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Fourth of July: Five things to do

Posted on July 1st, 2015 by

Still making plans for the Fourth of July? It’s not too late. Here are five things to do to celebrate the holiday in style:

Chicago History Museum 56th Annual Fourth of July Celebration

This family-friendly event features patriotic music, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and a children’s costume parade led by the world’s tallest Uncle Sam. The event begins at 10 a.m. and is free of cost with no reservations required. The museum itself will open to the public at noon and is free of charge for Illinois residents that day. For more information, visit chicagohistory.org/planavisit/upcomingevents/family-events.

chicago history

Windy City RibFest

Backyard barbecues are often a feature of the Fourth, but for those looking to avoid the cookout but still eat delicious food, Windy City RibFest is the answer. Featuring several nationally-renowned barbecue joints as well as local favorites, this fest will surely satisfy the taste buds while keeping attendees entertained with music, beer, and a play area for kids. The fest is at Lawrence Avenue and Broadway in Uptown, and is easily accessible via the Red Line and #36 Broadway bus. For more information, visit chicagoevents.com/event.cfm?eid=190.

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Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Whether you’re a Northsider or Southsider, celebrate America’s birthday with America’s pastime as the Cubs and White Sox are both in town. It all starts on the South Side with the Sox and Orioles at 1:10 p.m. The first 10,000 fans will receive a Bobby Jenks bobble head ahead of the much-anticipated 2005 World Series reunion later this month. Things move to the North Side in the evening as the Cubs play the Marlins at 6:15 p.m. After the game, the Cub’s will have their first post-game fireworks show in the team’s history. Both U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field are accessible via the CTA Red Line. For more information, visit whitesox.com or cubs.com.

100406-N-1232M-001  CHICAGO (April 6, 2010) Sailors assigned to various commands at Naval Station Great Lakes unfurl an American flag before the 2010 home opening Chicago White Sox baseball game at U.S. Cellular Field. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Thomas Miller/Released)

A Chicago White Sox baseball game at U.S. Cellular Field. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Thomas Miller/Released)

Fireworks

Annual fireworks shows will be taking place throughout the area as the country celebrates its founding. If you cant make it to the show at Navy Pier, here are some other local shows to check out:
Evanston – Sheridan Road and Church St., 9:15 p.m.
Winnetka – Duke Childs Field, 1321 Willow Road, 9:15 p.m.
Skokie – Niles West High School, 5701 Oakton St., dusk (3D fireworks)

fireworks

African/Caribbean International Festival of Life

This West Loop festival, now in its 23rd year, allows for attendees to celebrate being citizens of the world through international food, music, crafts, and more. Tickets for adults start at $17. For more information, visit festivaloflife.biz.

fest of life

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Chicago Cubs Opening Night 2015 with Fall Out Boy Pre-Show

Posted on March 31st, 2015 by

Wrigley500

Look, I don’t know what’s going on. Last week it was snowing, and this week we’re hitting the 60s. All I know is baseball is back, and for the Chicago Cubs things are looking up.

The Chicago Cubs kick off their baseball season against last year’s National League Central Division leader the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs, who ended in last place in the division last year, are completely refreshed with a new manager in Joe Maddon and a young group of guys who are hungry for a different narrative this year. Many sports analysts and pundits have the Cubs as a sleeper, and maybe they’ll live up to that “Back to the Future Part II” prediction.

Along with the opener will be a pre-show concert from Chicago’s own Fall Out Boy who will perform three songs before the first pitch for the fans on the field. Fans will also notice some construction on opening day as Wrigley is still going through renovations. It’s recommended that you take public transportation to the game to avoid traffic brought on by the construction. The Addison Red Line stop leaves you right next to Wrigley Field.

The Chicago Cubs face the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, April 5 at 7:00 p.m. at Wrigley Field located at 1060 W. Addison St. For more information visit chicago.cubs.mlb.com.

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3 Chicago Sports Events to Get Your Blood Pumping this Weekend

Posted on January 14th, 2015 by

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.

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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.
mlb.com/chc/community/convention

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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.
blackhawks.nhl.com

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
Jan. 17
United Center, 1901 West Madison St.
nba.com/bulls

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Take Me Out to Wrigleyville

Posted on May 14th, 2014 by

Opening Day 2012 Chicago Cubs

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.

1. 9:15 a.m., Wrigley Field Tour

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.

 

2. 10:30 a.m., Rockit Burger Bar Brunch

Rockit Burger Bar Venue Showcase from Rockit Ranch Productions on Vimeo.

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.

 

3. 1:20 p.m., Chicago Cubs v. Milwaukee Brewers

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.

 

4. 1:20 p.m., Sluggers and Casey Morans

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.

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Casey Morans

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.
Sluggers
3540 N. Clark St.

Casey Morans
3660 N. Clark St.

 

5. Afternoon Recharge

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.

6. 8:00 p.m., The ComedySportz Theatre


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.

 

7. 10:00 p.m., Deuce’s & The Diamond Club

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Deuces & The Diamond Club

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.

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It’s Time to Pick. Cubs or Sox?

Posted on May 6th, 2014 by

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.

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All Hail the Mighty Sausage!

Posted on June 12th, 2013 by

SausageFest Chicago 2013Looking 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.

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Winter Warm Up at Harry Caray’s Tavern

Posted on January 7th, 2013 by

Woody's Winter Warm Up at Harry Caray's Tavern Navy PierTickets 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.

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Take Me Out to a Tour of Historic Wrigley Field!

Posted on June 21st, 2012 by

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!

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Father’s Day at Harry Caray’s Tavern at Navy Pier

Posted on June 11th, 2012 by

Harry Carays Tavern Navy PierFather’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).

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Cub-Friendly Confines for Opening Day

Posted on April 2nd, 2012 by

Cubs Opening Day 2012Get 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!

Wrigleyville is the place to be during these games, but sometimes, nearby venues are crowded and it’s hard to snag a seat. If that happens, there are several other outstanding Chicago bars that offer an equally- satisfying, game-watching experience!

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!

Don’t forget, you can get an inside look at Chicago’s beloved Wrigley Field with the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field Tours.

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