Category Archives: Things to Do

Dose Market: Bringing You Unique Chicago Goods with Spirit and Pizzazz

Dose Market: Bringing You Unique Chicago Goods with Spirit and Pizzazz


Earlier this year, many savvy Chicagoans had the pleasure of shopping the Dose Market, a pop-up market featuring local artisans of all sorts. Featuring new purveyors at each event, the Dose Market offers up small-batch foods, new and vintage fashions, unique jewelry and textiles, home goods, and more. Many of the booths are hosted by the designers, creators or owners themselves, so you’ll have a chance to meet the personalities behind the brands.



Next Dose Market: September 21


Why is this important? Because the Dose Market is returning on Sunday, September 21 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and you’re invited! The market is back for the fall – this time featuring drinks, brunch, men and women’s fashion, music, home goods and so much more. (Brunch options include the brand-new Eastman Egg Company – incredible-looking made-to-order farm egg sandwiches.) They’re even hosting an interactive portion with makeup services, street art collaboration and tarot card readings. The event will take place at Morgan Manufacturing (401 N. Morgan St.), a bold and industrial event space in the West Loop. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $8 or at the door for $10.


Dose Market


Features from the Spring Market


Previously held at the River East Arts Center, this spring the Dose Market took up residence at Chop Shop’s 1st Ward (2033 W. North Ave.). Conveniently located near the Milwaukee-Damen-North intersection, Chop Shop is a cool spot – part bar, part restaurant and part butcher shop. Stop in for a bite to eat or to pick up tonight’s dinner makings. The shop is structured with a hip loft-style vibe – high ceilings, exposed duct work, and a second-story balcony leading to a little rooftop deck. Walk through the shop to the back and you’ll enter 1st Ward – the venue that housed the Dose Market can also be rented for private events. Entering through Chop Shop has its benefits – you can order a beer in carry it into the market.


Dose Market Chop Shop First Ward


As you step into the market you’ll gaze upon several organized rows of vendors, each with a different story. On the wall is projected an animated video and just beneath it sits the Smilebooth, a tech-savvy photo booth that pulls in the traditional props and backdrop but lets you immediately print, text, e-mail or share your favorite photos on social media.


Dose Market Spring 2014


Highlights from the spring market:


Chi Chi Sport – Show your Chicago pride with running shorts from Chi Chi Sport! The ladies behind the brand were inspired by the races they’ve each participated in and their love for this city. You can flaunt your love as well by wearing these Chicago flag- branded shorts on the lakefront path or out and about.


Dallas Maynard Jewelry – Geometric and edgy, Dallas Maynard creates bold jewelry sure to earn you compliments. Drawing inspiration from sculptural design, archaeological elements and natural earth materials, each piece has a unique character and story to tell.


Alapash Home & Terrariums – Looking for a conversation starter piece for your home? Terrariums add a city-appropriate bit of eye-catching green to your kitchen or living room. Representing one of Chicago’s most interesting shops (1944 W. Montrose), Alapash was selling globe terrariums filled with miniature scenes at the Dose Market.


Prohibition Spice Co. – Tempting foodie taste buds, Prohibition Spice Co. creates tasty spice blends tailored to specific dishes. Many are designed to be mixed with sausage to enhance its natural flavor in varieties such as Andouille, Beer Barrel Bratwurst, and Moonshiner Breakfast. Their website features recipes for both meat and non-meat dishes utilizing their spices and rubs. On a more regular basis, Prohibition Spice Co. can be found at the French Market (131 N. Clinton).


REMIX Aromatherapy – Add a new scent to your repertoire with perfumes, colognes and even bug spray by REMIX Aromatherapy. Created by acupuncturist and herbalist Giselle Wasfi, the scents are good for your skin and can dress you up for your next night out.


REMIX Aromatherapy


Dose Market


Dose Market


Prohibition Spice Co.


Alapash Terrariums


Dose Market


Chi Chi Sport


Dose Market


Dose Market


While the vendors rotate at each event, this is just a sampling of the type of goods you’ll find on your adventure. Hope to see you on Sunday!


Dinner Lab: Social Dining – the New Way to Mix and Mingle? (Part 1)

Dinner Lab: Social Dining – the New Way to Mix and Mingle? (Part 1)


Everyone loves going out to eat at restaurants. The typical dining experience consists of getting a group together, choosing a restaurant, making a reservation and showing up on time (way easier said than done, of course). What if you could explode the traditional notion of dining? You have a dinner scheduled for Friday – but this time, you don’t know who’s going and you don’t even know the location yet, because it’s a surprise!


The new era of dining takes an experience we all know and love, eating and drinking, and twists it in such a way that it now brings new people together, in new places, for new ways to connect with each other. Is this notion of “social dining” the new way to mix and mingle? The Chicago Lifestyle explores social dining in a featured series – showing you unique organizations in Chicago where you can take dining to the next level, and meet some cool people while you’re at it.


The first organization The Chicago Lifestyle is featuring is Dinner Lab, which launched in Chicago this past May. Dinner Lab provides an innovative concept, offering up-and-coming chefs with the chance to serve around 120 guests at a one-time, pop-up experience, and then receive feedback on their meal afterwards. The membership-based organization brings together a unique mix of people who can all bond over one thing – a great meal.


Dinner Lab’s Chicago Chef de Cuisine, Daniel Espinoza, shared his experiences with The Chicago Lifestyle – here’s the inside scoop on how Dinner Lab works.



The Chefs: A Time to Shine


“Everyone knows each other in Chicago’s culinary community,” Chef Daniel explains, “so I’ll take a chef I’ve met out for coffee to get to know him or her. They won’t know that this is secretly an interview – but I’m finding out what they’re interested in – their history, their personality – to see if they would be a good fit to cook for Dinner Lab.” While many of the chefs work at local restaurants, they are not in the top position to dictate meals or contribute their creativity to new menus. When selected as the Dinner Lab chef, they have the opportunity to create their own menu, highlighting their own story, and try it out without the commitment of opening a brand-new restaurant.


Dinner Lab sets up a kitchen space for the evening – and the chefs get to work. Meals usually consist of at least 5 courses and include beer or wine pairings. Because of the informal setting, guests have the ability to mingle with the chefs and learn more about their craft. Focusing on hosting a great evening, the chefs look forward to getting reviewed at the end of the meal.


Dinner Lab Chicago


Dinner Lab Chicago


The Location: A Place to Inspire


Each Dinner Lab event is hosted in a new (and secret) location, not a formal restaurant. For example, a loft or warehouse space may be rented to house the event. This provides a blank canvas for the team to set the tone for the night. Music sets the mood and is often curated by the chef – don’t be surprised if you hear songs you’ve never been exposed to before – it’s all part of the experience.


Dinner Lab Chicago


The Guests: Come as Strangers, Leave as Friends


Chef Daniel explains, “It looks like a middle school dance for the first few minutes – everyone sticks with the people they know and is hesitant to talk to someone new.” Such is human nature, but the hesitation is quickly remedied through the bond of the music, the ambiance, and the flowing drinks. Meals are often preluded by a cocktail hour, during which the groups have a chance to mingle with each other. When it comes time for the sit-down meal, they’re already forming new bonds. “Members who have come as strangers often leave as friends, and they look forward to seeing each other at future events.” There is such as strong sense of community developed when people can sit down and appreciate a meal together – one that will never again happen with this group in this space.


One of the most unique aspects of Dinner Lab is the opportunity for the guests to rate the chef and overall experience. Each diner is given a “report card” – they can rate creativity, pace, taste, temperature, quality of the drink pairings, and hand it in that night. They also have a chance to go online after the event to provide more in-depth feedback. This allows the chef to get a picture of how his or her concept will do in a full restaurant setting, before taking the risk of opening a restaurant. Dinner Lab takes some of the chefs on tour to test out their concepts in different markets, with the top rated chefs selected to go on a second-round tour, gaining exposure to more diners in more markets.


Dinner Lab Chicago


How to Experience Dinner Lab


Dinner Lab is run as a membership-based organization – when you join, you have first access to event tickets, and you can bring a guest (membership is $175 for the year). Typical meals are at least 5 courses for $50-$90, including tip and unlimited drinks. A unique meal in a pop-up location with an interesting set of dining partners is an experience you can’t get anywhere else.


Even though membership is closed for 2014, The Chicago Lifestyle readers have the opportunity to bypass the waitlist and join now! As a reader of The Chicago Lifestyle, you will also receive $20 off your first meal with Dinner Lab.


Click here to join now.



Start the conversation….


Have you taken part in these type of “pop-up” dinners before? Comment below to let us know about your experience, and watch out for our next installment of the social dining investigation in Chicago.


{Images courtesy of Dinner Lab – photo credits: Aaron Lyles, Reaux Photo and Ryan Green}


Divvy in the Busy City

Divvy in the Busy City


Is your favorite food joint too far to walk to on your lunch break?  Don’t like the CTA? Do you love cruising in the open air with wind breezing through your hair? Then you may consider wanting to hop onto one of those blue Divvy bikes you keep seeing in the city.


Divvy is a bicycle sharing system that started in Chicago in June of 2013. Since its inception it has grown from just 750 bicycles to now over 3,000. This week we even received news that the Divvy program is expanding with 175 new stations and 1750 new bikes opening soon (now delayed until the spring, according to Chicago Tribune). New stations are planned for further reaching areas such as: the 5th ward, the 33rd ward, the 45th ward, the 47th ward, and Rogers Park and West Ridge, says the Active Transportation Alliance.


These pretty Chicago colored bikes can fit nearly any shape and size. They also have 3 different speeds, front and rear flashing LED lights, and a bell.


We highly recommend these bikes for any Chicagoan that is on their feet daily in the city.  For just $75 a year you can get a membership, which is well worth it in the long run (especially if you are a frequent Taxi goer).  After 30 minutes of riding a Divvy you will start getting charged a small incremental fee, so if you are just looking to rent a bike for a day you can pay $7 to get around.


With Divvy, you can unlock a lot of locations in Chicago you previous couldn’t easily go visit and see.  For instance, if you work in the city and let’s say you work 250 days a year, then renting a Divvy bike can cut down a 30 minute walking commute to just 15 minutes twice per day. That’s 125 hours you are saving throughout the working year. Now is the time to explore locations you’ve never been to before such as a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try a neighborhood or two away. Of course, you’ll have the benefit of exercise as well.  The price of $75 a year now sounds a whole lot more worth it, right? Just remember to bring your own helmet, stay safe around the cars, and Divvy it up!


{Image credit: Header}


Travelle: Luxury Dining at The Langham Hotel

Travelle:  Luxury Dining at The Langham Hotel


Situated in a central location downtown in a Mies van der Rohe-designed tower, the Langham Hotel (330 N. Wabash) houses restaurant Travelle. Entering through the grand lobby on the second floor, the restaurant features views on each side including the Marina Towers (the “corn cob” buildings). The kitchen is enclosed with glass, the inner workings visible to guests eager to see the chefs at work.


From beginning to end, Travelle provides impeccable service and attention to their guests. Easy OpenTable reservations and prompt seating start the night off right, and knowledgeable servers carry the positive experience through the evening.


Travelle Chicago


Langham Hotel Lobby


Chef Tim Graham, who is incredibly friendly and in touch with his guests, rolled out a brand new dinner menu this month. Inspired by his worldly travels, the menu highlights flavors from Provence and Turkey. The Provence dishes include unique ingredients such as fennel pollen in a chilled sea bass salad and saffron with mussels. The Turkish dishes offer combinations such as carrots with caraway and walnut with pomegranate. Playing with regional flavors, some of which are centuries-old, Chef Graham develops seasonal menus to tempt diners with creative meals they may not experience elsewhere in the city.


Travelle, Langham Hotel, Chef Tim Graham


The favorite from the Turkish menu is the Crab Stuffed Gozleme with Fennel Salad – a “street food style” crepe edible by hand or knife and fork filled with tasty bites of crab and bursting with flavor. The Stuffed Eggplant, called “The Priest Swooned,” comes with a unique history of flavors so fresh and new to the Turkish region centuries ago that impressed a priest so much he nearly fainted.


Wine and Bread at Travelle


Travelle, Langham Chicago


Travelle, Langham Chicago


On the main menu, be sure to try the Suckling Pig. A combination of rib meat and pork shoulder is surrounded by summer’s bounty – plums and cherries grilled to bring out their flavors, served over a bed of braised kale and rhubarb with mustard seeds. The smoky-fruity contrast is one you don’t want to miss.


Travelle, Langham Chicago


The Piri-Piri Chicken, also on the main menu, is coated with a chili-based rub that resembles a barbecue flavor. Topped with summer corn and roasted mushrooms, the textures blend together and provide a balance of sweet and savory.


Travelle, Langham Chicago


Let’s not forget about the best part of the meal – dessert. You’ll read numerous raving reviews of the Nutella Baklava, and they’re all correct. Nutella-lovers will rejoice at this innovative way to use their favorite ingredient, which is balanced by flaky baklava crust and turned slightly tangy with drops of balsamic vinegar.


Nutella Baklava


The Strawberry Tart is housed in a nice shortbread crust supplemented with a dash of black pepper. Fresh strawberries are complemented with a garnish of goat cheese crème and mini meringues.


The experience doesn’t stop with the food….Travelle has let us in on one of their secrets – how to make a fresh new cocktail!



Introducing: The Nachtmann Norman Libation cocktail, exclusively available in Chicago at Travelle at The Langham Hotel


Riedel, Travelle, The Langham Chicago


Travelle explains the origination of the drink – “Crafted by Bartender Vlachelav Borlov exclusively for Travelle, known for its table-side custom cocktail service, the Nachtmann Norman Libation balances fruity, floral flavors of lemon, apple, and sweet elderflower with the brandy’s spicy notes, and will be served in Nachtmann’s Sculpture Tumbler. Borlov’s inspiration for the cocktail’s flavors came from ‘the bright fruits and flowers of summer and the regal and icy appeal of the cut-crystal Nachtmann Sculpture rocks glass, which called for elegant liquors.’ Exclusively offered at Travelle at The Langham Chicago as of August 14th, the Nachtmann Norman Libation ($16) is the perfect way to help take the edge off the August heat and embrace the tastes of summer before season’s end.”


Recipe: The Nachtmann Norman Libation


Glassware: Nachtmann Sculpture Tumbler (to take home your own tumbler, you may purchase one at the restaurant for an additional $15, or order them online here)


Garnish:  Lemon peel on top



1 oz Calvados VSOP

½ oz St. Germain

½ oz Cocchi Americano

¼ Green Chartreuse

Splash of lemon juice

Spray of Laphroaig Scotch 10 Year



Chill Nachtmann Sculpture Tumbler in freezer. In shaker, combine Calvados VSOP, St. Germain, Cocchi Americano, Green Chartreuse, and lemon juice. Shake and strain onto 2-3 large ice cubes in the Nachtmann Sculpture Tumbler. Finish with a mist of Laphroaig 10 year Scotch on top.


Riedel, Travelle, The Langham Chicago


To learn more about Travelle and The Langham Hotel:


Serving brunch, lunch, dinner and drinks, the restaurant also features a bar and a private wine room that can be reserved for your group or party. Beyond Travelle, The Langham also offers river-side Elle on the River, a little outdoor bistro that serves tacos and summer punches, as well as high-tea service alongside the hotel lobby.


To make reservations, contact Travelle at 312-923-7705.


{Nachtmann Norman Cocktail Recipe and Images Courtesy of The Langham}


Jack Daniel’s Patio Opens at Wrigley Field

Jack Daniel’s Patio Opens at Wrigley Field


I recently had the pleasure of watching the Cubs play on a sunny afternoon, with a whiskey in my hand, celebrating the opening of the new Jack Daniel’s patio at Wrigley Field.


July 24 marked the grand opening of the new patio at Wrigley Field and Tennessee’s Jack Daniel’s made the experience great! Women in Jack Daniel’s dresses lined the path up to the patio where there was food, plenty of whiskey to go around, and a meet-and-greet with the Assistant Master Distiller, Chris Fletcher. Fletcher shook hands and let us sample the whiskey before he went down to the field to throw the first pitch.


My favorite part of the evening was the opportunity to speak with Fletcher himself and hear about his history with Jack Daniel’s and interesting facts about the company.


Jack Daniel was one of 13 siblings in his native Lynchburg, TN. He was a young age when his mother passed, and he ran away to live with a Lutheran preacher. This Lutheran preacher was one of a kind as he made whiskey himself and taught Jack the art.


One of the most important and distinct features of Jack Daniel’s whiskey is the charcoal. The charcoal is made in Lynchburg to add color and smoothness to the whiskey, and qualifies it as genuine Tennessee Whiskey. The barrel is also very integral to the distinct nature of Jack Daniel’s and affects the taste of the whiskey significantly. At Jack Daniel’s, they are the only whiskey distiller in the world to make their own barrels. In order to be designated Tennessee Whiskey, it must be made and matured in Tennessee. Typical maturation in the barrels is about four to seven years.


The pre-game festivities concluded with Fletcher throwing the opening pitch of the game in celebration of the new patio. As fun as it would be to call myself a “master distiller,” I got to learn just how mechanical and scientific the distilling process is and that Fletcher truly is a professional whiskey chemist – how cool is that?!


According to Jack Daniel’s, “Located behind section 420 of the upper deck, the new patio is a place for fans to congregate, take in a great view of the Chicago skyline, while enjoying Jack Daniel’s specialty cocktails and ballpark fare. An added feature, the patio has been newly rebranded with customized wooden tables inspired by Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrels featuring the Cubs and Jack Daniel’s logos.” The patio is now open to the public and offers an unbeatable view of the city over Clark and Addison Streets. So next time our beloved Cubs aren’t doing so well on the score board, take a stop by the patio for a glass of Tennessee Whiskey; I suggest the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey!


Chris Fletcher of Jack Daniel's


Jack Daniel's at Wrigley Field


Jack Daniel's Patio at Wrigley Field


Jack Daniel's Whiskey at Wrigley Field


Jack Daniel's Patio at Wrigley Field


This post was sponsored by Jack Daniel’s. All content and opinions are from The Chicago Lifestyle.


{All pictures by Lauren Fondriest | The Chicago Lifestyle}


Ballin’ on a Budget: Low-Cost Bars in Lincoln Park

Ballin’ on a Budget: Low-Cost Bars in Lincoln Park


Though I’m often in denial about it, I’m on a college budget and need to start acting like it! I’ve mastered the art of walking through a mall without buying clothes I don’t need and have learned to cook at home to eliminate expensive checks, but I’m still working on going out and maintaining a low tab. In an effort to drink cheap and late night eats low – here is our guide to low-cost bars in Lincoln Park; ballin’ on a budget, if you will.




Derby Bar and Grill


Derby Bar Chicago


As a southern girl, I love the idea of going to Derby and on Monday nights for the $5 Burgers and $5 Fat Pour Drafts. Derby is a nicer hang for one dining on a small budget, so Monday’s are great! According to their website, Derby is one of Chicago’s oldest prohibition bars and their simple southern charm atmosphere reflects its history perfectly. The inside is nice, but I definitely recommended you take your burger and beer outside to the beautiful beer garden on the side.




Clark’s Bar and Grille


clarke's bar and grille chicago


On Tuesdays Clarke’s offers $1 Beef Tacos, $2 Corona Bottles, $3 Jameson Whiskey, $5 Patron Tequila, and $3 Fireball Whiskey. What’s better than 2 tacos and 2 Coronas for $4?? Do tip the waitresses well though, they are all super sweet and ready to load you up with the specials. I don’t frequent Clarke’s on weekends often because they tend to attract a young and sometimes rowdy crowd but Tuesdays at Clarke’s are prime.




Duffy’s Tavern and Grille


This giant bar on Diversey offers $1 Budweiser, Shock Top Drafts, and Bud Light on Wednesdays, but the best part is the live music.  The cover band, “The Hot Sauce Committee” knows how to get the entire bar dancing and belting the lyrics to all the beloved oldies. The front room is separate from the band so whether you’re there to drink on a small tab or sing your heart out to “Backstreet’s Back,” Duffy’s is the place for ballin’ on a Wednesday budget.




McGee’s Tavern and Grille


McGee’s Tavern and Grille is the classic neighborhood sports bar and is located at the Sheffield and Webster intersection in the heart of Lincoln Park. On Thursdays McGee’s offers $1 Bud Family Bottles and $4 Fireball shots. If you enjoy your experience at McGee’s, check out some of the other Bar1 Events bars like Durkins, Redmonds, and others.




Irish Eyes


Irish Eyes Chicago


On Lincoln just north of Fullerton, Irish Eyes offers $3.50 PBR Tall Boys on Fridays. Beware, if you are not in college – this is a college bar, but one of the most beloved of DePaul bars. Irish Eyes is loved by the young folks in the neighborhood for the music on Wednesday – Saturday nights. They offer some of the best of country music and you can be assured the entire bar will be swaying to “Wagon Wheel” at least once in a night. Some are deterred by the dark green carpet but Irish Eyes has the wonderful “bar” feel; not too big, not too small, and clean but hilariously graffiti-ied bathrooms.






MaxBar Chicago


Finding a deal on Saturday nights is the real trick especially if you’re looking for main-stream bars, but it’s is definitely possible! My suggestion would be to go with a big group of friend to MaxBar on North Lincoln. On Saturday nights they offer one bottle of Grey Goose and one bottle of Patron Silver for $225. Though it doesn’t sound like the best deal at first, keep in mind you’re paying in a group for bottle service on top shelf vodka and tequila.


Have fun out there! What are your favorite spots for Ballin’ on a Budget in Lincoln Park? Comment below!


{Image credits: 1, 2, 3, 4}


Riot Fest: Squeeze in One More Outdoor Music Fest Before the Season is Over

Riot Fest: Squeeze in One More Outdoor Music Fest Before the Season is Over


Chicago has so many different music festivals throughout the summer, and the sad fact is sometimes we have to pick and choose which ones we should go to. Summer’s almost over, but there’s still time to make it to one more!


Riot Fest (September 12 – 14, 2014) is a punk, rock, and alternative music festival that hit Chicago in 2005 and has gained a name for itself. Remember those bands you used to fan girl over in high school?  Riot Fest showcases all your favorite bands from then and now, and even offers genres like rap and electronic. There’s something for everyone to see, really.



What to Expect at the Festival


Riot Fest is an outdoor event, located in Humboldt Park. This creates a large yet intimate atmosphere – everyone is very welcoming and diverse, but it is easy to stay in your own world with your friends as well. The park is large enough so that two bands can be playing at once and there is no sound overlap. You can sit comfortably away from people and enjoy the music as well as dive into the crowd. It is a very relaxed setting, with people wandering to and from different concerts throughout the day. However, at every concert you can always find someone dancing and singing along. Knowing what bands are playing really isn’t even necessary, you’re bound to find one you can enjoy or recognize simply by walking around the park, or at least find some tunes worth moving to!



What to Bring


Unfortunately, alcohol is not allowed into the festival, but there are various vendors that sell different types of food (even vegan) as well as drink options. An umbrella or poncho is recommended as it has been known to rain in past years (yes, bands still play in the rain!) but summer appropriate apparel is recommended, especially if you plan on seeing the bands up close and personal. Bringing a jacket or sweater of some sort, something that you can easily take on and off, is smart if you plan on staying for the concerts at night. A water bottle is also a good option for days that it may be hotter, you can never be too careful!


Even if you don’t know any of the bands playing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. I mean, who doesn’t love music, beer, and dancing? But we recommend checking out the lineup anyways, ya know, just in case!


Friday, Sept. 12th Saturday, Sept 13th Sunday, Sept. 14th


Buying Tickets


The good news is that Riot Fest offers a layaway plan for your tickets! To create your layaway plan, click here! Tickets can be purchased for all three days (September 12, 13, and 14), a combination of two of the three days, or just one day.


Riot Fest takes places in Humboldt Park (W. Division and N. Sacramento) on the West Side of Chicago.


To find out more information about Riot Fest Chicago,



{Image credit: Header}


Why Millennium Park is Your Go-To Spot for the Summer

Why Millennium Park is Your Go-To Spot for the Summer


Don’t look now, but summer is blowing by! It’s hard to believe, but there’s still time to fit some cool activities into your summer. Millennium Park hosts a wide range of free events throughout the summer and we’ve got deets for you. Check out our August calendar and schedule your plans now!


Each free Millennium Park event has something different to offer. Love to workout in the mornings? Millennium Park’s scenery offers the perfect setting for a relaxing morning workout. Check out the Millennium Park Workouts to try new activities like yoga and get moving!


Millennium Park also offers a wide host of music events, for lovers of Jazz (Chicago Jazz Festival, Made In Chicago) to electro indie (Loops & Variations, Downtown Sound) music to classical Brahms (Grant Park Music Festival).


Movies for everyone! Get your movie fix at Millennium Park Summer Film Series, with a different movie every Tuesday. Check out movies like Avatar and Dream Girls to top off those sweet summer nights.



What To Bring:


A blanket or something to sit on is definitely recommended, but some go the extra step and bring little tables and chairs.  Snacks are a must and open alcohol is allowed within the event perimeters. Great spots such as Mariano’s across from the park (333 E. Benton Pl.) offer a wide selection of picnic fare and drinks. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun! Bring your wine, bring your friends, and bring your dancing shoes, because your summer just got a lot fuller!


Millennium Park Concerts, Free Concerts Chicago, Loops and Variations



Book Your August Calendar Now with these Fun Free Events:

(Click on the links to find out more! Information courtesy of City of Chicago.)



Monday, August 4, 2014

6:30 pm  Downtown Sound featuring Maps & Atlases + Wooden Shjips


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

6:30 pm  Millennium Park Summer Film Series featuring The Birdcage


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

7:30-8:15 am  Mid-week Yoga with Rachel Bers of Bloom Yoga Studio

6:30 pm  Grant Park Music Festival featuring The Seven Deadly Sins


Thursday, August 7, 2014

6:30 pm  Made In Chicago: World Class Jazz featuring John Moulder’s Earthborne Tales of Soul and Spirit


Friday, August 8, 2014

7:30 pm  Grant Park Music Festival featuring Northern Lights


Saturday, August 9, 2014

7-11 am  Millennium Park Workouts

7:30 pm  Grant Park Music Festival featuring Northern Lights


Sunday, August 10, 2014

6 pm  Millennium Park Presents featuring Chinese Fine Arts Society Rhythms of China 2014


Monday, August 11, 2014

6:30 pm  Downtown Sound featuring Russian Circles + Colin Stetson


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

6:30 pm  Millennium Park Summer Film Series featuring American Graffiti


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

7:30-8:15 am  Mid-week Yoga with Rachel Bers of Bloom Yoga Studio

6:30 pm  Grant Park Music Festival featuring Bolcom and Mozart


Thursday, August 14, 2014

6:30 pm  Made In Chicago: World Class Jazz featuring Matana Roberts: Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile


Friday, August 15, 2014

6:30 pm  Grant Park Music Festival featuring Daphnis and Chloé


Saturday, August 16, 2014

7-11 am  Millennium Park Workouts

7:30 pm  Grant Park Music Festival featuring Daphnis and Chloé


Monday, August 18, 2014

6:15 pm  Millennium Park Presents featuring Broadway In Chicago Summer Concert


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

6:30 pm  Millennium Park Summer Film Series featuring Dreamgirls


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

7:30-8:15 am  Mid-week Yoga with Rachel Bers of Bloom Yoga Studio

7 pm  Millennium Park Presents featuring Harris Theater + Chicago Dancing Festival: Chicago Dancing Festival Simulcast


Thursday, August 21, 2014

6:30 pm  Made In Chicago: World Class Jazz featuring Fareed Haque – Chicago: Crossroads of the World


Saturday, August 23, 2014

7-11 am  Millennium Park Workouts

7:30 pm  Millennium Park Presents featuring Chicago Dancing Festival Celebration of Dance


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

6:30 pm  Millennium Park Summer Film Series featuring Wizard of Oz


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

7:30-8:15 am  Mid-week Yoga with Rachel Bers of Bloom Yoga Studio

6:30 pm  Millennium Park Summer Film Series Bonus Film featuring Avatar


Thursday, August 28, 2014

6:30 pm  Made In Chicago: World Class Jazz featuring Homage to Nelson Mandela: Ernest Dawkins’ Memory in the Center, an Afro Jazz Opera


Friday, August 29, 2014

Chicago Jazz Festival


Saturday, August 30, 2014

7-11 am  Millennium Park Workouts

Chicago Jazz Festival


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Chicago Jazz Festival



To find out more information about these events and summer in Millennium Park, visit



5 Things to Do With Little Chicagoans This Summer

5 Things to Do With Little Chicagoans This Summer


Chicago abounds with fun activities for kids and adults alike! Here are a few summer fun days to have with your little ones:


1. Bobby’s Tike Hike


Bobby's Tike Hike


Bobby’s Bike Hike has been offering great biking and walking tours around the city since 2002, but did you know that they have a kids version of the popular tour called Bobby’s Tike Hike? I suggest the Tike Hike for kids 10 and under but they do make it fun for the older siblings as well.

During the 2-hour ride, your kids will get to throw coins in the Wishing Fountain, visit the animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and say hey to the Abe Lincoln Statue. Just like the Bike Hikes for adults, they include Chicago history and trivia! Adult tickets are $32.50, tikes under 12 are $15.50, and tikes under 4 are $5.50- but be sure to register online for these 10% discounted prices here.



2. Adler Planetarium – Destination Solar System


Adler Planetarium Destination Solar System


I recently had the opportunity speak with the president and CEO of the Adler Planetarium and hear first hand how exciting this exhibit is. Destination Solar System leads viewers through a breathtaking tour across the solar system using exclusive space jump technology. This cosmic show integrates animation with actual images of the solar system and is narrated live by improv actors to truly create an interactive experience. I plan to visit this myself soon even without kids as it sounds to be a great trip for both kids and adults!



3. Millennium Park


Millennium Park Fountain


One would probably think to take out of town guests to Millennium Park before you would think to take the kiddos- but they do have a lot to offer the kids of Chicago especially during the summer! The Bean does attract a big crowd but the kids I babysit love to run underneath and have their picture taken before heading to the crown fountain (aka the statues with the faces that spit out water).

Adults can comfortably sit on the wall as the kids splash in the water and watch the faces change. This summer, Millennium Park is hosting the Target Family Fun Festival, which offers crafts, shows, and games for kids of all ages. Through August 24, take your kids to Wiggleworms at 10 a.m., the Reading Circle at 11 a.m., and Family Performances at 1 p.m.. Additionally, there are reading hours and activities throughout the summer so visit the website to see which afternoon you want to take the kids! If you’re driving, get to the Millennium Park Garage before 10 am for the $15 early bird rate on weekdays.



4. Pirates Cove


Pirates Cove


Pirates Cove is a theme park for the little ones right outside of the city in Elk Grove. They offer several different hands-on and active attractions such as The Castle of Camelot, which is complete with the fire-breathing dragon, Misty. At Pebble Pond, your child can be the captain in a paddle boat! The kids can also race each other down the Pirate Plunge or climb until their pirate heart is content at Pirate Pete’s Climbing Wall. According to the website, the idea behind the park is to “stimulate and encourage the creative exploration and imagination of children between the ages of one and nine.” I was recently babysitting and when my 4-year-old pal heard his mom whisper the words “Pirate Cove” to me he started spinning in circles with excitement. General admission is $11 or if you want to be a Pirate all summer you can check out the VIP Pass (Very Important Pirates). The VIP Pass is $50 per child for unlimited visits to the cove!



5. Little Gym


Little Gym


Little Gym isn’t just a Chicago thing as they have 300 locations world wide, but they do seem to be pretty popular amongst the Chicago tikes. They offer parent/child classes, karate classes, gymnastics, and plenty other classes and camps. While it’s all about having fun at Little Gym, they strive for what they call, “3 Dimensional Learning.” The three dimensions are promoting fitness by getting the kids moving, a brain boost by helping with decision-making and focus, and “citizen kid” by exercising life skills like listening and sharing. Located at 3216 N. Lincoln Ave, you can go in for a free introductory class or enroll now for a summer camp through August 22.



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Cruise the River with Chicago Canoe and Kayak

Cruise the River with Chicago Canoe and Kayak


Searching for a pleasant and peaceful place to relax? Yearning for an escape from the busy city life?  If your answer was “yes” to both of those questions, then the perfect place to be is the Chicago River. 


At 3400 N. Rockwell you can launch right into the river with a canoe and paddle in hand with Chicago River Canoe and Kayak! If you’re looking to ride the river by yourself it’ll just cost you $15 for an hour-long ride. Have a friend to go with? Then that’ll be just $20 for an hour. If you’re looking to go on a Wednesday through Friday the hours are from 1 – 6 p.m.  If that doesn’t work for you then come out on a Saturday or Sunday from 9 – 5 p.m. to hit the river.


There are also other river launches besides the one on Rockwell Street. You can also go to the lagoons in Winnetka and the Downtown (Chinatown) launch to see the skyscrapers from the river.


To hear more about this experience from a veteran river guide named Jon Ferrari from Lincoln Park and also see the canoe ride in action then watch the video above!


Visit Chicago River Canoe and Kayak’s website for more information.