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Chicago July 14–20: Lego Party & Chinatown Summer Fair

The best of what to do in and around Chicago this week

Party and play in Chicago this week. There’s lots of live music in Lincoln Park, and the Museum of Science and Industry is having a Lego party. Enjoy Chinese food and culture at the Chinatown Summer Fair, and make sure to save room for drinks from Chicago’s new microbrewery.

AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.  

July 15–17 | Music festival
Pitchfork Music Festival
This annual indie music festival is celebrating its 10th year in the Windy City with Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, and Chance the Rapper. Other big names include the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, folk singer Sufjan Stevens, Canadian post-rocker Broken Social Scene, and R&B singer Miguel, among dozens of others. A full lineup of knowns and unknowns will be filling out Union Park, the place to be for all Chicago hipsters and indie music lovers.
3:30–10 p.m. | Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St., Chicago | From $65 | website


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July 16 | Toys
Summer Brick Party
Attention, Lego fans young and old: This week, as part of the Museum of Science and Industry’s Lego-themed Brick by Brick exhibit, there’s a party devoted to all things Lego. There will be Lego replicas of famous sites on display, a motorized Lego jousting competition, a workshop on how to build your own podcasts, and more. Participants are also invited to a complimentary showing of The LEGO Movie (1 p.m. in the Omnimax Theater—first come, first served).
10 a.m.–5 p.m. | 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago | From $18 | website

July 16–17 | Escape the city
New Buffalo, Michigan
You can take the train (Amtrak stops right outside the Harbor Grand Hotel) or drive to this  beach town. It may be only an hour from Chicago, but New Buffalo feels worlds away. Here, the beach is just steps from your hotel. You can learn about spirits via the Journeyman Distillery tours, or take in a movie at the Vickers Theatre, an indie theater housed in a turn-of-the-century building. Another option: Spend the morning at the beach, then head to Round Barn Winery in the evening for live entertainment and Round Barn wines, spirits, and microbrews on the vineyard grounds. 

Summer Brick Party
July 17 | Fair
Chinatown Summer Fair
More than 40,000 people will descend on Chicago’s Chinatown to celebrate Chinese culture and all the yummy food that goes along with it. There will be martial arts demonstrations, a petting zoo, a traveling children’s museum, and, of course, a lion dance procession. Local and regional acts will perform music and dance routines, and neighborhood restaurants will showcase their best dishes. There will even be some more offbeat choices of entertainment, such as a “hot legs” contest for men and a “cutest baby” contest.
10 a.m.–8 p.m. | Wentworth Ave. from Cermak Rd. to 24th Pl., Chicago | Free | website

Now open | Microbrewery
This 25,000-square-foot South Loop spot, which has been years in the making, is named for Chicago’s favorite beer of the 1990s, a Czech-style pilsner. Baderbräu’s founder, Rob Sama, first learned to brew beer during that time, while he was studying at the Univeristy of Chicago. Watch beer being brewed while you drink lagers and wheat ales in the 4,000-square-foot taproom.
 If you’re hungry, order food for delivery from  one of the local eateries, and feel free to stay awhile and play a board game or two.
2515 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago | website

Danielle Braff lives in Chicago with her husband, two daughters, two cats, and her dog. When she’s not writing, she’s out photographing her city and running around frantically trying to fit as many events as she can into her day. You can check out her other articles at Daniellebraff.com.

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