The Bears’ season may have ended in a fiery display of mediocrity, it’s only up from here, but there are plenty of great teams to watch and prepare for this weekend.
With a new manager and renovated stadium, the Chicago Cubs are ready for a hopefully refreshing new season. Fans can kick off the new season at the 30th Annual Cubs Convention. Get a chance to meet Cubs superstars past and present along with executives, staff, and broadcasters. In addition, enjoy autograph and question-and-answer opportunities along with Cubs jeopardy, bingo, and activities for young Cubs fans.
30th Annual Cubs Convention
Jan. 16 – 18
Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, 301 E. North Water St.
The Chicago Blackhawks have been a force in the NHL the past few seasons and this season is no different. Third place in the Western Conference and fifth in the league, the Blackhawks are holding on strong and ready for the playoffs. Catch them twice this weekend against the Winnipeg Jets and the Dallas Stars.
Chicago Blackhawks v. Winnipeg Jets, Jan. 16
Chicago Blackhawks v. Dallas Stars, Jan. 18
United Center, 1901 West Madison St.
With Derrick Rose back, the signing of Pau Gasol, and the increasing heart of Joakim Noah, don’t be surprised if the Chicago Bulls are in the NBA finals this year. However, the Eastern Conference isn’t as easy as it used to be as seen in the rise of the Atlanta Hawks who have won 23 of their last 25 games and are in first place in the East. So expect an extremely competitive and exciting game this weekend when these two teams meet.
Chicago Bulls v. Atlanta Hawks
United Center, 1901 West Madison St.
The Chicago Cubs take on the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday, May 17 and instead of just catching the game and heading back to the hotel why not explore everything Wrigleyville has to offer. Hop on the Red Line, get off at Addison, and get ready to explore Cubs Land.
2014 marks the 100th birthday of one of Chicago’s iconic landmarks: Wrigley Field. The ballpark has been commemorating the occasion with throwback uniforms, retro toys, specialty foods, performances, and entertainment. Get a behind the scenes look with their daily tour. On game days you don’t get a look at the club houses but you do get to check out the seating bowl, bleachers, indoor batting cage, and the field. Along the way learn cool fun facts you can drop on friends like that until 2003 Wrigley Field held the record for the most NFL games played in a single stadium? If you just said out loud, “Wait, what,” then check out the tour to learn more.
Wrigley Field Tour
1060 W. Addison St.
So you probably only had orange juice before your Wrigley Field tour and at this point you’re starving. Head down the block to enjoy a fried egg, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, tomato, spinach for brunch. Of course, you’ll be tempted to have one Rockit Burger Bar’s amazing black angus burgers. If you want to continue with the breakfast theme get the Huevos Rancheros burger, which comes with a black angus patty, fried egg, chihuahua cheese, corn tortilla strips, roasted salsa roja, jalapeño aioli all served with curly fries. Why not wash it down at their Bloody Mary bar?
Rockit Burger Bar
3700 N. Clark St.
You got a behind-the-scenes look, and now it’s time to see Wrigley Field in its element. With Milwaukee being under two hours away it’s inevitable that the Brewers are a rival of the Chicago Cubs. It also doesn’t help that the Brewers lead the National League Central Division and the Cubs are in last place. The Cubs are just in a slump and it might take the energy of this rivalry to turn it around, but what has always made Wrigley special is that it doesn’t matter how the Cubs are doing because the fans are always passionate. Its hard to beat sitting in history.
Chicago Cubs v. Milwaukee Brewers
1060 W. Addison St.
If you couldn’t get tickets to the game don’t worry because Cubs games don’t just happen at Wrigley Field; they happen all over Wrigleyville. If you’re the type that screams at the television and think you can bat better than the professionals then you might want to check out Sluggers. Along with a great beer selection, party atmosphere, and countless televisions, Sluggers houses batting cage upstairs. Yes, alcohol and batting cages don’t seem like a good idea until you step into the batters box at Sluggers and ask why more sports bars don’t do the same.
If you’re looking for a place with an outdoor space then head over to Casey Moran’s. Not only do they have an outdoor beer garden but they also have a rooftop Ivy Lounge that overlooks Wrigleyville. With this beautiful weather it’s hard to say no to that.
3540 N. Clark St.
3660 N. Clark St.
The activities aren’t over, but pace yourself you party animal. Head back to your hotel, take a shower, close your eyes for a few minutes, and change for the night ahead.
The best way to start up your night after a restful nap is with some laughs and ComedySportz has that with a twist. Instead of the typical improv show, The ComedySportz Theatre makes their show interactive by making it part of a game. The performers are separated into two different teams and the team that gets the most laughs out of the audience wins. The content is friendly for all ages so if you have children 7 years old and up feel free to bring them along.
The ComedySportz Theatre
929 W. Belmont Ave.
After spending all day in a t-shirt with beers, it’s nice to get a little gussied up and grab some cocktails at Deuce’s & The Diamond Club. Take the escalator up to the Diamond bar and relax on their comfortable couches sipping on a Deuce’s Sidecar, and if you need a bite to eat try their pulled pork or Cuban sandwich. Head out to the balcony with your friends and loved ones and take a look at the neighborhood you just conquered.
Deuce’s & The Diamond Club
3505 N. Clark St.
It’s usual to walk around Chicago and see people wearing Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, and White Sox clothing, but you might have seen an increase in baseball jerseys because the Crosstown Classic is back.
The Cubs and White Sox are in the middle of their four-game rivalry where at the end of it one team can have the bragging rights of being Chicago’s better team. At the time of this post the White Sox are leading with their win Monday. The series will continue today at Wrigley Field and finish Wednesday and Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field.
At current standings the Cubs are 9.5 games behind first place in their division and the White Sox are five games behind, so at the moment we’re not talking about the cream of the crop in terms of baseball teams but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. First, the current home run leader in the entire league is White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu and you can’t pass up seeing him hit one or a few out of the park. The Cubs have Anthony Rizzo who may not have the home run numbers but has better hitting and on-base percentage. In reality, it’s all about the atmosphere. It’s all about watching the impassioned fans stress over their team and cheer on the runs as if they were on the field. It can get intense in the stands but just take it as part of the experience and bring the thick skin.
Catch the rivalry tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Wrigley Field located at 1060 W. Addison St. and Wednesday and Thursday at 7:10 p.m. U.S. Cellular Field at 333 W. 35th St. For more information visit cubs.com and whitesox.com.
Looking for a fun distraction that takes you away from the already photographed skyscrapers of Chicago’s downtown? If so then find time to head over to SausageFest Chicago in the Lake View neighborhood this Saturday and Sunday (June 15th and 16th), where a catalog of macho meats await.
Returning for its third year, SausageFest Chicago hosts an arrangement of exclusive vendors that continue to display their craftsmanship in an open market setup. Masters in every sense of the word, these retailers will best any stomach.
Known by its association with the historic Wrigleyville area, SausageFest Chicago is accessible by taking the Red Line to the “Addison” stop on the CTA’s “L” system. Hopeful attendees/commuters will find themselves enticed by the hints of smoke coming from West Addison Street. Live entertainment is also included, providing a backdrop to the sizzling grills. These sights and sounds, coupled with some tickets to the exciting matchup between the Cubs and Mets this weekend, make for a unique evening in Wrigleyville.
For those feeling a bit more masculine than the rest of us, the title for “Sausage King of Chicago” is up for grabs and is fit with an entire crowning ceremony. The title encourages at both times boasting and appreciation among only the most serious of meat lovers. In some respects it has the ability to rival even the most deserving of awards.
Let it all go once in a while. This weekend allow yourself to indulge in the likes of kielbasa, polish sausages, BBQ pork, hot dogs, roasted duck and the rest that are sure to be as hearty as you are faithful in being a carnivore. The ridiculousness that is sure to ensue and the comfort of taking it easy for a day in Wrigleyville make SausageFest Chicago worthwhile. Running from noon to 10 p.m. the festivities should be convenient and rewarding for families, friends and even the occasional passerby.
Tickets for the second annual Woody’s Winter Warm Up, to be held on Jan. 18th at Harry Caray’s Tavern at Navy Pier, are now on sale.
This charity event enables guests to mix and mingle with Kerry Wood, the 2013 Cubs lineup, Cubs past players and legends, and a variety of Chicago celebrities, as they get behind the bar to serve you and compete for tips!
100% of ticket proceeds and tips will benefit the Wood Family Foundation.
In 2011, former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood and his wife, Sarah, founded the Wood Family Foundation, a non-profit organization that serves as an advocate for Chicagoland children by raising awareness and funds for children’s charities and programs.
This fantastic charity event at Harry Caray’s Tavern features VIP guests, delicious food and drinks, and a silent auction! Guests will be treated to the great bar service of Kerry Wood, other former and current Cubs players, and local celebrities as they mix up drinks and compete for tips to benefit the Wood Family Foundation.
A limited number of tickets are being sold for $150. For more information, visit here.
Bottom of the 9th. Bases are loaded. A stadium full of fans waits motionless, hot dogs in hand, as you step out of the very dugout where legends and their legends once stood. The weight of history on your shoulders and generations of Cubs fans at your back, you step to the plate…
Take in a part of Chicago history with a tour of the famous Wrigley Field. Step inside the visitors’ clubhouse where every great in baseball history has gotten suited up, see the Cubs clubhouse where your favorite players on today’s lineup get geared up to play, sit in the press box next to where legendary announcer Harry Caray sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” every 7th inning stretch for 16 years, and step from the Cubs dugout onto the field like you’re one of the greats yourself.
Informed tour guides lead you through the park with stories and anecdotes for every step you take. See the ivy-covered wall and learn how long it took to hang. Hear why “Quick Rick”, the scoreboard operator, is so impossibly quick. Find out for yourself what makes a baseball field the icon of a city.
Choose your tour at the Cubs’ website. Tickets sell out fast so don’t miss your chance!
Father’s Day is just around the corner, so get ready for some family fun, food and baseball at Harry Caray’s Tavern at Navy Pier.
The Chicago Cubs will be taking on the Boston Red Sox in the most highly anticipated series of the season on Father’s Day. Not only is it Father’s Day weekend, but the series will mark Cubs President Theo Epstein’s first match up against his former team—the Boston Red Sox. Celebrate Father’s Day and the rivalry between two of the most storied teams in baseball!
Catch the action by watching the game on Harry Caray’s huge flat screens and indulging in their food specials (available June 15-17):
• HARRY’S CHICAGO STYLE HOT DOG $11.95
Colossal Half-Pound All-Beef Hot Dog topped with Yellow Mustard, White Onions, Sweet Pickle Relish, Dill Pickle Spear, Tomatoes, Pickled Sport Peppers and a dash of Celery Salt on a Poppy Seed Bun with Choice of French Fries or Vinegar Slaw
• BOSTON LOBSTER ROLL $19.95
Chunks of Tender Lobster mixed with Chives, Parsley and Mayonnaise on a Buttery Toasted New England Style Bun with Choice of French Fries or Vinegar Slaw
Featured beers for Father’s Day weekend include:
CHICAGO: Half Acre Daisy Cutter ($6.50), Argus Jarrett Payton’s All-American Wheat ($6), and Goose Island Honker’s Ale ($6).
BOSTON: Clown Shoes Clementine (22oz; $16), Sam Adams Wee Heavy ($8), and Sam Adams Boston Lager ($6).
Get ready for the first pitch of the season on the North Side on Thursday, April 5, as the Chicago Cubs take on the Washington Nationals at the Friendly Confines. Whether you’re looking to pre-game, post-game or just kick back a while watching outside the ballpark, here’s a roundup of local spots that bleed Cubbie blue.
The Cubby Bear: This venue, located right across the street from Wrigley Field, is a great spot to hang out or have a post-game party. Enjoy live music or watch the game on one of their five projection screen TVs or 75 plasma TVs throughout the bar. It’s ensured that you won’t miss any part of the action. And, hey, you’re just a long foul ball’s distance from the ballpark; so the atmosphere can’t be beat.
The Sports Corner: This tavern and grill has been a neighborhood favorite since opening 1976. Enjoy a nice draft and a burger fresh off of the grill while you take in 9-innings and welcome the spring/summer season!
Vines on Clark: For a more intimate spot to watch the game, head up to Vines on Clark. They have an outside patio and a spacious dining room dotted with flat screen TVs, this offers up a less pub-like game-watching experience.
Casey Moran’s: They guarantee no bad seat in the house – sounds like a reason to take in the game to me! Watch the game on their 30, 52-inch plasma TVs throughout the entire bar and even out on their garden café. Hungry? Casey Moran’s offers up juicy burgers, cold salads, and even sushi!
Rebel: If you’re feeling rebellious and want a great nightlife experience after the game, this is the place to be. Rebel Bar and Grill is a year-round destination that features daily food and drink specials, private party rooms, and excellent service! Head there after the game to loosen up and dance!
Benchmark: Located in Old Town, this chic tavern is Chicago’s “first convertible beer garden”, meaning that the highlight of this venue is its fully-retractable roof. There are 46 TVs, so you won’t miss any of Dempster’s pitches!
Kirkwood: This is a one-of-a-kind bar offering plenty of seating on their expansive patio (complete with TVs) and cozy, shady spots courtesy of their trees and umbrellas. If you’re with a group of friends, you’re in luck! Kirkwood has sharable drinks and dishes like fishbowls and skillet cookies!
Schoolyard Bar: Head to Lakeview for upscale bar food and catch the game inside or out in this cozy, small bar. Got the kids in tow? No worries! This is a family-friendly destination, so bring them along!
Rockit Ranch Productions recently announced the transformation of Rockit Wrigley to Rockit Burger Bar, taking place on the Chicago Cubs Opening Day on April 5.
It’s also perfect timing for the expansion of Rockit’s burger selection, having recently received best burger praise from “Good Morning America”, among others. Chef Amanda Downing welcomes the new season—and new menu—by indulging patrons with mouth-watering gourmet burgers of all kinds!
Sink your teeth into creative burgers like Downing’s “The Hottie” made with breaded, cream cheese-stuffed peppers on top of a patty with pepper jack cheese and ghost pepper aioli or the “Johnny Apple Burger” featuring gala apples, melted brie, apple wood-smoked bacon and pecan aiolito.
Rockit Burger Bar’s hours: Tuesday-Thursday from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.; and Sunday from 10:10 a.m. to close. Weekend brunch will be available Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rockit Burger Bar will also open two hours prior to every Cubs home game.
While it seems that other Major League teams are moving into a new stadium every few decades, the Chicago Cubs have been playing ball at Wrigley Field since 1916. Unlike the other sterile, brand new, state-of-the-art ballparks, Wrigley has an inordinate amount of charm and history.
And you can take it all in with a behind-the-scenes tour.
Wrigley Field Tours will be running through the end of October, virtually every day. Tours are held rain or shine, and whether or not the Cubs have a home game that day. On most September days, sessions mainly occur every hour from around 9 or 10 a.m. to 3 or 4 p.m. October is a little different, as there will only be two or three tours per weekday, mostly in the afternoons. Weekends will still have hourly tours most days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The full schedule is available on Cubs.com.
For $25 (or less, if you attend with a group of 20 or more), you will get to see everything that makes Wrigley special. The 75-minute session lets fans see the Cubs clubhouse, visiting clubhouse, press box, bleachers, dugouts, on-deck circles and a part of the field. Wearing a Cubs jersey and reliving dreams of being Ryne Sandberg is optional.
The tours are a hit (no pun intended). Visitors love stepping on the field, and, as Samantha Morris, the Coordinator of Tour Experiences says, “being able to sit in the same dugout where Ernie Banks did, stepping in the same on-deck circle just like Aramis Ramirez and taking in Wrigley from the best vantage point around is usually a once in a lifetime experience.”
Ironically, the most unique part of the tour is going into the visitors’ clubhouse, where the likes of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers, Paul McCartney and Elton John have prepared for their baseball game, football game, or concert.
In fact, it’s not impossible for some real major leaguers to be present on game day. Tour groups may see broadcasters getting ready on game days, and you just may see players getting their cuts in the batting cage before the first pitch.
The tour involves a good deal of walking (1.5 miles) with parts of it outdoors, so dress accordingly. Cameras and video cameras are acceptable for personal use.
Guests are encouraged to buy their tickets in advance, and one can do that by ordering from Cubs.com, calling 800-THE-CUBS, or visiting the Wrigley Field Box Office at the ballpark.
Complementary parking is available for tour guests on non-game days in the purple lot on the southeast corner of Clark Street and Waveland Avenue. The best way to get to the park by public transportation is to take the Red Line to the Addison stop, or the Brown Line to the Southport stop and walk a few blocks northeast to the park.