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Erin Yarnall

Erin Yarnall

Articles (14)

9 romantic summer date ideas in Chicago

9 romantic summer date ideas in Chicago

A strong smell of chocolate isn’t the only thing in the air this summer in Chicago—love is out there, too. Whether you’ve just met your SO or have been together for years, we know there’s always pressure to impress the person you’re seeing. Fortunately, that’s not a hard task in Chicago, where you’ll discover fun and romantic date spots all year long, especially during the summer. From outdoor music festivals, to outdoor dining, to outdoor baseball games (you get the picture), set a date with the person you’re interested in and take them somewhere sunny to soak up Chicago’s best season. Here are some of our choices for the most romantic summer date spots in the city. RECOMMENDED: The most romantic restaurants in Chicago

The 34 best things to do with kids in Chicago

The 34 best things to do with kids in Chicago

When kids are restless they get antsy and irritated, so why not avoid boredom altogether by taking them on an adventure in Chicago? With a sprawling skyline, lakeside location and endless activities to check out, the Windy City is a top-tier place to explore with kids. The city is home to plenty of children's museums and parks to entertain your little one, and some of the most notable Chicago attractions are kid-friendly, too. Here’s our list of the best ways to have a blast with your kids, whether you’re in the North Side, West Side, South Side or right downtown. Some of these require a bit of travel to nearby suburbs, so get ready to pack the kids into the car and take off to make some new memories together—we’re willing to bet you’ll have just as much fun as the kiddos. RECOMMENDED: Discover more of the best things to do in Chicago

The 24 best waterfront dining spots in Chicago

The 24 best waterfront dining spots in Chicago

The best outdoor dining in Chicago shows off all the beauty the city has to offer, from stunning skyline views to vibrant people-watching opportunities. To further enhance your alfresco experience, try dining by the water. Between the different branches of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, there are plenty of options for waterfront dining in Chicago—whether you’re looking for high-end seafood establishments, casual burger spots or even a brewery on the river where you bring your own food. Not sure where to start? Choose from splashy locations along the Chicago Riverwalk or post up with a drink near one of the city’s best beaches for a meal under the sun. If you prefer to stay inside, you can even find covered and heated options for enjoying waterfront dining all year long. See some gorgeous sights and get a top-notch meal at the same time at the best restaurants for waterfront dining in Chicago. RECOMMENDED: The best rooftop bars in Chicago

15 cheap things to do in Chicago

15 cheap things to do in Chicago

A city as big of Chicago is backed with opportunities to experience amazing things, but many of them come with a hefty price tag (hello, $15 cocktails). Thankfully, your options aren't limited to expensive dinners at Michelin-starred restaurants and pricey tickets to stadium concerts. You can find cheap things to do in Chicago that are as memorable as they are affordable. Love comedy but can’t find any affordable tickets? Spend a night watching students perform at the Second City. Interested in history but can’t spring for a Chicago crime tour? Some of the best museums in Chicago are pretty affordable. We’ve tracked down cheap things to do in Chicago that don’t skimp on the good times.

19 things you’ll definitely see on St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago

19 things you’ll definitely see on St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago

While Chicago does all holidays well, one that it excels at celebrating is St. Patrick’s Day. With a large Irish population, the city is home to not one, but three different St Patrick’s Day Parades and a seemingly-unending number of celebrations that mark the Irish holiday. Whether you’re going to watch the Chicago River dyeing or you’re planning to sit down at an Irish pub, you might witness some of the following things on St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago... 1. A bright green riverCrowds that number in the thousands gather to watch the river change from one shade of green to another, more vibrant shade.2. A little bit of magicA team of plumbers use an orange dye to make the river a vibrant shade of green. Organizers credit leprechauns as the reason that the dye works. Photograph: Neal O'Bryan 3. Three different paradesThat’s right, Chicago doesn’t mess around when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day.  4. A lot of neighborhood prideJust like with the Cubs and the White Sox, you can choose between procession on the North and South Sides, unless you’re being neutral and pick the parade in Grant Park. Photograph: Grace DuVal 5. Boats floating through the green riverEvery boat that floats alongthe Chicago River is wading through green water, but on St. Patrick’s Day it’s extra green. 6. A lot of people talking about being “Chi-rish”It’s a point of pride for many. 7. Groups of intoxicated people singing “Danny Boy”For when you want to prove how “Chi-rish” you are, but you only know one s

Where to stay in Chicago

Where to stay in Chicago

If you're coming to Chicago, there's no shortage of places to explore—and you shouldn't limit yourself to the Loop. If you want to experience the real Chicago, head for the city's neighborhoods, where you'll find some of the most unique things to do in Chicago and many of the best restaurants in Chicago. Keep in mind that Chicago is a city with excellent public transportation, so a trip downtown to Museum Campus of "the Bean" is only a short ride away. (And we won't shame you for sneaking away to try the best deep dish pizza Chicago has to offer.) From eclectic dining in Logan Square to a free Mexican art museum in Pilsen, here's where to stay in Chicago when you visit.

The best crime tours of Chicago

The best crime tours of Chicago

Chicago is well known for its towering architecture, amazing restaurants and beautiful beaches, but the city also has a notorious history of Prohibition-era organized crime and violence. Some of Chicago’s most beautiful streets have dark pasts, and you can explore the oftentimes grisly history on a Chicago crime tour. Guides unearth the city’s darkest stories, and some of them even make stops at local restaurants and bars to help set the scene. While the tours may be a bit eerie, some can be experienced on your own schedule, whether in-person or virtually. Experience Chicago history hidden in plain sight on the best Chicago crime tours. RECOMMENDED: Check out the full guide to the best Chicago tours

10 things you’ll always spot in an Irish bar in the USA

10 things you’ll always spot in an Irish bar in the USA

There are people claiming Irish heritage in every single county of the United States, more than 31.5 million people altogether, so it only makes sense that they’d want somewhere to drink. Consequently, with so many Irish Americans in every corner of the country, Irish pubs and bars have become quite commonplace. While all of the Irish watering holes have their own elements that make them unique, there are some things that you’ll almost always spot at an Irish tavern in the USA.

The best Irish coffees in Chicago

The best Irish coffees in Chicago

Bloody Marys and mimosas not your thing in the morning? Get your morning buzz on with an Irish coffee, which of course, contains hot coffee, but also contains whiskey and is always topped with cream. You don’t even have to travel to Dublin to get them, as Chicago boasts some really great ones. You can try them at one of the city's best Irish pubs and top cocktail bars, or stop by one of our choices for the best Irish coffees in Chicago.

The best Irish food shops in Chicago

The best Irish food shops in Chicago

It's the time of year when we salute the Irish part of our city's heritage with a series of meaningless gestures, mostly involving wooly sweaters and dying things green (beer, major waterways). But a number of food shops around town offer a more authentic taste of the Auld Sod. Historically, Irish cuisine hasn't exactly enjoyed a stellar reputation in the U.S., as we've dismissed it as over-boiled and bland. But many of the country's archetypal foods—wholemeal breads, cheeses, savory puddings, to name a few—epitomize characteristics that have lately become culinary watchwords here in the U.S.: They're humble, often small-batch and have embodied nose-to-tail cooking since long before that was a thing people talked about. Here are five Chicago-area shops to reshape your idea of Irish food this St. Patrick's Day—even if you insist on pairing it with green beer. RECOMMENDED: Guide to St. Patrick's Day in Chicago

17 ways to celebrate your birthday in Chicago as an adult

17 ways to celebrate your birthday in Chicago as an adult

Year after year, there’s one day that should revolve entirely about you—your birthday—and your birthday should be spent doing exactly what you like. How do you celebrate you birthday as an adult in Chicago? If you want to spend your big day watching sports, check out a game in-person or on a big screen at one of the best bars in Chicago. Not a sports fan? There are movie theaters, comedy clubs, a bevy of Chicago museums, and if all of those still aren’t cutting it for your birthday, there’s something that everyone enjoys—food. Don’t forget to make an extra stop for birthday cake from a Chicago bakery. Mark the most special day of the year in style with these ideas for celebrating your birthday in Chicago.

Find your new favorite artist at Chicago’s best art galleries

Find your new favorite artist at Chicago’s best art galleries

Chicago is known for its art scene, and while you can of course visit the Art Institute,  Museum of Contemporary Art and more of the best museums in Chicago, you're only getting part of the picture if you stop there. Chicago is also home to an exorbitant amount of galleries filled with everything an art-lover or an art first-timer could want to see. The majority of the city's 77 neighborhoods contain at least one exciting gallery exposing some of the city's finest works in all genres of art. From perspective-shifting performance art to beautifully-crafted oil paintings, Chicago's galleries cover it all. Here’s where to find some of the most innovative and unique art galleries in Chicago and broaden your creative perspective.

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Chicago artist Jenny Vyas shares her favorite spots in the West Loop

Chicago artist Jenny Vyas shares her favorite spots in the West Loop

One of the distinctive features of the West Loop is its vast collection of street art created by numerous artists, present amid the streets lined with restaurants and on the side of overpasses and railway embankments. Painter and muralist Jenny Vyas is one of those artists whose work has helped to shape the former industrial area, adding splashes of color and creativity to the trendy destination for nightlife and dining that it has become. A self-taught artist, Vyas first became inspired to paint while recovering from a breakup in 2013. She said that much of her work is inspired by “a lot of the darkness in life that we don’t really talk about.”. Her latest show, “Awaken,” opened last month and is on display at Pilsen Yards through October 31. The show features 15 of Vyas’ paintings, all of which center on themes of vulnerability and finding strength through exploring one’s own demons. “It’s the show I’ve been working toward for the last five years so it’s been really great to bring it all together,” Vyas said. “It’s my largest body of work, ever.” Although she’s originally from India, Vyas has lived in Chicago for more than two decades and considers the city to be her home. “I love the inclusivity and different cultures in Chicago,” Vyas said. “I’ve been to so many cities in America and the feeling of home that you get, it’s very much integral in Chicago. You can go to a bar and make friends that night.” One of the painter and muralist’s favorite neighborhoods in the city is