Weekend 101: April 26-28

Chicago Bears Draft Party

Photo courtesy of the Chicago Bears.


It will be a busy weekend around Chicago with an NFL Draft party hosted by the Chicago Bears, a craft beer festival in Long Grove, the opening of “Hamilton: The Exhibition,” and much more.

2019 Miller Lite Chicago Bears Draft Party

Chicago Bears Draft Party
Photo courtesy of the Chicago Bears.

April 27

Bears fans, don’t miss this opportunity to meet your favorite players, take part in activities on Soldier Field, tour the locker room, and more during the NFL Draft.

Independent Bookstore Day

Things to Do This Weekend Around Chicago: Independent Bookstore Day
Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash.

April 27

More than 550 independent bookstores around the country will celebrate this day, so join the fun (and find a new read!) at The Book Stall, which will host a storytime for preschoolers, live music from New Trier’s The Dewdroppers, a poetry reading, and activities and giveaways throughout the day.

Long Grove Craft Beer Festival

Things to Do This Weekend Around Chicago: Long Grove Craft Beer Festival
Photo by Giovanna Gomes on Unsplash.

April 27
Long Grove

Sample beverages from local breweries as you enjoy live music and food in Historic Downtown Long Grove.

Hamilton: The Exhibition

Things to Do This Weekend Around Chicago: "Hamilton: The Exhibition"
Rendering by David Korins.

Opens April 27

“Hamilton” fans won’t want to miss the world premiere of this 360-degree exhibit about Alexander Hamilton and the American Revolution with Lin-Manuel Miranda (who will be at the exhibit to greet the first visitors on Saturday) as an audio guide.

Andersonville in Bloom

Things to Do This Weekend Around Chicago: Andersonville in Bloom
Flower Bar at Foyer Shop during Andersonville in Bloom. (Photo by Andersonville Chamber of Commerce.)

April 27-28

Explore Andersonville as more than 30 businesses showcase flowers and spring merchandise and host a variety of workshops. Participating businesses include Candyality, First Slice Pie Cafe, Milk Handmade, and Women & Children First.

Arbor Day Block Party

Things to Do This Weekend Around Chicago: Arbor Day at Morton Arboretum
April 26’s Dress Like a Tree, Get in Free in one of many Arbor Day activities at Morton Arboretum.

April 28

Visit The Morton Arboretum for live music and a food truck social in honor of Arbor Day. Plus, the arboretum’s east side roads will be closed to vehicles, so bring your bike (or rent one when you arrive). A variety of Arbor Day events will take place throughout the weekend, so check the arboretum’s website for even more things to do.

More Can’t-Miss Events:

  • In its 30th year, Chicago Humanities Festival‘s Springfest (April 25 to May 4) will explore the theme of “power” and will be headlined by Melinda Gates (April 27). Additional festival highlights include “Media and Democracy with Marc Lamont Hill and Barbara Ransby” (April 27), “Stacey Abrams on Leading From the Outside” (April 27), “Alex Kotlowitz: Love and Death in Chicago” (April 27), “Deborah Lipstadt on Antisemitism” (May 2), “Fighting for Civil Rights in the Digital Age” (May 4), “Climate Survival with Bill McKibben, Cheryl Johnson and Stephanie LeMenager” (May 4), and “Music That Lasts: Maude Maggart and the American Songbook” (May 4).
  • Don’t miss Joffrey Ballet’s final engagement of the season as some of the best artists from the UK present three programs during “Across the Pond” April 24 to May 5. Make It Better is proud to be Joffrey Ballet’s 2018-2019 season content partner.
  • Find the perfect Mother’s Day gift or a little something for yourself at the One of a Kind Spring Show April 26-28. More than 300 artists and makers will be selling everything from clothes and jewelry to art and furniture as guests enjoy fashion shows, workshops, a gourmet market, and more.

Make a Difference:

  • After the American Cancer Society Discovery Ball 2019 on April 27, join the fight against cancer at the late-night party headlined by the Barenaked Ladies.
  • Enjoy a fun evening at Pinstripes during Have Dreams’ Dreaming Big For Autism benefit on April 27. The mission of this organization is “to help individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) learn, function independently and socialize so that they may realize their full potential and develop into contributing members of their communities.”
  • Arts of Life, which “advances the creative arts community by providing artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities a collective space to expand their practice and strengthen their leadership,” will host Unbridled Art: A Kentucky Derby Party on April 27, a week before the Kentucky Derby. Enjoy southern-style drinks, food, live music, activities, and more.
  • Join Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago on April 28 for the 28th Annual Blossoms of Hope Brunch. The brunch will benefit the Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) program and HGTV’s Monica Pedersen will host.


Anna Carlson writes the weekly Weekend 101 column and monthly Recommended Events. A graduate of the University of Missouri, her work has been published in Chicago Parent, Inside Columbia Magazine, and Central California Parent Magazine. She is a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital