From going to museums and shows to enjoying neighborhood festivals and awesome public art, there is always something to see and do in Chicago.
Indeed, there is so much to choose from that trying to wade through all the information is akin to almost drowning in a sea of information.
So here are four suggestions for different ages and interests.
Sharks at the Shedd
It doesn’t matter if you missed Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” programs at the end of July, you can visit the sharks and learn about them at the Shedd Aquariam, one of Chicago’s most visited museums.
Instead of merely watching Shedd inhabitants swim and cavort, find out more about what you are seeing by chatting with divers and experts during animal chats. They take place at different times each day at the Caribbean Reef with a diver during feeding time, at Wild Reef when an expert answers such question s as why the sharks you’ll see don’t eat their fish companions, and at the Oceanarium where there are beluga and sea lions animal chats. There is also a daily expert answering questions about penguins in the Polar Play Zone
However, there is also a 60 minute shark feeding tour experience at the Wild Reef that is fascinating. Because it is a behind the scenes tour it needs planning ahead of time and special tickets. For that info visit Sharks. For animal chats visit Shedd.
Imagine DreamWorks 2005 film coming alive on stage. With award winning director/choreographer Rachel Rockwell at the helm, the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s version of the characters is jazzy enough and cool enough to keep youngsters and adults clapping and moving for 70 short minutes. It’s certainly family friendly but adults don’t have to find a child to come and enjoy a show about New York’s Central Park Zoo residents escaping to an island country.
‘Madagascar is at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier, 800 Grand Avenue, Chicago, now through Aug. 27, 2017. For tickets and other information visit ChicagoShakes.
Andersonville, known as home to the Swedish American Museum and ethnic restaurants, is holding its annual Dinner Crawl Aug. 9. However, if not able to make the event check out the website to put together your own taste of Andersonville.
Typcialy attracting 600 foodies, the event offers three choices: Golden Fork, Silver Spoon and The Works routes and menus. The Crawl starts at 4 p.m. at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St. For tickets and a list of restaurants and stops visit Andersonville.
A Picasso Celebration of Public Art
For people who remember when that 50-foot tall, odd-looking sculpture was set up on Daley Plaza 50 years ago, it might seem like yesterday that Pablo Picasso designed an extraordinary sculpture for Chicago. People who keep an eye on the statue to see what sport celebration may be crowning it or hanging around its neck, the sculpture has come to signify city pride. And it’s universally recognized. So what to do when its 50th anniversary rolls around?
Well, in Chicago the anniversary will be celebrated with a re-staging of its unveiling, music performances and a few speeches beginning at noon, Aug. 8.
But if unable to make the storied event, this summer is a good chance to appreciate the city’s year-long celebration: “20017 Year of Public Art.” The Chicago Public Art Collection, managed by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, contains more than 500 art works scattered throughout the city.
From Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate (The Bean) and Jaume Plense’s Crown Fountain in Millennium Park to Jean Dubuffet’s “Monument with Standing Beast” at the State of Illinois Building and Alexander Calder’s “Flamingo” a the Federal Center Plaza, there are enough sculptures to walk around just downtown for an entire day. For a guide to the art works visit DCASE.