Are you in search of a total geek fest? You don’t have to search for long—Chicago is a nerds paradise. Love to drink beer and waste quarters at arcade bars? The city boasts plenty of them. Prefer to gain literary knowledge? Just pick an institution and check out an exhibition or spend the weekend at Lit-Fest. Whether you want to browse comic book stores or play video games, we’ve tracked down the best places to nerd out in Chicago.
Robot Date Night is a special after hours BYOB event for adults looking to put a little extra spark in their relationship. You can choose from over twelve different DIY kits to build during the night! A fun robot-themed movie will be playing as background ambiance while everyone gets to eat popcorn– delivered by Omnibot 2000 robot!
Chicago TARDIS, the Midwest’s Premier Doctor Who event, brings together over 1100 fans each Thanksgiving weekend to celebrate the world’s longest-running science fiction television show. Started in 2000, the convention has been growing in scope every year, with attendance exploding as the show’s popularity in the United States has blossomed. The convention includes guest interviews, discussion panels, parties, and cosplay.
I totally geeked out when Saved by the Max, a diner modeled after the eatery in the 90’s sitcom the Saved By The Bell set up shop here in Chicago for a pop-up event and it went so well they haven’t left yet. For a full review and more images click here.
Although it is relatively new to the game, C2E2 (Chicago’s comic and entertainment expo) has continued to grow into a full celebration of geek culture. With huge involvement from Marvel Comics, Valiant Entertainment, Dark Horse Comics, and Lion Forge Comics, it draws an excellent selection of celebrities for its panels and forums. For more pictures and to read all about my C2E2 adventures click here.
This vintage arcade bar located in River North is taking the traditional bar setting to the next level with an innovative concept that caters to character. HQ offers a low maintenance night with high energy entertainment that separates themselves from the typical nightlife scene of River North.
Bring out your inner science geek with fun, hands-on experiments (Spock would be proud), and display your true geekiness in a battle of wits at the Fourth Annual Geek Chic Trivia Extravaganza, and don’t miss a special (and assuredly geeky) talk on some of the science found in your favorite pop culture franchises.
Each year more than 100,000 attendees buy and browse through thousands of new, used, rare, and antiquarian books. On June 10th and 11th the largest gathering of book lovers will be in Printers Row to celebrate the 33rd year of the Midwest’s largest literary event! Attendees will enjoy programming featuring: discussions, readings and book signings from an array of talented authors, a children’s stage and an activity area.
The Emporium Arcade combines the best arcade games of the last 30+ years with a full bar, focusing on great craft beers and a huge whiskey list. They regularly host live music, movies, and many other types of events.
The Superman Celebration started as a 1 day “Homecoming” for the local residents and has now evolved into an annual four-day festival sponsored by The Metropolis Chamber of Commerce and the City of Metropolis. 2017 marks the 45th year that Metropolis, IL has been designated as the adopted “Home of Superman.” The Celebration this year will be dedicated to the memory of Noel Neill, who portrayed Lois Lane in the Adventures of Superman television series.
Alley Cat Comics is tucked away in the heart of Andersonville. They offer a free comic pull service and ordering so you never miss your favorite books. Plus they have a great outdoor reading area and it’s conveniently located next to an ice cream shop.
Anime Central is Chicago’s largest anime, manga and Japanese pop culture convention. ACen brings together fans and guests from the Japanese and US anime and manga industry. The focus on gaming, cinema and Asian Culture personalities. Events include a video game room, concerts, dances, educational panels and workshops, premiere screenings, autograph sessions and tabletop gaming.
The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo [CAKE] is a weekend-long celebration of independent comics, inspired by Chicago’s rich legacy as home to many of underground and alternative comics’ most talented artists. Featuring comics for sale, workshops, exhibitions, panel discussions and more, CAKE is dedicated to fostering community and dialogue among independent artists, small presses, publishers, and readers.
Flashback Weekend is Chicago’s largest and longest running Horror Convention known for major celebrity guests, innovative programming, and evening events. It features a huge Dealer’s Room where you can find all kinds of collectibles, original arts & crafts, posters, DVDs, CDs, prints, photos, toys, masks, t-shirts, jewelry and tons more horror, sci-fi, fantasy and similar genre merchandise.
From the minute you locate the top-secret entrance and pass the clearance test, to the sleek Gadget Bar, every aspect of the design has been tinkered, tailored and soldiered. Interactive elements, “futuristic” technology, and games combined with an unparalleled menu fit for a true spy, The SafeHouse Chicago continues to provide an authentic espionage experience for agents of all ages.
This pop culture extravaganza pays homage to comics, movies, graphic novels, television, sci-fi and gaming. Wizard World is also the place for cosplay, with hundreds of fans in costume throughout the event, culminating in a big costume contest.
Wizard World Chicago is a great source for autographs from celebrities from the entire spectrum of pop culture. WW also features many retailers and artists. Chicago is one of their largest venues with a huge roster of celebrities and expansive exhibit floor.
This Wicker Park coffee shop not only has some of the best coffee in town, it also has an amazing 80’s theme complete with a Back to the Future, DeLorean.
Did I miss any of your favorite places to geek out?