks Geek: (Not) the Last Jedi, a Star Wars-inspired belly dance, fire, and flow show with elements of burlesque at 8 PM and the Wild Side Pole Show at 10 PM. Uptown is a cool neighborhood altogether. The famous Green Mill jazz club is right up the block from Uptown Underground and they've got programming all week.
posted by merriment at 9:09 AM on December 23, 2017

How do you feel about thrifting? Chicago has so many fun places. I suggest lunch at the (very fun and queer friendly) Pick Me Up Cafe, pop over to Ragstock for two levels of vintage and non vintage treasures, then scoot up to Andersonville for The Brown Elephant (a thrift store benefiting LGBTQ health and wellness clinics). It's not thrifting but the always amazing Women and Children First bookstore is right across the street!
posted by eggs at 9:55 AM on December 23, 2017 [3 favorites]

Alternatively, Logan Arcade is really fun
posted by eggs at 9:58 AM on December 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have heard that the Hideout dance party is a ton of fun.
posted by Mid at 2:34 PM on December 23, 2017

Axe throwing?
posted by latkes at 8:24 PM on December 23, 2017

Leather Archives (I know you said no museums but I’m guessing you meant the more touristy kind of institutions)
Gerber Hart Library, awesome LGBTQ Chicago history artifacts
Second Story bar, Chicago’s last downtown LGBTQ bar and a great time
Replay in Andersonville or Boystown, play video games, drink, cruise and/or be cruised

Chicago Comics, good queer-friendly lit
People Play Games (vintage video game retail)
Galloping Ghost in Brookfield, one of the world’s largest collections of free play arcade games
Dice Dojo, the largest board game store I've ever seen. You can bring in your own food and beer and try out hundreds of games for free. They also hold regular events.

Offbeat or interesting cultural destinations:
International museum of surgical science ( again, I know you said no museums but this one is lesser-known, creepy and worth checking out)
University of Chicago campus: very pretty Gothic walking tour (self-guided works fine) during winter. Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House, Bond Chapel, Oriental Institute, the Henry Moore statue at the site of the first nuclear chain reaction, and take a nice drive around Hyde Park to see the beautiful old mansions, including Obama's.
Lots of fun and weird stuff in the Atlas Obscura Chicago guide.
posted by lieber hair at 11:17 AM on December 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

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