Spring in Chicago isn't just about tiptoeing through the tulips. Credit: Walter Lee Olivares de la Cruz/Unsplash

Whether you’re ready to dive head first into the pit at the next outdoor music festival or you’re slowly emerging from your shell, the next seven days in Chicago offer a variety of ways to spring out into the world. Stay safe and enjoy!

  • Wed-Sun through 9/12: “Mandela: Struggle for Freedom” is an immersive exhibit tracing the history of the fight against apartheid in South Africa, including a history of Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela’s work toward racial equality. The exhibition is hosted at Skokie’s Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center through September 12. Timed tickets are required for entry, and can be reserved at the museum’s website.
  • Through 6/6: The Pivot Arts Festival offers contemporary dance, performance, and music events both online and in person. Check out Reader contributor Sheri Flanders’s preview here. A complete schedule is available at the festival’s website.
  • Through Sun 5/23, times vary: Grammy-nominated trumpeter Victor Garcia visits the Jazz Showcase for a weekend of evening concerts. Tickets are available at the venue’s website.
  • Fri 5/21, 7 PM: Women & Children First hosts a virtual reading event featuring writers featured in the anthology Fat and Queer: An Anthology of Queer and Trans Bodies and Lives (out this month from Jessica Kingsley Publishers). Readers include cellist and novelist Edward Kelsey Moore and Tiff Joshua TJ Ferentini, one of the anthology’s editors. Registration is required to view live and the event will be recorded and uploaded to Women & Children First’s YouTube channel for future viewing.
  • Sun 5/23, 11 AM-3 PM, and many Sundays through 10/31: Vegan Paradise, Chicago’s first all-vegan farmer’s market, is hosted by Chicago Vegan Test Kitchen and Bubbly Dynamics at the Plant in Back of the Yards. Registration is requested, and masks and a temperature check will be required for entry.
  • Sun 5/23, noon-5 PM: Reggies hosts the Eye Candy Art Bazaar and Flea Market featuring independent artisans and unique gift items for sale. Free to enter.
  • Sun 5/23, 7 PM: Experimental Sound Studio presents an evening of experimental music and sound art live from Washington, D.C.’s Rhizome space. Watch at ESS’s Twitch channel.
  • Tue 5/25, 8:30 PM: You’re the one that I want! Well, not really (though I have to say you’re looking good lately) but we can sing that together while watching Grease on a big outdoor screen courtesy of the Chitown Movies Drive-In theater in Pilsen. Tickets available online.
  • Wed 5/26, 7 PM: Kickin’ It Curbside is an outdoor music series hosted by Pilsen’s Tack Room. This week features René Avila’s Afro-Cuban Band. It’s free to watch and the Tack Room will be open to purchase libations.  v