Three gift ideas for Mom

 

One of a Kind Show at The Mart features artists' works and gourmet foods. (J Jacobs photo)
One of a Kind Show at The Mart features artists’ works and gourmet foods. (J Jacobs photo)

Nothing wrong with sending flowers to celebrate Mother’s Day, May 8, 2022. but if looking for something different consider saying it with something unique.

Say it with an artistic gift from the Spring One of a Kind Show. It’s at TheMart this weekend, April 29-May 1. A fun show that has loads of gift ideas, even for yourself, items range from gourmet foods, paintings and jewelry to ceramics, leather, wood and glass sculpture. The show’s title means you and your mom are unlikely to find the gift elsewhere.

TheMart is a few blocks north of the METRA/Union Pacific train station on the Chicago River at 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago, IL Visit One of a Kind Show  or call (312) 527-4141 or (800) 677-6278.

 

Shop online for an artistic gift at the Art Institute of Chicago’s store. There are lots of choices and price points such as a 1000-piece William Morris Golden Lily Puzzle for $19.99 that reflects the current exhibition of “The Business of Beauty.”

See the  beautiful Tiffany Hartwell Memorial Window Scarf for $45 or the fun Barbara Kruger “Too Big To Fail” tote for $25. For these and more items visit  Museum Shop ARTIC.

 

The Orchid Show is among many reasons to visit the Chicago Botanic Garden ( J Jacobs photo)
The Orchid Show is among many reasons to visit the Chicago Botanic Garden ( J Jacobs photo)

Or say it with flowers and exhibits that go on all year long via a Chicago Botanic Garden membership. Having that means not having to pay for parking and getting a discount on store items and events. Chicago Botanic Garden

One year for one person is $109 (see other options). Member benefits include:  Admission for 1 adult each visit ($10-$25 savings each visit), free parking ($8 savings each visit), members-only Garden hours 8-10 a.m. daily, 20% discount on most classes, 10% Garden Shop discount, Cafe discount, advance sales and discounts on ticketed events such as Lightscape and Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns. Plus members get free admission to 300 botanic gardens and arboreta nationwide.

Yes, it’s hard to choose so go with more than one options. After all it’s for Mother’s Day

Love,

Jodie Jacobs

Earth Day celebration ideas

 

NASA Earth Day poster 2022 (Photo and poster courtesy of NASA)
NASA Earth Day poster 2022 (Photo and poster courtesy of NASA)

 

Earth Day is April 22, 2022. Here are some ideas on how to celebrate our Planet Earth, but also check with your local park district and forest preserve location.

On the national scene

Join NASA in its live chats with experts or with its virtual trivia games and at the @NASAEarth Twitter Space. See all the activities at Earth Day 2022 | NASA.

In Chicago

The Chicago Park District is doing a cleanup at more than 80 parks including the North Park Nature Center on April 23. To see which park is near you or where you would like to volunteer visit Chicago Park District/EarthDay..

In the burbs

At the Morton Arboretum,  run in the Champion of Trees 10 K on April 23. For more info and to register visit The Champion of Trees 10K | The Morton Arboretum. Then, celebrate Arbor Day with the Arboretum’s giant plant sale April  29-May 1. Ticket still available at Arbor Day Plant Sale | The Morton Arboretum .

At the Chicago Botanic Garden Look for and enjoy the garden’s budding plants or go online April 22 to Budburst which celebrates Earth Day with a webinar about climate change’s impact visit ChicagoBotanic/Budburst.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

Orchids doing their thing

 

Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show, February and March, 2022. (J Jacobs photo)
Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show, February and March, 2022. (J Jacobs photo)

 

Expect the unexpected at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Orchid show during this unpredictable year of 2022.

Stretching from the Regenstein Center into the greenhouses, orchids are rooting in an old upright piano, finding nooks in a secret garden, latching onto trees and winding around old strands of damp wood.

The show’s theme, “Untamed” is quite different from recent past years. Instead of remarking on how orchids are cultivated for celebrations or different uses, the show suggests they are resilient so can grow almost anywhere if left alone including where other plants might have trouble rooting.

Orchids and plants take over a secret garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden show. (J Jacobs photo)
Orchids and plants take over a secret garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden show. (J Jacobs photo)

Opened Feb. 12 and extending through March 27, 2022, the Orchid Show arrived in the Chicago area with more than 10,000 colorful orchids just as the weather seesaws from icy and snowy to warmer and rainy.

A special treat is Orchids After Hours on Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. when cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are also available.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 10000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, just east of Edens Expressway.

For tickets and more information visit Chicago Botanic Garden

Jodie Jacobs

 

Around Chicago: October

 

Pumpkins and skeletons and lining up in Highwood for the Great Pumpkin Fest ( J jacobs photo)
Pumpkins and skeletons and lining up in Highwood for the Great Pumpkin Fest ( J jacobs photo)

From the city and Oak Park to Glencoe and Highwood, there are events worth posting on the calendar.

Highwood

In the past few years with the exception of COVID 2020 tiny, north suburban Highwood has been trying for a Guinness record of carved pumpkins. But what area residents and visitors like is that the town’s Great Highwood Pumpkinn Fest includes music, a charity run, food, games and rides.

The event opens Oct. 7 with pumpkin carving and music, then continues, Oct. 8-10 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. This year, it also includes free COVI D testing. Check the schedule for specific event times and ride cost.

Highwood snuggles east of Highland Park along Waukegan Avenue, Green Bay Road and Sheridan Road.

Glencoe

Merely strolling among trees, water features and gardens at the Chicago Botanic Garden is worth the trip. However, CBG also holds the Night of 1000 Jack O’ Lanterns Oct. 13-17 and Oct. 20-24 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Creative faces may spark ideas for home carving and are a terrific photo op (selfie?) Find more information at Chicago Botanic Garden

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

Wilmette

Chalet Nursery’s Scarecrow Making is sold out its garden is stacked with pumpkins, corn stalks and other decorations for October and Halloween. Plus it has some fun selfie areas.\

It’s events calendar includes the movie “Haunted Mansion” shown outside Oct 14 at 6:30 p.m. Registration needed and a “Howl-O Ween” Pet Parade, Oct. 31 from 11 a.m. to noon.

Chalet Nursery is at 3132 Lake Ave., Wilmette. Visit Events – Chalet Nursery for more information.

 

Chalet Nursery decorates for fall. (J Jacobs photo)
Chalet Nursery decorates for fall. (J Jacobs photo)

 

Oak Park

Poe’s dark side is perfect for the season. The Oak Park Park Theatre Festival brings “The Madness of Edgar Allan P:oe: A Love Story” to the Pleasant Home Foundation Oct. 15-Nov. 7, 2021. where audiences can move from room to room for different scenes.

Pleasant Home is at 217 Home Avenue, Oak Park.For tickets and more information visit Oak Park Theatre Festival

Lisle

Fall is a great time to drive through the Morton Arboretum but there is also something doing among the trees for walkers. The Arboretum has “Walking Plays” of popular fairy tales. Oct. 15-Nov. 7, 2021. Tales area abut 90 minutes and walks are less than two miles. To sign up and find more information visit Walking Plays/MortonArboretum.

Chicago

The whole city is open virtually in October through a Chicago Architecture Center app during Open House Chicago. There are trails, neighborhoods and treasures to explore. To see some of it in person, go Oct. 16-17. Registration needed. Visit Open house Chicago.

Jodie Jacobs

Two fall ticketed events to get now

 

Chicago botanic Garden Night of 1,000 Jack o Lanterns. (Botanic Garden photo)
Chicago botanic Garden Night of 1,000 Jack o Lanterns. (Botanic Garden photo)

 

Ready for fall?

The signs are there. A few leaves are already floating on the wind, Cars are filling school parking lots, Theater billboards and marquees announce show openings. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the next full moon after this weekend’s large orb, is the Harvest Moon on Sept. 20, 2021.

It’s time to start marking the calendar with fun, fall activities. Just don’t let too many weeks go by without snagging tickets for events that sell out.

Two 2021 festivals that sell out before people on the go realize the tickets are gone, are the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Night of 1,000 Jack o Lanterns and Lightscape.

Jack o Lanterns Oct. 13-17 and Oct. 20-24, 2021

“A: Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns is one of our most popular events at the Garden and in 2019, we expanded this event to run for 10 evenings due to popular demand, “said Zombolo, associate vice president of visitor events and programs.

“I’ts become an annual fall tradition,” she said and added, that people are “ amazed by the artistically carved pumpkins.”  And it’s all “ in a beautiful fall setting,” said Zombolo.

According to Zombolo, the event adapted procedures to fit recommended pandemic protocols.  “Last year we implemented new procedures including limited capacity per timeslot, a one-way trail with a separate entrance and exit, and extra space between pumpkins. We will be continuing those procedures in 2021.”

Tickets are time and date sensitive. They go on sale to members Aug. 23, 2021 and to the public Aug. 27.  Adults: $16/$18, Children 3 – 12: $12/$14
Children 2 and under are free. A $20 parking fee applies to  nonmembers and must be purchased ahead, online. Members park for free.  The Garden closes at 5 p.m. during the event and reopens at 6 for ticketed event guests.

Lightscape Nov. 12, 2021 to Jan. 2, 2022.

Now in its third year, the event’s famed winter cathedral will be back along with sing along musical trees but there will also be new features and a newly reworked, 1.25 mile path.

Tickets are already on sale for Lightscape. As with Jack o Lanterns, tickets are date and time sensitive. Ticket information for Lightscape.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Ideas to celebrate Earth Day

Lake Forest beach (J Jacobs photo)
Lake Forest beach (J Jacobs photo)

A half century ago, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson pushed for a national day that would jump start legislation and events stopping industrial pollution and remind earth’s residents of the importance of their planet’s health.

First held and celebrated in the United States with marches and programs in April 1970, Earth Day was then established as April 22 by an executive order given in July that year.

It was followed by the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency to regulate and enforce national pollution legislation and led to the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.

Earth Day is now celebrated by towns and institutions around the world. Here are some ways to celebrate and/or participate.

 

Check your community for cleanup and other activities.

Join the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff League of Women Voters and Lake Forest Open Lands Association to clean up the lakefront April 17 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.. Capacity if 50 people. For tickets needed to meet state protocols and more information visit Earth Day Beach Clean-up.  Face mask required. Parking is at lower south beach near boat launch.

The Andersonville neighborhood invites everyone to visit the shops for special promotions during Andersonville in Bloom, April 22-25.

 

The EarthDay Organization

Earthday.org has three days of activities beginning April 20 and culminating in workshops and speakers on April 22. Among the topics covered are emerging green technologies, climate restoration technologies and reforestation efforts.

 

 Art Institute of Chicago

Celebrate Earth Day with the museum’s virtual programs, live performances, conversations and art activities. Registration is needed for conversations beginning April 21, art activities beginning April 23, and performances beginning April 30. For registration and more information visit AICEarthDay Highlights.

 

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

 

Chicago Botanic Garden

See Earth Day/Chicago botanic Garden for loads of ideas from “Be a citizen scientist” and “Eco-friendly gardening” to “Understanding bio-diversity” and “Conservation and restoration.”

 

At the Shedd

Visit Earth Day Shedd Aquarium to find activities and suggestions you can do at home to help planet Earth. The Shedd site talks about reducing food waste and greenhouse gases, saving energy by switching to LED bulbs and being a climate-friendly gardener.  It also talks about Shedd and partners’ science projects, such as  Shedd’s Great Lakes Fish Finder app, Project Budburst and Zooniverse Penguin Watch. In addition, it urges people to join Shedd in supporting the Global 30 x 30 movement and signing the Campaign for Nature petition.

Jodie Jacobs

Around Town: In person outings

Hope, a 5-year-old polar bear recently arrived at Brookfield Zoo (Photo by Jim Schulz for CZS)

Hope, a 5-year-old polar bear recently arrived at Brookfield Zoo (Photo by Jim Schulz for CZS)

Some of these places, such as the Chicago Botanic Gardens and Morton Arboretum didn’t really close because they are outside but they want to remind visitors to come back and that their hours may have expanded. Others, such as Brookfield Zoo are re-opening and the Cook County Forest Preserve has March events.

Brookfield Zoo

Visitors will find some new residents at Brookfield Zoo which re-opened March 1, 2021.

Hope, a 5-year-old female polar bear arrived the end of January, 2021 in time for Chicago’s icy weather. Look for Hope in the zoo’s outdoor habitat in the Great Bear Wilderness.

Also look for Sibi and her nearly 2-year-old daughter, Lorena, in the Regenstein Wolf Woods habitat. The two female Mexican wolves recently arrived from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in Socorro, New Mexico..

Sibi and Lorena, two Mexican wolves, are also new Brookfield Zoo residents. (Photo by Jim Schulz for CZS)

 

While at the zoo, go over to the Dinos Everywhere exhibition that is up March 1 through Sept. 6, 2021. Find the three-story-high Argentinosaurus on the zoo’s West Mall.

But don’t forget to see the grey seals, snow leopards and bald eagles that also can go into their outdoor habitats.

Brookfield Zoo is a Chicago Zoological property at 8400 31st St., Brookfield, IL. For hours, timed-ticket entry and other information go to Plan your visit Brookfield Zoo.

 

North American river otters in Cook County (Photo by Peter Pekarek)
North American river otters in Cook County (Photo by Peter Pekarek)

Forest Preserves of Cook County

Given that Cook County Forest Preserves covers 70,000 acres, you know there are several opportunities for outdoor fun. Here is a sample of some March events.

Catch the Leprechaun Story Hunt is March 1-3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. based from the Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Ave., River Forest. Maple Tree Tapping March 7 at 1:30 p.m., is also at Trailside.

For more Cook County Forest Preserves ideas visit Things to Do.

 

Spring will soon return to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. (Photo courtesy of the Morton Arboretum)
Spring will soon return to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. (Photo courtesy of the Morton Arboretum)

The Morton Arboretum

As with the Brookfield Zoo and the Chicago Botanic Garden visitors Morton Arboretum visitors need timed tickets. See Plan Your Visit for tickets and other information. Wednesday is discount day.

Located  4100 Il Hwy 53 in Lisle, there are plenty of trails and paths for biking and hiking  from 7 a.m. to sunset. In addition, the Visitor Center is open with restrooms from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Children’s Garden and Maze Garden are open. The Ginko Restaurant will re-open March 12, 2021.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a perfect place to reflect on nature. (photos by Jodie Jacobs)
The Chicago Botanic Garden is a perfect place to reflect on nature. (photos by Jodie Jacobs)

Chicago Botanic Garden

Yes, you need a timed ticket to visit the Chicago Botanic Garden but the fee if for parking because admission is free. To know the protocols go to Plan Your Visit | Chicago Botanic Garden

Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The Garden View Café is open for Grab and Go and the Garden Shop open with a limited number of visitors at one time. The paths are open and busy now that the weather is more spring-like so wear the mask.

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

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

Two popular events to mark on the calendar

 

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)

 

Not everything fun in 2020 has been canceled

The Chicago Botanic Garden which has been welcoming visitors to its outdoor paths via timed entry tickets is planning its popular Night of 1,000 Jack o’ Lanterns Oct. 14-18 and Oct. 21-25.

Considering how fast the summer is going don’t be caught unaware for its September ticket sales. To members sept. 9 and the public sept. 16. For more info visit ChicagoBotanic/Halloween.

 

Appropriate music accompanies your walk through cathedral-style arch. (J Jacobs photo)
Appropriate music accompanies your walk through cathedral-style arch. (J Jacobs photo)

 

Then there is Lightscape the amazing sound and light show that sold-out last year. It will be Nov. 13, 2020 through Jan. 3, 2021. Tickets are going on sale to members Aug. 17.   And the public Aug. 25

For other information visit ChicagoBotanic/Lightscape.

 

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