Chicago Like a Local Blog

Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.

A Grown-Ups Guide to Magnificent Mile Lights Fest

Mag Mile Lights Festival

While the rest of the country waits to digest Thanksgiving feasts before officially starting holiday celebrations, Christmas in Chicago kicks off the week before Thanksgiving with the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. The iconic stretch of north Michigan Avenue sparkles with a million (literally) lights on 200 trees and a Tree-Lighting Parade with Mickey and Minnie Mouse as grand marshalls.

A Robot-Themed Holiday! Christmas Around the World at Museum of Science and Industry

Christmas Around the World - Museum of Science and Industry

During the holidays, the Museum of Science and Industry gets dressed up in its holiday best. The annual Christmas around the World exhibit (on display November 19, 2015 - January 3, 2016) showcases more than 50 trees and crèches, each festooned with traditional ornaments and decorations by members of Chicago's ethnic communities. This year’s celebration is inspired the Museum’s temporary exhibit — Robot Revolution.

9 Chicago Restaurants Serving Up Thanksgiving Feasts

Cafe Spiaggia Chicago

Thanksgiving is a time to feast with family, to yell at the football game, to gawk at the downtown parade floats, and to stress about burning the turkey. But it doesn't have to be! You can still bond with family and fret over football, but plenty of Chicago restaurants remove the stress of cooking by offering their own holiday menus. Here are 9 restaurant picks to indulge with this Thanksgiving:

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival: 10 Tips for a Day of Family Fun

 The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Chicago

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is Chicago's premier kickoff to the holiday season. Grand marshals Mickey and Minnie Mouse lead a holiday parade of more than 40 floats, helium-filled balloons and marching bands down Michigan Avenue, to the delight of kids and adults alike. Along the route, they light up over one million lights on over 200 trees with their magic wands, leaving Chicago's Mag Mile merry and bright.

The Talbott Hotel: Guide to Going Overnight in the Gold Coast

Talbott Hotel Chicago

I've spent many evenings in the Gold Coast out and about and more than once I've wondered "Wouldn't be easier just to find a hospitable hostelry and stay over?" When one has the time, whether traveling from Dubai or Dubuque, why not just rest a while? I can heartily recommend such an overnight excursion at the celebrated Talbott Hotel on Delaware Place.

Come out for the Taste of Ravenswood!

Koval Distillery Chicago

Craft breweries, independent-owned restaurants, and a local distillery all under one roof? If you’ve never been to Ravenswood, the upcoming Taste of Ravenswood might be the event that will inspire you to jump on the Brown Line to explore one of Chicago's most charming neighborhoods. Spend a few hours on November 13 making new friends and trying some of the fine local flavors at this foodie fete.

Latinicity Food Hall: A Taste of Latin America in the Loop

Latinicity Food Hall Chicago

One of the biggest, most ambitious restaurant openings of the year (or any year) just took place in the Loop, with the launch of Latinicity Food Hall & Lounge on the third floor of the Block 37 shopping center (108 N. State Street).

This Latin-accented juggernaut of a space is part marketplace, part dining complex, part retail, part bar, and entirely awe-inspiring.

Chicago Dance: 4 Shows to See in November

Harris Theater presents Jessica Lang Dance

What's coming up on this month's calendar of dance performances? On the stage, see Twyla Tharp's 50th Anniversary Tour from November 5-8; Jessica Lang Dance presenting Tesseracts of Time from November 6; Camille A. Brown presenting Black Girl: Linguistic Play from November 6-7; and RPM Productions presenting Day of the Gypsy from November 21-22.

A Newbie's Guide to SOFACHICAGO

SOFA Chicago

The 22nd annual SOFA Chicago (Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design) expo has pulled out all stops to make the three-day art fair more accessible and easier to navigate, including a newly designed floorplan and more opportunities to meet artists and designers and learn about the process of curating and art selection. Two-dimensional art — paintings, photography and works on paper — will also be featured for the first time, giving even more options for inspiration.

D is for Dearborn Park

Chicago South Loop

Chicago is the home of many planned communities. Some are but a block or two in length, and other are quite ambitious and expansive, such as Pullman — now a National Monument (Chicago's first). Many communities are studied by architects, aspiring planning students, curious community organizers, and those with a general curiosity about the city around them. One of my favorite planned communities is Dearborn Park which stretches from

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