I don’t know about you, but I’ve been listening to Christmas music nonstop on my morning commute, in the office, and well everywhere in between. One song in particular has struck my fancy; aren’t you curious as to what it is? Alright, no need to whine, Santa is watching after all – It’s Andy William’s “Happy Holiday” of course, an anthem to all things merry! My version differs, for it goes a little something like this:
We have a big, fun FLIRTcasting up on the blog
With lots of activities for you and for me
So leave a comment or like for good ole’ FLIRT
Written on social media
Pretty catchy, right? Keep on reading to see how many winter activities you’ve accomplished this holiday season!
Grab your scarf, mittens, puffer jacket, and hand-warmers for caroling at the Cloud Gate – This Friday (12/16) from 6-7PM! You don’t have to be gracious singer; you just simply have to enjoy spreading some holiday cheer alongside Chicago’s local choral groups. Perhaps even Mr. Santa Claus will make a guest appearance, delighting the inner child in all of us. Afterwards, feel free to take a twirl on the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park equipped with frosty views of the bean and Chicago’s staggering 69-foot Norway Spruce Christmas Tree.
Deck the zoo with more than 1 million twinkling LED lights in Brookfield’s 35th annual Holiday Magic. See the enchantment zoo-wide all month long and enjoy multiple activities including a 41-foot talking tree, model train display, Christmas carolers, ice carvers, and photos with Santa and the Mrs. If all of that holiday cheer has yet to woo you, you also get to sing to the reindeer, big cats, and bears, oh my! “See the lights, Feel the Magic, Continue the Tradition” at Brookfield Zoo.
Finish Christmas Shopping
Bake Christmas Cookies
Enjoy Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest!
Add Chicago’s biggest indoor winter playground to your weekend to-do list! Why not bring the whole family and enjoy 170,000 square feet of rides, giant slides, 15-foot snow tubing hills, and the Chicago Blackhawk’s ice skating rink. It’s a great way to stay warm and toasty hidden away from the Chicago cold; yet, still enjoy Father Winter’s glorious activities!
Let’s be real, who hasn’t had visions of sugar plums dance in their heads? Whether you have or haven’t, go buy your tickets to Joffrey’s new Nutcracker, performing all month long at the Auditorium Theatre. This reimagined ballet with choreography by Christopher Wheeldon celebrates Chicago’s mysterious 1893 World’s Fair through the playful eyes of a child, an electrifying spin on the classic fairy tale about a little girl who goes to the Land of Sweets.
Mm…do you smell the inviting aromas of sausages, Strudel, and Glühwein, a traditional German holiday market hot spiced wine? Why, that’s enough to please the pallet and warm the soul, especially in the North Chicago Pole. Check out Chicago’s largest open-air market inspired by a Nuremberg, Germany market that was founded way back in 1545. This special holiday exposition brings cherished German and European traditions whilst welcoming an international flair and new cultures each and every year. After indulging in the large assortment of savory food, drinks, and treats, complete your shopping experience by meeting and greeting the other vendors. Perhaps you might even come home with a few cuckoo clocks, beer steins, and hand-painted ornaments!
New Year’s Eve Festivities
2017 is just two weeks away! With that being said, have you made plans to ring in the New Year? Chi-Town Rising embarks on its second annual celebration along the Chicago Riverfront between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. This year’s party will feature activities on the Chicago Cultural Mile, live entertainment, and of course a dazzling fireworks display alongside the beautiful Chicago River courtesy of Navy Pier! The countdown will commence with the Rising Star ascending 36 stories up above the Hyatt Regency Chicago’s West Tower, but don’t worry if you can’t make it to the party, NBC 5 will be broadcasting the event live.
Why not finish this off with a song and dance? Check back next year for another edition of FLIRTcasting!
May the calendar keep bringing
Happy Holidays to you and luck in Q1 2017!
Millennium Park’s Autumn Blaze Maples and Homestead Elms are beginning to lose their warm green hues. A collection of spectacular-colored crimson, orange, and sunglow yellow paint the sidewalk with expressions of fall. The harvest is upon us, now we can cherish the last leg of produce available at farmer’s markets and of course devour everything artificially pumpkin flavored. Ah, it’s finally Autumn. The weather may be cooling off, but there are still many events and commemorations to enjoy. Without further ado we present, Fall Festivals in Chicago:
On Sunday October 9, 45,000 participants will embark on a 26.2 mile journey across Chicago’s best known neighborhoods. This year marks the 39th anniversary of the race that raises millions for charities like Advocate Health Care, American Red Cross, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Though it is too late to sign up for this wonderful event, you can cheer on racers at Grant Park at 8AM, Sunday morning.
It’s the best time of the year to go to museums! For eleven days this month, Illinois residents can get up to 25% off admissions at Chicago’s best cultural institutions. This year’s museum week runs from October 13 through October 23. Other than the BIG 5 (Field Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, and the Art Institute,) there are many other institutions that provide a spectacular experience for you and your family.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is a 385-acre living plant museum located just north of Chicago. This Halloween event will showcase 1000 hand-carved pumpkins, some with Chicago icons, classic Halloween characters, garden “monsters,” and artwork representing Día de los Muertos. Check it out, October 20 through 23. (Note: you might also encounter zombies and other dangerous creatures along the pathway)
Join us for the Chicago Cultural Mile Association’s 2nd annual Halloween Gathering on Saturday, October 22. Family-friendly festivities begin at 2PM in Millennium Park, Grant Park, and George Solti Garden. Enjoy an afternoon full of mask-making workshops, acrobatic performances, a children’s costume parade, and Chicago’s Longest All Souls Train on the Van Buren Bridge between Michigan Avenue and Columbus. End the celebration with The Halloween Gathering Spectacle from 6–8PM. Be amazed by an electric procession jam-packed with ghosts, ghouls, artists, and 13 new Creative Spirit Fellows. Perhaps you might even encounter a couple of FLIRTies working, and if you do, come say boo!
The Chicago International Film Festival is an annual event organized by Cinema/Chicago. This year, the Chicago International Film Festival will be held at AMC River East 21 from October 13 to October 27. This event showcases films from around the world that were previously unavailable in Chicago. Viewers will also have the chance to meet directors, producers, writers, and cast members.
Monday, October 31 marks the 20th birthday of Boystown’s Halloween Parade. Participation is free, but registration is required to partake in the procession and costume contest. Brace yourself for an extravaganza of weird, wild, and spooky costumes, kids, and pets, oh my! The event begins at 6PM and spans across Halsted, from Belmont to Addison. Remember to get a little creative with your costume because you’ll be competing against the best of the best!
If all else fails, you can always visit a pumpkin patch to find the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (oops, er…we mean loyal readers). Take a day trip outside of the city to Goebbert’s, Sonny Acres, or Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm, just to name a few! Who could say no to a day filled with apple cider donuts and hayrides? Certainly not the FLIRTies!
Summer in Chicago is always so exciting. There are an endless amount of events full of music and of course food to enjoy, but we can’t forget that Chicago also has a wide range of outdoor fitness activities to help stay in shape for the warmer months. Check out the list below, find the event that fits you best and get your body moving in this nice warm weather!
What’s better than being on the soft grass of the iconic Jay Pritzker Pavilion, looking at the spectacular skyline and working out with a crowd full of fitness enthusiasts? This summer workout series is free to the public and goes all summer. Check out Tai Chi, Pilates and Zumba® classes on Saturday and Yoga classes on Wednesday and Saturday.
Would you rather salsa in the park than spend your evening running? Then this event might be perfect for you! The Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park turns into an urban dance space, where there will be 43 different live bands allowing for an evening full of dancing. Don’t worry about practicing first, there will be dance lessons held beforehand.
Do you prefer to have more of a relaxing workout? The 606 will be a great route for you to walk, run or bike with family and friends. The 606 or the Bloomingdale Line was an abandoned rail line that is now a multi-use recreational trail and park. It is connected to six neighborhood parks at ground level and complete with a wheel-friendly event plaza, an observatory, art installations, educational programming, and other amenities.
The Chicago River is a landmark of Chicago. If you live here, it is something you walk past daily, but did you know that you can kayak on it? Kayak Chicago provides kayak rentals and different level kayaking classes. So gather friends and family and explore Chicago in another view!
Whether you enjoy playing volleyball on the sand or court, Chicago has you covered. There are many volleyball courts for public uses in Chicago. But since it is summer after all, the feeling of having your feet on warm sand and hearing the sound of water while you are playing volleyball really can’t be beat. The city has over 150 sand courts available during the summer months. Click here to see a list of the outdoor volleyball courts!
Being in the cold and windy city of Chicago, one thing all of us at FLIRT always look forward to is summer! Between the many festivals, beautiful beaches, and outdoor events, it’s rather easy to find ways to stay busy in the sunshine. As a team we try to make the most of the season, even when we have to spend days in the office. We’ve taken boat trips on Lake Michigan, attended White Sox games, and we try to eat lunch outside as often as we can whether it be on our rooftop or across the street in Millenium Park. Besides our outings with the office, Chicago summers are also a blast for family, friends, and even solo outings. Here’s the FLIRT guide to making the most of the summer in Chicago:
Being in the Midwest, typically people don’t think of Chicago as having beaches. Contrary to their belief we have lots of beaches that are brimming with beauty! There’s a different beach for whatever activity you’re looking for. Whether it’s volleyball, taking the dogs out, or just getting some sun, there’s the perfect place for every beach lover out there. Follow this guide to find exactly the beach fits your day the best.
For any big city, and many small ones as well, summer is the opportune time to emerge yourself into the local music scene. Besides just your big name music festivals like Lollapalooza or North Coast, there are less expensive and more versatile selections of music to hear all around the city. Check out this list for an amazing selection of music to experience this summer.
I’ve mentioned before how we at FLIRT love food, but seriously, the FLIRT family consists of a big group of foodies. So if your anything like us, coming across a delicious food truck on a beautiful summer outing is more than blissful. Here you can track your favorite food trucks to see where they’re going to be, when, and what’s on the daily menu.
Besides just music, during the summer you can find all sorts of festivals that take over the streets of Chicago. Whether it’s art, food, or a cultural event, street festivals are flowing with variety around this gorgeous city. If you need a street festival survival guide, check out this blog by our very own Mae Quach.
Who doesn’t love a good movie night? The only thing better than cuddling up on your couch to watch one of your classic favorites, is gathering outside on a chilly summer night with all of your fellow Chicagoans. Every summer, The Millenium Park Film Series takes place in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, and shows a movie every Tuesday night. So pack a picnic dinner, and grab your friends and family, because this is an ideal fun and free summer activity. Check out this list for the movie schedule.
The majority of the time, Halloween is associated with vampires, jack-o-lanterns and ghosts, and the creativity behind the holiday is often forgotten, but for The Halloween Gathering, this was not the case. Leading up to this past Halloween, FLIRT was selected as the agency responsible for all of the visual branding for the event, allowing us to really show our creativity as well as assist with such an amazing and original event here in Chicago.
This event is made possible by the Chicago Cultural Mile Association, a foundation committed to bringing awareness to the part of Michigan Avenue south of the Chicago River, known as the “Cultural Mile”. This vibrant section stretches along Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River to Roosevelt and eastward to the Museum Campus. It houses numerous creative institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago; historic real estate such as The Fine Arts Building; and public service monuments such as a the Cultural Center. The Halloween Gathering is intended to bring all of these units of Chicago’s creative community together to celebrate the artists’ holiday through workshops and theater performances during the day and a spectacle parade at night that included 80 of Chicago’s artistic groups.
FLIRT was able to contribute to this event in some of the ways we know best. Our responsibilities included assisting with overall event and stage production as well as designing the visual branding/promotions for the event. From directional signage throughout Millennium Park to advertisements on CTA buses and train cars – we created it all! Our favorite bit that was conjured up was the theme logo for the event. What we call the “Creative Skull” (pictured right) is an original logo that encompasses all of the stunning aspects of the Chicago Cultural Mile. It includes Sue from the Field Museum, The Tiffany ceiling found in The Cultural Center, one of the famous Art Institute lion statues and more. But our excitement about this event didn’t come to an end when all the branding was complete. We could not wait to see it all come together after the months of preparation with the Chicago Cultural Mile Association.
During the day we were blown away by the masses of people creating crafts in the Conjure Tent, viewing theater performances at the Wrigley Stage and partaking in dance workshops at the Enchant Stage. Once evening hit, everyone then gathered for the spectacle parade along Columbus Drive, which was packed with dancers, artists and even flame throwers. Seeing this diverse group of people come together to celebrate this holiday was truly remarkable, and we can’t wait to get started on plans for next year!