Illinois Nightlife

Cirque Italia at Westfield Fox Valley on October 3–5 (Up to 41% Off)

Cirque Italia

Westfield Fox Valley

$52 $31

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Capering clowns, strongmen, and death-defying acrobats perform atop a water-filled stage during a two-hour spectacle

One or Two Hours of Billiards and Nonalcoholic Drinks for Four at Rockford Billiard Cafe (Half Off)

Rockford Billiard Cafe

Signal Hill

$10 $5

Players wash down Pepsi products during one- or two-hour sessions of billiards at a café with 17 tables

Chef Robert Irvine Live! at Rialto Square Theatre on Friday, October 10, at 8 p.m. (Up to 40% Off)

Chef Robert Irvine Live!

Rialto Square Theatre

$58.25 $35

(3085)
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Celebrity chef presents an interactive, multimedia event with onstage cooking demos and challenges, spiced up with music and videos

Immersed In Ink Tattoo Arts & Horror Festival at Fluid Event Center on October 10–12 (Up to 50% Off)

Immersed In Ink Tattoo Arts & Horror Festival

Fluid Event Center

$44 $23

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More than 60 tattoo artists from around the country converge for a weekend of inking, contests, and sideshow performances

Romance & Jazz at Nichols Concert Hall on Sunday, September 28, at 3 p.m. (Up to 49% Off)

"Romance & Jazz"

Nichols Concert Hall

$35 $18

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Works by Mozart, Bartók, and Williams, along with the Midwest premiere of Howard Levy's Sonata for Oboe and Piano

The Dinner Detective Chicago in Chicago or Schaumburg (Up to 50% Off)

The Dinner Detective Chicago

Multiple Locations

$92.09 $46

Amateur sleuths dig into delectable multi-course meals while trying to solve a mysterious murder perpetuated by disguised actors

One More Time: A Daft Punk Tribute for One or Two at Durty Nellie's on Friday, November 14 (Up to 67% Off)

One More Time: A Daft Punk Tribute

Durty Nellie's

$15 $7

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Re-creation of Daft Punk's 2007 tour includes a full-scale replica of their pyramid

Food and Hookah at D'wan Hookah Lounge (Up to 50% Off). Two Options Available.

D'wan Hookah Lounge

Orland Park

$24 $14

Freshly packed hookahs filled with aromatic blends of tobacco including safari melon dew, citrus mint, and tangerine dream

$25 for Two French Wine or European Beer Flights and One Appetizer at Suzette’s Creperie ($43 Value)

Suzette’s Creperie

Wheaton

$43 $25

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Flights of French wine or European beer pair with savory appetizers, including three-cheese soufflés, ham & cheese crepes or croque monsieur

Hookah for Two or Four at Aromas Hookah Bar (Up to 50% Off)

Aromas Hookah Bar

DeKalb

$20 $10

More than 200 flavored shisha tobaccos including blueberry, lemon, citrus dream, and strawberry margarita

Two-Hour Movie-Screen Video Gaming Session at Buffalo Grove Theater (52% Off)

Buffalo Grove Theater

Buffalo Grove IL

$120 $58

Bring up to 20 friends to play Xbox, Nintendo Wii, or PlayStation games on one of the theater's movie screens

Chicago Family Fun Expo for Two at Dupage Expo and Convention Center on October 18–19 (Up to 50% Off)

Chicago Family Fun Expo

Dupage Expo and Convention Center

$14 $7

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Vendors and demos educate about health and wellness while face painting, obstacle courses, and magic shows entertain

Burgers, Beers, and Appetizers for Two or Four at Scoreboards Pub & Grill (Up to 54% Off)

Scoreboards Pub & Grill

Oswego

$37.97 $18

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Friends gather to watch games and pound pub food, choosing from an ever-evolving beer menu to complement their bites

Distillery Tour for Two, Four, or Six with Tastings and Bottle of Vodka at Mastermind Vodka (Up to 55% Off )

Mastermind Vodka

Mastermind Vodka

$70 $35

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Groups tour the digs where distillers create small batches of American vodka from Midwestern grains

Little River Band at The Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater on Friday, September 26, at 7 p.m. (Up to 49% Off)

Little River Band

The Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater

$39 $20

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Multiplatinum Australian rockers deliver hits and fresh cuts from their latest album; proceeds benefit Survivors Scholarship Funding

Wine Tasting Event at Cab's Wine Bar Bistro (Up to 51% Off)

Cab's Wine Bar Bistro

Glen Ellyn

$49 $24

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Local sommelier leads wine tasting classes featuring selections from France, Italy, and the United States

Winery Experience for Two or Four with Wine Tastings and Entrees at StarView Vineyards (44% Off)

StarView Vineyards

Cobden

$34 $19

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Pulled-pork sandwiches and Italian-style pasta salads headline the cafe menu; 12 signature wines

$13 for One Hour of Pool and $15 Toward Drinks and Snacks at Elite Cafe & Billiards ($25 Value)

Elite Cafe & Billiards

Melrose Park

$25 $13

Retro pool hall gives players plenty of space to maneuver around its 17 billiards tables

Appetizers for 2, 4, 8, or 10 People at Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery (Up to 50% Off)

Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery

Roselle

$20 $11

(65)

Waitresses clad in mini kilts ferry burgers, Dublin-inspired stew & ice-cold Guinness to tables with views of HD sports games

LEAD Parent University Keynote with Ashley Merryman at Gorton Community Center on October 8 (Up to 35% Off)

LEAD Parent University Keynote with Ashley Merryman

Gorton Community Center

$40 $26

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New York Times–bestseller Ashley Merryman uses new social-science experiments to challenge common beliefs about parenting

Movie Tickets, Popcorn, and Drinks for Two or Four at Bensenville Theatre (Up to 50% Off)

Bensenville Theatre

Bensenville

$21 $11

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Guests grab buckets of popcorn and large sodas before heading into intimate twin theaters to view recent releases screening twice daily

One or Three Groupons for $22 Worth of Pizza, Sandwiches, and Pub Food at Harry's Sports Bar

Harry's Sports Bar

Countryside

$22 $12

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Sports bar with more than 30 TVs and three projection screens entertains guests devouring wraps, pizzas, and nachos

Seasonal Martini-Making Class, Cheese Board and Vodka for One or Two at Mid Oak Distillery (Up to 78% Off)

Mid Oak Distillery

Midlothian

$80 $25

Students make tropical summer cocktails using locally made vodka during a hands-on class that includes artisan cheese board

Craft Beer Flight and Appetizers for Two, Four, or Six at Chalk (Up to 46% Off)

Chalk

Forest Park

$30 $17

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Craft beer from local breweries such as Revolution and Lagunitas; fries, chicken tenders, and stout beer battered onion rings

Dinner Show for One or Two from The Murder Mystery Company (52% Off)

The Murder Mystery Company

Multiple Locations

$60 $29

Interactive dinnertime murder mystery that stars professional actors tests diners’ sleuthing skills throughout a multicourse meal

$13 for $25 Worth of Wine and Food at Hidden Lake Winery and Banquet Center

Hidden Lake Winery and Banquet Center

Hidden Lake Winery

$25 $13

Winery tucked in the Silent Forest features award-winning wines made from local fruit

EffingHAM Music Fest at Funfest Amphitheater on Saturday, September 27 (Up to 40% Off)

Effingham Music Fest

Funfest Amphitheater

$38.63 $23

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Joe Nichols and Phil Vassar headline a country celebration also featuring local favorites Drew Baldridge and the Matt Poss Band

Two Martinis and Two Small Plates or $15 for $30 Worth of Tapas (Up to 50% Off)

Olive Black Martini & Wine Lounge

Richmond

$35.90 $20

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Martini lounge exudes 1940s elegance with a large selection of classic cocktails, a tapas menu, and live jazz music amid plush sofas

$19 for a Vineyard Tour, Tasting of Five Wines, and Seminar for One at Valentino Vineyards & Winery ( Value)

Valentino Vineyards & Winery

Long Grove

$48 $19

Following a brief tour in the vineyard, guests enter a winery to sample five estate wines during wine appreciation seminar

Uncover the Secrets of the Human Body at an Autopsy Seminar

Autopsy Seminar

International Museum of Surgical Science

$50 $50

The founder of the Autopsy Center of Chicago fields questions about death and the body during a slideshow

Blackened: Metallica Tribute Plus a Drink at Mojoes on Friday, October 3, at 9 p.m. (Up to 54% Off)

Blackened

Mojoes

$17.30 $8

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Chicago-based Metallica tribute takes the stage after tributes to Down and Stone Temple Pilots

Beer School with a 10-Beer Flight and Sharable Appetizers for One or Two at World of Beer - Evanston (50% Off)

World of Beer - Evanston

Evanston

$50 $25

Sample 10 brews while tasting American, tavern-style cuisine

$15 for $30 Worth of Tropical Appetizers and Drinks at Hala Kahiki

Hala Kahiki

River Grove

$30 $15

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Tropical cocktails named for Pelé and coral reefs poured in Polynesian-themed bar opened in 1963

Mind Reading Show at The Bar Below on September 4–24 or October 1 at 8 p.m. or 10 p.m. (Up to 52% Off)

Mark Toland

The Bar Below

$25 $12

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Mark Toland blends fast-paced humor with mind reading and sideshow stunt capabilities for an unforgettable night of entertainment

Limp Bizkit at Aragon Ballroom on September 28 at 7 p.m. (Up to 51% Off)

Limp Bizkit

Aragon Ballroom

$48.63 $24

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Fred Durst and the nu-metal crew behind "Nookie" deliver a potent set of rap-rock hits; rapper Machine Gun Kelly and DJ Blvck Ceiling open

Chicago International Social Change Film Festival at Showplace ICON Theater on September 26–28 (Up to 51% Off)

The Third Annual Chicago International Social Change Film Festival

Showplace ICON Theater

$20 $10

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Documentaries, short films, and features delve into social injustice, discrimination, and programs that help fight both

Evening with Mr. Dick Gregory or Comedy Night With Luenell at Castle on Nov. 16 or Dec. 7 (Up to 69% Off)

An Evening with Mr. Dick Gregory or Comedy Night With Luenell

Castle

$53.74 $25

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Sets from comedy legend Dick Gregory or popular standup and actress Luenell

Tributes to Nirvana, Dave Matthews, Sublime, Tool & More at The Cubby Bear Wrigleyville (Up to 46% Off)

Cubby Bear

Cubby Bear

$13 $7

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Rock out to spot-on tributes to Tool, Korn, DMB, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and more at this Wrigleyville hotspot

$12 for a Movie for Two with Popcorn at The Logan Theatre ($20 Value)

The Logan Theatre

Logan Square

$20 $12

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Historic theater features current releases and classic films

The Second City's Deep Cuts or Improv All-Stars at UP Comedy Club on September 1–November 10 (Up to 43% Off)

The Second City's Deep Cuts or Improv All-Stars

UP Comedy Club

$24.50 $17

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Annoyance Theatre founder Mick Napier directs a cast of top improv talent; revue about living in the Internet age collects past sketches

Standup Show at UP Comedy Club (Up to 38% Off)

UP Comedy Club

Near North Side

$27.50 $17

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Nick Thune, Moshe Kasher, Todd Glass, and other regulars on the club circuit take the stage at The Second City's standup venue

"The Empire Brings Sexy Back: A Star Wars Burlesque" or "Holy Bouncing Boobies: A Batman Burlesque" (Up to 39% Off)

"Empire Brings Sexy Back" or "Holy Bouncing Boobies: A Batman Burlesque"

Gorilla Tango Theatre

$33 $20

(99)
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Performers sling jokes and shed clothes during burlesque parodies of "Batman" and "The Empire Strikes Back"

Hookah and Soft Drinks or BYOB Fees for One or Two at Rotana Cafe (Up to 52% Off)

Rotana Cafe

Chicago

$19.83 $11

On weeknights, groups can enjoy their hookah with house soft drinks or they can bring wine or drinks from home on Saturdays

$16 for Premium Beer Flights and Michelin Bib Gourmand-Rated Bar Snacks for Two at Paramount Room ($32 Value)

Paramount Room

Central Chicago

$32 $16

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Rotating list of craft beers and Belgian ales pairs with gourmet nosh like tempura green beans or pork belly sticks with maple mustard sauce

Burgers, Pub Food, and Drinks for Two or Four at Lincoln Avenue Social (50% Off)

Lincoln Avenue Social

Chicago

$30 $15

The pub menu features classic sandwiches, Tex-Mex plates, and Burgers topped with beef chili and mac and cheese

Billiards Outing for Two or Four or $10 for $20 Worth of Billiards and American Food at Pressure Billiards and Cafe

Pressure Billiards & Cafe

Edgewater

$46.85 $20

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13 Brunswick Metro pool tables framed by eight LCD TVs vie for dominance against a café menu of burgers, sandwiches, and cocktails

$10 for $20 Worth of Drinks at Glascott’s Saloon

Glascott's Saloon

Lincoln Park

$20 $10

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Bellied up to a wooden bar at an authentic speakeasy, guests sip on a selection of 18 draft beers, imported brews, and glasses of wine

$59 for In-Home Wine Tasting for Up to 16 from Wines for Humanity ($250 Value)

Wines for Humanity

Redeem from Home

$250 $59

Professional wine adviser teaches guests to discern distinctive notes in seven exclusive vintages and pair them with appropriate dishes

Wine Tasting for Two or Four at Beviamo (Up to 64% Off)

Beviamo

West Town

$50 $19

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Two reds, two whites, and one bubbly from across the world recommended by a wine specialist; complimentary eats

Tickets to See "Beauties & Beaus" for 2, 4, 6, or 10 with Champagne at Hydrate Nightclub Chicago (Up to 65% Off)

Hydrate Nightclub Chicago

Lakeview

$36 $16

Audiences watch a rotating guest lineup of drag performers strut their stuff onstage while sipping champagne

"Desperate 2" at Carver Military Academy High School on November 8 or 9 (Up to 47% Off)

"Desperate 2"

Carver Military Academy High School

$75 $40

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Award-winning singers star in world-premiere drama exploring themes of family, love, and faith

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Before moving to Chicago, Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh began their culinary careers in New York as a way to support themselves while they looked for work as actors. It wasn’t their acting that brought the duo to stardom, however. Against odds of 10,000 to 1, they sent a tape into the Food Network and, to their surprise, became the first-ever winners of the Next Food Network Star contest, landing their own show on the cable channel. That success enabled them to grow their catering business’s small café into a full-fledged restaurant serving up brunch, lunch, and dinner.

"Our focus is on what we love, which is mid-century food and the American culture of dining, and that kind of collective memory we have . . . taking those recipes and updating them for a modern palate," Steve says. For example, they top sweet potatoes with black-thyme-pepper marshmallows and create corn dogs with rabbit sausage in red-velvet butter. Steve says that they love creating conversation at their tables, especially as guests reminisce about memories evoked by dishes such as tuna noodle casserole and their Hearty mac ‘n’ cheese. "For Dan and I, that's a major part of the dining experience," he says. "If we can get their heads moving as well as their mouths, we feel pretty successful." Their efforts have paid off. "The duo is making magic by keeping it simple," said Phil Vettel in a review on WGN. "There's at least one wow ingredient on every plate. A simple burger is brightened with triple-cream cambozola cheese, sugar-cured bacon, and garlic aioli. Bacon-wrapped shrimp arrives on a pile of wonderful white cheddar grits . . . It's fun and delicious."

Dan heads the kitchen, while Steve forges many of the signature cocktails, aiming to discourage the intimidation that often surrounds craft cocktails. He and Dan even authored a book whose 200+ drink recipes include every cocktail made at Hearty, proving that everyone can make the drinks at home. Steve's even been known to chat up tables in hopes of introducing them to a new drink. "It's amazing, the amount of people who don't think they drink gin—so I have to force them," Steve says. "Once you have a gin that is different than that gin that you drank in the 1980s that was so harsh and juniper-heavy, once you're having one of these new American gins along with just simple fresh citrus and the other spirits… you understand what the fuss is about." He's also curated an exclusively American wine list with bottles from unexpected sources—including Dr. Frank's Salmon Run rkatsiteli from the Finger Lakes in New York, which he calls "floral and highly acidic . . . Everybody loves it."

3819 N Broadway St
Chicago,
IL
US

While audiences laugh it up at the rib-tickling comedians, Morty's slick performance space entertains their eyes. Eschewing the dowdy aesthetic of many comedy clubs, Morty's features sleek, modern tables and chairs and a wood-paneled bar. A full menu of tasty food, meanwhile, quells hunger while drinks and craft beers cool tongues and help keep people from spontaneously combusting.

4034 Fox Valley Center Dr
Aurora,
IL
US

Established in 1968, Midway Village Museum embodies a sprawling, 137-acre time capsule. Within the museum’s 27 fully functioning, Victorian buildings, exhibits tell the story of Rockford since its incorporation in the early 19th century. Throughout the years, the town has made history as the progenitor of the sock monkey, the launching point for aviator Bert Hassell, and home of the Rockford Peaches—an all-female baseball team fictionalized in the film A League of Their Own, though the real squad neither played in the 1943 championship nor battled a CGI dragon. Other attractions amid the barns, blacksmiths, and general stores include a dollhouse museum and a meticulous archive of Rockford’s long, proud history in the furniture industry.

6799 Guilford Rd
Rockford,
IL
US

Named in honor of local firefighters and police, The Department's restaurant and liquor lounge serve modern cuisine in a loft-style space outfitted with exposed-brick walls, gleaming wood floors, and an abundantly stocked bar. In preparation for the dinner rush, waiters flip crisp white cloths to hide tables’ risqué tattoos while chefs fire up the grill and stir marinades for gourmet steaks, pork loin, and seafood plates. House specialty dishes reflect the chef's meticulous attention to detail; the Cajun rib eye basks in a marinade for 48 hours, and the crab-stuffed tilapia offsets the rich seafood with a white-wine sauce. At lunch, a menu of gourmet sandwiches and burgers fosters casual meals. Fridays see live acoustic entertainment filling the air with quarter notes as bartenders work hard shaking potent cocktails and luring corks out of wine bottles with maraschino cherries. Those craving al fresco eats during warmer months may dine on The Department's tree-lined, second story balcony.

205 N Chicago St
Joliet,
IL
US

With its massive selection of varietals and styles, Lynfred Winery seems determined to make something for almost any wine drinker. The cellar brims with everything from bold, spicy reds to crisp and refreshing whites, as well as fruit wines made from apples, cherries, rhubarb, and pears. The grapes arrive from vineyards throughout California and Washington state, although the rest of the fruit typically comes from a bit closer to home, including growers throughout Michigan and Wisconsin. Despite this variety, the staff's commitment to approachable, fruit-forward flavors characterizes virtually everything that the winery makes.

This dedication to easy drinking seems only natural given the winery's origins in a home basement. In 1975, Fred Koehler, along with his wife Lynn, decided to try to re-create the family wines his father and grandfather had made throughout the 1920s. The batches grew larger with each passing vintage, and, in 1979, Fred and Lynn chose to upgrade their homespun hobby into a commercial venture. Within six years, Lynfred Winery's creations began to appear in the national spotlight as they garnered awards and medals from wine competitions across the country. This attention allowed Fred to swell production even more, eventually expanding to a larger location in 1990.

Fred and Lynn's legacy continues to inspire the staff as they operate a facility that creates more than 100,000 gallons of wine each year using as many as 80 varietals. These wines appear on restaurant menus, on retail shelves, and inside fish tanks throughout the Chicagoland area.

15 South Roselle Road
Roselle,
IL
US

The Winery at Shale Lake sprawls over 212 acres of verdant terrain, with a 10-acre vineyard producing a menu of eight original wines for enjoyment in an array of charming settings. Spin around the 24-acre lake during a 30-minute bike ride aboard any of the Surrey cycles available for rent, or hike the scenic trail to slowly experience nature and the soothing melodies of Bigfoot quartets. Sip on up to five complimentary varieties of wine in the tasting room, built into the barn for a fine equine view through the picture window, and chow on gastronome goodies, including baked brie with raspberry sauce ($6), or white garlic and sausage pizza ($9). Kick back in the winter loft during colder months, playing pool and swirling sippers such as the Fifth Dimension, a sweet red foch wine, and the Beginners Luck, a semisweet chambourcin (all $4.50 by the glass). Live performers burst into song roughly twice a month, so thirst quenchers can enjoy sweet sounds while tickling their taste buds and their friends' bellies on Saturday evenings.

1499 Washington Ave
Staunton,
IL
US

Illinois Scene