IL Travel Guide
It’s never too early to start planning for the New Year, and that’s especially the case when we’re just a couple weeks away. We’ve checked out what our favorite cities are up to when it comes to welcoming 2014, and we’re here to share. So check out what’s going on in Chicago to celebrate the countdown to 2014.
The Second City knows how to ring in the New Year, and with the lakefront as a backdrop it’s a great spot to launch some fireworks into the sky. Navy Pier is where you'll want to be at midnight, but we’d probably recommend getting there a little bit earlier than that—of course you need time to scope out the best spot.
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Believe it or not there’s no better place to relax than the airport, and that’s especially the case as more and more places are adding a little yoga to the terminal and concourse menu. We’ve mentioned a few of the airports where you can practice your warrior or cobra poses, and now’s there’s one more airport that’s all about stretching it out during your layover.
Chicago-O’Hare is famous for a lot of things, and you can now add yoga to that list. The place now has a yoga room right within Terminal 3, and it’s situated right next door to the airport’s indoor garden. The yoga studio features bamboo floors, mirrors along one side of the room, plenty of yoga mats, and a spot to store your stuff while you are doing your thing. There are even frosted windows within the room to let in a little more light, and to kind of create a less sterile environment.
Christmas is coming early this year for fans of Chicago's annual Riot Fest.
The festival has announced a limited number of three-day early bird tickets for 2014 will go on sale tomorrow, Nov. 27, at 12:00 PM CT.
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Big news out of Chicago-O’Hare, as the rumor is that the airport will no longer face any delays. Okay—you caught us—we’re exaggerating a little bit, but there is some news out of the airport that should make things run a little bit smoother on your next trip through the area.
Late last week the airport’s new runway opened up for business, after over a billion dollars was spent to get things constructed. Initially airport officials were quick to point out the runway’s merits, as the claimed that typical delays due to the weather—it was overcast—just weren’t happening thanks to the new piece of asphalt.
Tickets are now on sale for one of our favorite film festivals, the Chicago Film Food Festival, taking place Nov. 21 - 23, 2013.
The Food Film Fest, which also takes place annually in NYC and Charleston, is the only festival where attendees watch food films, then eat the food from the films.
The festival will take place at Kendall College and will be hosted by Travel Channel’s George Motz. Highlights of this year's CFFF are the opening night feature film about Michel Chapoutier and his wines, Food Porn star Larry Cauldwell's fondue film, and Matt Timms and his "Sugar Takedown."
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Have you ever wanted to walk on a major airport runway? Hopefully you never have to because of emergency circumstances (see an example of that here), but there is a legal (and safe) way to take a stroll on one of Chicago-O'Hare's runways, and that's by registering for the 5K/10K On The Runway.
Okay, so its not so much a stroll as it is a full-fledged race, but the highlight is without a doubt the ability to run down an actual runway and, when you've finished and caught your breath, visit a United plane for a photo op. United is one of the sponsors of the event alongside the Chicago Department of Aviation and WLS Radio, and they've brought a 747 for the photo op in the past. Fingers crossed the 787 makes an appearance this year, but it's best just to focus on finishing the race for now.
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The customs and passport control process just got a little bit easier, as a slew of new kiosks have just arrived over in Chicago. The city’s O’Hare Airport is the first in the country to be hooked up with the new transportation technology, as the hope is that travelers will be able to make their way through the whole darn process just a little bit quicker.
We’ve mentioned these border protection beauties in the past, as the original test of these things was going on up in Vancouver. In total there’s like 32 of the new machines now awaiting US travelers as they make their way back home and into Chicagoland.
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A new coffeeshop isn't the only notable new addition to Chicago O'Hare Airport this week. Inside the terminals, passengers now happily fill up on caffeine and baked goods while, outside, four-legged animals chow down on the grasses surrounding the airport.
As promised, O'Hare has introduced natural lawn maintenance in the form of goats, donkeys, sheep and llamas. The animals, all overseen by a shepherd, have a job to keep 120 acres of airport land tidy. They've even already made themselves at home, as one goat recently gave birth to a kid. Guess what the airport named it? Yep, a baby goat named "O'Hare" now lives at O'Hare (you can see him through the grass a little, in the photo below)
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Chicago, you're the best.
While many airports focus on installing new wine bars or sticking as many iPads as possible in the faces of passengers trying to grab a bite, Chicago's O'Hare and Midway Airports are refining the basic offering of an airport coffee by opening serious coffeeshops backed by local roasters.
Kiss that calorie-heavy, caffeine-light caramel frappuccino with whip cream goodbye, or at least until you arrive at your destination airport. Chicago will see you off (or welcome you) with a proper fresh cup, made with beans sourced from exotic destinations and then roasted and ground right in town.
First up is O'Hare's Terminal 5, which houses Rick Bayless' airport outpost of Tortas Frontera and has just opened Kofe by Intelligentsia, a European-style stand-up coffee shop past security. In addition to Intelligentsia's regular roasts, Kofe will also feature a monthly special. Right now, according to The Moodie Report, it's a Yirgacheffe coffee "with notes of jasmine and lemongrass from southern Ethiopia." Yes, there will be souvenir mugs and coffee beans for purchase (and Black Cat espresso!).
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It doesn't matter if you're a frequent flyer or an avid armchair traveler so long as you're a lover of good design when it comes to what we've got for you. Picture this: your walls, decorated with schematics of airports, but in more of a minimalist-Apple sort of way and less back-of-the-inflight-magazine.
The Chicago-based NOMO Designs fulfills this fantasy, with the runway layout (and pertinent facts) of some 30 international airports printed in white ink on 18" x 24" steel gray sheets. The two newest? Dallas-Fort Worth and Hong Kong. There's even a few available on T-shirts if your airport allegiance runs truly deep.
When the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins last night in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, do you think they were worried about catching their flight back home? The answer is no, because the team arrived to Chicago with their trophy very early this morning, via private Boeing jet.
Now, the focus is on when and where the city of Chicago can celebrate the Stanley Cup win with the official victory parade. Whether you're a Blackhawks fan, a hockey fan, or just a fan of taking a half-day at work, you'll want to mark this Friday, June 28 on your calendar. That's the date being reserved for the Blackhawks' official victory parade, which will tour downtown and likely see record-breaking crowds. If you're not in Chicago, the event will be livestreamed online by WGN.
The full details of the parade route and exact start time haven't yet been released as the parade is still in planning stages, but we'll update this story when Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel makes the statement. Stay tuned.
According to Mother Nature it’s not technically summer for at least another month, but we go by the calendar and the season starts with Memorial Day weekend. Thankfully theme parks also seem to follow the calendar, so the last few weeks of May are always a good time to enjoy that new roller coaster smell. That’s especially the case over in Gurnee, Illinois, as Six Flags Great America is celebrating the start of the amusement park season with a new take on an old ride.
BATMAN: The Ride has been doing its thing for plenty of summers now, and it’s proud to be known as the world’s first suspended looping coaster. Well this year things are a little different for the ride, as after a winter filled with upgrades and improvements the thing is now heading backwards.