Things to Do for Mother’s Day in Chicago

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.

Batter & Berries

Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and in Chicago, there’s no better place for brunch than Batter & Berries! This eclectic café gives back to the community by collaborating with local artisans and purveyors. While you’re there, make sure you try their world-famous French toast flight, which includes a piece of each of their signature French toast flavors. But if you prefer a savory breakfast, they have you covered with options like biscuits and gravy with chicken sausage, ribeye omelets, and cheese-crusted hash browns.

Promontory Point

May is the beginning of picnic season! The weather is warming up, trees and flowers are blooming, and outdoor celebrations are a safe option during COVID-19. A great place to take your mom for a picnic locally is Promontory Point, located in Burnham Park. This peninsula juts into Lake Michigan and will treat you to a gorgeous view.

Chicago Botanic Garden

A lot of people get their moms flowers for Mother’s Day – but how about taking her to see thousands of blooming flowers? The Chicago Botanic Garden is a lovely place to spend Mother’s Day with your special someone while marveling at nature’s beauty together. You can meet at 11 am for a Woods Walk or explore the garden’s 385 acres with millions of plants on your own. Admission is free but you’ll need to reserve tickets for timed entry ahead.

Paint & Sip

Is that mom in your life fun-loving? It might be nice to plan an activity! One idea that everyone will love is a Paint & Sip, where you’re provided with canvas, paints, and instruction to have fun together painting your own personal masterpieces. Local Black-owned business Wrightful Expressions is hosting a Mother’s Day Sip ‘n Paint Brunch on May 9 from 11 am to 3 pm. Your admission includes materials, brunch and a mimosa, a photo, and a raffle ticket.

Alinea

If your mom is more of the traditional type, you might want to treat her to a classy night out. Consider Alinea, which has been proclaimed the best restaurant in Chicago (and seventh-best in the world!) by Chicago Magazine. Located in Lincoln Park, Alinea has three Michelin Stars and offers Contemporary American fare served up by Chef Grant Achatz. All those accolades mean a night out here is pricey, but the plates are creative and the restaurant is committed to delivering more than a meal; they give you an experience.

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Best Car Washes in Chicago, Illinois

If you’re looking for a place to wash your car and get the best service for your money, we have a few great suggestions for you in the city of Chicago, Illinois. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own car or a rental car, clean or dirty, old or new, whether you’re on vacation or close to home, these car washes and detailers are guaranteed to make your vehicle look like a million bucks. These guys have seen it all. Don’t be afraid to show up with your cookie crumbs, your beach sand, or your toddler’s fast-food mess into the shop. You’ll be amazed at your car’s transformation! Let’s take a closer look at what car washes Chicago has to offer.

First, we recommend Detail Works. These services are by appointment only, so make sure you call first or go online. Every one of their employees have had years of experiencing detailing vehicles. They wash and polish both the exterior and the interior of your car and even offer paint correction. They service all kinds of vehicles form small to large cars, small to large SUV’s, minivans, full-sized vans, pick-ups, and motorcycles. They also offer ceramic coating, which serves to make your car shine as if it were driven off the showroom floor.

Second, we suggest Auto Boutique Chicago. This shop offers all kinds of services from interior and exterior detail to engine cleaning and pet hair removal. They also restore cloudy headlights and expertly remove bug bodies after a long car trip. Their services range in price according to the size of your car, and service vehicles of all types such as vans, sedans, trucks, even buses. They even advertise they can get swirl marks out of black paint.

Finally, you might just want to check out We Wash Hand Car Wash & Detail Center. At We Wash Detail Center, they have all kinds of packages from which to choose from. From a simple car wash to wheel rim repair, from odor removal to window tinting, these folks do it all! They can restore cloudy headlights, do light bumper and paint repair, repair leather, and remove dents. They also service motorcycles and even boats. If you have a specific service done for your car, give We Wash Detail Center a call and see what they can do for you.

If you’d like to save a little money and be done in five minutes or less, you can visit some local drive through car washes as well, such as Fullerton Express Car Wash on Fullerton Ave., Super Car Wash on Damen Ave., or Express Car Wash on W. Irving Park Rd. In a pinch, these drive through car washes will help keep you looking good until you can get that detailing done.

Wherever you decide to go, your car will be well taken care of. In the great city of Chicago, Illinois, you’ll find detailers who truly care about their work and, most importantly, your car. With our recommendations, you’ll be in excellent hands.

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Pet-Friendly Hotels Around Chicago

Those of us with pets know it can be hard to travel. You have to arrange for a pet sitter, spend extra money paying them, stock up on food and supplies before you leave, and deal with guilt for leaving your furry friend behind.

One solution that works well for easy-going or adventurous is bringing them along with you! So, if you’re planning a trip to Chicago and want to (or have to) bring your fur baby along for the ride, you’ll need accommodations that are pet-friendly. To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Chicago that accept pets. All are highly rated and we’ve included a variety of options from budget-friendly to luxurious. Read on and choose the one that best serves your needs!

The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago

If you’re looking for a hotel that’s easy on the budget but still conveniently downtown, book a room at The Westin, a casual hotel located right on the Magnificent Mile. The hotel comes with its own steakhouse and Starbucks café, as well as other amenities like meeting rooms, a fitness center, and a spa. Rooms are comfortable, with lake or city views, and suites add features like marble foyers, living rooms, and kitchenettes. Wi-Fi and breakfast are available for a fee. Unfortunately, cats are not permitted, but you may bring one dog (up to 50 lbs.). Food bowls and beds for your pooch are available and the nearest park is two blocks away.

Park Hyatt Chicago

For the ultimate luxury experience, check yourself into the Park Hyatt Chicago. This high-end hotel boasts rooms with free Wi-Fi, large flat-screen TVs, and city views – and the option to upgrade to a room with lake views and a whirlpool tub. While you’re not lounging in the comfort of your room, you can swim in the pool, sip a cocktail on the rooftop terrace, or work out in the fitness center.  Your pet will be treated like a VIP (very important pet) and receive a bed, food bowl, and treats! While there is a $100 pet fee (that covers up to six nights), it will be donated in its entirety to PAWS animal shelter.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco

Bringing more than your pet along with you? A fun place for families to stay is the Kimpton Hotel Monaco. This hotel makes a point of being super family-friendly by providing kids with welcome gifts and animal print bathrobes! A stay here will be very comfortable for adults in your party, too, due to their babysitting services that will give you an opportunity to take a little break. And Kimpton Hotels go above and beyond when it comes to being pet-friendly. They’ll allow ANY pet that fits through the door, no matter the species, at no additional charge. The concierge will be able to recommend pet-friendly activities around the city and you can borrow a pet bed, bowls, or mats to keep your pet comfy in your room!

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Best Legitimate Places to get Vaccinated near ORD

There are currently three vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the US government—Pfizer/BioTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.  Depending on what region of the country you live in will determine which brand will be available to you.

If you are considering receiving the vaccine, it is advised that you look around for a distribution center and make an appointment.  Many of the centers that are administering the vaccine do require patients to have an appointment ahead of time.

Places To Receive The Vaccine

When looking to receive the COVID vaccine, you can contact the local public health department to set up an appointment. 

Chicago Department of Public Health

333 South State Street Room 200

Chicago, IL 60604

312.747.9884

For Chicago residents, your first choice to receive your COVID vaccination is from your primary health care provider, health clinic, or your local hospital.  Over 600 health care providers have been authorized to distribute the vaccine.  Make sure to call ahead of time as many require appointments.

Specific employers have been granted authorization to administer the COVID vaccine to essential workers groups.  If you are planning to receive your vaccination via your employer, there is no need to take any further action.

Several Chicago retailers are authorized to distribute the vaccine as well.  It is suggested that you call ahead of time, as an appointment may be necessary.

·         Walgreens

·         Mariano’s

·         Walmart

·         Jewel Osco

·         Chicago Costco Pharmacies

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The #Foodie Guide to Top St. Patrick’s Day Destinations

Americans love to party on St. Patrick’s Day -some cities more than others. But the holiday is about more than just parades, Kiss Me I’m Irish T-Shirts, and pints of Guinness. For foodies, it’s also about delicious Irish food.

Whether you want a classic boiled dinner of corned beef and cabbage or something with a bit more of a modern twist, we’ve created a guide to the top St. Patrick’s Day destinations’ food that you absolutely must try. Sláinte!

Boston

The list has to start with Boston. Though it’s a matter of some debate, Boston may have hosted the United States’ first St. Patrick’s Day parade as early as 1724, and today, the largest ethnic group within the city is people of Irish descent! Here are some places you’re going to want to check out for authentic food:

·        J.J. Foley’s Café: This South End pub has been family-owned and operated since 1909. Enjoy classics like fish and chips and Irish brown bread, or feed that inner foodie with adventurous offerings like truffle mac and cheese or fig and goat cheese pizza.

·        The Black Rose: Reserve a spot for the 17th at this Faneuil Hall pub that offers authentic Irish hospitality and craic. You can eat a full Irish breakfast if you come early, or enjoy Guinness stew and bangers and mash on in the day.

Chicago

When a city goes so far as to dye their river green, you know they’re serious about St. Patrick’s Day. And the food scene is no exception. Here are our picks:

·        The Curragh: This Edison Park gem has over 30 beers on tap and the best Guinness pour in the city. If you’re not feeling beer, you can also choose from a selection of whiskeys. To eat, they have lots of “Irish Fayre” ranging from the creative veggie boxty to the old standby of corned beef & cabbage.

·         O’Shaughnessy’s Public House: This one is newer on the scene, but with its 1890 building, deep wood tones, and exposed brick, it looks every bit like a pub you’d find back in Ireland. It’s the perfect spot for foodies, with creative appetizers like corned beef-stuffed egg rolls and Irish curry popcorn!

New York City

Known for its massive St. Patrick’s Day parade that includes marchers all the way from Ireland, New York City knows how to party on March 17th. Here are your best options to eat on the big day:

·        Neary’s: Jimmy Neary’s pub has been an NYC landmark since he opened it on St. Patrick’s Day of 1967. This classy spot is often called “The Irish 21” and has the best hospitality around -Mr. Neary himself will greet you at the door. While you can’t partake in that hospitality at the moment due to COVID, you can support this fixture by ordering takeout on St. Paddy’s Day!·        The Dead Rabbit NYC: Get yourself a legendary Irish coffee at this award-winning Irish pub and cocktail bar. Traditional bites include lamb stew and corned beef sandwiches!

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Great Places to Stay Traveling to Chicago

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Do you have travel to Chicago coming up soon? Whether you’ve been to the city before or it’s your very first time, if you don’t have relatives or friends to stay with, you’re going to be looking for a quality place to rest your head.

Finding the very best place can be overwhelming when you have to consider all the factors, like price, comfort, service, health & safety, location, and more! To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Chicago. All are very different -from quirky to traditional- but highly rated. Read on to see why these are your best options, and then choose the one that best serves your needs!

The Robey

If you’re looking for the cool factor, look no further than The Robey. The rooms are hip, with a modern, minimalist design. Other cool amenities in the hotel include bikes for loan, a rooftop cocktail bar, a Cabana Club, and a rooftop pool. It’s also a preferred place in Chicago for events, should you be in town for an event. They host a wide range of events in their various spaces, from brunches to cocktail parties to meetings.

The Wicker Park Inn

Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, chances are you’ll be cramming a lot into your days. If you want a quiet and relaxing place to stay, book a room at The Wicker Park Inn. This charming B&B is well-located in a trendy area, so it’s well poised for exploring the city. And when you return in the evening, you can unwind in modern rooms that manage to combine style with quirky accents. You’ll enjoy amenities like free continental breakfast, in-room temperature controls, and high-speed internet. If you’re looking for a long term stay, they also have cozy apartments with kitchens.

Four Seasons Hotel

Have some junior explorers tagging along with you on your trip? A fun place for families to stay is the Four Seasons Hotel. This hotel will provide kids with fun activities like pizza-making classes, spa days, a hotel storyteller, and an on-site ice cream shop! The suite options for accommodations will ensure your whole family is comfortable. And the location right on the Magnificent Mile is close to kid-favorites like American Girl Place and The LEGO Store.

Hilton Chicago O’Hare International Airport

If you’re taking a quick trip through the city and want to be close to the airport, book a stay at the Hilton Chicago O’Hare International Airport, which is practically located on the tarmac. You can’t get more convenient to the airport than a runway view from your hotel room window and a covered walkway connecting the hotel to the terminal! Downtown Chicago is only 50 minutes away on the Blue-Line. And in addition to the prime location, you’ll be enjoying a luxurious stay, with access to a gym, a sauna, an indoor pool, room service, on-site restaurants, and a market.

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Spring Celebrations and Events Near ORD

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As the days get longer and winter gives its last hurrah, our mind turns towards sunshine-filled warmer days.  With spring just around the corner, we can begin looking forward to spring days filled with celebrations and festivals. 

In anticipation of the fun times ahead, to be enjoyed with family and friends, we have gathered some ideas on celebrations and events of interest near Chicago, IL.

Dykes with Drill Make It Take It: Entryway Storage

March 6, 2021 12:30pm – 3:30pm

Rebuilding Exchange

1740 W Webster Ave, Chicago, IL

Join Dykes with Drills at Rebuilding Exchange.  In this workshop, we will review toll safety and best practices, then guide you in building an entryway storage coat rack for your home.  This coat rack has a shelf and two cubbies to hold all our things and three coat hooks to hang your outwear.  The coat rack dimensions are 24” wide x 15 ½” tall x 6 ½” deep.

Alsip Community Expo & Craft Show

March 20, 2021

Prairie Junior High School

11910 S Kostner Ave, Alsip, IL

18th Annual Alsip Chamber of Commerce Expo & Craft Fair. Arts, crafts, business displays, food, fun. Activities for children all day. This is a free event for visitors.

YarnCon

March 27, 2021 – March 28, 2021

Plumbers Welfare Fund

1340 W Washington Blvd #3, Chicago, IL

YarnCon is all about the indie artisan. Our mission is to be the premier market for independent producers of yarn, fiber for spinning and weaving, tools, gadgets, books, patterns, instructions, and gifts related to spinning, knitting, crochet, and weaving.

VEND @ The Shops! March Pop-up – Spring Edition

March 27, 2021 – March 28, 2021

Water Tower Place

835 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL

THE SHOPS is a boutique by Fashionbar Chicago. This is a pop-up fashion experience that is open to the public on March 27th and 28th, 2021. This is the perfect opportunity to market your designer brand, gain commercial exposure and grow YOUR sales!   The Shops is taking place in the hottest and high-end retail area in Water Tower Place in downtown Chicago.  This vending opportunity is limited to only 10-12 Brands. Here’s the link to view the retail space at Water Tower Place (near JJill and White House Black Market)

Chicago International Music Festival

April 10, 2021 – April 14, 2021

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

220 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL

Chicago International Music Festival aims to present young musicians with an experience that offers the opportunity for musical growth while creating lasting memories. To enhance this experience, the performance venue chosen for the festival is the prestigious Armour Stage at the Chicago Symphony Center in downtown Chicago, home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Spring Festival – An Arts & Crafts Affair

April 16, 2021 – 11am – 9pm

Odeum Expo Center

1033 N Villa Ave, Villa Park, IL

Hundreds of Artists & Crafters from 30 states fill the Odeum from wall to wall with incredible hand-made items just in time for your holiday shopping! Voted one of the TOP 100 SHOWS in the country

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What to Do at the Zoo in Chicago, Illinois

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The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois is unfortunately closed until March 4th due to city and state regulations to keep buildings closed for the time being during the Covid-19 pandemic. That means zoo goers would be outside and exposed to the cold winter temperatures during the coldest part of the year in the windy city of Chicago. In order to ensure the safety of their animals and their guests, the Lincoln Park Zoo has made the hard decision to close its doors until March 4th.

However, for zoo members, they are opening the zoo for one weekend in February, on Saturday and Sunday the 27th and 28th. All members must have a reservation to this event. If you are not yet a member of the Lincoln Park Zoo, you can purchase your membership online and sign up for the event.

Individual membership is $69 with a $9 flat fee for parking whenever you visit the zoo. A Household Membership can be purchased for $95 and a Safari Membership can be purchased for $189.

If you’d like to check out what’s going on at the zoo from the comfort of your own home, every Tuesday and Thursday they offer “Stay Tuned to the Zoo” on the YouTube channel of the Lincoln Park Zoo. This virtual video is also live streamed on their website, linked below.

Once the zoo reopens, you’ll be happy to note admission is absolutely free! Ever since 1868, the Lincoln Park Zoo has been free since they first opened their gates. It is one of the most established zoos in the nation. Donors, visitors, and members make up 80% of the revenue that allows the zoo to remain free to the public. The remainder is covered by a subsidy from the Chicago Park District.

Membership to the zoo not only helps the zoo stay free, but also gains you discounted parking depending on your membership level, invitations to events exclusive to members, and special discounts to restaurants and shops. Becoming a member definitely has its perks!

From February to July, the Lincoln Park Zoo will hold two sessions a month for virtual animal experiences. These will be held on their website (linked below) Saturdays & Sundays at 10am or Fridays at 1pm. There is a $15 fee for virtual admission, with a 10% discount for members. These virtual animal experiences are good for children of all ages. You’ll learn about various animals throughout the zoo including the food they eat, their natural defenses, as well as their habitats and what it takes to care for them. Do not miss these opportunities to learn more about our amazing world!Mark your calendars, March 4th is the official re-opening of the Lincoln Park Zoo! Until then, enjoy some virtual events, both some open to members only and others to the public. Become a member and support the zoo to remain free for the general public!

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Five Best Airbnb’s in Chicago, IL

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Whether you are looking for some time away from work, a romantic weekend with your significant other, or just some quality downtime with the family, you can’t go wrong with an Airbnb.

Through the booking and use of an Airbnb, you can choose the environment of your choice, along with the city and location as well.  Choosing an Airbnb can prove to be an economical choice when looking to spend some getaway time. 

With this in mind, we have gathered five of the top-rated Airbnb’s in the Chicago, IL area.

Romantic Getaway Artsy Apartment With Funky Vibes

Great location in Chicago’s Wicker Park/Bucktown community.  Fully furnished living room along with a small refrigerator and coffee maker.  A small safe is available for the convenience of storing any essential valuables, and there is free private parking.  Only 35 minutes to O’Hare via the train and 10 minutes to the city via blue line.

No parties or smoking permitted.

Family Large Balcony, Chicago Views

Quiet, clean 3-bedroom apartment in the heart of Chicago with free parking.  Very safe Little Italy/Greektown neighborhood—24/7.  Guests will have the apartment to themselves and can come and go with a secure smart lock.  Various upscale bars and restaurants are just around the corner within walking distance.  Only five minutes to downtown Chicago and a three-minute walk to the University of Illinois at Chicago.

No pets, parties, or smoking permitted.

Near a famous landmark Private Studio

Located 6.9 miles from Wrigley Field and 9.7 miles from Lincoln Park Zoo.  This private studio has a dining area and a kitchen and is an excellent getaway.  Located 12.9 miles from 360 Chicago, and well as all the popular shops and restaurants that the area of has to offer.  There is free on-premises parking and offers Wifi.  Guest will have the use of the entire apartment.

Pets and smoking are not permitted.

Luxury Zen Loft in Downtown

This Zen Loft of Old town is a massive 3500 square foot apartment located over a commercial strip center.  The apartment has its own private entrance and is steps from the Brown Line Train Station.  Easily accessible to areas such as both of Chicago’s airports, O’Hare and Midway, with the location in the heart of Old Town, this apartment is hard to top.  It is also within walking distance of the lake.  It offers incredibly spacious rooms and 7 TV’s throughout the condo.

Pets, parties, and smoking are not permitted.

Budget Renovated Apartment Lincoln Square

Kick back with a fresh coffee and enjoy the designer touches of this renovated apartment, which include such beauty as wood floors and exposed brickwork from the 1920s.  There are great views from the courtyard, and guests will have the apartment all to themselves.  Enjoy the comfort of home as you explore all that the city of Chicago has to offer.  Lincoln Square is a quaint, family-friendly neighborhood and is only 27 minutes by car to O’Hare International Airport.

No pets, parties, or smoking permitted.

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Five Awesome Ways to Celebrate Galentine’s 2021 in Chicago

Valentine’s Day is coming up next month, but roses, chocolate, and Hallmark cards aren’t for everyone. If you’d rather round up your best gal pals and celebrate the joys of female friendship on Galentine’s Day, read on, because we’ve rounded up five fun ways to celebrate with your girls this year in Chicago!

Alinea

If you and your gals want to be fancy, a classic way to spend the evening is dinner and drinks at what has been proclaimed the best restaurant in Chicago (and seventh-best in the world!) by Chicago Magazine: Alinea. Located in Lincoln Park, Alinea has three Michelin Stars and offers Contemporary American fare served up by Chef Grant Achatz. All those accolades mean a night out here is pricey, but the plates are creative and the restaurant is committed to delivering more than a meal; they give you an experience.

Vito & Nick’s

If you’re looking for a more mom-and-pop type of restaurant, try The Original Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria. Established all the way back in 1920, this family-owned Italian food joint puts a delicious spin on Chicago-style pizza, making it with a thin crust! This retro pizza place has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and has been reviewed by food reporter Catherine de Orio. The sausage pizza here especially comes highly recommended, so grab your girls then grab a slice!

Promontory Point

If you’re trying to be safe due to COVID-19, an outdoor celebration is the way to go. And even in February, a picnic is a fun way to connect with your gals! Just bring a waterproof tarp for under your picnic blanket, some cozy blankets to snuggle in, and a thermos of hot cocoa. The best local spot for your Galentine’s picnic is Promontory Point, located in Burnham Park. This peninsula juts into Lake Michigan and will treat you to a gorgeous view.

Ice Skating Ribbon

If your friends aren’t content to just sit around and chat, you’re going to want an activity to get everyone moving. A fun, wintry activity to enjoy with your gals this February is skating on the Ice Skating Ribbon in Maggie Daley Park on The Loop. The ribbon is different than a typical rink, it’s shaped more like a walking path. You’ll need to make a reservation ahead of time to book your spot. Skate rentals are an option for those who don’t have their own.

KOVAL

If you’re looking for something a little different to try for Galentine’s Day, you should book a group class. A fun option is the classes offered by KOVAL, Chicago’s first distillery since the 1800s! It was founded in 2008 by two academics, one of whom comes from a family with a long distilling history in Austria. They offer a virtual group cocktail class, in which you get an interactive lesson on the art and science of making a cocktail. Better have extra olives on hand for this one!

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