Must see Monday: McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade

Watch the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago on Thanksgiving Day Photo from wgntv.com

Watch the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago on Thanksgiving Day
Photo from wgntv.com

Just three more days until Thanksgiving! If traveling to New York City to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a little too far, try attending the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago.

This Chicago tradition was started in 1934, according to the parade website, and has become a classic event to kick off the holiday season ever since. Over the years, incredible acts have taken part in the parade such as a circus act, which featured an elephant and 100 Santas that handed out over 10,000 balloons. In 2011, the parade closed with recreating a scene from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Dancers ran into the street to dance with Teddy Turkey to “Twist and Shout” from the well-known parade scene from the 80’s movie, the parade website states.

This  year’s festivities will start at 8 a.m. on State St. and will continue down Congress and Randolph St., according to the parade website.  Continue reading

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Current events: Tornadoes, severe weather strike Chicago, central Illinois

Servere storms forced Soldier Field to evacuate fans during Sunday's Chicago Bears game. Photo from nydailynews.com

Servere storms forced Soldier Field to evacuate fans during Sunday’s Chicago Bears game.
Photo from nydailynews.com

Please note that the following facts may change as more news becomes available.

Chicago really was the “Windy City” today when a surprise string of severe storms battered the city and produced multiple tornados which destroyed several central Illinois towns.

If you were watching football during today’s weather madness, you probably saw that the Chicago Bears and the Baltimore Ravens at Soldier Field had been suspended due to massive storms approaching the Chicago area. The stands were then temporarily evacuated due to the severity of the incoming storm.

Weather conditions became so extreme that Bears’ game day blogger Larry Mayer said, “sheets of rain [were] coming down,” and “it [looked] like midnight instead of noon.”

This monstrous November storm spawned about 10 tornadoes throughout the state of Illinois, according to NBC Chicago. The Weather Channel expects this deadly storm to move east, putting cities such as Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Cleveland and Louisville, Ky. at risk. Continue reading

Must see Monday: The Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile is home to some of Chicago's most popular destinations Photo from shakingthetree.wordpress.com

The Magnificent Mile is home to some of Chicago’s most popular destinations.
Photo from shakingthetree.wordpress.com

Looking for the best shopping and dining options Chicago has to offer? Then head over to the Magnificent Mile.

The Magnificent Mile is a “13-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue that runs from the banks of the Chicago River to the south, to Oak Street to the north,” according to the official website. This Chicago hot-spot is home to over 460 stores, 275 restaurants and 60 hotels, the website also states.

As if the shopping and dining isn’t enough, the Magnificent Mile offers a variety of other attractions:

Feedback Friday: Harry Caray’s Restaurant

Photo from cardboardicons.com

Harry Caray is most known for being the announcer for the Chicago Cubs in the 1980’s.
Photo from cardboardicons.com

One of Chicago’s top dining destinations is Harry Caray’s, a restaurant dedicated to the legendary Chicago Cubs’ announcer. The late broadcaster was known for leading the crowd in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch at Wrigley Field, and his popular phrase, “Holy cow!”

If you’re looking for some good food, Harry Caray’s is the place to go, and also has three different locations around the city. This famous Chicago hot-spot has been named “Best Italian Steakhouse” by the Chicago Tribune Dining Poll, according to the restaurant website. There is a lunch and a dinner menu, each containing a wide variety of options:

Must see Monday: Soldier Field

Football season is in full swing, and if you’re looking for a game to attend in Chicago, make sure to catch a Chicago Bears

Soldier Field is a historic landmark, as well as home to the Chicago Bears Photo from marriot.com

Soldier Field is a historic landmark, as well as home to the Chicago Bears
Photo from marriot.com

game at Soldier Field.

Located just off Lake Michigan, Soldier Field has been the home of the Bears since 1971, according to the Bears website. The previous 50 football seasons were spent at Wrigley Field.

Soldier Field first opened in 1924, and was then known as Municipal Grant Park Stadium. The stadium website states that the first game ever played there was a college football game as Notre Dame defeated Northwestern, 13-6 and was played in front of a sold-out crowd of roughly 45,000 people. Continue reading

Feedback Friday: The Billy Goat Tavern

If you enjoyed reading about Wrigley Field and the Chicago Cubs’ supposed “Curse of the Billy Goat, there’s no better place

A real goat wandered into the Billy Goat Tavern when it first opened, giving the restaurant its name. Photo from doyouremember.com

A real goat wandered into the Billy Goat Tavern when it first opened, giving the restaurant its name.
Photo from doyouremember.com

to eat a meal in the Windy City than the Billy Goat Tavern.

This famous burger joint is located just below Michigan Ave., according to midwestguest.com, and has several other locations in the Chicago area, including Navy Pier.

According to the restaurant’s website, the original Billy Goat Tavern was established in 1934 by Sam Sianas, otherwise known as “the guy who wanted to bring his goat into Wrigley Field.” Sinais earned his nickname of “Billy Goat” when a stray goat wandered into his restaurant one night; it eventually became the unofficial mascot of the tavern.

Continue reading

Wicked Wednesday: The Fear Haunted House at Navy Pier

Halloween is rapidly approaching, so if you’re looking to do something spooky in Chicago, head over to Navy Pier and step inside the Fear Haunted House.

This award-winning haunted house was rated one of Haunted Attraction Magazine‘s 25 Must See Haunts for 2009, and voted Chicago’s #1 haunted house in 2008, according to the Fear Haunted House website.

What kind of evil lurks in this house of horrors? You’ll encounter clowns, zombies, werewolves, vampires and other monsters that are hungry for your blood, and have no intention of letting you leave. Continue reading

Must see Monday: Wrigley Field

Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, no trip to Chicago is complete without visiting Wrigley Field.

Nestled on the corner of Clark and Addison, Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, is the second-oldest stadium in

Wrigley Field is known for its old-time atmosphere Photo by Stephanie Lynn

Wrigley Field is known for its old-time atmosphere
Photo by Stephanie Lynn

Major League Baseball, just two years behind Boston’s Fenway Park. This historic ballpark will turn 100-years old during the 2014 baseball season.

Even though the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in 105-years, a visit to Wrigley Field feels like you’re going back in time to watch a baseball game back in the old days with its classic traditions. Continue reading

Wicked Wednesday: Boo! at the Zoo

Photo from czs.org

Photo from czs.org

Maybe “wicked” isn’t the best word to describe this Halloween event, but it is sure put a smile on everyone’s face!

If you’re looking for a non-scary halloween adventure, grab your little pumpkins, and head over to Brookfield Zoo for Boo! at the Zoo, located just 20 minutes from the heart of Chicago,

Participate in the Halloween costume contest Photo from nwitimes.com

Participate in the Halloween costume contest
Photo from nwitimes.com

The Chicago Zoological Society sponsors this fun event the last two weekends of October each year to provide families with some Halloween fun. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 18, 19, 26 and 27, visit the Brookfield Zoo for this family-friendly event. Continue reading

Must see Monday: The Shedd Aquarium

Do you love animals and learning about their natural habitats? If so, the John G. Shedd Aquarium is a Chicago destination that the entire family is sure to enjoy.

Photo from chicagoage.com

The Shedd Aquarium is one of the most popular places to visit in Chicago
Photo from chicagoage.com

This beautiful aquarium is located just off the shore of Lake Michigan, and welcomes about two million visitors each year. While it may appear to be entertainment for tourists, the Shedd is a conservation leader as they set new standards for zoos and aquariums, according to their website.

Continue reading