A Pumpkin Smash Fest, Night Bike Ride, Theater in the Park and More

CHICAGO – You can kick off the first weekend of November with a comedy show, spoken word concert, film festivals and more in Chicago.

Twelve things to do in Chicago this weekend:

5pm-10pm from Friday to Saturday

Vans House, 113 N. Elizabeth St.

This fall night market kicks off the festive season with two nights of shopping, live painting, food, music and more. You can register online and admission is free.

Opening night begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday

Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.

The 28th annual festival explores and shares stories and experiences of Black, African American and African Diaspora communities. The festival kicks off on Friday evening and will run until November 20. You can buy tickets for individual shows and passes for $60 online. Movie passes are half price for members of the Gene Siskel Film Center.

5:45 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday

Nichols Park, 1300 E. 55th St.

The first Friday of the month means there is a South Side Critical Mass Bike Ride. Bring a helmet, water, cash, lock, bike lights and a jacket for a night of biking. The group normally travels 15-20 miles at a moderate pace.

6 p.m. Friday at Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St.

6 p.m. Saturday at Austin City Hall, 5610 W. Lake St.

Steppenwolf for Young Adults is offering free performances through Saturday as part of the Night Out in the Parks series. The group presents its adaptation of “1919”, which comes from a collection of poems about the murder of black teenager Eugene Williams in an isolated Chicago in 1919.

11am-5pm Friday

1500 W. Catalpa Ave.

Dispose of your Halloween pumpkins the eco-friendly way at the Andersonville smash fest. You can also take advantage of the food, drink, and craft vendors. You can buy tickets for $5-20 online.

Variable times and locations

The ninth Black Alphabet Film Festival focuses on amplifying the voices of the black LGBTQ+ community. The festival reception will begin at 6 p.m. Friday at 78 E. 47th St. Film screenings will be held throughout the weekend. You can find the program and more information here.

7 p.m. Friday

Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St.

You can enjoy an evening of original spoken word at this event hosted by nonprofit Totally Positive Productions. You can get tickets for $20 online.

Credit: Jim Vondruska
Previous SAUCED Night Market at the Chicago Athletic Association.

7:30 p.m. Saturday

Auditorium Theater, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr.

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater pays tribute to Chicago music legend Quincy Jones this weekend as part of the Auditorium’s Chicago Dance Series. You can buy tickets from $25 to $69 online.

Noon-5 p.m. Saturday

1932 S. Halsted Street

This open house showcase will feature thousands of ancient maps and prints spanning five centuries and will be available for purchase. The event concludes a series of mapping lectures on Friday and Saturday mornings at the Newberry Library, which will also be streamed live online.

7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. from Friday to Saturday

Winter’s Jazz Club, 465 N. McClurg Ct.

Enjoy an evening of jazz music performed by the Denise Thimes Quintet, which will perform the music of Roberta Flack and Nina Simone. General admission is $27.75 and VIP seats are $32.75. You can buy tickets online.

6-8 p.m. Friday

You’re Beautiful Corporate Headquarters, 3368 N. Elston Ave.

The phrase “you are beautiful” can be seen on walls in Chicago and on 8 million stickers around the world. There will be a collective exhibition focusing on positivity and kindness to celebrate the design’s 20th anniversary. You can reserve a place online and admission is free.

7:15 p.m. Friday, 7:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday

1331 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Comedian and “Saturday Night Live” alum Melissa Villaseñor is stopping by Chicago this weekend as part of her “Whoops…Tour.” Tickets are available online for $19-26.

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