Five places to ice skate New Year’s Day/Week

 

Skating in the Park at Parkway Bank Park Rosemont. (Photo courtesy of Parkway Bank Park)
Skating in the Park at Parkway Bank Park Rosemont. (Photo courtesy of Parkway Bank Park)

 

Lace up the figure skates, top the head with a jazzy knit hat and glide around a scenic rink. From city skyscapes to twinkling lights, Chicago area has fun places to skate and play for families, couples and girls’ New Year’s Week time off before the holiday ends.

 

Navy Pier Winter Wonderfest Ice Rink is open through Jan. 6. Because the rink is part of Wonderfest, the general activity ticket price applies of $13 for youngsters under 42 inches in height and $28 for visitors 42 inches and taller. For tickets and more information visit Navy Pier.

 

Skating in the Park at Parkway Bank Park in Rosemont

The good news is that skating is free,skate rental is only $8 and parking is free with validation from Park entertainment venues. There also are restaurants to try after skating. Skating hours are listed for the holidays on website. The sorta bad news is that now is the best time to go there because hockey starts Jan 8 so that open public skating will only be on Sundays except for special holiday such as Martin Luther King Day. Parkway Bank Park is at 5501 Park Place west of River road in Rosemont, IL. For holiday hours and other information visit Skating in the Park.

 

Sky Rink at Peninsula Chicago

For a delightfully different view of the Mag Mile, skate on Peninsula Hotel’s fourth-floor terrace through the first week of March. Warm up with beignets and cider from the Chalet. The cost of $20 adults, $10 children includes skates and benefits children’s charities. Call (312) 337-2888 for hours.  The Peninsula Chicago is at 108 E. Superior St. and North Michigan Avenue, Chicago.  For more information visit Peninsula Chicago Sky Rink.

Skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park (Photo courtesy of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Events)
Skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park (Photo courtesy of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Events)

 

McCormick Tribune Skating Rink

It doesn’t matter how skillful you are when you skate frontwards, backwards, or holding gloved hands around the rink in Millennium Park. There’s a warming house, a stand for hot chocolate, and a place to rent skates $14 holidays and weekend $12 weekdays, but the rink is free. New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2019 the hours are 10am–10pm. There’s no lesson that day but other days feature lessons an hour before the rink opens. The rink is at Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe Streets. But officially Millennium Park is 201 E. Randolph St. For hours and other information visit McCormick Tribune Ice Rink.

 

Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon

Or take on the challenge of the skating the dips and curves of Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon next to Millennium Park.at 337 E. Randolph St.. Admission is free but you can rent skates. For hours and other information visit  Maggie Daley Park.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

Celebrate Chinese New Year with food and a parade

 

Special dinners, teas and parades mark Chicago’s Chinese New Year celebration of the Year o the Dog 4716.

With a vibrant Chinatown and several excellent Chinese restaurants plus venues such as the Chicago Cultural Center and Navy Pier promoting Chicago’s ethnic groups, there are plenty of places to learn more, see more and enjoy more Chinese dancing and dishes.

Often called the Lunar New Year and sometimes known as the Chinese Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year in 2018, begins Feb. 16 and ends 15 days later. However, tied to the Chinese lunisolar calendar, celebrations start the eve of the first day and culminate in the Lantern Festival.

If you go to any of Chicago’s Chinese festivals or restaurants, expect to see lots of red and the words “happiness” and “good fortune.”

Here are some Chinese New Year events to put on your go-to calendar.

 

The Peninsula Chicago is decked out for Chinese New Year.
The Peninsula Chicago is decked out for Chinese New Year.

Feb. 15-18

Decorated with red lanterns and a décor that celebrates the Year of the Dog, The Peninsula Chicago is a thoroughly Asian hotel (it is celebrating its 90th anniversary in Hong Kong).

This is a good place to stop in for Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea in The Lobby where tangerine trees and red flowers wish everyone good fortune. The tea includes special savories and sweets for $65. The Peninsula is at 108 East Superior Street.

In addition, there will be a Lion Dance that weaves through The Lobby during Afternoon Tea at 3:30 pm., Feb. 17. Children can “feed” lettuce to the lion for good luck in the coming year. The Lion Dance begins at the hotel’s front entrance amid drumbeats and cymbals (scares evil spirits) at 3:15 p.m.

Feb. 15-22

For an authentic, eight-course Chinese dinner, reserve a table at The Peninsula Chicago’s award winning Shanghai Terrace. It includes, among many other dishes, ginger wild chicken, seafood siewmai with black truffle, pan-fried prawns and kung pao beef tenderloin. Cost is $138.

For more information please call (312) 573-6620 or (866) 288-8889 and visit Peninsula Chicago.

Lion dancers will be prancing through some Chicago restaurants and at parades during Chinese New Year. Peninsula photo
Lion dancers will be prancing through some Chicago restaurants and at parades during Chinese New Year. Peninsula photo

Feb. 15-Feb. 28

Stop in at  Koi Fine Asian Cuisine in Evanston for dishes from its “Lucky Menu.” Different dishes represent wealth, long life, happiness, prosperity, good relationships and family. Reservations will be needed for the Lion Dance there Feb. 24.  Koi is at 624 Davis St., Evanston. Call 847-866-6969 and visit Koi.

Feb. 16

Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center hosts Chinese dancers, martial arts and music from noon to 1 p.m. There will also be a peek at the Chongqing Chuanju Theater Troupe which performs at Symphony Center the next day. The Chicago Cultural Center is at 78 E Washington St. For more information visit Chinese Fine Arts Events.

Feb. 17

See acrobatic choreography, gorgeous costumes and enjoy Chinese arts during an afternoon at Symphony Center, home of the CSO. Performances featuring the Dong Fang Performing Arts and the Yellow River Performing Arts are from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m. in Buntrock Hall.

This is followed with opera segments by the Chongqing Chuanju Opera Theatre and folk music by Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra at 3 p.m. in Orchestra Hall.

The first program is free to ticket holders of the second program. Symphony Center is at 220 S. Michigan Ave. For tickets and other information visit CSO tickets.

Feb. 24

Head over to Navy Pier’s Aon Grand Ballroom for Chinese activities, shows and food. Navy Pier partners with the Chinese Fine Arts Society to present the Chicago Chinese Cultural Center Lion Dancers, Martial arts, Chinese music and the Flying Fairies dance troupe from 1 to 5 p.m.

The event is part of Navy Pier’s free Global Connections sponsored by ComEd. Navy Pier is at 600 E. Grand Ave. For more information call (800) 595 Pier (7437) and visit Navy Pier Global.

Feb. 24

The Uptown neighborhood’s Argyle Street has a parade with floats, dragon dancers and marchers from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The procession goes from Argyle and Broadway Streets to Winthrop Avenue. For more information visit Explore Uptown.

 

Argyle Lunar New Year 2016 parade. Photo compliments Uptown
Argyle Lunar New Year 2016 parade. Photo compliments Uptown

 

Feb. 25

Go to Chinatown for the community’s annual lunar parade and to celebrate this neighborhood’s 106th anniversary.  It’s a fun, colorful event featuring lion and dragon dancers, marching bands, floats and Ronald McDonald.  The parade starts at 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue at 1 p.m. then goes north on Wentworth and west on Cermak. For more information visit  CCC Foundation.

For more Chicago Chinese New Year information visit Choose Chicago.