Best of 2022: Arts & Entertainment

Best of 2022 Arts & Entertainment

We might be biased, but we think Chicago’s arts and entertainment scene is second to none! Museums, theatre, music, comedy — it’s almost impossible to choose. Luckily, our readers are here to help. Here are your top picks for Chicago’s best arts and entertainment offerings.

Best Live Music Venue – City
Millennium Park 

201 E. Randolph St. Chicago

The 2018 Chicago Blues Festival in Millennium Park.
Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millenium Park

The pride of Chicago’s downtown, this gorgeous park provides us with cultural events, music, art, architecture, open-air space — and a touch of greenery in the heart of the city.

Best Live Music Venue, Best Music Festival – Suburbs
Ravinia Festival, Highland Park

418 Sheridan Rd, Highland Park

Ravinia Festival 2021
Courtesy of Ravinia Festival

Nothing says summer like a night on the Ravinia lawn, serenaded with live music and surrounded by friends, wine glass in hand and a picnic spread out before you.

Best Music Festival – City
Grant Park Music Festival

Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph St.

Carlos Kalmar conducting | Photo by Patrick Psyzka

This festival in the heart of downtown brings a mix of contemporary and classical music plus plenty of family fun to the stage each year.

Best Live Theater – City
Goodman Theatre

1650 N. Halsted St.

Still enticing crowds en masse after 97 years of programming, the Goodman Theatre offers an annual lineup that pushes boundaries and continues to wow audiences.

Best Live Theatre – Suburbs
Writers Theatre, Glencoe 

325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

For more than 25 years, this Glencoe theater has entertained us with its inventive takes on classics and new original works alike. The Jeanne Gang-designed theatre makes this spot destination worthy in its own right.

Best Children’s Theater 
Children’s Theatre of Winnetka, Winnetka

620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka

This community-favorite nonprofit children’s theater, where kids run the show both on stage and behind the curtain, will return this fall with “The Spongebob Musical” in November.

Best Museum – City
The Art Institute of Chicago

111 S. Michigan Ave.

This world-renowned art museum remains a local landmark and tourist-favorite — this year brings an exhibit on French painter Paul Cezanne, and much more.

Best Museum – Suburbs
IL Holocaust Museum and Education Center, Skokie

9603 Woods Drive, Skokie

IL Holocaust Museum and Education Center, Skokie

The important work being done at the Illinois Holocaust Museum is helping to shine a light on the past — making sure never to forget as we move forward into the future. Their commitment to education and history is necessary, and appreciated around Chicagoland.

Best Children’s Museum 
Kohl Children’s Museum, Glenview

2100 Patriot Blvd, Glenview

Indoor and outdoor exhibits at this beloved childrens’ museum fuel the imaginations of kids from around the Chicago area. Early morning “members-only” hours make membership even more attractive!

Best Comedy Venue
The Second City

230 W. North Ave, 3rd Floor

Second City has been bringing the laughs to Chicago for 60 years. And with famed alumni like John Belushi, Bill Murray, Stephen Colbert and Tina Fey, legendary doesn’t even begin to sum up this comedy mecca.

If you’re an art enthusiast, there’s no better place for contemporary fine-art photography than this beautiful West Town gallery. They have recently transitioned to an online-only gallery, where you can find their exhibitions on their website.

1717 Central Street, Evanston

This Evanston art hub has got it all — exhibits, in-person classes, tours and important community partnerships — all helping to ensure that art is accessible to everyone.

Best Neighborhood Festival – City
Old Town Art Fair 

1763 N. North Park Avenue

This annual festival has over 200 juried artists and an audience of 10,000 art lovers gathering in the heart of Old Town.

Best Neighborhood Festival – Suburbs
Evanston Arts Fest, Evanston

800 Church Street, Evanston

Art from countless mediums created by over 130 juried artists makes this art festival a destination for all sorts of art lovers — from devoted collectors to curious browsers.

Best Family Outing – City
Lincoln Park Zoo

2001 N. Clark St.

Lincoln Park Zoo Best of

This iconic city landmark dates back to 1868, and today is still one of the only free admission zoos left in the country. Nearly 200 unique species from around the world call the LPZ their home — which means making a trip here with family or friends is sure to be a hit.

Best Family Outing – Suburbs
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe

1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe

Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show

Taking green space to a whole new level, this magnificent spot will connect you and your family with nature in beautiful ways. 

Best Chicago Sports Experience, Men’s Team
Chicago Cubs

Ian Happ. Photo courtesy of Chicago Cubs.

While the Cubs might not always win, paying a visit to the ivied walls of Wrigley Field and enjoying the game with family and friends always brings home the W.

Best Chicago Sports Experience, Women’s Team
Chicago Sky

Chicago Sky’s Candace Parker in action at a May 2021 game against the Mystics. Courtesy of Chicago Sky.

2021 WNBA Champions The Chicago Sky bring heaps of talent and promise — so come watch a game and see them soar to new heights, led by superstar and Chicago-area native Candace Parker.

Best Chamber of Commerce – City
Andersonville Chamber of Commerce

This chamber of commerce has locals from around the city flocking to Andersonville, with neighborhood wine walks and sidewalk sales, not to mention the extravagant, annual Midsommar Fest.

Best Chamber of Commerce – Suburbs
Winnetka-Northfield-Glencoe Chamber of Commerce

What started in Winnetka has grown to encompass many areas in the North Shore as an influential voice in the business community and as a host to many local events.

Best Chicago-Area Twitter

From history to the best spots in the city, quotes by Chicago icons, throwback photos and more — this Twitter will have any Chicagoan scrolling!

Best Chicago-Area Instagram

For things to do and places to be seen, Chicago Bucketlist has you covered.

Best Chicago-Area TikTok

@chicagofoodguide Corndogs have never been so appetizing 😋 #chicagofoodguide #fyp #foodie #love #fun #foodreview #corndog ♬ About Damn Time – Lizzo

This TikTok account is guaranteed to make your mouth water as they hunt down the best spots for drinks, atmosphere and tasty bites around the city!

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