|
Visual artist Marcella Torres. (WTTW News)

Marcella Torres, an artist-in-residence at the Pilsen garden described as an “outdoor community center,” tells us about the new project she’s creating for the space with a little help from volunteers.

|
The Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center has brought Afro-Latin dance, music, and art to Chicago’s West Side since 1971. (Courtesy of SRBCC)

Chicago’s oldest Latino cultural institution has brought Afro-Latin dance, music and art to the West Side since 1971. Now it’s celebrating a milestone after one of the most difficult years arts organizations have ever faced.

|
Malcolm Langford, 14, rides a tall bike at a Logan Square Park meetup organized by the custom bike club Rat Patrol on June 11. (WTTW News)

Have you ever thrown out a broken bike or any of its spare parts? There’s a chance a local bike club scooped up that trash to make a work of art on wheels. We visit Logan Square to learn about the city’s bustling custom bike culture.

,
|
The Blue Angels are a fan favorite of Air and Water Show observers. (Courtesy of Blue Angels)

The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels will perform from noon to 1 p.m. on Aug. 21 and Aug. 22 after practicing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 20. 

|
(Adler Planetarium / Facebook)

A return to pre-pandemic business as usual is not yet in the stars for the Chicago cultural institution, though some screenings and public observing events will make an in-person comeback beginning July 3.

|
Dan O’Conor, the “Great Lake Jumper,” makes his 365th leap into Lake Michigan, Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Chicago’s Montrose Point. (AP Photo / Shafkat Anowar)

Dan O’Conor said he started jumping into the lake at Montrose Harbor on the city’s North Side last year to relieve stress.

|
The Chill Foundation’s skateboarding program kicked off in November 2020 in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Skateboarding has long been considered a sport, an art form and even a lifestyle by its devotees. In Chicago, a new program has helped young people break out of the pandemic blues by learning the basics of skateboarding while picking up valuable life lessons along the way.

|
Lane Beach is five-star worthy. (Alexandra Silets / WTTW News)

For three months out of the year, Chicago’s every bit as much of a beach town as Los Angeles or Miami. As we kick off summer 2021, here are some things you might not know about the city’s sandy shore.

|
One of the "Human+Nature" sculptures at Morton Arboretum. (Courtesy of Morton Arboretum)

Along with the kick off to beach season, a number of other outdoor attractions are opening up in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend.

|
(WTTW News)

The city’s lakefront beaches will officially open Friday for the first time since 2019, with lifeguards on duty and concessions returning. 

|
Liam Durnan hikes in Cook County’s Spring Lake Nature Preserve. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Liam Durnan has been on a yearlong caper, hiking all 350 miles of Cook County forest preserve trails. “When people picture the forest preserve nearest them, most people think of it being the picnic groves,” he said. “They don’t know how big this thing is. It’s just incredible.”

|
Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park. (David Mark / Pixabay)

In yet another sign that Chicago is bouncing back to life, the city’s premiere fountain will be switched on for summer after being sidelined in 2020.

,
|
(WTTW News)

Starting Thursday, Navy Pier’s indoor spaces will be open to the public as it moves into its second phase of reopening. The iconic lakefront attraction aims to fully reopen by the end of the month.

|
(AP Illustration / Peter Hamlin)

The short answer: Not yet, but there are ways to make it safer if you go.

|
The American mink is equally at home on land or in the water. And despite its size, is not to be trifled with. (Jan Den Ouden / Pixabay)

The American mink is the poster critter for Chicago River Day, the annual cleanup hosted by Friends of the Chicago River that has volunteers fanning out from Lake County to Calumet to clear litter and trash from sites along the waterway. Here’s how to participate in Saturday’s event.

,
|
A new citywide music festival in 2021 will replace the Blues Fest, pictured, Jazz Fest and Gospel Fest with one night honoring each music tradition. (Courtesy Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events)

As the COVID-19 pandemic eases, a plan takes shape for a number of Chicago events this summer and fall, the “latest step in our mission to fully restore a sense of normalcy within our city,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.