July 13, 16th Annual Sand Sculpture Contest, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Indiana Dunes State Park, 1600 N 25 E, Chesterton. 219.926.1952. indianadunes.com. This competition is open to all ages. Viewers can vote for their favorite for the “People’s Choice Award.”
Through Sept 28, 2013 Farmers Market, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, S. Main St, Crown Point. 219.662.3290. crownpoint.in.gov/farmers. Produce, cheese, baked goods, flowers, home goods and accessories are available at this weekly farmers market.
Through Oct 26, Chesterton’s European Market, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Broadway & 3rd St, Chesterton. 219.926.5513. dunelandchamber.com. Artists, chefs, merchants and farmers from across Indiana, Michigan and Illinois offer an array of products and services—artisan breads and pastries, boutique creamery cheeses, ethnic foods, meats, spices, oils, rare books, clothing, accessories, jewelry and fresh-from-the-farm produce and flowers—at this market. The day also features food vendors and live performances.
July 17-21, Festival of the Lakes, Wolf Lake Memorial Park, 2324 Calumet Ave, Hammond. 219.853.6378. festival.gohammond.com. There’s fun for the whole family with rides, live entertainment, a polka party, a fishing derby, vendors, games and more at this annual event.
July 18-27, Porter County Fair, Porter County Expo Center, 217 E Division Rd, Valparaiso. portercountyfair.com. Carnival rides, food vendors, exhibits, livestock and entertainment are staples at this county-wide fair.
July 20, The Grape Escape, noon-8pm, Centennial Park, Calumet Ave, Munster. 219.836.7275. munster.org. Wine lovers can enjoy wine samples, as well as food from around the Region, live music and a fine arts fair and ethnic market at this festival.
July 26, Frog in the Bog—A Dunes Affair, 6-10 p.m., County Line Orchard, 200 S County Line Rd, Hobart. 219.395.9555. duneslearningcenter.org. At this annual fundraising dinner for the Dunes Learning Center, guests can enjoy a night of rustic fun—including music by Chicago’s Sanctified Grumblers, camp games, a silent auction, stargazing and gourmet s’mores by Bowlerman Confections.
July 26-28, Pierogi Fest, 119th St, Whiting. 219.659.0292. pierogifest.net. This festival celebrates all things pierogi. The weekend’s festivities include the Pierogi Parade, games, a beer garden, musical entertainment, food of all sorts, and, of course, pierogi.
July 27, Summer Jam Music and Food Festival, 2-9pm, Central Park Plaza, downtown Valparaiso. 219.464.8332. valparaisoevents.com. This festival promises a great day in the park with food, beer and music from three live bands—including headliner Blue Oyster Cult.
Chicago Street Theater, 154 W Chicago St, Valparaiso. 219.464.1636. chicagostreet.org. Now in its 58th season of bringing live theatrical entertainment to the greater Northwest Indiana region, the CST presents a variety of plays and musicals each season, in addition to regularly scheduled theater classes for both adults and children. July 12-27: "The Comedy of Errors."
Dunes Summer Theatre, 288 Shady Oak Dr, Michigan City. 219.879.7509. dunessummertheatre.com. The Dunes Arts Foundation provides this venue for the performing arts, which also furnishes classes for children, youth and adults. Through July 14: "Rent"; July 19-21: "Revenge of the Space Pandas."
Footlight Players, 1705 Franklin St, Michigan City. 219.874.4035. footlightplayers.org. This community theater group has been entertaining audiences in Michigan City for more than 50 years with its productions of dramas, comedies and musicals.
Horseshoe Casino, 777 Casino Center Dr, Hammond. 866.711.7463. horseshoehammond.com. World-class gambling and top-name entertainment combine to create an unprecedented experience at this 350,000-square-foot casino. The Venue, the casino’s 90,000-square-foot entertainment facility, hosts some of the hottest Chicagoland entertainment. July 20: Godsmack; July 25: Daughtry and 3 Doors Down; July 27: Ronnie Mund Block Party.
LaPorte County Symphony Orchestra, performances in LaPorte and Michigan City, 614 Lincolnway, LaPorte. 219.362.9020. lcso.net. This exciting orchestra offers a variety of concerts throughout the season, including classical, pops, chamber, children’s and family. July 21: Summer Concert (Washington Park Amphitheater, Michigan City).
The Memorial Opera House, 104 E Indiana Ave, Valparaiso. 219.548.9137. mohlive.com. This renovated, 364-seat building—with red, white and blue stained-glass windows—was built as a living memorial to the Civil War veterans of Porter County. Built in 1893, the theater has a rich history as a venue for musical and dramatic performances.
Star Plaza Theatre, I-65 & US 30, Merrillville. 219.769.6600. starplazatheatre.com. With 3,400 seats arranged in two intimate seating levels, the theater consistently hosts premier performers year-round. With its convenient location in the heart of Northwest Indiana’s shopping and dining district and its proximity to the adjoining Radisson Hotel, the Star Plaza offers a total entertainment package to area theatergoers. July 19: White Snake.
The Theatre at the Center, Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Rd, Munster. 219.836.3255. theatreatthecenter.com. This theater, just 35 minutes from downtown Chicago, has the distinction of being the only professional equity theater in Northwest Indiana, and showcases the artistry of professional actors, musicians and designers from throughout the Midwest. Through Aug 18: "The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee."
Towle Community Theater, 5205 Hohman Ave, Hammond. 219.937.8780. towletheater.org. To honor its mission of nurturing and celebrating local talent in the arts, the Towle Community Theater presents exhibitions, theatrical productions and musical performances in the heart of downtown Hammond. July 12-14, 19-21, 25-28: "Brooklyn The Musical."
Ongoing Randolph Street Market, 10am-5pm, last full weekend of every month except Dec, Plumbers Hall, 1340 W Washington St, Chicago. 312.666.1200. chicagoantiquemarket.com. This European-style, indoor-outdoor urban antique market features 200 select purveyors of high quality, amazingly priced “finds”—including furnishings, vintage clothing, jewelry, collectibles and more.
Through July 14, Taste of Chicago, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Grant Park, 377 E Randolph, Chicago. cityofchicago.org. The nation’s premier outdoor food festival showcases the diversity of Chicago’s dining community and offers music—including Fun., Robin Thicke, Robert Plant Presents the Sensational Space Shifters, Jill Scott and Neon Trees—and exciting activities for the entire family.
Through Sept 2, Animal Inside Out, Museum of Science and Industry, 57th St and Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. 773.947.3133. msichicago.org. This exhibit explores the intricate biology and physiology of some of the world’s most spectacular creatures—from goats and giraffes to octopuses and ostriches. From creator of the trailblazing BODY WORLDS exhibitions, anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens, this exhibit showcases more than 100 animal specimens that have been preserved through the process of plastination, which replaces the body's fluids with plastics to incredibly detailed effect. Ongoing: The Art of the Bicycle.
Through Sept 22, Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity, The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago. 312.629.6635. artic.edu/aic. This internationally acclaimed exhibition is the first to uncover the fascinating relationship between art and fashion from the mid-1860s through mid-1880s as Paris became the style capital of the world. The exhibit features 75 major figure paintings by Caillebotte, Degas, Manet, Monet, Renoir and Seurat, including many never before seen in North America.
Broadway in Chicago, various venues, Chicago. 800.775.2000. broadwayinchicago.com. A joint venture between the two largest commercial theater producers and owner/operators in the U.S., Broadway in Chicago offers the finest of professional stage productions in multiple theaters, all residing in Chicago’s lively Loop. Bank of America Theatre, 18 W Monroe St., Through Oct 6: "The Book of Mormon." Broadway Playhouse, 175 E Chestnut, Through Sept 1: Dr. Seuss’ "The Cat in the Hat;" July 9-Aug 4: The Australian Bee Gees Show.