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The ultimate guide to museums, culture, & entertainment attractions in Chicago

Harris Theater for Music and Dance

Entering its 13th season, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance is featuring some of the most innovative and sought after music and dance artists and companies in the country and the world on their mainstage this season. Bringing two Chicago Debuts for international companies, and presenting seven Chicago Premieres of new works, two Harris Theater commissions for Chicago-based dance companies, two World Premieres, and five performances from the Chamber Music of Lincoln Center, the Harris is bringing the very best of what is being created around the world straight to Chicago audiences. You can experience many of these performances in the remainder of 2016 including performances from Danish Dance Theatre, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills and Robert McDuffie, Joyce DiDonato, and Batsheva Dance Company early in the New Year.

The Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance is a 1,500-seat state-of-the-art performance venue located in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Opened in November 2003, the nonprofit Harris Theater was the first multiuse performance venue built in downtown Chicago since 1929. Today, the theater features the most diverse offerings of any venue in Chicago, hosting local, national, and internationally renowned artists and ensembles.

For more information, please call the Harris Theater Box Office located at 205 East Randolph Drive, 312-334-7777, or visit online at HarrisTheaterChicago.org.


Joyce DiDonato: In War & Peace: Harmony Through Music

Friday, December 9 • 7:30 p.m.

Joyce DiDonato explores the dichotomy of discord and harmony in times of war through her powerful interpretation of Baroque arias.

Batsheva Dance Company: Last Work

Friday, January 27 & Saturday, January 28 • 7:30 p.m.

Batsheva Dance Company has been critically acclaimed and popularly embraced as one of the foremost contemporary dance companies in the world. They bring with them the stunning Last Work, which The New York Times describes as, “…breathtaking for the extraordinary dancing by the Batsheva dancers…”


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 125th Anniversary Season reaches a thrilling finale with the Symphony Ball Program led by Riccardo Muti (above).

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti returns in October 2016 to lead CSO programs from October 13 through 18. Muti and the CSO officially mark the conclusion of the 125th anniversary season at the Symphony Ball concert on Saturday, October 15 at 6 p.m.

The evening’s program recreates the program performed at the Orchestra’s very first concert in 1891 and features Wagner’s A Faust Overture, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Dvořák’s Husitská Overture and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, with acclaimed soloist Daniil Trifonov. The Symphony Ball celebration begins with a pre-concert reception for all ticketholders, and is followed by a post-concert dinner and dancing for Gala patrons.

Muti opens his week of CSO programs with a return to Apostolic Church of God (6320 South Dorchester Avenue) for a free, community concert featuring an all-Beethoven program on Thursday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Muti’s October residency continues with subscription concerts on Friday, October 14 at 8 p.m. and Tuesday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m. Muti and the Orchestra perform Mussorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition alongside works by Dvořák, Hindemith and Schumann’s Cello Concerto with CSO Principal Cello John Sharp as soloist.

For information and tickets, visit cso.org or call the Symphony Center Box Office at 312-294-3000.


Have you ever walked by a building and thought, I wish I could see what’s inside?

Now you can. The Chicago Architecture Foundation is proud to present the sixth-annual Open House Chicago on October 15 and 16, 2016. Open House Chicago is a free festival that offers behind-the-scenes access to 200 buildings across the city.

In this free weekend festival, explore the hidden gems of the city’s diverse neighborhoods. Tour repurposed mansions, stunning skyscrapers, opulent theaters, exclusive private clubs, industrial districts, private offices, and breathtaking sacred spaces. Visit openhousechicago.org.

Chicago History Museum

The Chicago History Museum cares for, showcases, and interprets millions of authentic pieces of Chicago and U.S. history. Our ability to illuminate the past is a reminder of what really happened once upon a time, sheds light on the present, and compellingly informs the future.

Permanent exhibitions include Chicago: Crossroads of America, which sends visitors on a journey through a re-created jazz club and features a replica of an original L car and the monkey bars that its passengers hung from during commutes. The Secret Lives of Objects is a special exhibition that features over 40 objects and artifacts that have emerged from the museum’s protected vaults.

The Kid’s Gallery exhibition, Sensing Chicago, enables young visitors to explore Chicago’s history through their five senses. The Museum’s newest exhibition, Making Mainbocher: The First American Couturier, follows the journey of Main Rousseau Bocher, who established a fashion empire serving royalty, Hollywood, and the social elite. This exhibition features nearly thirty garments, fashion illustrations, and photography and explores the life and legacy of a remarkable man and his journey to become Mainbocher.

Lyric Opera

Forbidden love, raging passion, eternal optimism, charming fantasy, heroic bravery, and a whole lot of amazing singing, acting, orchestral glory, and stunning stagecraft—Lyric’s got it all in the new 16/17 Season, starting October 1. Something wondrous awaits music lovers at every point on the spectrum. From the monumental—with the launch of a new Ring cycle and the epic tale of The Trojans—to treasured classics like Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Bizet’s Carmen—take the journey with us.

This season, there are more ways than ever to join us at Lyric. Special events include our annual Broadway musical, My Fair Lady, one-night-only concerts and recitals, and unique programming from Lyric Unlimited—including the genre-spanning Chicago Voices Gala. Experience the magic of a performance in the splendor of Lyric’s Civic Opera House. Enjoy flexibility, free date exchanges, and maximum savings when you choose any four performances and customize a Create Your Own package or any of Lyric’s Fixed Series.

Long Live Passion!

For Lyric’s full season schedule or to purchase tickets, visit lyricopera.org or call 312-827-5600 to speak to a representative ready to help you find the best seats at the lowest prices. Tickets start at just $34.


The Joffrey Ballet presents the return of Krzysztof Pastor’s critically acclaimed reimagining of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers as they fight against a 20th-century Italian society awash in political strife and war. Blurring the lines of dance and violence, this is impossible love at its most defiant. A powerful, provocative romance for our modern age. “Pastor’s work is a marvel, and the Joffrey dancers seem to be catapulted to the moon by it,” says the Chicago Sun-Times.

Tickets start at $34. To purchase, visit joffrey.org/romeo or call 312-386-8905.


Romeo & Juliet

October 13–23, 2016

The Nutcracker

December 10–30, 2016

Game Changers

February 15–26, 2017

Global Visionaries

April 26–May 7, 2017

All performances take place at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 East Congress Parkway.

Museum of Science and Industry

Explore the power of play at the Museum of Science and Industry’s newest temporary exhibition, Brick by Brick. Playing is the ultimate gateway to innovation, and through the familiar LEGO® brick, Brick by Brick encourages guests to build the unbuildable.

Brick by Brick focuses on simple engineering concepts through beautiful LEGO-built replicas partnered with fun, hands-on building challenges. Former architect and LEGO® Certified Professional, Adam Reed Tucker—who is also a Chicago-area native—designed and built 13 awe-inspiring structures from around the world. Tucker’s extraordinary formations, completed with incredible attention to detail, contain more than 300,000 bricks total and took hundreds of hours of trial and error to create.

Some of the fantastic creations include a 60-foot-long Golden Gate Bridge, an intricate model of Cinderella’s Castle, the historic Roman Colosseum, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater masterpiece, the American Eagle roller coaster, and more.

Interactive stations allow guests to build and test structures to withstand earthquakes and heavy winds, tinker with LEGO bricks to create unique designs, and imagine a future city using LEGO Architecture Series kits.

Plan your visit to Brick by Brick at MSI now! For easy tools to plan your visit and to purchase tickets in advance, visit mschicago.org.

Above: The Golden Gate Bridge LEGO-built replica is 60 feet long and features 64,500 bricks.

Stone Terrace Bed & Breakfast

Stone Terrace is the pinnacle of a luxury B&B experience in the heart of Evanston. Built in 1883, the historic Tudor mansion has been meticulously restored to its original grandeur and transformed into a bed & breakfast—filled with upgraded amenities and state-of-the-art décor.

This one-of-a-kind bed & breakfast offers world-class accommodations including: five guest suites, massage room, exercise room, sunroom, billiards & game room, executive library, and two perennial gardens facing east to Lake Michigan and west toward downtown Evanston.

Stone Terrace is sure to provide the perfect level of relaxation and comfort for your next out-of-town visit or staycation. Come enjoy the breathtaking views, stylish charm, and welcoming innkeepers who will make your stay one to always remember.

1622 Forest Place

Evanston, IL 60201




As the third largest Holocaust museum in the world, Illinois Holocaust Museum inspires individuals of all ages to turn the powerful lessons of history into positive actions today. Designed by renowned architect Stanley Tigerman, the Museum is one of Chicagoland’s premier attractions conveniently located just off I-94 at the Old Orchard Road exit.


Women Hold Up Half the Sky identifies one of the central moral challenges of the 21st century—full equality for the world’s women. Based on the bestselling book Half the Sky by Pulitzer-prize winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, this beautifully designed exhibition challenges visitors to take action to improve women’s and girls’ lives locally and worldwide.


The Karkomi Holocaust Exhibition features personal belongings and video narratives of local Holocaust Survivors to create a highly personal educational experience. Make a Difference! The Harvey L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition engages kids ages eight to twelve in an interactive experience that teaches them to reflect on the power of their choices to create positive change. Programs throughout the year feature scholars, artists, and public leaders, and open meaningful dialogue on contemporary issues of social justice and human rights.

Open daily from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and until 8 p.m. Thursday evenings. For more information visit, ilholocaustmuseum.org.

Women Hold Up Half the Sky is co-presented with YWCA Evanston/North Shore and is organized and circulated by the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, California.


Film & Discussion Series

Four award-winning films feature discussions with subject experts.

Gallery Talks & Panel Discussions

Women and human rights experts address maternal health, trafficking, and gender-based violence taking place locally and globally.

Reservations are required for all programs. See full exhibition program details at lholocaustmuseum.org/standup4women.