Suddenly appear at an underground magic lounge
Do you like magic? Do you like magic in a sleek cocktail bar setting with a “secret” entrance? Then you’ll love Chicago Magic Lounge, a speakeasy-style performance venue you can access through the laundromat of the former 1940s-era commercial laundry facility. But instead of cheesy David Copperfield tricks or The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, you’ll discover a cool nightclub vibe with a 120-seat cabaret theater, magicians doing tricks behind the art deco bar, and the likes of pork belly sliders and Publican sausage boards inside a cool 7,200-square-foot space. Probably a better way to impress out-of-towners than the old quarter-behind-the-ear trick.
Take part in one of Chicago’s many absurd food challenges
It’s no secret that Chicagoans like to eat. Often to excess. Sometimes to the point of parody. But at least you get a free T-shirt. Such is the case at Downtown’s casual hang Rudy’s Bar & Grille, where ordering the Challenger Burger -- and finishing it within 30 minutes -- will result in you being served a ridiculous 5 and a half pounds of food in a skillet that not only gets you a free shirt, but also a $100 gift certificate, the burger comped, and your signature on the wall. If you’re more of a grilled cheese fanatic, head over to local grilled cheese emporium Cheesie’s to devour either 5 or 8 pounds of grilled cheese on gargantuan 8- or 16-foot sandwiches to win gift cards, “unlimited high fives,” and other prizes. And that’s just the start of the madness.
Explore Chicago’s red light district
Chicago may be far from Amsterdam, but legal weed is coming next year, and the city does offer more than its fair share of history than leans on the seedy side. Discover some of the city’s underbelly as it was experienced in the early 1900s aboard Weird Chicago’s Sinner, Victims & Vice: Red Light District Pub Crawl. Back by popular demand, the adults-only bus tour spills the beans on the city’s historic vice districts, brothels, and sorted scandals along with plenty of stories you probably won’t hear from the local tourism department. Or you could go to the Bean and snap a selfie like everyone else. Your choice.
Get lit at Blacklight Blackout
Hey, hey you. Do you like to party? Do you like to party with free UV-reactive body paint on a crazy blacklit second floor chain link-fenced-in dance floor at a local biker bar? Then you’ll love Blacklight Blackout, the eight-years-strong-running monthly rager going down till 4am at Exit with a rotating cast of DJs, special guests, and all manner of insanity. Makes that Bob Marley blacklight poster you had in your college dorm room look pretty tame, right?