Andrew Rafacz Gallery relocated to a new 2,000 sq. ft. space in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood this past fall. Inaugural exhibitions feature new work by Julia Bland and Robert Burnier. Additionally, artist Cody Hudson will unveil a large-scale, multi-story mural on the exterior sidewall of the building in spring 2020.
More than 40 animatronic dinosaurs that are BIGGER and BADDER will come to Brookfield Zoo May 2 to- September 27, 2020. Dinos Everywhere! features acres of earth-shakers, including the largest—Argentinosaurus—that was estimated to measure more than 100 ft in length and weigh up to 110 tons. Zoo-goers will be able to search for these amazing life-like animatronics located throughout the park. Free with zoo admission of $24.95 for adults; $19.95 for seniors 65+, and $17.95 for children 3 to-11.
Chicago tour company Chicago Detours updated its custom-designed map of the Chicago Pedway System for 2020 and is giving it away for free download at their website. This is now the most up-to-date map of the system that exists. The two-page map can be printed and folded into a booklet and makes it easy to navigate the extensive, mostly underground, tunnels of the Pedway. Chicago Detours conducted on-the-ground research in the Pedway to confirm new access locations, updated tips for navigating underground and outlined projected tunnel extensions to new downtown developments like Vista Tower.
Chicago Detours has redesigned its popular Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour to step inside the Gilded Age mansion that is now Lawry’s restaurant. This educational pub-crawl tour shows a secret side to Michigan Avenue. Guests will see the opulent architecture, including the hidden architectural details on the outside of Lawry’s. On this new tour stop, guests also step inside to hear more history while enjoying a glass of wine or Lawry’s signature “Brown Gown Ale,” and taste house-made potato chips deliciously doused in Lawry’s famous seasoning. Located just a block off Michigan Ave, this building also once held a theater with quirky performances. This newly revised tour is available year-round, five nights a week.
For the first time ever, Chicago’s First Lady Cruises is offering residents and visitors alike the chance to experience the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from the comfort of one of their luxury vessels on the Chicago River. The inaugural Clover Cruise will boast live bagpipers, specialty Irish drinks and eats, festive photo booths and more – all against the backdrop of the city’s spectacular skyline and vivid green waters. The Clover Cruise will take place on March 14, 2020, with departures at 9:00 a.m.; 9:30 a.m.; 12:00 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. starting at $95. This is a 21+ event.
A landmark 19th-century church in the West Loop has been transformed into the newly opened Epiphany Center for the Arts, one of the city’s largest cultural venues. Epiphany hosts a wide array of performing arts including music, art, culinary, and wellness programs. The center has maintained much of the historic church’s original elements, including sweeping arched trusses and beautiful stained glass windows. Epiphany also features an art gallery, cafe, and courtyard. The venue can accommodate audiences of 50 to 1500 and is available for private events.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust presents its 2020 Wright Plus Housewalk on May 16, featuring rare interior tours of private residences and landmark public structures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and fellow architects. The all-day annual architectural experience is held in the historic Chicago suburbs of Oak Park and River Forest, home to more Wright buildings than anywhere in the world. Tickets start at $90 and include free basic admission through the end of 2020 to Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Robie House, The Rookery, and Unity Temple (self-guided tour). For more information, visit flwright.org/wrightplus.
Now entering its seventh year of operation, Inside Chicago Walking Tours – a local, woman-owned business ranked as the TOP walking tour business on TripAdvisor and named to TripAdvisor’s “Hall of Fame” in 2019 – will continue to offer their interiors-focused architecture and history tours of downtown Chicago, and will add exciting new neighborhood tours for the 2020 season. Featuring Wicker Park and Lincoln Park this year, they will continue to offer small group walking tours that last between two and three hours, and cost between $30 and $40. They will also continue their very popular “Surf & Turf” tours – combo boat & walking tours that give visitors the best views from water and on land – with a new offering for 2020 that focuses on movie filming locations. Special seasonal offerings include: live music and fireworks in the summertime “Chicago After Dark” tour; the graves of master architects in the fall with the “From Great to Grave” tour; downtown holiday lights and Christmas trees on their popular “Christmas Tree Crawl” from Thanksgiving to Christmas.