What to Do in Chicago Each Day of April 2019

This is where we'll be all month.

April 1: North Shore Museum Month—For the month of April, some of the most intriguing museums in the northern suburbs of Chicago are offering special deals. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a quick getaway as you explore architectural marvels such as the Baha'i House of Worship in Wilmette, the Kohl Children's Museum in Glenview and the majestic Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. Check out Museum Month’s website for further info. Through April 30.

April 2: “Cruel Intentions: The ‘90s Musical”—Prepare yourself for a bittersweet symphony at the Broadway Playhouse on the opening night of “Cruel Intentions: The ‘90s Musical.” Based on both the 1999 film (starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair) and “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” the French novel that the film is an adaptation of, this musical transports you to the sinister world of Manhattan in the late ‘90s for a scandalous tale of sex, betrayal and Britney Spears covers. Also April 3-14.

April 3: “Game of Thrones” Pop-Up Bar—Winter has come for Lincoln Park! Due to popular demand, Replay has extended their immensely popular “Game of Thrones” pop-up. It now ends on the day before the final season of the show premieres on HBO. Come and explore the fantastical land of Westeros, take photos with White Walkers, have a “Red Wedding” feast with majestic wizards and joust with mighty warriors. Admission is free, but a VIP ticket will cost you $20. Through April 13.

April 4: Return of Belly Dog—Baseball’s opening day is almost here! Sure, we’re excited about the actual game but we’re also pumped for the good weather and tasty hot dogs that come with baseball season. That includes the return of the Belly Dog—a Korean-style hot dog topped with decadent curry mayo, pickled papaya and crispy egg noodles. Developed by award winning chef Bill Kim, this take on a classic American dish can be found at both locations [Wicker Park and the Loop] of his Korean BBQ restaurant, Urban Belly. Through April 9.

April 5: Baconfest—Featuring some of the best chefs in the city, Baconfest is a love letter to all things bacon. Located just southwest of the Loop at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s auditorium, elevate your pork game with bacon stout caramel chocolate cake, bacon BBQ grilled oysters and other stunning takes on favorite cured meat. Also April 6.

April 6: Macy’s Flower Show—Spring is in full bloom! Head downtown to the Magnificent Mile and stop by Macy’s flagship store for their annual flower show. Escape the calamity of city life and explore peaceful gardens of exotic plants from around the world. Through April 7.

April 7: March Madness Pop-A-Shot Tournament—Though Loyola didn’t make it to the tournament this year, you can still get in on the Final Four fun. Head to Stretch Bar and Grill today for drink and food specials and a special two-person Pop-A-Shot arcade basketball tournament where the winning team gets $1,000.

April 8: Chicago Cubs Opening Day—Get the family together and take them out to the ball game. This afternoon, the former World Series champs make their highly anticipated 2019 debut at Wrigley Field against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The first 30,000 fans get a collectable Cubs magnet that shows off this season’s schedule.

April 9: The Coathangers—Get wild and rowdy with the Atlanta-based feminist garage punks known as The Coathangers as they take over Empty Bottle in support of their newest album, “The Devil You Know.”

April 10: Urban Art Pop-Up Trunk Show—From Chicago to Copenhagen, street art has taken over the world. Today, the MCA hosts a street art auction with over 100 objects from some of the world’s most promising artists. You’ll probably never own an authentic Banksy, but you can bid on skateboard decks from the much sought after tastemaker label, Supreme, and breathtaking pieces from Jeff Koons. Runs April 4-11

April 11: “Star Wars” Celebration—May the force be with you! Head to McCormick Place to celebrate all things “Star Wars” with celebrities such as Forest Whitaker, Erin Kellyman and Lando Calrissian himself (Billy Dee Williams). Afterwards, wander around and check out some of the best cosplay that a galaxy far, far away has to offer. Also April 12-15.

April 12: “The Office” Pop-Up Bar—Are you ready for Threat Level Midnight? To celebrate National Spy Day, SafeHouse Chicago is bringing the iconic episode of “The Office” to life with a costume contest, an open bar with specialty cocktails, raffle prizes and a DJ that’ll play the “Michael Scarn Dance.”

April 13: “The Crow” Midnight Screening—Armed with an incredible soundtrack and starring Brandon Lee in his tragic final role, “The Crow” is a cult classic that not only helped pave the way for modern superhero movies, but is also an excellent portrait of underground goth culture in the early ‘90s. To celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary, the Music Box is offering a midnight screening on a rare 35mm print. Also April 12.

April 14: I Heart Halal Festival—This weekend, Navy Pier hosts the first Halal festival in America. Halal is the act of preparing food in accordance with traditional Islamic law that ensures that animals are harvested ethically. Get some friends together and spend a pleasant afternoon tasting small plates of these carefully prepared dishes. Afterward, check out the massive marketplace of Halal products and enjoy a musical performance by Lupe Fiasco. Also April 12-13.

April 15: Tarot Readings—The world can sometimes be a confusing place and Quimby’s is here to help. To better provide clarity in trying times, the Wicker Park-based indie bookstore is hosting an evening of tarot card readings. Even if the cards don’t offer the guidance you were looking for, you can still find a fascinating book or zine to read.

April 16: Sake Tasting—In the heart of River North is the trendy Japanese restaurant Slurping Turtle. Tonight, they’re taking a break from making expertly crafted ramen to host a sake tasting that aims to immerse guests in the intoxicating world of Japanese rice wines. Try more than 10 rare bottles of sake as an expert dives into the history of the beverage. The event also includes tastings of rare Japanese whiskeys and small plates of appetizers.

April 17: National Malbec Day—Head to the West Loop and celebrate the rich denseness of Argentine wine at City Winery. Indulge yourself with small plates of authentic Argentine cuisine and taste over ten types of noteworthy Malbecs that have been curated by sommeliers all while you enjoy an intimate performance of tango dancers. Afterwards, expand your mind with an educational seminar in the winery barrel room that will teach you all about the rich history of this varietal.

April 18: Chicago Cocktail Social—A popular venue for weddings in River West, the posh Galleria Marchetti hosts the 6th annual Chicago Cocktail Social tonight. Meet new and interesting people while trying opulent cocktails made by bartenders from some of the best bars in the city such as Violet Hour, Scofflaw, Best Intentions and more.

April 19: The Great Chicago Egg Hunt—Located near Chicago’s downtown lakefront, Maggie Daley Park hosts a can’t-miss event for children ages 2 through 12 with over 25,000 candy-filled Easter eggs to discover, artisan donuts from Stan Donuts, story time and photo opportunities with Medieval Times’ Queen Maria Isabella and her brave band of adventuresome knights. When you’re finished with the hunt, make sure to check out the park’s mini golf course, which opens for the season today.

April 20: Upper Deck Golf Chicago—You don’t need to make it out to the burbs to get a good round of golf. All you need to do is go downtown to Soldier Field. This weekend, the iconic football field is transformed into a massive golf course complete with ice cold beer and additional challenges to strengthen your game. Also April 19 & 21.

April 21: Six Flags Opening Weekend—This weekend, Six Flags Great America opens for the summer season. Make a quick trip road trip up to Gurnee and check out new their thrilling new roller coaster, Maxx Force, and reach speeds up to 78 miles an hour while gliding through daring loops and audacious twists.

April 22: Priests—Forged in Washington DC’s thriving punk scene and championed by publications such as Pitchfork and NPR, Priests return to Chicago tonight for a show at Lincoln Hall as they tour the country in support of their incendiary new album, “The Seduction of Kansas.”

April 23: Rock of Ages—Turn it up to 11! Featuring the music of bands such as Twisted Sister and currently on tour celebrating their tenth anniversary, the Broadway sensation, “Rock of Ages,” returns to the James M. Nederlander Theatre in downtown Chicago for a week-long run celebrating the glory of ‘80s glam metal. Also April 24-28.

April 24: Blackpink—Led by groups like BTS and Blackpink, K-pop has taken over the world in recent years. Tonight, the critically acclaimed South Korean girl group makes their Chicago debut at the Allstate Arena. Come on through and discover why they’ve become the most viewed K-pop group on YouTube ever.

April 25: Moby Dick—After winning over audiences in Pittsburgh, San Jose and Utah, the critically acclaimed new production of “Moby Dick” makes its highly anticipated debut tonight at the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance as the finale of Chicago Opera Theatre’s 2018/2019 season. Also April 28

April 26: James Beard Eats Week—The James Beard Awards, the Oscars of the culinary world, aims to celebrate the best of food. Chicago is proud to host the award ceremony until 2027. To help get you ready for the festivities, more than 100 restaurants throughout Chicagoland are participating in a week-long showcase of our incredible food scene with special menus and dishes. Runs through May 6.

April 27: Silver Screen to Mainstream: American Fashion in the ‘30s and ’40s—The Chicago History Museum argues that you don’t need to have a ton of money to look fabulous. Featuring clothing from iconic Parisian designers such as Chanel, their new exhibition showcases Hollywood fashion during the Great Depression to tell the tale about the perseverance of glamour during one of the country's darkest moments. Runs through July 21, 2020.

April 28: Jazz Fest Crawfish Boil—The 2019 Jazz and Heritage Festival is happening in New Orleans, but while you may not be on Bourbon Street partying with The Rolling Stones, you can still get in on the fun here in Chicago. Based in Noble Square, the cajun inspired Frontier is hosting an all-you-can-eat crawfish boil in honor of the festival with live music and cheap NOLA beer.

April 29: “Hamilton: The Exhibition”—Inspired by the Broadway sensation of the same name, “Hamilton: The Exhibition” makes its debut at Northerly Island in the heart of Chicago for a summer long run. Complete with a swath of historical artifacts, state-of-the-art lighting and an audio tour by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the exhibit is designed to be an immersive dive into the history of Alexander Hamilton and the creation of America while encouraging guests to question the legacy of America itself. Runs through September 8.

April 30: “American Girl: Live!”—Based on the iconic series of dolls, “American Girl: Live!” is a new musical that comes to the Broadway Playhouse in downtown Chicago for a two week run that aims to empower and amplify the confidence of young women. Runs through May 12.

Selena Fragassi
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