Goodbye snowdrifts, hello sunshine. Chicago is finally thawing after a brutal winter, bringing new opportunities for exploration and indulgence as temperatures rise. Check out eight events, restaurants, hotels and experiences luring locals out of hibernation and giving out-of-town guests new reasons to visit this spring and summer.
The Other Art Fair Surprises abound at The Other Art Fair, a globe-trotting celebration of those who make, buy and enjoy art. Previous iterations of the fair have featured taxidermy workshops, tattooing and secret absinthe bars. Meet up-and-coming artists and find out what’s in store at Chicago’s fair on May 16–19.
Photo courtesy of The Other Art Fair
Hamilton: The Exhibition You’ve seen the musical, listened to the soundtrack and read the book. Now it’s time to experience Hamilton: The Exhibition. Debuting for the first time nationally on April 27, this Hamilton extravaganza will be housed in an enormous tent on Northerly Island. With an audio tour from Lin-Manuel Miranda and interactive exhibits from other members of the hit musical’s team, visitors can expect a fully immersive journey through Alexander Hamilton’s life and times. hamiltonexhibition.com
Rendering of Hamilton: The Exhibition; courtesy of the exhibition
JoJo’s Milk Bar A sugar rush awaits you at JoJo’s Milk Bar in River North. While old-fashioned diner classics like burgers and pot pie will delight, you’d do well to save room for dessert. The milkshakes, in particular, are a child’s idea of a balanced diet. Laden with towers of whipped cream, candy-coated marshmallows, sprinkles, cookies and, yes, cotton candy, what more could you want?
JoJo's Milk Bar; photo courtesy of Marcin Cymmer
The Hoxton Come to stay, play, imbibe or work at The Hoxton, a boutique London-based hotel chain opening in the West Loop in April. A swanky swimming pool and a Peruvian restaurant from acclaimed Chicago chef Stephanie Izard, both located on the rooftop, are among the hotel’s luxurious amenities. Fitness-focused business travelers take note: this location is the first Hoxton property with a coworking space, as well as the first with a wellness studio.
Photo courtesy of The Hoxton, Chicago
United States Pizza Museum Deep dish? Thin crust? Mozzarella or provolone? No matter which way you prefer your pie, the United States Pizza Museum welcomes you. Open in the South Loop’s Roosevelt Collection since August 2018, this small spot is a “cheesey” homage to everyone’s favorite meal. Free admission grants visitors access to vintage pizza paraphernalia and a gift shop. Special events include pizza-themed debates, story slams and parties.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Pizza Museum
Bibliophile You don’t have to be an English major to appreciate the cocktails at Bibliophile, but lit lovers will recognize old friends on the menu—like the rye-bourbon-based “Catcher in the Rye.” In addition to serving drinks, mains and alcohol-infused desserts, this cozy Hyde Park restaurant also sells the books lining their walls.
Chicago Cultural Center The Chicago Cultural Center is a gem in the heart of the Loop, both literally and figuratively—check out the world’s largest Tiffany dome to see what we mean. New this spring is “Goat Island Archive: We Have Discovered the Performance by Making It,” an homage to now-defunct performance artist collective Goat Island. Artists from around the world will present pieces inspired by the collective, while a show in the Exhibition Hall will provide additional context through June 23.
Coffee Lab & Roasters The intoxicating scent of freshly ground coffee beans emanates from Coffee Lab & Roasters. This Evanston-based outpost recently set up shop in the Lakeview neighborhood, tempting foot traffic on busy Lincoln Avenue with its pour-overs, espresso, loose-leaf teas and scones. Grab a chair and caffeinate!
Coffee Lab & Roasters; photo courtesy of Helen Kim