Around Chicago – Festivals to know

 

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.

Two representatives of Gordo's ice cream in back and a represenative of Luella's Gospel bird, front right ar listening as city officials including Mayor Rahm Emanuel talk about this year's Taste of Chicago at Seoul Taco. (J Jacobs photo)
Two representatives of Gordo’s ice cream in back and a represenative of Luella’s Gospel bird, front right ar listening as city officials including Mayor Rahm Emanuel talk about this year’s Taste of Chicago at Seoul Taco. (J Jacobs photo)

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 May 13, 2019 (Photo courtesy of Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs)

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.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Around Town – art gifts and kids kites

 

Indoor Art Show

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.

For tickets and other information visit One of a Kind.

 

Annual Chicago Kids and Kites Festival. (Photo courtesy City of Chicago)
Annual Chicago Kids and Kites Festival. (Photo courtesy City of Chicago)

 

Outdoor fun

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.

For more info visit Chicago.gov.

Jodie Jacobs

Around Town – More April happenings

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.

Award-winning Icelandic bartender Teitur Ridderman Schioth crafted cocktails at last year's Icelandic Festival in Chicago. )J Jacobs) photo
Award-winning Icelandic bartender Teitur Ridderman Schioth crafted cocktails at last year’s Icelandic Festival in Chicago. )J Jacobs) photo

In Chicago

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.

 

Hungry Monkey will be at the Foodie Fair with chocolate chip and regular banana bread. (Photo courtesy of Hungry Monkey)
Hungry Monkey will be at the Foodie Fair with chocolate chip and regular banana bread. (Photo courtesy of Hungry Monkey)

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.

Related:

Around Town Pop-up Art Earth Day and Good Web Sites

Around Town in April: Kids and adult events

 

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

Some Lollapalooza tickets on sale

Lolla 2017 aerial photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman courtesy of Lollapaluza
Lolla 2017 aerial photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman courtesy of Lollapaluza

Four-day tickets are now available to purchase even though performers have not been announced for the 2019 Lollapalooza’s mega-concert event in Grant Park, Aug. 1-4.

Ranging from $340 for basi, general admission then going up from there to more than $4,200, the price depends on the perks and VIP package wanted.

Perks might include  complimentary or discounted drinks and food, concierge services, chef-curated dining, golf=cart transportation and lounge and privacy locations.

To get tickets and find out more go to tickets, perks, information and hotel packages.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Ravinia Festival schedule is out

 

Ravinia Festival. (J Jacobs photo)
Ravinia Festival. (J Jacobs photo)

Summer events are not as far away as we may think when it comes to planning which Ravinia Festival concerts we want to attend. The Ravinia organization just released its summer schedule and it is jammed with pop, classic and rock concerts.

Lionel Richie June 11-12, Buddy Guy June 14, Tony Bennett June 21, Jennifer Hudson July 14 to Gershwin Concerto in F July 13, Renée Fleming July 28, Ringo Starr and the Beach Boys Aug. 3 and Sting Aug. 23, there’s something for everybody. Of course there’s the Tchaikovsky spectacular, 1812 Overture Aug 18

So the first question is where to see the schedule.

Go to Season at a Glance  to print an easy to copy Ravinia program to put on the bulletin board (or into your mobile devise). For an easy to read schedule visit Ravinia.

Next question is when tickets are available.

According to the Ravinia website, the first opportunity goes to patron and higher donors, March 19–28. Next, affiliate donors have access to tickets April 22–25. Then, tickets are available to Friend donors April 26–28 and Bravo and Encore donors can order Lawn tickets April 29–30.

Tickets will be available to the public beginning  May 7 for the May/June/July concerts. Then the tickets open for August/September concerts on May 8. Visit Ticket Info.

No, you don’t have to plan what to bring now but you might want to decide if you and family or friends are going to try one of Ravinia’s dining-in or take-out options.

Just reading over all the choices at the Ravinia Market, the new Lawn Bar, the Park View and the Tree Top makes me want to try all of them just to see which I prefer and experience something different than “I will bring dessert.”

Finally, print out the schedule or put dates on the calendar so you don’t miss the concert you really want to see.

Ravina Festival is at 418 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, IL

Jodie Jacobs

 

St Pats 2019 planner

Chicago turns its river green to honor St. Patrick on the day of the city's parade. (City of Chicago photo)
Chicago turns its river green to honor St. Patrick on the day of the city’s parade. (City of Chicago photo)

Time to search for something green, sharpen up you Irish speak (Erin go Bragh), figure out your timing to see the Chicago River turn green, and hoist one for the ol’ sod when everyone is a little bit Irish on March 16-17, 2019.

This Weekend:

If itching to watch high-stepping dancers and bag-pipe-blowing marchers consider heading over to Elmhurst this Saturday, March 9, for their 23rd annual St. Pats Parade. The parade starts at Wilson Street and Spring Road at noon. Tinley Park holds its annual parade March 10 at 1 p.m. at 179th street and Oak Park Avenue.

 

Next Weekend:

Downtown

The bridge and river overlooks at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive fill fast before the boat carrying the environmentally safe mixture is poured into the Chicago River at 9 a.m, Saturday, March 16, to turn it green. So, use public transportation, get there early and try to find a spot east of Michigan Avenue on either Upper or Lower Wacker Drive.

A few hours later, Chicago’s 64th Plumbers Local 130 sponsored St. Pat’s Parade steps off a noon at the other end of downtown on Columbus Drive at Balbo and continues north to Monroe Street on the east side of the Art Institute of Chicago. If you can’t get downtown, watch it live on ABC Channel 7.

Mid-North

To hear good Irish vocals, see more Irish dancing and get a taste of Ireland visit the Irish-American Heritage Center after the parade at 4626 N Knox Ave. Chicago. You will likely be greeted with cafe Céad Mile Failte, a hundred thousand welcomes.  The event goes to midnight on Saturday and continues on Sunday from noon to 11 p.m. For performer listing and times and tickets call (773) 282-7035 and visit Irish-American Org.

South

The South Side Irish Parade is on Sunday, March 17. It starts at noon on Western Avenue at 103rd Street and continues south to 115th Street. Remember no drinking while attending this neighborhood parade.

Northwest

The other popular neighborhood parade is the Northwest Side Irish which begins at noon from Onahan School at 6634 W. Ryan St. Party afterwards at Immaculate Conception’s rec center at 7271 W.Talcott until 5. More info at NorthwestsideIrish.

Sláinte!

Jodie Jacobs

 

‘An Artist and The Ember’ has a warm glow

Maddie Sachs and Zach Tabor in ‘An Artist and the Ember’ (Photos by Nick Murhling)
Maddie Sachs and Zach Tabor in ‘An Artist and the Ember’ (Photos by Nick Murhling)

In “An Artist and The Ember,” long suffering musical composer Eve (Maddie Sachs) struggles to create songs and a libretto for a musical she is writing based on a premise provided by her collaborators Sam (Taylor Snooks ) and Daniel (Quinn Rattan).

At the same time, she is constantly tormented and cajoled by her alter ego and fiery inner passion personified in the character, Ember (Zach Tabor).

The device of the character, Ember, is the genius of this play. Who among us has not been (at least from time-to-time) bedeviled by our inner voice? Ember has a Faustian quality though he makes no promises. It is a more cerebral or modern psychological spin on an old theme.

Read More

Five things to do Presidents’ Day weekend

 

The Weyard Sisters (Caitlan Taylor, Caroline Chu, and Emma Ladji) in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of Short Shakespeare! Macbeth. (Liz Loren photo)
The Weyard Sisters (Caitlan Taylor, Caroline Chu, and Emma Ladji) in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of Short Shakespeare! Macbeth. (Liz Loren photo)

Saturday

Shortened Shakespeare

See the 75 minute “Short Shakespeare! Macbeth” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Saturday at 11:00 a.m., Feb. 16. It will continue Saturdays through March 16, 2019. Chicago Shakespeare Theater is on Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. For tickets and more information visit ChicagoShakes/Macbeth.

 

Seussical: The Musical

Dr. Seuss’ creative genius is on stage at the  Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences Feb. 16 at 10 a.m. The show continues through March 31, 2019. The theatre is at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. Created by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (the Tony Award-winning team behind the acclaimed musicals Ragtime and Once on this Island), the production combines more than 14 Dr. Seuss stories. For tickets or more information call (847) 634-0200 or visit Marriott Theatre

 

Orchid in Chicago Botanic Garden Greenhouse. (photo by J Jacobs)
Orchid in Chicago Botanic Garden Greenhouse. (photo by J Jacobs)

Sunday

Orchids at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Warm up with the Chicago Botanic Garden’s annual Orchid Show, called “The Tropics” this year. The show is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For tickets and other information visit Chicago Botanic.

 

Monday 

Story Time

Chicago Botanic Garden holds Story Time for ages 2 to 5 on Mondays through March 25, 2019, including Presidents’ Day March18. Story Time goes from 10 to 11 a.m. in Lenhardt Library. Afterwards, get a bingo card to go find objecgts in the garden and greenhouses. No drop offs.A caregiver must be present.  The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, just east of the Edens Expressway. For more information visit Chicago Botanic or Story Time.

 

 

Hall leading to the Grainger Theater has fascinating space images. (J Jacobs photo taken of one of the hall's images)
Hall leading to the Grainger Theater has fascinating space images. (J Jacobs photo taken of one of the hall’s images)

Chicago Museum Campus

Go to the Chicago Museum Campus. All three of the museums on the Campus, the Adler Planetarium, Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium, have free general admission for Illinois residents on Feb. 18, 2019. (Free days’ general admission does not include special exhibits and shows.)

 

Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium is at the far east end of the Museum Campus at 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr. General admission is free to Illinois residents Feb. 18-21. For more information on what to see and admissions visit Adler Planetarium .

 

The Field Museum

At the Field, all of February is free to Illinois residents. There is a lot to see that does not require a special exhibit ticket. The Field is at 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. at the west end of the campus. For more information visit Field Free.

 

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd is in the middle of the Museum Campus at 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr Free admission for Illinois residents is Feb. 18-22. For more information visit Shedd Free Days.

 

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

 

Three Valentine’s Day ideas

 

Go as a couple or go as friends but just do something appealing. Either way works if you want to share good food or a really nice experience. Our three suggestions combine food with a fun evening.

 

Celebrate Valentine's Day at Lincolnshire Marriott resort's Three Embers and Marriott Theatre's Million Dollar Quartet. Photo courtesy of Lincolnshire Marriott Resort)
Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Lincolnshire Marriott resort’s Three Embers and Marriott Theatre’s Million Dollar Quartet. Photo courtesy of Lincolnshire Marriott Resort)

 

Dinner and a Show

Three Embers, Lincolnshire Marriott’s upscale restaurant  has a Valentine’s Day Dinner Special but you can also order off the regular menu. However, go early to include “Million Dollar Quartet,” the show currently getting rave reviews in the resort’s theatre.  It’s more than just a show. It’s a terrific concert.

For tickets visit Box Office. For more iknformation call 847-634-0100 or visit Lincolnshire Marriott Resort. Lincolnshire Marriott Resort is at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire.

 

A dessert at the Chocolate Sanctuary. (Photo courtesy of Chocolate Sanctuary)
A dessert at the Chocolate Sanctuary. (Photo courtesy of Chocolate Sanctuary)

Dinner, Chocolate and Band

Expect chocolate to be part of the meal at The Chocolate Sanctuary in Gurnee. You can have chocolate bread, chocolate butter and a chocolate dessert if you’d like, but also get a box of zodiac chocolates from the boutique up front.  The restaurant has a special menu for Valentine’s Day but you can also order from the menu. If you want you can go early for dinner and stay for the entertainment, “Eaglemania.” Ask about a dinner and show package price or when it’s best to go just for dinner.

Call (224) 944.0808 or visit The Chocolate Sanctuary. Also visit Chocolate Sanctuary Boutique. The Chocolate Sanctuary is at 5101 Washington St., Gurnee.

 

Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier. (Photo courtesy of Navy Pier)
Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier. (Photo courtesy of Navy Pier)

Navy Pier Centennial Wheel and Dinner

Navy Pier has free Centennial wheel rides Feb. 14 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. but pre-registration is needed. Don’t worry about the cold, you can cuddle but the gondolas are also heated. There will also be a drawing that combines dinner, dessert and gift basket. Free rides are limited  so register  as soon as possible. After the free tickets are gone there will be paid ticket rides on a first come, first serve basis.For information on reserved VIP gondolas call (312) 595-5021. (Note: The wheel temporarily closes when weather gets really bad)

To enter the dinner for two and other Valentine Day gift drawing, complete this form.  After the Pier has preselected three finalists, he grand prize winning couple will be chosen by public votes via poll on Navy Pier’s Facebook page.  Runner-ups will also receive a small package to be redeemed at a later date.

Several other Navy Pier retailers and restaurants will offer discounts. For more information visit   Navy Pier Valentines Day .

For more wheel information call (312) 595-PIER (7437) and visit Navy Pier.

312-595-PIER (7437) or following Navy Pier on Twitter (@NavyPier). For more information, visit Navy Pier.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Chinese New Year food and shopping events

The Peninsula Chicago is ready for Chinese New Year. (Photo courtesy of Peninsula Chicago)
The Peninsula Chicago is ready for Chinese New Year. (Photo courtesy of Peninsula Chicago)

If you have a Chinese restaurant near you it is likely decorated for the Chinese New Year and offering a special menu. During  the Chinese New Year celebrations Feb. 4 through Feb. 17, 2019.

Go. Enjoy. And look at the paper placemat that might be at your place setting because it likely has the Chinese Zodiac on it or information that this is the Year of the Pig.

Then, if looking for something special to eat or do here are some suggestions.

 

Dining

 

The Furama Restaurant in the Uptown Argyle neighborhood is holding the Lunar New Year Celebration for the South-East Asia Center at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 9, 2019. The special event features entertainment and a 10-course traditional, Chinese-style banquet of seafood chowder, taro duck, roast chicken, walnut shrimp, mushrooms, vegetables, noodles with beef and broccoli, plus dessert. Cost $25.

Entertainment will be cross-cultural music and other performances representing Asian and non-Asian cultures because the South-East Asia Center strives to “Build Bridges” of understanding between all cultures. For reservations visit SE Asia Center New YearFurama Restaurant is at 4936 N. Broadway at Argyle.

 

Hing Kee Restaurant holds its annual New Year Dumpling Making Dinner at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 9 and Feb. 16, 2019. The event includes storytelling, Lion Dance, dumpling making and a 10-course, traditional Chinese meal. Cost is $40 adults, $35 children under age 12. Call (312) 842-1988 or visit Chinese New Year Dumpling Making Dinner Eventbrite.

Hing Kee Restaurant is at 2140 S. Archer Ave., 2nd floor.  For more Chinese cultural information visit ChicagoCCI .

 

Celebrate the Year of the Pig with a Chinese New Year themed afternoon tea in The lobby at the Peninsula Chicago Feb . 4-10. There will be a Lion Dance show. For tea reservations  call (312) 573-6695 or visit Peninsula Chinese New Year. The Peninsula Chicago is at 108 E. Superior St. at Michigan Avenue.

 

Shopping

Two shopping centers, Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont, and The Shops at Northbridge, Chicago, will be handing out Chinese New Year-style red envelopes with special store offers  Feb. 2-17, 2019.

At Fashion Outlets go to Concierge Services on Level 1 near Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH for an envelope containing : Year of the Pig Savings Pass that provides up to $800 in savings and a complimentary bag. For more information visit Fashion Outlets of Chicago . Fashion Outlets is at 5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont.

At the Shops at North Bridge go to Concierge Servies on Level One near Nordstrom for the red envelope. In addition,  North Bridge visitors can see the Huaxing Arts Troupe and visit activity booths from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 3. The Shops at North Bridge is at 520 N. Michigan Ave. For more information visit Shops at North Bridge.

Jodie Jacobs

.