If you have time this weekend, one thing worth doing is a visit to Lilacia Park in Lombard, IL, about 45 minutes west of Chicago, for their annual Lilac Festival.
Hundreds of blooming lilac trees means one thing - a fragrance you can smell miles a away.
The park also includes blooming tulips, benches to sit on, a gift shop and restrooms.
Tomorrow, Lombard will crown the Lilac Queen during their Lilac Parade at the park.
Lilacia Park is located at 150 S. Park Avenue, Lombard, IL.
More about Lilacia Park: "Lilacia Park, once home to Colonel William R. Plum's lilac garden, is now a park with poetic appeal. The park was bequeathed on the passing of Colonel Plum in 1927. In 1929 the park was landscaped by Jens Jensen of the Chicago Park District. Originally designed as the Plum Memorial Park, the name was changed to Lilacia Park. Since 1929 Lilacia Park has been a source of pleasure for Lombardians and visitors from all over the world."
(Photo credit: Lisa Davis, www.lisadavismedia.com)
Chicago's beauty shoppers will be happy to know about ULTA Beauty's new store on Halsted (16 Halsted Street, between Madison and Monroe). The store officially opened this week, and this weekend (Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19) is hosting several events, including:
- Gift Certificates - The first 100 guests to visit the store each day, Friday through Sunday, will receive free gift certificates ranging from $5 to $100 or a free salon service. (Yes, ULTA Beauty has on-site salon.)
- Four Free Gifts - This week, and through the weekend, the first 1,000 guests to visit the store and sign up for ULTA Beauty's loyalty club will receive a gift bag with four free products.
- Free Makeovers and Consultations - Enjoy a consultation and makeover from guest experts and stylists from ULTA Beauty's salon.
About ULTA Beauty's Salon: ULTA Beauty's full-service salon and skin care services are with licensed stylists and skin therapists, with services ranging from haircuts and color to brow design and specialty facials.
More about ULTA Beauty on Halsted: ULTA Beauty, located at The Gateway Center, 16 S. Halsted Street, will be open Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To make a salon appointment the store phone number is 312-243-0411. Salon walk-ins are also welcome. Free two-hour parking for ULTA Beauty customers is available in the garage behind the store, off of Monroe.
Spring has definitely sprung at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The garden's spring blooms include vivid displays of tulips (see photo), as well as over a million other flowering bulbs like magnolias, pink cherry trees, cheery yellow forsythias and Cornelian cherry dogwoods.
The tulips are located in the Crescent Garden and are blooming among crabapples. Also be on the lookout for bright patches of eye-catching annuals such as pansies, pot marigolds and Persian buttercups.
The Botanic Garden's McDonald Woods are carpeted with delicate wildflowers including trout lilies, trilliums and bloodroot.
Read our Guide to the Chicago Botanic Garden to help plan your next trip.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is located at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022 and is open 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to sunset, which this time of year is about 8 p.m.
Photo credit: Lisa Davis (www.lisadavismedia.com)
Here's a charity even to keep on your radar this week.
The Special Olympics Chicago's food event called Sip & Savor will take place on May 9 (6-9 pm) at 1420 S. Michigan Avenue and will feature five local chefs, including Jason Vincent of Nightwood who was just named Chicago's 2013 Food & Wine Best New Chef.
This annual fundraising event, hosted by the Associate Board of the Special Olympics Chicago, will include:
- Food, drink and dessert pairings from Chicago's top chefs like Ryan Poli of Little Market Brasserie, Michael & Patrick Sheerin of Trencherman, Chris Pandel of Balena, Robert Hoffman of City Tavern and Jason Vincent of Nightwood.
- A silent auction.
- Gift bags for each guest.
Proceeds from Sip & Savor will benefit the Special Olympics Chicago, including programming and activities for more than 5,000 Special Olympics Chicago athletes throughout the year.
Sip & Savor's cost: $55 in advance; $65 at the door. Tickets are available by visiting Eventbrite.com.
If you are looking for a way to give back in May, The Anti-Cruelty Society's annual Bark in the Park fundraiser is happening May 4, 2013.
Bark in the Park is The Anti-Cruelty Society's 19th annual 5k/3.2 mile run (for people) walk (with or without your dog) to raise funds and awareness for The Anti-Cruelty Society, Chicago's oldest and largest, private, open-admission humane society.
Participants will enjoy:
- dog obstacle course
- Denise Zak, Pet Psychic
- pet massages
- dog tattoos
- nail clipping spa
- souvenir photo booth
- product samples from sponsors
- free snacks
- random raffle, 50/50 cash raffle.
For other ways to volunteer in Chicago, check out our Guide to Volunteering in Chicago.
Get a jumpstart on your summer plans with our July 2013 Events Guide.
Traveling this summer? Check out these wellness tips from Chicago-based health educator, Liz Cascio, on how to stay healthy on the road and not gain weight.
The Bar Method, the intense one-hour workout known for "quickly producing lean, sculpted bodies," has some exciting happenings at its Gold Coast location, which recently opened this past January, in the coming weeks.
- Gold Coast 30-Day Challenge: Begins on April 29th. Participants who take 20 classes in 30 days at the Gold Coast studio located at 1 East Delaware will receive 20% off their next package.
- On Thursday, April 25, The Bar Method's Gold Coast studio will be hosting a Bar Method Gold Coast Open House from 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Enjoy a complimentary class, refreshments and receive 20% off a New Client Special (normally priced at $100).
- Burr Leonard, founder of The Bar Method, is visiting Chicago to teach at the Gold Coast studio on Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5. Readers can sign up on The Bar Method's Website or by calling 312-573-9150 to take a class with Burr.
Earth Day is Monday, April 22. Several earth-friendly events will he happening that day, as well as this weekend.
Check out our Earth Day 2013 in Chicago Guide.
Some popular events, include:
- Free yoga on Wednesday, April 24, at Hotel Felix (111 W. Huron), Chicago's first hotel designed to meet LEED Silver certification. Reservations are not required but strongly encouraged, as space is limited. For questions or to reserve a spot, email Elate Yoga at email@example.com or call 312-772-6459. (Also check out the Hotel Felix's three sustainable art sculptures at the front entrance. These eco-friendly works of art, created by sculptor Allen Christian of House of Balls, have landed at Hotel Felix one-by-one each year over the past three Earth Days.)
- If you are a runner or a walker, celebrate Earth Day at the Earth Day 5K run/walk event on Saturday, April 27, starting at 9 a.m. sponsored by Chicago's "greenest bank," GreenChoice Bank. The registration fee is $30 ($35 the day of the event). Cost for kids ages 11 to 17 is $15 ($20 day of), and children under 10 are free. Te race will culminate at the Humboldt Park boat house with a free Green Market including music, family entertainment, food, vendors and shopping and environmental education.
Well, boo hoo hoo. Caribou coffee is leaving Chicago. The second largest coffee chain in the U.S. is closing all 18 local stores at the end of this week and 88 around the country
The only good news in this sad bit of news is that some of the Caribou Chicago locations will become Peet's Coffee and Tea by 2015, which currently has one location in Chicago on North Avenue.
According to Eater Chicago, a full list of which locations will remain open and rebranded is unavailable at this time. A Caribou employee said the Riverside Plaza, 8th and Wabash, and Damen Avenue in Bucktown locations will remain open. Caribou's Long Grove, Lake Forest, Northbrook and Winnetka locations will also remain open, eventually becoming Peet's.
Caribou employees have created a Facebook page to share memories and to update lists of store closings.
Eyeworks USA, the producers of the show "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition," is beginning a nationwide tour to 13 cities across the country in search of participants for Season 4 of the show. Along the way, they will be stopping in Chicago (on April 27) and in Milwaukee (April 6) for open casting calls.
In "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition," "transformational specialist" Chris Powell documents the makeover of "super obese" people who, in an unprecedented 365 days, set out to safely lose up to half of their body weight. In each episode, a participant undergoes a transformation not only of their bodies, but of who they are as individuals. Powell guides each of the participants through their transformation process by moving into their homes with their families or loved ones.
If you are interested in doing one of the open casting calls in Chicago or Milwaukee, it is recommended to first pre-register on the Extreme Makeover Casting Website so that the show's casting team can get to know you before the casting calls. After that you can attend one of the open casting calls or submit a home video.
Also, here is advice from the show's casting director, Kerry Shanahan:
- We normally tell people to plan to be there for at least a couple of hours. So plan ahead, bring a chair if needed, some healthy snacks, etc.
- Applicants will have the opportunity to sit down and tell us their story. Why do they need this opportunity? Why are they ready to make the change? What is this weight holding them back from? And so forth.
- The open call begins at 10 a.m. and goes until 5 p.m. and we anticipate that we should be able to see everyone. However, if people do decide to line up early we ask that they line up no earlier than 7 a.m. at the venue.
April is here and that means baseball (Chicago Cubs' opening day is Monday, April 8.), festivals and more.
Check out our Guide to April Events in Chicago.
Highlights in April include:
- The Chicago International Movies and Music Festival, which starts on April 19.
- The Lincoln Park Zoo's Animals Party for the Planet, to celebrate Earth Day, on April 20.
- And the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, April 26 - April 28.
With April here that means warmer weather. Read our list of some of Chicago's Best Al Fresco Dining.