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Night Out in the Parks: over 1,200 things to do in Chicago this summer

Night Out in the Parks: over 1,200 things to do in Chicago this summer
Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks (Loyola Park 2013). Photo by Julie Stanton

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Park District Superintendent and CEO Michael P. Kelly have just announced the fifth summer season of Night Out in the Parks.

The 2017 Night Out in the Parks series brings over 1,200 events including movies, concerts, theater and more the city's 77 community parks with programs running from June 12 through November 4.

The series features over 1,700 Chicago-based artists along with 125 neighborhood arts organizations. Most events free admission.

Popular returning events include Movies in the Parks and Theater on the Lake.

New for 2017 is the Chicago River Float, that will bring a variety of cultural arts and entertainment to Chicago's newly completed Riverwalk in the heart of downtown, in addition to neighborhoods throughout the city.

Highlights for the summer of 2017

Movies in the Parks, June 12 – September 9

The popular Movies in the Park, celebrating its 17th year in 2017, brings big-screen entertainment to over 175 neighborhood parks.  The roster includes contemporary, cult classic and classic films along with Chicago On Screen--the local film Showcase that features movies filmed in or about Chicago and produced by Chicago-based filmmakers.

All movies begin at dusk, weather permitting. Call 312 742 1134 for daily listings and weather-related cancellations.

Theater on the Lake, June 28 – August 20, Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Theater on the Lake, the Chicago Summer Theater Festival that showcases Chicago's off-Loop theater productions in open air continues for its 65th year this summer. Traditionally staged in the historic Theater on the Lake building that is currently under renovation, the festival will be held at Berger Park Cultural Center (6205 N. Sheridan Rd.). Click here for ticket and schedule information or call 312 742 7994.

Centennial Birthday Tributes for Gwendolyn Brooks and Margaret Burroughs, June 24, July 29 & August 26

Gwendolyn Brooks and Margaret Burroughs who both would have turned 100 this year will be celebrated by the Chicago Park District with a variety of artists exploring Brooks’ and Burroughs’ noted contributions to literature and influence on Chicago’s history.

Chicago Philharmonic, June 24- August 13

Watch or join the fun as the Musicians from the Chicago  Philharmonic perform outdoor concerts.

Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks Present Romeo and Juliet, July 30-August 27

The popular Free Shakespeare returns this summer with the timeless Romeo and Juliet. The 75-minute production, adapted and directed by Marti Lyons, will be touring in neighborhood parks across the city.

Dance in the Parks, July 11- August 5

Instead of Dancing With the Stars, watch local stars perform under them at Chicago's free Dance in the Parks concerts.  The professional, outdoor dance concerts feature works created and performed by professional Chicago dance artists in a wide range of themes and styles, including modern, jazz, contemporary, and tap works. Bring your picnic dinner--or not--and enjoy.

Chicago River Float, starting August 7

Starting August 7, the new Chicago River Float will connect communities throughout the city to art and nature. The River Float will travel along the Chicago River and make stops at the Resource Center (222 E. 135th Pl.), Eleanor Park (2828 S. Eleanor St.), the Chicago Riverwalk and Navy Pier.

Midnight Circus in the Parks, August 26- October 15

Midnight Circus will present the 11th year of this true "Big Top" tent extravaganza in eight parks citywide. Click here for tickets and schedule.

Collaboraction: Peacebook, October 5-November 4

Collaboraction returns to Night Out in the Parks for a fourth summer with the latest installment of their PEACEBOOK 2017 tour, a new collaborative citywide festival of theatre, dance, music, visual art and spoken word focused on cultivating peace in Chicago.

Want to learn more

For more information, visit Night in the Parks or call 312 742.PLAY. Or get the APP, My Chi Parks™, available on Apple and Android devices.

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