‘Tis the season to give thanks for what we have, and be of service to those who are in need. Although April is National Volunteer Month, volunteers are always in demand. Here are some local charities who support our communities, and some that do good works all over the world.
If apple picking is a fall tradition for you, here are some options for a day trip or to include in your itinerary for your weekend about to Lake Geneva or Harbor Country. Predictions are that early October will make for good Fall Foliage road trips. [Read more…]
1-3 CHICAGO JAZZ FESTIVAL Millennium Park
1-3 LOBSTER FEST Navy Pier
8 MSI AFTER HOURS COMEDY LAB Museum of Science and Industry
8-9 WINDY CITY WINE FEST Buckingham Fountain
8-24 WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL Various Locations
9-10 LAKEVIEW EAST FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS Broadway St. from Belmont to Hawthorne
9-10 RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR Division from Damen to Paulina
13-17 MODERN ART EXPO Navy Pier
15-17 Riot Fest Douglas Park
16-17 RAVENSWOOD ART WALK
16-17 LAKEVIEW TACO FEST
17-18 CITY MADE FEST Clark & Argyle
19 – 24 CHICAGO GOURMET
23-24 MIDNIGHT CIRCUS IN THE PARKS McKinley Park, 2210 W Pershing Rd
23-24 RANDOLPH STREET MARKET FESTIVAL (Antiques & Indie Designers) Lake Shore Park
23-24 HYDE PARK JAZZ FESTIVAL Multiple Locations
29-10/1 OKTOBERFEST CHICAGO Southport Ave. & Lincoln Ave.
30-10/1 FULTON MARKET OCTOBERFEST
You scream, I scream, who doesn’t love ice cream?
If you’re like us, you probably find yourself indulging in Halo Top most often but we promise you don’t wanna miss out on Chicago’s ice cream scene. Keep reading to see some of our suggestions, and let us know your favorite spot in the comments.
Jeni’s uses The Fellowship Model by working directly with their suppliers in order to offer you ice creams that have a uniquely smooth texture & buttercream body.
Jeni’s distinct flavor is due to founder Jeni Britton Bauer’s strategy of using whole ingredients & dairy from grass-pastured cows, rather than synthetic flavorings & commodity ice cream mix.
Jeni’s has four Chicago locations and you can buy online too!
Recommendation: Brambleberry Crisp
Aside from using only the freshest ingredients, what makes Graeter’s unique is the French Pot Process that they use to make their ice cream.
Graeter’s has two shops on the North Shore, but you should be able to find this in most grocery stores throughout Chicagoland.
Pro tip: Greater’s also offers a low-glycemic ice cream for those who need less sugar.
Recommendation: Black Cherry Chocolate Chip
This neighborhood favorite serves up ice cream, concretes, shakes & malts. Aside from the delicious ice cream, Lickity Split also offers Metropolis Coffee and they’ve partnered with local businesses to offer all sorts of candy & pastries.
Recommendation: PB & Fudge
With two Chicago locations, Margie’s Candies is a go-to spot for many Chicagoans when the ice cream craving hits. Margie’s ice cream & toppings are made fresh, using all natural and kosher ingredients.
Margie’s also makes their own waffle cones if that’s something you prefer. Don’t miss out on Margie’s delicious homemade candy if you do decide to make the trip.
Recommendation: The Turtle Split
There’s a reason Time Out named this place one of the best ice cream shops in America in 2015.
You can watch the frozen custard get made fresh at this Roscoe Village shop. Scooter’s uses local ingredients from the family farmers of central Wisconsin, considered America’s Dairyland.
Recommendation: Boston Shake
Original Rainbow Cone
It wouldn’t be a true Chicago ice cream shop recommendation list if we didn’t include Original Rainbow Cone. The home of this shop is on the far south side of Chicago, but visitors can take in the rainbow goodness at their Navy Pier outpost.
The signature five-flavor rainbow cone features scoops of chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House, pistachio, and orange sherbet stacked to make a mountain of goodness.
Recommendation: Rainbow Cone
The annual Chicago Air & Water Show makes its triumphant return to North Avenue Beach on August 19th & 20th for another weekend of aerial magic and water-front stunts.
In preparation for the big event, be sure you have your viewing spot settled. The beach might seem like the most rational place to watch the show, but it can get overwhelmingly crowded on the weekend.
Keep reading for some of the city’s best places to watch the show.
From the Roof
If you’ve been in need of a reason to visit a Chicago rooftop bar, this is it. There are quite a few rooftop hangouts in Chicago that will be offering prime views of this year’s show.
Photo Credit: J. Parker (Boka Restaurant Group)
Atop Hotel Lincoln is the J. Parker, a chic rooftop hangout with dazzling views of the city. Craft cocktails and seasonal small plates await you here; don’t miss the specialty cocktail, The Aviation, being served in honor of the Air & Water Show.
Perched above the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Cindy’s rooftop in the Loop features an open-air terrace with panoramic views of Millennium Park, the Art Institute, Lake Michigan, and beyond.
It’s not quite a rooftop setting, but the views don’t get much better than the 95th floor of the John Hancock building. For $175/person, your exclusive all-day admission treats you to premium seating, a gourmet buffet, an extensive bar package and one of the best views in the city.
From the Beach
While the main hub of the Air & Water Show is North Avenue Beach, there are a few Chicago beaches that offer great views, and might have a little more room to spare.
Photo Credit: Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events
North Avenue Beach | Lincoln Park
If you’re looking to watch the show from home base, you’ll want to head to North Avenue Beach early on the 19th or 20th. Prime viewing spots are sure to be taken up early.
Oakwood Beach | South Shore
Looking to enjoy the show in a more relaxed, less-crowded setting? Oakwood Beach is the place for you.
Photo Credit: Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events
Montrose Beach | Lakeview
If you’re looking to take in the show with your furry friend, you should check out Montrose Beach. With a dog-friendly area, it’s the perfect setting for you and your pooch to enjoy the sights and sounds of this always-anticipated event.
Ohio Street Beach | Streeterville
Another popular spot to catch the show is Ohio Street Beach, where you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat-and-drink package at Caffé Olivia. For more info, head here.
From the Water
Take your beachfront view to the next level and hop on one of Chicago’s cruise lines!
All three of the Chicago cruise lines will be operating throughout the weekend for people to enjoy the Air & Water Show. To learn more about pricing and the schedules, check out the links above.
There are few places quite like Lake Geneva during the summer. From sun-filled days on the water to Saturday mornings spent perusing the lake shore path, you will have no problem finding relaxation here. Keep reading to see the best that the Lake Geneva area has to offer.
Pier 290 | Williams Bay
Looking for farm-to-table fare in a waterfront setting? You’ll want to visit Pier 290 in Williams Bay. They offer a number of upscale American options, all locally sourced.
Simple Café | Lake Geneva
Simple Café offers a variety of health-focused & farm-to-table breakfast & lunch options. Word on the street is that the Apple Crumble French Toast is a must try.
Mad Dan’s | Twin Lakes
If you’re seeking some hearty American fare, check out Mad Dan’s in Twin Lakes. Aside from regular daily specials, they also offer fish fry on Fridays as well as breakfast on Sundays.
Joni’s Diner | Lake Geneva
Looking for a homestyle American breakfast? Look no further than Joni’s Diner in Lake Geneva.
Popeye’s on Lake Geneva | Lake Geneva
This quirky Lake Geneva landmark is a great spot for those looking for a casual meal in a fun setting. Be sure to try the famous flame roasted chicken!
Kilwins | Lake Geneva
If you haven’t yet experienced the magic that is Kilwins’ Mackinac Island fudge, we highly suggest you do so. Aside from their legendary fudge, Kilwins also serves up a variety of chocolates & homemade ice cream.
Angelus | Walworth
Whether you’re a Lake Geneva local or you’re just visiting, a trip to Angelus for some design inspiration is never a bad call. If there’s anything you need in relation to your home or garden, you’re sure to find it here.
Apple Barn Orchard & Winery | Elkhorn
For those looking to try some award winning wine, Apple Barn Orchard & Winery in Elkhorn is a must-visit. The Apple Barn Winery specializes in fruit wines made from fruits & berries.
Everything Homespun | Delavan
Looking for a shopping adventure? Everything Homespun is one of the largest & most unusual primitive, country, & farmhouse shops in the Midwest. From antiques & handmade gifts to farmhouse & rustic items, Everything Homespun has it all.
Southeast Wisconsin has a number of Farmer’s Markets taking place at any point throughout the week. Check out the links below to learn more about each area’s market.
If you’re looking to elevate your trip to Lake Geneva, look no further than the Lake Geneva Balloon Company. This is the perfect outing for a couple looking for a romantic experience with breathtaking views.
The Shore Path around Geneva Lake features historic estates with well-kept lawns and gardens. This path lasts over 26 miles, so it could be a full day excursion if you’re up for it.
If you’re looking to explore Lake Geneva by water, you’ll want to check out the Lake Geneva Cruise Line. From a tour of one of the last remaining U.S. Mailboats to a full tour of Williams Bay, you’re sure to find a tour the whole family can agree on.
Consistently rated one of the best golf destinations in the country, Geneva National is the go-to for golfers in the area. With courses designed by golf legends like Arnold Palmer & Gary Player, you know you’re up for a challenge.
Rated as Lake Geneva’s top attraction on TripAdvisor, you’ll want to see what the hype is about at the Tristan Crist Magic Theater. Tristan’s show is open year-round with new illusions added every year.