If it's been a while since you've visited the tropical fish, sharks, turtles and aquatic life at the Shedd Aquarium, you're in luck. For the rest of September, the Shedd is offering free admission to Illinois residents—including aquatic presentation, main galleries and the aquarium's latest special exhibit, "Underwater Beauty." The Shedd isn't just waiving admission throughout September; it's also offering free access to its entire lineup of after-hours events during the month. On Mondays, guests can attend a Caribbean Flavors and Flair event, which serves a special menu of Caribbean-inspired cuisine. On Wednesdays, you can head outside to see live music at Jazzin’ at the Shedd, which features a lineup of Latin jazz performers throughout September. On Thursdays, the aquarium will host a House Party, featuring local DJs such as Jesse Saunders, Terry Hunter and Farley Jackmaster Funk mixing beats while guests enjoy beverages and snacks. The Shedd's free admission days are always popular, but the aquarium is allowing guests to lock in their desired day by reserving free tickets through the institution's website. You'll pay a $3 transaction fee for the convenience, but it's probably worth the added cost if you have a specific date in mind for your visit. While you're enjoying more than three weeks of gratis admission to the Shedd, don't forget about all of the other free museum days in Chicago. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
While it's exciting that work is underway on the snazzy new Belmont Blue Line station that was first announced back in 2016, anyone who regularly commutes to the Loop via the Avondale station has a rough month ahead of them. The CTA is making way for renovations to the platform, which means that you won't be able to board or disembark from Forest Park-bound trains at Belmont through September 25. For the past few weeks, Blue Line trains traveling North toward O'Hare have been bypassing the Belmont station to accommodate work on the platform. Now, crews are adding new light fixtures and wall coverings to the other side of the platform, sending Forest Park-bound travelers to the Logan Square or Addison stations. The renovation of the Belmont station is part of the CTA's ongoing Your New Blue modernization project, which has devoted $492 million to updating the North Side train line. According to an estimate released in 2016, the Belmont station upgrade will cost $15 million. In the coming years, the Grand, Chicago, Division, Logan Square and Jefferson Park stations are all in line for renovations. According to the CTA, the Belmont Blue Line station will reopen to Forest Park-bound trains at 4am on September 25. Once this work is complete, we'll likely find out when the CTA plans to begin work on the soaring glass and steel structure (pictured in the above rendering) that will house the entrance to the renovated station—here's hoping that its construction doesn't lead to a te
In a surprising turn of events yesterday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that he won't seek re-election in 2019. "This has been the job of a lifetime, but it is not a job for a lifetime," Emanuel said in press conference on Tuesday. No matter what you think about his eight-year tenure at City Hall, there's no denying that Emanuel is a champion of Chicago's expansive food and drink scene—and we have a feeling that won't change in retirement (or whatever he has planned next). The 58-year-old mayor has been known to chow down at Taste of Chicago, support new restaurants and even attend the James Beard Awards at the Lyric Opera. We're taking a look back at some of Emanuel's most beloved Chicago establishments—the places he's raved about and has been spotted at again and again—to figure out where we might find the public figure dining and drinking in his newfound free time. 1. HaiSous In an episode of ABC 7's Hungry Hound, Steve Dolinsky took Rahm to this new-ish Pilsen spot, where they sampled the refreshing papaya salad and a crispy crepe filled with pork and shrimp. "I love spicy food, I love peppers, I could eat 'em all day long," Emanuel told Dolinsky. A post shared by HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen (@haisouschicago) on Sep 1, 2018 at 3:27pm PDT 2. Matchbox After being re-elected in 2015, Rahm celebrated with a late night at one of his all-time favorite watering holes, River West cocktail bar Matchbox. "You are looking at somebody who had the insight to go to
Chicago food writer Nicole Schnitzler has watched her brother Daniel make his favorite meal dozens of times. He fills the same pink Tupperware bowl with frozen corn, peas and carrots from the bag, adds a flurry of Kraft Parmesan cheese, then digs in while it’s still frosty. Daniel, who’s 42, was diagnosed with autism when he was 3. “All his life, Daniel—like myself— has loved and embraced food, even though in many ways we have really different tastes,” says Schnitzler. “One day, I’m in the kitchen watching him make this, and it dawns on me: I bet a chef could make a dish inspired by this that I’d find really delicious.” Motivated by the state’s budget impasse, which threatened the main funding source for the residential and training programs Daniel counts on, Schnitzler founded Doors Open Dishes. The organization partners with Chicago chefs to create menu items inspired by the comfort foods of people with disabilities, donating part of the proceeds to an organization that supports the featured individual. DOD kicks off this month at Cindy’s, inside the Chicago Athletic Association, where executive chef Christian Ragano showcases crispy chicken milanesa with Texas caviar (barbecued beans with still-crunchy corn, fresh peas and carrots), local sweet-corn pudding and smoked ramp vinaigrette, inspired by Daniel. Cindy's executive chef Christian Ragano, Photograph: Jason Little “Daniel’s fantastic—so bubbly and very decisive about what he likes to eat,” says Ragano. “He l
There's no denying that Chicago is a great place to be single, but we could all use a break from the dating-app grind. Enter Dating IRL, an original Time Out Chicago feature that sets up two eligible singles on a blind date at a Chicago hot spot. After a night out, each dater reports back with honest feedback on first impressions, chemistry and awkward moments. This time, we matched Jeanette and Joe and sent them to Gideon Sweet for dinner and drinks. Let's see how it went. RECOMMENDED: Do you want Time Out editors to set you up on a blind date? Apply today. Grace DuVal THE DATERS JEANETTE, 30 Flight attendant, free spirit and kidney donor living in Lincoln Park JOE, 31 Video editor, humor enthusiast and spontaneous dude living in Andersonville FIRST IMPRESSION JEANETTE “Joe had a kind demeanor, but he came off as a little nervous. After swapping a few jokes, we were laughing and any nerves you’d get on a blind date were gone.” JOE “I was definitely more nervous than she was. I thought she might be a little quiet or reserved, but I quickly realized that she was just super chill.” Grace DuVal CHEMISTRY JEANETTE “I’d say we had a great dinner and our conversation flowed freely. However, there wasn’t a connection beyond that.” JOE “By the end, I think we had done a great job of listening to each other and getting a better understanding of what made each of us tick.” AWKWARD MOMENT JEANETTE “A window broke in an alley next to the pati
It's the final (partial) month of summer, which means that it's time to get your fill of festivals and outdoor fun before the leaves start falling. You can rock out with Beck and Blink-182 at Riot Fest, run a half marathon along Lake Shore Drive, get in on the Oktoberfest celebration and check out amazing contemporary art at Navy Pier. Plot out your September social calendar with our list of the best exhibits, concerts, festivals and things to do in Chicago this month. THINGS TO DO Aug 29–Sept 2Taste of Polonia; Copernicus CenterThis Polish celebration gives you a place to feast on potato pancakes, dance to polka music and play a round of bingo over Labor Day weekend.Sept 1, 2Cider and Sliders Festival; Lincoln Ave and Addison StTaste more than 30 ciders and enjoy miniature burgers at the latest edition of this Lakeview fest. Sept 2Slow and Low Chicago Lowrider Festival; Cermak Rd and Loomis StHead to Pilsen to watch souped-up cars bounce around in the streets while enjoying tacos and sets from local DJs. Sept 7Stars of Lyric Opera; Millennium Park, Pritzker PavilionGet a free preview of the Lyric Opera season, as a cast of talented performers take on selections from La bohème, Mozart’s Idomeneo and Verdi’s Il trovatore. Sept 7–9German-American Oktoberfest; Lincoln SquareLincoln Square kicks off Oktoberfest season with this weekend celebration of Deutschland heritage, which includes the Von Steuben Parade on Saturday at 2pm. Sept 7–9Festival de la Villita; 26th St and K
You can't have a beer with your dog, but you can take them to the latest temporary concept set to open at Emporium Popups. The Logan Square space has teamed up with Bucktown no-kill dog rescue center One Tail at a Time to present the Dog's Days Pop-PUP Bar, where you'll be able to let Fido tag along while you grab a drink and help local doggos find a home. The centerpiece of the new pop-up is a gated dog park, complete with fake grass, lots of toys and a tennis ball pit. Dogs and their humans are invited to hang out inside the Emporium Popup space and take photos in front of a giant dog house and an oversized fire hydrant. Owners can bring their dogs to play in the indoor dog park with other pups or book a private 20-minute session in the park (devoid of other four-legged friends) on Tuesday, September 4 or Tuesday, September 11 between 5 and 9pm (reservations can be made here). Human attendees will be able to enjoy a selection of canine-inspired cocktails at the bar, including a Greyhound made with Bulldog gin and a pair of cocktails featuring FEW Spirits, with a portion of proceeds benefitting One Tail at a Time. The bar will also serve four rotating New Belgium Brewing drafts, and $1 from every can of New Belgium Dayblazer will be donated to One Tail at a Time. Throughout its two-week run, the Dog's Days Pop-PUP Bar will host several events, including an opening night party on Friday, August 31 that will feature appearances by local dog celebs Splinter the Ninja Dog and
Want to feel what it's like to go from zero to 78 miles per hour in less than two seconds? Next year, Six Flags Great America will welcome a new roller coaster called Maxx Force that allows riders to experience some serious acceleration. The attraction will be located near the entrance, in the Carousel Plaza area. Six Flags is calling Maxx Force a "triple-record breaking launch coaster," due to the fact that it will boast the fastest acceleration in North America, the tallest double inversion in the world and the fastest inversion in the world. Maxx Force uses a compressed-air–powered launching system to propel its trains forward, allowing it to reach greater speeds than North America's current fastest launch coaster, Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. Guests will be loaded into custom coaster trains before being launched 175 feet into the air, where they'll be flipped upside-down twice before descending. In total, Maxx Force will contain five high-speed inversions, including a 60 miles-per-hour zero-G roll—the fastest inversion on any roller coaster in the world. Maxx Force will join other recent additions to Six Flags Great America, such as steel coaster Joker (opened in 2017) and wooden coaster Goliath (opened in 2014). Take a look at a video and some renderings of the new attraction below and prepare to wait in some long lines when Maxx Force opens in 2019. Photograph: Six Flags Great America Photograph: Six Fl
If you spent time outdoors this weekend, you got a preview of today's weather: humid and very hot. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Chicago and the surrounding area today, which lasts from 11am to 7pm. While the mercury will only rise to the lower 90s this afternoon, the heat index (a.k.a. how hot it actually feels when humidity is factored in) is projected to land between 103 and 109 degrees. To combat the heat, the National Weather Service recommends staying hydrated, using sunscreen if you must be outside, wearing lightweight clothing and taking frequent breaks in the shade or air conditioning. Make sure to check in on your elderly neighbors and direct anyone in need of an air-conditioned place to pass the day to one of Chicago's cooling centers. Tomorrow could be another scorcher, with a high of 90 degrees and more humidity in the Accuweather forecast. Thankfully, it looks like the city will cool down on Wednesday, when some rain showers bring the temperature back down to the 70s. If you're out and about in Chicago today, make sure to chug some water and consider spending the afternoon in an air-conditioned movie theater instead of sweating under the beating sun. Another hot & humid day expected today. Remember to wear lightweight, light-colored clothing, drink plenty of water, minimize sun exposure. pic.twitter.com/VFw8D8l8kv — NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) August 27, 2018 Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Some attendees at Half Acre's Big North party last Saturday noticed posters promoting a new beer festival in Millennium Park, which will bring breweries from across the nation to Chicago to sample beers that are rarely on tap in the city. Called Far & Away, the event will take place over the course of two sessions on October 13 at the Harris Theater Rooftop Terrace. "Far & Away is about bringing in brewers from other states and countries, exposing them to Chicago and having people enjoy what they make," Half Acre co-founder Gabriel Magliaro told us. While most Chicago beer festivals focus on local and regional breweries, Far & Away boasts breweries that seldom make the trek to the Midwest, including Seattle's Fremont, San Diego's Modern Times, Denver's TRVE and Creature Comforts from Athens, Georgia. According to Magliaro, Half Acre will collaborate with some of the breweries in attendance while they're in town. The fruits of those partnerships won't be available at the event—they'll be tapped at some point after Far & Away wraps. Tickets for the inaugural Far & Away event go on sale Monday, August 27 at 11am via TicketLeap. Admission to each session is $80, and a portion of proceeds benefits music education for Chicago youth through Intonation Music Workshop. Take a look at the current lineup of breweries that will be in attendance below and start making your tasting wishlist. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.