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We know you’re busy. But your day planner better prepare for all the amazing events that spring up with the warmer weather--like festivals, shows and even your favorite all-girl band from the aughts: the Dixie Chicks. So grab your cowboy hat: Here are the eight events you don’t want to miss.


May: Ferris Fest

Lots of major, historical things have happened in Chicago. Most notable, of course, was the filming of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. (Anyone?) From May 20 to 22, celebrations will take place from Lake Forest to Chicago during the onetime fest.


May: Randolph Street Market Festival

You shop this stellar antiques market all year, but there’s something special about it when it moves outside. On May 28 and 29, the event celebrates the season with a “Garden Party” theme. Find all the vintage clothing, jewelry, and furniture--along with fresh air.

1340 W. Washington Blvd.;

Cheryl Mann

May: The Joffrey Ballet

The acclaimed ballet company presents Cinderella for a short run in May. Those leaps! Those sets! Talk about a storybook evening.

Through May 22; Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy.; 312-341-2300 or 

Kate Baldwin

May: The Lyric Opera

Why settle for one night of stunning costumes and lush sets when you can have two? The Lyric’s production of The King and I is a classic is a total feast for the eyes--and obviously, the ears. (Just be warned: “Shall We Dance” will be in your head for days.)

Through May 22; 20 N. Wacker Dr.; 312-827-5600 or

Larry Busacca/Getty

May: Beyonce at Soldier Field

Queen Bey is on world tour, and you can catch her at Soldier Field on May 27 and 28. Stop freaking out and get in formation--you need to nab your tickets stat.

Solider Field, 1410 Museum Campus Dr.; 312-235-7000 or


June: The Dixie Chicks

Is this a safe place to admit that our go-to karaoke song is “Wide Open Spaces”? The Chicks are back, and if you didn’t catch them in the early aughts, you can finally see them now. One catch: You’ll have to drive out to Tinley Park. Perhaps you should hire a cowboy, to take you away?

June 5, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, 19100 S. Ridgeland 708-614-1616 or


June-September: The Art Institute of Chicago

America After the Fall: Painting in the 1930s focuses on American art during the Great Depression. You’ll see classics from the likes of Georgia O’Keeffe,  Edward Hopper and Grant Wood. Admit it: You’ll never get over the thrill of seeing those unimpressed farmers in the flesh.

111 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-443-3600 or

Courtesy of Second City

Through July 10: The Museum of Contemporary Art

Think of this as a concert in an art gallery. Eighth Blackbird, a local sextet with a totally unique sound, will be in residence at the museum through September. The group will rehearse in the museum’s gallery spaces; when they’re not on site, video and audio tracks will let you in on the music-making process.

220 E. Chicago Ave.; 312-280-2660 or

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