While Chicago’s March-like weather is still encouraging indoor things to do through April and into early May, check out these three, very different ideas.
At The Mart
The Spring One of a Kind Show returns to The Mart on the Chicago River this weekend. A fun art show that also includes gourmet foods, One of a Kind features aisles of fiber art, jewelry, glass, wood and metal objects, ceramics, photography and paintings. The show runs 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 28-29 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 30. For tickets and more information visit One of a Kind/spring.
All forms of racing from boat and harness to motor and running are part of Lake County, IL’s history. The when and what is part of “Ready, Set, Go!, a new exhibit of artifacts and photographs at Lake County Forest Preserves’ Dunn Museum’s exhibit now through Sept. 10, 2023. For directions and more information visit Exhibitions/LCFP.
National Hellenic Museum
Plan to visit the National Hellenic Museum, a cultural gem on Halsted Street that adds special exhibitions to its fine permanent collection. Its next exhibit is “Beyond Antiquity,” a traveling show of paintings, digital artworkds and drawings by architect/artist John “Yanni” Fotiadis, that opens May 12 and continues to Sept. 30, 2023. The museum is at 222 S. Halsted St., Chicago. For information visitnationalhellenicmuseum.org
With so many fun, tasty and sparkling events now happening post COVID shutdowns it’s easy to miss a couple that should be on the calendar, this year.
One of a Kind
It’s an art show, a gourmet gift show and a stuffing-stocker show.
Wear comfortable walking shoes here because One of a Kind’s holiday show takes up an entire floor of The Mart. It’s that gigantic building on Wacker Drive and the Chicago River (222 Merchandise Mart Plaza).
Held Dec. 1-4, there are more than 500 booths to peruse ranging from photography, glass, wearable art jewelry, paintings and woodwork to tasty spices, chocolates, candies and sauces.
Home to the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St., Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood is holds a Julmarknad holiday market, a St. Lucia Festival of Lights and a Julmiddag, the traditional Swedish Christmas smörgåsbord.
The Julmarknad , a holiday bazaar of Scandinavian and other crafts plus Santa and entertainment is Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Dec. 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m..
The St. Lucia Festival of Lights is Dec. 13 with its crowning down in the Nordic House at the Wrigley Building (400 N. Michigan Ave.) at noon and the candle-lit procession in Andersonville on Clark Street beginning at 4:45 p.m. VisitSt. Lucia Festival of Lights.
Then the Julmiddag smörgåsbord is at the Museum Dec. 18, 2022 at 5 p.m. It includes a St. Lucia procession, a visit from Tomten (Santa) and dancing around the Christmas tree. Make reservations at julmiddag. by Dec. 13.
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.
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
We may yearn to get out of our abodes but given the increase in Covid cases virtual has become a password. To stay safe more holiday shoppers have been looking online for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and soon, Cyber Monday, deals (which have moved back to Friday and Saturday. But not all gift ideas are through computer and print ads. Shopping online is a chance to be creative.
One of a Kind show online
Meet artists during virtual programs. Tour their studios. Find the perfect stocking stuffers. The One of a Kind Show that usually is in theMart (formerly the Merchandise Mart) makes holiday shopping safe and fun this year.
The show is available through Dec. 6, 2020.You can also follow the artists on Instagram and Facebook and view a daily series of IGTV videos with more artist talks, demos and studio tours.
Art Institute of Chicago Shop
The world-famous art museum carries treasures you may not have considered. Just as important, its online museum shop has items for different price ranges.
Check out the Frank Lloyd Wright designs. Look for the Bisa Butler prints and Claude Monet items from the current exhibits. Gifts are categorized from Under $100 to Under $25 and from Best Sellers to Artist and Style.
Buy at Buddy
Consider supporting small Chicago businesses through Buddy, a new store founded by the Public Media Institute so that Chicago artists and small businesses can show and sell their wares. It is currently online but will be in the Chicago Cultural Center when Covid restrictions are lifted . Among items found at Buddy are toys, jewelry, wearables, music and publications. For sales, goods and other information visit Buddy/about.
Even the pundits don’t know when the full election results will be known or get through the courts. So, folks who welcomed the spirit of Halloween for personal and family feel-good time, now need another good-ole’ standby, holiday shopping, to raise spirits.
Christkindlmarket and the One of a Kind Show Chicago will both go virtual in this pandemic year of 2020.
A European-style holiday event sponsored by the German Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Christkindlemarket moved online from downtown Chicago, Wrigleyville and Milwaukee on Nov. 1.
Shoppers can visit the fun market for its signature mug, mulled wine, holiday ornaments and activities through Dec. 31, 2020.
Shopping the old fashioned way, leisurely browsing in person without worrying that the items will be gone by 8 a.m. or that the internet will be overloaded, can be a treat at museums and annual gift shows.
Listed here are two examples of excellent gift shows and really good, large museum shops. They are likely to take a while to explore and are fun excursions while filling the gift list. Continue reading “Where to find unusual gifts”
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.
Wear walking shoes because the more than 600 booths at the One of a Kind Show Chicago has taken over the 7th Floor of The Mart and they are worth investigating.
From gourmet foods along one wall to artists selling jewelry, glass, ceramics, paintings, interesting wall art, quilts, wooden objects, hats and bags, the One of a Kind Show is fulfilling holiday shoppers’ gift list.
They’re also finding items for their own jewelry box, given the number of shoppers trying on earrings and necklaces at the Patricia Locke (she was there for the opening) booth during “early access” hour Thursday.
BTW, The Locke booth also featured Rook + Crow jewelry, a less expensive line that didn’t go in for colored stones but was well designed.
This is not a quick walk-through show.
It’s a chance to chat with Midwest artists and gourmet food purveyors such as Wisconsin quilter Kathleen Johnson who brought gorgeous pieces that easily qualify as art work, Chicago multi-media artist and designer Emmy Star Brown who is also in demand as muralist and Chicago suburban artist Danuta Loane about her fine ceramics.
And there are the Flaherty’s from Moline, IL to talk to about their yummy Irish Toffee and sample their hot Buttered Rum.
Opened Dec. 6, the show continues through Dec. 9, 2018 for holiday shopping and returns April 26-28, 2019 to start the spring-summer art fair season indoors.
The Mart is on the north side of the Chicago River between Orleans and Wells Streets. For ticket, hours and other information visit One of a Kind.
Once the food and fuss of Thanksgiving has been set aside in the fridge and dishwasher there should be more to holiday fun than trying brave the crowds in stores on Friday and shop on line on Monday. There is a wonderful ballet and opera that opens, an art show full of gift ideas and a zoo that becomes magical on the weekends.
One of a Kind Show
Find gifts at the One of a Kind Show at the Mart. Artists bring their sculptures, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, furniture and fashions. And vendors bring gourmet foods. The show is fun and it’s hard to leave without finding something for others or oneself.
The show runs Dec.6 through 9 at Merchandise Mart, on the north side of the Chicago River bordered by Kinzie, Wells and Orleans Streets. For tickets, hours and other information visit One of a Kind Show.
Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic
Visit Brookfield Zoo when more than a million colorful lights edgbe buildings, form larger-than-life animal shapes and line the paths – thanks to Comed and Meijer. Holiday Magic is on Saturdays and Sundays of December weekends and also Wednesday through Monday of Dec. 26-31.
Tip: look for the Talking Tree and the special entertainment scheduled each weekend. Park and enter at the North Gate, 8400 31st St. (1st Avenue at 31st Street), Brookfield. For admission, hours and a complete schedule of Holiday Magic activities and entertainment call (708) 688-8000 and visit CZS Holiday Magic.
Two December First show openings
Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” and the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s “Cinderella” open Dec. 1, 2018. “The Nutcracker” runs through Dec. 30,2018 at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on Congress Blvd. at Michigan Avenue. This is the re-imagined staging by choreographer/director Christopher Wheeldon that takes place at the 1893 World’s Fair. The music is Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s famed ballet. For tickets and more information visit Joffrey Nutcracker.
“Cinderella,” Jules Massenet” magical “Cendrillon” comes to life with funny, wicked, charming characters and delightful arias at the Lyric Opera House at six performances from Dec. 1, 2018 to Jan. 20, 2019. For tickets and information visit Lyric Opera Cendrillon.