Openings, Re-Openings, and Premiers to be Excited About

Get your calendars out!

By Debra Flanagan, Macaroni Kid Chicago Northside April 28, 2021

Outdoor Fun

  • Gallagher Way has reopened both to ticket holders on game days, and to the general public on non-game days or after the game. Along with it, The Bar at Hotel Zachary has reopened, joining the rest of the restaurants around the park, like Big Star and Smoke Daddy, which had already reopened.
  • Businesses along the Chicago Riverwalk are beginning to reopen. Art on the Mart is also on display at 8:30 and 9 p.m. daily. Artwork includes the Adler Planetarium's Astrographics and a reprise of The Art Institute of Chicago's projections from Monet and Chicago and expanded work from Bisa Butler: Portraits.
  • Navy Pier will begin a phased reopening plan on April 30, bringing back its iconic outdoor attractions, and showcasing a new hotel and restaurant, Lirica. And to celebrate the Pier's opening weekend, representatives announced plans for a weekly fireworks show that will light up the skies every Saturday this May. 
  • Maggie Daley Park is ready to reopen its outdoor experiences, including its climbing wall, scooter rental, bungee and mini golf activities, starting Fri., May 28.
  • The opening of Buckingham Fountain has always marked the beginning of summer for me, which is partly why it never really felt like summer last year. Fortunately, it opens this weekend (May 1!)
  • Outdoor Chicago Park District pools are scheduled to reopen on June 28th!

Professional Sports 

  • Chicago Fire made their return to Soldier Field on April 24th.
  • Chicago Cubs home opener was on April 1.  The next home stand begins May 3rd, and despite occupancy restrictions, tickets are available. We went to a game and felt very safely distanced, and enjoyed the absence of bathroom or concession lines.
  • Chicago White Sox are home this week.



  • LM Restaurant Group has opened Land & Lake Andersonville at 5420 N. Clark St., where Passerotto, which closed in September, used to be.


  • Edgewater’s pHlour Bakery & Cafe will open pHlour Diner in the former Nookies spot at 1100 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.


  • If you haven't heard yet, Guthrie's is reopening. Many a north-sider was disappointed when the 34 year old, neighborhood, establishment shuttered due to the pandemic, however it is re-opening soon under new ownership.
  • Wilmette favorite, Pescadero Seafood & Oyster Bar is opening soon at 1258 W Belmont Ave
  • Smylie Brothers Brewing Co. is expanding into Lakeview at Broadway & Sheridan. Construction looks to be close to completion.
  • Sochi Saigonese Kitchen will replace Spanish Square at 1358 W. Belmont Avenue

Lincoln Park

  • Golden Dagger is Chicago's most artist-friendly music venue, located in Lincoln Park. Formerly known as the Tonic Room, Golden Dagger has reopened their doors and is now operating as a fully functioning coffee bar, with live music, (currently on the patio), cocktails, a book club and a safe space for all members of the artist community. 


  • Six Flags Great America opened for weekends on April 24th. You must book your days in advance.
  • Santa's Village Azoosment Park & Water Park Opens May 8th!

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  • The closing of the Mercury Theater in Lakeview was the biggest hit to me personally. I am thrilled that it is reopening under new leadership including Christopher Chase Carter as Artistic Director.
  • The ninth annual Pivot Arts Festival: Reimagining Utopia will take place May 21 – June 6 in both live and virtual spaces! A celebration of contemporary performance, this year’s festival presents 12 selected artists and artistic groups commissioned to create video installations or small, live works responding to the theme of re-imagining a better world post-pandemic. The performance line-up includes The Puppet Wonder Wagon; large-scale, abstract puppets in performance, followed by an outdoor puppet-building workshop for families to create their own imaginary creatures (May 30th.)

  • Movies
    Cruella - May 28
    Space Jam: A New Legacy - July 16
    Quiet Place II - May 28
    Cinderella - July 16
    In the Heights - June 11
    Jungle Cruise - July 30
    Peter Rabbit II: The Runaway - June 18
    Paw Patrol: The Movie - August 20
    Black Widow - July 9

    Returning Television Shows
    • The Handmaid's Tale: Season 4 - April 28 (Hulu)
    • Home Before Dark: Season 2 - June 11 (Apple)
    • Loki - June 11 (Disney +) (not exactly a returning show, but it is the return of another Marvel Series after the successful Wandavision and Falcon & the Winter Soldier, and my family couldn't be more excited)
    • Ted Lasso: Season 2 - July 23 (Apple)
    • Outerbanks: Season 2 - July 24 (Netflix) (you might not be excited, but chances are, your teen is!)