Everything Fun You Can Do in Chicago This Weekend

See Jeff Tweedy and 'Black Panther' at the drive-in.

While you can’t be boozing in the stands at Soldier Field for the Bears home opener this weekend, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the traditional fall season kickoff. Whether that means indoor rock climbing at the massive new Brooklyn Boulders facility, seeing Jeff Tweedy and Black Panther at the drive-in, or hitting up a cool new neon art exhibit, the Monsters of the Midway aren’t the only game in town this weekend. Here’s everything fun you can do in Chicago this weekend.

Climb the walls at the massive new Brooklyn Boulders facility in Lincoln Park

Now Open
2131 N. Wayne Avenue
It’s opening weekend for the newest facility from indoor climbing chain Brooklyn Boulders, with its second Chicago location the largest and most high-tech of its five locations. The 43,000-square-foot facility includes more than 11,000 square feet of climbable surfaces plus yoga and fitness studios, a co-working space, and a “recovery mezzanine.”
Cost: $69-$79 per month for membership

Check out a new neon art exhibit at Ken Saunders Gallery’s ON NEON

Now through October 31
Ken Saunders Gallery
It’s the first full weekend of this cool new neon-themed art exhibit at Ken Saunders Gallery in West Town. It’s also free, so what have you got to lose?
Cost: Free (RSVP here)

See Jeff Tweedy live at the drive-in at McHenry Outdoor Theatre

Friday 6 PM
McHenry Outdoor Theatre
Wilco frontman/Chicago music icon Jeff Tweedy brings his band to the drive-in at McHenry Outdoor Theatre for your socially distanced rocking pleasure. Keep the party going and stick around Saturday night for Trampled By Turtles.
Cost: $38 and up

Drink beer while learning about animals during Virtual Craft Brews at Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo’s annual beer tasting event goes virtual for 2020. Choose from various six-packs of local beer curated by Lincoln Park Zoo to drink while you watch online videos about each beer as well as live virtual discussions centered around wildlife conservation and beer culture.
Cost: $49 per day

See 'Black Panther' at a soccer stadium drive-in with ChiTown Movies

ChiTown Futbol
With no additional screenings currently planned for the season at this soccer stadium drive-in experience, now is the time to get out and enjoy Black Panther on the big screen via five weekend screenings with tacos, wings, popcorn, frozen mangos, and more delivered right to your vehicle.
Cost: $33 per vehicle

Stream some virtual cinema at the Chicago Latino Film Festival

Friday through September 27
The 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival (originally scheduled for April) will host a new virtual format in September as it presents 43 features and 38 shorts available for streaming, as well as two live pop-up concerts at Joe’s on Weed Street next weekend.
Cost: $13-$15 per film or $80-$100 for festival pass

See rising Chicago band Whitney rock two nights at the Lakeshore Drive-In

Lakeshore Drive-In
It’s a coming-out party of sorts for rising Chicago rockers Whitney as they host two nights of live shows at the Adler Planetarium’s Lakeshore Drive-In.
Cost: $30-$300

Do some urban exploring during new immersive entertainment experience WANDER: Lincoln Square

Saturday through November 1
Meet at Giddings Plaza
See Lincoln Square in a new light with this new “immersive entertainment experience” from Chicago Immersive. The 65-minute socially distanced walking tour includes “live agents and prerecorded historical scenes” plus guided audio stories and more.
Cost: $25

Take a horror-themed road trip to Dusk-to-Dawn HORRORFEST at Midway Drive-In

Saturday 5pm
Midway Drive-In, Sterling
Watch horror films including Night of the Living Dead and Humanoids From the Deep all night long at this horror film fest at Midway Drive-In in Sterling, Illinois, about two hours west of Chicago.
Cost: $20

Watch the Bears home opener while drinking buckets of beer at the Pony Inn

Sunday Noon
The Pony Inn
The Bears may not be allowing fans in the stands for the time being, but you can still celebrate their 2020 season home opener versus the New York Giants at the Pony Inn with various specials including $15 beer buckets and $10 pizzas. Masks required; RSVPs encouraged.
Cost: No cover

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Jay Gentile is an award-winning freelance journalist specializing in travel, food & drink, culture, events and entertainment stories. In addition to Thrillist, you can find his work in The Washington Post, The Guardian, CNN Travel, Chicago Tribune, Lonely Planet, VICE, Outside Magazine and more. Follow @thejaygentile.