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Chicago Like a Local Blog

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

Posts from December 2014

The Best in Bubbly

Thursday, December 18, 2014 12:00 AM by Matt Kirouac

Matt Kirouac

You can be forgiven for feeling utterly depleted from holiday dining and drinking. Human beings are only built to handle so much egg nog. Fortunately, New Year's offers a bubbly respite, perfect for refreshing your palate and beckoning the new year with buzzed spirits. In Chicago, you're not lacking in New Year's party options, but you could always go casual and visit one of these spots for bubbly cocktails or Champagne service.

Chicago New Years Eve

It's time to say goodbye to 2014 and usher in the new year with style. New Year's Eve falls on a Wednesday this year, so you can count on New Year's Day and an upcoming weekend as recovery time. With so many parties in the works - from over the top balls to quieter, more romantic affairs - it's tough to choose. Here are 10 options for a fab December 31.

Palmer House Christmas tree

For more than 140 years, Chicago's Palmer House, located in the heart of the Loop at the corner of State and Monroe, has been treating guests to opulent and gracious hospitality. Retail and real estate magnate Potter Palmer considered the Palmer House his crown jewel; hence he named the extravagant hotel after none other than himself. Once touted as the largest hotel in the world, the Palmer House Lobby has seen dignitaries, celebrities, and royalty come and go, since the hotel was established in 1871.

During the holidays, the Palmer House is even more spectacular. Here are six ways to celebrate the holidays at Chicago's historic Palmer House Hilton Hotel.

First Bites Bash

Chicago's favorite epicurean celebration is a little over a month away! Chicago Restaurant Week, Jan. 30 - February 12, is 14 days of dining heaven that showcases the city's finest culinary talent - more than 250 restaurants will be offering special prix fixe lunch and dinner menus this year.

Before chowing down next month, pick up a ticket to First Bites Bash, the official kick-off event of Chicago Restaurant Week. Join Choose Chicago inside the magnificent Great Hall at Chicago Union Station, January 29, where diners can enjoy savory and sweet tastings from more than 50 of Chicago's most celebrated chefs and restaurants.

Terminal 5

Over the coming weeks, O'Hare International Airport will be a very busy place with the holiday travel season in full swing, as thousands of people make their way home to Des Moines, Dubai, and beyond. Those fine folks flying internationally will find their way to Terminal 5. It's a far cry from even a few years ago, as the terminal was reborn in April 2014 after a $26 million renovation completed as part of a new partnership between the Chicago Department of Aviation and Westfield

The Nutcracker: Four Takes on a Holiday Classic

Friday, December 12, 2014 12:00 AM by Amy Bizzarri

HouseTheatreNutcracker

Since its 1892 adapted premiere in St. Petersburg, Russia - choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - E.T.A. Hoffman's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" has been enchanting audiences worldwide. With new versions of the classic appearing every year, here are four different Nutcrackers on stage this holiday season, each bringing to life the magic of Christmas through the story of Clara and her nutcracker that springs to life on Christmas Eve.

Four Unique Chicago Ice Skating Rinks

Thursday, December 11, 2014 12:00 AM by Amy Bizzarri

ice skating

Skating figure eights is always fun, but skating at one of Chicago's new, unique ice rinks is the cherry atop this winter's cake. From a sky high rink to a lazy river like ribbon of ice, there's an ice skating rink to fit your every whim. Grab your mittens, scarf, sweetheart and a thermos of hot cocoa and head to one of these four unique Chicago ice skating rinks for a fun night of skating.

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