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.