Posts Tagged ‘Shedd Aquarium’

Four summer things to do in Chicago on a stacation or as a visitor

 

From going to museums and shows to enjoying neighborhood festivals and awesome public art, there is always something to see and do in Chicago.

Indeed, there is so much to choose from that trying to wade through all the information is akin to almost drowning in a sea of information.

So here are four suggestions for different ages and interests.

 

Sharks at the Shedd 

See and find out about sharks at the Shedd. Shedd Aquarium photo

See and find out about sharks at the Shedd. Shedd Aquarium photo

 

It doesn’t matter if you missed Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” programs at the end of July, you can visit the sharks and learn about them at the Shedd Aquariam, one of Chicago’s most visited museums.

Instead of merely watching Shedd inhabitants swim and cavort, find out more about what you are seeing by chatting with divers and experts during animal chats. They take place at different times each day at the Caribbean Reef with a diver during feeding time, at Wild Reef when an expert answers such question s as why the sharks you’ll see don’t eat their fish companions, and at the Oceanarium where there are beluga and sea lions animal chats. There is also a daily expert answering questions about penguins in the Polar Play Zone

However, there is also a 60 minute shark feeding tour experience at the Wild Reef that is fascinating. Because it is a behind the scenes tour it needs planning ahead of time and special tickets. For that info visit Sharks. For animal chats visit Shedd.

 

Musical Madagascar

Imagine DreamWorks 2005 film coming alive on stage.  With award winning director/choreographer Rachel Rockwell at the helm, the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s version of the characters is jazzy enough and cool enough to keep youngsters and adults clapping and moving for 70 short minutes. It’s certainly family friendly but adults don’t have to find a child to come and enjoy a show about New York’s Central Park Zoo residents escaping to an island country.

Madagascar "animals" escape from zoo on Chicago Shakespeare's stage. Liz Lauren photo

Madagascar “animals” escape from zoo on Chicago Shakespeare’s stage. Liz Lauren photo

‘Madagascar is at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier, 800 Grand Avenue, Chicago, now through Aug. 27, 2017. For tickets and other information visit ChicagoShakes.

 

Andersonville Eats

Andersonville, known as home to the Swedish American Museum and ethnic restaurants, is holding its annual Dinner Crawl Aug. 9. However, if not able to make the event check out the website to put together your own taste of Andersonville.

Typcialy attracting 600 foodies, the event offers three choices: Golden Fork, Silver Spoon  and The Works routes and menus. The Crawl starts at 4 p.m. at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St. For tickets and a list of restaurants and stops visit Andersonville.

 

A Picasso Celebration of Public Art

For people who remember when that 50-foot tall, odd-looking sculpture was set up on Daley Plaza 50 years ago, it might seem like yesterday that Pablo Picasso designed an extraordinary sculpture for Chicago. People who keep an eye on the statue to see what sport celebration may be crowning it or hanging around its neck, the sculpture has come to signify city pride. And it’s universally recognized. So what to do when its 50th anniversary  rolls around?

Well, in Chicago the anniversary will be celebrated with a re-staging of its unveiling, music performances and a few speeches beginning at noon, Aug. 8.

Chicago's Picasso sculpture symbolizes city pride. Jacobs photo

Chicago’s Picasso sculpture symbolizes city pride. Jacobs photo

But if unable to make the storied event, this summer is a good chance to  appreciate the city’s year-long celebration: “20017 Year of Public Art.”  The Chicago Public Art Collection, managed by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, contains more than 500 art works scattered throughout the city.

From Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate (The Bean) and Jaume Plense’s Crown Fountain in Millennium Park to Jean Dubuffet’s  “Monument with Standing Beast” at the State of Illinois Building  and Alexander Calder’s “Flamingo” a the Federal Center Plaza, there are enough sculptures  to walk around just downtown for an entire day. For a guide to the art works visit DCASE.

 

 

Shout out for World Penguin Day

Zoos and aquariums are celebrating World Penguin Day today, April 25, 2017. The date was picked because that is when Antarctic penguins annually start migrating north.

Penguins at the Shedd Aquarium. Jodie Jacobs photo

Penguins at the Shedd Aquarium. Jodie Jacobs photo

 

In Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium is celebrating with a wonderful series of videos showing penguins making a nest at the aquarium, a new-born penguin being fed and a Shedd program that rescues African penguins in trouble.

Click Shedd  to watch the videos. And visit the Shedd, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, to watch penguins play.

 

The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is also is a good place to watch penguins. Go to LPZoo for more information.

 

A good online site to learn about penguins and find excellent photos is EarthSky. A not for profit site, EarthSky is a good place for space information and our planet’s news.

 

On the west coast, the San Diego Zoo is celebrating World Penguin Day with special penguin themed activities. Go to SDZ to see the events.

 

Five family activities in Chicago for spring break

See weird specimens in a new, behind the scenes exhibit at the Field Museum Photo by Jodie Jacobs

See weird specimens in a new, behind the scenes exhibit at the Field Museum.  Photo by Jodie Jacobs

The kids are saying yea, no school for a week. But what’s a parent to do when there is more to plan for than a weekend outing?

From a tomb and T Rex to penguins and planets, the Museum Campus has lots to keep families fascinated for an entire day.

Penguin antics also make visitors chuckle at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Lego is a hit at the Museum of Science and Industry and at the Legoland Discovery Center in west suburban Schaumburg.

The Centennial Wheel and musical play equipment are awesome at Navy Pier. Check them out and enjoy.

 

Explore Chicago’s Museum Campus

Youngsters don’t all like the same things but on Chicago’s Museum Campus at the south east end of the downtown, you can probably satisfy two different interests if you plan carefully.

Children fascinated by mummies, dinosaurs and native American tribal life will love the  Field Museum while adults will likely want to detour over to its gem exhibit.

Anyone who likes penguins or  pretty much anything live that moves through water will want to stop at the Shedd Aquarium across from The Field.

Budding astronomers and space explorer wannabes will want to go to the Adler Planetarium that’s further down the museum campus’ arm.

Families might be able to take in some of two places but really shouldn’t try to do all three museums on the same day.

Tip: While on the museum campus walk past the aquarium towards the planetarium .then turn around and look at the city. This is where journalists take photos of the skyline and TV broadcasters go for a super camera op of Chicago’s skyline. Your photo will look like you are out in a boat on Lake Michigan because you are on a peninsula.

 

Put on your minor’s hat or thinking cap at the Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry south of downtown should satisfy all interests from its coal mine experience, Lego exhibit  and futuristic thinking room to Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle, the Great Train Story’s model railroads and the Mirror Maze.

Tip: On April 8 and 9 and April 15, you can also see special Robotics week events.

 

You play at Navy Pier

Ride the Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

Ride the Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

 Navy Pier, a 3,300 foot long entertainment pier jutting into Lake Michigan from Illinois Street east of the Mag Mile is home to the Chicago Children’s Museum,  a Ferris-type ride called the Centennial Wheel that is almost 200 feet high and ethnic festivals in its Crystal Garden.

Tip: There is also an IMAX Theater so check out its film schedule. Plus do ‘Impulse: An Interactive Art Exhibit,’  in the Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier, now through May 21. It’s a light and sound experience where visitors can try out seesaws and other play equipment that produce different tones and colors when activated.

 

Watch animals play at the zoo

Stroll through Lincoln Park Zoo to see two new, polar opposite,  animal habitats: South African penguins in their cozy cove (It’s not icy) and Arctic polar bears in a coldly comfortable place.

Tip: The zoo and its Lincoln Park environment are fun places to spend a day so plan on eating at Park Place Café which has Mexican, Italian dishes and burgers or if warm enough, the roof top Café at Wild Things above the Wild Things gift store. .

 

Discover what can be done with Legos

From things to ride, play with and see in 4D to Star Wars episodes to experience, there is an entire Lego world at the Legoland Discovery Center in Schaumburg,  Entry and experiences are ticketed so plan ahead because tickets are timed to prevent overcrowding, particularly during winter and spring vacation breaks.

Tip: Online tickets save money so check it out at Tickets.

 

 

 

 

 

Three ways to take advantage of a long weekend

 

All of a sudden the long weekend that includes Presidents’ Day, the third Monday of February when schools and banks are close, is only a few days away.

What would have been a good time to fly south for a short, sunny break is likely going to be too difficult to book now. Airline flights and hotel rooms in places such as south Florida are typically at a premium that weekend, if still available.

However, instead of playing the “should-have” game, think of the weekend as a fun opportunity. The following suggestions work anywhere even though the examples given are for the Chicago area.

The Field has free general admission for Illinois residents Presidents' Day Weekend. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

The Field has free general admission for Illinois residents Presidents’ Day Weekend. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

 

Take a “staycation”

Nowadays all hotels have a fitness center so that would no longer be a deciding point on where to take your weekend vacation. Think about what you most want to do. Shop? Visit museums? See art and architecture? Go to the theater? Do it all?

Next, how important is a pool? Few downtown Chicago hotels have pools but some have indoor lap pools. Even fewer have a pool where children can swim all year round.

You can keep the bathing suits in the suitcase you planned for a trip south if spending the weekend at The Intercontinental on Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent (Shopping) Mile. It not only has a pool, it is historic and large. The spa and fitness area is now a part of the hotel pool area.

The hotel is nicely placed for a “staycation.” Walk north from the hotel for Michigan Avenue shops. Walk south and cross the Chicago River a few blocks to Millennium Park for ice skating and “Cloud Gate” better known as “The Bean.”  A little further south is the Art Institute of Chicago. You are in a great spot to appreciate downtown art and architecture.

Cross Michigan Avenue from the hotel to take a bus to the Museum Campus’ Field Museum,  Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium at the south end of Grant Park. All of February is free general admission for Illinois residents at the Field.  Presidents’ Day,  Feb. 20, is free admission to the Adler Planetarium and the Chicago History Museum in Lincoln Park.

The city is at you doorstep when you take a “staycation” downtown. Enjoy

 

Binge on Oscar nominated movies

Get a jump start on Oscar night, Feb. 26, 2017 by seeing the nominated movies at your local theater.

For the kids there are the animated features: “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “Moana,” “My Life as a Zucchini,” The Red Turtle” and “Zootopia.”
Best Picture nominees are: “Arrival,” “Fences,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “Hidden Figures,” “La La Land, ”Lion,” “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight.” Most theaters offer advance tickets. The AMC theaters at Northbrook Court were recently remodeled with really comfortable seats and a bar to get drinks and food.

Or settle in with popcorn or pizza at home as you check Netflix or On Demand for past Oscar winners. Some are oldies. Others are just goodies.

 

Make a penguin and cupcake play date with friends

Lincoln Park Zoo Penguin Cove opens. Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo Penguin Cove opens. Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo

 

Go to a zoo or aquarium then forget the diet and splurge on cupcakes at places you’ve been meaning to try.

In Chicago, the Lincoln Park Zoo has a wonderful, new penguin center.  Or watch the penguins in their Polar Play Zone at the Shedd Aquarium.

For a dessert break pick up cupcakes at Sprinkles Cupcakes at 50 E Walton St. west of the Magnificent Mile. Or stop in at the Magnolia Bakery  at 108 N State St at Block 37.

 

.

Subscribe By Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Categories
Follow Me on Twitter
Archives