There are many things to do in Chicago that requires no money down, no all-day commitment and absolutely no crazy unnecessary luggage fees. Today, I’m taking a closer look at my own backyard; Lincoln Park. Here are a few FREE, fun and family friendly places to go in the LP:
The Lincoln Park Zoo
The LP Zoo sits just west of the lakefront (off North Ave/Clark streets) and is home to many animals such as sea lions, reptiles both small and large, primates, leopards, bears, lions…etc. A wonderful place to relax and get some fresh air, it’s fun for the whole family or just for a nice stroll by yourself.
The Lincoln Park Conservatory
The Lincoln Park Conservatory, just a 5 to 10 minute walk north of the Lincoln Park Zoo features four separate rooms. The Palm House; which contains more than two dozen types of palms, some growing oranges, bananas and other fruits, The Fern Room, The Orchid House, and The Conifer Garden. After visiting the conservatory, it’s no wonder why couples desire to have their wedding at this beautiful spot.
North Ave. Beach
North Ave. beach is very near and dear to my heart, as my parents actually met here back in the 70′s! It’s a great beach for many reasons. 1) People watching is PHENOMENAL during the hot months. Where else can you see dudes looking for buried treasure with that creepy metal device that beeps AND look-a-likes from the Jersey Shore? No where else. 2) Castaways. It’s a boat on land/restaurant/bar which specializes in cover bands all summer. Bon Jovi and Aerosmith all summer long, my friends. 3) The view of the city. Just see below.
Next week, I will look into another Chicago area for Free and fun things to do!
Nothing beats seeing your favorite band at classic venues in Chicago like; The Aragon or The Vic. Or on a bigger scale, like three days of awesome music at Lollapalooza. But once in a while, it’s nice to get away to suburbia, and hear some great music, both classic bands and newer artists, with a box of wine, the summer air, a blanket for the lawn and your good friends.
I’ve been to the Ravinia Festival more times than I’ve gotten a mani/pedi and to put it point blank: There is nothing like it. It’s called the “Sound of Summer” and that’s exactly what it entails. Family-friendly, this open lawn seating concert series throughout the summer months is located in beautiful Highland Park.
All I recommened bringing is:
-A blanket and/or folding chairs
-a table for your food and drinks, if you are so inclined to do so
-some candles, specifically the ones that repel mosquitos
-your beverage choice for the night. I usually go with a white wine; like Santa Margarita. My friends also have an excuse to break out the Franzia.
-Small plasic cups for your wine.
-A wine opener
-Friends and/or family who like good music and being outdoors. Leave the whinners(not wine-o’s) at home.
Some concerts you may want to check out this summer would be:
6/6 Earth, Wind and Fire
6/13 Sheryl Crow/Colbie Caillet
6/17 Backstreet Boys (..Backstreets back?? Alright…)
6/20 Jethro Tull
6/25 The Moody Blues
7/10 Cheap Trick
7/20 Peter and Paul pay tribute to Mary
7/21 The B-52s
8/7 The BoDeans/Big Head Todd and the Monsters
8/8 The Temptations/The Four Tops
8/22 Crosby, Stills and Nash
8/27 Poi Dog Pondering
8/29 Carrie Underwood
9/1 Evening with the Beach Boys
9/3 Nelly Furtado
Visit http://www.ravinia.org/ for more information, ticket prices and the best ways to get there!
email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chicago Street Festival Guide: 2010
March 23, 2010 · Leave a Comment
When the first 67 degree day hits the Windy City, I’m usually furiously digging in my shoebox-sized closet for my favorite flip-flops and JCrew shorts. It’s not just Summer in Chicago; it’s street fest season! Here’s your guide to some of the best of the best street festivals, outside music festivals and lots of food and beer tents in Chicago for 2010!
May 21-23- Mayfest (*Lakeview; Ashland Ave.)
May 29-30- Belmont/Sheffield Music fest ( *Lakeview)
June 3-6- Mayfest ( *Lincoln Square)
June 11-13- Chicago Blues Fest ( *Grant Park)
June 11-13- Ribfest ( *North Center; Lincoln and Irving)
June 12-13-Well’s Street Art Festival ( *Old Town; Wells and North to Division)
June 18-20- Taste of Randolph ( *West Loop)
June 25-July 4- Taste of Chicago ( *Grant Park)
June 25-27- Chicago Pride ( *Lakeview; Halsted and Belmont)
July 10-11- Rock around the Block ( *Lakeview; Lincoln and Belmont)
July 17-18- Sheffield Garden Walk ( *Lakeview/Depaul)
July 17-18- Taste of River North ( *Kingsbury)
July 24th-25th- Taste of Lincoln Avenue ( *Lincoln Park)
July 31st- August 1st- Summer on Southport ( *Lakeview)
July 31st- August 1st-Wicker Park Fest ( *Milwaukee and North)
August 6-8- Lollapalooza ( *Grant Park)
August 6-8- Taylor Street Italian Fest ( *Little Italy; University Village)
August 7-8- North Halsted Market Days ( *Lakeview)
August 7-8- Retro on Roscoe ( *Roscoe Village; Damen to Oakley)
August 14-15- Air and Water Show ( *Along the lakefront, Oakstreet Beach)
August 14-15- Wrigleyville Summerfest ( *Seminary and Roscoe)
August 28-29- Lakeview Music Festival ( *Sheffield and Addison)
August 28-29- Taste of Greece ( *Greektown; Hasted and Van Buren)
September 3-5- Chicago Jazz Festival ( *Grant Park)
September 18- Guinness Oyster Fest( *Roscoe Village)
September 24-26- Oktoberfest ( *Lincoln and Southport)
I’m always in search of that red wine that doesn’t stain my teeth purple. You know, that red wine that makes your teeth look like they were rotting for ten years? The red wine that haunts a majority of the newly tagged photos of you on facebook? I’m also always in search of that white wine that isn’t so sweet, that the next morning and four aspirin later, you are still feeling like your head will explode any second. And that can’t be any prettier than your purple wine-stained lips and teeth.
Good news! Most wine bars in Chicago come complete with a knowledgeable staff and so many wines to choose from, you’d think you were in Napa or the south of France. Here are some of my favorite wine bars in Chicago:
D.O.C Wine bar: Wine flights may just be the best thing to come out of wine bars. Why not try three separate wines(*flights starting around $14). Plus, D.O.C is probably one of my favorite places to take a date. With dim lighting, a fireplace, and a ton of other first dates chatting it up…or not; you end up feeling very comfortable even if your date is not going to make it past drink #2, or date #2.
Webster Wine Bar: Across the street from the movie theater, it’s a great starting off point before you go and see Avatar with your boyfriend for the 100th time. It has outside seating perfect for those nice summer nights and a HUGE, eclectic wine selection.
404 Wine Bar: I worked here for one week in College…although, I worked on the other side of the bar(Jack’s) so I never really understood wines since I was serving $2 beer specials and shots of Tequila to Depaul students. Going back, about 5 years later, what I like most about 404 wine bar, is the yellow lighting and ambiance of the bar. Complete with board games, who wouldn’t want to play some Chutes and Ladders while sipping a nice Blackstone Merlot?
Bin 36: Sometimes I think I love cheese more than the mice that hang out in the Lincoln Park Alleys. Get yourself the cheese sample and a wine flight with a bunch of your girlfriends and you are all set. Horrible date set-ups, gossip about the girl that couldn’t make it and bikini season conversations to follow.
I’ve had my fair share of first dates. I’ve also had my fair share of cannolis growing up in an Italian family. Both are sweet in the beginning but by the end; you may just feel bloated and tired; so I can speak from the heart on both topics when I say, it’s hard to master the first date.
There is always that tornado from Kansas you leave in your closet, rumbling through which black shirt makes your arms look slimmer or which pair of heels aren’t too tall… “he said he was 5’10, right?” I say if you plan on going on a bunch of first dates, invest in one or two nice shirts and a nice pair of jeans and black heels. Then you aren’t risking the “too trendy” “too trashy” or “too what-planet-are-you-from?” look.
Once you are on the date, there are those commons questions like: So what do you do for a living? How many brothers and sisters do you have? Do you have any hot/cute single friends for my hot/cute single friends? What religion are you? Do you like the band Creed? (because if you do, that is a deal breaker.) And then after a few drinks and some apps, you’ve successfully ended your first date….but wait, not yet…the dreaded question: “Do I kiss him or not?”
My guess is about 25% of first dates end up making out like 8th graders. Maybe another 20% get that “perfect” liplock. And if all you get is a hug or a kiss on the check; don’t be discouraged. Remember: It’s all about that pesky chase. And if it’s more than a kiss you end up leaving with…well, that’s up to you and Mr. “lucky” on your place or his. At least by the end of the date you should know if there was a connection or if if there was a very, very short fuse….