Summer Guide: 110 things to do this summer | Summer Guide | Chicago Reader

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Summer Guide: 110 things to do this summer

Something summery every day, from now until Labor Day

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Thu17 Get out of Dodge NATO's coming, bringing foreign dignitaries and martial law. Get out while you still can: see our summer getaways for a few inspired ideas.

Fri18 HoZac Blackout Davila 666, Redd Kross, and White Mystery are a few of the acts playing summer's first music festival, put on by grungy local music label HoZac. 5/18-5/20, Fri-Sat 5 PM, Sun 7 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600,, $20 for Fri, $25 for Sat-Sun.


Sat19 Beerfly Alleyfight Eleven home brews are matched with dishes by 11 local chefs and works by 11 local artists in this "tri-pairing" event. Noon-5 PM, Haymarket Pub and Brewery, 737 W. Randolph, 312-638-0700, drinkingand, $35 online, $40 at the door.

Sun20 Down & Dirty Mud Run This swampy obstacle course for the Army Rangers-minded comes in 5K and 10K varieties. Rinse stations are provided. 8 AM, Indian Hills Farm, 16N503 Powers, Gilberts, 773-443-0757,, $70.

Mon21 The Beach Boys 50th-anniversary tour The sounds of summer wouldn't be complete without the Beach Boys, who hit the road in honor of a half century of warm, dreamy tunes. 5/21-5/22, 8 PM, Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State,, $40-$250.

Tue22 Lagunitas & artisanal sausages Cleverly named brews including Hopstoopid, Wilco Tango Foxtrot, and Imperial Red paired with locally produced sausages. 7:30-10 PM, Fireside Restaurant and Lounge, 5739 N. Ravenswood. Craft Beer week runs 5/17-5/27.

Wed23 Model trains at Chicago Botanic Garden Nothing says summer innocence like gazing at mini trains chugging past tiny replicas of national landmarks in the middle of a blooming garden. (Part of our Summer Guide itinerary for Lake Forest, p 26.) 5/12-10/28, 10 AM-5 PM, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, 847-835-5440,, $5 adults, $3 kids.

Thu24 Snoop Dogg Not that you need another reason to see him, but the man did guest on that Frankenstein of summer jams, 2010's "California Gurls." 8 PM, Horseshoe Casino, 777 Casino Center, Hammond, Indiana, 219-473-6060,, $35-$60.


Fri25 The beaches open It's like the last day of being-dry school.

Sat26 Randolph Street Market It's the season opener of the long-running outdoor market whose 200 vendors sell everything from antiques to vintage threads to midcentury housewares. 5/26-5/27, 6/23-6/24, 7/28-7/29, 8/25-8/26, 9/29-9/30, Sat 10 AM-6 PM, Sun 10 AM-5 PM, 1340 W. Washington,, general admission $10, $8 in advance; students $5, $3 in advance.


Sun27 Bike the Drive Cruise up and down Lake Shore Drive in this annual event benefiting the Active Transportation Alliance. A festival from 8 AM to noon (Jackson and Columbus) features live music and all-you-can eat pancakes. Sun 5/27, 5:30 AM start, entry to drive stops at 9:45 AM, 312-427-3325, ext. 251,, $15-$58.

Mon28 Memorial Day! Fire up the grill, shotgun a beer, remix the national anthem, attend International Mr. Leather (—all in the name of our nation's armed forces.

Tue29 "A good off day for me starts with a nice home-cooked big breakfast and a solid pair of sweatpants. After breakfast, I'll take a bike ride on my cruiser through the neighborhood and down the lake path. After a morning cruise, I'll take my pooch, Dallas, to the park for some catch before heading into the studio to work on my art. I'll spend the afternoon concentrating on a few oil paintings and working on some sketches before heading back to the abode for a nice dinner." —Dan Gargan, defender for the Chicago Fire The Fire play at Toyota Park (7000 S. Harlem) through October.

Wed30 Fireworks @ Navy Pier See the rocket's red glare. (Boom, crash!) Wednesdays (9:30 PM) and Saturdays (10:15 PM), 5/26-9/1, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, 312-595-7437,, free.

Thu31 Mayfest Lincoln Square hosts this traditional German celebration, boasting live music and an authentic maypole. 5/31-6/3, Thu 5-9:30 PM, Fri 5-11 PM, Sat noon-11 PM, Sun noon-10 PM, 4700 N. Lincoln,, free.


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