Neighborhood News-Dancing, festing and more on the West Side, Lincoln Park, West Town, NorthHalsted, Museum Campus, Chicago Loop

The dog days of August are here, and Chicago is ready—to party! Street fests, Lollapaloozas of all kinds, and family-friendly fun await you, indoors and out! 

The Lollapalooza of Country Music…. Willie Nelson & Family. Turnpike Troubadors. Tim McGraw. Sam Hunt. Miranda Lambert. Kip Moore. Where can you find all these headliners in one place? The Windy City Smokeout, that’s where! The parking lot of the United Center is usually home to a sea of cars for Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks games. From Thursday, August 4 to Sunday, August 7, it becomes the backdrop for one of the largest country music festivals in the United States! Doors open at 2pm. Windy City Smokeout features renowned artists and up-and-coming talent in both music AND barbecue. Kick off your festival weekend with The Biggest Happy Hours of the Summer! The Smokeout is hosting two happy hours on Thursday and Friday from 2pm-5pm. Each event will feature $6 domestic and $7 craft beers with live music from up-and-coming artists. Access to each happy hour is included with Thursday, Friday, or 4-day pass. Drinks are a la carte.  The festival ends with a true country all-you-can-eat BBQ Brunch, with doors opening at 11am. For tickets and information, click here.

Everywhere Around The World… They’ll be Dancing in the Streets! West Town sponsors a great party from Friday, August 5,, 5pm-10pm, and Saturday and Sunday, August 6 and 7, from noon to 10pm on Hubbard Street between Paulina and Wood Streets. Some Trivia: The event is actually named for a Grateful Dead song and celebrates the life of founder Jerry Garcia. Come for nonstop dance music, followed by a cold one from their robust craft beer menu (over a dozen varieties from the Chicago Brewing District, which co-sponsors the event.) Cool down and energize with treats from local food vendors and food trucks, while browsing local artists and makers. All for a $10 suggested donation! For more information, click here.

The Lollapalooza of Bugs…Calling all bug enthusiasts… Bugapalooza 2022  onSaturday, August 6 at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, from 1pm-4pm. Get up close and personal with native insects and spiders, and visit the petting zoo while you’re there! Nerd out with our entomologist, watch insect pinning demonstrations, and learn to dance like a bee. Then, grab a net and head outside to discover the insects and spiders that call our prairie home. Ticket price includes museum admission. All ages are welcome. For tickets and more information, click here. 

To Market… to Market!  Save room for a trip north, celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Northhalsted Market Days® on Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7. The music street festival celebrates community in Chicago’s landmark Northalsted/Lakeview district. The ½ mile long summer festival features all-day lineups of live music on 5 stages, 200+ unique vendors, arts, crafts, food and drink, DJs/dancing, and more! The festival runs from Belmont to Addison on North Halsted Street in America’s first recognized gay village and a Chicago LGBTQ+ historic landmark. For more information and VIP passes, click here.

Welcome to Jurassic World Dominion…Just one month remains to experience The Field Museum, 1400 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive, ode to dinosaurs,Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep.Now throughSeptember 5, meet the underwater giants that lived 200 million years ago. As dinosaurs reached new heights, sea creatures became larger, faster, and fiercer. Experience what it’s like to stand (or swim) next to top predators like a plesiosaur—a reptile with flippers, a very long neck, and super sharp teeth. For tickets and more information, click here.

Never (Always!) on Sunday… Sundays on State returns on Sunday, August 7 from Lake to Monroe Streets, 11am-6pm. Bring your well-behaved, leashed pets and strollered babies and children to this free, interactive block party, while safely enjoying art, culture, active recreation, food, drinks, shopping, and local attractions. Lots of deals at local merchants, music and performances galore. Register to attend Sundays on State and be automatically entered for a chance to win a $1000 Loop Staycation package with a hotel stay at theWit Hotel Chicago. For the August 7 lineup, click here.

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago