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Chicago: From Our Home to Yours
While we all continue to pause, we invite you to connect with and experience our Chicago
(CHICAGO, ILLINOIS March 25, 2020) – Chicago is known for our resilient and welcoming spirit, shaped by our place in the heart of the country. We’re the city that feels like home, no matter where you are in the world. While we all continue to pause, we invite you to connect with and experience our city — from supporting local restaurants by ordering carry-out and delivery to taking a virtual tour of our immersive museums and attractions. When the time is right, we look forward to warmly welcoming you to Chicago.
Check out the latest experiences and offerings our partners have shared with us below, and visit www.choosechicago.com/chicagohome for more information and ongoing updates:
VIRTUAL TOURS AND DIGITAL EXPERIENCES
With Google Arts & Culture, virtual visitors can roam the halls of many Chicago Museums from the comfort of their home. Museums and attractions include Adler Planetarium, The Art Institute of Chicago, DuSable Museum of African American History, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago History Museum, National Museum of Mexican Art, Oriental Institute Museum, and IIT Institute of Design .
The Chicagoland area is home to the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures in the world. This is where you’ll find some of the iconic architect’s most influential works, including two UNESCO World Heritage sites — Oak Park’s Unity Temple and the Frederick C. Robie House in Hyde Park. Take a look inside with these video tours:
The Art Institute of Chicago is known for their astounding collection, which includes some of the most famous paintings on the planet. And more than 40,000 of their works have been digitized in high-resolution, so you can explore them from the comfort of your own home. A good place to start is with some of the museum’s essential works — zoom in to see each tiny dot in a A Sunday on La Grande Jatte or admire the brushstrokes in Monet’s Water Lilies. See the digital collection and explore more ways to visit virtually here.
The Adler Planetarium is America’s first planetarium and it has become a recognized leader in space education. Bring the lab to your little scientist and spark curiosity and encourage exploration with the Adler Planetarium’s Let’s Do Science video series. Designed for families and educators, these engaging at-home experiments use household materials for fun hands-on, minds-on science activities. Experiments range from floating an egg in water to building a space-age lava lamp, and more.
Chicago History Museum is a place of learning, discovery, creativity, and of course, history. Delve into Chicago’s rich history with the Chicago History Museum’s entire portal of online exhibitions, which presents a fascinating look at our city’s past. Learn about the Great Chicago Fire, the life of Abraham Lincoln, the Haymarket riots, and the evolution of Chicago’s culinary scene. One of their coolest digital experience is the Chicago θθ Project, which offers free virtual reality experiences of defining Chicago moments like the SS Eastland Disaster and the 1933 World’s Fair. Explore online exhibits.
The Field Museum is a revered Chicago institution and one of the world’s great museums of natural history. From home, message Máximo the museum’s titanosaur through online chat or text message. You can ask the Field Museum’s friendly titanosaur what life was like during the Cretaceous Period, how he came to be at the museum, and even his favorite color or what he likes to eat. Send Máximo a message using the button on this page or text him at 70221.
This hidden gem, located on the University of Chicago campus, houses a treasure trove of artifacts from the most ancient days of Egypt, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, and beyond. The Oriental Institute’s virtual tour lets you explore many of the objects uncovered during their excavations, from early pottery to a massive statue of King Tut. Take the virtual tour.
The Museum of Contemporary Photography is the world’s premier college art museum dedicated to photography. Located within the Columbia College Chicago’s Loop campus, the museum is home to more than 15,000 objects by over 1,500 artists. Their digital collections showcase photographs from the MoCP permanent collection that have been selected by artists, curators, and students. See here for the museum’s digital exhibitions.
The National Hellenic Museum, home to the largest collection of Greek American artifacts in the world, offers a free digital museum. The digital museum is home to 20,000+ artifacts, photos, historic newspapers, and books, plus more than 450 recorded oral histories. See here to view the collection and archives.
The National Museum of Mexican Art is home to one of the country’s largest Mexican art collections, staffed by curators and experts who are passionate about Mexican art. The museum’s staff and their families are finding creative ways to stay busy and entertained with at home activities. See here for some of their favorite activities to enjoy during this time.
The Newberry Library houses an extensive non-circulating collection of rare books, maps, music, manuscripts, and other printed material as Chicago’s independent research library since 1887. You can explore more than one million of these items digitized online.
ZOOS AND ANIMALS
Brookfield Zoo, a 216-acre oasis that is home to over 2,000 animals, is bringing the zoo to you with Facebook broadcasts to make time home with kids entertaining and educational. See African painted dog puppies get their first physical exam, gorillas using tools to get food, and much more.
The Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the largest zoo-based conservation and science programs in the country, is providing unique experiences for supporters to ‘keep in touch’ with their favorite animals and spaces at the zoo. Tune in to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for keeper chats, virtual habitat tours, Q&As, relaxing videos, and Facebook Lives with Zoo Director Megan Ross, Ph.D. Check out the zoo’s blog for an inside look at how Lincoln Park Zoo provides world-class care to nearly 200 species, as well as ways to connect young ones with nature and much more.
The Shedd Aquarium, home to 32,600 species of sea life, is giving visitors a live glimpse into the aquarium to enjoy from home. With the Shedd Aquarium’s Underwater Beauty live cam, enter a world of shimmer, color, pattern and rhythm, where jellies pulse, eels ribbon and a rainbow comes alive with reef fishes in the aquarium’s most diverse special exhibit ever. Underwater Beauty shows how every aquatic animal is beautifully adapted to thrive in its environment — and how this beauty is worth saving.
DINING & IMBIBING AT HOME
TAKEOUT AND DELIVERY
Pastry Chef Aya Fukai of Aya Pastry is offering frozen food for the public cooking at home and stocking up. The store hours have been expanded to seven days a week in order to provide bread, pastries, and frozen items to bake at home. They are offering guests the opportunity to order online or to choose ‘Local Home Delivery.’ Aya Pastry is also offering food industry workers daily food donations from their leftover supply.
Bar Biscay offers cocktail kits and alcohol pick-up and delivery through Bodega Biscay. Alcohol offerings include many bottles of wine and spirits like Amaro, Agave, Bitters, Brandy, and more. Home cocktail kits ($65) include: two piece mixing tin, 32 oz mixing glass, two sided metered jigger, bar spoon, Hawthorne strainer, eye dropper bottles of bitters – Angostura, Peychauds, and Regan’s Orange.
City Winery is providing new ways to enjoy their locally produced, award-winning wine at home along with food items to pair with wine via contact-free pick up in the West Loop. Wines can be purchased through City Winery Chicago’s Online Wine Store. Easy online ordering for wine & food “to go” can be done here. Free pick up of food and wine is available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. at City Winery Chicago in the West Loop – 1200 W. Randolph St. City Winery is also offering complimentary, contact-free wine delivery for orders of 12 bottles or more within Chicago for orders placed through their online wine store. The delivery driver will call you upon arrival and drop off the order on your doorstep, in your lobby, or another designated area.
Beyond delivery and curbside pick-up options, Daisies is offering pasta meal kits and house-made Bloody Mary cocktail kits.
In an effort to keep as many staff members at home and healthy, DineAmic Hospitality has centered its restaurants contactless curbside delivery and take-out efforts to Siena Tavern. Guests can order Top Chef alum Fabio Viviani’s food a la carte or choose to purchase a family style package ($40 each, feeds four and includes restaurant’s bestselling items). All sales go to support DineAmic staff. Additionally, all guests ordering from Siena Tavern will receive a $25 gift card as a token of appreciation that will be valid once the restaurant reopens towards the end of 2020. To order, visit Siena Tavern’s website or call 312-595-1322; available daily from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Maple & Ash and etta’s “dollar-for-dollar” match provides guests with a gift card for future use that is of equal value to their pick-up order’s total. For example, spend $40 on take out, receive a $40 gift card.
In addition to Gibsons Restaurant Group’s regular carry-out and delivery menus, Gibsons Prime Angus and Gibsons Grassfed Australian steaks are available for purchase cooked or pre-packaged (vacuum-sealed directly from the butcher) to cook at home. All steaks will be sold at a significantly reduced price — approximately 50% off. Participating locations include Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse (Chicago, Rosemont and Oak Brook), Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House (Chicago and Naperville) and LUXBAR. Don’t forget to pick up one of their signature seasoning blends.
The Edgewater Chamber of Commerce launches Virtual Restaurant Week, March 20 – 30, to support Edgewater restaurants, diners, cafes and eateries with special carry-out, curbside and delivery meals. Participants and more information can be found here.
Gemini offers a variety of cocktail kits available for curbside pick-up detailed here: Cadillac Margarita Kit ($75) – Corazon tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, limes, The Squirtsky kit ($75) – Rocktown grapefruit vodka, Prairie vodka, Pauly G’s secret squirtsky mix, citrus and two “G” glasses, Gentleman’s Martini kit ($75) – Ketel One vodka, Dolin vermouth, lemon, olives and two coupe classes (olive juice available for Dirty martinis), and “My Vacation Was Cancelled” kit ($40) – Jamaican run, Barritt’s ginger beer, two limes and two “G” glasses.
Many Lettuce Entertain You restaurants are joining forces to create family meals, called Lettuce Take Care of You – providing three meals for one week, all that feed a family of 4 for $150 from some favorite LEYE spots like RPM Italian, Bub City, Ramen-San, il Porcellino and more. For those looking to enhance their cooking and cocktail making skills at home, Lettuce Entertain You restaurants are also offering meal and cocktail kits for sale including Stella Barra pizza making kits Bub City Moscow Mule kit, and more. And until the end of March, Wow Bao is offering a 50% discount to all Chicago restaurant employees for carry-out and pick-up orders taken at all Chicago locations (proof of February/March employment required). For all other LEYE carryout and delivery options, visit here.
Levy Restaurants (Café Spiaggia, River Roast and Jake Melnick’s) launched three new ways to experience their restaurants at home. Offerings include weekly family meals from the Levy Family of Restaurants – $100 per week built for three to four people, first responders/medical professionals/restaurant industry workers can enjoy ½ off specials available daily from each restaurant, and all are welcome to enjoy a happy hour pick up special from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. daily. Happy hour specials include $20 River Roast Bottled Old Fashioned, ½ off house red, white, or rose wine from Café Spiaggia, and ½ off Revolution Brewery six packs from Jake Melnicks.
Old Pueblo Cantina offers at-home margarita kits through Caviar and curbside pick-up. Regular or spicy margarita kits are available for $10 and bottles of Corazon are available for $20.
Philz Coffee, the popular San Francisco brand with three locations in Chicago (Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Hyde Park) and in Evanston, Illinois, offers free delivery on its signature blends (Tesora and Philtered Soul) until Monday, April 20. Purchases can be made on the brand’s website.
Urbanbelly now offers affordable alcohol through Caviar or pickup including $2 High Life, $3 Tiger, $3 White Claw and $4 Virtue Cider.
Wixter Market, a Bucktown shop, is now open. This shop specializes in individual portions of flash frozen and super frozen seafood.
CHICAGO CRAFT BREWERIES: PICK-UP & DELIVERY
Chicago is the top brewing city in the country, with dozens of unique craft breweries throughout our vibrant neighborhoods. Support local breweries by placing an online order for pick-up or delivery of your favorite brews. This list is provided and maintained by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild.
RECIPES FROM OUR CHEFS
Recipes can be found here; check back for more.
Executive Chef Derek Dupree of Bernie’s shares his hummus with lamb recipe and notes, “hummus is fairly easy to make and uses ingredients that are non-perishable, and that you likely already have. Hummus also makes for a great work-from-home snack.”
Learn new cooking tips and techniques in The Chopping Block‘s online video library. Chef Shelley Young‘s comprehensive, easy-to-follow videos feature recipes, ingredients and techniques designed to answer all of your cooking questions. Can’t remember how to make risotto or need to brush up on how to chop an onion? The Chopping Block is your free, go-to online cooking resource.
Cochon Volant Brasserie, Francois Frankie, and Taureaux Tavern Executive Chef Mike Sheerin shares his roasted chicken recipe and states, “this is my go-to recipe for a simple dinner that’s guaranteed to have leftovers for a few days. You probably already have the spices in your kitchen, it’s family-friendly, and the cooking process is easy.”
Executive Chef and Partner Brian Jupiter at Frontier and Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods provides his Lima Beans and Jambalaya recipe for those looking for cooking inspiration. Chef Brian shares, “I am from New Orleans, so Jambalaya has always been a go-to recipe that reminds me of home and family. The great thing about Jambalaya is you can really add in whatever vegetables and meat you have available and it turns out delicious. Have fun when cooking it and add your own flair.”
The Langham Chicago’s Pastry Chef Danielle Marelli shares a home-friendly recipe – Lucky Charm bars to add a sweet treat to anyone’s day. Travelle at The Langham is also sharing home-friendly recipes including: a cocktail recipe perfect for springtime, a delicious pasta recipe and three delightful desserts.
Award-winning Chef Bill Kim of Urbanbelly and The Table at Crate creates at home recipes that are uniquely his own bringing together, his wide-ranging passions of Asian and American fine-dining techniques and neighborhood comforts including Korican fried rice, miso soup, and his classic pasta recipe.
Visit The Revel Group on Instagram @therevelgroup for home-friendly recipes from Executive Chef Tony Quartaro on Fridays.
GET CREATIVE WITH OUR ARTISTS AND ENTERTAINERS
The GhostLight Theatre is hosting a live Virtual Cabaret on Friday, March 27 at 6:30 p.m. CST on YouTube for free featuring performers from all over the US. Visitors are asked to monitor GhostLight’s website homepage for the link to the show.
The Second City Training Center is bringing real, live fun straight to you by expanding the online programming with brand-new classes. These totally digital, totally fun classes are designed for everyone, and especially for the millions of people craving social interaction instead of social media right now. Internet and web camera access required. Pajamas optional. Four-week, eight-week or one-time drop-in classes are available for all ages (including teens). Pricing starts at $25. More information can be found here.
With the lights out on Steppenwolf’s stages, the company is sharing multiple initiatives to keep the virtual lights on during this hiatus.
Steppenwolf announces “Half Hour: A Steppenwolf Theatre Podcast,” a Steppenwolf produced, Ensemble member hosted, interview-style podcast that uses the most magical amount of time there is in the theatre — the half hour before a show begins — to sit down and make connections between artists in the Steppenwolf family. To hear their stories. To learn about their processes. And to discover what motivates them to create theatre. Hosted by Audrey Francis, Caroline Neff, Cliff Chamberlain and Glenn Davis, four of Steppenwolf’s newer ensemble members, “Half Hour” takes audiences behind the scenes for candid, intimate, one-on-one conversations between members of the nation’s premier ensemble theatre. “Half Hour” is produced by Patrick Zakem, and recorded and engineered by Matt Chapman. The first episode of the podcast will air in early April with special guest Steppenwolf co-founding ensemble member Jeff Perry.
Steppenwolf is sharing the never-before-publicly-released 40th anniversary Gala video featuring ensemble members telling candid and hilarious stories. Watch the video online here. Additionally, Steppenwolf’s production of Pass Over, which was made into a movie by Spike Lee, can be viewed on Amazon Studios.
FAMOUS MOVIES AND TV SHOWS FILMED IN OUR CITY
Need some inspiration for your next movie or TV night? Chicago has been featured on the big and small screen for over a century, including starring roles in classic movies like The Blues Brothers, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and The Dark Knight. The city has also become a hotspot for television filming for the popular series Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, and Shameless. More information on movies filmed in Chicago can be found here, and to see where many of your favorite Chicago shows are filmed in Chicago, see here.
2020 YEAR OF CHICAGO MUSIC
CHICAGOANS GIVING BACK
Bonhomme Hospitality is selling gift cards with 100% of gift card sales to be donated by Bonhomme Hospitality’s founders, the Alonso & Hindo families, to further fund healthcare, chef-prepared meals and financial relief for their team of nearly 400 individuals — #Bonhommies. Bonhomme Hospitality restaurants include Beatnik West Town, Beatnik On The River, Black Bull, Bordel, Café Bonhomme, Celeste, Disco, and Porto.
The Chicago History Museum is contributing to the fight against COVID-19 by donating a large number of gloves, N95 face masks, aprons, eyewear, and other personal protection equipment (PPE) to Cook County Health. The museum’s collections staff uses PPEs when handling artifacts that could have been treated with hazardous substances, possibly have toxic molds or fungi, and to protect artifacts from oils and other materials.
Chicago-GO Off The Beaten Path Tours offers the opportunity to purchase a tour to be donated to a healthcare employee. After the tour has been purchased, Chica-GO Off The Beaten Path Tours will present it to a healthcare worker that has been helping us during this time.
DineAmic Hospitality continues to not only serve the community but employees as well. Owners, David Rekhson and Lucas Stoioff, are providing immediate support to hourly workers and their families by offering a DineAmic Family Meal Train. Staff members could pick-up a no cost family meal and receive it curbside. The meal packs will be ready to eat and serve up to 5 family members. On their first pick-up day the Executive Chef and Management Teams spent the day preparing and serving over 900 meals.
Tradeshow booth design and building company Dimension Design has converted its production capabilities from booth design and building to making masks and gowns for first responders and nursing homes. The effort allowed the company to rehire employees who had been recently furloughed. The first masks and gowns are being delivered the week of March 23. The company, which is now on the hunt for additional cotton fabric, expects to produce about 500 items per day.
Doing their part to support medical professionals on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, Goodman Theatre is donating face masks and cleaning supplies to hospitals and emergency care workers.
I Grow Chicago, an organization whose goal is to grow the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, is putting together care packages and helping serve/deliver hot meals to the community during this time. In just a few weeks they have provided 150 hot meals to neighbors, picked up and delivered 50 children’s meals from Chicago Public Schools for their after school families that can’t drive and delivered 250 educational flyers with information about the virus to households with limited Internet access. They ask people interested in helping, to help by putting together a care package using a curated list of items. Any donation and care package should contain items from the list. For more information, visit this page on their website.
KOVAL Distillery, typically known for organic and kosher whiskeys, gins, and specialty spirits, is focusing its efforts on providing hand sanitizers in bulk to the medical community, retirement homes, and those on the front lines in this war against COVID-19.
The LEE Initiative, Chef Edward Lee, One Off Hospitality and Chef-Partner Paul Kahan have announced that beginning Tuesday, March 24, Big Star Wicker Park will transform into an ongoing headquarters for restaurant workers relief. With the help of Makers Mark, the One Off team will prepare and pack hundreds of to-go dinners and grocery bags each night that will be offered to recently unemployed restaurant workers who are in dire need of food and supplies. Dinners will be offered on a first-come/first-serve basis, limiting one per person with strict social distancing guidelines in place for pick-up. In addition to meals, Big Star will also have groceries on hand for those in need. As with the meals, there will be a limit of one pre-packed grocery bag per person. The Restaurant Workers Relief program will be offered throughout the quarantine period or for as long as supplies last. Donations to the LEE Initiative are welcome and will help extend this service. All donations should be directed to www.leeinitiative.org. Additionally, if you would like to donate goods or products like diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, One Off Hospitality welcome donations via Amazon. These can be sent directly to Big Star Wicker Park, 1531 N Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622. One Off Hospitality will not be accepting in-person drop-offs from individuals as an effort to comply with the current shelter in place restrictions. Please consider Amazon deliveries if interested in supporting.
Lula Cafe Owner and Chef Jason Hammel is banding restaurants together and calling on the government to take action; addressing this issue to help city-wide hospitality employees out of work, as well as abatement of payroll taxes and rent. Jason led a national James Beard Foundation webinar to share how he started this campaign. He had a city-wide chef meeting prior to closures, where he pulled in over 50 chefs/independent restaurant owners from across the country to discuss how to support Chicago’s now unemployed restaurant staff. Jason continues to spread the message over social media.
Inspired by the community kitchens or ‘Langars’ of India, Mango Pickle’s crew is making a potful of Kitchari – or “Khichdi”, as this humble yet wholesome and delicious dish is otherwise known across the subcontinent, daily. For those that work in the hospitality industry and have been affected by the prevailing industry conditions, email the restaurant before 10 a.m. and they’ll keep a bowl of Kitchari ready for you to pick up at 3 p.m. on the same day. Show up, let the restaurant know your name, and takeaway this vegetarian meal-in-a-bowl that they’re cooking from the heart. Connect with firstname.lastname@example.org to request your bowl(s) or to contribute to this endeavor in some capacity. * limit 4 bowls / request
Maple & Ash and etta have instituted daily packages for their employees and families. It includes a daily meal and essentials. If employees wanted to partake, they filled out a form “RSVP’ing” with the size of their family. Additionally, the restaurants have added in some bare essentials – as of now determined as paper toiletries and snacks. This is an ever changing care package.
MASK (Mothers Against Senseless Killing) opened a community school on Tuesday, March 17. Volunteers worked around the clock the weekend before to turn a trio of shipping containers on the corner of 75th Street and Stewart Avenue into classrooms large enough to accommodate students from the immediate neighborhood and other South Side communities. MASK will be following CDC guidelines to keep class sizes to 10 and under. They are always looking for donations to help them with their mission.
Chicago advocacy group My Block, My Hood, My City is providing necessary supplies to seniors and those with disabilities to help them combat the spread of COVID-19. Based in Chatham, the organization can deliver anywhere in the city. They are looking for donations of supplies and people can also request these ‘Viral Response Packages.’
The Obama Foundation is sharing global stories of hope – people/groups/organizations that are going above and beyond for others and their community during this time. The timeline is continuously updated with stories, but they encourage others to share if they hear of stories on their own.
Pioneer Tavern Group which oversees Frontier and Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods; has teamed up with Bushmills Whiskey to provide Frontier and Ina Mae employees with “Sunday Supper” dinners. People who order from the restaurants for delivery or pick-up can donate 20% of their order to PTG’s employee fund using code CORONAVIRUS2020.
Sittercity, known for digitally connecting families with quality child care, is giving all Chicago parents working as first responders three free months of Sittercity Premium. See here for more information.
If you are seeking additional opportunities to support Chicago, consider purchasing a membership for an organization or purchasing merchandise from online gift shops, and for restaurants and small businesses, consider purchasing a gift card.
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About Choose Chicago
Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor destination leveraging the city’s unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. For more information, visit choosechicago.com. Follow @ChooseChicago on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.