Category Archives: Entertainment

Christmas Shopping!

Christmas shopping

Even if you still haven’t gotten all your Christmas gifts, there are some great last minute opportunities for Chicago Christmas shopping.  Thankfully, someone else has done the work for us on Urban Matter’s webpage, which has the ultimate guide for last minute Christmas shoppers.

Struggling to think of the perfect gift for the one who has it all?  Look no further (but book quickly!) than booking a Scenic ride in Chicago’s Santa’s “Sleigh.” The Chicago Helicopter Experience this year is offering “a one-of-a-kind opportunity to take flight over the city on a panoramic  Holiday Lights Tour exploring Chicago’s best destinations from thousands of feet above.”

For those whose budget doesn’t quite extend that far, here is a list of 16 awesome holiday gifts you can purchase locally that won’t see you taking more than $100 out of your pocket:

Christmas might be a good time to find out where you really came from; so look into 23 & Me’s $79 ancestry kit as a gift option too.

Sports Tourism Bolsters Chicago’s Economy

Some tourists are looking for sporting events for their entertainment. As such, Chicago seems to be providing a great vibe drawing in many tourists.  It has been found that, according to the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau, “non-traditional sporting events such as paintball competition, dodge ball and drone racing are helping the south and southwest suburbs draw tourists and their spending power.”

Hotels are teeming with people with $105 million in revenue being generated during the fiscal year that ended June 2018, a slight decrease from 2017 which had a revenue of $107 million but the Bureau’s statistics found a slight increase from the 2017 65.6 percent rate average to 65.8 percent.

According to President and CEO of the Bureau Jim Garrett, sport tourism is “big business,” with Southland hosting the World Wiffle Ball Championship (July); regional dodge ball competition (August); regional drone racing and the National X-Ball League’s Midwest Paintball Championship (September).

Chillin’ in Chicago

There are lots of events going on for Chicagoans.  For example, October 6 sees the fourth annual Bacon and Beer Classic, at Soldier Field.  Featuring 100+ locally-brewed craft beers to drink down over 30 different “bacon-inspired” dishes made by local chefs, even the kids will enjoy interactive games and other family-friendly activities.

After all that carb-infused beer and bacon, the next day you’re bound to be ready for Chicago’s Marathon.  Whether you’re up for the 26.2 miles or just want to spend the day cheering on other sweaty athletes, it’s still getting out the house and enjoying the sites of Chicago.  Hang out at Millennium Park, Chinatown or Michigan Avenue (for the grand finale) and make a picnic day out of it.

Or if that seems too active, wait til later in the month.  For two days (October 13 and 14), there is no fee to check out 250 cool local places.  Thanks to the generosity of the Chicago Architectural Foundation, you will be privy to “behind-the-scenes looks at architectural gems and private spots.”  New locations this year include: Ingersoll-Blackwelder House, Optimo and the Third Unitarian Church.


Year of Chicago Theatre

2019 has been designated The Year of Chicago Theatre by the city, thanks to a push from its Mayor and Commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Mark Kelly.  This is not intended to be an annual event; rather each year Chicago will be devoted to something else.

What this means is that in 2019, the theater industry will be given the chance to “refocus on a constituency that has been forgotten over the last year of internal navel-gazing: the audience.”

2017 in Chicago became known for the year brimming with public art, with 2018 focused on creative youth.

Illinois Township Day

Earlier this week, the South Rock Island celebrated Illinois Township Day – the second annual event.  The idea behind the Day is to publicize the programs the township has to offer.

With a picnic, K-9 demonstrations and “meet and greet,” the day went off wonderfully, and was a great community event for all.  As well, it was used as a memorial dedication of green space for the late Matthew F. Parker, Jr. a former Rock Island Township Trustee who served the community for more than three-and-a-half decades.

The day’s man focus was Safety of Residents, with participation from Illinois Child Protection Identification Program (CHIP) representatives. CHIP takes information about children should they need to assist authorities if something happens to their child, giving parents peace of mind.  The idea is to identify and locate the child should something happen.


Summer Auto Happenings in the Hood

Chicago has been bombarded with car events recently and there are more to come.  In just three days’ time, check out Woodstock’s Meet and Car Show.  Skip’s Fiesta is hosting this event at Country Club Road at County Fairgrounds between 8 am and 3pm. Or you can choose (on the same day) this year’s eighth annual Chicagoland All Wheel Show North in Mundelein.  The event doubles as a fundraiser for Mundelein’s Old No. 1, 1925 fire truck restoration fund. The event is held from 10am to 12pm with the award ceremony at 3.45.  participants will be able to check out 25 different types of cars, motorcycles and trucks.

On July 29 at Heritage Park, there is the Classic Car Show and Touch-a-Truck event at W. Dundee Road featuring, cars, trucks and music with NBC The Voice’s very own Keith Semple. Registration here.

And the following day is the Algonquin Founders’ Day Cruise in Algonquin presented by BGV Motorsports and the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce. A fundraiser for the Chamber’s Scholarship Fund, all automobiles are welcome and for everyone else there will be music, vendors, food and a way to support downtown business.  Check out

This is just a snippet of the car-related stuff going on in Chicago over the summer.