Concierge Preferred Concierge Preferred

Concierge Tips for Exploring Chicago
  
You are here: Chicago Travel Blog

End Summer with a Bang at Navy Pier’s Aon Summer Fireworks

Posted on August 26th, 2015 by

navypier

Take in one of the three remaining Aon Summer Fireworks shows at Navy Pier and end summer with a bang.

Head out to the pier this Saturday, next Wednesday, or Saturday, Sept.  5 for a firsthand sight of a show that will light up the sky with the scenic Chicago skyline as a backdrop. This is truly a highlight of summer in Chicago.

The Saturday shows will begin at 10:15 p.m. and the Wednesday show at 9:30 p.m.

If you want an exclusive, fun, unique view of the fireworks, buy a ticket and hop on one of the many cruises that will be watching the sky light up from the lake. Leaving specifically from Navy Pier are the Odyssey, the Spirit of Chicago, and Mystic Blue cruises which will all serve dinner as well as getting an up close view of the amazing show from the water.

Navy Pier is open year-round and free of admission. It is located at 600 E. Grand Ave. For more information, visit navypier.com/fireworks.

Tags: ,

No Comments

Enjoy a Last Family Summer Soiree at the Delicious Carnivale

Posted on August 26th, 2015 by

Back to School BashCelebrate—or dread if you’re a kid—the beginning of the school year in a yummy fashion as trendy Latin restaurant Carnivale hosts their annual Back to School Family Brunch.

Come out to this West Loop gem from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. this Sunday for fun the whole family can enjoy. Entertainers present will include a stilt walker, a magician, a face painter, and a DJ. The menu will be distinctively kid-friendly and complimentary valet park is something the adults will enjoy.

Since opening in 2005, the restaurant has prided itself on being “exotic, energetic, and global” with Latin-inspired dishes and a drink menu that will leave you wanting come back for more. Whether it’s for global cuisine in your backyard or just something to do with the kids before school begins, Carnivale is the place to do it.

In addition to the fine dining and drink options, the restaurant has seven private party rooms that can be used for weddings, corporate events, social events, or just about anything else.

Carnivale is located at 702 W. Fulton St. and in addition to offering free valet parking for the event, it is accessible via the Clinton Green and Pink Line stop and the 56 Milwaukee bus. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to make reservations in advance. For more information, call 312-850-5005 or visit carnivalechicago.com.

Tags: , , , ,

No Comments

Chicago Line Cruises and Chicago History Museum Partner for “Chicago Along the River”

Posted on August 25th, 2015 by

chicago-51326_640

Take in Chicago’s unique history and world-class architecture with “Chicago Along the River,” a boat tour experience unlike any other.

Bringing together Chicago Line Cruises and the Chicago History Museum, this tour will share Chicago’s story from the river while providing access to the museum’s extensive photo archives to give a now-and-then look at the Windy City. Unique to this tour is the ability of people to follow along on their smartphones with a link that will be provided. Attendees will be treated to complimentary Starbuck’s Coffee, Coca-Cola soft drinks, lemonade, cookies and muffins.

“Chicago Along the River” will be setting sail for the last time this year this weekend. The tour begins at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $42 per adult, $35 for seniors (65 and over), and $20 for children between the ages of 7 and 18. The dock is located at 465 N. McClurg Court north of the river. For tickets and more information, visit chicagoline.com/history-cruise-detail.

In addition to this cruise, the cruise line offers other standalone opportunities that will allow for you to continue the fun while taking in the views of the city.

Chicago Line Cruises cocktail architecture tours will run Fridays and Saturdays from Aug. 31 until Oct. 4. More laid back than typical architecture tours, this cruise will allow you to enjoy the lake and river in style. The prices are the same as the history tour, but attendees can choose to buy a $20 pre-pay package for unlimited beer, wine, and mixed drinks. It is the best way to say goodbye to the summer in style. For tickets and more information on the cocktail cruise visit chicagoline.com/cocktail-cruise.

Tags: ,

No Comments

Rock the Jailhouse and U.S. Cellular Field with the White Sox

Posted on August 25th, 2015 by

uscellular_480x200

The White Sox may not be the Chicago baseball team generating excitement on the field this season, but it’s always a good time at the ballpark with fun promotions and family friendly atmosphere. This weekend, with the Cubs on the West Coast, head to U.S. Cellular Field for four days’ worth of fun activities at the ballpark as the Sox take on the Seattle Mariners.

Veeckasinwreck

The weekend fun starts with Throwback Thursday when the Sox where their (in)famous 1976 collared, blue and white V-neck pajama jerseys. A way for then-Sox owner Bill Veeck, who was known for his outlandish promotions, to drive attendance during a poor season, the jerseys were ridiculed for their aesthetics just as they were praised by players for their comfort. They were accompanied by shorts for a series that year, the only time in history an MLB team has worn shorts during a game. Needless to say, the Sox will not be sporting the shorts this time around.

Come right back on Friday to start the weekend right as the club celebrates the man, the myth, the king himself: Elvis Presley. Indeed, the White Sox are encouraging fans to grow out the sideburns and jam to the Jailhouse Rock at the Cell for their annual Elvis Night.

Fans get in on the fun at last year's Elvis Night.

Pre-game festivities include a performance by an Elvis tribute artist outside of Gate 4 from 4:30 p.m.  – 6:30 p.m., a skydiving team parachuting into the ballpark wearing Elvis attire, and the cast from the hit musical “Million Dollar Quartet” singing the national anthem.

Fans can buy all their Elvis gear outside the park near Gate 4 or in the park near section 159. Stick around for post-game fireworks as well as a one-of-a-kind “Viva Las Vegas” showgirl performance and Elvis impersonator Doug Church’s showcase of some favorite Elvis tunes.

The second half the series will feature more traditional baseball promotional material, starting Saturday as the first 20,000 fans will receive a Jermaine Dye bobble head.

Finally,  take the whole family out to the park on Sunday for Family Sunday as the team offers discounted tickets, family friendly activities, and an opportunity for kids to run the bases after the game. The first 20,000 fans will also receive a White Sox hat.

The Thursday and Friday games start at 7:10 p.m., Saturday at 6:10 p.m. and Sunday at 1:10 p.m. Plenty of seats are available for all four games starting as low as $5. U.S. Cellular Field is located at 333 W. 35th Street in the Bridgeport neighborhood and accessible via the CTA Red Line and also has ample parking. To find out more go to chicago.whitesox.mlb.com.

Tags: , , ,

No Comments

Wizard World Comic Con at Rosemont

Posted on August 19th, 2015 by

Chicago’s geeks, nerds, and sci-fi aficionados will have the chance to meet their heroes this weekend as Wizard World Comic Con comes to Rosemont.
The four day fest features stars from around the globe and across several different mediums. Here is a guide to the best of the more than 120 hours of scheduled programing.

Interactive Q&A:

jeremy renner

Jeremy Renner (Sunday, 2:15 p.m.) – Known for his role in Marvel’s “Avengers” franchise, Renner is the headliner of the weekend. While starring in “Age of Ultron” earlier this summer, he’s already back at work with “Captain America: Civil War,” which is set to be released next summer.

Burt Reynolds (Saturday 2:15 p.m.) – This Hollywood icon has been an actor in film and television, a director, producer, and even owned a professional sports team at one point.

jodie sweetin

Jodie Sweetin of Fuller House

Jodie Sweetin (Saturday 6 p.m.) – This session with actress best known for playing Stephanie Tanner on “Full House” will be extra sweet given the upcoming Netflix sequel to the hit show, which will be called “Fuller House.”

Dual Q&A sessions:

Nathan Fillion, Summer Glau, and Adam Baldwin (Saturday, 3 p.m.) – Join the stars of the 2002 cut hit “Firefly” as they meet with their dedicated fans. If that’s not enough for you, just a gentle reminder that Fillion has added another famous role to his belt since the show went off the air: Richard Castle of ABC’s hit series “Castle.”

Billie Piper and Arthur Darvill (Sunday, 11:30 a.m.) – Doctor Who fans rejoice! You will have the opportunity to attend a session with Piper, who played one of the Doctor’s most iconic companions Rose Tyler, and Darvill, who played the clumsy but lovable husband of Amy Pond. The show is as popular as ever after celebrating its 50-year anniversary in 2013 and with the introduction of a new Doctor last year. While not quite an adventure through space and time, this session should satisfy all Whovians in attendance.

The show takes place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, which is located at 5555 North River Road in Rosemont. The center is surrounded by plenty of transportation options. Out of towners will appreciate that it is right next to the airport and that there are shuttles to and from there to the convention center. Those coming in from the city can either take the Blue Line to Rosemont or drive and use one of the many area parking garages. For more information, please visit wizardworld.com/home-chicago.html.

Tags: , , , ,

No Comments

Uncover The Man from U.N.C.L.E. at the IMAX at Navy Pier

Posted on August 19th, 2015 by

man from uncle

If you’re at Navy Pier with desire to escape the August heat you’re in luck. The IMAX Theater has two new offerings that will satisfy everyone’s tastes.

For those wanting to see more cool planes after last week’s Air and Water Show, fly high with “Living in the Age of Airplanes,” a documentary by National Geographic. Narrated by famed actor and amateur pilot Harrison Ford, the film goes beyond showing how airplanes changed the world to an awe that reminds people of just how profound that change was.

For those looking for a more Hollywood-style movie, check out Guy Richie’s international spy thriller “The Man for U.N.C.L.E.” Set during the height of the Cold War, the film blows up the traditional American-Soviet antagonistic relationship as an American and Soviet spy team up against an international criminal organization bent on disrupting the balance of power.

Starring Henry Cavill of Superman fame opposite actor Armie Hammer, the “duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.”

For show times, visit imax.com/oo/navy-pier-imax. The theater is on the pier, which is located at 600 E. Grand Ave.

Tags: , , ,

No Comments

Bike the Chicago Lakefront, Boulevards

Posted on August 18th, 2015 by

11149497_10153230454549872_3191881455291799377_n

Bike the boulevards and beyond this Saturday with the Active Transportation Alliance as they celebrate their 30th anniversary by bringing back the Boulevard Lakefront Tour.

The alliance, which is credited with getting the ball rolling on biking in the region, held the lakefront tour as its first major fundraising event in 1989. Results of their advocacy include protected bike lanes, the Divvy bike-sharing system, and the annual Bike the Drive event.

Bikers of all ages and ability can take a ride down memory lane with this event that takes bikers through several historical Chicago neighborhoods along the city’s scenic boulevards and bike-friendly streets.

Participants can choose between 14, 28, 36, and 63-mile routes depending on how much of a challenge they seek. Start times are staggered with the longest routes starting earliest. Water and snack stations will be placed along the routes.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own bikes, but rental services are suggested on the event’s website.
After the biking portion of the event is over, riders are encouraged to stick around for a festival with music, food, and camaraderie at Circle Memorial Grove on UIC’s campus.

The routes start and end on UIC’s campus. The online registration for adults is $37 and $16 for youth, while same day registration is $49. All proceeds go to the Active Transportation Alliance. For more information, visit bltride.org.

Tags: , ,

No Comments

Chicago Weekend Music Scene

Posted on August 18th, 2015 by

Those with the end-of-summer blues, whether it’s caused by start of school or the impending drop in temperatures, can still get one last hurrah in with several musical stars hitting town this weekend. Here are this weekend’s top musical acts in Chicago:

One Direction


The international boy band sensation hits town this Sunday with a show at Soldier Field that is sure to leave thousands of screaming fans breathless.

The quartet come to Chicago for the first time since fifth member Zayn Malik departed the band in March. The band has not skipped a beat, however, as their six-continent One the Road Again Tour has continued to impress around the globe.

The group, which formed after meeting while auditioning as solo artists on the British television show “X Factor,” has been compared to the Beatles in the way their fans gush over them. It certainly provides for a tough ticket to get.

However, tickets are still available for the Sunday show, which begins at 7 p.m. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com/honda-civic-tour-presents-one-direction-chicago-illinois-08-23-2015/event/04004D519AFC2090. Soldier Field is located at 1410 S. Museum Campus Drive.

Chicago


Spend an evening this Saturday and Sunday at Ravinia taking in one of the bestselling bands of all time. “An Evening with Chicago” will provide attendees with a night full of music and memories as the band named after the city plays hits that formed the soundtrack of the late ’60s through the ’80s.

Tickets are available for both days. For more information, visit ravinia.org/ShowDetails/Index?id=969.

Lady Antebellum


It’s a quarter after one and Lady Antebellum is coming to the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in Tinley Park this Saturday. The country trio will bring their unique sound to country music fans looking for a good time in the Southwest Suburbs.

The amphitheater is one of the largest outdoor venues in the Chicago area and allows for concert goers to have the full experience without the hassle of heading into the city. Easily accessible via Interstates 57 and 80; driving is the best option.

Great seats are still available at reasonable prices. For ticket information, visit concerts.livenation.com/event/04004E8EC75A1F6B?tm_link=artist_msg-0_04004E8EC75A1F6B&crosssite=TM_US:1173672:32837?tm_link=artist_msg-0_04004E8EC75A1F6B&crosssite=TM_US:1173672:32837.

Smaller Shows, Smaller Names, Still Great Times

There are many options across the city at smaller venues with acts that are little more out of the mainstream, but still offer a great time. Check out indie rock band Vinyl Theatre as they bring the house down at Lincoln Hall this Friday. Tickets are $15 and can be bought at event.etix.com/ticket/online/frontDoor.jsp?performance_id=8322626&cobrand=jamusa. Lincoln Hall is located in the heart of Lincoln Park at 2424 N. Lincoln Ave and can be best reached via the Fullerton CTA Station and No. 8 Halsted bus. 

If you’re into more of a Nirvana-esque sound, check out alternative band Failure as they play the Metro Friday night. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $32 and can be bought at etix.com/ticket/p/8985914/failure-chicago-metrochicagoil. The Metro is located at 3730 N. Clark St. and can be best reached via public transportation.

Tags: , , , ,

No Comments

Fest up this weekend

Posted on August 12th, 2015 by

No need to worry, festival season is not over just yet. Several neighborhood street fests are taking place this weekend as we enter the dog days of summer. Here are a few parties to jazz up your weekend:

Festa Italiana

Get a flavor of Italy in the Little Italy/University Village neighborhood as several old classics and new vendors serve up authentic Italian cuisine along with live music and other fun activities.
The 10th annual four-day fest will feature Italian dancing as well as folk music and card games, not to mention a meatball and cannoli-eating contest.

Lovers of history will also be in for a treat as the festival is offering free trolley tours of the historic Little Italy neighborhood, Chicago’s oldest Italian neighborhood.

And keeping with the neighborhood festival flare, the party will feature music from Chicago festival staples such as Too White Crew and Wedding Banned to go along with the traditional Italian flare.

The fest begins Thursday from 5-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon-11 p.m. and Sunday from noon-10 p.m. A $5 donation is suggested. The festival takes place on historic Taylor Street between Ashland Avenue and Racine Avenue. The fest can be reached via the Racine Blue Line station, Polk Pink Line station, or a plethora of CTA buses. For more information, visit starevents.com/festivals/festa-italiana.

epf

Edison Park Fest

Go out to the far Northwest Side for food, music, and family fun this weekend as the Edison Park Chamber of Commerce hosts Edison Park Fest.

Surrounded by Niles and Park Ridge on three sides, Edison Park is known as an enclave for city workers and families seeking a suburban lifestyle in the city. This is certainly reflected in the fest, which features a dedicated family stage full of kid-friendly activities such as a magic show, martial arts lesson, and a family workout.

Other fun activities include a bags tournament, bingo tournament, craft fair, and business expo. Live musical acts include Wedding Banned and 16 Candles.

The fest takes place from 5 — 11 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The use of public transportation is encouraged as the Edison Park Metra station is located right in the middle of the fest site, which is centered around downtown Edison Park and in Monument Park. For more information, visit edisonpark.com/EPFEST.

GAAF2015FestMap

Glenwood Ave Arts Fest

Come out to Rogers Park, Chicago’s northernmost neighborhood on the lake shore, this weekend for a party full of art, music, theater, and food.

More than 140 artists of all varieties and several musical acts will be featured at the three day fest, which takes place from 6 — 10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Public transportation is encouraged as the fest takes place under the Morse Red Line stop. For more information, visit glenwoodave.org.

Tags: , , , ,

No Comments

Get Kurios at Cirque Du Soleil at the United Center

Posted on August 11th, 2015 by

10157335_231295027061048_8462156885311545450_n

Cirque du Soleil is always pushing the envelope with their acts, both physically and psychologically, and four years since their last visit to Chicago they return with an even more dazzling production in “Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities.”

This newest addition tells a tale in which time comes to a complete stop, transporting the audience to a fantasy world where anything is possible. In this new realm, set in the late 19th century, reality is relative and your perception becomes transformed inside the cabinet of curiosities. The cabinet that this world exists in belongs to the Seeker who soon discovers that in order to glimpse the marvels that lie just below the surface we must first learn to close our eyes.

When a collection of otherworldly characters suddenly steps into his makeshift mechanical world, it is turned upside down with a touch of poetry and humor to ignite the Seeker’s imagination.

Come with an open mind and prepare to be wowed as some of the most talented performers in the world stage the latest in the line of productions that Cirque du Soleil have built their illustrious reputation on.

Cirque du Soleil’s “Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities” will run until Sept. 20 at the United Center located at 1901 W. Madison St. Tickets start around $35 and for more information on how to get tickets or on the production, go to cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/kurios/default.

Tags: , ,

No Comments