Friday, January 11th, 2019
Whether you live downtown and have guests coming to visit, live in the Chicago suburbs and are looking for a downtown stay-cation, or are a visitor yourself, check out our “24 Hours In Each Neighborhood” posts. Here’s a great way to spend a day in Old Town!
The neighborhood was dubbed “Old Town” in the 1940s with an annual art fairs called “Old Town Holiday.” The name Old Town is still around today and the art fair is, too.
9:00 am Group Fitness Class
Whether you’re looking for a high intensity energy blast or a zen way to start the day, Wells Street in Old Town is a prime spot for boutique fitness studios. Check out CorePower, OrangeTheory, SoulCycle, Shred415, Kickboxing, or one of a number of smaller boutique studios, many of which offer introductory specials for first-timers!
10:00 am Real Good Juice Co
This juice bar serves up avocado toast, smoothies, bowls, juice, and other vegan snacks. The punny menu includes pop-culture inspired names like the “Punky Juice-ster”, “Juice Springsteen”, or the “RAMBOwl”.
11:00 am Spice House
The Spice House is a daily shopping stop for many of Chicago’s top chefs as well as for the Chicago Food Tour. Stroll through Spice House to get a whiff of the eclectic variety of spices or to soak up the charming ambiance. The store’s back garden is a charming hidden gem in the warmer months.
12:00 pm Small Cheval
The West Loop’s Au Cheval is home to the world famous Au Cheval Burger, but it comes with a long wait (usually to the tune of 2+ hours). At Small Cheval in Old Town, try the burger without the wait! The reclaimed wood, strands of lights, and neon cursive lettering make it a very instagramable spot.
2:00 pm Old Town Aquarium
Old Town Aquarium is a small storefront opened by Jim Walters and Ian Schakowsky in 1975. The two owners are environmentally conscious marine life enthusiasts and have spent years doing deep sea dives and research. Their knowledge is reflected in the eclectic selection of marine life on display. Stop by to see rare marine life.
4:00 pm Divvy Bike Ride
Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood is full of green space with plenty of access points to the lake front, making is a great area to see on a bike. Check out Divvy bikes using the Divvy app on your smartphone for 30 minute intervals and return them at any Divvy port around the city.
6:00 pm Orso’s
Orso’s is a family-owned Italian restaurant and one of the first to open in the original historic Old Town neighborhood. Orso’s has great specials every weeknight and live piano music on Fridays and Saturdays.
8:00 pm Live Show
Old Town has plenty of live entertainment. See a comedy show at Zanie’s, which has been one of Chicago’s most notable comedy clubs since 1985. Zanie’s also offers comedy classes and has played an instrumental role in the careers of comics including Jay Leno, Lewis Black, Emo Philips, Richard Lewis, Jerry Seinfeld, Frank Caliendo, Kathy Griffin, Larry Reeb, John Caponera, Hal Sparks, Bobby Slayton, and Roseanne Barr.
If you’re looking for live music, check out the Old Town School of Folk Music, which hosts live shows most evenings at 8pm as well as classes for all ages. Pete Seeger, Mahalia Jackson, Arlo Guthrie, and Steve Goodman are all among notable musicians who used to perform at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Click here for a schedule of concerts.
10:00 pm Old Town Pour House
Stop by Old Town Pour House to try a selection of over 90 beers on tap and American fare. If you’re ever looking for things to do near Old Town on a weeknight, be sure to check the events calendar here for events like Friends-themed trivia night or football game viewing events.