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Shaw’s 26th Annual Oyster Fest Returns

Posted on September 18th, 2014 by

Shaws Oyster Fest 2014

Shaw’s Crab House’s favorite festival on the half shell returns Sept. 22-26 for a week-long celebration of its favorite mollusk. Their 26th Annual Oyster Fest will culminate with the famous Oyster Fest Block Party on Friday, Sept. 26th offering fest-goers incredible food, cocktails, and three live music acts including Andrew Diehl, Odessa, and headliner Brett Dennen.

Dig in on the celebration at both locations (Chicago and Schaumburg) with half- priced oysters on the half shell all week long available at both lunch and dinner at the Oyster Bar. For the remainder of Oyster Fest Week, diners can enjoy cold-water oysters for just $8/half dozen or $16/dozen in addition to hot oyster dishes like Fried Oysters, Oyster Po’ Boys, and Oysters Rockefeller.

The nightly Slurp-Off during the week invites participants to slurp down a dozen oysters as fast as they can, hands-free, with the goal to advance to Friday’s Grand Slurp-Off at the Oyster Fest Block Party for their chance to win a grand prize of $1,000. The Grand Slurp-Off will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 26.

Oyster Fest Block Party

oysterfestlivemusicThe Oyster Fest Block Party will take place on Friday, Sept. 26, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 560 W. Grand Ave. (Grand Avenue and the Chicago River). This annual bash $25 entry fee offers attendees the chance to enjoy the freshest oysters on the half shell and boat-loads of delicious food provided by Shaw’s in addition to beverages from Goose Island, Martin Codax Wines, Bridlewood Wines, Grey Goose, and Bacardi. Tickets are for admission only; food and beverage tickets are sold separately; the Oyster Fest Block Party is cash only and ATMs will be available at the venue.

Tickets are $25 per person. VIP tickets (includes an elevated viewing area, separate bathrooms and a full cash bar) are available for $75 per person. All tickets can be purchased at

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Celebrate the Garden District of Chicago

Posted on July 14th, 2014 by


Truly showing that Chicago is “Urbs in horto,” a city in a garden, Lincoln Park will be celebrating the 46th annual Sheffield Garden Walk and Music Festival on July 19 – 20, with live music and tours of more than 80 of the neighborhood’s gardens.

Presented by the Sheffield Neighborhood Association, this “iconic green showcase” will be hosting architecture tours of  the Victorian-era buildings that make up much of the neighborhood’s National Historic District, and the historic St. Vincent de Paul Church, in addition to its guided garden tours. Also for the first time this year,  the festival will be sharing an entrance at Sheffield and Webster with Chicago’s 3rd annual Craft Beer Festival, giving visitors the opportunity to check out both of these Lincoln Park attractions side by side.


While centered around the beautiful gardens of the DePaul/Lincoln Park neighborhood, the festival offers a great weekend activity for families with its popular Kid’s Korner each afternoon between 12:00 — 5:30 p.m. The Korner includes art activities, a petting zoo, pony rides, and even a kiddie Ferris Wheel to entertain those little visitors who aren’t captured with the sightseeing.

Family-friendly means not entertaining only the kids, but  parents will be able to enjoy food from vendors such as La Mexicana and The Crave Bar Food Truck, alongside live music performances on two stages. Featured headliners are ZZ Ward, the Freddy Jones Band, The Samples, and Meiko.

Sheffield Garden Walk hours are 12:00 – 10:00 p.m. both days. Depending on tours, suggested  donations are between $7 – 10, and proceeds benefit the Sheffield Neighborhood Association.

For more information visit:, and share your experience on twitter with #SheffieldGardenWalk.

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Celebrate Martin Luther King’s Birthday at Navy Pier

Posted on January 14th, 2014 by

Celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday on Monday, Jan. 20, at the Family Pavilion at Navy Pier.

From 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. the All God’s Children Community Choir will treat attendees to a free, special performance. The Choir is a multiracial, multicultural group of talented kids and teen – ranging in age from four to 18 – drawn from ten different communities in Southwest Michigan.

Led by a multicultural team of directors, the Choir is now in its 13th year, continuing to inspire audiences with its messages of brotherhood, sisterhood, unity, friendship, peace and respect for all people.

Dr. King showed us all what one little person can do with love – and come Monday, we can’t think of a more beautiful way to pay tribute to his legacy.

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Over 100 Bands to Perform at ChillFest

Posted on November 11th, 2013 by


Head to Chicago’s Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods this weekend as over 100 local musicians will perform pop-up gigs at over 30 locations at the first annual ChillFest on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

This free event’s participants include local shops, restaurants, and other unique venues, who will stage four musicians in a dedicated portion of their space. Each of the artists will play an acoustic 20- or 60-minute set for the public to enjoy.  A full list of venues is available here and the lineup of artists can be seen here.


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VIDEO: Tanta, DryHop Brewers & Mollusks

Posted on October 16th, 2013 by

Bobby Gonzalez, concierge at the Hotel Palomar – A Kimpton Hotel, dishes on his top picks for what to do around town. From Peruvian fare and oysters on the half shell to DryHop Brewers up in Lakeview, it’s all here in this short video clip.

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VIDEO: Dillman’s, Oktoberfest & Riot Fest

Posted on September 12th, 2013 by

Kaitlyn Lawlor, concierge at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile, shares her top things to do around town this week. From delving into delectable fare at Dillman’s and polka-ing at Berghoff’s annual Oktoberfest celebration in the Loop to Riot Fest in Humboldt Park, it’s all here in this short video clip.

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Take it Outside

Posted on September 3rd, 2013 by

Cure your post-Labor Day blues by making the most of the warm, sunny weather this week at the LandShark Beer Garden at Navy Pier.

Open until October, Chicago visitors (and locals!) can indulge in a vast variety of food and beverages, and hear live local music while taking in the breathtaking views of the city skyline.

Located at the East End of Navy Pier, the beer garden is a great place for guests to relax, unwind and enjoy Chicago’s lakefront.

For those over 21, the LandShark Beer Garden is The. Place. To. Be. The beverage menu features imports, microbrews and domestic beers in addition to its signature drink: the LandShark Lager. Despite its designation as a Beer Garden, this Navy Pier locale is definitely family friendly, with various menu items ideal for youngsters and plenty of beverages of the non-alcoholic variety.

So grab your friends and grab a beer at the LandShark Beer Garden, and savor the remaining and an unbeatable view of the city. The LandShark Beer Garden is open Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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Chipotle’s Cultivate Festival Returns

Posted on September 3rd, 2013 by

Esquites: A salad of charred corn, shredded cabbage, and crispy tortillas, tossed with roasted tomatillos, sour cream, pickled onions, and cotija cheese.This Saturday, Chipotle will be taking Chicagoans under its wing, by sharing the secrets of how they cultivate and cook the freshest, tastiest fast casual Mexican fare at the Chipotle Cultivate Festival.

This one-day festival, which will be held on September 7th (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) in Lincoln Park, aims to educate participants on how food can be raised responsibly, by allowing participants to interact with farmers, local artisans, and top chefs. The best part? This fun, foodie event is FREE for everyone!

Chicago Chefs & Entertainment

Onsite cooking demonstrations by all-star Chicago chefs will serve as some of the Festival’s primary entertainment. These top-tier Chicago chefs will include Carla Hall from ABC’s “The Chew”, Paul Kahan of Avec and The Publican, Graham Elliot, Tony Mantuano of Terzo Piano and Spiaggia, and many more. But the real fun is reserved for when you get to get in on the preparations, as six interactive experiences will also be part of the event, giving participants a chance for a little hands-on learning.

Additional festival entertainment will include a line-up of live music, a selection of Chicago’s local craft beer and wine – including local brewery 5 Rabbit’s one-of-a-kind “Cultivate Farmhouse Ale,” served only at the festival – samples of local artisan fare, a Kid Zone with games and activities, and most importantly, a special festival menu, made up of favorites from Chipotle, and ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, Chipotle’s Asian concept. These tasty, health conscious options will include items like a grilled flatbread gordita, a jasmine rice bowl with pork and chicken meatballs, and chicken and Sofritas tacos.

Chipotle’s Quest for Better Burritos

Chipotle’s Cultivate Festival returns to Chicago for a third year, after holding its inaugural event here in 2011. Chipotle Mexican Grill was created with the goal of reinventing how we think about fast food by offering what they’ve termed Food With Integrity – a range of healthier, properly raised and prepared ingredients – while still catering to those looking for a quick bite. As we all know, the Chipotle concept has been an enormous success, beginning with a single restaurant in 1993, and now spanning across the country with over 1,500 locations. Today, Chipotle continues to provide a distinctive atmosphere and a distinctive taste, with a menu of tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, salads, and that will satisfy appetites of all sizes.

Last fall’s festival in Chicago’s Lincoln Park was a huge success with over 25,000 attendees—one of the largest Chicagoland food festivals, and the first of its kind to combine food, music and sustainability.

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Guinness Oyster Fest

Posted on September 3rd, 2013 by

Oysters, beer and great music? Sign us up! Guinness Oyster Fest returns for its 15th year on Saturday, Sept. 7, to the 2000 block of W. Roscoe St.

An eclectic music lineup (including many Irish favorites), arts & crafts, a kid’s area (pony rides and inflatables), oysters and, of course, plenty of Guinness are on the bill for the annual Roscoe Village neighborhood happening.

Raw and cooked oysters will be sold by the Village Tap Bar & Grill and this year’s lineup of
entertainment includes Pittsburgh, Pa., alt-rockers Rusted Root, acclaimed singer/songwriter/guitarist Tommy Malone (from lauded New Orleans root rockers The Subdudes), Celtic-punk act The Tossers, Irish folk-rockers The Chancey Brothers, and the Identity Irish Dance Company.

Guinness Oyster Fest hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Gate donation of $7 benefits the Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce. For additional information, visit the Event Page online or call 773-868-3010.


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Style Hits the Magnificent Mile

Posted on August 19th, 2013 by


The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival™ presented by MasterCard® returns to Chicago this week, running from August 22 to September 2, 2013.

The Festival provides the perfect excuse to start shopping for the Fall/Winter season, with a variety of offers and a non-stop calendar of festivities, many of which are free to the public. Special events include standout fashion shows, culinary celebrations, live outdoor concerts and more.

Highlights of the 2013 Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival include:

  • Thursday, August 22: The festivities begin with #ShopFest: A Kick-off to Fall Fashion, featuring a live performance by award-winning recording artist Jason Derulo and a special appearance by Emmy-nominated actress Christina Hendricks, star of AMC’s Mad Men. Michigan Avenue’s three retail centers, 900 North Michigan Shops, The Shops at North Bridge and Water Tower Place, present an outdoor runway show along North Michigan Avenue. To purchase tickets, visit ($30; attendees must be 21+; Pioneer Court – 401 N. Michigan Ave., 5:30 p.m.)

  • Tuesday, August 27: At A Magnificent Taste, The Magnificent Mile’s annual outdoor culinary event, Chefs Art Smith and Rick Bayless, along with several restaurants including Travelle, Little Market, Paris Club, Sable Kitchen & Bar, Siena Tavern and more, serve up gourmet samplings under a tent in full view of Chicago’s riverside skyline. Proceeds benefit Common Threads. To purchase tickets, visit ($200 VIP, $125 General; Pioneer Court – 401 N. Michigan Ave.; VIP entry at 5:30 p.m., 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.)

  • Labor Day Weekend highlights:

    • Bring your fashion- and music-loving kids to the John Hancock Center Plaza for an outdoor “Tween Fashion Show” hosted by Water Tower Place, followed by a free concert with Disney Music Group Recording Artist Coco Jones. An exclusive meet-and-greet for MasterCard cardholders will immediately follow the concert. (John Hancock Center Plaza, 875 N. Michigan Avenue, 12 p.m., with meet-and-greet to follow at 2 p.m. in the MasterCard Priceless Pavilion – 401 N. Michigan Ave.)

    • Radio Disney invites fans to an exclusive meet-and-greet for MasterCard cardholders with Laura Marano, star of Disney channel’s Austin & Ally. (MasterCard Priceless Pavilion – 401 N. Michigan Ave., 2 p.m.)

Big-name and high-end retailers, award-winning restaurants and iconic attractions through The Magnificent Mile district also present unique in-store experiences as well as elegant evenings to remember. A sampling of events includes:

  • Saturday, August 24 and Saturday, August 31: Dressed to the Nines, The Art Institute of Chicago’s special Saturday evening viewings of Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity at The Art Institute of Chicago, celebrate fashion trends of 19th-century Paris—trends that also happen to be hot this summer in 21st-century Chicago. Throw on a casual or couture ensemble that suits the theme to enjoy these fashionable festivities. (The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., 6 – 9 p.m.)

  • Monday, August 26: The Trump International Hotel & Tower sponsors Sparkling Cocktails presented by Swarovski, held in the Rivers Room on the sixteenth floor. Guests may try on Swarovski crystals and jewelry from an upcoming fall collection and then look forward to a free in-store consultation during the Shopping Festival.  (Trump International Hotel & Tower, 401 N. Wabash Ave., 6 – 8 p.m.)

  • Tuesday, August 27: Lulu’s Vintage offers a rare opportunity to meet Melinda Lewis, jewelry historian and author of The Napier Co.: Defining 20th Century American Costume Jewelry. Laurie Davis, owner and curator, will display some of the most notable Napier pieces from her private collection, as well as have a selection of Napier jewelry available for purchase. (Lulu’s Vintage, 900 N. Michigan Ave., Level 3, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

  • Wednesday, August 28: Experience Sunrise Yoga on The Terrace at Trump at a special discounted price of $25. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Chicago Skyline, Chicago River and Lake Michigan. There is no better way to brighten your morning and get a peaceful start on a busy day of shopping and exploring The Magnificent Mile! (The Trump International Hotel & Tower, 401 N. Wabash Ave., 6 a.m.)

  • Thursday, August 29: The ROOF on theWit, along with The Shops at North Bridge, invite guests to ROOF Runway, a one-of-a-kind fashion show, 27 stories above the city! Enjoy the hottest fashions from Nordstrom, Tommy Bahama, Swarovski and more, along with live entertainment from delaChapelle. (ROOF on theWit, 201 N. State St., 8 p.m.)

  • Saturday, August 31: Food meets fashion at a Shoppers Energy Brunch, as live models showcase the season’s hottest looks from Water Tower Place retailers. Tickets may be purchased here, and include a complimentary gift bag. (Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave., 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
  • Sunday, August 25: Want to avoid the crowds of Michigan Avenue? Then join Water Tower Place for an exclusive, posh after-hours soirée. Featuring music, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, the shopping center will be open for guests attending the event. Guests will also receive a Water Tower Place coupon book, valued at $650. Purchase tickets and RSVP at (Cost is $20 per person, with $3 from each ticket donated to Immerman Angels; Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave., 6 – 9 p.m.) 

A full list of events as well as special shopping offers can be found at!

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