“Spring is nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s Party!’”
Spring is officially here. Marked by Chicago’s breathtaking Chicagohenge spring equinox spectacle, from here on out things start to look up each year once the notorious Midwest winter has passed us by.
Chicago is gearing up for bloom, growth, and warmer days ahead. At the same time, the vaccine roll-out is accelerating and along with the possibilities and events happening around Chicago.
There’s so much to do regardless of whether we’re treated to sunshine or April showers so here are our top activities to do this April and the best ways of embracing the spring cheer.
Before we delve into the plethora of springtime events there’s one exclusive experience we’ve had on our radar for some months. Dining in the Dark with The Secret Society is finally taking place this month and it is not to be missed. At this innovative and intriguing tasting experience, a masked and mysterious amalgamation of characters will welcome you to your table before the room suddenly becomes shrouded in darkness. An eerie atmosphere encircles you but the ensemble of enigmatic assistants will serve you pleasantly as you dabble between mouth-watering dishes and several trivial tests and trials accompany the evening.
This isn’t the mundane dining experience you’re used to. The mystery and the food are tantalizing in equal measure and you won’t be able to leave. Eminent psychologists have been advocating dining in the dark as the ultimate gastronomic experience for years but at this Dining In The Dark experience a fusion of exceptional dishes and eerie enigma offer a night you won’t forget.
If Dining in the Dark with the Secret Society is the pinnacle of gastronomic experiences, Brews n ‘Baahhs’ is the pinnacle of wholesome afternoons. We’ve been through a lot the past year and if there’s one way to relax and let your mind unwind it’s with a pasture full of adorable billy kids followed up by a selection of craft beer.
Brews n ‘Baahhs’ invites you to escape to the idyllic setting of GlennArt Farm for an hour hanging out with their playful and adorable goats before doubling down on those warm fuzzy feelings with a flight of your choice of craft beers on the rooftop of One Lake Brewing. This could just be the GOAT when it comes to relaxing experiences so get your tickets now.
Liver performances are making their return which means standup comedy has returned to Laugh Factory Chicago. Some of today’s biggest names and local comedians are delivering something for every taste and style throughout April. Every safety precaution has been taken to make sure you can enjoy live comedy safely and with the hysterical skits on offer, nights at Laugh Factory Chicago will have you forgetting all about current events.
With the sun beginning to shine, there is no better time to head up to 360 Chicago and take in the unparalleled views of our sensational skyline. You can now savor a half bottle of bubbly as you take in the spectacular views of the city the John Hancock Observatory 1,000 feet (304 meters) above the Magnificent Mile. Upgrade to the TILT option to access the brand new attraction of outward tilting glass 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile
Restaurants and bars have reopened with limited capacity and after all the hospitality has suffered, now is the time to show them our support. More to the point, however, a boozy bottomless brunch sounds like just the thing we all need right now and luckily enough there are a variety of fantastic brunches across Chicago. Bottomless Mimosa brunches are taking place at Blue Violet’s new Secret Garden Spring Pop Up on the weekends whilst Floral Cocktails and Happy Hour offer weekday experiences as the floral hideout.
Meanwhile, The Dime is hosting Bottomless Brunch with Mimosas, Bellinis & More every weekend and for those who want to spice it up a little more, West Loop’s Porkchop has kicked off regular weekend Drag Brunches that also come with delicious bottomless drinks.
Few things can better the spectacle provided by Fever Original’s sublime Candlelight Concerts. Flickering candles and melodic sounds combine phenomenally to create magnetic atmospheres in some of Chicago’s most stunning venues. This month there are both indoor and outdoor options in historic places such as Artifact Events Historic Courtyard, Stan Mansion, and Epiphany Center for the Arts’ repurposed landmark church. There are also an array of different genres from Disney to Soul. See below for our top Candlelight picks:
- Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield & More Chicago Greats at Epiphany Center for the Arts
- Tribute to Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, and the Divas of Soul Artifact Events Atrium
- Vivaldi Concerto and Opera Favorites Artifact Events Courtyard
- Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong at Stan Mansion
- Magical Movie Soundtracks at Stan Mansion
Despite the prowess of Candlelight concerts, they are of course, far from the only live music currently happening in Chicago. The Sanctuary is one of three live concert venues at the brand-new arts and entertainment venue located on the artsy edge of the West Loop. The quaint, romantic 1885 Landmark features vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows, vintage chandeliers, and a built-in stage complemented by a private Niche Bar and Lounge. Unwind after work with live music & drinks in this beautiful setting. Truly one of the most unique settings to experience live music anywhere in Chicago.
In the middle of Le Piano sits a magnificent grand piano where some of Chicago’s most talented pianists and jazz performers come to play. Here you will find a mind-blowing musical experience merging dinner, drinks, and intimate performances. Exclusive packages offer deals such as Immersive Live Jazz & Dinner for Two or Immersive Live Jazz & Cocktails. Dining and drinking as live music softly resonates around you in this cozy, elegant, and romantic venue makes for an incredibly memorable night.
Whether it’s perusing Chicago’s multitude of must-see street art murals, or unleashing your inner street artist on a 50ft mural of your own there are a plethora of ways to immerse yourself in Chicago’s legendary art world this March.
Spray Paint ‘n’ Sip Urban Art Workshop runs every week Friday through Sunday. Tickets grant you access to a 90ft x 30ft heavy-ventilated indoor studio with 50ft of wall space to create your own mural. A private instructor will help you use specialty professional-grade indoor safe (water-based) aerosol on your own souvenir canvas.
Street Art and Craft Beer Tours is another option offering a fantastic fusion of social drinking and getting creative. On this tour, you’ll take a trip through West Town to admire the work of local artists before tasting phenomenal craft beers and then giving it a go yourself.
Of course, if you simply want to peruse the many mural masterpieces around our great city, you can also guide yourself around and check out the 20 Must-See Street Art Murals of Chicago at your own pace.
While there is certainly no shortage of things to see in the streets of Chicago, April is also a month full of exceptional exhibitions. The prestigious Art Institute of Chicago has extended both its Monet and Chicago and Bisa Butler: Portraits exhibitions through summer giving us more time to see a vast collection of the French impressionist’s iconic paintings and Bisa Butler’s exceptional creations. On top of that, however, there is a range of other exhibitions of all kinds.
- Lighthouse Artspace Chicago: Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit
- The Museum of Science + Industry: Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes
- Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center: Mandela: Struggle for Freedom
- Morton Arboretum: “Human+Nature”
One of the latest additions to Chicago’s acclaimed array of museums is the Magic Selfies Museum. Magic Selfies: An Immersive Selfie Installation is Chicago’s very own selfie playground created to offer the absolute perfect conditions for taking unique and iconic photos. With over 10 magic curated rooms and over 20 walls of all different shapes and layouts, you can be sure you’ll have a backlog of awesome photos to work through once you’re done. The exclusive range of fun photo ops has been meticulously curated just for the ‘Gram with everything from artsy color-coordinated recreations to polychromatic backdrops. From riding atop a unicorn to reclining in a toy duck-infested bath, a plethora of photo-friendly setups are waiting to be enthusiastically exploited this month.
Talking of magic, with the return of live performances, it’s not just music on the cards. If you head down to West Loop’s Grand Cabaret After Dark this month you’ll find a vintage evening of jazz & magic is Chicago’s newest speakeasy. Featuring live jazz music of classics and contemporary songs by the E-Line Organ Trio, and some mysterious magic by Mr. Jim Bergstrom! A delectable dinner and BYOB drinks rules ensure an all-round night of mystery and marvel.
After museums and music, you might feel it’s time to do something that’ll get your heart racing. After what 2020 provided this is is definitely one to fill with memorable moments and tick off a few of those Chicago Bucket List experiences.
- Indoor Skydiving
It might be a little jump from exploring exhibitions to leaping out of a plane but in Chicago, you can try one of the most popular do-before-you-die activities from inside one of our state-of-the-art indoor skydiving centers. With an iFly Indoor Skydiving Center in Lincoln Park and another iFly Indoor Skydiving Center in Rosemont, there are two conveniently located cutting-edge centers to choose from. Kids and adults can both experience the same sensation you’d get 12,000 feet up in the sky and if you feel you have what it takes, you can test your vertigo above Chicago’s iconic skyline at Skydive Chicago, one of the world’s largest skydiving resorts
- Kayak Chicago River
Back down at a non-nauseating height, there’s a unique way of seeing Chicago from a whole different perspective. With the weather warming up more people will begin taking to the water. Those brave souls in the Windy City might wrap up and shrug off the ice and winter chill but for the rest of us, warmer weather is a time to enjoy aquatic activity. Kayaks and paddleboards can be rented from various operators at both Monroe Harbor and Chicago Riverwalk locations but it is the river the most unique experience can be found. Flanked either side by Chicago’s famous highrise architecture, you can venture through the city’s heart via skyscraper canyons and under its historic bridges.
- Axe Throwing
The new axe throwing lanes at Kanya Lounge offer an exclusive 2-story adult playground with five lanes for you to test your inner lumberjack. Blow off some steam and enjoy a signature cocktail or a bucket of beers or seltzers in the bar and lounge area while you’re at it.
- Rage Room Experience
Kanya Lounge has more than just axe throwing lanes. There are now also 3 unique custom-made rage rooms providing the ultimate stress reliever after the torrid months we’ve had. After you’ve let out your anger in the rage room experience you can enjoy some signature cocktails in their bar and lounge.
It’s always good to have something to look forward to down the line and this unique mermaid cocktail party is an event that will have you leaving the city streets behind for a whole new world.
What are you willing to give up for the chance to drink with mermaids? Your voice, your heart’s desire… maybe your very own human form? Luckily, all your nautical fairytale dreams can come to life without having to sacrifice anything you hold dear to your heart. The Little Mermaid Cocktail Experience has plans of splashing its way to Chicago in June 2021, and you’re invited to witness this timeless tale like never before! Get your tickets here, and be the first to enjoy the iconic event!
For something a little sooner, Drive ‘N’ Drag Saves 2021 is coming to Chicago next month and tickets are now on sale. The ladies will perform live on a giant stage in front of attendees’ cars for a show that promises, extravagant lighting, fabulous attire, and jumbotron LED screens. The sound will be broadcasted both from the stage and via an FM radio that you’ll be able to tune into once you arrive at the venue, plus there will be a concert-quality light show and gourmet food trucks with food available for purchase.
[Featured image from Shutterstock]