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Load Up at the Bacon and Beer Classic at Soldier Field

Posted on October 7th, 2015 by


Being a Chicago Bears fan might be rough this year, but there are two things that can always help you keep your chin up: bacon and beer. Luckily you can make it to Soldier Field this weekend and enjoy all the bacon and beer you can stuff your face with at the Bacon and Beer Classic.

After a popular first year where the Bacon and Beer Classic visited iconic ballparks and stadiums across the country serving up mouthwatering bacon and hop-filled craft beers, the festival has expanded this year and is making a stop at Soldier Field. Not only is the festival filled with America’s favorite liquid and solid but there is also music, interactive games, educational opportunities, photo booths, and more. We have a lot of bacon and beer festivals in Chicago and what makes this one different from the others, besides the fact that you get to enjoy Soldier Field’s concourse levels and seating, is that you only pay one price and get all you can eat and drink for three hours without having to buy anything else.

You can expect creative bacon bites from local restaurants as well as brews from Tallgrass Brewing Company, Motor Row Brewing, Coronado Brewing Company, and more.

The Bacon and Beer Classic will take place Sat. Oct. 10 with a session from 1 – 4 p.m. and one at 7 – 10 p.m. at Soldier Field located at 1410 S. Museum Campus Dr. Tickets are $59 for general admission and $99 for VIP, where you get in to the session an hour early. For more information visit

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Fall Fest Lincoln Park Zoo

Posted on October 7th, 2015 by


The cooler weather might discourage you to visit some of Chicago’s great outdoor spaces but with Fall Fest it might be one of the best times to visit Lincoln Park Zoo.

This family friendly celebration of the harvest season comes with countless activities including a corn maze, pumpkin patch, fun slide, and animal encounters. Admission to the Fall Fest is free but there is a mixture of free and paid activities. Most activities can be done with the purchase of tickets. Ticket prices are 1 for $30, 10 for $27, and 20 for $51. Below are a list of paid and free activites along with a highlight of special events occurring during Fall Fest.

Paid Activities
Inflatable Obstacle Course: 1 ticket
Fun Slide: 1 ticket
Lionel Train Adventure: 1 ticket
Pumpkin Bounce House: 1 ticket
AT&T Endangered Species Carousel: 1 ticket
Hay Mountain/Corn Maze: 1 ticket
Ferris Wheel: 2 tickets
Hay Ride: 1 tickets
Pumpkin Patch: Prices for white and orange pumpkins range from $2 to $.60/lb depending on the size and type of pumpkin

Daily Free Activities
Greet the Goats: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Feed the Cows: 10:30 a.m.
Seal Training and Feeding: 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m.
Meet an Animal: 11 a.m.
Pumpkin Play: 12:30–1:30 p.m
Great Ape Training Session: 1:30 p.m.
Free Flight Feeding: 2:30 p.m.
Lions: Pride of the Savanna: 3 p.m.
Bats: Friends, Not Foes: 3:30 p.m.
Edible Garden: Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Special Highlights
Red panda: Oct. 10 at 3 p.m. and Oct. 18 3 p.m.
Eastern black rhinoceros: Oct. 11 at 3 p.m.
Red Wolves: Oct. 10 at 3 p.m. and Oct. 16 at 10:30 a.m.

Fall Fest runs Friday through Sunday through Oct. 18 and Monday, Oct. 12. For more information visit

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Drama-Filled East of Eden a Must-See at Steppenwolf

Posted on October 7th, 2015 by


Casey Thomas Brown and Brittany Uomoleale. Photograph by Michael Brosilow.

The Steppenwolf Theatre Company gained international acclaim when it won a Tony Award for their 1989 production of John Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath,” and now they open their 40th season with the spectacularly tension-filled “East of Eden.”

As if the choice of a Steinbeck piece wasn’t enough to elicit the throwback feelings, the book was adapted by ensemble member Frank Galati, who received a Tony Award for his adaptation of “Grapes of Wrath,” and the production is directed by Steppenwolf co-founder Terry Kinney. With a great source, adaptor, director, and cast, “East of Eden” creates that hang-off-of-every-word drama that audiences salivate over in Steppenwolf productions.

Of course, the source material is already filled with that tension. With a large inheritance, Adam Trask is trying to escape his past by starting a new life in Salinas Valley California for himself, his morally-inept wife Cathy, and their troubled twin boys Caleb and Aron. The foundation of the play lies in whether good and evil is something that is inherited or a choice. If it is inherited can we change it?

The struggle is so ingrained in humans that it would take talented actors to give it the effort it deserves and all the players in this production do. Every single actor in this production will evoke strong and jarring emotions out of audiences. One of the highlights is Aaron Himelstein, Caleb Trask, who plays conflicted so well that I wouldn’t be surprised if I instinctively gave him a hug if I ever seem him on the street. If you look around the audience whenever Kate Arrington, Cathy Trask, is on stage you’ll likely see utter disgust in the people’s faces because she plays Cathy’s moral indifference perfectly. For the much-needed heart and, at times, comic relief Stephen Park, Lee, will certainly leave you clutching your chest and curling your lip.

When Steinbeck wrote “East of Eden” it came well after many of his other great books, and he considered it his magnum opus probably because it involved much more introspection. The line from the book “It’s too easy to excuse yourself because of your ancestry,” while about family traits, can also be something Steinbeck thought to himself in terms of not resting on the laurels of his previous achievements. With this production, Steppenwolf continues to show that no matter the amount of praise it has received over its 40-year history it still attacks every production with a respect and fire that always results in an fascinated audience.

“East of Eden” is running through Nov. 15 at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company located at 1650 N. Halsted St. Tickets range from $20 – $89. For more information visit

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‘Ride the Cyclone’ at Chicago Shakes

Posted on October 6th, 2015 by


Looking to take in a new musical with a refreshingly offbeat twist? Look no further than Ride the Cyclone, playing now through Nov. 8, at the Upstairs Chicago Shakespeare theater at Navy Pier.

Recommended for audiences 13 and up, this imaginative story is part comedy, part tragedy and delivers fun surprises at every turn. The lives of six teenagers from a Canadian chamber choir are cut short in a freak accident aboard a roller coaster. A mechanical fortune-teller invites each to tell their story of a life interrupted, which offers each of them the chance to come to terms with their fates and ultimately reveals the resilience of the human spirit in spite of senseless tragedy.

Ride the Cyclone runs 90 minutes with no intermission and tickets start at $30.

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Warm Up With This Round Up of Bands Hitting Chicago this Weekend

Posted on September 30th, 2015 by


A  late-’90s favorite and two  contemporary songstresses visit Chicago this weekend to help you warm up.


Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. Lawrence Ave.
Oct. 1
Tickets from $39.50

Nu metal saw a meteoric rise in the late ’90s and early 2000s and Korn was definitely one of the genre leaders. Fans should go to this concert to jam out as hard as possible and fail miserably at reproducing the beat box breakdown of “Freak on a Leash.”


Lianne La Havas

Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave.
Oct. 4
Tickets from $29.50

There’s always those once-in-a-generation voices and British folk soul singer Lianne La Havas is one of those voices, but you don’t have to take it from you can just ask Prince who has collaborated with the young singer-songwriter. Lianne La Havas will blow up soon and this is your chance to say you saw her when.

Ariana Grande

United Center, 1901 W. Madison St.
Oct. 2
Tickets from $39.50

It’s too late to see Ariana Grande before she blew up, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check out the tiny diva with a powerful voice. She’s on your radio and television constantly and has some strong pipes, so why not check if she’s the real deal at the monolithic United Center?

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Pinstripes Unveils New Fall Menu

Posted on September 30th, 2015 by


Pinstripes offers so much in between their bowling and bocce that it can be easy to forget that they serve mouthwatering Italian food on par with many of the city’s great bistros. With the new additions to their fall menu you’ll never forget about the food again.

Some of the changes on the menu are more nuanced like replacing the polenta that was on their Caesar salad with black sesame crostini and Parmesan with Pecorino Grand Cru. However, they did add purple kale to the salad that gives the dish a much-needed bite.


You’ll find more noticeable changes in the pastas with the additions of ratatouille and ravioli. The ratatouille is always great for fall as every bite of campanelle, sauteed vegetables, spicy tomato-herb broth, and pecorino gran cru is more comforting than the last. The ravioli of housemade lamb sausage, mozzarella, brown butter, sage, and sun dried tomato is unlike any other ravioli I’ve ever had. Not only is the lamb sausage wonderfully savory, but the way chef Cesar Gutierrez layers it in the ravioli with the mozzarella in the middle adds a different structure to traditional ravioli.

The favorite maple glazed salmon stays on the menu but with a new twist with the addition of eggplant caponata and a red pepper sauce to the organic quinoa that gives it a nice kick. If you somehow have enough room for dessert it would be a crime not to have the pistachio profiteroles consisting of housemade pastry, pistachio gelato, hot fudge, caramel.

Pistachio Profiteroles

Of course, having Italian food without wine is probably illegal, so make sure to try one of the bottles from their excellent collection. For those who typically turn down white wines, like myself, don’t ignore the Blindfold white blend from The Prisoner Wine Company out of California that will make you rethink your wine preferences all together.

Pinstripes is located at 435 E. Illinois St.  For more information visit


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Deals, Discounts, Displays, and More Await at Chicago Museum Week

Posted on September 30th, 2015 by


Chicago is the best city in the country for museums for two simple reasons: We have the best and most creative curators, and we need something to do when it’s cold outside. With the temperature starting to drop, Chicago Museum Week is the perfect time to take advantage and see the number one museum in the world, the first museum with two full-size planetarium dome theaters, a museum housed in the only remaining building from the1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, and much more.

Below you’ll find a list of the 12 participating museums with highlights of must-see exhibits, special presentations, and discounts.

Adler Planetarium

1300 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Free admission for Illinois residents Oct. 5 – 7
Make sure to take part in their Rocket Science Workshop Monday, Oct. 5, 10:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. where you can build your own rocket ship with everyday materials.

Art Institute of Chicago

111 S. Michigan Ave.
Free admision for Illinois residents Oct. 1 from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Don’t miss the first large-scale exhibit of the internationally recognized architect David Adjaye, “Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye”

Chicago History Museum

1601 N. Clark St.
$4 off admission
20% off at the cafe and museum store
Unwind and learn more about Chicago at After hours at CHM with a refreshing drink at the cafe and a flash tour Oct. 6 from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Tickets to After Hours are $5 for adults.

Dusable Museum of African American History

740 E. 56th Pl.
Two-for-one admission
10% off store
With so much history make sure to take advantage of the special guided tours and don’t miss their exhibit “Freedom Resistance and the Journey Toward Equality.”


The Field Museum

1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Free admission for Illinois Residents Oct. 4
If you take advantage of the free admision on Oct. 4 then don’t miss the “Vikings” exhibit, which closes that day. Marvel’s “Thor” has nothing on this exhibit with artifacts that have never been seen outside of Scandinavia.

Lincoln Park Zoo

2400 N. Cannon Dr.
Free admission all year
Fall Fest, Oct. 2 – 4, is a great way to welcome the season with a corn maze, pumpkin patch, hay ride, and more seasonal fun. While you’re there don’t miss all the new arrivals at the zoo like the adorable red panda cub, which might still be growing in the behind-the-scenes den.

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

220 E. Chicago Ave.
Free admission for Illinois Residents Oct. 6
Bring a receipt from another museum you visited during Chicago Museum Week and receive 50% off an adult admission
Exploring this museum begins before you even enter the museum with their ongoing Plaza Project series, which now features Alexander da Cunha.

Museum of Science and Industry

Free admission for Illinois Residents Oct. 5 – 6
5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.
The Museum of Science and Industry is always looking into the future and no exhibits demonstrates this more than “Robot Revolution” where you’ll seeing everything from drones to the da Vinci® medical robot.

National Museum of Mexican Art

1852 W. 19th St.
Free admission all year
The most anticipated exhibit every year from this museum is the one dedicated to the Day of the Dead. With 116 art pieces and 90 artists from both the U.S. and Mexico, this year is no different with “La Muerte Niña: Day of the Dead.”


The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture

3015 W. Division St.
Free admission all year
Tour with artist Oscar Luis Martinez through the museum’s latest exhibit “Metamorfosis of Divine Entanglements” during the Wine and Cheese Tour on Oct. 7 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.


Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

2430 N. Cannon Dr.
Free admission for Illinois Residents Oct. 1
From Oct. 2 – 7 bring a receipt from your visit to another museum during Museum Week and get $5 off a paid adult admission ticket
10% off the entire gift shop
With the new “Peanuts” movie coming out kids are going to love the “Peanuts…Naturally” exhibit that explores the way Charles M. Schulz touched on nature in his comic strips.

peanuts 240x240

Shedd Aquarium

1200 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Free admission for Illinois Residents Oct. 5 – 6 or discounted upgraded admission
Visiting during Chicago Museum Week is the perfect time to do the Behind-the-Scenes Tour where you can view all the aquariums and animals from the perspective of the staff for 50 minutes at a 50-percent discount.

Chicago Museum Week takes place Oct. 1 – 7. For more information on the special deals and attractions the museums are offering visit

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Tailgate with the 1985 ‘Shufflin’ Crew’ at Harry Caray’s Tavern Navy Pier

Posted on September 30th, 2015 by

1985 Chicago Bears at Navy PierLooking to avoid Sunday’s pre- and post-Bears’ game traffic hassles near Soldier Field? Want to regale in memories of the 1985 World Champion Bears? Well, thanks to Harry Caray’s Tavern at Navy Pier, now you can do both.

Before every Chicago home football game (through Nov. 22, weather permitting), you can get up-close and personal with players from the 1985 team at their Harry Caray’s Park, Tailgate and Cruise tailgate parties. In addition to the offerings, detailed below, players will be posing for photos with fans and signing autographs. The lineup includes Keith Van Horne (Oct. 4), Mike Richardson (Nov. 1), and Jim Morrissey (Nov. 22).

The festivities begin before game time at Harry’s. On Chicago football Sunday regular season home games, a selection of brunch items, including Steak and Eggs and Chilaquiles, will be available between 9 a.m. and noon alongside a Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar and other all day drink specials.

Following the tailgate, guests can enjoy a 15 minute cruise to the Museum Campus. The Shoreline Water Taxi will board directly in front of Harry Caray’s Tavern and will be discounted for guests of Harry Caray’s ($14/adult (a $2 savings), $7/children 12 and under (a $1 savings), children 2 and under ride free). The roundtrip water taxi ride includes a choice of beverage to enjoy on the trip (Budweiser, Bud Light, Pepsi product or bottled water). Following the game, ride the water taxi back to Harry’s for a post-game tailgate to keep the party going.

Additional information is available here.

-Sponsored post

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Fall Favorite: Hyde Park Jazz Festival

Posted on September 22nd, 2015 by

Ambrose Akinmusire

Ambrose Akinmusire

Chicago’s favorite jazz festival is back this weekend and will feature hundreds of fine jazz musicians—ranging from world-class headliners to local emerging artists—in addition to fun extras like an outdoor dance floor, artisan vendors, and so much more.

In its ninth year, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival will feature more than 35 performances and programs on 14 unique stages throughout the neighborhood. The performing artists featured are some of the finest in Chicago and on the national and international scene. They are exploring a broad spectrum of the music, from traditional to free jazz to dance music to experimental composition. Many of them are presenting in new or rarely heard configurations, adding to the uniqueness of the festival.  Featured performers include trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and Regina Carter, the foremost jazz violinist of her generation

At the center of the performances this year is a major commissioning initiative based on the festival’s Story Share project, which invites anyone to audio record a personal story about jazz at our booth on the Midway Festival grounds. In partnership with the Rebuild Foundation and with support from the Chicago Community Trust, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival has commissioned local artists Tomeka Reid and Mikel Patrick Avery to create new compositions based on stories collected.

This year’s festival will take place September 26-27 in Hyde Park. The festival is free but a $5 donation is suggested. Hours for the fest are Saturday from 1 p.m. to 12 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 7p.m. on Sunday. The full schedule is downloadable here.

Southern Comfort EPK from Julian Peterson on Vimeo.

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Say #FerrWell to a Signature Chicago Icon

Posted on September 22nd, 2015 by

NavyPierFerrisWheelHead to Navy Pier this weekend and say “FerrWell” to the iconic Ferris wheel as it takes its final spin and find out what’s in store—including a new wheel in summer of 2016—as part of the Pier’s centennial celebration.

In addition to bidding FerrWell to the wheel, experience Navy Pier’s new and existing restaurants with complimentary samplings of their respective signature items. On Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept.27 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., select restaurants set up in a tented area near the Ferris wheel will be handing out samples to visitors.

Those who visit the Ferris wheel on Saturday and Sunday from 10 p.m. to 9:45 a.m. get to take one last ride—for free. A fireworks display at 8 p.m. on Sunday will conclude the sendoff.

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