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Chicago Like a Local Blog

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

Author: Amy Bizzarri

Amy Bizzarri is a freelance writer specializing in family fun and travel, a Chicago public schools world language teacher, and an avid reader. She lives with her two kids – a tween boy and a toddler girl – in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. Follow Amy and her adventures in Chicago and beyond on her personal blog, AmyWrites312.com.

Wine and Dine Pre-Show at Chicago's Lyric Opera

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 8:00 AM by Amy Bizzarri

The Lyric Opera of Chicago specializes in harnessing the power of costumery, scenery, light and sound effects, and above all, movement, music and voice to take audience members to altogether new places, time periods and heights. As an epic opera unfolds onstage, it's easy to find yourself suddenly transported to lively Latin Quarter of France, to a soldier-filled square in Seville or to 19th century Calabria, among a traveling troupe of clowns.

When was the last time you traveled overseas to explore an exotic, faraway land? This fall, you can travel around the world without having to pack your suitcase or hop aboard an airplane. Over 30 cultural institutions are banding together to bring the world to Chicago's doorstep via Inherit Chicago, the city’s first intercultural festival. 

Back to school = back to the books, and there's no better place to find a good read than to pay a visit to a local, independent bookstore. Chicago is lucky to have a number of independent booksellers, where good service, a community spirit and great literature go hand in hand. Here are five unique Chicago bookstores where a good book is always easy to find.

VeganMania is Chicago's premier celebration of all things vegan and wonderful. From cooking demos to veggie-focused workshops and of course, delicious treats galore, there's something for everyone at this foodie fest Even if you're not vegan, it makes for a wonderful opportunity for anyone looking to incorporate more fruits, veggies, and meat-free items into a daily diet. 

Chicago has so many wonderful summer festivals with every weekend in June, July and August packed with a festival for every taste, cuisine and musical genre. Thankfully, the fun doesn't end Labor Day weekend. There are plenty of wonderful, fall festivals planned in neighborhoods across the city. Here are three kid-friendly, fall festivals in Chicago you won't want to miss this autumn. 

Autumn has arrived in the city of Chicago! The leaves are just beginning to transform into their fall best, farmers markets are filling up with the fruits of the harvest and the evening air is cool and crisp — perfect for enjoying an evening walk with a pumpkin spice latte in hand. Autumn ushers in a new season of fun in the city, with new performances hitting stages, new museum exhibits opening their doors, and fun festivals and outdoor events that embrace everything fall. 

Here are four things we're looking forward to this autumn in Chicago.

A morning of traipsing around the city of Chicago calls for a relaxing, tea-filled afternoon. A hot pot of your favorite blend and savory and sweet treats are the perfect follow-up to a hectic museum or zoo visit. Here are three outstanding non-hotel afternoon teas in Chicago that pair well with a morning museum of zoo adventure.

Bookworms big and small will want to make a beeline to Chicago's brand-new, amazing American Writers Museum (AWM) and its Children’s Literature Gallery. As the first and only museum of its kind in the nation, this word-filled museum celebrates diverse American writers while also exploring their influence on our cultural identity.

If you're raising a reader, here are seven things kids can see and do at the must-visit American Writers Museum.

Hamilton is the hottest ticket in Chicago. Ever since it hit the stage of the PrivateBank Theatre last year, fans have been holding their breath, searching high and low, and trying to find a golden ticket of their very own. While you can now book Hamilton Chicago tickets online, they are at price point that might just break your bank account, and until now, the hard-to-win online lottery has been the only way to secure affordable tickets. But beginning on Sunday, August 27, there's a new, easier way to enter the musical HAMILTON's popular lottery: the brand new HAMILTON app.

You'll know you've arrived at Chicago's American Girl outpost when you spot the gaggles of giggling girls clutching their dolls as they excitedly making their way towards Michigan Avenue's Water Tower Place. This upscale, specialty doll store is a little girl's dream come true: a doll-friendly cafe, bakery, and even an in-house doll hair salon make American Girl Place a Chicago tourist destination in and of itself. At the end of August, American Girl Place Chicago will roll out the red carpet for the official debut of its newest BeForever character, Nanea Mitchell. 

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