Of course visitors to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle and the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe would expect to see trees changing their summer colors to seasonal autumn rose, gold and bronze.
However, both popular Chicago area destinations also annually welcome fall with ales, pumpkins and more.
Go this weekend to find hand-blown glass pumpkins. Art fair goers have been collecting these delicate pieces for the past few years but the Glass Pumpkin Patch that is going on now through Oct. 13, features about six thousand choices.
On the spookier side, do the Troll Hunt which is still going on. These giant-sized, artistically crafted, wooden creatures can be found through June 2020 but are a fitting addition to a season filled with other-world spirits. Sculpted by Danish artist Thomas Dambo, the trolls are supposed to protect the environment.
For kids, there’s a redone, restaurant up at tree-level in Lincoln Park Zoo. For adults, there’s an art show to view high on a building on Wacker Dr. And for adults who want to relive a kids-experience, there’s a museum field-trip night that will take them down a shaft.
Restaurant at Lincoln Park Zoo
When entering the main entrance at Lincoln Park walk straight ahead and look up, tree-level for the Bird’s Eye Bar & Grill perched above the gift shop. There is a ramp around the side for strollers and folks who can’t do stairs.
Formerly the Café at Wild Things, the space is geared to families with Foosball and air hockey tables, and games such as Jenga plus a menu that includes burgers and BBQ sandwiches. But there are also salads and flatbreads.
Recently opened, the restaurant is seasonal with hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p., Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. However, the space can be booked for private events. Lincoln Park Zoo is at 2200 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago. Admission is free. For more information visit lpzoo.org.
MSI adult field trip
Adults get to go down to the popular Coal Mine, board the U-505 Submarine and visit Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle and other stuff at the Museum of Science and Industry after hours (age 21+) on Sept. 20 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Some things they didn’t have when on a kids’ field trip is Improv Comedy iO Theater Chicago doing behind-the-scenes MSI stories and a chance to play such board games as Clue, Operation, and Guess Who (courtesy of Lakeview’s Bonus Round Café). Plus take part in a scavenger hunt.
Admission is $30 (MSI members: $25). It includes free parking in the underground garage, coat check, light snacks, a complimentary drink, and access to select exhibits. A cash bar will also be available. For more information visit msichicago.org/fieldtripnight
New art projected on theMART (former Merchandise Mart) kicks-off Sept. 21 with food trucks and a DJ on Wacker Drive at 6:30 p.m., the projection starting at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks at 8 p.m. The projections feature works by Charles atlas and Petra Cortright. For more information visit visit artonthemart.com.
Of course you know the Chicago Air and Water Show haappens across the city’s near-north lake front Aug. 16 (practice) then Aug. 17-18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
But there is also a yummy food fest throughout Chicago from Aug. 14 through Sept. 1 and an interesting theater festival up in Skokie Aug. 16 to 18.
If your attention span stops you from seeing plays that are three hours long, Skokie Theatre has the answer in its Fifth Annual Short Play Festival. Six,15-minute plays take the stage beginning at 7:30 p.m. each night. The low ticket price of $15 shouldn’t dent the culture budget.
They run the gamut from a woman who makes a strange request while planning her father’s funeral in “A Funeral Home in Brooklyn” to What happens in an antiquities gallery stays in an antiquities gallery in “Museum Piece.”
Skokie theatre is at 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie, IL. For tickets visit OvationTix.
If you count yourself a foodie and also like the idea of meeting different chefs, trying different cuisines and giving back to the community check out the Chicago Tribune Food Bowl. It takes place at restaurants throughout the city, Aug. 14-Sept.1, 2019.
Then, if you like to see how the Riverwalk has developed with restaurants, bars and pop-up places, go down and over to the area from 201 West to 305 West Riverwalk South where you see Art on theMART at the Confluence and the Jetty for the Food Bowl Night Market, Aug. 23-25. (Franklin/Orleans Streets to Wells Street).
But an alternate to going the day before or milling with the crowds during the show is to watch from somewhere between Ohio Street and Fullerton Avenue such as the places listed below where you can eat lunch or brunch during the show.
Celebrate summer while it’s here. This weekend, art booths fill downtown Glencoe and Renee Fleming is doing Stoppard’s “Penelope” at Ravinia. Next week the Oriental Institute in Hyde Park has Hieroglyphics for kids and the Edgewater neighborhood celebrates summer with food,beverages and music
What: Festival of Art
When: July 27-28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Where: Center point is 700 Vernon Ave. near Park Avenue west of Green Bay Road in north suburban Glencoe.
You know this is the biggie, the one that requires good walking shoes and lots of hollow-leg room to visit the dozens of restaurant booths lining Grant Park. Taste runs July 10-14. Hours are Wednesday – Friday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Admission is free but you have to buy tickets to use at the booths to get any food and beverages.
Along with the regular booths check out the food trucks, pop-up restaurants and chef demos. Also stop by the Petrillo Music Shell to hear who’s entertaining the day you’re there.
Some streets will be closed (or clogged with traffic) behind the Art Institute and around Jackson for Taste so take public transportation.
What you need to know is that this year, Windy City Smokeout has moved from River North to the United Center Parking Lot at 1901 w. Madison St., that the dates are July 12 – 13, 2019 and that gates open at 2 p.m. Friday and at noon on Saturday and Sunday.
The annual festival benefits and is at the 92-year-old St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church on Chicago’s Northside in the Edgewater neighborhood. Celebrating Helenic heritage, it features Greek food, music, dancing and band plus has artisans and kids’ activities.
The festival is July 12-14. Hours ate Friday 5-9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. at5649 N Sheridan Rd. For more information visit Events/GreekFest.
More than a block party but just as friendly is Roscoe Village’s Chamber of Commerce’s annual Burger Fest. The place to go for great burgers, music on two stages and artisan booths is 2000 W. Belmont at Damen Avenue, July 13-14 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. B TW you get to vote on Chicago’s Best Burger.
Here are two places-to-go ideas for early May plus one for July. Chicago’s Riverwalk opens soon followed by Andersonville’s Annual Wine Walk. Then, skipping June which we’ll look at later, there is new info on Taste of Chicago.
Yes it’s early to put Taste of Chicago on the calendar but the city just had a preview Taste and it was GOOD.
Who knew that a Korean restaurant would pair well with tacos. David Choy of Seoul Taco, did. He has figured out that two trends, Korean flavors and a taco-styled sandwich would be poplar. His version is so good it is now a chain with food trucks in St. Louis and a place near the Loop and in Hyde Park.
Seoul Taco was where the city held a Taste preview this week. Mayor Rahm Emanuel pointed out that though Taste had gone through a rough period a few years ago it was again drawing crowds and attracting many more of the city’s good restaurants including several ethnic places that Chicago’s foodie will want to try. “Taste is back,” he said.
“As the culinary capital of the world, the Taste of Chicago will give residents and visitors alike the opportunity to sample some of the greatest foods this city has to offer,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Since its inception, the Taste of Chicago has become a summertime staple and this year’s lineup of world-renowned restaurants, food trucks and pop-ups will be even more vibrant and diverse than ever before.”
To answer questions asked by folks who knew I went to the preview, yes it will be in Grant Park for five days, yes it will be the second week of July going from July 10 to 14 (2019), and yes, there will be a lot more new eateries: 11 five-day participants, 17 pop-ups serving one or two days and 9 food trucks. Adding the newbies to the roster equals 82 eateries at Taste.
Seoul Taco will be going from a pop-up the last two years to a five-day eatery this year. BTW, along with Seoul Taco, newbies Luellas Gospel Bird and Gordo’s Homemade Ice Cream Bars had yummy samples at the preview.
Other big news is that DoorDash, yeah that company Millennials have found to be a convenient way to do dinner at home, will be a new sponsor. In addition, Some chefs will be concentrating on Taste’s specialty of the day ranging from mac’n cheese to spicy/hot. But one day will bow to the healthy-eating trend.
So this year, put Taste of Chicago on the calendar. For more information visit Taste of Chicago.
Chicago Riverwalk Celebration
Chicago will celebrate its spring re-opening with walking tours led by the Chicago Architecture Center, Fishing at the Jetty led by the Chicago Park District, some Year of Chicago Theatre programs and Art on the Mart, May 13-19. Details will soon be up at ChicagoRiverwalk.us. Or just go down there to walk along the river, see art installations and dine at City Winery.
Andersonville Wine Walk
Sip your way through 28 Andersonville businesses on the neighborhoods’ Chamber of Commerce’s annual Wine Walk, May 19 from 3-6 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person in advance and $40 week Tickets available online
Tickets to Andersonville Wine Walk include admission, wine tastings, and a one of a kind commemorative wine glass. Check in for the Wine Walk will begin at 1:00 p.m. on May 19 at the Swedish American Museum’s new storefront located at 5217 N Clark.
The One of a Kind art show at The Mart is just in time for Mother’s Day. Held winter and spring, it features about 300 booths ranging from gourmet foods, glass art and paintings to hand crafted-furniture, jewelry and fiber art.
One Of a Kind Spring Show is April 26-28 at The (Merchandise) Mart, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza at the Chicago River and Orleans Street.
At Chicago’s annual Kids and Kites Festival, youngsters can bring kites or get a free kite kit to make one themselves as long as supplies last. The festival is May 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cricket Hill in Lincoln Park (Lakeshore Drive between Montrose and Wilson Avenues.).
The Windjammers Professional Kite Team will be there to demonstrate flying maneuvers, CircEsteem will do circus acts and Chicago Kite will be there for folks who want to buy a kite. In addition, there will be face painting, crafts and balloon artists.
Spring is not getting off to as slow a start as we think. (See Related below for earlier listings including Earth Day events). There is enough to see and do in and around Chicago for several outings. So here are more activities to add to the April Calendar.
An Iceland festival is coming to a few Chicago clubs, a restaurant, theater and collaborative space during Taste of Iceland April 11-14. Presented by Iceland Naturally, the festival is a check-it-out experience of spirits, food, film and music. The events are free except a dinner at Elske but may need reservations.
Elske, 1350 W. Randolph St. will do an Icelandic dinner each of the festival days. For reservations visit elskerestaurant . For more information go to Facebook/events.
Other Icelandic festival activities:
Spirits of Iceland: Cocktail Class, April 11, 6-8 p.m. at LH on 21, (Rooftop) London House Chicago, 85 E. Upper Wacker Dr., Floor 21. For more information visit Facebook LH Events/.
Iceland After Dark, April 12, 10-11:30 p.m. with craft cocktails, music by Solveig Matthildur and Kaelan Mikla at The Underground Chicago, 56 W. Illinois St. For reservations go to Evenbrite.
Reykjavik Calling, April 13, at Martyrs’, 3855 N. Lincoln Ave. beginning at 7 p.m. Concert at 8 p.m. Sets feature Hildur and Kaelan Mikla. Visit Facebook Event Page.
Shortfish Film Screening at the Logan Theatre 2646 N. Milwaukee Ave., followed by cocktails of Brennivín and Reyka Vodka and chat with Icelandic winning bartender Tóta. Doors open at 11 a.m., the screening begins at 11:30 a.m. For more information visit this Facebook event page.
The Icelandic Literature Scene, April 14, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at evolveHer, 358 W. Ontario,3W to visit with Ambassador Stella Soffía Jóhannesdóttir and Words Without Border Editorial Director Susan. For more information visit this Facebook event page.
In the burbs
Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Foodie Fair Pop-Up, April 14, 1-4 p.m. at the West Lake Forest Train Station, 911 Telegraph Rd. at Everett, Lake Forest. Some of the vendors are Bonique Corp, Cake My Day, Elawa Farm, Foodstuffs Lake Forest, Flowers by Katie Ford, Full Belly Foods and Hungry Monkey.
Villa Park Spring Arts & Crafts Festival, April 12-14 at The Odeum , 1033 North Villa Ave. Hours: Fri. 11am-9pm; Sat. 9am-6pm; Sun. 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults $10; Seniors $9; Children Under 10, free. For tickets and more information visit Spring Festival Tickets.