How to Have Fun in Chicago Next Week

June 24 at 9:30pm: Divina Natura Italian light show. Free

This event promises to be super cool. To celebrate the Year of Italian Culture, the Field Museum’s grand façade will transform into a mesmerizing panorama of light created by internationally renowned Italian artist Marco Nereo Rotelli. Through a magical performance of music, poetry, and spectacular light projections, Rotelli will showcase his contemporary twist on Dante’s “Divine Comedy” that celebrates the history and achievements in Italian culture. Divina Natura will incorporate projected text and images that will interact with the building’s classical architectural elements, taking attendees on a voyage that delves into the mind of Dante and his struggle through the sinful circles of hell. The event will incorporate spoken word with readings by respected poets, both in English and a variety of global tongues, and the sonic atmosphere will include a soundtrack by soprano Karolina Dvorakova and a soundtrack by Adrian Leverkuhn and Thomas Masters.


June 24: 1st day of Flamenco Dance Summer Sessions with Clinard Dance Theater. 20% off  beginning level lessons for Chicago Urbanite followers. 

If you have ever been to one of Las Guitarras de Espana show, you have seen Wendy Clinard, the Artistic Director of Clinard Dance Theater, perform with them (see below). Wendy is offering a  7-week Flamenco dance summer session that culminates in a performance at the National Museum of Mexican Art with special guest singer Alfonso Cid. Get 20% off when you mention Chicago Urbanite when you register. Click here for more information. 

June 25 (8-10:15pm): Chicago Full Moon Jam Chicago  at lakefront park, between Foster and Lawrence Avenues. Free

The Chicago Full Moon Jams began in 2004 with a group of friends coming together to celebrate a simple birthday. Since then, it has grown into a monthly celebration, bringing together a diverse community of performers, musicians and spectators. Once the sun sets, dozens of fire dancers perform to music provided by local percussionists, using performance tools such as poi (a set of chains with weighted ends), staff, hula hoops and fans. Fire spinners include everyone from hobbyists to professional performance artists. The whole thing feels very tribal and earthy. Bring a percussion instrument and join one of the drum circles or just joining them as a dancer in the middle! The jams take place during the warm months on the night of the full moon falling between Sundays and Thursdays. They begin at sundown and end at 10:15pm. Go HERE for detailed jam schedule.

June 27: 1st day of SummerDance Fest. Free

My favorite festival – and the largest annual outdoor dancing series in the United States – starts this Thursday.  This a great public space that congregates a very diverse crowd: you will see people from different ethnicities, backgrounds, and ages getting together to dance with music from around the world, and all for free! Thanks Chicago! My recommendation: Mark your calendar for Romanian Fanfare Ciorcalia concert on July 12. It will be a blast! Click here for the complete calendar.

June 28-30: Milwaukee Ave Arts Fest. $5 suggested donation

This fest is a celebration of the art, music and culture of  trendy Logan Square. It has  great drinks and food from some of Logan Square’s most renowned restaurants. There is also a global funk dance after-party happening on the 29th .Get all the scoop here.

June 29th from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM  Bronzeville Historic Bike  Tour. $25-35

The bikes will be hitting the streets of Bronzeville to visit historical sites, like Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole Homes.  Enjoy food, jazz and big fun! Tickets are available through Eventbrite

June 30 at 1am: The L.A.T.E Bike Ride. Prices vary

Friends of the Parks’ L.A.T.E. Ride is a 25 mile, fun-filled tour of Chicago offering a unique nocturnal experience.  The LATE Ride starts at 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 30 at the Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park (Columbus and Congress Avenues).  From there, the course follows a route that winds through a dozen of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods including Chinatown, Little Italy, Greektown, Bucktown, Humboldt Park and Lincoln Square, culminating in a sunrise trek down the Lakefront Trail. Click here for more information.

June 30 at noon: Chicago Pride Parade at the intersection of Broadway and Montrose. Free

I ALWAYS have a such a great time at this parade!  (see picture below). Funny, colorful, and loving people get together to celebrate Chicago’s LGBT community.  The parade will feature 200 registered entries such as floats, decorated vehicles and marching groups representing organizations, groups, businesses, elected government officials and individuals. Click here for more information.

Gay Pride Parade

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