Tag Archives: Free

Luminous Date Night with Luftwerk’s Luminous Field at the Cloud Gate

Luftwerk is the collaborative vision of Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero. New media installations merge video and light with material, surface, and structure, shaping content into an immersive sculptural experience. Their work illuminates the realm of special events, live performance, gallery and public venue, in locations as diverse as MASS MoCA, JFK Airport, Emirates Palace, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Robie House.

This February, Millennium Park is transformed into a digital canvas of light and geometrical form with its first-ever site-specific video and sound installation by the Chicago-based artistic ensemble Luftwerk. Created specifically for Millennium Park, the installation will illuminate Cloud Gate – known by many Chicagoans as “The Bean” – and its surrounding AT&T Plaza with dramatic images and colors set to music composed by Owen Clayton Condon, of the local avant-garde classical ensemble, Third Coast Percussion.

Luminous Field will be on view on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6 – 10 PM, and Sunday – Thursday evenings from 6 – 9 PM.

Interactive Performances at AT&T Plaza
Fridays, February 10 & 17, at 7, 8 and 9 PM
Join local theater company Collaboraction for performances and interactive games inspired by Luminous Field.

Related Programming in Nearby Heated Tent

A heated tent is available nearby at the Chase Promenade North location for warming up with fun family activities, dancing and a variety of international performances. The Park Grill will offer concessions for purchase.

More informationat Explore Chicago

Luminous Field
Luminous Field concept rendering

Ice Skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink

Kicking off Chicago’s winter season, the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park will open on Friday, November 18, 2011 and will remain open through Sunday, March 11, 2012, weather permitting. The rink, now in its eleventh season, draws more than 100,000 skaters annually and is free and open to the public. Skate rental is available for $10. The ice rink is located on Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison streets.

Ice Skating

Regular Hours for the season are as follows:
Mondays through Thursdays: 12 p.m. — 8 p.m.
Fridays: 12 p.m. — 10 p.m.
Saturdays (through Dec.17): 10 a.m. — 10 p.m.
Saturdays (beginning Jan. 7): 10 a.m. — 9 p.m.
Sundays: 10 a.m. — 9 p.m.

Holiday Hours:
Thursday, November 24 (Thanksgiving): 10 a.m. — 4 p.m.
Saturday, December 24: 10 a.m. — 6 p.m.
Sunday, December 25: 10 a.m. — 4 p.m.
Saturday, December 31: 10 a.m. — 8 p.m.
Sunday, January 1: 12 p.m. — 9 p.m.

2011 Chicago Jazz Festival

Don’t fear the Jazz! This event is a great way to get exposure to all different forms of jazz music… and it’s always a great idea to share the expressive sounds with your date!

Ornette Coleman live at Chicago Jazz Festival, Aug. 31, 2008.
Ornette Coleman live at Chicago Jazz Festival, Aug. 31, 2008. Flickr photo by mediageek

The word “jazz” (in early years also spelled “jass”) began as a West Coast slang term and was first used to refer to music in Chicago around 1915. And you thought we were just Blues!

The FREE Festival runs this Labor Day weekend (starting Thursday, Sept. 1 at Noon and running through to Sunday, Sept. 4 at 9:30 pm) at the Cultural Center and on to the Millennium and Grant Parks.

Bobby Watson at Chicago Jazz Festival - Photo by Paul "Tuna" Turner
The sax player, who I think is Bobby Watson himself, in the Bobby Watson's Horizon featuring Jeremy Pelt, Ed Simon, Essiet Essiet and Victor Lewis on the final night of the Chicago Jazz festival at the petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park.

The 33rd Annual Chicago Jazz Festival is shaping up to be a tremendous Labor Day weekend in Chicago.

Once again the Festival will happen in multiple locations, starting on Thursday, September 1 with afternoon performances at three different venues located inside the Chicago Cultural Center.

Later that evening, at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, enjoy the final concert in the Made in Chicago series, with Randy Weston and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble featuring the arrangements of Melba, the festival’s opening night event.

Friday evening, the festival holds court yet again at Millennium Park with Saxophone Summit featuring Joe Lavano, David Liebman and Ravi Coltrane.

On Saturday and Sunday, the festival moves to its traditional home in Grant Park where four stages come alive with Jazz music including the Jazz on Jackson Stage, the Cricket Wireless Jazz & Heritage Stage and the Chicago Community Trust Young Jazz Lions Stage.

Headlining at the Petrillo Music Shell on Saturday evening is world renowned vocalist, songwriter and producer, Cassandra Wilson. And, closing the festival on Sunday evening is two-time Grammy Award winner and trumpeter, Roy Hargrove.

More information here from ExploreChicago.org

Hot Opera! SummerOpera: Maria de Buenos Aires

The 12th Annual Summer Opera presents three performances of “Maria de Buenos Aires” by Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer, August 12 – 14.

Catalina CuervoThe 20th-century Tango Operita, “Maria de Buenos Aires,” tells the story of the seductive Maria, played by the astonishing young soprano Catalina Cuervo, who embarks on a journey through life, death and the after-life with the hauntingly beautiful sound of the bandoneon, played by Grammy Award-winner Raul Jaurena. Cuervo performs in the company of highly praised baritone Ricardo Herrera.

Music Director Gerardo Moreira travels from Rio de la Plata to conduct the Chicago production of “Maria de Buenos Aires,” which he has been championing since 1992 in the most prestigious concert halls in the world including Teatro Colon of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Teatro Solis in Montevideo, Uruguay and throughout Latin America.

Elbio Barilari narrates in the original dialect of Rio de la Plata, lunfardo. The fully staged production incorporates stunning tango sequences performed by guest dancer Victoria Vargas, of the Joffrey Ballet, and dancers of Tango 21 under the direction of Jorge Niedas, Artistic Director of Tango 21. Barilari and Niedas share credit for the Stage Direction of this production.

Raul Jaurena, along with the Maria de Buenos Aires Tango Orchestra, will also perform at Chicago SummerDance, Thursday, August 11 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. following a free Argentine Tango lesson by instructors from Tango 21 from 6 to 7 p.m. Chicago SummerDance takes place in Grant Park’s Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S. Michigan Ave, every Thursday through Saturday through Sept. 18. For the full SummerDance schedule, visit www.ChicagoSummerDance.org.

Summer Opera is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture (COTC). “Maria de Buenos Aires” is presented in collaboration with the Latino Music Festival, a program of the ILCC, International Latino Cultural Center. Accommodations are generously provided by Seneca Hotel and Suites in downtown Chicago. For more information, visit senecahotel.com.

For more Chicago Cultural Center events visit chicagoculturalcenter.org

2011 Chicago Blues Festival

Have a great musical date night out to the hot blues sounds in Grant Park June 10th, 2011 – June 12th, 2011.

Chicago Blues Festival flickr photo by gingerbydesignThe Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues festival in the world and remains the largest of Chicago’s Music Festivals. During three days on five stages, more than 500,000 blues fans prove that Chicago is the “Blues Capital of the World.” Past performers include Bonnie Raitt, Ray Charles, B.B. King, the late Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy and the late Koko Taylor.

Admission is free so get your ears on for an evening stroll through Grant Park or bring some chairs, get a couple strips of food and beverage tickets (12 for $8) and settle in for some jams and people watching.

This festival is HUGE so be sure to get all the details about the various locations and preview events leading up to the big weekend.

Open Season for Chicago Beaches 5/27/2011 – 9/5/2011

It’s official: the beaches are open today!

Okay, we realize that it is barely over 50 degrees today so swimming may be out of the question but the lakefront is a great place to walk, eat, jog, catch some rays, bike, rollerblade, sail, play volleyball, explore, or just relax along Chicago shores.

Our favorite? Grab some snacks, an old blanket, and have some cuddle time on the beach!

The 2011 beach season runs Friday, May 27 to Monday, September 5. Swimming is permitted only when lifeguards are on duty at all beaches from 11:00 am to 7 pm daily. Some beaches open earlier for swimming mid-summer; visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/resources/beaches for details.

Chicago Beach Sunrise flickr photo by John Picken

Beach rules include: Swim only when lifeguards are present. Obey lifeguards. Follow posted beach rules. No glass on the beach. No alcohol. No smoking. Do not feed birds. Properly dispose of food, diapers and other refuse. Grilling is only allowed in designated areas and coals should be disposed in the provided containers.

Check the swim status before you go by calling (312) 74-BEACH (742-3224), visiting www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/resources/beaches, or texting the name of your beach to (312) 715-SWIM (7946)

We hope you enjoy this summer at the lake.