clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Have fun in Chicago this weekend! August 17-19

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in "The 40's," by Lou Conte. The troupe is among the lineup for Saturday night's Dance For Life gala program. | © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2017

Looking for fun things to do in Chicago this weekend? We’ve got you covered with this selection of events in the city, suburbs and downstate Illinois. Our top suggestions include:

The final weekend of the Illinois State Fair

Comic Whitney Cummings at the Chicago Improv in Schaumburg

The Grant Park Musical Festival’s season-closing performances

Pilsen Fest

All this and much more in this week’s “Have Fun in Chicago” guide:

Friday, August 17

Nathan Swenson, of Newark, Ill., shows a Hampshire barrow at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. | Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register via AP
Nathan Swenson, of Newark, Ill., shows a Hampshire barrow at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. | Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register via AP

WHAT: Celebrate the state of Illinois at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.

The 2018 Illinois State Fair continues through August 19. As with previous years, this year’s fair includes a wide variety of entertainment and official events, such as motor racing, adorable piglet parades and hundreds of food vendors and merchants. Plenty of fun for people of all ages.

WHEN: Daily until Aug. 19, 2018; 7 a.m. to midnight

WHERE: Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Ill. Also: Map of the fair grounds.

COST: adults, $10 (discount day on Aug. 19); children under 12, free; seniors over 60, $3; parking $5/day

MORE INFO: Illinois State Fair

Whitney Cummings arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of “The Female Brain” at ArcLight Hollywood on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. (| Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP
Whitney Cummings arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of “The Female Brain” at ArcLight Hollywood on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. (| Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

WHAT: Have a few laughs with Whitney Cummings

Actress, writer and comedian Whitney Cummings is best known for appearing in the lead role in NBC’s “Whitney,” for co-creating the CBS series “2 Broke Girls” and as executive producer for the ABC revival of Rosanne, and she has also directed the 2017 film “The Female Brain.” Cummings has previously performed in stand-up specials for HBO and Comedy Central. She will be performing two shows each night on Friday and Saturday this weekend in Schaumburg.

WHEN: Friday, August 17, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.; and Saturday, August 18, 7 & 9:15 p.m.

WHERE: Chicago Improv, Schaumburg, Illinois

COST: $33

MORE INFO: Whitney Cummings, Chicago Improv

Saturday, August 18

WHAT: Enjoy world-class dance and help support a worthy cause at Dance for Life Chicago.

Dance For Life Chicago is an annual event bringing together some of Chicago’s most prominent dance companies for a special evening of performances. The celebration is a fundraiser for the Dancer’s Fund, which supports those afflicted by AIDS/HIV and other health issues. This year’s lineup includes Giordano Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and The Joffrey Ballet, Hanna Brictson and Dancers, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, Chicago Dance Crash and Nomi Dance Company, and a work choreographed by Randy Duncan.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Auditorium Theatre at 50 E Congress

COST: $15-$75 (dance performance only; gala tickets, $300-$650)

MORE INFO:chicagodancersunited.org

Conductor Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra rehearse in 2017. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Conductor Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra rehearse in 2017. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

WHAT: The Grant Park Orchestra final summer season performances

This year’s season of the Grant Park Music Festival will conclude with a performance of Antonin Dvorák’s “The Water Goblin” and Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” with Carlos Kalmar, principal conductor, joined by Benjamin Rivera as guest chorus director; Claire De Sevigne, soprano; Michael Maniaci, counter tenor; James Westman, baritone.

WHEN: Friday, August 17, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, August 18, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph

COST: Lawn seating, FREE. Reserved seats start at $26.

MORE INFO: Grant Park Musical Festival

Sunday, August 19

Performers on the stage at Pilsen Fest, an annual celebration of Latino culture and the Pilsen neighborhood community that takes place in August. | Provided
Performers on the stage at Pilsen Fest, an annual celebration of Latino culture and the Pilsen neighborhood community that takes place in August. | Provided

WHAT: The Pilsen neighborhood hosts street festival

The festival showcases the diversity and cultural heritage of the Chicago’s Pilsen community. A litany of Mexican-American artists, musicians, painters, chefs, mixologists will be featured.

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 18 and Sunday, Aug. 19, noon – 10 p.m.

WHERE: 18th St. and Blue Island

COST: $5

MORE INFO: Pilsen Fest

Other suggestions:

The Chicago Air and Water Show is this weekend at North Avenue Beach.

After a troubled start, Drake and the Migos began the “Aubrey and the Three Migos Tour” this week. They’ll be at the United Center on Friday and Saturday. (Sunday’s concert in Chicago has been cancelled.) Friday, Aug. 17, 7 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 18, 7 p.m.; Ticketmaster

Have you ever been a helicopter tour of Chicago? The Chicago Helicopter Experience offers stunning views of the city skyline from a rare perspective. Check out our story about Mike Jensen, chief pilot. Day tours, $158/person

Other Sun-Times guides:

Looking for something a bit cheaper (or even free)? Check out this weekend’s guide to free and cheap things to do in Chicago.

Need to plan ahead for the summer? Check out the Sun-Times’ 2018 Summer Guide with all the best things to do in Chicago

If none of this strikes your fancy, why not check out what you can do at your local farmers market with our Sun-Times 2018 Farmers Market Guide?