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Welcome to the first edition of Chicago Best Weekday Bets.

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: The folks at Heritage Bikes will be by the Kimpton Hotel Allegro to help you prepare for National Bike to Work Day later this week with free complementary express bike tune-ups! Come by and get your bike all fixed up and ready for spring!

CULTURE: The Lagunitas Taproom hosts a fundraiser for the Chicago Urban Amigos chapter, providing financial aid to local youth for their many upcoming summer programs.

FILM: Local film production folks Suburban Skies Pictures and Sinema Obscura have teamed up for a benefit party/trailer release party at Logan Bar, showcasing the brand-new trailer for their new film Room to Believe.

FOOD + DRINK: The second annual Chef Paddle Battle features 20 of the best chefs in Chicago squaring off in a high-stakes ping pong tournament at Spin.

FREE: West Loop cocktailery MONEYGUN celebrates their second birthday with a go-for-broke party featuring free food, wild drink specials, and giveaways!

Image may contain: drink, indoor and text

MUSIC: Japanese minimalist composer/percussionist Midori Takada appears at the Art Institute of Chicago for a very rare and vibey stateside concert in their beautiful and intimate Fullerton Hall.

OUTSIDE: The Cubs play the Braves, it’s looking to be pretty nice out, too, so why not skip work and hit up a day game at Wrigley?

STAGE: High quality local theater collective Jackalope Theatre’s new show, The Light Fantastic, is now running at the Broadway Armory Park. Go check it out! It looks super cool.

STAY IN: New true crime doc series from the guys who brought you Wild Wild Country: Evil Genius, which follows the super bizarre bank heist tale that is centered around a pizza delivery guy who has a bomb strapped to his neck and forced to rob a bank.


ACTIVE: Head to Palmer Square Park for a Taco Tuesday Flow Jam, where you can get your new age-y yoga/dance/etc on and enjoy some outdoor tacos.

CULTURE: Free talk at the Empty Bottle, as a part of their new monthly Wonder & Skepticism series, featuring a pair of scientists talking about specific, in-depth scientific topics or ideas that are personally interesting to them. Think TED Talks but like, more science-y and at the Bottle.

FILM: Catch a screening of the influential, acclaimed late ‘70s car chase movie The Driver at the Arclight. Nice!

FOOD + DRINK: Head to Morgan Manufacturing for a Pinot in the City event, which showcases the work of over 70 wineries from the fertile Oregon Willamette Valley with a slew of tastings, treats, and revelry.

FREE: Chicago film institution The Music Box’s annual Garden Party, which acts as the unofficial kickoff of patio season in Lakeview is back! Free wine and beer tastings, specialty cocktails, a sangria bar, and a build-your-own succulent station await you at this always very nice gathering.

MUSIC: Well-loved folkie Justin Townes Earle headlines Evanston SPACE with special guest Lilly Hyatt.

OUTSIDE: Spend some time enjoying some pleasant tunes on the patio at the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Café Brauer. It’s free and then you can go walk around the zoo, too! Love the damn LP Zoo.

STAGE: Longrunning live lit throwdown Write Club is back at the Hideout for their 91st (!) event, featuring a slew of local writers squaring off, debating topics like wake v. sleep, freeze v. thaw, and plant v. harvest.

STAY IN: TLC’s weird live broadcast of potentially traumatic events in people’s lives, This Is Life Live, is airing a bunch of nights in a row, including tonight. It’s a show where they film people’s real life reactions and coping with weird or upsetting personal news. I dunno, man. Maybe stay in and watch this or just like, catch up on housework???


ACTIVE: Revolution Bucket and Bike Night at Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap gives you the chance to ride your whip to & from the bar (safely) with giveaways of Revolution bike gear and complementary bike safety checkups.

CULTURE: Celebrate Studs Terkel’s 106th birthday at the Hideout, doubling as a launch party of the massive new radio archive at studsterkel.org, which will soon be home to over 5,600 programs available to stream.

Studs Terkel Birthday & Radio Archive Launch Celebration

FILM: The Music Box has teamed up with the folks at Wrigley Field’s expensive new community area Gallagher Way for a series of summertime screenings, the first of which happens tonight! They’re showing the baseball classic A League of Their Own!

FOOD + DRINK: Libations for Literacy is a benefit for Jumpstart Chicago Young Professionals Board’s programming throughout Chicago, happening at the very tasty downtown food hall Latinicity.

FREE: GMan’s got Team Music Trivia presented by the folks at Downwrite. See if you got what it takes to be crowned King Of Trivia or whatever happens when you win!

MUSIC: The Music Box is screening of the music doc/concert film Concert For George, featuring rare performances from Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, and more, as they play classics from George Harrison’s vast and amazing discography.

OUTSIDE: Find out if you have what it takes to raise your own colony of bees at Big Delicious Planet, when they welcome Naaman Gambill, owner of The Hive: Chicago’s Beekeeping Supply Store, for a nice talk. What if you started harvesting your own honey????

STAGE: Megan Gailey is one of the best standup comics to come out of Chicago in the last decade, no questions asked. You have the chance to see her live at the very intimate Old Town comedy club Zanies tonight! Take advantage of this opportunity!

STAY IN: Another decent-to-good looking new Netflix series, Safe, is now streaming, it features Michael C. Hall with a British accent! It looks sufficiently soapy and bingeworthy!


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.

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.