Category Archives: March 2014

5 Ways to Ensure St. Patrick’s Day Shenanigans

5 Ways to Ensure St. Patrick’s Day Shenanigans


St. Patrick’s Day is one of Chicago’s favorite holidays – so big in fact, that the city drops 45 pounds of vegetable dye to color the Chicago River the honorary emerald green. With crowds spilling out into the streets, St. Patrick’s Day is one big party you do not want to miss. Here are the top 5 things you need to do to make your holiday complete:



1. Toast your friends with a green drink in hand

In true Irish fashion, St. Patrick’s Day should be enjoyed with a drink (or many). Join your friends early in the day (by 10 a.m. is recommended) and enjoy some breakfast favorites along with these themed drinks:


Green Jell-O Shots (make the night before)

Green Jell-O Shots









  • (4)  0.3 oz. packages lime Jell-O (sugar-free is better so your friends don’t have a sugar crash)
  • 6 cups chilled vodka
  • 2 cups boiling water

Pour the gelatin mix into a large bowl. Add the 2 cups boiling water, stir until completely dissolved. Stir in the 6 cups chilled vodka. Arrange 1 or 1.5 oz. plastic shot glasses on a tray. Use a liquid measuring cup with a spout or a funnel to carefully pour the mixture into the shot glasses. Chill in the fridge overnight and enjoy in the morning!


Irish Coffee

In a mug, drop in 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Pour 1.5 oz. Irish whiskey over the sugar. Fill the remainder of the glass with coffee, stirring as you go. Top with fresh whipped cream and optionally, shavings or sprinkles of chocolate.



2. Head to the river to see the green dye (but don’t fall in!)

After your morning breakfast and drinks, gather up your crew and head to the river. The 50-year old tradition of dyeing the river green draws approximately 40,000 people, as it’s definitely a sight to see! The best places to see the green river are over the bridges between Columbus and Wacker Drive. The riverwalk between Michigan Ave and Columbus is one of the best viewing spots. The dyeing begins at 10:45 a.m. and is visible for about 5 hours, so catch it while it lasts.

This year, the polar vortex weather has called into question whether the frozen river can actually be dyed green. According to the parade coordinator, if there’s a will, there’s a way! The plan is to send a large tugboat through the river to break up the ice. Even if there are chunks of ice floating on the surface, the river can still be dyed. This may be the first time in the history of the tradition that weather has impeded the process. No matter what happens, St. Patrick’s celebrations will carry on.



3. Feast on corned beef and cabbage

After you’ve had your fill of the green river, head to River North to continue your spirited adventures. Most bars and restaurants will have food and drink specials, and the trick is finding a place to convene that isn’t already spilling out into the streets. I can’t go a year without tasting corned beef and cabbage, and as luck would have it, many restaurants are serving this year!

  • Green Door Chicago (678 N. Orleans) – Serving up corned beef and cabbage and offering prizes for the best outfit
  • Rockit Bar and Grill (22 W. Hubbard) – St. Pat’s Burger topped with corned beef, bacon, sauerkraut, 1000 Island dressing on a pretzel bun, also serving Guinness Potato Cheddar Soup
  • Harry Caray’s (33 W. Kinzie) – Everything from Beer Cheddar Soup to a Corned Beef Sandwich to Fish & Chips



4. Take part in a mid-afternoon dance party

Once you’ve refueled, heat things up with a dance party – the following bars are hosting music all afternoon:

  • The Grid (351 W. Hubbard) – 4 DJs all day, live band The Hot Sauce Committee playing 1 – 4 p.m., Irish stilt walkers, bagpipers and more
  • Timothy O’Tooles (622 N. Fairbanks) – Events will feature beer chugging contests, bagpipers and an Irish-inspired menu all day
  • D4 Pub (345 E. Ohio) – Celebrate in heated outdoor tents, with a $10 cover you will receive a t-shirt and party favors



5. Find a leprechaun

You will see many a St. Paddy’s fan dressed up – in the bars, on the streets, and maybe even swimming in the river. If you see your favorite leprechaun costume, take a picture and post it to Instagram – make sure to tag thechicagolifestyle!

What’s Up This Month: March 2014

What’s Up This Month: March 2014

Top events and ideas to keep you entertained this month:



  • Take advantage of an exclusive opportunity to wine and dine with top chefs in Chicago at the Fear No Art Dinner Party Series. Held March 31 at City Winery (1200 W. Randolph), Chef Carrie Nahabedian of Naha will be cooking for Chefs Rick Bayless and more, and it’s all filmed live! Tickets, $45, will get you in as an audience member of the show’s filming, as well as samples from the chefs, and wine and chocolate. If you can’t make the event in person, watch the show live on the Sun Times – Splash Section site from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
  • Learn about all the inner-workings of food, farming and restaurants in Chicago at the Good Food Festival. Head to the UIC Forum (725 W. Roosevelt) from March 13 – 15 for chef demos (Paul Virant, Rick Bayless, Jason Vincent), workshops, tasting vendors and more. Tickets range from $10 – $300 based on how many specialized events you attend. The “Localicious” party will take place on Friday night, March 14
  • Test your cooking skills by submitting your own recipe to Bespoke Cuisine, for a chance to win two spots in a hands-on cooking class! Enter the Customer Cook-Off Competition by submitting your best recipe for inclusion in upcoming mix-it-up cooking classes. For more information, contact




  • Ride the “Urban Bourbon Trail” Saturday, March 1 starting at 1 p.m. on a bar crawl through Four Corners Tavern Group (Kirkwood, Schoolyard, Crossing and Benchmark). Put a stamp on your bourbon passport for each taste of Jim Beam, Makers Mark, Four Roses, Woodford Reserve and more. A fully stamped passport earns you entry to the grand raffle to win a custom bourbon barrel and a bottle of fine bourbon. Tickets, $35, provide bus transportation to each of the bars, your passport, a t-shirt and a water bottle
  • Grapes to Bottles hosts their “Wine Socialist” events monthly encouraging a social, mingling aspect to the traditional wine tasting. The Saturday, March 22nd event, “Old Against New Wine Tasting,” adds a new social flair with a funny photo booth, wine bottle photo shoots and of course, adding your talents to Instagram with hashtag #grapestobottles. The event features a tasting of old world and new world wines, and most importantly, a cheese bar. The event is $35 at the Dana Hotel (660 N. State) and has two time slots: 6 – 8 p.m. and 8:15 – 10:15 p.m.



Concerts & Comedy

  • Several big names are performing in Chicago this month, including:



Learn & Create

  • Artists, musicians, designers, chefs, filmmakers and more should head to the Creative Chicago Expo March 14-15 at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington) from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (free admission). The event features networking, workshops and speakers such as fashion designer Mario Pinto, Chef Carrie Nahabedian, film producer Robert Teitel and U of C Director of Arts and Public Life Theaster Gates



Cultural Events & Tours

  • Explore the hidden stories behind several of Chicago’s top theaters, including the Oriental Theatre (March 15) and Cadillac Palace (March 22). Broadway in Chicago offers tours every Saturday at 11 a.m., providing insight to the history, architecture and technology behind some of the country’s most renowned theatres
  • This month’s First Fridays at Museum of Contemporary Art hosts a “spring break” theme featuring Latin dance music from DJ collective Sonorama. Expect live performances and interactive art on Friday, March 7 from 6 – 10 p.m. at this monthly museum 21+ mixer. Tickets $14 – 18 for admission and cash bar inside



Where to Celebrate Mardi Gras


Fat Tuesday is coming up on Tuesday, March 4 – here are several venues offering New Orleans-themed dinner and drink specials:

  • Municipal Bar (216 W. Ohio) – $6 beignets, $13 shrimp and sausage gumbo, $20 hurricane bowls
  • Benchmark (1510 N. Wells) – $12 Etouffee, $11 Cajun-style po-boy, $9 spicy hurricanes, rum runners and Sazeracs