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Have fun in Chicago this weekend! July 20-22

Reel Big Fish is among the lineup for the Vans Warped Tour in Tinley Park. | Jonathan Thorpe Photo

Making weekend plans? We’ve got some suggestions that just might fill the bill.  Check out our Sun-Times “Have Fun in Chicago” guide for events for you and your family:

Friday July 20

Photos with “The Mermaid” are among the “underwater” fun at the 900 N. Michigan Shops. | Ben Ramos Photography

An underwater-inspired oasis awaits July 20-July 29 at the 900 North Michigan Shops. The tony shopping mall has partnered with the Shedd Aquarium, Chicago Public Library and the Blue Ring ocean conservation group to present an Under the Sea Tea Time & Craft interactive experience for kids (and adults) to learn about ocean conservation while enjoying visits with a mermaid or underwater diver. Photos with as storytelling Mermaid are available (fees apply). Arts & crafts and pop-up exhibits are among the featured activities from noon to 4 p.m. daily. Attend an Under the Sea-themed tea party ($30 per child) where kids can enjoy tea, pastries and learn about the ocean. A portion of the proceeds benefit Blue Ring.

Kenny Lattimore

Kenny Lattimore

Grammy Award-nominated R&B mainstay Kenny Lattimore headlines City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph, for a pair of shows July 20. Show times are 7 and 10 p.m. His new single, “Stay on Your Mind,” (from  his latest CD “Vulnerable”) skyrocketed to the No. 8 spot on the Billboard Charts. Tickets: $28-$48.

The Sklar Brothers | Provided Photo

The Sklar Brothers | Provided Photo

Hot on the heels of their Starz hourlong special “Hipster Ghosts,” and their new documentary “Poop Talk,” The Sklar Brothers — Randy and Jason — bring their comedy talents (and more) The Chicago Improv, 5 Woodfield Rd., Schaumburg, for shows July 20-22. Tickets, $27. Show times are 8 and 10 p.m (Fri.), 7 and 9:15 p.m. (Sat.) and 7 p.m (Sun.)

The world’s largest cat lovers convention runs Friday-Saturday in Rosemont. Meow Meetup Chicago features everything from Kitty Yoga to specialized talks, a Cat Cafe, meet-and-greets, helpful workshops and more. The fun takes place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd., Rosemont. Register for tickets.

Saturday July 21

The Art Institute is hosting its first-ever Block Party from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The fun includes music and performances, short talks, storytelling and art-making workshops/demonstrations throughout the museum’s galleries, public spaces, library and gardens. They day ends with performances by poets, musicians and dancers in Griffin Court. The event is presented as part of Art Design Chicago. Admission, $10 (for Illinois residents only, if purchased by midnight July 20); or onsite (regular museum admission rates apply).

Celebrate the music of some of rock n’ roll’s most powerful female artists at “Love & Rock: Concert Musical Tribute to Women of Rock,” 8 p.m. Saturday at House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn. The “clever hybrid of musical and tribute concert uses the story of a fictional female rock band’s journey to fame as a vehicle for rousing, sing-along performances.” Tickets, $15.

The Vans Warped Tour — the largest traveling rock music festival in the country — rolls into the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre on July 21. The lineup includes Reel Big Fish, Simple PLan, Ice Nine Kills, The Interrupters, Mest, Twiztid, We the Kings and more. Doors open 11 a.m. Tickets, $45.

Sunday July 22

Beer lovers — catch the final day of the 7th annual Chicago Craft Beer Fest! Sample from more than 70 specialty beers from more than 35 local and national brewers. The fun runs 11:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. at Sheffield and Webster in Lincoln Park. A $35 fee (15 tickets, each for one 3-oz. sample) available in advance; $40 at the event. You must be 21+over. A souvenir tasting glass is included. The fest is part of the annual Sheffield Garden Walk.

Griffin Theatre concludes its 30th anniversary season with Samuel D. Hunter’s “The Harvest,” a drama about a group of young Idaho evangelical missionaries preparing to travel to the Middle East. In the basement of a church, the group discusses their trek and their lives. One of them, a young man, suffers a crisis of faith, with eye-opening results. The Chicago premiere of the drama is directed by Jonathan Berry. The show runs July 21-Aug. 25  The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee.

The singer with the unmistakable voice — ’70s pop star B.J. Thomas — headlines the Arcada Theatre at 5 p.m. Thomas’ hits include “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” “Hooked on a Feeling,” “Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” and more.  Tickets are $35-$69.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 14: Recording Artist B. J. Thomas performs onstage during the SeriousFun Children's Network 2015 Los Angeles Gala: An Evening Of SeriousFun celebrating the legacy of Paul Newman on May 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for SeriousFun Children's Network)

B. J. Thomas performs onstage during the SeriousFun Children’s Network Los Angeles Gala on May 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. | Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

Free and cheap weekend fun

If you’re looking for free and cheap things to do in Chicago this weekend, we’ve got that covered, too.  Go to our new guide to see what’s happening this weekend.  It includes lots of fun stuff like beach clean-ups, volunteering at the Special Olympics and much more.

More Sun-Times Guides with things to do:

The Sun-Times has put together a complete 2018 Summer Guide to all the best things to do in Chicago this summer. Why not take advntage of free Divvy passes and check out our bike guide with all the information about how to explore Chicago on two wheels?

You can also check out our Sun-Times 2018 Farmers Market Guide with info on the farmers markets in the city and suburbs, many with weekend hours.

For self-guided tours of Chicago’s many interesting neighborhoods, take a look at our new video series “The Grid” with Ji Suk Yi.  You’ll find info about all sorts of things to do in places like Pilsen, Bronzeville, Logan Square and more.