‘Tis the season to give thanks for what we have, and be of service to those who are in need. Although April is National Volunteer Month, volunteers are always in demand. Here are some local charities who support our communities, and some that do good works all over the world.
If apple picking is a fall tradition for you, here are some options for a day trip or to include in your itinerary for your weekend about to Lake Geneva or Harbor Country. Predictions are that early October will make for good Fall Foliage road trips. [Read more…]
Written by Jessica Ashley
Just like fresh notebooks with untouched pages, brand new sneakers and a crisp breeze that blows across an otherwise smoldering hot day at Foster beach, pumpkin spice drinks are one of the first signs that autumn is on its way.
Whether you’re a fan of the spicy-squashy $6 coffee drinks or lotions or scones, or you’re not so keen on sipping it or slathering it on your body, you can still celebrate this autumnal trend right in your own home.
We’ve harvested a few favorite ways to bring pops of pumpkin spice into your living space so you can enjoy just enough of it all season (or year) long.
Something to Stare At Longingly While Leaves Fall Outside
If you can’t have a cup of joe permanently attached to your hand, you may as well have art that’s an homage to your love of pumpkin spice coffee. Replace your summer landscapes with art that speaks right to your warmed-up and whipped-cream-topped heart. And while your seasonal latte might not be on the menu year-round, you can always opt to keep your art up until you’re able to order it again.
This pop art print, Woman Holding a Huge Cup of Coffee, is available exclusively on Art.com, and is also available framed or laminated. $14.99 and up.
Something Cheeky for Your Kitchen
Remind your loved ones that you really do adore them more than your morning fix while adding a pop of pumpkin-y orange to the place where you all gather at the beginning and end of each day. Go for even more color pow by pairing these tea towels with complimentary dish towels, scrub cloths and luxe table linens.
These sweet and spicy tea towels are available at Anthropologie (both online and in-store). $16.
Someplace to Rule the Roost
Pick your favorite flavor in a solid, craftsman customizable chair that’s just the place you need to be to oversee the year’s end. Choose a scrumptious blood orange or soothing lighter shade to spice up your living space, office or wherever your command central is located. Inspired by Danish design, pieces like this are both art and furniture and add tang to go-to neutral tone decor.
The Soto chair by Joybird pictured here in Key Largo Coral and Cordova Amber, is a best seller at District furniture boutique on the North Side of the city. Play with all your customizing options online at Joybird or visit District to ease into their furniture in person. $799 and up.
Something to Show Style on Your Shelves and Tables
If you’re not into design clichés or all-too-obvious decor that screams PUMPKIN, PEOPLE!, choose stealthy style to go alongside your first-edition book collection or after-dinner coffee service. If you need a bit more function from your nearly-hidden autumnal touches, opt for a bowl where you can eventually stash Halloween treats, your keys or gift cards to the local coffee shop.
Balloon glass vases available individually and in sets in limited quantities on Wayfair. $60 and up.
Something to Add Color to Your Blah Couch
That lovely worn leather or soft beige microfiber couch is the perfect space to create a canvas of color. Spend a few dollars on slipcovers for the throw pillows you have, or splurge on some with saturated colors, rich textiles and the same ahhh comfort in the first sip of coffee each day. Throw in a fuzzy, cream-colored pillow if you’re the kind who confidently says ‘yes’ to adding an extra dollop to your morning cup.
Find your perfect pop of pillow color in big-box retailers or exclusive online gift boutiques. Here, the orange leaf applique pillow is available at Target, the leather clutch pillow is at Pfeifer Studio, and the stand-out shag puff and embroidered fleur-de-lys pillows are at Anthropologie. $29 to $179.
Someplace to Pull On Your Leather Boots
Aside from the practicality of needing a place to lace up your cool-weather gear or stretch out while you binge-watch Ozark, an ottoman can be used in many other ways throughout the year – night stand, dry-cleaning pile holder, place to rest your belongings in the front hall. With all this purpose, doesn’t this lovely workhorse deserve to come in a sumptuous autumnal color?
If you’re ready for a statement, stretch out on this mid-century tufted ottoman bench on Houzz. The nail-head detail upholstered ottoman by Safavieh is so affordable, you may want to buy a pair, here on Amazon. Find this cozy knitted tawny-colored pouf at your local CB2. $79 – $129.
Something that Says Your Holiday Game is Strong
A wreath welcomes guests – and you, into a sanctuary of delight after a long day of spreadsheets and not nearly enough caffeine. Choose a door or centerpiece wreath crafted from fresh flowers, dried fruits and plants. Or DIY your own (and spray lovingly with the essential oils below) or invest in a lush artificial wreath you can hang year after year.
Something to Serve Up Your Own Brew
For decor or for sharing whatever you’ve just simmered, stirred, baked or brought home from the deli, add a vibrant serving tray, set of monogrammed glasses, dishware or a sweet little singing kettle to your entertainment wares. From your favorite mulled recipe to pumpkin spice martinis, or holiday hand-pies and generous slices of smoked ham – it will all taste better when served on something gorgeously orange.
The sleek and useful Zuma orange lacquer tray and ombre demi kettle by Le Creuset are both at Crate & Barrel. Monogrammed acrylic wine glasses for raucous parties, outdoor excursions or just the convenience of the dishwasher are available on Mark & Graham. Find the watercolor harvest pumpkin plate set at Pottery Barn. $29.95 – $79.
Something That’s Cheap, Scrumptious and Calorie-Free
Maybe you don’t have the budget or patience or time to decorate your home with fall touches. No judgment. You can still fill your home with as much pumpkin-inspired pampering as you like with essential oils. Add a few drops to your bubble bath, mix into coconut oil and dab on your wrists, or diffuse it in your car or wherever things smell not-so-delicious. Ahhh, divine.
This aromatherapy set is available on Etsy. $6.50 and up.
1-3 CHICAGO JAZZ FESTIVAL Millennium Park
1-3 LOBSTER FEST Navy Pier
8 MSI AFTER HOURS COMEDY LAB Museum of Science and Industry
8-9 WINDY CITY WINE FEST Buckingham Fountain
8-24 WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL Various Locations
9-10 LAKEVIEW EAST FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS Broadway St. from Belmont to Hawthorne
9-10 RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR Division from Damen to Paulina
13-17 MODERN ART EXPO Navy Pier
15-17 Riot Fest Douglas Park
16-17 RAVENSWOOD ART WALK
16-17 LAKEVIEW TACO FEST
17-18 CITY MADE FEST Clark & Argyle
19 – 24 CHICAGO GOURMET
23-24 MIDNIGHT CIRCUS IN THE PARKS McKinley Park, 2210 W Pershing Rd
23-24 RANDOLPH STREET MARKET FESTIVAL (Antiques & Indie Designers) Lake Shore Park
23-24 HYDE PARK JAZZ FESTIVAL Multiple Locations
29-10/1 OKTOBERFEST CHICAGO Southport Ave. & Lincoln Ave.
30-10/1 FULTON MARKET OCTOBERFEST
You scream, I scream, who doesn’t love ice cream?
If you’re like us, you probably find yourself indulging in Halo Top most often but we promise you don’t wanna miss out on Chicago’s ice cream scene. Keep reading to see some of our suggestions, and let us know your favorite spot in the comments.
Jeni’s uses The Fellowship Model by working directly with their suppliers in order to offer you ice creams that have a uniquely smooth texture & buttercream body.
Jeni’s distinct flavor is due to founder Jeni Britton Bauer’s strategy of using whole ingredients & dairy from grass-pastured cows, rather than synthetic flavorings & commodity ice cream mix.
Jeni’s has four Chicago locations and you can buy online too!
Recommendation: Brambleberry Crisp
Aside from using only the freshest ingredients, what makes Graeter’s unique is the French Pot Process that they use to make their ice cream.
Graeter’s has two shops on the North Shore, but you should be able to find this in most grocery stores throughout Chicagoland.
Pro tip: Greater’s also offers a low-glycemic ice cream for those who need less sugar.
Recommendation: Black Cherry Chocolate Chip
This neighborhood favorite serves up ice cream, concretes, shakes & malts. Aside from the delicious ice cream, Lickity Split also offers Metropolis Coffee and they’ve partnered with local businesses to offer all sorts of candy & pastries.
Recommendation: PB & Fudge
With two Chicago locations, Margie’s Candies is a go-to spot for many Chicagoans when the ice cream craving hits. Margie’s ice cream & toppings are made fresh, using all natural and kosher ingredients.
Margie’s also makes their own waffle cones if that’s something you prefer. Don’t miss out on Margie’s delicious homemade candy if you do decide to make the trip.
Recommendation: The Turtle Split
There’s a reason Time Out named this place one of the best ice cream shops in America in 2015.
You can watch the frozen custard get made fresh at this Roscoe Village shop. Scooter’s uses local ingredients from the family farmers of central Wisconsin, considered America’s Dairyland.
Recommendation: Boston Shake
Original Rainbow Cone
It wouldn’t be a true Chicago ice cream shop recommendation list if we didn’t include Original Rainbow Cone. The home of this shop is on the far south side of Chicago, but visitors can take in the rainbow goodness at their Navy Pier outpost.
The signature five-flavor rainbow cone features scoops of chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House, pistachio, and orange sherbet stacked to make a mountain of goodness.
Recommendation: Rainbow Cone
The annual Chicago Air & Water Show makes its triumphant return to North Avenue Beach on August 19th & 20th for another weekend of aerial magic and water-front stunts.
In preparation for the big event, be sure you have your viewing spot settled. The beach might seem like the most rational place to watch the show, but it can get overwhelmingly crowded on the weekend.
Keep reading for some of the city’s best places to watch the show.
From the Roof
If you’ve been in need of a reason to visit a Chicago rooftop bar, this is it. There are quite a few rooftop hangouts in Chicago that will be offering prime views of this year’s show.
Photo Credit: J. Parker (Boka Restaurant Group)
Atop Hotel Lincoln is the J. Parker, a chic rooftop hangout with dazzling views of the city. Craft cocktails and seasonal small plates await you here; don’t miss the specialty cocktail, The Aviation, being served in honor of the Air & Water Show.
Perched above the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Cindy’s rooftop in the Loop features an open-air terrace with panoramic views of Millennium Park, the Art Institute, Lake Michigan, and beyond.
It’s not quite a rooftop setting, but the views don’t get much better than the 95th floor of the John Hancock building. For $175/person, your exclusive all-day admission treats you to premium seating, a gourmet buffet, an extensive bar package and one of the best views in the city.
From the Beach
While the main hub of the Air & Water Show is North Avenue Beach, there are a few Chicago beaches that offer great views, and might have a little more room to spare.
Photo Credit: Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events
North Avenue Beach | Lincoln Park
If you’re looking to watch the show from home base, you’ll want to head to North Avenue Beach early on the 19th or 20th. Prime viewing spots are sure to be taken up early.
Oakwood Beach | South Shore
Looking to enjoy the show in a more relaxed, less-crowded setting? Oakwood Beach is the place for you.
Photo Credit: Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events
Montrose Beach | Lakeview
If you’re looking to take in the show with your furry friend, you should check out Montrose Beach. With a dog-friendly area, it’s the perfect setting for you and your pooch to enjoy the sights and sounds of this always-anticipated event.
Ohio Street Beach | Streeterville
Another popular spot to catch the show is Ohio Street Beach, where you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat-and-drink package at Caffé Olivia. For more info, head here.
From the Water
Take your beachfront view to the next level and hop on one of Chicago’s cruise lines!
All three of the Chicago cruise lines will be operating throughout the weekend for people to enjoy the Air & Water Show. To learn more about pricing and the schedules, check out the links above.