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Chicago?s first Museum Week kicks off tomorrow, and we?re eager to dip into some of the perks (trippy Mirror Maze, we see you). But we also owe a visit to some of the city?s smaller museums and galleries, which have quirky, beautiful and downright cool things happening this fall. Here?s what we?re jonesing to see.


Shipwrecks at The Cotton Duck

New to East Village, this hip spot is both an art gallery and a restaurant, and that means pretty dope things for the menu. Namely, it changes as the exhibits do. The current exhibition, dubbed “The Girls,” features shipwrecks and stormy seas from artist Renee McGinnis. The menu takes a similarly nautical turn with crispy oysters, black bass and octopus. (Tip: The place is BYOB, but its house sodas--one is magnolia-flavored--make fabulous mixers.)

941 N. Damen Ave.; 773-661-6131 or


Vintage Bling at the Richard H. Driehaus Museum

Tiffany & Co. just renovated its Michigan Avenue flagship. But alas, there’s no sign on the door that says: Come in and gawk; there’s no pressure to buy. Luckily, we can stare away at the baubles on display at the Gold Coast museum-within-a-mansion. Its current Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry exhibition shows more than 250 pieces.pieces. Our favorite? A tiara with an elegant corn design. The show wraps on January 3.

40 E. Erie St.; 312-482-8933 or


The Keebler Elves at the Museum of Broadcast Communications

Still mourning Mad Men? Get to know the real Sterling Cooper & Partners of the world at A Salute to Advertising’s Greatest Icons. All your old pals--think Tony the Tiger, Ronald McDonald and the little creatures known as “Snap,” “Crackle” and “Pop”--are there, and the exhibit details their creations and evolutions. So if you want the True Hollywood scoop on the Pillsbury Doughboy, head over before the show closes on December 31. And now you can have your three-martini lunch right there: STK steakhouse opens on the museum’s lower level tomorrow.

360 N. State St.; 312-245-8200 or


Red Hots at Foodseum Chicago

Not to propagate stereotypes, but there is a pop-up museum in Chicago. And it’s devoted to hot dogs. Open at Block 37 through December 20, the new Foodseum has an exhibit titled The Hot Dog and Encased Meats of the World. (It’s OK. Take a moment.) You’ll learn all about the history of the ballpark snack, and there’s even a “smell station” that’ll educate you about international meats.

Block 37 (2nd fl.), 109 N. Dearborn St.; 309-472-1533 or

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