Around town finds a couple of virtual Earth Day visits

 

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL (J Jacobs photo)
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL (J Jacobs photo)

 

Of course we try to employ good recycling practices year round but we’re also used to helping out in volunteer clean-up groups on beaches and rivers on Earth Day.

Started in 1970 by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson,, WI, to encourage conservation and environmental awareness, Earth Day became an internationally observed day with a variety of related activities in 1990.

Typical Earth Day activities have generally been canceled in 2020 to avoid getting and spreading the Covid-19 virus. However Earth Day is still April 22 so think recycle but also take a couple of moments to virtually visit two of the Chicago area’s largest nature centers: The Chicago Botanic Garden in north suburban Glencoe and the Morton Arboretum west of Chicago near Lisle. They are sharing what’s blooming, garden tips, stay-at-home Earth Day activities and views of their grounds.

Visit Chicago Botanic Garden Earth Day and Smart Gardener sites for some activity ideas. Then go to ChicagoBotanic/Gardens for a live feed to see what’s in bloom.

At the Morton Arboretum look for Virtual Bloom Report and then go to Virtual Tours via Google Arts and Culture.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Around Town revisits orchid show

 

Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show (J Jacobs photo)
Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show (J Jacobs photo)

A one-time walk-through at “Brilliance,” the Chicago Botanic Garden’s orchid show, had lifted the mood when the show opened on a cold, winter day. But going back for a second, more leisurely stroll meant finding delightful orchids clustered low under and along the garden’s regular greenhouse inhabitants and orchids seeminly glowing in the March sunlight.

How the orchids look in varying sunlight, but also the artificial light turned on during Orchids After Hours, (Thursdays March 5-19) is no accident. Called “Brilliance’ this year, the show is about color.

Bright bromeliad complements delicate orchids in entrance to the Chicago botanic garden show. (J Jacobs photo)
Bright bromeliad complements delicate orchids in entrance to the Chicago botanic garden show. (J Jacobs photo)

To complement the orchids’ hues, the garden has added bromelads in the entrance walkway, blue pipe-like glass forms in the center greenhouse’s shady walk, a bright magenta chandelier-like glass over that greenhouse’s water feature, hanging metal circular planters outside the greenhouses’ walkways and chrome-style reflecting ball-halves along a walkway.

The effect is stunning day or night. But a good way to see the show is to return at night when river-like blue stone is lit from below and the greenhouses’ lights pick up other colors and reflections.

Blue glass paths hardly noticed during the day light up at night as blue pipe like glass seems to drip down from above. ( J Jacobs photo)
Blue glass paths hardly noticed during the day light up at night as blue pipe like glass seems to drip down from above. ( J Jacobs photo)

To enjoy the orchid nightscape with special beverages, consider coming for Evening With Orchids March 11 that features beer and spirits tastings.

If you are a morning person, Tuesdays and Thursdays feature Morning Music in the Nichols Hall that range from guitar to jazz to classical.

For orchid advice and orchid displays visit on March 14-5 when the Illinois Orchid Society Show is at the garden.

The Chicago Botanic Garden features color and form in its 2020
The Chicago Botanic Garden features color and form in its 2020 orchid show. (J Jacobs photo)

However, if after seeing the gorgeous array of color inspires some home plant décor,  know that many of the orchids in the show are available to members and the public at reduced prices during the afternoon of the Post Show Sale March 26, four days after the show closes on March 22.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, just east of Edens Expressway. For Garden ticket and other information call (847) 835-6801 or 835-5440 or visit Chicago Botanic.

Jodie Jacobs

Annual Orchid Show goes modern and brilliant

Chicago botanic Garden Orchid show focuses on color. (J Jacobs photo)
Chicago botanic Garden Orchid show focuses on color. (J Jacobs photo)

 

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s annual Orchid Show takes on another dimension in 2020.

“We’ve done destinations. This time it’s more modern,” said Visitor Events and Programs Coordinator Sara.Harlow.

Titled “Brilliance,” the show also calls attention to orchids’ colors. “Color is important because it is part of the survival strategies of wild orchids so they can reproduce,” Harlow said, referring to how color attracts pollinators.

When visitors walk in to the exhibit in the Garden’s Regenstein Center, they will see towers of colorful orchids in the Nichols Hall, gorgeous groupings with bromeliads at their base and interesting pipe ensembles above and around them in the area leading to the greenhouses. The bromeliads add even more color.

The exhibit continues around to the left in a semi-circle of greenhouses. On the way to each greenhouse, the corridor’s walls tell stories about the importance of color and offer more orchid information. The greenhouse walls along the corridor display charming metallic circle planters filled with artistically arranged orchids.

Orchid Show at Chicago botanic Garden goes modern with lights. (J Jacobs photo)
Orchid Show at Chicago botanic Garden goes modern with lights. (J Jacobs photo)

What visitors will see during the day are sun-lit orchids seemingly planted along colored stones, orchids filling towering frames and orchids hanging from the ceiling between colorful tubes of light.

However, those rivulets of stones really cover lighting circuitry that will create a different dimension during special evening hours, according to Harlow.

“Visitors should also try to come at night We are doing After Hours Thursdays. It will look different,” she said.

To learn more about the orchids in the show from Cattleya to Cypripedium visit Chicago Botanic/Orchid Species.

The Orchid Show is at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe (just east of Edens Expressway) through March 24. General hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. After Hours goes until 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Feb. 14. For tickets, parking and more information visit Chicago Botanic/Orchid.

Jodie Jacobs

Three ways to spend Valentine’s Day

 

Orchids fill the greenhouses and overflow the corridors at the Chicago Botanic Garden. (J Jacobs photo)
Orchids fill the greenhouses and overflow the corridors at the Chicago Botanic Garden. (J Jacobs photo)

After Hours CBG Orchid Show

Instead of worrying about getting to a grocery store to find roses, consider an immersion in orchids. The Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid  Show stays open late on Thursdays for its After Hours event when drinks and food are available. However, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, After Hours will also happen on Feb. 14, 2000. For cost and hours visit Chicago Botanic/Orchid.

In addition, a heart-shaped cake  and glass of Champagne will be available at the Garden View Café and during Orchids After Hours. The Chicago botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Road Glencoe. For more information call (847) 835-6801 or Main: (847) 835-5440 or visit Chicago Botanic Garden.

 

Ocean Prime's special Valentine's Day dish. (Photo courtesy of Ocean Prime)
Ocean Prime’s special Valentine’s Day dish. (Photo courtesy of Ocean Prime)

Ocean Prime brings back popular seafood dish

Try a special dish in an upscale downtown Chicago restaurant with a view of the Chicago River. Created last year, Cameron Mitchell’s Ocean Prime will have its roasted sea bass over Alaskan King Crab gnocchi with Champagne cream on its valentine’s Day menu. Accompanied by a baby carrot salad, the dish will be $62 at the Chicago location.

For reservations and more information call (312) 428-4344 or visit Ocean Prime Chicago. The restaurant is next to the London House Hotel, 87 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago.

 

Families decorate cookies and cupcakes at Max and Benny's. (Photo courtesy of Max and Benny's)
Families decorate cookies and cupcakes at Max and Benny’s. (Photo courtesy of Max and Benny’s)

Kids and grandparents decorate cookies at Max and Benny’s

To give parents a night out or include them, Max and Benny’s, a Northshore deli, is holding a special cupcake/cookie decorating event on Feb. 14, 2020. Families will do dinner at the deli, then go into the event room to decorate a cupcake or cookie to eat there or take home. Registration is suggested but not required. For more information visit Max and Benny’s events.

Max and benny’s is in the strip mall at 461 Waukegan Rd., Northbrook.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Orchid Show remedies for winter

 

Orchids in Chicago Botanic Garden show, 2019. (J Jacobs photo)
Orchids in Chicago Botanic Garden show, 2019. (J Jacobs photo)

Warmth and glorious color geared to shake off winter’s blues will greet visitors when Brilliance: The Orchid Show opens at the Chicago Botanic Garden Feb. 8.

Continuing through March 22, 2020, CBG’s popular annual orchid event will show off the colors and attributes of this multi-faceted flora this year, using  reflection, light and translucent panels that take advantage of the sun’s changing  positions.

“We are excited to capture the brilliance of orchids in a whole new way this year,” said Jodi Zombolo,  Visitor Events and Programs Associate Vice President.

“Outside may be monochromatic and dull, but inside our galleries and greenhouses will feature blooms in unexpected ways as we play with color and light,”said Zombolo.

Guests should look for chrome spheres, black bamboo and floor-to-ceiling installations that range from a towering canopy of color, a floating orchid carpet, and a dramatic chandelier filled with glistening blooms.

However, Thursday evenings, Orchids After Hours provides another dimension of illumination. Cocktails and Asian street food will be available to purchase. In addition, is an After Hours Valentine’s Day event Feb. 14, when special desserts, Prosecco, Champagne splits and a photo booth will be available.

General hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. After Hours, the show will stay open until 8 p.m. For tickets, parking and more information call visit Chicago Botanic/Orchid

The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, just east of Edens Expressway.

Jodie Jacobs

Holiday Happenings Part Two

Tulips at the Chicago Botanic Garden's Lightscape. (J Jacobs photo)
Tulips at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lightscape. (J Jacobs photo)

Chicago might as well be called Holiday Central given all the fun, light-filled events taking place across the city and suburbs. So, to make it easier to figure out the where and when, we are dividing up the what.

Part One listed some of the holiday shows and date specific events such as parades because shows need tickets and some events are only one day or weekend.

Part Two is about light shows in and around Chicago. Most go through Jan. 5, 2020. Lights typically are on from about 4:30 to 9 p.m. Check each event’s site for hours and dates either not on or by holiday limitations. Continue reading “Holiday Happenings Part Two”

Around Town goes to two places for fall color and fun pumpkins

 

Fall at the Morton Arboretum. (Photo courtesy of MortonArb)
Fall at the Morton Arboretum. (Photo courtesy of MortonArb)

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.

 

Glass pumpkins at the Morton Arboretum. (Photo courtesy of MortonArb)
Glass pumpkins at the Morton Arboretum. (Photo courtesy of MortonArb)

Morton Arboretum

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.

Or go Oct. 19 for the Cider and Ale Festival and toast the season.

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 more Morton Arboretum information visit Mortonarb/explore.

 

Walk among fun, interesting, spooky Jack-o-Lanterns at the Chicago Botanic Garden. (Photo courtesy of ChicagoBotanic)
Walk among fun, interesting, spooky Jack-o-Lanterns at the Chicago Botanic Garden. (Photo courtesy of ChicagoBotanic)

Chicago Botanic Garden

Go tonight, Oct. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. to hoist a beer to welcome fall.

Put a fun costume on your dog and you can also dress-up to if you go Oct. 13 for a Spooky Pooch Parade from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is the only time dogs (except support dogs) are allowed in the

Or go one evening when 1,000 spooky Jack-o-Lanterns light garden paths and patches from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. select nights from Oct. 16 to 27.

For more Chicago Botanic Garden information see Chicagobotanic/visit.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

Exceptional art fills Regenstein Center

Joseph Pozycinski has been bringing fine glass sculptures to ACE for more than 25 years. (J Jacobs photo)
Joseph Pozycinski has been bringing fine glass sculptures to ACE for more than 25 years. (J Jacobs photo)

Expect to see really good ceramics, fiber art, metal work, wood working, jewelry and other crafted items when walking through the Regenstein Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden this weekend. But also, expect the unexpected.

While browsing the American Craft Exposition during a Thursday preview party that benefited mental health services at NorthShore University Health System, an attractive wall piece that looked as if it could have been painted clay turned out to be wood.

Marquette, MI artist Joseph Graci's wall piece is actually wood. (J Jacobs photo)
Marquette, MI artist Joseph Graci’s wall piece is actually wood. (J Jacobs photo)

There was also a charming floral wall arrangement that might have been aluminum or steel but was pewter and works that appeared to be oils and water colors were actually fine stitchery.

But it’s not all serious. A booth of unusual and fun objects turned out to be jewelry.

Middlebury, VT artist Danielle Gori-Montanellimakes unusual jewelry. (J Jacobs photo)
Middlebury, VT artist Danielle Gori-Montanellimakes unusual jewelry. (J Jacobs photo)

Just don’t expect a visit to ACE, as it is known in the art show world, to be a quick walk through.

A highly competitive, juried show of nearly 150 artisans, ACE booths stretch from a tent at the north end of the Regenstein Center through the building to the Greenhouses at the south end and into rooms and hallways on either side.

St. Jospeph, MI artist Rebecca Hungerford's flowers are pewter. (J Jacobs photo
St. Jospeph, MI artist Rebecca Hungerford’s flowers are pewter. (J Jacobs photo

Visitors will likely see old favorites but many crafters, such as St. Joseph, MI artist Rebecca Hungerford who works in peweter and Marquette, MI artist Joseph Graci who works with wood, are first timers and good show addiions.

However, as glass worker Joseph Pozycinski of Pozycinski Studios in Sparta, Missouri  said, pointing to its high quality.. “I’ve been coming over 25 years. It’s a very good show.”

A former graphic artist, John Stanicek. Aura, IL, now translates his ideas into ceramic sculptures. ( J Jacobs photo)
A former graphic artist, John Stanicek. Aura, IL, now translates his ideas into ceramic sculptures. ( J Jacobs photo)

Tip: Don’t neglect the side rooms indicated to by signs that say More Art. The works there are just as good as what is seen on the main walkways.

DETAILS: The American Craft Exposition is at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., just east of Edens Expressway, Glencoe, IL, through Sept. 22, 2019.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is by three-day passes, $18 for Garden members and $20 non-members. A three-day pass with one-day parking is $35. General admission to the Chicago Botanic Garden is free but parting costs $25 weekdays and $30 Saturday and Sunday.

For tickets and more information visit American Craft Expo or Chicago Botanic.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

Around Town in April: Kids and Adult events

April is filled with things to do and places to go. Some events cater to families, others to adults. Here are a few events to put on the calendar. And yes, go even if it’s in the children category unless specifically stated for ages 5-12.

Mummies are among a hands-on event at the Oriental Institute Museum. (Photo courtesy of the Oriental Institute)
Mummies are among a hands-on event at the Oriental Institute Museum. (Photo courtesy of the Oriental Institute)

FOR CHILDREN

Mummies and more

Learn about mummies and ancient “earth day” style practices at two free Oriental Institute Museum April events for ages 5 through 12.

First, “Secret of the Mummies” is April 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. To register visit Evenbrite Secret of the Mummies Tickets.

Second,  is “Ancient Earth Day” April 27, also from 1 to 3 p.m. To register visit Evenbrite Earth Day tickets.

The Oriental Institute Museum is at 1155 E. 58th Street, Chicago, IL For more information than what is found above in  “Mummies” and “Earth Day” call the Oriental Institute’s Public Education Office at 773-702-9507.

 

Making seed necklaces are among the Science Festival activities at the Chicago Botanic Garden. (Photo courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden)
Making seed necklaces are among the Science Festival activities at the Chicago Botanic Garden. (Photo courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden)

Science Festival

Chicago Botanic Garden is holding a hands-on science fair with seeds, flower pollination and other activities on April 13-14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some activities such as making your own seed necklace and how to see it sprout are free. There is a parking fee for nonmembers. For details visit Chicago Botanic Garden Science Festival.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe just east of Edens Expressway.

 

Dress as a tree during Morton Arboretum's Arbor Day celebration to get in free. (Photo courtesy of Morton Arboretum)
Dress as a tree during Morton Arboretum’s Arbor Day celebration to get in free. (Photo courtesy of Morton Arboretum)

Trolls Plus

Huge trolls have populated the Morton Arboretum and will still be around to check them out if visiting during the Arboretum’s daily Arbor Day activities in april and special Arbor Day events April 26-27. Anyone dressed as a tree on April 26 will be admitted free.

For admission and hours visit Visit-Explore. The Morton Arboretum is at 4100 IL Hwy 53, Lisle.

 

FOR ADULTS

 

 

Lyric Concert

Lyric Opera of chicago celebrates its Ryan Opera Center with the Rising Stars in Concert April 7 at 2 p.m. Sopranos Whitney Morrison, Emily Pogorelc and Ann Toomey will be singing arias, duets and other pieces with Mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker, contralto Lauren Decker, tenors Eric Ferring Josh Lovell and Mario Rojas along with baritones Christopher Kenney and Ricardo Jose Rivera plus bass-baritones Alan Higgs and David Weigel. Pianist is Madeline Slettedahl.

The Lyric Opera of Chicago is at 20 N. Wacker Drive. For tickets visit Lyric Opera concert/tickets or call 312-827-5600.

 

One of a Kind Show has items for the home and gifts. (Photo courtesy of One of a Kind Show)
One of a Kind Show has items for the home and gifts. (Photo courtesy of One of a Kind Show)

Gift Show

The One of a Kind Show, open to the public (as opposed to the trade) takes place at the Merchandise Mart in early winter in time for the holidays and mid-spring in time for Mother’s Day.  This Spring it happens Ap;ril 26, through April 28. Handmade items range from paper, ceramics, paintings and photography to jewelry, sculpture, fiber Art, meta, glass and wood.  Plus there are gourmet treats for sale.

The Merchandise Mart is at 222 Merchandise Mart plaza between the Chicago River and Kinzie and between Wells and Orleans. For tickets visit One of a kind/spring/tickets.

 

Farmers Market

Green City Market opens in Lincoln Park May 4. A popular farmers market that features chef demos, fresh produce and many local products, operates Saturday and Wednesday through Oct. 26, 2019 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Green City Market in Lincoln Park is at 1817N Clark St. For more information, visit Green City Market.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

 

Surround yourself with beauty

Be surrounded by beauty at the Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid show (J
Be surrounded by beauty at the Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid show (J Jacobs photo)

Luxuriate in tropical warmth while strolling among orchids hanging from trees and meander among palms and lush foliage. It’s Orchid Show time at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe through March 24, 2019.

The theme this year is the tropics so signs tell where to find orchids and the different species. The show is nice and informative, but really visitors go to enjoy orchid beauty.

Some folks also go to buy an orchid from vendors on weekends or to get orchid advice from a member of the Illinois Orchid Society some weekends but particularly March 9-10.

Others time their visit to coincide with music on Tuesday and Thursday. To find out when to go night or day and about other show activities  visit Chicago Botanic Orchid.

DETAILS: The CBG Orchid Show goes through March 24. Garden admission is free but there is a parking fee and there is a charge for the Orchid Show but not later during the Illinois Orchid Society’s stint. The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe.. For tickets and other information call call  (847) 835-5440 or visit CBG.

Jodie Jacobs

Related: Two Indoor Fab February Shows