Here are the five coolest things to do in and around Chicago this week. We publish a new list every Wednesday, covering Thursday through Wednesday. Stay tuned for insider updates on restaurant openings, festivals, exhibitions, shows, weekend escapes, and more.
August 13–29 | Performance
The Fly Honey Show
A celebration of the female form in all shapes and sizes, the Fly Honey Show is part burlesque, part concert, and part talent show—all rolled into one boisterous cabaret. Expect rowdy rock and roll performances and risqué dance acts, all lightly dusted with body positivity and female empowerment. This is the sixth annual event and is produced by arts collective The Inconvenience, known for its avant-garde, multidisciplinary performances.
Thu–Sat at 10 p.m. | Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago | (773) 278-1500 | From $20 | website
August 14–16 | Festival
If the lifting of travel restrictions to Cuba has you pining for a trip to Havana, sate your craving at this outdoor festival. Watch some heated rivalry at the dominoes tournament, salsa to Cuban and Latin American music acts, go for a spin on the carnival rides, enjoy a cigar in the beer tent, and eat such food as Cuban sandwiches and spit-roasted pig. Kids are well catered for, too. As well as the rides, they can take rumba lessons, get their face painted, and meet the animals at the petting zoo.
Fri 3–10 p.m., Sat & Sun 10 a.m.–10 p.m. | Riis Park, 6100 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago | $20 | website
August 15–16 | Performance
Air and Water Show
An awe-inspiring display of America’s military might for some, an excuse to day drink outside for others, the Air and Water Show appeals to everyone in one way or another. For the best views of the aerial acrobatics, avoid the crowds on the beaches and take to the skies yourself. Don’t have a friend who lives in a lakefront apartment tower? Try Cindy’s—the new rooftop bar at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel—or check out John Hancock‘s recently revamped 94th-floor observation deck, 360 Chicago; you’ll pay just the usual $19 admission fee. Alternatively, for a view far from the hordes, head to Edgewater‘s Waterfront Cafe. Tip: Order the spicy jerk chicken nachos and the Edgewatermelon cocktail.
10 a.m.–3 p.m. | North Avenue Beach, 1600 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago | Free | website
August 17 | Performance
Broadway in Chicago Summer Concert
Nothing makes a Monday more palatable than heading to Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion after work for a free performance of giddy show tunes. At this annual event you can see performances from such upcoming touring musicals as 42nd Street, If/Then, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, The Lion King, Newsies, Dirty Dancing, and the pre-Broadway world premiere of Gotta Dance. It’s not a ticketed event, so you can snag a seat in the pavilion if you get there early enough—but sitting on the lawn with a picnic and a bottle of wine from nearby gourmet food shop Pastoral will be much more relaxing.
6:15 p.m. | Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago | Free | website
August 15 | Weekend escape
Slagel Family Farm Tour and Dinner
You’ve seen Slagel Farm listed on Chicago menus, and now you can see exactly where your meat comes from with this educational tour of the livestock farm. Starting at Oak + Char, the River North restaurant whose chef, Joe Heppe, will be preparing your meal that evening, you’ll travel by coach two hours southwest to Fairbury, IL. Your visit begins with a farm tour, during which you can hold piglets, gather eggs, and play with goats and lambs. That interaction could make the next event, the butchering demo, a little hard to stomach—but that’s how meat supply works. Chef Heppe’s four-course meal in a picturesque barn is the grand finale, before heading back home on the bus.
12 p.m. | Meet at Oak + Char, 217 W. Huron St., Chicago | $125 | website
Laura Baginski is a Chicago-based writer and editor who specializes in travel and parenting. Because of the latter, the former doesn’t happen as much as she’d like.
Planning a trip? Check out the AFAR guide to Chicago.