Best Bets: Illuminarium at Navy Pier, ‘Olmec Trails,’ Nate Bargatze and more

Welcome to Illuminarium

Illuminarium, a new 32,000-square-foot immersive venue offering virtual reality without a headset, opens this weekend in the former Crystal Gardens space at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. Visitors can choose from two options — WILD: A Safari Experience and SPACE: A Journey to the Moon and Beyond. Incorporating film and VR techniques, Illuminarium places visitors “inside the narrative,” offering “interactive features that mimic that of the real world.” Tickets start at $39.99 for adults and $29.99 for kids. Opens at 10 a.m. Friday, June 28

Alberto Aguilar's 2023 work “Locate Everything with a Checkered Pattern in Your Home” is part of The Cleve Carney Museum of Art exhibition “Grid Luck.” Courtesy of Alberto Aguilar

CCMA showcases local artist

The Cleve Carney Museum of Art at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, presents “Grid Luck,” an exhibition showcasing works by Chicago artist Alberto Aguilar, who uses tools, furniture and existing items to create site-specific installations. Those are accompanied by “photographs, drawings and paintings that use both a formal and conceptual grid in their creation.” Free. Opens Saturday, June 29

Sounds like summer

Singer/songwriter Tracy Bonham (“Mother Mother”), the classically trained vocalist and pianist and self-taught guitarist who has toured with Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, headlines Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights. $15-$35. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29

Taiwan Pride Film Fest

The inaugural Taiwan Pride Film Festival, which showcases the country’s film industry while celebrating LGBTQ+ visibility, takes place at CineCity Studios, 2429 W. 14th St., Chicago. Tickets for shorts and features range from $10 to $50. See for the schedule. Saturday, June 29

Mexico City artist Jose Manuel Jacobo Torrecilla paints a sculpture for the “Olmec Trails: Culture and Legacy” exhibition, which is opening at various locations in DuPage County this weekend. Courtesy of The Mexican Cultural Center DuPage

Happy Olmec Trails

The Mexican Cultural Center DuPage, in cooperation with Meztli Mexico, the College of DuPage Public Art Project and the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau, presents “Olmec Trails: Culture and Legacy,” a new outdoor exhibition showcasing the culture of the ancient Olmecs, the earliest known major Mesoamerican civilization. The exhibition consists of contemporary Mexican artists’ re-creations of the hand-painted renditions of colossal stone heads originally created around Veracruz, Mexico, between 1400 B.C. and 400 BCE. The re-creations will be on display throughout DuPage County. Free. This weekend’s opening coincides with The McAninch Arts Center’s Olmec Family Fiesta from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at the Lakeside Pavilion. Opens Sunday, June 30, at the MCCD, 103 W. Washington St., West Chicago; The MAC at COD, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn; and various forest preserves

Independence Day concerts

• The United States Air Force Band of Mid-America performs patriotic tunes, Broadway hits and other works during a free “Liberty for All” concert at the Memorial Park Bandshell, 225 Karlskoga Ave., Wheaton. 3 p.m. Sunday, June 30

• Members of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s brass and percussion sections perform patriotic works under conductor Chad Goodman at the Robert G. Soule Amphitheater in Citizen’s Park, 511 N. Lake Zurich Road, Barrington. Free. 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 2

Nate Bargatze

Nate Bargatze, the comedian known as “the nicest man in stand-up,” brings his “Be Funny Tour” to the Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont. $39.75-$59.75. (847) 635-6601 or 7 p.m. Sunday, June 30

NASCAR Family Fest

NASCAR Chicago Street Race, Choose Chicago and Navy Pier team up for a two-day NASCAR Family Fest at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. Free activities include photo ops with NASCAR show cars, a simulated driving competition, remote control car racing and more, culminating with an Independence Day fireworks display. 2-9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, July 2-3

Singer/songwriter Marcia Ball performs at Evanston's SPACE. Courtesy of Mary Bruton

An evening with Marcia Ball

Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist/singer/songwriter Marcia Ball, known for her swampy New Orleans-style ballads and Texas-style roadhouse blues, plays SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston. $25-$40. (847) 492-8860 or 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 3

Magician David Parr returns to The Chicago Magic Lounge. Courtesy of David Linsell

‘Magical Thinking’ at the Magic Lounge

Chicago Magic Lounge, 5050 N. Clark St., Chicago, welcomes back its first artist-in-residence David Parr. Parr introduces his latest show, “Magical Thinking,” which examines how magic provides respite from everyday pressures. $42-$47.50. (312) 366-4500 or 7 p.m. Wednesdays, July 3 through Sept. 25

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