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Start your week off with a very short, very boozy race and spend the next few days watching movies for free outside. It’s summer in Chicago.

Every Thursday at 9 a.m we mail you our Best Weekend Bets. Best Weekday Bets are similar to our Best Weekend Bets but there’s more options since it’s more socially acceptable to have more fun on the weekend.

ACTIVE: Wrigleyville’s Nisei Lounge has a five yard Malort fun run so if you’re fastest in small bursts and Malort is a source of fuel for you, this is your event.

CULTURE: Essay Fiesta at The Book Cellar’s a monthly live lit show with guests like Jasmine Davila and Chris Bower, with an event that promises (metaphorical) indoor fireworks.

FILM: 1981’s New Wave rock documentary Urgh! A Music War, featuring performances from acts like Devo, X, and Echo & the Bunnymen, screens at the Music Box tonight.

FOOD + DRINK: Parsons celebrates the release of their new limited edition Mezcal, distilled by the folks at El Buho Mezcal, this afternoon. The El Buho team will be on site for a nice Q&A session, and you can bet your butt there’ll be drink specials!

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FREE: The Empty Bottle’s weekly Free Monday music series hosts out-of-towners Midnight Opera and locals Zigtebra, The Voluptuals, and Peach Fuzz.

MUSIC: Option: JaKaL at the Experimental Sound Studio features a collection of solo performances from Chicago jazz icons Fred Lonberg-Holm, Keefe Jackson, and Julian Kirshner, followed by a collaborative trio set to top things off.

OUTSIDE: Three real solid Movies in the Parks options for you tonight, including Space Jam at Cotton Tail Park, Cars 3 at Skinner Park, and 9 to 5 at Osterman Beach.

STAGE: Well loved storytelling/comedy show Ladylike at Cafe Mustache features local performers sharing their most disgusting stories.

STAY IN: New biographical documentary Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind premieres on HBO tonight. I hear it’s definitely worth a watch!


ACTIVE: Take a nice long walking tour of Lincoln Park, learning about the various haunted spots like the City Cemetery Grounds, Suicide Bridge, and the site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. It’s the Lincoln Park Ghost Walk!

CULTURE: Story Club South Side is at Co-Prosperity Sphere, where a bunch of writers/performers, including featured storytellers Tene Smith and Soton Rosanwo, about various firsts in their lives.

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FILM: Catch a collection of the best of the short films shown at this past year’s Black Harvest Film Festival at Frederick Douglass library for free!

FOOD + DRINK: Recent Top Chef winner Joe Flamm takes over Terzo Piano over the next three days. It’ll be cool to see what he gets up to!

FREE: Dance your heart out at the Night Moves DJ night at Danny’s in Wicker Park. 

MUSIC: Exciting Hip hop production duo Black Milk & Nat Turner headline Schubas tonight with special guest Mykele Deville. Really really solid stuff here.

OUTSIDE: The Chicago Film Archives bring you a screening of a very cool collection of international short films at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. 

STAGE: Rhythm World, the annual festival of percussive and tap dancing all this week. Tonight, you can catch two student showcases in Curtiss Hall in the Fine Arts Building in the Loop!

STAY IN: It’s almost time for shark week, baby. People love to joke around about Shark Week. Are they actually excited? Either way a new special, 700 Sharks, hits Nat Geo Wild tonight, in a blatant attempt to capitalize on the excitement surrounding this Discovery Channel phenomenon. 


ACTIVE: Daybreaker CHI, the recurring early morning dance party, taking to the roof of Savage Smyth for a wild event featuring yoga, a silent disco, and more surprises! 

CULTURE: Jazzin’ At The Shedd Aquarium goes off again tonight, with plenty of fish and jazz music for you to enjoy all evening long.

FILM: The Music Box’s ongoing partnership with the folks at Gallagher Way (that new park in front of Wrigley Field) brings u a screening of Twister tonight. Stoked.

FOOD + DRINK: The 10th season of the Hideout’s produce-heavy Veggie Bingo benefit kicks off tonight. Go win some veggies!

FREE: Comfort Station in Logan Square’s Silent Films and Loud Music series is back with a screening of 1925’s The White Outlaw, with a live musical score provided by experimental music duo Mkot Pt.

MUSIC: Dinosaur Jr. and Purling Hiss play a real stellar lookin rock show at Thalia Hall tonight.

OUTSIDE: You can watch Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle in two different parks tonight: Brainerd Park and Rosenblum Park. You can also watch Home Team in Gage Park. It’s important to have options!

STAGE: Ex-Chicagoan and current extremely funny person Nick Vatterott headlines a special intimate show at Comedians You Should Know tonight. Very neat.

STAY IN: ESPN’s sports award show The ESPYs air on, you guessed it, ABC, tonight. Let’s tune in to see who wins! Danica Patrick is hosting!


Come back Thursday for our Best Weekend Bets, published every week at noon. Subscribe to our Best Weekend Bets and get them at 9 a.m.

Listen to our radio show! BYT Radio hosted by Brandon Wetherbee (the guy writing this) streams Thursdays at noon. Listen live. Subscribe in iTunes. Say nice things about it in iTunes.