What Fulton Market was — a meat-packing district, home to warehouses and industrial space for much of the 19th and 20th centuries — laid the gritty groundwork for what it is now.
Fulton Market is a vibrantly on-trend neighborhood that celebrates its past while courting and creating the future. Fulton Market was granted landmark district status by the City of Chicago in 2015, and some of its landmark tenants include everything from corporate headquarters of companies such as McDonald’s, Google, Dyson and Herman Miller to not one but two restaurants from world-renowned chef Grant Achatz.
Events in Fulton Market can range from the instant excitement of tickets to NBA, NHL or big-time concert events at the nearby United Center to the sublime satisfaction that comes from scoring a prime reservation at one of the hot spots along Randolph Street’s restaurant row.
There’s just so much more.
Fulton Market is a great location. Besides the United Center, it’s less than two miles from Chicago’s Theater District, Millennium Park, Greektown and the Riverwalk. Without leaving the neighborhood, there are plenty of hotspots to hit:
Achatz x 2: First a molecular gastronomy wunderkind and twice the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef in the United States, Achatz has a pair of Michelin-starred restaurants in the neighborhood. Both on Fulton Market, there’s Roister, known for its elevated rustic fare, and Next, which highlights a theme, region or moment in time on menus that change several times a year.
More Celebrity Chefs: Stephanie Izard (Top Chef, James Beard) has three “goat” restaurants in the area; Joe Flamm (Top Chef) mixes Italian and Croatian at Rose Mary; and brothers Michael and Brian Voltaggio (both of whom competed on Top Chef and Food Network’s Tournament of Champions) are launching a steakhouse, Fioretta, in 2023.
Fun and Games: Punch Bowl Social is a two-level bar and game complex; Emporium elevates the barcade experience by mixing booze with all the old-school arcade classics; and SoHo House is six floors of the luxe life, from a rooftop pool and terrace to a gym, a spa, screening rooms, multiple dining and drink options and 40 guest rooms.
Chicago is a city of neighborhoods — and of neighborhood festivals. These Fulton Market events are annual highlights on the social calendar:
Once you’ve made the decision to move to Fulton Market, your next move should be to contact Downtown Apartment Company. We know the area and the best properties to meet your needs.
If there’s anything Chicagoans love more than trying a hip new restaurant, it’s exploring Chicago neighborhoods, and Chicago Restaurant Week is a great way to get out and fall in love with new pockets of the city. Chicago Restaurant Week 2023 features 335 restaurants in 34 Chicago neighborhoods as well as 37 restaurants in the Chicago suburbs and runs through February 5th. During Chicago Restaurant Week each participating restaurant offers one or multiple prix fixe menus to give patrons a sample of their best featured dishes, often for a great value. Here are some of the top Chicago Restaurant Week fan favorites.
With its eclectic decor and creative, fully vegan menu, Bloom Plant Based Kitchen fits right in with the character of Wicker Park. Their $59 Chicago Restaurant Week menu includes four courses. Diners will have a choice between the plum and celery ceviche or cashew requeson for their appetizer, an aguacate or choice of taco as their second course, yuca gnocchi, spatzle, or forest pot pie as their main course, and a dessert trio to finish.
Chez Joel serves up traditional French fare (including coq au vin, steak frites, escargots, and an exceptional wine list) with ambiance that will make you forget that you’re not in a bistro in the south of France. For restaurant week, their $42 prix fixe menu includes three courses: a choice between French onion soup or a goat cheese salad to start, steak, ravioli, salmon, or roasted chicken as a main course, and chocolate mousse, creme brûlée, or profiteroles for dessert.
Beatrix is the perfect spot for any time of day or night. Their coffee bar, brunch menu, and lounge area are popular for morning meet ups and their bar, dinner menu, and trendy ambiance make it the place to be after the sun sets. Beatrix’s Restaurant Week lunch menu is $25 for a starter (like whipped feta with truffle or avocado ceviche), an entree (like a prime burger or craft salad), and a dessert (as healthy as chia seed pudding or decadent as chocolate lava cake). They’re also offering brunch a ($25) and dinner ($42) menus with a wider selection of dishes and a cocktail.
Even better, Beatrix is a Lettuce Entertain You concept so you can download the Lettuce app to earn rewards and get your first reward just for signing up.
See all participating restaurants here.
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If you’re looking for Chicago New Years Eve events near you or where to celebrate New Years Eve 2023 in downtown Chicago, here’s our guide to some of the top festivities in the city!
New Year on the Pier at Navy Pier
Head to the Aon grand ballroom for dancing, craft cocktails, catering, live music, and a DJ. New Year on the Pier goes from 8pm to 1am and offers a prime location for enjoying Navy Pier’s midnight fireworks.
Hilton Chicago’s New Years Eve Party 2023
This formal soiree, hosted by KISS FM, is the place to be when it comes to downtown Chicago New Years Eve events. With 7 party areas, 12 acts, top shelf cocktails, hors d’eouvres, a casino style gambling set up, celebrity DJs, live video mixing, a midnight confetti storm, and more, there’s little to be desired. Tickets also include discounts on hotel rooms.
London House New Years Eve – Two Events
London House is offering an event on their rooftop and another in their ballroom. Both events will include a live DJ, open bar, a photo booth, light bites, and more. There will also be a firework display on the river at midnight and London House’s rooftop is the perfect place to see them.
Central Park Bar – Avondale
If you’re looking for Chicago New Years Eve events to keep your evening a little more low key, this new neighborhood tavern is offering a package that includes drinks, a buffet with catering from the Gilty Pig, and a DJ set. Hang out in the bar area or head out to their heated and covered patio. Tickets are available through Eventbrite. Central Park Bar is normally a dog friendly on their patio, but you’ll want to confirm that applies to their New Years Eve event if you plan on bringing your furry friends.
Kicks and Confetti Ball West Loop
The Kicks and Confetti Ball is a great New Years Eve event in Fulton Market, hosted at Time Out Market. Through on your coolest sneakers and get ready for live music, DJ sets, confetti, a champagne toast, an LED wall countdown, and a huge dance floor. Tickets also include a dining credit at any of the 15 restaurants in Time Out Market.
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Whether you’re visiting from out of town and looking to check out some of the classic holiday events, or if you’re a local Chicagoan looking to switch up the same traditions you do every year, here’s our guide to the top holiday events near downtown Chicago!
Christkindl Market (The Loop)
The Loop is the place to be if you’re looking to soak in all of the holiday spirit and check all of the holiday events off your list. Beyond the ornately designed rows of lighted trees lining the streets and the familiar names of annual holiday shows on the theater marquees, the holiday events in the Loop seem endless. However, year after year Christkindl Market proves to be a Chicago favorite.
Christkindl Market is held annually at Daley Plaza. Dozens of small wooden houses are set up to resemble 16th century Germany and filled with vendors that include artisan ornaments, handmade candles and soaps, mulled wine (Gluhwein) and spiced cider served in festive souvenir mugs, and traditional German fare. You can also catch live music, dancing, and pop up events in the main dining tent.
Check out this festive market any day through December 24th.
Click here for more information about Christkindl Market and all the holiday things to do in the Loop.
Live Jazz at Timeout Market Chicago (Fulton Market)
On Monday, December 12th or Saturday, December 17th head to Timeout Market in the Fulton Market part of the West Loop for live jazz to celebrate the holidays. Timeout Market is a food hall (think upscale food court) with outposts of the trendiest Chicago restaurants, coffee, and cocktails. The main level is a great place to grab a bite and the rooftop level is a popular neighborhood hangout.
The Market spans 50,000 square feet with 18 different restaurant concepts.
Igloos at IO Godfrey (River North)
There’s nothing Chicagoans love like a good rooftop. At IO Godfrey, enjoy rooftop season even in the winter as their rooftop transforms into a winter wonderland. Reserve bottle service in an igloo to stay warm as you enjoy the stunning city views.
Catch a Classic Holiday Film (Logan Square, Lakeview)
The Music Box theater in the Southport Corridor in Lakeview and the Logan Theater in Logan Square are both charming, old time cinemas. Head to either of these boutique movie theaters for classic holiday films like It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas all season.
Winterland at Gallagher Way (Wrigleyville)
Switch up your typical holiday events at Winterland. Head to Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field for rides, ice skating, hot chocolate, games, and even ice bumper cars through January 8th. Tickets are required in advance and available to purchase here.
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Listed among the top 20 “Cool Streets in North America” in late 2019, Fulton Market offers innumerable good-time opportunities. Listing them isn’t easy, but our favorites include:
No longer quite so insular as when its many enclaves, ethnic and otherwise, gave birth to its billing as a City of Neighborhoods, Chicago retains many defined areas that offer distinct vibes.
Logan Square is the current hipster haven, high-rise and high-finance living dominate the Loop, Wicker Park and Bucktown cling to their bohemian indie roots, and Wrigleyville remains a boisterous and boozy mecca for young singles and tourists alike.
The Fulton Market District defies easy categorization. Long a foodie destination for its Randolph Street Restaurant Row, the district is also home to corporate offices — and corporate employees — of companies such as McDonald’s, Google and Dyson.
Another great thing about the Fulton Market District is its proximity to so many other exciting Chicago neighborhoods. If you live in the district, here are just a few nearby options:
The Theater District: 1.3 miles.
Millennium Park: 1.9 miles.
Wrigley Field: 6 miles.
The Museum Campus: 3 miles.
The United Center: 1.4 miles.
Greektown: 6 blocks.
The Chicago Riverwalk: 1.8 miles.
Once you’ve figured out what to do in Fulton Market, you’ve got to figure out where in the district you want to live. Downtown Apartment Company knows can put you in the perfect apartment at the perfect address. Contact us today and check out our luxury apartment listings.
There’s a reason New York and downtown Chicago are world renowned cities. Moving from New York to Chicago? Here are some of the biggest similarities and differences you need to know between the two.
One thing New Yorkers and Chicagoans alike appreciate about their cities is the vibrant and distinct culture of each neighborhood. If you like the elegant brownstones of The Village, take a stroll down Dearborn Street in the Gold Coast or down Sheffield in Lincoln Park.
If SoHo is your vibe, check out the chic brick and timber lofts, galleries, and world-renowned restaurants of Fulton Market. Is Brooklyn more your scene? Head to Logan Square, Wicker Park, and West Town for a vibrant hipster artist scene mixed with tree-lined residential streets, coffee shops, and farmers markets. Another thing Chi City and the Big Apple have in common– both sure made great use of their waterfronts! If you’re seeking Cooney Island vibes, head to Navy Pier for boat cruises, carnival rides, the Ferris wheel, dining, fireworks, and incredible live events. When you’ve gotten your fix of the pier, stroll to North Avenue or Oak Street beaches for a fun round of volleyball or relaxing water-side yoga class.
Although Chicago streets feel quite bustling to Chicagoans, New Yorkers always marvel at how “little traffic” there is on both streets and sidewalks compared to downtown Manhattan. Chicago streets can get a little backed up during rush hour but for the most part, it’s easy to breeze between neighborhoods. New Yorkers also appreciate how easy it is to go for a run on the sidewalks compared to Manhattan and how many additional running and biking trails there are. From the 606 trail that runs through the western neighborhoods, the Lakefront trail that runs through the eastern neighborhoods, and the Riverwalk that runs through the center of the city, to the smaller paths through any number of spacious local parks, like the two mile loop around Humboldt Park or the 5.5 mile loop through and around Lincoln Park, there are plenty of places to be in nature and unwind in the heart of downtown.
Moving from New York to Chicago? Contact us today! One of our neighborhood experts will be happy to guide you in your search and answer your questions. We are also offering both virtual and in person apartment tours. Be sure to ask about move in specials including free rent concessions!
Chicago Restaurant Week is something Chicagoans look forward to every year, but this year is extra special. With the city’s Covid-19 restrictions easing, this year’s Restaurant Week is geared up to be our first “normal” year in a while. For those who aren’t familiar, restaurant week is when dozens of popular Chicago restaurants of all cuisines and formality offer reasonably priced prix fixe lunch and dinner menus with specialty dishes. Each multicourse menu is $25 for brunch or lunch and $39 or $55 for dinner. If you’re still feeling a bit skittish about dining indoors, restaurants will be offering a to-go option as well. This year, the 17 day event will take place from March 25th to April 10th. Here are some of the top spots to be sure to check out!
Cabra Fulton Market
Cabra is the newest addition to Stephanie Izard’s long list of iconic West Loop restaurants, all of which have “goat” inspired names and many of which have critical acclaim or Michelin stars. This Restaurant Week, Cabra is serving up four Peruvian inspired courses like tuna tataki served with brown butter miso aioli and jicama slaw.
Daisies Wicker Park
Daisies’ dinner menu features innovative flavor pairings, like a black truffle ravioli with bacon and red grape entree or pretzel raspberry salad for dessert.
Avec River North
Avec will be offering both lunch and dinner prix fixe menus with contemporary Italian-fusion dishes like burrata toast with roasted squash, Chile honey, almonds, and mint.
Using Choose Chicago’s Restaurant Week menu search tool, you can find options to meet your preferences and dietary restrictions or sort by neighborhood.
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The former Morton Salt site will open this summer as Salt Shed, a new indoor/outdoor music venue near Goose Island at the western end of Lincoln Park. Salt Shed, located at 1357 N Elston, already has a full lineup of outdoor concerts for 2022 and both indoor and outdoor concerts and events for 2023.
Popular Indie bands, like Fleet Foxes, Mt Joy, Andrew Bird, and Iron & Wine have outdoor concerts scheduled through August. Tickets go on sale this Friday, 2/18.
The group behind this new development, 16 on Center, is no newbie at creating popular Chicago venues, with Thalia Hall, Revival Food Hall, Lou’s Assembly, Longman and Eagle, The Good Ambler, Space, and more all on their roster. While 16 on Center plans to spruce up and modernize the former salt plant, the historic site will keep its original character and iconic signage. The property also sits along a portion of the river that, until now, hasn’t been used as a public amenity.
Looking for luxury apartments for rent near Goose Island or Lincoln Park in downtown Chicago? Contact us today! One of our neighborhood experts will be happy to guide you in your search! We are now offering in person, self guided, and virtual apartment tours. Be sure to ask about move in concessions!
If you’ve spent time in downtown Chicago’s Loop around the holiday season, you know there’s something undeniably special in the air. November means holiday festivities are ramping up and we couldn’t be happier! Here are some annual favorites to kick off the holiday season.
Thanksgiving Day Parade
Head to State Street in the Loop on November 25th to catch the Thanksgiving Day Parade. This beloved Chicago tradition started in the 1930s to lift spirits at the height of the Great Depression and has been an annual staple ever since! The parade will run 8-11am from Ida B. Wells to Randolph Street. Stick around afterward for performances all day long!
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
Each year throughout November and December, Michigan Avenue is sprinkled with holiday lights. The annual lights make their first appearance on Friday, November 19th at the Mag Mile Lights Festival, with the lighting of the iconic, towering tree in Millennium Park followed by a ballet performance and fireworks. Stick around the following day where the fun continues with ice skating, photos with Santa, and a live DJ, followed by the Festival of Lights parade that evening.
The Christkindl Market, inspired by German tradition, takes place annually at Daley Plaza in the Loop. Peruse handcrafted, specialty goods, start your holiday shopping, and grab a souvenir mug of spiced wine to sip while you wait in line for the beloved annual ornament shop. Christkindl Market will be open November 19th through December 24th.
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With Halloween activities galore, it’s no mystery why Chicago was rated one of the top 10 Halloween cities in the country. There are so many options in each neighborhood, the hardest part of choosing your Halloween plans will be narrowing down the list. Here are some ideas!
If you’re looking for Halloween activities and festive fall things to do near Lakeview or Lincoln Park, Haunted Halsted is the place to be. The event will include a parade, live music, fire performers, and a costume contest starting at 6pm on Halloween, followed by an afterparty.
Meander through the stunning landscapes at the Chicago Botanic Garden as over a thousand hand carved pumpkins light up the path. The evening will also include live carving demos, costumed entertainers, and seasonal fare for purchase. Be sure to get your tickets ahead of time online!
On Hallowseve-eve (October 30th) head to State Street in the Loop for Arts in the Dark. Arts in the Dark is a parade and showcase of Chicago’s vibrant and diverse cultural and creative scenes. There is no charge to attend and the event will run 6-8pm.
Tour Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood and all its most haunted places on the Chicago Ghost Tour Pub Crawl. With stops at festive bars and spooky stories along the way, this tour is a great way to spend Halloween! You can also reserve a private tour with your group.
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The weather is getting warmer and Chicago’s COVID restrictions are getting looser, which means this Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect time to jump back into the summer activities you’ve missed over the past year. If you’re looking for things to do this weekend, here’s some inspiration!
Cubs or Sox Game
This week, Guaranteed Rate and Wrigley fields will increase their fan capacity to 60%, up from just 20% on opening day, with additional seating areas for people who are fully vaccinated. Whether you’re a north side or south side baseball fan, you’ll be able to catch your team playing this weekend!
Lakefront Water Rentals
Nothing says summertime in Chicago like a day on the lakefront. Rent motorized boats, kayaks, jet skis, and even windsurfing gear at one of Chicago’s many beaches, like North Avenue beach.
If you’d rather just sit back and enjoy the water rather than playing captain for a day, enjoy one of many chartered or guided boat tours. Switch up the typical architectural river boat tour with a lakefront speedboat tour with Seadog.
Although you can catch fireworks at Navy Pier on Wednesdays and Saturdays, this week will also feature a special Memorial Day firework display. Enjoy them from the pier, atop the iconic Ferris wheel, or from one of many local Streeterville rooftops. While you’re at it, grab some top notch cocktails and fresh seafood at Lirica, a new Central American inspired restaurant concept at Navy Pier.
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Looking for things to do near the West Loop this weekend? Artopia is one of the newest attractions coming to Chicago’s West Loop starting April 17th!
The avant-garde installation is opening in Morgan Manufacturing’s 32,000 square feet of event space, bringing “a month of kaleidoscopic immersion” and “blending the creativity of renowned artists with the wonders of modern technology” according to a recent article in Secret Chicago. Artopia will be a one hour guided experience with craft cocktails afterward. Highlights include interactive projection mapping, sound reactive LED pieces, 20 murals by Chicago street artists, eight sculptural pieces, large scale light art, and holographic pieces.
Much like the West Loop’s beloved WNDR Museum, Artopia also promises “Instagrammable” photo opps in one of a kind settings.
Artopia will run every Thursday through Sunday through May 15th at Morgan Manufacturing (401 N Morgan Street). COVID precautions include mandatory mask requirements, hand sanitizer in each room, a 50 person capacity, and a one-way guided tour route. Click here for tickets!
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Chicago Restaurant Week begins this Friday (albeit, it may look a little different this year than in previous years). During Restaurant Week, over 250 participating restaurants in and around Chicago offer multi-course prix fixe menus for lunch ($25) and dinner ($39 or $55). This year, you’ll get to enjoy restaurant week through indoor or outdoor dining, carry out, and even delivery. Here are some of the notable additions to this year’s Restaurant Week roster in addition to tried and true favorites.
Avec River North
The new River North location of this beloved West Loop restaurant will be offering a five course dinner menu ($55). The tasting menu will include house-marinated olives and ciabatta to start, followed by chorizo-stuffed medjool dates with bacon and piquillo pepper-tomato sauce, a course of shaved brussels sprouts with calabrian chili and golden raisin, wood oven paella with confit chicken, escargot sausage, mussels and tangerine aioli, and lastly a raspberry rose tart. Enjoy dishes inspired by Greek and Spanish cuisine for indoor dining or on the outdoor patio.
Odyssey Chicago River
This dining experience is taking riverfront dining to a whole new level. Enjoy Chicago’s stunning architecture during a dinner cruise along the Chicago River. The menu ($55) includes a selection of soup or salad, an entree (with dishes like root vegetable fricassee, broiled salmon, grilled chicken, or scallop and shrimp scampi), as well as a dessert.
Aba is a West Loop favorite amongst many Chicagoans. This year, Aba’s $55 dinner menu will include a choice of a wide selection of appetizers (like charred eggplant, striped bass crudo, or house made stracciatella), an entree (like braised short rib, king salmon, or grilled cauliflower with dates and turmeric), a dessert (like pistachio or chocolate cake or creme brûlée), and even a craft cocktail (like a kiwi gin and tonic or a Mediterranean mule). Enjoy Aba’s Mediterranean fare from their stylish and intimate outdoor rooftop. Aba will also be offering a prix fixe brunch menu for $25 which includes two courses plus a choice of cocktail, beer, or wine.This definitely tops the list as one of the best Restaurant Week deals!
Girl and the Goat
Girl and the Goat is another tried and true West Loop favorite. In addition to the high quality food and experience, the world renowned restaurant rose to prominence because of it’s owner and chef, Top Chef winner, Stephanie Izard. This year’s menu ($55, dinner only) will offer contemporary dishes like brioche with goat liver mousse and relish, roasted bosu oysters with yuzu Harissa butter, shio kombu, and lime, and crispy short ribs with avocado and grape fruit chermoula. Don’t worry– we had to google a few of those ingredients, too. Girl and the Goat’s Restaurant Week menu will be exclusively available for indoor dining.
Chicago Restaurant Week runs March 19th through April 4th. Click here to make reservations and see a list of participating restaurants.
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We all have that hard-to-shop-for friend. Whether its someone who seems to have everything, doesn’t like anything, or someone you don’t know all that well, these gift ideas are worth checking out!
Slip offers high quality machine washable silk products, like the silk eye mask and pillow case that are included with their sleep set. The silk pillow case is especially beloved for its propertied skin and hair benefits. The Slip sleep set is a great way to make someone’s nighttime routine feel just a little more luxurious. Slip sleep sets and a la carte silk products are available at Bloomingdale’s.
We all have that friend who has a window ledge full of “pet” plants in lieu of furry pets. The Sill is the perfect place to shop for a holiday gift for that friend. From succulents to more luscious potted and hanging plants, The Sill has an outstanding selection. If you or the person you’re shopping for don’t have very much natural light, don’t fret! You can also purchase plant growth lights from The Sill. The good news is that even if you purchase a plant for someone who doesn’t particularly like plants, the gesture is still usually well received. Who couldn’t use a new potted plant to brighten up their home these days?
The Sill is also a great option if you’re looking to support a small business this holiday season!
Lettuce Entertain You Gift Card
Ever forget what you got someone the year before and end up accidentally giving them the same gift twice? This gift card is a gift that’s socially acceptable to give to your entire circle of friends and family year after year. Lettuce Entertain You gift cards can be used at dozens of locations around the Chicagoland area and make the perfect gift for that hard-to-shop-for person. Although the recipient probably won’t be going out to eat for a while, these gift cards can be used for carryout, too. For a limited time, get a $25 bonus card to use for yourself after the holidays for every $100 you purchase in gift cards. (Lou Malnati’s has a similar promotion going on.)
Whether you’re shopping for a corporate gift or got stuck with a secret santa you don’t really know that well, it’s hard to go wrong with chocolate! Vosges offers stunning high quality chocolate gifts for any price range.
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Although it may look a little different this year, there are still plenty of holiday festivities and things to do in Chicago! Here are some socially distant holiday activities in and near downtown Chicago.
Christkindlmarket is a Chicago staple for holiday activities. This year, instead of its traditional pop up location in the Loop, the market has gone virtual. Browse goods from all over the world and check out virtual events, like cooking classes, Sunday story time, and German language lessons, all through the end of December.
Zoo Lights (Lincoln Park)
Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo runs select dates from 4-10pm through January 3rd, 2021. Stroll along Lincoln Park Zoo’s winding paths to see hundreds of luminous holiday displays comprised of 2.5 million bulbs and indulge in some seasonal fare. With reduced capacity admissions, Zoo Lights can be a great option if you’re looking for outdoor socially distant holiday things to do!
Mag Mile Lights Festival (Loop)
Watch downtown Chicago transform into a winter wonderland with over 1 million lights lining the Magnificent Mile. Knock out your holiday shopping list while perusing the grand illumination trees lining Michigan Avenue now through Christmas Day.
Ice Skating at Maggie Daley Park (Loop)
Skate along the winding ribbons of ice rink at Maggie Daley Park, surrounded by the backdrops of the serene lakefront to the east and the striking Chicago skyline in all other directions. The icey path is twice the length of a lap around a traditional ice rink. Admission is free, but you’ll need a reservation, as capacity this year is capped at 180 skaters. Ice skates are also available for rent starting at $16. Maggie Daley Ice Rink is open now through March.
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Chicago is home to some of the world’s greatest museums. If you’re looking for a fun way to spend the day during the holidays, check out these Chicago museum exhibits!
Immersive Van Gogh – Lighthouse Art Space (Old Town)
Lighthouse Art Space is a new art venue in Old Town dedicated to “merging the boundaries between entertainment and culture.” “Immersive Van Gogh” is a an hour long walk-through digital art experience that will allow visitors to step inside Van Gogh’s world. The exhibit is coming to Chicago February 11th, 2021 with tickets starting at $39.99 for adults and $24.99 for kids.
Superpower Dogs – Museum of Science and Industry (South Loop)
Explore the incredible dogs and their humans who fight crime, protect endangered species, and save lives in natural disasters around the world. In a film at the Giant Dome Theater at the Museum of Science and Industry, you’ll learn about the remarkable abilities of dogs and the science behind those abilities. Screening times are Wednesdays through Sundays at 10:40am, 1:00pm, and 2:20pm. Tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for kids.
Monet and Chicago – The Art Institute (The Loop)
The Art Institute’s 46 Monet paintings and drawings constitute the largest collection of his work outside Paris. In addition to his well known popular pieces, many of his rarely seen pieces are also on display. Visit Monet and Chicago through January 18th 2021.
Can’t make it in person? The Art Institute is operating with limited hours (Thursday-Monday from 11am to 6pm) so they currently have expanded virtual offerings. Check out one of The Art Institute’s many online talks on an array of topics from gratitude, Impressionism, Chicago stories, and the timely talk on isolation, which explores current social questions and current events through a dialogue about art.
Looking for luxury apartments for rent near downtown Chicago? Contact us today! One of our neighborhood experts will be happy to answer your questions! We are now offering in person, virtual, and self guided apartment tours. Be sure to ask about move in specials!
Does the recent stay at home order have you wondering what this Thanksgiving will look like? Don’t fret! These downtown Chicago restaurants are offering incredible Thanksgiving dinners for carryout and delivery!
Aba – West Loop
Give your celebration a Mediterranean twist with Aba’s Thanksgiving dinner. For $48.95 per person, you’ll get pumpkin hummus, truffle baked orzo, grilled kababs, crispy Brussels sprouts, and creme brûlée, with an option to add a bottle of wine.
Duck Duck Goat – West Loop
In the spirit of everything this holiday season being somewhat…atypical…ditch the turkey and opt for duck! Renowned chef, Stephanie Izard’s Chinese inspired menu includes peking duck, soy-roasted sweet potatoes, green beans with black bean sauce, char siu bao buns, mashed potato spring rolls and veggie fried rice. Duck Duck Goat’s Thanksgiving menu starts at $175 for four people.
Maple and Ash – Gold Coast
If a decadent holiday meal is your thing, look no further. Maple and Ash’s package includes a whole turkey, lobster bisque, shrimp cocktail, plenty of sides and salads and apple pie, with an option to add the IDGAF add-on, which includes caviar, king crab, filet mignon, truffle jus and more, starting at $70 per person.
etta – Wicker Park and River North
Etta’s prix fixe menu features Thanksgiving favorites with an elevated touch (can you say, cacio e pepe mac and cheese?) For $85 per person you’ll also get a bottle of wine, focaccia, salad, turkey breast, bolognese stuffing, veggies and pumpkin cake with spiced cream cheese frosting.
Bang Bang Pies – Logan Square
Are you making dinner yourself but looking for an extra something? Bang Bang Pies is a Chicago favorite for Thanksgiving classics like pumpkin, apple, chocolate, pecan, and key lime pies. Call ahead to order! Their pies go quickly!
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Even though it may look a little different this year, Halloween is still on! We know you’ve already been wearing a mask and eating candy for a few months now, but if you’re still looking for ways to celebrate the fall festivities, here are some Halloween activities near downtown Chicago!
Head to Lincoln Park Zoo for seasonal activities including a pumpkin walk, a haunted trail, themed food, seasonal cocktails, and a socially distant movie. The outdoor animal exhibits will be open (with nocturnal species most likely to be active during the event). The Great Pumpkin Glow is Thursday, October 29th 6:30 to 10pm. Grab a hot cider and get your tickets here!
The Music Box Theatre will take over Chi-Town Movies Drive In through October 31st for screenings of horror movies, ranging from classic favorites to rarely screened films as well as filmmaker Q & A, pre-show entertainment, live trivia with prizes, and double features on Fridays and Saturdays. Admittance begins 30 minutes before the film’s scheduled start time. Although the event is technically a “drive in” you can still attend without a car by bringing your own lawn chair and purchasing a ticket online.
“I Put a Spell on You” is a new Halloween pop up bar is now open at the Homestead rooftop in West Town. Chefs Chris Teixeira and Christo Vlahos named menu items after the most quotable lines in the 1990s cult classic film, “Hocus Pocus”, like the “Amok!” cocktail and “The Devil Himself” fried chicken dish. The “I Put a Spell on You” pop up is open evenings through November 8th with a special themed brunch menu on weekends.
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Now that Chicago is in phase four of reopening from COVID-19, there’s even more to do while socially distancing. Phase four allows reopening of museums and zoos, both outdoor and indoor seating at restaurants, tourist attractions, and the reopening of movie theaters and live performance venues. Here are some of the attractions that are now open near downtown Chicago for your entertainment!
Chicago Architecture Center, Wendella, Chicago Lakefront Cruises, and Shoreline Site Seeing have all resumed their boat tours. Hear expertly trained docents share fascinating stories about Chicago’s history, interesting details about over 50 of the buildings that line the Chicago River, and how Chicago from being a small settlement to one of the world’s largest and most prominent cities in the span of 100 years. If you visit the Chicago Architecture Center and book through them, you’ll save on admission!
Lincoln Park is now open near downtown Chicago! Lincoln Park Zoo is home to 200 unique species of wildlife from around the world. Enjoy strolling the zoo’s winding paths surrounded by the tranquil setting of trees, ponds, and glimpses of the city. Upcoming events hosted by Lincoln Park Zoo include virtual penguin feeding, virtual haunted history tours, and Zoo Nights, where you can enjoy fall decor, food, and beverage by Levy Restaurants on Saturdays, all of which run through October 31st. Lincoln Park Zoo admission is still free of charge but to limit the number of people on site, the zoo is requiring online reservations ahead of time.
Chicago offers one of the richest cultural scenes in the world and the extensive list of museums, across many mediums, is a big reason why! The Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry, and Shedd Aquarium are now all open and require tickets in advance. The Field Museum, American Writer’s Museum, and Museum of Photography are open and offering tickets at the door. The Museum of Contemporary Art is open on weekends only with limited hours. If you’re looking for things to do or places now open near downtown Chicago, start by checking out one of Chicago’s many museums!
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Although we’re in the second half of the summer, there are still plenty of socially distant things to do in downtown Chicago! Here are some ways you can make the most of the rest of these Chicago summer nights!
Drive in Movie
The Davis Theater is hosting Chicago themed drive in movie nights (with flicks like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Blues Brothers) at Lincoln Yards in Lincoln Park. If you’re looking for things to do near the South Loop, head to Soldier Field for nightly entertainment including screenings of classic movies like Groundhog Day and Grease, live music, and singalongs. No car? Check out movies in the park at Navy Pier in Streeterville or a floating cinema September 9th-13th (location to be determined), where you and up to 7 friends can watch a “drive in” movie from your own small boat!
Whether you’re a born and raised Chicagoan, new to the city, or visiting from out of town, a boat tour on the Chicago River is a must, so we had to include it in our list of socially distant things to do. See the skyline from a new perspective while you catch some sunlight and learn some facts you can spout to sound more cultured at your al Fresca dining later. The Summer of George 90 minute boat tour, praised for having extremely knowledgable and personable guides, showcases all three branches of the Chicago River, northeast to Lake Michigan, south to Tom Ping park and the vertical bridge, and west past the Groupon building. Summer of George architectural boat tour boards from 900 South Wells St. by the Southbank development and asks that you bring a mask.
Have a Picnic
Downtown Chicago is chalk full of spacious, gorgeous public parks, which is rare for such a large city. Each neighborhood has its share of great picnic spots, but it’s hard to compete with Promontory Point. Promontory Point is a human made peninsula at Burnham Park that juts out into Lake Michigan, just south of downtown. Get some fresh air and take in the city and stunning lake views from a new perspective. If you’re looking for socially distant things to do near downtown Chicago, a picnic at Promontory Point is hard to beat!
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Streets throughout Chicago are being designated as “shared streets”, which means they are closed to auto traffic on weekends to maximize the space available for outdoor dining. In Lincoln Park, North Lincoln Avenue from West Fullerton Avenue to West Wrightwood Avenue has been designated as shared street space for outdoor dining on weekends. During the rest of the week, however, you can still head to these Lincoln Park favorites for outdoor dining.
Cafe Ba Ba Reeba – 2024 N. Halsted St.
Head to Cafe Ba Ba Reeba for tapas, pinxos, paella, and sangria. Their all seasons enclosed patio is open for up to 50% capacity. Reservations are required for patio dining due to the limited seating and availability. You can make your reservations on OpenTable or here. Not looking to dine out? Cafe Ba Ba Reeba also offering carryout including Spanish cocktail kits, like the popular Mezcal Mule.
Summer House Santa Monica – 1954 N. Halsted St.
Just up Halsted Street from Cafe Ba Ba Reeba is Summer House Santa Monica, a trendy spot serving California inspired fare with local and market driven ingredients. The front patio and Vitamin D room are now both open with 50% capacity and an all day menu.
The J Parker Rooftop at Hotel Lincoln – 1816 N. Clark St.
Enjoy stunning views of the lakefront, Lincoln Park, and the Chicago skyline from the J Parker rooftop. The J Parker, from Boka Restaurant Group, offers small plates, like spring rolls and elote hush puppies, as well as a few salads and burgers, but is best known for it’s unrivaled selection of signature cocktails.
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Looking for restaurants with outdoor seating near River West? Try one of these neighborhood favorites!
The Dawson– 730 W. Grand Ave
Originally built in 1888 and reimagined in 2013, The Dawson’s ambiance and decor perfectly blend rustic, historic charm and chic, modern aesthetic. With gorgeous topiary work and greenery, trendy but comfortable lounge furniture, an outdoor fireplace, hanging lights, reclaimed wood partitions, and the high fence that surrounds it, The Dawson’s large patio makes you feel transported to a world of its own. There’s a reason The Dawson is known as the “gathering place of River West”. Matcha grilled ahi tuna served with papaya salad, chopped salad topped with chicken fried lobster, house made spirits and expert mixologists, there’s not much The Dawson doesn’t have. See their creative menu here.
Frontier– 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave
James Beard Award winning chef, Brian Jupiter, crafted a menu “dictated by nature” at Frontier. Frontier is probably best known for its signature, “Whole Animal Experience”, which allows you to order a whole boar, goat, alligator, lamb, or salmon, among others. For those who aren’t quite as carnivorous, Frontier has a host of other dishes, like cauliflower or salmon hash, cauliflower steak, ahi tuna sandwich, kale salad, and more.
Twisted Spoke- 501 N. Ogden Ave
Twisted Spoke has both patio and rooftop seating and is a River West go to for burgers, brunch, and drinks. Their brunch menu, which they call, “Hangover Hospital”, features classic brunch favorites, like omelettes and French toast, and innovative twists, like breakfast gumbo, banana fritters, and pears poached in champagne. Twisted Spoke also has an extensive Bloody Mary menu as well as impressive beer, bourbon, and spirit lists.
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Illinois is now in phase 3 of reopening post COVID, meaning that infection rates are stable or declining, which allows residents to gather in groups of 10 or less and continue to wear a mask in public. Here’s an overview of what’s open and allowed in downtown Chicago as part of phase 3 of Illinois’ post COVID reopening plan.
Although restaurants have already been open for carryout, phase 3 allows restaurants to offer outdoor dining and drinking for groups of 6 or less with social distancing measures. Some restaurants that did not previously offer outdoor dining, like Smyth and The Loyalist of the West Loop, have made accommodations on the surrounding sidewalks and outdoor areas to offer outdoor seating.
As of June 17th, bars that do not serve food were allowed to open for outdoor seating as well.
If you’re looking for summer activities, many outdoor attractions in Chicago are reopening, if they haven’t already. Walking, biking, and hiking as well as boating with no more than 6 to 10 people (depending on boat size) are already allowed. Parks are open with 25% maximum capacity for indoor facilities. The Lakefront Trail is set to reopen on June 22nd with hours from 6am to 7pm, while other parks and beaches east of Lakeshore Drive as well as the 606 trail will remain closed. Pools, playgrounds, beaches, museums, theaters, and zoos are to remain closed for the time being as well.
For more information on what’s reopening near you, here’s a comprehensive list of what each phase means for each type of site and which phase your area is currently in by zip code.
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Not only can you enjoy some of your favorite River North restaurants during the stay at home order, many are even offering specials for curb side pick up and carry out. Here are some of our favorites!
Pacific Standard Time- 151 W. Erie St.
The best of California meets the best of the midwest at Pacific Standard Time. In addition to offering carry out for their traditional menu, Pacific Standard Time is offering a $40 option that feeds four people. It includes salad, cheese pizza, rigatoni with sausage, and chocolate chip cookies with gluten free options for pizza and pasta available upon request.
Siena Tavern- 51 W. Kinzie St.
Siena Tavern is another River North hot spot offering curb side pickup specials. If your order by calling their direct line at 312-595-1322 they will include a bottle of wine with your order. Orders over $150 also get a $25 gift card. Additionally, for just $40, you can order a pasta or pizza meal kit or a family style meal. Siena Tavern is a go-to if you’re looking for innovative takes on Italian fare, serving up dishes like squid ink linguine with lobster, truffle pizza, or the giant wagyu meatball with tomato sauce made for dipping (pictured).
Gene and Georgetti- 500 N. Franklin St.
As Chicago’s oldest steak house, Gene and Georgetti has been a neighborhood favorite since 1941. Order curb side carry out for menu staples like the Bibb lettuce salad with seared tuna, Italian sausage with peppers, baked clams, huge portions of pasta, and of course, steaks. For a limited time, receive a $25 gift card with every $100 you order for carry out.
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Even with the shelter in place order, you can still enjoy many of the West Loop’s greatest restaurants. Here are some of the West Loop restaurants offering curbside pick up.
Aba- 302 N. Green St.
Aba is a favorite when it comes to Mediterranean fare. With an assortment of spreads and hummus, meat, fish, and vegetarian options, there’s something for everyone. Aba is offering both carryout and delivery (including bottles of wine)
Au Cheval- 800 W. Randolph St.
Au Cheval isn’t going to let anything stand in the way of its customers getting their hands on it’s world famous burger. With a high quality patty, dijonnaise, thick cut bacon, fried egg, and even fois gras, it’s easy to see why this burger has developed quite the following. Thankfully, it’s available for curbside pick up.
Monteverde- 1020 W. Madison St.
If homemade pastas, gnocchi, and dishes with truffle galore are your cup of tea, try Monteverde. The menu includes traditional classics like spinach and ricotta ravioli or gnocchi with pesto and innovative creations like wok fried arrabiata with shrimp and tagliatelle.
Momotaro- 820 W. Lake St.
Be as involved or uninvolved as you’d like. Momotaro offers an a la carte menu with sushi, ramen, and other favorites if you’re looking for standard pick up, but you can also spice things up with one of their meal or cocktail kits.
Little Goat- 820 W. Randolph St.
If you’re looking to enjoy your Sunday brunch ritual from home, picking up carryout from Little Goat Diner is a good place to start! Try their beloved hash browns, unique waffles (like the Fat Elvis, which comes topped with peanut butter flavored butter), and in typical West Loop fashion, an assortment of breakfast meats.
The Loyalist- 175 N. Ada St.
The Loyalist serves American favorites with an upscale twist. Order dishes like the homemade biscuit with n’duja butter and honey, beet and avocado salad, or their signature dish, the cheeseburger, complete with cartelized onions and seasoning.
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When our whole lives seem to occur in the same small space, possibly with others trying to fit their whole lives in that same small space, too, it can be even more challenging to get great focus at work than it already is under normal circumstances. Here are our top 3 tips for staying productive while working from home.
1. Create a Ritual (and stick to it)
Start by picking a spot that’s designated for work, only. Research has shown that working in a space you associate with other activities, like sleeping, lounging, or eating, can stifle focus. This could mean moving your existing furniture around, picking an area you don’t normally use, or ordering a small table and chair to put in the corner of the room.
Next, pick a morning routine. What do you do under normal circumstances? Some people feel that commuting helps to book end their day and transition between work and home life. You can recreate this by taking a walk around the block before and after your work day. Similarly, getting dressed in work clothes can help to signal to your brain that it’s time to focus, even if that just means you’re wearing your “Zoom outfit” (A.K.A. Dress shirt on top, sweats on the bottom.) Maybe your morning routine includes the gym and Starbucks. Whatever it is, identify what helps you transition throughout your day and get creative on how to recreate those experiences while working from home.
2. Take Breaks, Avoid Distractions (Read: Stay Off Social!)
Designated breaks and distractions are different. Human ultradian rhythms generally allow for 90 minute “sprints” of focus before becoming distracted. Give yourself a designated stretch break, time to take a walk, grab a snack, or a Ted talk to listen to every 90 minutes to recharge. According to a study at the University of California Irvine, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get your focus back after a distraction.
The reason distractions are different is that they are not controlled or accounted for. If you don’t take a designated break, you’re becoming susceptible to increased distractions (which would likely be multiple times in the same window).
3. Create Boundaries
Boundaries both with work and with home life are important. Know when to clock out from work and give yourself designated technology free times. It’s also important to have boundaries with your home life. That could mean putting a “do not disturb” sign on the door for a portion of the time you’re working each day, saving household chores until after work is done, and if you share a small space with other people, setting expectations. That could mean waking up earlier than the rest of your household to get some quiet focus time, or setting spatial expectations. (For instance: “Can you please pick an hour window that I can have this designated area to myself each afternoon?”)
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With just under a month left in the Shelter in Place order and an unknown amount of time left of suggested stay at home time, it’s time to get creative with date and activity ideas. Here’s some inspiration of things to do during at home dates!
Virtual Camping Trip
Another at home date idea to make the most of social distancing from your apartment is to virtually tour a national park. From the Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree to Yosemite, Redwoods, and Yellowstone, these 3D virtual tours allow you to visit national parks from your couch. Plan a zero-cost “trip” with your partner and turn it into a date night. Put on your camping gear, make a blanket fort (or for extra brownie points, pitch a real tent in your living room), turn out the lights, roast some marshmallows on your stove, and watch your virtual tour of the stunning state park of your choosing.
Make Your Partner’s Favorite Date Dinner
Are you a couple whose go-to at home dinner is cereal and milk or microwaved ramen, but when you dine out you always order things topped with fois gras and shaved truffle? This is your time to shine! Pick your partner’s favorite dine-out meal (the more extravagant, the better) and (attempt to) make it for them! It’ll either end in an incredible meal and new found hobby, or in some laughs and the microwaved ramen you were originally going to make.
Start an ongoing competition with your partner. You can order two of the same puzzle and see who completes it first over the course of the week, have an ongoing push up contest, bust out the deck of cards and play gin rummy, or make food for the other person to eat with just chopsticks (hint: this one gets interesting if you make soup for your partner). You can also turn your competition into collaboration by teaching your partner something new. Maybe your partner is great at guitar, drawing, or handstands, or maybe they have a hidden talent you’ve never known about before. Each partner pick a skill or talent to teach the other.
Start a Partner Book Club
You’ve finally done it. After all these years, you and your partner finally have nothing left to talk about. Maybe these past three weeks of stay at home quarantine have left you in a repetitive cycle of conversation topics. If that sounds like you, try starting a miniature book club with your partner. Each person order a copy of the book to read separately. Schedule a time or two each week you’ll have book club and discuss the book.
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By Sophie Morrison
Old Town Spice House has graced Wells Street for over 60 years. From Michelin starred chefs to people who only know how to make pasta, the Spice House is a neighborhood favorite. The Spice House was founded in 1957 by Bill and Ruth Penzey and over the years has scaled into a global brand. Because they have such a broad global network of suppliers, Spice House has built a reputation for having some of the highest quality products and widest selection. The Spice House is also a go-to resource on recipes and all things spice. Although the business has grown, Spice House has still retained its quaint character.
After a fire last July caused significant damage to the original structure, which was constructed in the 1800s, Spice House used it as an opportunity to blend modern renovations and repairs with elements of the original building, and even preserve some of the original features. For instance, the reclaimed wood rafters that were previously covered have now been painted and cleaned so they could be left exposed. The building’s original exposed brick has also been refurbished. They also uncovered two of the windows at the back of the store to add natural light. Gensler architects led the way on the renovations.
The historic charm, loyal neighborhood customer base, wafting spice aromas, and overall engaging experience of visiting the Spice House has kept the brick and mortar store competitive in an age of increasingly popular e-commerce. The brick and mortar store is also central to their wholesale business, which supplies to local restaurants, bakeries, and breweries in Chicago.
Whether you’re looking for a specific rare form of truffle oil or just looking for a unique place to stop in and “spice up” your weekend stroll, be sure to check out Old Town Spice House (and grab a sample of the delectable crystalized ginger while you’re in there)!
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The South Loop is one of the most dog friendly neighborhoods in Chicago. Here are some top dog friendly parks.
Coliseum Dog Friendly Area- 1466 S Wabash Ave
At .65 acres with plenty of shaded benches, this fenced in dog park is the perfect place to let your pup run off the leash. Coliseum offers water stations open seasonally. Make sure to visit a participating vet to get a permit to bring your dog to Chicago Park District dog parks.
Grant “Bark” Dog Park- 1000 S Columbus Dr
Grant Bark Dog Park has water stations and bag dispensers, but no designated small dog area. Pets are permitted to run off the leash in this 18,000 square foot grass and gravel, tree lined park. Access the park from one of two paths on the 11th Street bridge or Columbus.
Fred Anderson Dog Park- 1629 S Wabash Ave
Fred Anderson Dog Park has two entrances– one for small dogs and another for large dogs. The park is also equipped with water stations and bag dispensers. Because it is reported to be well maintained and cleaned nightly, Fred Anderson is a favorite among many South Loop dog owners.
D’Angelo Park- 438 S Franklin St
D’Angelo Park is a “full amenity” dog park, well lit and equipped with water stations for both people and dogs, bag dispensers, a designated small dog area, and seating. The 5,000 square foot park is located between Congress Freeway and the Thermal Building.
Prairie District Dog Park- 2051 S Prairie Ave
The Prairie District Dog Park has been called a “hidden gem” and “small dog sanctuary” by neighborhood dog owners. The quiet, newer dog park is right next to a kids park and offers water stations and a designated small dog play area.
Click here for a list of dog friendly parks by neighborhood.
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Museum Campus is a 57 acre park in South Loop along Lake Michigan and encompasses some of Chicago’s most notable museums as well as Soldier Field and Northerly Island. If you’re in the South Loop and looking for things to do near you, here are the days these museums offer free admission to Illinois residents in 2020!
Did you know that in Chicago’s dark sky you could see 4500 stars with the naked eye? The Adler Planetarium is the first planetarium in the United States and has exhibits and sky shows that are “out of this world”! Even better, Adler Planetarium has plenty of events to keep your attention so you don’t “space” out. Check out monthly events like Sun Salutations Yoga or Adler After Dark with upcoming dates on Saturday, February 1st and Thursday, February 20th.
The Field Museum houses over 30 million historical, cultural, and scientific artifacts and collections designed to “inspire curiosity about life on Earth”. Right now, check out the exhibit, “Fantastic Bug Encounters”, which includes hands on activities and workshops for all ages.
The Museum of Science and Industry is located in South Loop’s Jackson Park, the historic site of the 1893 Columbian Exposition World’s Fair.
Learn about the differences between the genetic versus epigenetic factors that play into an animal’s physiology as you watch chickens hatch right before your eyes. “Invent the Future” in the Fast Forward exhibit, as you surround yourself in a world of tomorrow’s inventions. In addition to numerous exhibits, the museum also features interactive experiences like a submarine simulation and a virtual reality space walk.
The Shedd is a 5,000,000 gallon aquarium housing over 32,000 animals. Visit Annik, the new born Beluga whale, get some quality time in a meet and greet with a Magellanic or Rockhopper penguin, touch a stingray, or see the aquarium at night during one of the “Asleep With The Fishes” events.
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A record breaking 430 restaurants, 16 of which are in South Loop, will offer special prix fixe menus during Chicago’s annual Restaurant Week, from January 24th to February 6th. Here’s where to dine during Restaurant Week in the South Loop.
CheSa’s at the Bureau Bar & Restaurant
724 W. Maxwell St
CheSa’s at the Bureau, in the heart of University Village, stands out on the list because of it’s dietary restriction friendly menu and kitchen. Whether you’re looking for vegan, vegetarian, nut allergy or gluten free options, all are served up in the allergy friendly kitchen at CheSa’s. (Of course, be sure to check with your server if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies). The $24 brunch menu includes an omelette bar, chicken and waffle station, fruit and pastries, shrimp and grits bar, and other southern favorites like collard greens, buttermilk biscuits, and country sausage gravy. The $48 three course dinner menu includes modern twists on classic southern meat, fish, and pasta dishes.
Grant Park Bistro
800 S. Michigan
Take in the stunning views and lively energy of Grant Park at this contemporary American bistro. The $36 dinner menu includes three courses. Choose from wild mushroom soup, burnt endive salad, or ceviche for your first course, duck breast, seared scallops, roasted butternut squash, or celeriac steak for your entree, and either a teurgoule tarte or dark chocolate entremet for dessert. Grant Park Bistro also features a selection of desserts from local bakery, Vanille Patisserie.
Mercat a la Planxa
638 S. Michigan Ave
Enjoy modern, Catalan style tapas, meats, seafood, vegetarian fare, and charcuterie at Mercat a la Planxa for either the $24 3 course brunch menu or $48 4 course dinner menu. Mercat a la Planxa is located just across from Grant and Millennium parks and is perfect if you’re looking for a trendy, semi-casual spot in a lively location.
Check out the complete list of participating South Loop restaurants here.
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With the holiday season behind us, lights and decorations disappearing, and social calendars calming down, January can seem cold, dark, and uneventful. Fortunately for Chicagoans, there’s restaurant week, a bright light in the Chicago winter. Each year Chicago foodies (and really anybody who likes going to restaurants) look forward to restaurant week when over 400 Chicago restaurants will offer multi-course prix fixe menus and specials to diners over the course of 17 days. Here are some of the top places to eat in the Loop during restaurant week!
Atwood- 1 W Washington St
Atwood serves all day upscale American cuisine. Diners enjoy the imaginative menu, lively location off State Street, and modern decor juxtaposed with the 19th century historic Reliance building it’s located in. Atwood’s restaurant week menu includes appetizer, entree, and dessert courses for both lunch ($24) and dinner ($36).
Cherry Circle Room- 12 S Michigan Ave
This James Beard Award winning concept is located on the second floor of the Chicago Athletic Hotel and is a hidden gem with an old time Chicago ambiance. The three course meal offers a choice of soup or salad, a fish, burger, or chicken entree, and apple tart by pastry chef, Angela Diaz and is available both for lunch ($24) and dinner ($48).
Prime and Provisions- 222 N Lasalle St
For a classic steakhouse dinner, satisfying lunch, or a more extensive brunch menu than you could imagine, Prime and Provisions has it all. Choose between the very wide selection of brunch options ($24), a 2 course lunch menu ($24), or a 3 course dinner menu, complete with a starter, entree, side, and dessert ($48) while you enjoy views of the Chicago river and skyline off Wacker Drive.
Restaurant week begins January 24th and runs until February 9th. Click here for a list of all participating restaurants in the Loop.
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The stretch of Michigan Avenue that runs through Chicago’s Loop is affectionately known as the “Cultural Mile”, with its high density of museums, theatre, and cultural events. Check out these things to do on the Cultural Mile!
The Art Institute is one of the oldest art museums and second largest (after the Met) in the United States. It houses more than 300,000 permanent pieces in addition to 30 annual temporary exhibits. Some of it’s famous collection pieces include Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Seurat, The Old Guitarist by Picasso, and Grant Wood’s American Gothic. The current spotlight exposition is Andy Warhol’s From A to B and Back Again, through January 26th.
The Art Institute also hosts art driven events and will be hosting a celebration of the Lunar New Year on Saturday, February 8th, from 1 to 4:30pm, with gallery tours in both English and Mandarin, performances, music, art making, artist demonstrations, and interactive experiences. The celebration is included with museum admission. The celebration continues with a lantern procession at Millennium Park at 5pm.
Better yet– general admission is free to Illinois residents each Wednesday from 5 to 8pm, all the time for children under 14, and for children under 18 on weekdays from January 27th to March 4th and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The Auditorium Theatre is a national historic landmark building and was designed in 1889 by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan. The Auditorium has been home to the Joffrey Ballet for over 20 years and hosts a multitude of live performances and dance companies. Upcoming performances include Alvin Ailey dance company, the American Ballet Theatre, and National Geographic-Live. Click here for all upcoming performances and ticketing.
The Auditorium hosts daily tours. See the stunning 24 karat gold ceiling arches, ornate sculptural designs, floor and wall mosaics, and murals by Charles Holloway and Albert Fleury.
Second Fridays at the Fine Arts Building
The second Friday of each month, the Fine Arts Building opens its doors to the public, free of charge, to showcase the work of its resident artists. The historic building is located on Michigan Avenue and is home to a collective of visual artists, musicians, teachers, book stores, writers, craft instrument designers, yoga studios, dance and theatre performances, and artisan workshops.
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Seeing downtown Chicago is fun, but there’s nothing that can’t be made more fun by bringing your dog along! Here are some dog friendly places and activities to do with your pet near the Loop!
312 Chicago is located in the heart of the theatre district in the Loop and serves northern Italian fare, brunch, bakery items, and craft cocktails. The charming patio is dog friendly and even offers homemade dog treats on Saturdays and Sundays 11am to 2pm. Insider tip– bring your Christkindl Market mug to 312 Chicago for a complimentary refill of mulled wine with purchase through January 15th, 2020!
O’Brien’s Riverwalk Cafe
Enjoy waterside dining with your dog at O’Brien’s Riverwalk Cafe. O’Brien’s regularly hosts live music and is a festive place to celebrate favorite Chicago holidays (like dyeing the river green on St. Patrick’s Day) as well as lesser known Chicago holidays (like Cheeseburger day). If you’re looking to switch up the traditional patio scene, you might enjoy bringing your dog for a day on the Riverwalk!
Mercury’s Canine Cruise
What’s even better than the classic architectural boat tour? One that your dog can enjoy, too! Sightsee in Chicago’s Loop along Lake Michigan and the river with your furry friend as you get a detailed tour of Chicago’s architectural marvels. The 90 minute tour departs from 112 E Wacker Drive. There are dog water bowls and relief stations on board to keep the ride comfortable for your pet!
Small Dog Tea Party at the Drake Hotel
February 9th, 2020 stop by the Camellia Room at the Drake Hotel from 1 to 3pm for the Small Dog Tea Party, hosted by the Dog Moms of Chicago. The tea party will have a Valentine’s Day theme and all proceeds will go to local dog rescue organizations.
Looking for dog friendly apartments for rent near the Loop? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!
Whether you’re a Chicago resident looking for a downtown “stay-cation” or in from out of town looking to explore Chicago, there are so many ways to spend New Year’s Eve in the Loop!
360 Chicago is the 94th floor observation deck at the John Hancock Center. 360’s New Year’s package includes unlimited rides on TILT, a firework display, a live DJ, party favors, drinks, and stunning views of downtown Chicago from over 1000 feet above the Magnificent Mile.
ROOF on the Wit
From 9pm to 1am on New Year’s Eve, ROOF will be transformed into a French Riviera and Monte Carlo themed extravaganza, featuring gaming tables, acrobats, French cuisine from award winning chefs, an open bar, and music. This 27th story Loop rooftop bar is a great place to watch all of Chicago’s lively festivities, city lights, and fireworks.
The Hilton is the happening place to be on New Years in Chicago! This multiple ballroom soiree features seven party areas, twelve acts, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and champagne, celebrity DJs, live casino, live video mixing, a confetti “storm” at midnight, table service, discounted hotel rooms, and more! It will be hosted by Kiss FM and televised by NBC 5.
New Year’s Eve Blast
New Year’s Eve downtown in any city can get pretty pricey. Looking for free things to do for New Years in downtown Chicago? Look no further! Enjoy fireworks and celebrations along the Riverwalk from Wolf Point to Lakeshore Drive with New Year’s Eve Blast. You can also watch the midnight fireworks live on WGN.
Travelle at the Langham
If you’re a foodie, head to Travelle at the Langham hotel for your New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy a five course fine dining experience at Travelle, followed by an Andy Warhol’s “silver factory” themed celebration at the bar. The dinner menu includes: Butternut Squash Soup with crème fraiche, Ossetra Royale Caviar, and chanterelle conserva; Rohan Duck Confit with beets, citrus, frisée, radicchio, braised salsify, and black truffle; Monkfish with Manila clams, bouillabaisse, braised fennel, and saffron touile; Wagyu Short Rib with pommes mille feuille, cippolini agrodolce, horseradish, and celery root; and Citrus Pavlova with grapefruit granita, black currant ice cream, and yuzu curd.
Looking for luxury apartments for rent near the Loop? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!
If you’re looking to see holiday lights in downtown Chicago, the Loop is the place to be! Here are some of our favorite places in the Loop to get in the holiday spirit.
City of Chicago Christmas Tree
The 106th annual Christmas Tree in Millennium Park was celebrated with a lighting ceremony in late November. However, the 60 foot evergreen will be brightening up the city every nigh through January.
Menorah Lighting at Daley Plaza
The annual menorah lighting in Daley Plaza is a great way to celebrate Hannukah! Enjoy food, drinks, and entertainment by AD the DJ and Charlie the Rapper.
Museum of Science and Industry Holiday Lights & Christmas Around The World
The 45 foot tree is adorned with 30,000 lights and surrounded by over 50 smaller trees, each decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s different communities to reflect their cultures. The occasional indoor “snow” flurries add to the charming holiday ambiance.
CTA Holiday Train
Ever wonder why the downtown area is called “The Loop”? The neighborhood gets its name because the CTA L train tracks make a “loop” around the center of the city. During the holidays, hop aboard the CTA’s holiday train for meet and greets with santa and his reindeer and holiday cheer. The special holiday trains are covered in multicolored lights, red bows, garlands, and candy cane striped ribbon. The tradition started in 1992 and has grown in popularity and decadence over the years. Click here for a schedule of when to check out the CTA holiday train.
Macy’s on State Street
Macy’s on State Street is known for having eye catching, festive windows. Step inside and head to historic The Walnut Room, where you’ll see the Great Tree and enjoy a holiday themed cocktail. With the whimsical decorations in the Macy’s windows, Christmas music coming from speakers in the flower beds, and tree covered lights, hopping along State Street takes on a whole new atmosphere
Looking for luxury apartments for rent near the Loop? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!
The only thing that rivals summertime in the Loop is the holiday season in the Loop. Whether you’re looking to see holiday lights, the striking architecture, or a little of both, here are some holiday tours to soak up festive holiday cheer.
Chicago Architecture Center Holiday and City Lights
See holiday lights in the Loop with the Chicago Architecture Center. During the 90 minute tour, you’ll learn about the architects who shaped Chicago while seeing the dazzling city lights aboard a double decker bus. Tickets include admission to the Chicago Architecture Center within 7 days of your holiday tour. Tickets are available through the end of the year. The CAC will also be extending it’s holiday season hours on Fridays and Saturdays until 8pm.
Holiday Lights Segway Tour
A segway is a unique way to see Chicago’s downtown Loop. You get a more intimate and thorough look at the city than you would in a car but can cover more ground more quickly than on foot. See Cloudgate, also known as “The Bean”, head down The Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue, stop by Christkindl Market, and ride past the Art Institute. Holiday light segway tours run Wednesday through Sunday at 6pm until December 21st.
Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Holiday Tour
The holiday tour bus makes two stops– one at the Christkindl holiday market in Daley Plaza, and another at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Zoo Lights. Each rider will get a pair of 3D glasses, to view Zoo Lights at a whole new dimension, and a bag of Hot Cocoa Caramel Popcorn from famous Garrett’s Popcorn. Private tours are also available. Click here for tickets!
Looking for luxury apartments for rent near downtown Chicago’s Loop? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!
The Loop is home to Chicago’s vibrant theatre district. Between Broadway in Chicago, live musical performances, dance, and smaller theatre productions, there are plenty of exciting and thought provoking shows to see. Here are some of the most popular holiday performances in the Loop.
Joffrey Ballet’s Performance of “The Nutcracker”
The Joffrey Ballet’s annual performance of The Nutcracker is a longtime holiday tradition. The classic ballet, composed by Tchaikovsky, follows the story of a young girl and her mother preparing for a Christmas dinner in 1892 just before the World’s Fair. When everyone has gone to bed, the girl is transported to a dreamlike world where her Christmas gifts come to life.
The Nutcracker runs through December 29th at the Auditorium Theatre in the Loop. Click here for tickets.
“Merry, Merry, Chicago!” at Chicago Symphony Orchestra
In Merry, Merry, Chicago! the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus perform holiday favorites, carols, and an appearance by Santa Claus. The performance will be conducted by guest conductor, Emil de Cou, and runs December 14th-23rd.
See below for the program!
“A Christmas Carol” at the Goodman Theatre
A Christmas Carol has been a holiday favorite for over forty years. The story, originally written by Charles Dickens, follows Ebenezer Scrooge as he learns about compassion, kindness, and redemption. Tickets are available through December 29th.
Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” at the Cadillac Palace Theatre
Broadway in Chicago’s White Christmas is sure to leave you full of holiday cheer! Choose Chicago says White Christmas is full of, “dancing, laughter, and some of the greatest music ever written”. Don’t miss out! This Broadway musical only runs through mid December.
Looking for luxury apartments for rent near the Loop’s theatre district? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!
Whether you’re looking for a place to work from home, dive into a good book, or make a quick caffeine stop on your morning commute, these West Loop coffee shops are worth checking out!
Fairgrounds is located on Fulton Market and Ada and features unique takes on coffeeshop favorites. This West Loop coffee shop can be your one stop shop around the clock. Stop in for all day breakfast, super food elixirs, an expansive variety of coffee, and great happy hour specials each day of the week in the evenings. If you’re looking for coffee shops open late, Fairgrounds stays open until 8pm on weekdays. Are you a fan of last year’s big trend, nitro cold brew? Check out Fairgrounds’ nitro matcha.
Limitless Coffee’s bright interior is both energizing and tranquil– perfect for focusing. Whatever you’re looking for in a coffee shop, from something conducive to large meetings to a place where you can spread out in peace and quiet, Limitless has all the bases covered. Each high top table has its own small dry erase board. There are plenty of outlets along the booths and comfortable lounge chairs, as well as several large meeting tables, one of which has a large dry erase board.
The menu features classic coffeehouse favorites as well as “instagrammable” unique lattes, like the popular rose beet and charcoal glitter lattes pictured below. Limitless also offers smoothies, kombucha, tea, bulletproof coffee with MCT oil and collagen protein add ins, and a great keto friendly menu featuring multiple stellar avocado toasts and an avocado and egg umami biscuit that will leave you both full and wanting more.
Sawada Coffee is owned by world renowned latte art expert, Hiroshi Sawada, and is located at 112 N Green Street, near many of the new office developments that house tech companies and notable headquarters in the area. Patrons love the industrial aesthetic and quirky charm (namely the pinball machine, ping pong table, and punching bag).
Pro tip: Tired of waiting in line every Saturday morning at River North’s Donut Vault for your donuts? Grab your Donut Vault favorites at Sawada Coffee!
Looking for luxury apartments for rent near West Loop? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!
Looking for things to do in downtown Chicago this weekend? From Lincoln Park to the South Loop’s Museum Campus, here are some great ways to enjoy what downtown living has to offer!
Spice Up Your Morning Yoga
Looking for mix up your Saturday morning yoga practice? Get more grounded at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park. Every Saturday morning at 8:30am, join all varieties of butterflies in the Butterfly Haven for butterfly yoga. Tickets are $15 in advance.
Elevate your yoga practice (to about 1,000 feet) with a 60 minute vinyasa style class in the 94th floor Hancock Observatory in Gold Coast. Stop by every Saturday or Sunday at 9am to take in unobstructed views of the downtown Chicago skyline and lakefront. Bring your own mat to class. Tickets are $18 in advance and include a day pass to the observatory.
Fall Festival at Maggie Daley Park
Fall is in the air! Head to Maggie Daley Park of Michigan Avenue in the Loop for this free outdoor event, 12pm to 5pm on Saturday, October 19th. Enjoy games, crafts, and fare along the skating ribbon. Afterward, head to the Arts in the Dark parade on State Street.
Imagine the Moon Sky Show at Adler Planetarium
This show is the Adler’s newest addition and explores how the moon has been the inspiration for human creativity. The run time is 30 minutes and tickets can be purchased here.
Lit & Luz Festival of Language, Literature, and Art
This annual festival at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Gold Coast celebrates the cultural exchange between writers and visual artists from Mexico City and Chicago. Stop by Saturday, October 19th for readings, artist talks, performances, showcases, and a magazine finale to conclude the event.
Looking for luxury apartments for rent near downtown Chicago? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!
The Chicago Architecture hosts Open House Chicago, a free public festival which showcases 350 downtown Chicago architectural gems, every October. From well known skyscrapers, to repurposed mansions, contemporary high-rises, and historic landmarks, get a behind the scenes look at stunning Chicago architecture across 39 neighborhoods. This year, check out these stunning residential apartment buildings garnering attention from the architecture world for their exemplary design.
Essex on the Park
This Michigan Avenue high rise first broke ground in 2017 and was designed by Chicago based firm, Hartshorne Plunkard. Essex rises 680 feet and offers sweeping views of Grant Park and Lake Michigan. Among many other resort inspired amenities, the crowned jewel of Essex on the Park is the four story indoor winter garden, complete with an infinity pool overlooking the park.
This internationally acclaimed mixed use skyscraper was designed by Jeanne Gang and James Loewenberg, is 859 feet tall, and functions as apartment rentals, condos, 55,000 square feet of retail and commercial office space, and a luxury hotel concept, Radisson Blu Aqua. The amenity deck spans over 82,000 square feet and features indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, gazebos, lounges, a rooftop running track, and more. Residents and hotel guests enjoy direct access to the Pedway as well. Aqua has won numerous awards for its innovative design, including the 2009 Emoris “Skyscraper of the Year” award.
Before it was converted into 176 luxury apartment rentals last year, The Alfred was known as the Hartman Building, originally built in 1924. Each unit has been renovated with modern finishes but retains some of its historic character, such as the herringbone inlays in the flooring and Chicago style windows. It is one of several Loop office buildings this year that has been successfully converted into luxury rentals.
465 N Park
Designed by Pappageorge Haymes Partners in 2016, this Streeterville apartment high rise is as eye-catching on the inside as it is on the outside. 465 N Park’s cylindrical, metallic exterior creates stunning views whether you’re inside or outside the building. It reflects sunrises, sunsets, the lake, and the city and also maximizes stellar views for residents from the inside with its cylindrical shape, giving every unit the “corner unit” feel.
Open House Chicago will take pace October 19th-20th. Click here for a full roster of sites.
Looking for luxury apartments for rent near downtown Chicago? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!
By Sophie Morrison
It’s officially fall! Although summer may be technically over, there’s no shortage of festivals in downtown Chicago this weekend. Whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor live music or all the gourmet you’re your heart desires, these Chicago festivals won’t disappoint!
World Music Festival
This week enjoy live music by 50 artists from over 20 countries across multiple venues at the 21st annual World Music Festival. The eleven day event will run through Sunday, September 29thand is free to attend. With participating venues in multiple neighborhoods, including Navy Pier, Pritzker Pavillion, Old Town School of Folk Music, Concord Hall in Logan Square, Beverly Art Center, and more, the World Music Festival is a great way to see the city. Click here for the official program.
Chicago Gourmet, presented by Bon Appetit, features over 250 Chicago restaurants, chefs, and international breweries. From tastings to book signings, this event is a foodie’s dream come true. Rick Bayless and Stephanie Izard will be among featured talent in attendance. The main event will take place on Saturday, September 28thfrom 12pm to 6pm and Sunday from 12pm to 5pm at Millennium Park. However, there will be after parties, additional showcases, and other off-site gourmet events throughout the weekend. Click here for the full schedule, packages, tickets, and list of events.
Hyde Park Jazz Festival
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The 13th Annual HPJF Benefit Concert is happening on Thursday, June 20th and features the Etienne Charles Sextet! Members include: Etienne Charles (trumpet), Savannah Harris (drums), Godwin Louis (saxophone), Barry Stephenson (bass), Brett Williams (keyboard), and Alex Wintz (guitar) Check the link in our bio to scoop your tickets! ✨You won’t want to miss this one✨ #hydeparkjazzfest #jazzcommunity #etiennecharles #savannahharris #godwinlouis #barrystephenson #brettwilliamskeys #alexwintz #chicagojazz #jazz #benefitconcert #southsidejazz
Stop by the 13thannual Hyde Park Jazz Festival to enjoy live performances from over 36 artists. The 14 stages around the neighborhood will showcase local Chicago artists as well as national and international talent. The event will run on Saturday, September 28thand Sunday the 29thfrom 1pm to 10:30pm. Click herefor the full lineup. No tickets are required.
Looking for luxury apartments for rent near downtown Chicago? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!
There’s never a shortage of things to do in downtown Chicago. If you’re looking for events happening this weekend near you to add to your calendar, check these out!
Printer’s Row Art Festival
This second annual art festival will take place in South Loop on Dearborn Street (between Harrison and Polk) on 9/14-15, and will showcase of a variety of art. The selection will include paintings, street art, beauty products, crafts, jewelry, up cycled art, photography, and other mixed media pieces, as well as food vendors from local restaurants, like Magic Circle Crepes and Judy’s Pizza, and live music by Cirrus Falcon.
Bourbon and Barbecue Festival
Stop by this lively event for fare from local vendors like Lexington Betty Smokehouse, Big Joe’s Backyard BBQ, and I-94 Ribs. The event will feature live music from Chicago based tribute bands, including 16 Candles and the Trippin Billies. The Chicago Bourbon and Barbecue Festival will be held in Roscoe Village on Damen Ave 12pm to 5pm on 9/14-15.
2019 Blackhawks Training Camp Festival
The Blackhawks Training Camp Festival will open at 8am on Sunday, 9/15 and will include appearances by former Blackhawks, live music, and other entertainment. At 11am, attendees can head inside to watch a scrimmage on the ice. The Blackhawks Training Camp Festival will be in Lot C at the United Center (1901 W. Madison St) in the West Loop. There is no cost to attend the outdoor portion. Tickets for the indoor scrimmage are $5 and can be purchased here.
All three of these events happening this weekend will be held outdoors and is free to attend.
Looking to soak up the last few weeks of summer? Your furry friend probably is too. Here are some dog friendly patios where you can enjoy the last bit of summertime (and tasty snacks) together.
Saint Lou’s Assembly
The dog friendly menu on the patio at Saint Lou’s Assembly in West Loop features dog biscuits a la mode, pig ears, and dog friendly beer. Click here to check out the calendar of pet events and fundraisers all summer and fall! Past favorites include “Haute Dogs” dress up day, Dog Days of Summer fundraiser, and Dogtoberfest, a Halloween themed free entry party for dogs and their owners.
This Loop favorite is a great spot for brunch with your dog. 312 Chicago offers a menu for dogs on weekends including entrees like chicken and pasta or salmon and rice, with snacks like peanut butter biscuits and beefsicles. Step out to the patio on summer weekends 11am-2pm to enjoy brunch with your four-legged best friend!
Your pup won’t be the only one satisfied with the menu at 312 Chicago. The contemporary Italian cuisine and exquisite plating make this a classic favorite for human dining, too!
freestyle food + drink
This patio at the Dana Hotel offers a pet patio package. For $10, your dog will get a stuffed animal, signature water bowl, and gourmet treat. For guests staying at the Dana, the concierge will go above and beyond to schedule doggy massages, pet psychics, and provide a signature doggy bed.
Clark Street Ale House
Mix and mingle with other pets and their owners at the spacious, enclosed patio at Clark Street Ale House in River North. Stop into one of multiple monthly dog gatherings to grab some freshly popped pop corn while you watch your dog’s active social life.
Looking for dog friendly apartments for rent near downtown Chicago? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!
Looking to keep your workout fresh? Whether you’re in River North, West Loop, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, the Loop, or Gold Coast, these downtown Chicago boutique fitness studios will never let you get too comfortable or bored in your workout.
This megaformer class is different each time and is sure to keep you on your toes (or elbows and knees if you need a little rest from holding the seemingly endless planks in this class). Solidcore aims to target your slow twitch muscle fibers with slow, high resistance movements. Solidcore has downtown Chicago locations in the retail spaces of The Hudson in River North, 1611 West Division in Wicker Park, and 727 West Madison in West Loop. Click here to get your first two classes at a discounted rate (save $25).
Retreat from the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago city life in the tranquil oasis of Chill Chicago. Upon arrival, you are greeted by the chic, soft-loft, bright, and minimalist aesthetic, lots of craft candles, and given a cup of tea by the friendly desk staff. Unwind by the waterfall fountain or with a short massage before yoga class. The dimly lit yoga studio is a perfect place to decompress. Stay for a 30 minute guided meditation session following select yoga classes and be sure to check out the unique “chilling” swings after class. Chill Chicago is located on Kinzie Street near Merchandise Mart in River North.
For those of you who are a little “out-spun” from enjoying the last few years’ boom of new spin studios, RowHouse offers something new in a similar SoulCycle type atmosphere. RowHouse has locations in the retail spaces of 1225 Old Town on Wells in Old Town and The Parker Fulton Market in West Loop. Click here to try a free workout class!
For those of you who are still “riding” the wave of trendy spin studios, be sure to check out Cycle Bar. You’ll enjoy all the best parts of spin class (like the great leg and cardio workout, awesome playlists, and cool lighting) with the added “bar” bonus. The weighted bar is used to make sure you get in a solid upper body workout while spinning. Cycle Bar is located in the ground level retail space at Exhibit on Superior in River North and The Parker Fulton Market in West Loop. Get your first unlimited week for $29 here.
HIIT all the muscle groups at Sweat! These high intensity interval training sessions are a total body workout. The 8 exercise circuit makes the hour fly by and feel like you got a killer workout by the end. Sweat has locations in the SoNo area of Lincoln Park and in Gold Coast. Click here to get your first class at a discounted rate.
Looking to live near one of these awesome downtown Chicago boutique fitness studios? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!
Summer time is coming to a close, but Chicago’s event calendar isn’t showing signs of slowing down anytime soon. Looking for things to do near downtown Chicago this weekend? Check out some of these events!
Air & Water Show
Saturday and Sunday, August 17th-18 at 9am
The Chicago Air and Water Show showcases aerial maneuvers and rescue simulations from the U.S. Navy and Airforce as well as Chicago police department. The U.S. Leapfrogs (active duty SEALs and Special Forces crew members) will be doing a parachute freefall and the Chicago Fire Department Air and Water Rescue Unit will perform demonstrations as well.
This year will also feature a guest performance from the U.K.’s Royal Airforce Red Arrows. The headline attraction will be the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, featuring over 100 enlisted members of the Navy and Marines.
You can watch the Air and Water Show from one of many places this weekend, including for free at North Avenue Beach or aboard the Anita Dee II boat cruise for $60, which boards at Dusable Harbor.
Saturday Night Standup Comedy at Laugh Factory
Saturday, August 17that 7:15, 9:15, and 11:30pm
Laugh Factory is located in the new Belmont Theatre District in Lakeview. Seasoned comedians as well as brand new faces have graced the stage at Laugh Factory. Featured guests have included Das Chapelle, Bob Hope, Tim Allen, Jim Carrey, George Carlin, Adam Sandler, Wanda Sykes, Eddie Murphy, and many more. Stop by for one of three comedy sets for free with registration prior to the show, or $10 at the door.
Chicago Westside Music Festival
Saturday, August 17that 2pm
Check out the Westside Music Festival this weekend in Douglas Park! The headliner will be Faith Evans and the event will feature a collection of local artists. The Westside Music Festival is sponsored by the West Side Cultural Foundation and is free to attend.
Looking for apartments for rent near downtown Chicago? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!
Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group’s new Mediterranean concept, Aba, is located in Chicago’s Fulton Market. The West Loop restaurant and features a rooftop patio with fire pits and French-Mediterranean decor. According to their website, this Chef CJ Jacobson restaurant is an extension of Ema (mother in Hebrew) in River North. Aba, meaning father in Hebrew, incorporates a light style of cooking with a large emphasis on raw and cooked protein. Their beverage menu is centered around rare wines and Mediterranean spirits. Aba also offers Lettuce Entertain You’s largest event space of all its restaurants.
Address: 302 N Green St
Rick Bayless hits it out of the park with his restaurants and now has his first venture into bars on his list of successes. Bar Sotano is a speakeasy-like bar under River North’s Frontera Girl and features both cocktails and food.
Bar Sotano promises diners a stand-out experience. According to their website, “Bar Sótano’s lifeline is the markets. Where aromatic waves wash over you from the fruit stalls. Where meat vendors set out every part of the pig as a prize. Where herb stands promise health in a hundred or more flavors. Where chiles transform from a single-note spice to a symphonic full-body experience.”
The eclectic menu spotlights a variety of Mezcal cocktails, Mexican light bites, and an impressive raw bar and seafood selection.
Address: 443 N Clark St
The creators of Gold Coast sensation, Maple & Ash, recently opened Etta in Wicker Park, which offers wood-fired pizzas, pastas, vegetables, meats, and seafood, as well as a comprehensive brunch menu. The Wicker Park restaurant will feature a uniquely curated wine and cocktail list as well as a rooftop terrace.
Address: 1840 W North Ave
Food halls are one of the greatest new trends in downtown Chicago’s dining scene. They allow groups of all sizes to have quality dining experiences while allowing each diner to choose their preferred type of cuisine. (It turns your Vegan friend, your gluten-free friend, and your Paleo friend can go out together in harmony!). Put the timeless, “where should we go to eat” question to rest– With food halls, you never have to get all your friends to agree on the same spot again!
Aster Hall is Hogsalt Hospitality’s newest food hall concept on the Magnificent Mile near Gold Coast. Diners can choose from a multitude of specialty favorites including Au Cheval burgers, Green Street Meats barbecue, sushi, ramen, tacos, lobster rolls, vegan bowls, pasta, cocktails, and more!
Address: 900 N Michigan
Do you telecommute or like to work outside the office? We love Starbucks just as much as the next crew, but sometimes its great to switch up your environment. Check out some of our favorite “work from home” spots in the River North, West Loop, and West Town neighborhoods!
West Town Bakery- West Town (with locations in River North and Wrigleyville)
West Town Bakery serves up unique pastries, diner fare, and Dark Matter coffee, which is known for being extra strong and flavorful. Although there are many bakeries with awesome food selections, this one made our list because of the abundant seating space and wireless printer, from PrintWithMe. West Town Bakery also has great daily specials. Stop in from 7am-9am daily for a $5 coffee-and-pastry special.
3 Greens Market and Coffee- River North
3 Greens is so much more than the average coffee shop; Its a one stop-shop for many famous Chicago favorites including the Au Cheval burger, Dillman’s pastrami, and Green Street smoked meats, as well as hot and cold salad bars, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. Unlike the coffee shops that close in the early evening, this work from home spot is open until 8pm. 3 Greens Market has eclectic decor with a variety of seating from large sofas and recliner chairs, 2-person tables, and bar seating, to long 12-person tables and standard 4-person tables.
The quirky, charming vibe feels more akin to being at a ski lodge than in the middle of downtown Chicago.
Click here for more information on luxury apartments near River North!
Limitless Coffee- West Loop
It’s hard to find something that isn’t spectacular at Limitless Coffee. The all white and gold decor, large windows, and skylights make Limitless a bright space with plenty of natural light. The large conference table in the back has its own white board on the wall for larger meetings and additional 2-seater tables and booths for smaller meetings.
Limitless customers enjoy the famous, very instagrammable lattes, including: charcoal-glitter (it’s much better than it sounds), rose-beet, reishi mushroom, and matcha, as well as a large selection of avocado toasts.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters- West Loop
The functional space at this West Loop coffee shop includes abundant countertop seating and outlets at every chair. Stumptown Coffee Roasters is in the lobby of the Ace Hotel and offers standard beverages, like drip coffee and espresso drinks, as well as unique options like kombuchade.
Click here for more information on luxury apartments near West Loop!
By Sophie Morrison
Looking for things to do near Streeterville this weekend?
The 54th Chicago International Film Festival
The 54th Chicago International Film Festival begins October 11th and continues through October 21st at AMC River East in Streeterville. The festival will bring over 150 films from around the world. Multiple directors, producers, and actors are expected to be in attendance. Tickets for screenings start at $8 and range up to $150 for festival related events.
Start your weekend off right in Streeterville! Stop by Navy Pier on Saturday morning, October 13th, at 10am for yoga sponsored by VibeUP. Bring your own yoga mat and head to the Polk Bros Park Performance Lawns. All levels of yoga ability are welcome!
If you’re looking for things to do near Lincoln Park, check out Bloody Mary Fest!
Bloody Mary Fest
Lincoln Park’s Bloody Mary Fest will take place Sunday, October 14th at Theater on the Lake, the 2400 block of Lakeshore Drive. Innovative Bloody Marys from Chicago’s Bloody Mary Competition 6 will be featured. (You may even find Bloody Marys garnished with other Bloody Marys). Tickets are $30 and doors open at 12pm.
All ages things to do near downtown Chicago this weekend:
Boo At The Zoo
Ferrara Candy Company will be hosting its annual Halloween event at Brookfield Zoo from Saturday, October 13th through October 28th. This all ages event will feature hay rides, carnival games, a carousel, and other fall themed activities. Wear your costume and come visit your favorite animals!
Willis Tower Farmers Market
The Willis Tower Farmers Market will be held the last three Fridays in October, beginning October 12th at 7am. Stop by for fresh produce and flowers in this convenient Loop location, 233 S. Wacker Drive.
By Sophie Morrison
‘Summer time Chicago’ is one of the best times of the year to be downtown on the lakeshore. With endless possibilities of exciting adventures, be sure to check out some of the cities favorites!
Enjoy a beautiful summer day or evening paddling down the shores of Lake Michigan in a kayak! Kayak Chicago offers multiple locations at North Ave Beach, Montrose Beach and the Chicago River to set off on your great adventure. Enjoy multiple tours including sunset rides, firework shows, day time skyline tours and city light night paddles down the Chicago River. They also offer stand-up paddleboards as well! Grab your friends and hit the water this summer with these exciting tours.
Don’t forget about your furry friends, they want to enjoy the summer weather as well! Bring them by the Montrose Dog Beach for a great day splashing in the water and digging in the sand. As one of the only dog-friendly, off-leash beaches in the city, your dog will love interacting with all the others as well as making new friends! Open till around 9 pm during summer hours, stop by and check this place out, your dog will surely thank you.
For a full day of fun in the sun, check out Oak Street Beach located just minutes from Michigan Ave. In the heart of the city, Oak Street Beach has a ton to offer to those looking to catch some rays and take a break from the bustling downtown area. Sunbathing and swimming aren’t the only options– take your workout outside and exercise along the paved path lining the beach. Grab a bite to eat at the Oak Street Beachstro, located at the Southern end of the beach. Enjoy options from their breakfast buffet, full lunch and dinner menu or their full bar. Beachgoers can take in the views while diving into delicious cuisine.
For an exciting day on the water, many Chicagoans flock to the playpen for an amazing boating day and plenty of nautical things to do. Don’t worry – if you don’t have your own boat rentals are available through through many companies, including Chicago Boat Rentals. Experience the thrill of boating by renting sailboats or power boats. Head over to Jet Ski Chicago at North Ave beach to rent jet skis for some more fun in the sun if you don’t want the hassle of a boat!
Located within walking distance from Navy Pier is the well known Ohio Street Beach. With its sheltered curve of the shoreline, the calm waters are great for all swimmers. Enjoy the conveniences of being centrally located near the city while taking in the beauty of lake
Michigan and the sand between your toes. Bike rentals on-site offer additional things to do to make the most of your beach days! Also along the lakefront trail, many go for jogs or walks parallel to the water!
Don’t miss all the fun happening on the shores of the lake this summer and be sure to check out some of these amazing beaches and some of the great activities they have to offer to everyone!
Downtown Chicago has a reputation for being home to a wealth of events and activities. From music and food festivals to summer rooftops and outdoor activities, there is something for everyone!
If there’s one thing Chicagoans enjoy most about summer – it’s enjoying some cocktails at the city’s best rooftop bars. These sky-high bars offer unparalleled views combined with tasty bites and divine cocktails. Some of the favorites include Cindy’s, Raised, and London House!
Cindy’s is located in downtown Chicago’s Loop directly across from Millennium Park, offering unbeatable views and outdoor fire pits if it gets a little chilly. Raised is an indoor/outdoor garden lounge located on top of the Renaissance Hotel. Serving craft beers, exquisite cocktails, small plates and stunning views there’s no doubt why it’s a local favorite. Located in the Loop along the Chicago River is the ever-popular London House.
Another renowned Chicagoan summer activity is the Taste of Chicago hosted in Grant Park. It’s the nations premier outdoor food festival displaying the diversity of Chicago’s cuisine. Dishes range from classic local dishes to specialty cuisines from the array of eclectic neighborhood restaurants! The festival is complemented by outstanding music and exciting activities perfect for the whole family. Foodies, be sure to check out this extravagant, massive food festival!
If you’re a fan of BBQ and country music – stop by the Windy City Smokeout! With 20 of the world’s best pitmasters, there isn’t a dish here that won’t leave you lickin’ your fingers clean! Enjoy exquisite brisket, ribs, chicken, and more! Award-winning country music stars mixed with great up-and-coming artists create a spectacular show all day long! Some of the main headliners this year include Brett Young, Midland and Brett Eldredge. While eating the BBQ, refresh with some craft brews for the perfect downtown Chicago summer day.
Every year, the annual Chicago Air & Water Show has remained one of downtown Chicago’s most popular festivals. The show is a free event that takes place at North Avenue Beach that showcases daredevil pilots, parachute teams, and jets flying in formations. The water show displays incredible water-skiing and boat-jumping. Viewers can enjoy from the beach or head to Castaways to dine while enjoying this spectacular summer show! The U.S. Army Golden Knights participate each year while the U.S. Navy Blue Angles and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds alternate each year as the headliner. Be sure to check out this amazing show!
Chicago is home to some excellent dog friendly apartments and public spaces. As the weather warms up, we’re all itching to get outdoors and finally enjoy the warm weather with our best friends in tow! Check out these great options from across the downtown area!
In the heart of the Loop neighborhood, dogs and their owners can enjoy beautiful spring and summer days together at 312 Chicago! Located on North LaSalle, this outstanding restaurant offers ‘Waggin’ Weekends’. On every Saturday and Sunday you and your dog can enjoy delicious eats together! A special dog-friendly menu features dog meals and treats for them to enjoy as well. 312 Chicago also features an expansive outdoor patio.
Benchmark on North Wells in Old Town is a dog friendly restaurant with a special dog menu featuring chicken breast for $2, carrots and mini burgers for your pooches to devour! Bring your furry friend anytime and enjoy the wonderful weather with a brew or some grub in hand.
Big Star, a citywide favorite taco joint located in the trendy Wicker Park neighborhood, offers pup seating in its ever-popular 80-seat patio. While owners can relish in the nice weather enjoying tacos, margaritas or whatever you like your furry friend can enjoy the available water bowls. Stop by the Wicker Park location whenever you want to enjoy the day or night with your pup!
At Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap, get a fix on your chicken wing craving with your dog by your side. Located in the River North neighborhood, dogs and their owners can enjoy the covered outdoor patio with charming picnic tables at this dog friendly spot! Quench your dog’s thirst with the available water bowls.
Looking for downtown luxury apartments near these dog friendly restaurants? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!
Near South Loop Neighborhood
Positioned directly South of the heart of downtown Chicago is the near South Loop neighborhood. Widely known for its Museum Campus and Soldier Field, the South Loop has many cultural experiences to offer! With delicious dining, wonderful parks and gorgeous lakefront beaches, this neighborhood is a sure stand out.
Things To Do Near South Loop
The South Loop features amazing museums perfectly positioned between Lake Michigan and downtown. The Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, and Adler Planetarium are all located in the near South Loop.
With walkways connecting all of them, this pedestrian-friendly area is perfect for any outing. Adjacent to the campus is home of the NFL Chicago Bears, Solider Field. The McCormick Place, located near Soldier Field, is the largest convention center in North America. Home of the Chicago Auto Show every February and a host of trade shows and meetings, the McCormick place is an essential part of Chicago’s convention and conference scene.
Parks Near South Loop
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown life and take a walk through the many green areas the near South Loop has to offer. Grant Park has both walking paths and a dog park, perfect for you and your furry friend. Well within walking distance of the Loop and South Loop, this is a great park to hang out and relax in. Dearborn Park is smaller, yet highly reviewed park near the South Loop is a great alternative to busier areas. Another great area for dogs is Roosevelt Park, located on a dead end; the area attracts many dog lovers.
Dining Near South Loop
The near South Loop neighborhood is home to some of the best and most diverse dining in downtown Chicago. From sushi at Kai Sushi, Mediterranean at Sociale Chicago, or Italian at Sofi Restaurant you’ll be able to find any cuisine you’re craving. Some great bars to check out include Kasey’s Tavern for a sports-bar pub, First Draft and the intimate lounge Brando’s Speakeasy. There is something here for everyone to love!
Looking for luxury apartments for rent near the South Loop? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!
The near Loop neighborhood is the heart of the city; lined with mesmerizing skyscrapers and beautiful 19th century buildings. It is bustling with businesses, restaurants, shopping, parks and museums that any local and tourist alike will enjoy. Artwork and sculptures from Picasso, Míro and Chagall are placed along the streets and in plazas. The plazas are brought to life in the summer with concerts and farmers markets. This neighborhood is also Chicago’s central business district, making it an ideal place to rent for anyone looking for a nearly non-existent commute.
The Downtown Loop features some of the city’s best tours and sightseeing offered in Chicago. Head to the top of the Willis Tower onto the Skydeck to get incredible panoramic views of the entire city. Take an incredible picture in the glass boxes positioned over the busy streets below.
Be sure to check out The Art Institute of Chicago’s multiple galleries centered on ancient Greece, Japan, Africa and North and South Americas. Situated between the busy downtown and the shores of Lake Michigan are Millennium and Grant Parks. Check out the famous sculpture, Cloud Gate, known more informally as the “Bean”, as well as Buckingham Fountain, and the rock climbing wall in the Maggie Daley Park.
Be sure to check out some of Chicago’s biggest theaters. Enjoy Broadway shows like Hamilton or Wicked at the Oriental or Cadillac Palace Theaters or live concerts from the Chicago Theater.
In the summer, Millennium Park houses live concerts such as Lollapalooza, and smaller venue names as well. They play movies in the park for locals and tourists alike to enjoy. This neighborhood comes alive in the wintertime with the tree lighting parade, ice skating, and Christkindl Market, Daley Plaza’s German-inspired Holiday Market.
For more information on things to do near the Loop, visit the website of Chicago Loop Alliance, the authority on all things happening in the Loop!
Be sure to check out The Dearborn, an upscale, stylish atmosphere serving delicious American food with market-driven eats, oysters, and creative cocktails. Dive into the best-known Chicago deep-dish pizzas at Giordano’s or Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria to see what the hype is really all about. For a classic, Italian fare, check into Trattoria No. 10 for comfort food in a cozy below ground setting.
For stunning city and lake views, get to the top floor of Cindy’s; a stylish rooftop lounge at the Chicago Athletic Association overlooking the beautiful Millennium Park. Enjoy a cocktail while taking in some of the best views of the city.
Looking for luxury apartments for rent near the Loop? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!
Just as the weather’s cooling down, the restaurant scene is heating up! Check out these three noteworthy restaurants in Downtown Chicago opening this upcoming week.
Phil Stefani (Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants) and Adolfo Garcia (Pearl Tavern) are bringing a taste of 1940’s Cuba to River North. The new River North spot will host one of the country’s largest rum selections as well as live Cuban music with an intimate, speakeasy vibe. Furthermore, decor will feature gold leaf oval ceilings and island chic wallpaper with palm trees. Stylish accents include a brass bar, cement tiles imported from the Dominican Republic, and an eight foot mounted marlin.
Opening Saturday, October 8th at 601 N Wells Street.
Chef Derek Rylon already has a loyal fan base with Batter & Berries (Lincoln Park). Therefore, his new Kansas City style barbecue concept is being met with great excitement in the South Loop for its downtown Chicago opening. Moreover, Rylon’s Smokehouse will feature a rotating menu of whiskey-based sauces. The 2400 square foot sit-down restaurant will host a selection of pit grilled and smoked dishes.
Opening Wednesday, October 12 at 67 E Cermack Road.
Finally, the highly anticipated Beacon Tavern opens this week in the heart of the Loop, steps from Michigan Avenue. This new concept from Billy Lawless (The Dawson, River West) will feature an large meat selection. Along with the impressive oyster selection, Beacon will offer a wide array of seafood options. “Our guests can expect a menu loaded with fresh interpretations of tavern classics and seafood-forward dishes and libations, which play heavily on classic American cocktails with a twist,” Lawless said in a statement, courtesy of DNA Info. Furthermore, Beacon Tavern will house an extensive wine selection.
Opening Tuesday, October 11 at 405 N Wabash.
Looking for apartments near River North, the Loop, or near South Loop? Give us a call today!