Best Of Chicago
What do you get the guy or gal whose birthday you’re attending that you barely know? A gift card? Too aunt-y. Socks? What are you, a creep? What you need is a trinket, my dear — holiday tchotchkes, everyday baubles, and birthday bric-a-brac. The following are some of Chicago’s fine purveyors of them.
The Bucktown Arts fest has grown to become a neighborhood tradition and one of the city’s premier arts festivals showcasing close to 200 participating artists, plus countless musicians, dancers, poets, performers and attracting more than 30,000 visitors annually…
Are you up for a little game of trivia? If you were awesome at Trivial Pursuit and know a lot of random facts about a lot of random things, then you need to head to one of Chicago’s trivia nights. Read ahead for some top bars to head to for your trivia fix.
There’s a lot more to the Chicago River than watching it get dyed green on St. Patrick’s Day. The Chicago River offers great places to eat, drink and enjoy some time on the water. From walking to boating, there are some amazing hidden adventures to be found along the Chicago River.
This summer, try something other than the annual camping trip. With beautiful rivers flowing through Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, a real lazy river adventure is only a couple hours away. Groups of tubes are tied together to keep you and your friends/family connected as you float down the river. Stopping at sand bars and taking swimming breaks makes for some fun along the way…
Chicago Cupcake’s cupcakes are so good, which in the case of cupcakes often means so sweet that one was easily enough. You won’t be able to hop into a shop or bakery and get one of these though. Chicago Cupcakes sells their goods exclusively through the internet and, more excitingly, their food track, which traverses throughout the city.
A festival for the arts, Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival livens up Logan Square July 20, 21 & 22. Go to see bands, performances and more!
Are you looking to make your heart just a little more happy? Better blood pressure? How about giving your skin a little more TLC? Fortunately the little thing known as chocolate can do all of that for you. Just make sure that it’s dark. Chicago has a few spots around town to help you indulge in that chocolate goodness.
We all know Chicago weather is unpredictable to say the least. For this reason, outdoor pools are few and far between in the city. If you’re planning a trip to town, a party or just a weekend in Chicago, here’s a round up of the best outdoor hotel pools. There’s also a handy key noting which hotel is best for location, luxury, families and the view to help you determine the best hotel for you.
In the barbecue genre, smoked proteins are, and always will be, the big hog on the menu. In many cases, they are dominant to a fault. Other menu items become a distant afterthought, to the point where a side dish may consist of a single, sad slice of discount white bread. Thankfully, some of the best local ‘cue joints are wise to the importance of backing up the headliners with stellar supporting dishes, and adding a gourmet flair to the far corners of the menu. Here are some of the standouts.
You can’t have a Fourth of July without fireworks. Fortunately, Navy Pier isn’t the only place to go to watch them. Many of the Chicago suburbs are also hosting their own displays, many accompanied by food fests and as they say, “fun for the whole family.” (Except that 13-year-old who thinks everything is uncool, including fireworks.)
Rain or shine can’t stop the newest addition to the vintage scene in Chicago. This covered show is conveniently protected from the elements in a parking garage in Uptown. Genius! Here’s my scoop from the season opener this past June.
All bands have to have their first show somewhere. That venue will probably be a living room, a basement, or a “co-operative event space/art incubator/creativity collective,” which is really just to say some industrial-sized living room. And these venues are fine and dandy and a lot of fun! But should you tire of playing The Spork Fort and Loveship Factory, there are real-life, honest to God licensed venues out there…
Much to my boys’ dismay, we simply cannot spend every minute of daylight each day of summer vacation at the park, the pool or at the beach. There are days we all simply need to relax, and well, the house isn’t self-cleaning and dinner isn’t self-preparing, so even if we table the relaxing idea, there are days (even in the gloriousness of summer vacation) when we simply must be homebound in order to keep alive and partially clean. This is where the backyard comes in…
It’s summertime, and summertime means grilling out. Once you’ve checked to make sure the grill gas tank is full or that there’s charcoal, it’s time to go out and find a nice piece of meat to grill up. Whether you’re having a group of people over, impressing your sweetheart with your grilling skills, or treating yourself, there are a few places in Chicago that will help you find that perfect steak and maybe even give you a little extra advice on the perfect way to cook it.
It’s the season for big-ticket concerts and weekend-long lineups with multi-day passes priced in the hundreds. Luckily, for us cheapskates, summer’s also the season for live music events of the free variety. One of the perks of big city life is there’s plenty of free entertainment, and you don’t have to look too hard to find it. The hefty schedule of outdoor festivals downtown and in the neighborhoods add up nicely to a summer’s worth of live jams on the cheap, and there’s something for every taste. Here are my personal picks for the top local freebie shows for Summer 2012.
Father’s Day is just around the corner and it is dad’s day to relax and do whatever he wants. Point him in the direction of these golf stores and he will be a happy camper for the next few hours while he contemplates a great excuse to buy a new set of clubs or at least the latest golf shoes. Or better yet, present him with a box of new golf balls and a print out of this list as his Father’s Day pass for good fun.
One of the original cities to celebrate pride following the 1969 Stonewall Riots, Chicago promises no shortage of LGBT pride this year. The Chicago Pride Parade, which started as a march on June 27, 1970, features marching bands, dance teams, local businesses and supportive groups out to show their true colors. Last year’s attendance hit more than 750,000, serving as the ultimate ending to June Pride Month in Chicago.
Chicago in the summer is all about being outdoors, near the lake and taking advantage of the fleeting warm weather. Castaways Bar and Grill is an iconic summer staple. The huge ship that sits at North Avenue beach is like a beacon to beach goers everywhere. Aside from its prime location for soaking up sun and refueling after a long day at the beach, here are a few things to know.
Chicagoans who suffer the chills of “second city syndrome” should feel the warm & fuzzies this June, as we become top dog on the American comedy scene. How so, you may ask? Well for the fourth year in a row, Chicago will host the largest comedy festival in the United States, a multi-venue, multi-talent laugh-fest that spans the city and pulls the country’s hottest comedians in from the comfy coasts to their faithful city of stand-up destiny, Chicago.