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