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Black History Month

Commemorate Black History Month with Chicago and suburban activities

February is Black History Month! Honor the month with these Chicago and suburban events.

Courtesy of chicagoparkdistrict.com

Courtesy of chicagoparkdistrict.com

Explore and honor Black History Month with Umoja. Umoja is a student development corporation, based on the Kiswahili word for unity, that aims to help low-income youth succeed. The Black History Month Celebration will take place on Feb. 27 and will highlight African culture with special vendors, music and dance. Only a 15 minute train ride on the blue line from Arkadia Towers!

Courtesy of culturecoast.com

Courtesy of culturecoast.com

Learn more about African American history and culture at the DuSable Museum of African American History! Walk through exhibits such as Freedom, Resistance, and the Journey towards Equality or African Story. Free on Sundays and only a 2o minute bus ride on the 4 line from Vue20.

Courtesy of finalcall.com

Courtesy of finalcall.com

Enjoy a show at the Harold Washington Cultural Center! Named after Chicago’s 42nd mayor Harold Washington, the performing arts and education facility is set to host a variety of shows in February including Supreme Love and Coffee, Tea and Conversation with the center’s founder Dorothy Tillman. Only an 8 minute train ride on the green line from Vue20.

Courtesy of dodgersnation.com

Courtesy of dodgersnation.com

Honor influential African American sports payers such as Jackie Robinson at the North Suburban YMCA in Northbrook! On February 21 join the Jackie Robinson West Little League Team, a nationally-ranked, all-African American team that made it to the World Series in 2014, to celebrate Black History Month. The event will include food and a presentation on the legacy of Jackie Robinson and the history of black baseball players. Free of charge and only a 9 minute drive from NorthShore 770 or a 13 minute drive from The Reserve Glenview.

 

Best Local: Free Museum Days

Knowledge is power! Enjoy these Chicago and suburban museum free days

Educate yourself and have fun doing so! From art to science and history, Chicago is home to a variety of museums featuring subjects for everyone. Take advantage of these free days at various Chicago and suburban locations!

Courtesy of chicagotraveler.com

Courtesy of chicagotraveler.com

Explore the galaxy at Adler Planetarium! Opening in 1930, Adler Planetarium was the first public planetarium in the western hemisphere. Today, the museum continues to educate the public on astronomy and space exploration with activities such as the Doane Observatory, solar system exhibit and the interactive planet explorers. Don’t miss the special Cosmic Wonders and Skywatch Live shows! Free through Jan. 29 and only a 15 minute bus ride on the 146 line from the AMLI 900 location.

Courtesy of aquariums.wanderbats.com

Courtesy of aquariums.wanderbats.com

Travel from the sky to the sea and visit the Shedd Aquarium! The aquarium features over 32,000 different aquatic and land animals with 7 unique exhibits. Dive deep into the depths of the ocean with interactive experience such as Stingray Touch and the Aquatic Show. Make sure to check out their current special exhibit Amphibians! Free through Jan. 26 and only a 13 minute bus ride on the 4 line from Vue20 location.

Courtesy of travelmag.com

Courtesy of travelmag.com

Learn more about the history of this beautiful city at the Chicago History Museum! Discover Chicago through a new point of view with engaging exhibits such as Chicago Authored, Lincoln’s Chicago and The Secret Lives of Objects. Sit in on an Urban History Seminar for a lively discussion on city culture! Free through Jan. 29 and only a 12 minute walk from The Belden Stratford.

Courtesy of wgntv.com

Courtesy of wgntv.com

Lions, tigers, bears, and, oh my, all at the Brookfield Zoo! The zoo includes these animals and many more, with exhibits such as Regenstein Wolf Woods, Pachyderm House, Australia House and Tropical World. Also, visit attractions such as Dolphins in Action and the Hamill Family Play Zoo. Free on the weekends, only a 15 minute drive from Elm Creek Apartments!

 

Best Local: Popcorn

Celebrate National Popcorn Day with these Chicago and suburban locations!

Courtesy of evolutionnews.org

Courtesy of evolutionnews.org

Tuesday, January 19 is National Popcorn Day! Celebrate this favorite snack by grabbing a bag from any of these Chicago and suburb locations, and don’t forget the movie!

Courtesy of tasteofchicago.com

Courtesy of tasteofchicago.com

You can’t think popcorn in Chicago without Garrett Popcorn! A favorite since opening in 1949, Garett’s kernels are air popped in traditional copper kettles and seasoned with their secret blends. Try the signature Garrett’s Mix, a mix of caramelcrisp and cheesecorn, along with spicy cheesecorn, almond caramelcrisp, and buttery. The business has various Chicago locations, including a location across from Presidential Towers!

Courtesy of foodchannel.com

Courtesy of foodchannel.com

Explore other Chicago favorites such as Wells Street Popcorn! From a small cart in the 1930s to a three story business, Wells offers tubs, tins and canisters of popcorn to keep or share. Stop by for a free taste at the Chicago location, only a 15 minute walk from The Belden Stratford.

It’s all in the name! Chicago Kernel offers a wide variety of popcorn flavors from traditional favorites to popping picks such as chipotle, bacon cheddar, salt & vinegar, and smokin’ Chicago. Catch them at Chicago Cubs stands in the summer or visit their location in Millenium Station to grab on the go! Stop by from the 73 East Lake location, only a 3 minute walk!

Courtesy of recipegreat.com

Courtesy of recipegreat.com

Try a small town favorite, Kernel Fabyan! A suburban favorite voted Reader’s Choice Best in of the Fox #1 popcorn/candy from 2012 t0 2014, the store sells flavors such as white cheddar mix, movie and fire. Kernel Fabyan also sells chocolate covered nuts, sesame sticks and assorted candies. Only a 9 minute drive from The Iroquois Club!

 

Best Local: Indoor Activities

Beat the cold with these Chicago and suburban activities

The harsh January weather has arrived, so escape the cold by enjoying the great indoors! Try these Chicago and suburban location for fun events without the shivers.

Courtesy of Chicago Architecture

Courtesy of Chicago Architecture

Watch the snow fall and the wind howl as you curl up with a good book at the Harold Washington Library. Enjoy the outside, indoors at the library’s Winter Gardens conservatory or get cozy in the library’s reading nooks. Take advantage of the library’s special events such as book readings, tours and an extensive ancestry library to research your family history. Free to the public and only a 10 minute walk from AMLI 900 or a 16 minute walk from 215 West Apartments.

Courtesy of gill-lagodich.com

Courtesy of gill-lagodich.com

Spend an evening looking at famous works of art at the nationally acclaimed Art Institute of Chicago. The museum includes popular sections such as Impressionism, Chicago Architecture and Modern art featuring artists such as Claude Monet, Alexander Degas and Vincent Van Gogh. The museum’s current exhibitions include The New Contemporary featuring artwork, photography and sculptures from artists such as Andy Warhol. Free to Illinois residents from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday evenings and only an 11 minute walk from Columbus Plaza.

Courtesy of panicstream.com

Courtesy of panicstream.com

Enjoy some live music at an iconic Chicago venue! From its glowing marquee of red and gold lights to the velvet red curtains and intricate gold features The Chicago Theatre is a show itself! Relax and listen to your favorite bands play with a future lineup including Leon Bridges, The Avett Brothers and II Volo. Only a 10 minute walk from Columbus Plaza or AMLI River North or an 11 minute walk from 400 N. LaSalle.

Courtesy of meetup.com

Courtesy of meetup.com

Try a fun, new indoor sport such as whirlyball! What could be better than a combination of lacrosse, hockey and basketball on bumper cars? Get a team of five together and try your hand at the game while enjoying some postgame food and drink at WhirlyBall in Lombard. The location also includes pool tables, foosball, video games and air hockey. Only an 8 minute drive from City View at the Highlands location!

 

Best Local: Places to Keep the New Year’s Resolution

Keep your New Year’s resolutions with these Chicago and suburban activities

It’s the New Year, which means a new you! Whatever your New Year’s resolution may be, these Chicago and the suburban activities can help you enjoy the year right!

Courtesy of groupon.com

Courtesy of groupon.com

If your New Year’s resolution is to get in shape, try boxing! Executive Boxing Chicago mixes cross-training workouts with boxing to get you sweating. No need to be intimidated, the gym also offers various classes to accommodate different skill levels and also includes private sessions. Only a 10 minute walk from 215 West Apartments or a 14 minute walk from Presidential Towers.

Courtesy of playerssports.net

Courtesy of playerssports.net

New year, new people! Be social and make some new friends with Chicago Sport & Social Club! With sports activities ranging from kayaking to basketball and volleyball, sign up with a team of your own or sign up individually! The club also hosts social events like bar crawls and offers deals to special events around the city. Membership is free, only a 7 minute drive from AMLI River North!

Turn a new leaf and try some leafy greens at Green Bean Restaurant! This coffee and alternative fast food joint has the healthiest eats to-go. With a menu that is dairy-free, gluten-free and GMO-free, stop by for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Also make sure to sample their coffees and tea drinks such as a tea latte or a Sinatra. Only a 12 minute walk from The Belden Stratford.

Courtesy of tripadvisor.com

Courtesy of tripadvisor.com

You can also eat healthier by learning to cook amazing meals for yourself! Try a cooking class at The Chopping Block and learn how to cook healthy meals by professional cooks. Enroll in classes such as Vegan Voyage, Pie and Tart Boot Camp or Indian Vegetarian. Learn how to cook and have fun doing so! Only a 3 minute walk from 400 N. LaSalle, 5 minute walk from AMLI River North and an 8 minute walk from Grand Plaza.

Courtesy of pvpost.com

Courtesy of pvpost.com

Show off your creative side and acquire a new hobby! Enjoy company, painting and wine at Pinot’s Palette art classes. Learn basic art skills from local artists while enjoying a drink. Get a group together or enjoy the time alone, only an 8 minute drive from the Iroquois Club!

New Year’s Eve in Chicago

Ring in the New Year with these Chicago and suburban events

It’s a party in the Windy City! Celebrate New Year 2016 with these Chicago and suburban events that keep the fun going all night long.

Courtesy of thesixthirty.com

Courtesy of thesixthirty.com

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with music and friends at Reaction’s New Year’s Eve event! Start the party a little early with two day music festival, open from Dec. 30 through the New Year. The event features big names such as Skrillex, deadmau5 and Run the Jewels along with local stars such as Chance the Rapper. Two day passes and single day tickets are still available, only a 12 minute drive from the Kingston Pointe.

Courtesy of boomentertainment.com

Courtesy of boomentertainment.com

Start the year off with a bang! Navy Pier will be launching fireworks at midnight, and will also be hosting the 4th Annual Resolution Gala at the Aon Grand Ballroom. Deemed the premier Midwest New Year’s Eve event, the gala will feature 30 bars, 4 live DJs, buffet, and exclusive balcony areas to view the midnight firework show. This New Year extravaganza is only a 9 minute drive from the Grand Plaza.

Try something as new as the year and attend Chi Town Rising! Hosted by Hyatt Hotels and NBC 5 Chicago, this New Years Eve event will feature musical guests such as Chicago and American Authors along with many more. Enjoy the night with host Mario Lopez at the Broadcast Boulevard or make it a family event at the Family Countdown Celebratio on the Chicago Cultural Mile. Only a 10 minute walk from Grand Plaza or a 13 minute walk from AMLI River North.

Courtesy of wicaonline.org

Courtesy of wicaonline.org

Party a little too hard? Stop by the New Year’s Day 18th Annual Hangover Brunch to cure those morning blues. Share New Year stories over retro music, New Year’s football coverage, full bar, and brunch provided by Kitsch’n. The event also features pajama door prizes and 70’s style gift bags! Only a 10 minute ride from The Belden Stratford.

Courtesy of dailyherald.com

Courtesy of dailyherald.com

Celebrate New Years with a good laugh and the Second City’s touring show, Holidazed, at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre! This cast will be performing skits about holiday madness and many more with New Year’s Eve shows at 7 and 10 p.m. Only a 7 minute drive from One Arlington!

Christmas in Chicago

Spread the holiday cheer with these Christmas Eve and Christmas Day events

Courtesy of chicagohillsidehotel.com

Courtesy of chicagohillsidehotel.com

It’s Christmastime in the city! Open gifts, spend time with the family, then celebrate Christmas in Chicago with these Christmas Eve and day events that are sure to make the holiday merry.

Enjoy the city of Chicago during Christmastime from a bird’s eye view Chicago Botanic Garden Wonderland Express. The event includes a miniature version of the city and its famous landmarks, fully decorated for the holiday with holiday poinsettias and conifers dusted with snow from above. The event includes a holiday market, with seasonal produce, honey, handmade wreaths and pottery. Also, take a walk through the garden’s three decorated indoor greenhouses. Only a 6 minute drive from NorthShore 770, or a 9 minute drive from AMLI Deerfield.

Courtesy of saveur.com

Courtesy of saveur.com

Enjoy a traditional Italian Christmas Day dinner feast with The Feast of Seven Fish at Filini! Located in the Raddison Blu Aqua hotel, Filini offers traditional Italian culture and cuisine with this delicious four course holiday special. Dinner includes a complimentary glass of Prosecco, or sample any of their new hot toddy drinks. Only a 7 minute walk from 73 East Lake location.

Courtesy of chicagothepolarexpressride.com

Courtesy of chicagothepolarexpressride.com

Be transported to the North Pole on Chicago’s very own Polar Express train ride from the Union Station! Have the classic Christmas story come to life with a Christmas Eve ride, a one hour journey through downtown Chicago. Guests are even encouraged to dress in their pajamas, and the ride comes complete with sleigh bell and souvenir hot chocolate tumbler. Only a 9 minute walk from Presidential Towers, 11 minute walk from Arkadia Tower Apartments, or a 14 minute walk from Catalyst Apartments.

Get into the holiday spirit with Christmas movie classics! Evanston Century 12 will be offering Christmas Eve screenings of It’s a Wonderful Life with 2 and 7 p.m. showtimes. Only a 6 minute drive from AMLI Evanston location.

Carol

See the Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol at the Metropolis Performing Arts Center in Arlington Heights. The play will leave you with warm hearts and Christmas cheer! Only a 6 minute drive from One Arlington Apartments.

National Hot Cocoa Day

Hot chocolate is a staple for cold weather, and these Chicago and suburban locations are stirring up some special cocoa treats!

Yesterday may have been National Hot Cocoa Day, but warm up with this sweet drink anytime! Perfect for winter weather and holiday festivities, enjoy a delicious cup of hot chocolate from these Chicago and suburban locations.

Courtesy of choosechicago.com

Courtesy of choosechicago.com

Try XOCO for hot cocoa made straight from the cocoa beans to the cup! XOCO is the only Chicago restaurant to roast their own cocoa beans, creating a rich and unique chocolate flavor! Try their hot chocolate flavors such as Mexico City thick, almendrado or Aztec. They also infuse their homemade chocolate into coffee drinks such as a chocolate espresso or chocolate cappuccino. Only a 1 minute walk from AMLI River North, a 5 minute walk from the Grand Plaza and a 3 minute walk from 400 N. LaSalle.

Visit the Christkindl Market through the month of December for some delicious hot chocolate from local vendors! Hot chocolate from the Dinkel’s Bakery stand is served in a special way: in a boot! Keep the souvenir holiday ceramic boot and have it refilled as you shop. The stand only lasts till Christmas, so stop by for some holiday shopping and festive drinks! The market is only a 4 minute walk from 215 West Apartments and an 8 minute walk from 73 East Lake.

Courtesy of chocolateuplift.com

Courtesy of chocolateuplift.com

Enjoy upscale hot chocolate from NoMI Kitchen, located in the Park Hyatt Chicago. Bittersweet couverture, chocolate with extra cocoa butter, is used to make the hot chocolate decadent while garnishes such as peppermint and cinnamon sticks are added for flavor at the Park Chocolate Bar. Keep it warm and cozy or spike it with a shot for an extra kick. For dessert, go cuckoo for cocoa with the textures of chocolate dessert which includes chocolate ganache, chocolate sorbet, chocolate mousse and hot chocolate foam. Only am 11 minute walk from Grand Plaza.

Courtesy of trekaroo.com

Courtesy of trekaroo.com

Escape the cold and stroll down the streets of Paris at the café and bistro Le Chocolat du Bouchard in Naperville. Choose from their long list of classic hot chocolates with various flavors such as dark decadence, hot chocolate malt and toasted marshmallow.  Le Chocolat also features “choctails,” specialty hot chocolate served in a martini glass. Flavors include chocolate English toffee, mocha mint and amaretto en chocolat. Enjoy it as dessert or pair the  drink with a beautiful pastry, only a 7 minute drive from The Iroquois Club and Lincoln At The Parks.

Best Local: Winter Workouts

It’s the holiday season, and all the holiday food and festivities can lead to added pounds! Avoid the Santa Claus belly and keep in shape with these fun activities around Chicago and the suburbs.

Courtesy of Newton running

Courtesy of Newton running

Running can be fun when a workout becomes social! Become a member of the Chicago Area Runners Association, a non-profit organization that promotes running throughout the Chicagoland area. Join runners of all ages with various fun runs, race events and trainings! Events vary in location and intensity, so try a couple and find which fit you! The CARA offices are located only 4 minutes away from the Catalyst Apartments.

Add some spice to your workout with TeamIFIT! The fitness facility offers a variety of fun workouts including various zumba, yoga, martial arts and zen classes! They also offer bootcamp and cardio classes to get help shredded fast, including a celebrity inspired workout class to look red carpet ready for the holidays. Only a 7 minute walk from 400 N LaSalle.

Courtesy of nwherald.com

Courtesy of nwherald.com

While there are various outdoor ice skating rinks, bring the fun inside for some indoor hockey clubs! Johnny’ Icehouse offers a variety of adult and youth hockey teams, with 9 divisions ranging from beginner to elite, along with lessons and trainings. The facility is also home to the practice rink for the Chicago Blackhawks, and features the Stanley Cup Bar & Grill overlooking the ice. A 7 minute bus ride on the 20 line from the Presidential Towers.

Courtesy of askaboutsports.com

Courtesy of askaboutsports.com

Walk through a winter wonderland with cross country skiing at the Sportman’s Country Club. The 18-hole golf course is open to walkers from sunrise to sunset, weather permitting. Rentals are available daily, along with snowshoeing lessons. Look on their website for candlelight skiing dates! Only an 8 minute drive from NorthShore 770 location.

Best Local: Holiday Activities

Tis the Season! Keep up the holiday cheer all December long with these Chicago and suburb events.

The beginning of December marks the most wonderful time of the year! Get into the holiday spirit with these festive events around Chicago and surrounding suburbs.

Courtesy of chicagoraffaello.com

Courtesy of chicagoraffaello.com

It’s not Christmastime in Chicago without the beloved Christkindlmarket in the Daley Plaza! A Chicago tradition for 20 year, the market features German and European tradition, culture and goods as well as entertainment. Sample some fresh schnitzel, hot pretzels, or German spiced wine while shopping for unique gifts. Check the website for various events throughout the month of December, only a 4 minute walk from 215 West Apartments, or 9 minutes from 73 East Lake.

Courtesy of chicagonow.com

Courtesy of chicagonow.com

After visiting the market, walk over to Macy’s on State Street to view the Macy’s Holiday Window Exhibit. Each year the store puts on an interactive window display for the holidays with different scenes and stories. Afterwards, stop inside the 9-story department store, listed as a National Historic Landmark, to complete some holiday shopping. Only a minute walk from 73 East Lake, a 12 minute walk from Grand Plaza, or a 13 minute walk from 400 N. LaSalle.

Enjoy a beautiful Christmas light display with Zoolights from Lincoln Park Zoo. The event runs Friday through Sunday until December 13, when it runs nightly. The spectacular includes pictures with Santa, holiday crafts, ice carving and musical light shows! Pay $5 for ice skating, or enjoy Zoolights for free! Only a 3 minute walk from The Belden Stratford.

Courtesy of wgnradio.com

Courtesy of wgnradio.com

Stay out of the cold and enjoy the holidays indoors with the Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier. The indoor playground is decorated to fit the season with hanging snowflakes and icicles, over 400 evergreens and giant gingerbread houses. Activities include an ice skating rink, indoor Ferris wheel, inflatables and live entertainment. Only a 10 minute bus ride on the 29 line from Grand Plaza.

Courtesy of woodlandsonline.com

Courtesy of woodlandsonline.com

December holds more holidays than Christmas, with other cultural significances and traditions. Celebrate Hanukah with the Grand Chanukah Menorah Lighting in Evanston! On December 10th the Evanston community will light a 10 foot Menorah in Fountain Square to symbolize light over darkness, or good over evil. The ceremony will also include musical entertainment and refreshments, open to all! Only a 5 minute drive from AMLI Evanston.

 

 

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