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Live an episode of Chopped, start your tri training and watch horrible movies in a beautiful theatre.

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: Community-oriented group bike ride The Slow Roll Chicago Tour de Parks meets up at Calumet park this evening.

CULTURE: No Ashes: A Night with Darnell L. Moore at The Jeffrey Pub, sponsored by the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus features author Darnell L. Moore in discussion about his new book, No Ashes In The Fire: Coming of Age Black & Free in America.

FILM: The Black Harvest Film Festival presents a screening of Chicago-made indie comedy Call Center at Greater Grand Crossing Library.

FOOD + DRINK: The latest edition of the Culinary Fight Club: Chicago, Here’s the Beef, a Chopped type cooking competition at Concord Fifty Five, where YOU get to try the food prepared by the cheftestants.

FREE: Catch a free screening of the James Brown biopic Get On Up at Navy Pier, as a part of the Chi-Soul Fest. 

MUSIC: Extremely good and 100% free indie rock show at the Empty Bottle tonight, featuring Options, Bad Heaven Limited, Jodi, and V.V. Lightbody. 

OUTSIDE: Three movies in the parks options for you tonight: Beauty and the Beast at Mary Bartelme Park, Black Panther at Carver Park, and A Raisin in the Sun in Harold Washington Park.

STAGE: Internet-based comedy teen Brandon Wardell headlines a comedy show at the Hideout tonight, with special guest Sarah Squirm.

STAY IN: Classic ‘90s Nickelodeon game show Double Dare is BACK and REBOOTED starting TONIGHT on NICK. That’s certainly something to watch on TV!

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ACTIVE: Considering running the Chicago Triathlon this year? The organizers have kindly organized a hybrid open swim/clinic at Ohio Street Beach, where you can start preparations for this massive undertaking.

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CULTURE: The Chicago Parks District showcases dance from Nahui Ollin, an Aztec Dance collective, at Blackhawk Park. This is a nice opportunity to learn about this ancient culture.

FILM: So many movies in the park tonight! I hope the weather holds out! Wonder at Horner Park, Bread & Tulips at Lake Shore Park, Trolls at Lincoln Park, and Annie at Haas Park!

FOOD + DRINK: Enjoy a four course meal paired with beers from Begyle Brewing at HopCat’s Begyle Brewing Beer Dinner!

FREE: Head to Midway Plaisance and enjoy Steppin’ Under the Stars, a nice way to dance/soak in some positive vibes post-work.

MUSIC: Mount Eerie’s last two albums are inspiring, heartbreaking meditations on grief. Hear those songs and some new ones, too (probably), tonight at Thalia Hall, which is being billed as one of their last concerts for a while.

OUTSIDE: In addition to the regular movies in the parks mentioned above, they’re also doing a special screening of Groundhog Day at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion.

STAGE: Catch the latest installment of the long-running storytelling competition/open mic The Chicago Moth Story Slam at Lincoln Hall.

STAY IN: Politically provocative standup comic W. Kamau Bell’s latest special, Private School Negro, hits Netflix today. Kamau’s great, you should watch this!


ACTIVE: Climb into one of those big inflatable, transparent bubbles with a hole in the middle for your body and run around and into other people in Addams/Medill Park for their Knockerball Bubble Soccer event!

CULTURE: The Shedd Aquarium’s Jazzin’ at the Shedd event celebrates Pride tonight at the latest installment of their weekly jazzy cocktail party.

FILM: Cinepocalypse, the well-loved genre film festival at the Music Box is winding things down soon, but not before you have the chance to catch screenings of weirdo horror/action stuff like Relaxer, Bound, Heavy Trip, and more! Read our Cinepocalypse preview.

FOOD + DRINK: Chicago-based catering company Big Delicious Planet’s recurring farm dinner series showcases some of the freshest ingredients from the city’s only 4-Star Certified Green Restaurant.

FREE: Three movies in the park for you to enjoy tonight: The Boss Baby at Foster Park, Help Me Through The Night at Piotrowski Park, and Hidden Figures at Willye B. White Park.

MUSIC: The Chi-Soul Fest, Chicago’s soul music festival, takes over Navy Pier this week. Today you can catch a pair of free performances from Theo Huff and the Will Tilson Band.

OUTSIDE: A full moon is upon us, celebrate the celestial fullness at Foster Beach’s Full Moon Jam with fire dancing, music, and more.

STAGE: Chicago author Brooks Headley celebrates the release of his new book Superiority Burger Cookbook, which showcases Headley’s approach to veggie burgers, as sold in his NYC restaurant. He’s joined in conversation by Chicago rock dude/occasional food writer/acclaimed engineer Steve Albini.

STAY IN: Perennial summer favorite voyeuristic reality competition Big Brother is back for its 20th season (!!), starting tonight. What a treat for you, a huge Big Brother fan.


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. Plan your weekend well.

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