Stories by Erica Demarest

(Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

Here’s When You Can Visit Chicago-Area Museums and Zoos for Free in 2024

If you’re seeking activities that don’t break the bank this winter, look no further than local museums, zoos and gardens. A number have announced free admission days in 2024.

Caroling at “Cloud Gate” in 2019. (Courtesy of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Holiday Singalongs, Winter Markets, Drag Queen Storytime

A magic show, menorah lighting and Pocket Con usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in Chicago.

“Wintergreen” at the Lincoln Park Conservatory. (Chicago Park District)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Winter Flower Shows, Neighborhood Holiday Festivities

A winter walk, art exhibit and community lighting event usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in Chicago.

(WTTW News)

15-Year-Old Charged With 11 Counts of Armed Robbery in Early Morning Spree

Police said the 15-year-old boy was identified as one of the individuals who participated in numerous armed robberies in the early morning hours of Aug. 20.

Viking pub crawl. (Jamie Kelter Davis)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Viking Pub Crawl, Ice Skating, ‘Downton Abbey’ Pop-Up

A tree lighting, makers markets and Italian food usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in and around Chicago.

The annual “Christmas Around the World” exhibit at Museum of Science and Industry. (Heidi Peters / Museum of Science and Industry Chicago)

2023 Chicago Holiday Events Guide

Whether you’re interested in theater or light shows, ice skating or shopping, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this holiday season. We’ve rounded up some of the season’s highlights in Chicago and the suburbs.

(Courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Pilsen Gourmet, Local Markets, Lightscape Begins

Comedy shows, a French market and dazzling lights usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in and around Chicago.

The cast of “The Greatest Show On Earth” takes center stage during the opening scene, “Welcome to the Show.” (Courtesy of Ringling)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Fall Night Market, Ringling Returns

A dance series, film festival and Native American art usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in and around Chicago.

(Julia M. Cameron / Pexels)

Looking to Help Migrants and Unhoused Chicagoans This Winter? Here’s What the City Recommends

With winter fast approaching, the city of Chicago is reminding people that asylum seekers and homeless residents are in need of clothing, toiletries and other items.

(Courtesy of the Lincoln Park Zoo)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Halloween Happenings, 312 Comedy Festival and Celebrating Jewish Delis

Spooky music, pet costume contests and a deli exhibit usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in and around Chicago.

Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade 2018 (Distract Your Face Photography)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Halloween Parade, Tarot Readings, Pinball Expo

A musical showcase, aura portraits and a clothing swap usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in and around Chicago.

Open House Chicago 2021. (Anna Munzesheimer / Chicago Architecture Center)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Open House Chicago, Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing Events

A film festival, arts celebration and Reuse-a-Palooza usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in and around Chicago.

(Courtesy of City Cruises)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Latina Comedy Festival, Haunted Chicago River Cruises

River tours, home tours and fall festivals usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in Chicago.

Little Amal in Toronto. (c) Luminato Festival, The Walk Productions. (Taku Kumabe)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Long List of Citywide Arts Events, Massive Jack-O’-Lanterns

Art walks, a charity run and a 12-foot puppet usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in and around Chicago.

(Courtesy of Navy Pier)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Apple Fest, Shedd Aquarium House Party

An art walk, film festival and house music party usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in and around Chicago.

Mexican Independence Day Parade. (Courtesy of Little Village Chamber of Commerce)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Ravenswood ArtWalk, Mexican Independence Day Parade

Oktoberfest, Oksoberfest and a pair of arts festivals usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in and around Chicago.

(Courtesy of the Field Museum)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Field Museum’s ID Day, Printers Row Lit Fest

Dumplings, fossils and a 5K usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in Chicago.

(Active Transportation Alliance / Facebook)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Bike the Drive, Chicago Labor Day Parade

Irish days, African arts and a Labor Day parade usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in and around Chicago.

(WTTW News)

Chicago Files Lawsuit Against Kia and Hyundai, Which Account for More Than Half of City’s 2023 Car Thefts

Kia and Hyundai vehicles made up 41% of all Chicago car thefts in 2022 — despite the fact Kias and Hyundais account for just 7% of vehicles in the city, according to the lawsuit.

3D work by Zach Herndon. (Courtesy of the Rogers Park Business Alliance)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Chalk Howard Street, Taste of Greektown

A cannabis festival, Greek food and nature preserves usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in and around Chicago.

(Eva Ho / Shedd Aquarium)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Ribfest Chicago, Englewood Back to School Parade

A parade, dance lessons and summer festivals usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in Chicago.

(Eric James Walsh)

Christkindlmarket 2023 Dates Released: What to Know About the Holiday Market Coming to Chicago, Aurora

Christkindlmarket has announced its 2023 season will begin Nov. 17 at three locations in the Chicago area: Daley Plaza, Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field and RiverEdge Park in Aurora.

Dr. Allison Arwady appears on "Chicago Tonight" on March 20, 2023. (WTTW News)

Brandon Johnson Fires Chicago Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady

Dr. Allison Arwady was the public face of Chicago’s response throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. At the height of the pandemic, she hosted online question-and-answer sessions twice a week and frequently briefed the news media.

(Courtesy of Chicago Defender Charities)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Bud Billiken Parade, Ginza Holiday Festival

A parade, photo exhibit and summer festivals usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in and around Chicago.

(WTTW News)

Chicago-Area Man Charged With Trafficking Machine Gun Conversion Devices

Anthony Prisco, 20, is accused of illegally possessing and transferring machine guns and illegally possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon.

(Courtesy of Thirsty Ears Festival)

5 Things to Do This Weekend: Destination Asia Festival, Late Night at Lincoln Park Zoo

A magical conference, summer festivals and an evening at the zoo usher in the weekend. Here are five things to do in and around Chicago.