Live music, dancing and a picnic will be available to the public during the “Lunch on the Lake” concert series Wednesdays at noon on the Northwestern University campus. The concerts span a wide range of musical genres from Afro-Cuban jazz to funk and swing.

The school will also be offering  “Summer Cinema” movies and related activity under the stars. Pre-movie programming starts at 7:30 p.m. with the film beginning at dusk. Movies include blockbuster hits “Moana,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The LEGO Batman Movie.”

“Lunch on the Lake” and “Summer Cinema” are sponsored by Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies and Norris University Center, as part of the Summer Season at Norris.

Series events, which take place June 21 and 28, and July 12, 19 and 26 are free and open to the public.  The schedule is as follows:

“Lunch on the Lake” 2017 concerts

All concerts begin at noon and take place on the East Lawn of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, on the Evanston campus.

Free watermelon is available. Concert goers can bring their own lunch or purchase a “Lunch on the Lake” meal for $9.50 (plus tax), which includes an entrée, two sides, dessert and a beverage.  Meals are available from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and feature summertime favorites like BBQ baby back ribs, bratwurst and fried chicken, as well as a vegetarian option. The complete “Lunch on the Lake” menu is available online.

  • Johnny Blas & His Afro-Kebre Orquestra
    Wednesday, June 21

Percussionist, saxophonist, composer and bandleader Johnny Blas and his orchestra play Latin funk and jazz with an Afro-Caribbean groove.

  • Chicago Soul Revue
    Wednesday, June 28

Take a voyage to the late 60s as lead vocalist Felicia Patton performs songs by Motown and R&B greats like Bill Withers, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Clarence Carter and Aretha Franklin.

  • Morry and the Special 20s
    Wednesday, July 12

Taking their inspiration from Muddy Waters, Louis Jordan and Junior Wells, Morry Sochat (pronounced Socket) and the Special 20s mix classic Chicago Blues with swing and rock n’ roll from the 1950s.

  • Bassel and the Supernaturals
    Wednesday, July 19

An eclectic ensemble led by Syrian-American vocalist and songwriter Bassel Almadani, Bassel and the Supernaturals combine soul, jazz and funk with lyrics about love, loss, corporate life and the war in Syria.

  • The Fat Babies
    Wednesday, July 26

This eight-piece Chicago jazz band interprets classic styles of the 1920s and 1930s.

Summer Cinema 2017

Movie goers are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, blankets, food, beverages (alcoholic beverages are prohibited) and an environmentally-friendly insect repellent. Pre-movie events begin at 7:30 p.m. and films are screened at dusk (around 8:45 p.m.).

  • Moana
    Wednesday, June 21

Kids will enjoy a free sand art activity before viewing this Disney animated feature directed by Northwestern alumni John Musker (’75) and featuring original songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda. In Ancient Polynesia, a terrible curse reaches the island of an impetuous Chieftain’s daughter. She answers the Ocean’s call to set things right.  Rated PG.

  • Beauty and the Beast
    Wednesday, June 28

As the film’s song says, “Be our guest” for free face painting to look like a princess, a beast or the fantasy character of your choosing, before settling in to watch Disney’s enchanting live-action musical featuring Emma Watson and a star-studded cast. Rated PG.

  • The LEGO Batman Movie
    Wednesday, July 12

Enjoy free super ice cream bars before this animated feature by the makers of “The Lego Movie.” Cooler-than-ever Bruce Wayne, a.k.a., Batman, must save Gotham City, while he discovers he has accidentally adopted a teenage orphan who wishes to become his sidekick. Rated PG.

  • Jumanji
    Wednesday, July 19

Drive-in-movie snacks will be served before this action adventure film starring Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst and Bonnie Hunt. When two kids discover and play a magical board game, they release a man trapped for decades in it and a host of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game.  Rated PG.

  • My Life as a Zucchini
    Wednesday, July 26

A balloonist will provide entertainment before the screening of “My Life as a Zucchini.” This award-winning animated film tells the story of a young boy who is sent to a foster home after losing his mother. There he begins to learn the meaning of trust and true love. Rated PG-13.

For more information about the Summer Season at Norris, visit the Norris Center website.

Inclement Weather

In the event of rain, the scheduled concert or film will be moved indoors to the Norris University Center.


Public parking is available in the Segal Visitors Center Garage, 1847 Campus Drive, Evanston. Parking is $8. Free parking is available after 4 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends.