The Weekend Guide

From showers to flowers.

Big Swap Bonanza
At the offshoot of the Chicago Antique Market, Soldier Field’s south parking lot morphs into a huge yard sale with hundreds of vendors.
Why: Barter with the best of ’em.
When: Sat., 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: 1410 S. Museum Park Dr. (312-666-1200).

Next 2009
Exhibition of emerging artists (Julian Rosenfeldt, Ben Gest, Coke Wisdom O’Neal, more) is the experimental counterpoint to Art Chicago.
Why: Your collection starts here.
When: Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Mon., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: The Merchandise Mart Plaza, at Wells & Kinzie Sts. (312-527-4674).

The Talking Pictures Festival
Evanston’s first indie film fest showcases more than a dozen full-length features and shorts from both local and international filmmakers.
Why: Slingshot Hip Hop, a doc about the Palestinian rap scene, will get you talking.
When: Fri.-Sun. Schedule online. Slingshot, Fri., 7:30 p.m.
Where: Venues throughout Evanston. For locations and tickets, go to talkingpicturesfestival.org. Slingshot, Boocoo Cultural Center and Cafe, 1823 Church St., at Dodge Ave., Evanston (847-864-4330).

LaSalle Power Co.
New rock-inspired bar/resto has a top floor with free live music, comedy acts, and deejays.
Why: Take a power trip.
When: Opens Fri. Sun.-Fri., 10 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-3 a.m.
Where: 500 N. LaSalle St., b/t Kinzie & Hubbard Sts. (312-661-1122).

Free Commuter Water Taxi
Shoreline Sightseeing boats charge nothing to ferry you between Sears Tower/Union Station and the Michigan Avenue Bridge.
Why: Make waves in the workday.
When: Fri.-May 15. Mon.-Fri., 7-9:30 a.m. & 4-6:30 p.m.
Where: Boats depart from 200 S. Wacker Dr., at Adams St. & 401 N. Michigan Ave., at Wacker Dr. (312-222-9328).

The Merchandise Mart
222 W Merchandise Mart Plz
@ Wells St
Chicago, IL 60654
Soldier Field
1410 S Museum Campus Dr
@ McFetridge Dr
Chicago, IL 60605