When and where to see the Air and Water Show

The US Air Force Thunderbirds are among the headliners of the 2018 Chicago Air and Water Show. (US Air Force Thunderbirds photo)
The US Air Force Thunderbirds are among the headliners of the 2018 Chicago Air and Water Show. (US Air Force Thunderbirds photo)

Look up! The best time to watch Chicago’s annual Air and Water Show is actually Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, when the North Beach crowds are low and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are high over the city’s waterfront.

If you live fairly close to the lake you will probably hear them overhead on Friday even if you are in the northern suburbs. Yes, the Thunderbirds are 2018’s headliners.

As for the weekend, even though the show goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday,  the headliners have tended to do their thing towards the end.

Finding a prime spot at North Beach, the festival’s loci, does mean coming early but how much sun is OK? The show can be seen from south of North Avenue at Oak Street and north to Fullerton Avenue.

Speaking of Fullerton, check with Theater on the Lake which is hosting a catered viewing party that includes an open bar. Theater on the Lake is at 2401 North Lake Shore Drive at Lake Michigan and Fullerton.

However, arguably the best spot if going to North Avenue beach is at The Shore Club if reservations aren’t already filled. The Shore club is at 1603 N Lakeshore Dr.

The Signature room, on the floor 95 in the Hancock Building is a choice spot but lunch reservations may be filled so check its lounge on the 96th floor or  consider going to the observation deck “360.” You will need tickets. For information visit 360.  The Hancock is at 875 N. Michigan Ave.

Down on the ground, The Patio at Café Brauer and the bridge behind it are good viewing points for some of the air action and the café is offering some deals on beer. Cafe Brauer is at 2021 N. Stockton Dr. in Lincoln Park.

For more information visit the Chicago Air and Water Show.

Jodie Jacobs

 

For summer fun do Taste of Chicago or Windy City Smokeout and Pitchfork or Lollapalooza

 

In Chicago, food and music just go together. Ergo, no surprise that two big food festivals also feature bands and two mega music festivals include food vendors. Even a free summer jazz series is steps away from a slew of food counters and restaurants.

 

Taste of Chicago shows off some of Chicago's best eats. (Photo courtesy of City of Chicago)
Taste of Chicago shows off some of Chicago’s best eats. (Photo courtesy of City of Chicago)

Taste of Chicago

Diet after Labor Day. Head over to Grant Park July 11-15, 2018, to taste more than 70 restaurant favorites that have made Chicago  a foodie town. The festival is free but tasting is by tickets. They are sold in strips of 14 for $10 (expect a $3 charge for Taste amenities). Also available are 1-6 tickets for smaller “Taste of Portions” from each food vendor. Look for pop-up restaurants, food trucks and five-day regular booths. New this year is the Taste Oasis tent, a cool AC place in the park’s Butler Field to hang out and taste. Taste Oasis is $50 for the day you choose.

Get a discount by visiting a participating restaurant before Taste begins.. See Taste of Chicago discount info. For hours, map and guides to all the Taste-Of activities visit City of Chicago/Taste update.

 

Windy City Smokeout

Great a great mix of country music and food at the Windy City Smokeout,  July 13-15, 2018. The event stretches between Grand Avenue and the Chicago River. What to expect: barbeque flavors and styles from all over including Nashville and Chicago plus such folks as Renee Blair and Brett Young. For tickets, hours and other info go to Windy City Smokeout.

Read More

Three Fourth festival celebration ideas

Capitol Fourth on PBS (Shot from cameras throughout the DC area compliments of Capitol Fourth)
Capitol Fourth on PBS (Shot from cameras throughout the DC area compliments of Capitol Fourth)

How do you like to celebrate Independence Day? If in the Chicago area and looking for really spectacular fireworks, you are likely to find none better than the Aon Summer Fireworks’ July Fourth show at Navy Pier. You can make it an all-day Pier experience or go out on a boat to watch.

If you like the idea of saluting US troops, love entertainment and enjoy a good fireworks show but don’t want to deal with crowds or transportation concerns, there is a really good, gather-round-the-TV option.

 

Navy Pier

The fireworks are spectacular and Navy Pier is a fun destination with good skyline views, its famous  Centennial Wheel, games, shops, restaurants and entertainment in the Miller Lite Beer Garden.

The Pier does fill to capacity on the Fourth so go early. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the Fourth. Gates actually close when the pier is filled. but guests with advance tickets for shows or restaurants will be allowed on. See the Capacity and Transportation categories at Navy Pier.

Take advantage of public transportation  or the Pier’s free trolley service.  Offsite parking is cheaper than the Pier’s garages. In addition check the holiday’s Code of Conduct on the same site. For instance, no pets are allowed except service dogs because of the crowds.

Mercury Cruises will be doing a 3D fireworks event for July Fourth. (Leading Lady photo by Mercury Cruises)
Mercury Cruises will be doing a 3D fireworks event for July Fourth. (Leading Lady photo by Mercury Cruises)

Mercury Cruises

Watch the fireworks with 3D glasses aboard a Mercury Cruises boat. Mercury is hosting a 2. 5 hour lakefront, skyline tour that includes Chicago’s spectacular fireworks show off Navy Pier. Guests will be given 3D glasses to enhance the fireworks experience.

The cost, $64 adults and $49 children under age 15,  includes the cruise, treats and glasses. The cruise leaves at 8 p.m. to tour the lakefront. Fireworks are at 9:30. For tickets and dock location and information visit Mercury Cruises.

Capitol Fourth

Watch the country’s annual Capitol Fourth celebration that is broadcast live from the West Lawn. On PBS from 8 to 9:30 p.m. ET, the celebration  honors the men and women in uniform and their families with a star-studded concert, then presents Washingtin D.C.’s fireworks.

Four-time Grammy Award-winning soprano Renee Fleming will be singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from “Carousel,” John Williams be on video on the 40th anniversary of “Superman” and there will be a tribute to the Beach Boys.

Also featured are music legend Jimmy Buffett with the “Escape to Margaritaville cast, three-time Grammy Award-winning  Pentatonix, pop siner/songwriter Andy Grammer, legendary actress/singer/dancer Chita Rivera, Motown stars The Temptations and multi-platinum country music star Luke Combs.

In addition,  the amazing lineup also includes, Gospel singer CeCe Winans, Grammy-winning violinist Joshua Bell, The Voice season finalist Kyla Jade and the National Symphony Orchestra led by pops conductor Jack Everly.

The celebrations is funded by grants fromn The Boeing Company, the National Park Service, the Department of the army and by the  Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.

Enjoy, celebrate and be safe.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

Go to an art fair to visit Chicago area destinations and towns

 

Bloomington, IN Artist Kwang Cha Brown who exhibits throughout the US will be at several Chicago area shows this summer. (Jodie Jacobs photo)
Bloomington, IN Artist Kwang Cha Brown who exhibits throughout the US will be at several Chicago area shows this summer. (Jodie Jacobs photos)

Sometimes it’s nice to know that an artist whose work you admired at one art fair will also be showing at others during the summer so you get another chance to pick up a piece you liked.

Such is true if attending the Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival. When paintings, sculptures and other art fill the garden’s Esplande area June 30-July 1, visitors can view works by some of the same fine artists who exhibited downtown Highland Park in The Art Center’s Festival of Fine Arts June 23-24, including that of Kwang Cha Brown and Roy and Vivian Rodriguez. The art festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

The Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, is a great summer destination.

Recommendations for the rest of July

The works of Roy and Vivian Rodriguez can be seen at several Chicago area art festivals.
The works of Roy and Vivian Rodriguez can be seen at several Chicago area art festivals.

 

July 6-8: Millennium Art Festival

If downtown Chicago this weekend, check out the art festival on Michigan Avenue at Lake Street. Hours: Firday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday6 10 a.m.-5 p.m.. For more information visit Amdur Productions.

July 14-15 Southport Art Festival

Visit the Southport neighb orhood to stroll the art booths on Southport Avenue from Waveland Avenue to Grace Street. Hours: Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.. For more information visit Star Events.

July 28-29: Geneva Fine Arts Fair and Glencoe Festival of Art

Travel west of chicago to Geneva, a charming, historic town of good restaurants and boutiques to see art downtown centered at Third Street. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days. For more information visit EmEvents.

Or go north to the lake shore suburb of Glencoe where the booths will also line the downtown centered at Vernon and Park Streets. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days. For more information visit Amdur Productions.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One minute plays are back in town

 

One Minute to express a view
One Minute to express a view

For am interesting night at the theater and a chance to catch how playwrights view the world, get tickets to the Chicago One-Minute Play Festival, 8 p.m. June 26 or the 27th.

 

Audiences see different takes on current topics by about 70 Chicago playwrights. Known as 1MPF, the event will be at the Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. 

 

“We’ve reached nine years of 1MPF in Chicago, at a cultural and political moment in our nation that is full of strife, uncertainty and a feeling that we are more divided than ever,” said 1MPF Producing Artistic Director Dominic D’Andrea.

 

Tickets are $20. For tickets visit The Den Theatre. For more 1MPF information visit OneMinutePlayFestival.

 

Take in an art fair in Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs

 

Art fairs, such as at the Chicago Botanic Garden, are a chance to enjoy the weather, see a different place and pick up an art piece for home. Photo by Jodie Jacobs
Art fairs, such as at the Chicago Botanic Garden, are a chance to enjoy the weather, see a different place and pick up an art piece for home. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

Art fairs are a great excuse for forays to Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs. Fortunately, there are plenty to match destination and date. These are some of the area’s better, larger art festivals.

Memorial Day Weekend, May 26 & 27

Two annual festivals come up this weekend in the western suburbs: the Barrington Art Festival and the St. Charles fine Art Show.

Go to downtown Barrington from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to see about 130 artists along  Cook & Station Streets. For more information visit Amdur Productions.

Or go downtown St. Charles Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to see about 100 artists on Riverside Avenue from Main Street (Hwy 64) to Illinois Avenue. For more information visit Downtown St. Charles.

JUNE

June 2-3

The famed 57th Street Art Fair returns to Hyde Park for its 71st fair Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. There will be more than 250exhibitors near William H. ray Elementary School at 5631 S. Kimbark St. For more information visit 57 Street Fair.

June 9-10

There are three good art fair choices the second weekend of June. The Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival and two Near North mega fairs: Wells Street Art Festival and Old town Art Fair. Both have admission charges.

See about 130 artists in Hinsdale’s Burlington Park, 30 E. chicago Ave., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. For More information visit Hinsdale chamber.

Or go downtown St. Charles Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to see about 100 artists

Visit more than 225 exhibitors at the Wells Street Art Festival between North Avenue and Division Street, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information see Wells Street Art.

To stroll by an additionalt 250 exhibitors stay in the area and go over to the Old Town Triangle in the 1800 block of Orleans Street from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information visit Old Town Fair. June 16-17

A couple of large art festivals return each year on the third weekend of June, one in Evanston and the other in Chicago’s Grant Park.

Evanston hosts Custer’s Last Stand an arts with an “s” festival in the Main Street Shopping area sponsored by the Evanston Festival Theatre. Visit with about 375 exhibitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.  For more information visit Custer Fair.

At the Gold Coast Art Fair, held the past few years in Grant Park’s Butler Field, see about 300 artists from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. For more information visit Amdur Productions.

June 23-24

For Head for the northern suburbs for art festivals in Highland Park and Evanston the fourth weekend of June.

The Art center (TAC) holds its annual Fetival of Fine Arts along sheridan Road east of the Metra traks downtown Highland Park 10 a.n. to 5 p.m. both days. This is a relatively small fair but it has high quality artists.For more information visit Amdur Productions.

The Evanston Chamber Artisan Summerfest features 225 exhibitors at Sherman Avenue and Church Street, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information visit Evanston Festivals.

June 29 – July 1

An art festival based on a garden theme takes place in Glencoe the last weekend of June.

About 100 artists show at the Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival in the Esplande area from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. both days. For more information visit Amdur Productions.

Enjoy!

Jodie

Around Town: Spring tiptoes into early May

 

No matter how dismal April has been (minus one great beach day) Spring is in the air. You know that because organizations and institutions such as the Shedd Aquarium are celebrating Earth Week with a clean-up day April 21, because One of A Kind Spring Show will be back at the Mart with lots of gift ideas for Mother’s Day, friends and family and because it’s time to fly a kite in Lincoln Park.

 

A Glad group clean up a beach. Photo courtesy of Shedd and GLAD
A Glad group clean up a beach. Photo courtesy of Shedd and GLAD

Shedd gets down and dirty for Earth Week  

Shedd, working with a GLAD team (Great Lakes Action Days) is looking for volunteers at some specifically designated beaches from 10:30 a.m.to noon on April 21. For beaches in the program and how to sign up visit GLAD or call (312) 692-3330. You’ll be GLAD you did.  For more Shedd info visit Shedd Aquarium Conservation.

 

Visitors look for gifts for themselves, friends and family at the One of a Kind Spring Show. A One of a Kind Show photo
Visitors look for gifts for themselves, friends and family at the One of a Kind Spring Show. A One of a Kind Show photo

Think art, gifts and craft demonstrations

The One of a Kind Spring Show ® returns to the Merchandise Mart April 27-29, 2018. This year’s show features more than 300 art and gift booths and the Lillstreet Art Center’s demonstrations and hands-on activigties. The Merchandise Mart is at 222 Merchandise  Mart Plaza on the northside of the Chicago River west of Wells Street. For more information visit One of a kind show.

 

Kites fly high over Lincoln Park during Kids and Kites Festival. Photo courtesy of City of Chicago
Kites fly high over Lincoln Park during Kids and Kites Festival. Photo courtesy of City of Chicago

Kites fly on Cricket Hill

Kites will be flying high on Lincoln Park’s Cricket Hill (Montrose and Wilson)May 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Lake Shore Drive between Montrose and Wilson). Fine if you have a favorite kite but if not Chicago Kite will be selling kites. Part of the fun though of going is too watch professional kite flying demonstrations with unusual kites. For more information visit Chicago Kids and Kites.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Food demos and floral workshops celebrate Spring

 

No matter the weather outside, you can walk through Macy's on State to see spring blooms.
No matter the weather outside, you can walk through Macy’s on State to see spring blooms.

Walk by or through Macy’s on State to see its “Once Upon A Springtime Flower Show.” It has transformed the aisles inside and the windows outside.

An annual event, Macy’s celebrates the season with workshops and food demonstrations.  Some events need an RSVP and others are on a first come basis.

To see what’s cooking and happening visit Magical Events and look for dates, times and more info for RSVPs.

Enjoy Spring inside Macy's on State. Jodie Jacobs photos
Enjoy Spring inside Macy’s on State. Jodie Jacobs photos

The magic ranges from a Colleen Moore Fairy Castle program, April 2, and a cooking demo with Mortar & Pestle Chef Stephen Ross, April 3, to a Flower Tea Party and a Family Fun Day, April 7.

To learn more about Macy’s  2018 Flower Show  in New York and San Francisco visit Flower Show.

A delightful welcome to the season, the event is going on now through April 8, 2018.

Macy’s on State is at 111 N State Street, Chicago.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

Bruno Mars and Travis Scott are among the 2018 Lollapalooza headliners

 

Lolla 17 aerial photo By Charles Reagan Hackleman
Lolla 17 aerial photo By Charles Reagan Hackleman

Lollapalooza just announced  a strong lineup for 2018 that includes Bruno Mars, The Weekend, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Travis Scott, The National, Odesza, Logic and Vampire Weekend.

The mega (more than 170 performances) four-day summer pop fetival is Aug. 2 to 5 in Chicago’s Grant Park.

Visit Lollapalooza lineup for the complete list.

Related: Lollapalooza tickes are available

 

Lollapalooza tickets are available

Lollapalooza 2017 Arial photo by Cambria Harkey
Lollapalooza 2017 Arial photo by Cambria Harkey

Listen up Lollapalooza fans.

Four-day tickets to the mega (more than 170 performances) music festival  at Grant Park, Chicago,  Aug. 2-5 are on sale at 10 a.m. today, March 20, 2018. It features more than 170 performances from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

General admission is $335 plus taxes and fees but tickets go quickly.

VIP is $2,200 and Platinum  is $4,200.

Hotel packages are for the WChicago, LondonHouse Chicago, Ritz-Carlton, Hyat Regency Chicago, JW Marriott Chicago and The James Chicago.