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Chicago Like a Local Blog

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

Have you ever dreamed of waddling with a penguin, sharing a tasty bite of kale with a giraffe, or kissing... a beluga? Three new animal experiences will give you the chance to do all of the above and more. Make all your wildest dreams come true with new animal encounters at Chicagoland's best zoos and stellar aquarium. 

The design competition for the Chicago Tribune Tower was one of the most celebrated international architectural competitions of the 20th century. On June 10, 1922, the Chicago Tribune announced that they entries would be welcome from anywhere in the world. The prize? $50,000. Over the coming months, they received over 260 entries. In the end, the winning entry was a formidable design proffered by John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood.

On Monday, August 21, at about 11:52 a.m., the moon over Chicago will begin passing between the sun and the Earth, making for the first total solar eclipse to travel across the entire contiguous United States in 99 years. At approximately 1:19 p.m., the city will experience a maximum solar eclipse. Celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence in Chicago on the lakefront at the city's premier planetarium, on the high seas of Lake Michigan, or 94 floors above the city. 

Chicago's Coolest New Concept Cafés

Monday, August 14, 2017 9:00 AM by Maddy Osman

Different concept cafés have been sprouting up left and right around the world, and represent a great way for business owners to infuse casual dining with fresh ideas. Some feature pop-culture characters and elements, while others are centered around objects or time periods, even being a spy, among other novelties. Many Chicago restaurants even choose to center their menu entirely to a particular kind of food (Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Cafe, anyone?). Of course, Chicago, as a food-crazed city, isn't about to get left behind. Here are a few of Chicago’s new concept cafés we’re especially excited about, each with a sweet twist.

In recent years, the West Loop has been one of the hottest tickets in town. Restaurateurs and real estate developers have transformed the area into a vibrant space where local and tourist foodies alike descend for a delectable bite. But the area has always had a rich culinary history. And while this particular community is new, the concept of community in the neighborhood is one that is strongly rooted in the past.

Summer is still in full swing, Chicago! Although the school year season is creeping closer, the summer adventures aren't over and the great weather is something to take advantage of. From craft beers to Chicago-style hot dogs to a bug exhibit to a handful of cultural celebrations, this weekend has something for everyone. Other than the packed list of things to do in Chicago this weekend below, there is also a handful of August festivals to keep your eye out for. 

The Chicago Air & Water Show, one of the summer's most thrilling spectacles, is coming up on August 19–20 (10 a.m.–3 p.m.). The U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and many more experts in speed will hit the skies over our fair city in this, the largest free air-and-water-focused show in the U.S. While you can always catch the Air & Water Show from pretty much anywhere on the lakefront between Fullerton Avenue and Oak Street, here are four ways to view the show in comfort and style:

One of Chicago's most anticipated summer movie events is the annual Black Harvest Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Celebrating the diverse stories and histories of the black experience, the 23rd annual fest offers an assortment of shorts, documentaries, dramas, comedies, romances, thrillers and workshops throughout the month of August. This year's event also features the Black Harvest Marketplace, an array of black businesses offering one-of-a-kind products on Saturday, August 19 from 1-5pm.

Consider these movie highlights for end of summer fun.

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