No Lolla? No Problem: 9 Non-Lollapalooza Events You Can Enjoy Around Chicago This Weekend
This year, Lollapalooza kicked off a day early on July 28 to celebrate 25 years of music in Chicago’s Grant Park. That means celebs and tourists are all flocking to The Windy City for this last weekend in July. That also means tickets to the four-day festival sold out before you could finish saying “-palooza” (less than an hour after they were released back in March). If you‘ll be in town, but missed your chance to snag a pass, check out nine other amazing attractions Chicago has to offer this weekend.
The Magnificent Mile
Chicago’s Magnificent Mile is the premiere shopping hub of the city. Every major fashion store from Victoria’s Secret to Forever 21 and Tiffany’s has a spot on Michigan Avenue near the lakefront. You can make a day out of your shopping trip by visiting one of the stellar restaurants surrounding the street as well, including The Purple Pig (Mediterranean), Grand Lux Café (American), or Spiaggia (Italian).
Butterflies and Blooms Exhibit
Get in touch with nature at the Butterflies and Blooms exhibit at Chicago’s Botanic Garden. Hundreds of butterflies from Asia, South and North America, Africa, and even Illinois fill the Instagram-worthy enclosure off Lake Cook Road near Ravinia. From May 28 through Sept. 5.
Architecture Riverboat Cruises
Coast down memory lane—er, river—on one of The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s riverboat cruises. The Windy City is world-renowned for its buildings nestled along the lakefront and up the river running through the city. This tour provides an escape from crowded city bustle to enjoy 90 minutes of history.
The Laugh Factory
Have a laugh at The Laugh Factory’s Chicago location in Lake View. Comedian titans like Jay Leno, Roseanne Barr, Nick Canon, Drew Carey, and more, have all graced the stage in this swanky spot off of North Broadway. There are several shows listed for this weekend, including Chicago’s Best Standup roundup and Funked Up Friday with Al Lubecker.
Stroll down Milwaukee Avenue in eclectic Wicker Park to transport back to the best of the ‘90s at Kokorokoko. This vintage shop features exclusively ‘90s gear in all its neon, sequin glory. There’s enough to create an entire wardrobe that would make The Fresh Prince himself a bit jealous. When you’ve finished shopping, check out the Emporium Arcade Bar across the street for a drink, stop by The Bongo Room for a late brunch, or head further down the avenue and hit more thrift shops like Buffalo Exchange.
Stay cool indoors with and immerse yourself in art culture. The Art Institute of Chicago is home to several of the world’s most famous paintings and other artworks, like Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and Pablo Picasso's The Old Guitarist. The institute also has ongoing summer exhibitions like "America After the Fall: Painting in the 1930s," "Vanishing Beauty: Asian Jewelry and Ritual Objects from the Barbara and David Kipper Collection," "Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem," and more.
Brookfield Zoo Summer Nights
Millennium Park Summer Music Series
Enjoy a free outdoor summer concert that won’t put you out $335 like a Lolla 4-day pass. On Monday, Aug. 1, Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion will host Jose Gonzales and Tall Heights. The latter Boston duo, Paul Wright (singer/cellist) and Tim Harrington (singer/guitarist), has a new album called Neptune dropping Aug. 19. Enjoy the backdrop of Chicago’s gorgeous skyline for smooth listening and gorgeous scenery—a perfect Windy City summer night.
Chicago Margarita Festival
Spend a boozy day at the South Shore Cultural Center for Chicago’s Margarita Festival. Sip on 10 different margarita flavors while enjoying Caribbean, Latin, and salsa island-influenced music and dancing.