By Megan Horst-Hatch

For the true nerd, participating in activities with others who share your interests can be a great way to spend an evening. Whether it’s through book discussions, cocktail events at museums, a heated board game or lectures, the Chicagoland area offers numerous ways for nerds to hang out with others of their ilk. What makes each event interesting is getting to meet others who share your passions while also learning something new. To get started, check out the following events.

(Credit: The Adler Planetarium's facebook)

(Credit: The Adler Planetarium’s facebook)

Adler Planetarium
1300 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 922-7827

If your idea of a good time includes checking out the solar system, then keep the Adler Planetarium in mind. The Planetarium’s Adler After Dark program is a great way to see science demonstrations, geek out with other space enthusiasts and enjoy a themed cocktail while perusing the museum’s exhibits and gazing out at the stars above the Chicago skyline. The after-hours event is held the third Thursday of every month, and the next program will feature a guest lecture. The cafe and a cash bar will be available during the program, which is open only to those 21 and older.

Related: Guide To The Adler Planetarium

Everything Games
316 W. Half Day Road
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
(224) 676-1114

Do you want to play a game of Warhammer or try your hand at a new board game? Then consider dropping in at Everything Games in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. The store plans tournaments every Tuesday through Sunday night for games like Magic the Gathering, Heroclix, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon, and several of the events are free to play. For a calendar of events, check out the store’s website. Everything Games also hosts what it calls Board Game Wednesdays, where a new game will be featured and players can try it out. Previously featured games include Mansions of Madness, Middle Earth Conquest, Gears of War and Britannia. Don’t feel that you need to be left out in the dark; Everything Games offers tutorials for some of the most popular game titles.

Related: The Biggest Nerds In Pop Culture

Galloping Ghost Arcade
9415 Ogden Ave.
Brookfield, IL 60513
(708) 485-4700

What’s better than one video arcade game? Try more than 350 arcade games under one roof. Galloping Ghost Arcade, located just west of Chicago, features old favorites like Frogger, Donkey Kong, Burger Time and Double Dragon (just get ready to weep that they don’t make video games like they used to). Pinball games are available as well. The arcade also plans tournaments, allowing you to duke it out with other fans. Leave your quarters at home, too. Galloping Ghost’s games are set to free play and admission is $15. You can also live your high score life in posterity, as Galloping Ghost features current high scores on its website. At last, all of those years spent perfecting your moves on Mortal Kombat will not have been in vain.

(credit: Brooke Herbert Hayes/

(credit: Brooke Herbert Hayes/

The Logan Theatre
2646 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 342-5555

Do you know your John Hughes from your Howard Hughes? For the self-described movie buff, a trivia night is the perfect way to stake your claim as an expert of the silver screen. If you’re looking for a movie trivia night, then consider The Logan Theatre. A mainstay of Chicago, the theatre offers movie trivia nights every other Tuesday at 8 p.m., and upcoming dates are March 12 and March 26. The trivia night is free to enter, and teams of two to five people can participate, with each member of the winning team receiving a gift card to the theatre. If you’re looking for a quick bite or a drink while you’re playing, check out The Logan Theatre’s menu, which features local food and beer.

Related: Best Indie Movie Theatres In Chicago



Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 280-2660

If art is your thing, then the First Fridays program at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago might be right up your alley. The MCA’s collection features more than 2,500 pieces spanning from 1945 to the present day and includes an eclectic mix of art by Chicago-area artists. The monthly event is for 21 and over and is a networking event that also allows participants to explore the museum after hours. Admission also includes appetizers and live entertainment, and a cash bar is available.

Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I’m a Trader Joe’s Fan. Her work can be found at