Friday, March 30, 2018

ChiIL Mama's Favorites From IHHS: NEW Rejuvenate Click n Clean Multi-Surface Spray Mop System

Product Review: Rejuvenate Click n Clean Multi-Surface Spray Mop System

This month we explored the always impressive Chicago International Home and Housewares Show. We've been covering it annually since 2012, checking out the new product releases, clever inventions, and must haves. Though not the most glamorous, one of my favorite brand new launches this year, for sheer ease and practicality, is the Rejuvenate Click n Clean Multi-Surface Spray Mop System, so I was elated when they reached out about partnering with ChiIL Mama on a sponsored post. 

Rejuvenate's Click N Clean Multi-Surface Spray Mop System is one of ChiIL Mama​'s top picks because mud, sand and snow happen! 

Nobody wants to buy and store 5 different cleaning implements for hardwood, carpet, vinyl, tile and grout. The Rejuvenate CLICK n CLEAN is a handy 5 in one tool, that's reasonably priced at $34.97, and will be available at Home Depot May 1st. I'm excited that this mop is easy enough for my teens to assemble and use, and it comes with multiple pad types, three bottle adapters, and a bottle of floor cleaner. So you're ready to clean right out of the package.

Check out the NEW Rejuvenate Click N Clean in action:

This clever invention even has a GROUT BRUSH! Try saying that one 5 times fast. It's undoubtedly more fun to say than do, but this mop makes a thankless task much quicker to finish, and easier to do.

We gave it a good workout on all 5 surfaces, and also discovered it's pretty fantastic on hard to reach ceiling fan blades and walls as well. We were quite impressed with the ease of assembly, ease of use, and versatility. Our family includes 2 big dogs that track in copious amounts of mud, and shed all over. We also have 4 shedding guinea pigs, and two teenagers, so the messes can add up. The Rejuvenate Click n Clean Multi-Surface Spray Mop did an impressive job with all our surfaces. Highly recommended. 

Disclosure: I have been compensated for sharing this information with my readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

HELP OUT: UNITE AT YOU-NITE Benefit To Support Lifeline Theatre at Architectural Artifacts 5/3/18

And join the community in providing transformative support for 35 more years of Unforgettable Experiences, Meaningful Connections 
and Access & Opportunity at Lifeline Theatre!

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018
Architectural Artifacts
4325 N. Ravenswood, Chicago
6:30 to 10 p.m. 

Architectural Artifacts is accessible to wheelchair users and visitors who need to avoid stairs. The YOU-NITE event will feature American Sign Language interpretation and open captioning. For any additional accommodations, please contact Accessibility Coordinator Erica Foster at 773-761-4477 x703 or 

35 years ago, Lifeline set down roots in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood. Today, our programming and outreach are thriving under your stewardship. Every life impacted by Lifeline has, in a very real way, been impacted by YOU.

This year's YOU-NITE is an evening of delicious food and delectable drinks, as we pay tribute to YOU and everyone who makes our work possible.

You need not be present to win, so even if you can't join us for our big day, you can still throw your hat in for the big money. Click here to purchase raffle tickets!

Amazing items (including one-of-a-kind Lifeline experiences) will be on the block.

$150 Per Person
Tickets are limited
Call the Box Office now at 773-761-4477 or order online

$750 Director's Circle
(Receives 6 tickets)

$1,200 Producer's Circle
(Receives 10 tickets with an assigned table)

Lifeline Theatre's Board of Directors
Sessy Nyman, Chair
Brian Swierczek, Vice Chair
Mark Greenberg, Treasurer
Lisbeth Maxwell, Secretary

Peter Calibraro, Tyrone 'Tye' Clark, Loreli Fritz-Cohn, Jay D. Lenn, Donna Mavros, Katie McNally, Nicole Murray, Roche Schulfer, Raymond R. Snyder

YOU-NITE Host Committee
Mary Bao, Irene Bermudez, Carrie Goldman, Krystine Hansen, Cindy Johnson, Nick Kosiek, Aric Lasher, Therese McGuire, Michael Schuppe, Neil Sondgeroth, Lynn & Stephen Spencer, and Adam Tomski

Event Chairs: Mark Greenberg & Jay D. Lenn

20% DISCOUNT CODE: It's PEEPS® Season! Got Yours Yet?

Easter Falls On April Fools Day This Year!
There will be plenty of fun chances to prank your kids with foil wrapped grapes that look like chocolate eggs, and empty egg hunts

When you're done with the tricks, bring on the treats! We've got a great 20% discount on PEEPS® products for our readers, no fooling. ChiIL Mama has partnered up with Peeps on sponsored posts for years now, and we're back at it again. Peeps have evolved into a plethora of flavors and shapes, and even fun merchandise like soft stuffed animal peeps and bunnies or beach towels & beach bags if you're longing for summer.

This year I let my teens get creative with designing Easter Baskets & playful, fun layouts for our Peeps photo shoot. My daughter, Sage (14) did the arranging and my son, Dugan (17) took the photos. Let Peeps products spark your creativity this spring too. 

Peeps are perfect for Pinterest worthy shots. You can personify Peeps so they can make the social media scene scene. 

Float Peeps in cocoa or coffee for a playfully tasty treat. (Blueberry dunked in Chocolate-Mom's fav)

Get beach dreamin' and create a pinwheel with a bunch of bunnies or build a candy sand castle on a Peeps beach town!

You can even use a Peeps beach bag as an Easter basket that can become a favorite reusable bag year round!

Peeps now come in a rainbow of colors, flavors and shapes... Some are even dunked in chocolate. Yum! Show your Peepsonality. 

ChiIL Mama's readers get a discount! Head over to and enter “EASTER18” for a 20% discount on merchandise – pick up fun gifts like the PEEP-On-A-Perch gift set or the new PEEPS® In Pajamas bedtime story!

Thanks to PEEPS® for sending us a plethora PEEPS® treats, all available this Easter from their website at a 20% discount for ChiIL Mama's readers! From PEEPS® to Jelly Beans, they’ve got you covered.

PEEPS® Easter offerings:
·PEEPS® Filled Delights™ Neapolitan Flavored Marshmallow Chicks
·PEEPS® Delights™ Marshmallow Chicks Dipped in Milk Chocolate
·PEEPS® Delights™ Blueberry Flavored Marshmallow Chicks Dipped in Dark 

·PEEPS® Delights™ Coconut Flavored Marshmallow Chicks Dipped in Dark Chocolate
·PEEPS® Delights™ Strawberry Flavored Marshmallow Chicks Dipped in Crème Flavored Fudge 

·PEEPS® Delights™ Lemon Sherbet Flavored Marshmallow Chicks
·PEEPS® Delights™ Orange Sherbet Flavored Marshmallow Chicks
·PEEPS® Sour Cherry Flavored Marshmallow Chicks
·PEEPS® Fruit Punch Flavored Marshmallow Chicks
·PEEPS® Sour Watermelon Flavored Marshmallow Chicks
·PEEPS® Party Cake Flavored Marshmallow Chicks
·PEEPS® Marshmallow Chicks Rainbow POPs
·PEEPS® Large Marshmallow Bunnies
·PEEPS® Sugar Free Chicks
·PEEPS® Milk Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Chicks
·PEEPS® Giant Pink and White Bunny Marshmallow Pops
·PEEPS® Cotton Candy Flavored Marshmallow Chicks
·PEEPS® Pancakes & Syrup Flavored Marshmallow Chicks
·PEEPS® Mystery Chicks (#1, #2 and #3)

·MIKE AND IKE® Easter Treats, 5oz Theater Box
·MIKE AND IKE® Assorted Fruits Jelly Beans, 14oz Lay Down Bag

GIVEAWAY: WIN 4 Tickets (Up to $68 Value) to the World Premiere of Lucas Baisch’s Roots in the Alley at Adventure Stage Chicago 4/6-5/5!

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Adventure Stage Chicago presents
The World Premiere of Roots in the Alley
Adapted by ASC Playwright-in-Residence Carlos Murillo
Based on a Play by Lucas Baisch

April 6 - May 5, 2018

Play created with new community development process
led by ASC Playwright-in-Residence Carlos Murillo

I'll be ChiILin' with Chi, IL's Adventure Stage Chicago (ASC) for the press opening of Lucas Baisch’s Roots in the Alley on April 7th, so check back soon for my full review. ASC has long been a favorite of ours and we adore their neighborhood outreach and multicultural flavor. 

4 Tickets (Up to $68 Value) to the World Premiere of Lucas Baisch’s Roots in the Alley at Adventure Stage Chicago through 5/5! Enter through midnight 4/4/18. Winner's choice of show dates/times except the press opening, pending availability.

Adventure Stage Chicago (ASC), a program of the Northwestern Settlement, presents the world premiere of Lucas Baisch’s Roots in the Alley from April 6th to May 5th, 2018 (press opening April 7th) at the Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble Street. Inspired by his Guatemalan roots, Baisch’s new play reinvents Mayan creation myths through the story of two heroic Chicago sisters who navigate through an online game, learning about their heritage and family along the way. Tickets range from $7 to $17 and are available now at or by calling 773-342-4141.

Roots in the Alley is ASC’s first play to benefit from a new play development process formalized by ASC Playwright-in-Residence Carlos Murillo. ASC and Baisch worked side-by-side with school, youth and community groups at Northwestern Settlement over 12 months, using their input and participation to integrate community stories into the world of the play. The resulting story about heroic youth amplifies the mission of the Settlement, educating and inspiring its community to help disrupt generational poverty in Chicago.

“What first drew me to Lucas’ work was his interest in creating unique universes. World-building is incredibly important to the creation of work for younger audiences, and I’m excited to work with a playwright who naturally starts from this place. This is also the first play we are producing with Carlos in residence, someone who both gives the organization an important perspective on how to successfully engage playwrights as well as giving future playwrights a way into our process,” says ASC Producing Artistic Director Tom Arvetis.

Roots in the Alley tells the story of Honey and Blanca, twin fish out of water in Chicago until they stumble into the Ceiba Network, an online game with real world consequences. The hero sisters struggle to level up in a mysterious digital underworld where they discover something strange to them—a heritage worth fighting for. As they progress through the game, they realize it has strange parallels with their own lives. In Roots in the Alley, Lucas Baisch reinvents the Mayan creation myths of The Popol Vuh, provoking questions about history and heritage. ASC Playwright-in-Residence Carlos Murillo and Producing Artistic Director Tom Arvetis were creative advisors for this project.

Performance schedule
Previews: Saturday, March 31 at 4 p.m.; Friday, April 6 at 7 p.m.
Press Opening: Saturday, April 7 at 4 p.m.
Regular Run: Saturdays April 14 to May 5 at 4 p.m.; Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m.

Artist bios
Lucas Baisch is a playwright and visual artist of Guatemalan, Mexican, and German descent originally from San Francisco and now based in Chicago. He is currently under commission as a member of the Goodman Theatre's 2016-17 Playwrights Unit. His work has been read and developed at Chicago Dramatists, InFusion Theatre Company, Salonathon, Victory Gardens Theater, Links Hall, Gloucester Stage, American Theater Company, The NeoFuturists, The Wulfden, The DeYoung Museum, SF Playground, and DePaul University’s annual Wrights of Spring. Productions: The Scavengers (The Healy Theater at Depaul University), A Measure of Normalcy (Gloucester Stage Company), and Zipped & Pelted (The Wulfden/Chicago Fringe). He has served as the Gloucester Stage Company's 2015 Playwriting Apprentice and will be a 2017 artist-in-residence at Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC. Education: BFA Playwriting, DePaul University.

Carlos Murillo is a Chicago-based, internationally produced and award-winning playwright of Colombian and Puerto Rican descent. He is a recipient of a 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award for his work in the theatre. His body of work has been widely produced throughout the United States and Europe. His best-known play Dark Play or Stories for Boys premiered at the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, and has been performed throughout the world. His other work has been seen in New York at P73, the NYC Summer Playwrights Festival, En Garde Arts, The Public Theatre New Work Now! Festival, and Soho Rep, in Chicago at the Goodman, Steppenwolf, Collaboraction, Walkabout Theatre, Adventure Stage and Theatre Seven, and in Los Angeles at Theatre @ Boston Court, Circle X and Son of Semele. The Javier Plays, a trilogy of works was published by 53rd State Press. Other forthcoming publications include Mimesophobia (Broadway Play Publishing) and his TYA play Augusta & Noble (Dramatic Publishing). Carlos heads the BFA Playwriting Program at The Theatre School of DePaul University.

About Northwestern Settlement and Adventure Stage Chicago
Northwestern Settlement nurtures, educates and inspires children and families across Chicago. The Settlement’s success results from a commitment to treating every person who enters its doors with dignity and respect, while supporting them with transformational programming designed to disrupt generational poverty. The Settlement has led the way in innovative programming by offering residential science and environmental education for inner-city youth, launching successful charter schools, and adding a theater so children and teens have a forum for expressing their life experiences. For more information, visit

The Settlement’s Adventure Stage Chicago (ASC) is one of the only theaters in Chicago to develop and present works specifically for the pre-teen and teenage audience. Adventure
Stage Chicago creates and tells heroic stories about young people in order to engage the community and inspire everyone to be a hero in their own lives. ASC also offers: Neighborhood Bridges, the in-classroom arts residency program; Trailblazers, a youth mentoring arts program; summer drama camps; and drama instruction in the Settlement’s Rowe Elementary School.
Adventure Stage Chicago is a member of IPAY (International Performing Arts for Youth), League of Chicago Theatres, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), and TYA/USA. For more information, visit

Magnificent Deals Abound at Magnolia’s March AudioFest at Best Buy

Here at ChiIL Mama we're all about great sound. I have two teenagers at home who love music and gaming, and I'm married to a location sound engineer who does pro sound for TV and movies for a living. I also shoot rock shows and interview touring musicians, so I'm playing music constantly. We're not only knowledgable, but picky about sound. So I was thrilled to be invited to partner up with Best Buy and Magnolia for a sponsored post on Magnolia’s March AudioFest

We've had a wireless Denon HEOS speaker in our living room for years that we just love. It connects seamlessly and sounds fantastic! If you're ready to upgrade your audio experience, check out Best Buy for some magnificent Magnolia March AudioFest savings. 

Magnolia’s March AudioFest is one month of remarkable deals on the premium audio gear of your dreams. Enjoy savings on speakers, receivers, wireless audio gear, headphones, hi-res audio products and so much more. With special weekly savings, great deals online and other offers so great they can only offer them in their stores, you’ll want to check back often. It’s March AudioFest; extraordinary audio at incredible prices, all month long – enjoy!

Audio is at the heart of who Magnolia is. Because even though they offer plenty of video gear, it’s the audio that takes you from just watching, just listening, just playing, to experiencing your movies, music and video games like never before. And with their premium selection of audio gear from the world’s most sought-after brands, you’ll be experiencing a home entertainment environment where the walls magically melt away and you find yourself transformed to a world where your entertainment truly comes to life.

When you’re ready to experience premium audio at amazing prices, stop into your nearest Magnolia store and start hearing things in a whole new way. Best Buy is running some amazing Magnolia deals. Check them out right here.

Disclosure: It's been my pleasure to be an active member of Best Buy's blogging network since 2013. We've partnered up on numerous sponsored posts, product reviews, and photo features. I have been compensated for sharing this information with my readers. As always, all opinions are my own.  

Chicago To Feature 2018 as the Year of Creative Youth With #BORNCREATIVE CAMPAIGN

ChiIL Mama's Chi, Il Picks List:


Year of Creative Youth Features the Work and Talent of Young Artists at Exhibitions, Events and Festivals Throughout the Year

Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events have designated 2018 as the Year of Creative Youth – a citywide celebration of Chicago’s young artists and the mentors who inspire them. Presented by Allstate Insurance Company, the Year of Creative Youth will also feature young artists and their work at City of Chicago festivals, exhibitions and events throughout the year. As part of this initiative, DCASE is launching #BornCreative to highlight the artistic work of Chicago’s young artists. Art, music and performances posted with the hashtag #BornCreative will be highlighted on social media and reviewed for a chance to be featured at the upcoming Creative Youth Festival on September 22 in Millennium Park.

“Through the Year of Creative Youth, we are shining a light on the immense artistic talent of Chicago’s young people while offering opportunities at some of our marquee events this summer,” said Mark Kelly, Commissioner, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “We want to offer a platform to showcase our creative youth and to inspire other young people to take a creative path.”

Teens and young adults are invited to share their art, music and performances on social media with hashtag #BornCreative to be featured online and possibly at the Creative Youth Festival on September 22 in Millennium Park. Follow the Year of Creative Youth and DCASE on Facebook (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), Twitter and Instagram (@ChicagoDCASE) and Snapchat (ChicagoDCASE) #2018isYOCY #ChiCreativeYouth #BornCreative. To learn more, visit

Year of Creative Youth programming will be featured at the following City of Chicago festivals, events and exhibitions. Admission is FREE:

Creative Youth Festival
September 22
As part of the “Year of Creative Youth,” Chicago's new Creative Youth Festival will showcase young artists in dance, theatre, music, spoken word, the visual arts and more. Through performances and activities, all ages will discover and celebrate the creativity and talent of emerging local artists – and those helping to inspire and unlock their creative potential.
Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) and Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

Year of Creative Youth Exhibition
September 8, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Four Chicago youth organizations will present visual art exhibitions in the Chicago Cultural Center. The Peacemakers and Community Connections Project, Changing Worlds is collaborating with youth ages 11-13 from Pilsen, Back of the Yards, and the Near West Side creating visual images and creative prose/poetry focused on current challenges and envisioning positive change for their communities.” Family program participants and teen interns from Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance will produce thousands of fern fronds, mosses and cycads to create an immersive, multi-sensory interpretation of the Conservatory’s iconic Fern Room. Teens of the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance's Studio Arts Program are working on large-scale paintings installation highlighting moments in Puerto Rican art history as well as current cultural and sociopolitical turmoil that engulfs Puerto Rico today. Teens from Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education will present Odes and Tattoos, an exhibition of student artworks that examines localized commemoration of self, place, and community. Artwork will be multidisciplinary photography, video, drawing and poetry. The Michigan Avenue Gallery program is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Chicago Cultural Center, Michigan Avenue Galleries (78 E. Washington St.)

Keith Haring: The Chicago Mural
Through September 23
Having rocketed to worldwide fame in the 1980s, artist Keith Haring worked with 500 Chicago Public School students to paint a monumental mural in Chicago's Grant Park in 1989.  This exhibition includes a large selection of the mural reflecting the artist’s incisive draftmanship and unsettling cast of symbolic characters (radiant baby, barking dog). Haring died tragically of AIDS-related complications in 1990.
Chicago Cultural Center, Sidney R. Yates Gallery (78 E. Washington St.)

20th Annual Chicago Kids and Kites Festival
Presented by COUNTRY Financial
Saturday, May 5
Kids of all ages will get swept up by this timeless spring tradition with free kite kits provided (while supplies last) to get creative as they build, decorate and fly their own kites. Other family activities include professional kite flying demonstrations, face painting, balloon artists and much more.
Cricket Hill in Lincoln Park (Lake Shore Dr. and Montrose Dr.)

Chicago City Markets
High school students are invited to submit bag designs with the theme “You’ve got a lot of growing for you” for the Chicago City Markets and COUNTRY Financial Reusable Bag Design Contest at The winning design, announced at the opening day of the City Market at Daley Plaza on Thursday, May 10, will receive a scholarship prize and appear on thousands of reusable canvas bags distributed at Chicago City Market locations. Additionally, all submitted designs will be displayed in the lobby of the Daley Center beginning April 30 through May 11. Chicago City Markets will also present cooking demonstrations by student-chefs from Washburne Culinary & Hospitality Institute at City Market locations and dates to be announced, and performances by youth arts groups will be featured at the City Market at Maxwell Street Market on select Sundays throughout the year.
City Market at Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St.)
City Market at Maxwell Street Market (800 S. Desplaines Ave.)

33rd Chicago Gospel Music Festival
June 1–2
Celebrating the great influence of the music genre born in this city 80 years ago, the Chicago Gospel Music Festival will feature local and national artists. The next generation of young artists and youth choirs will celebrate Chicago’s music legacy at the Inspiration Youth Stage on Saturday, June 2, in Millennium Park. The festival will also offer family activities, arts and crafts for kids, face painting and more.
Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) and Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

35th Annual Chicago Blues Festival
June 8–10
With a diverse lineup celebrating the Chicago Blues’ past, present and future, the Chicago Blues Festival features four stages of live music including young artists. Produced by Donda’s House, the youth-oriented Bridges to the Blues preview event on Monday, June 4, 5–9 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center will highlight the genre’s contributions to a new generation of artists. Multigenerational artists will create original music – inspired by the Blues – for a chance to perform at the Chicago Blues Festival on Saturday, June 9, at the Front Porch Stage with Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith. For details, visit
Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) and Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

38th Annual Taste of Chicago
July 11–15
Taste of Chicago is the nation’s premier free outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s dining scene along with music, dance, cooking demonstrations, art activations, family activities and more. This year, Taste will feature cooking demonstrations by young chefs, youth music and dance performances and other activities celebrating Chicago’s creative youth.
Grant Park (Jackson St. and Columbus Dr.)

40th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival
August 29–September 2
A favorite Labor Day weekend tradition, the world class Chicago Jazz Festival showcases four stages of live performances by Chicago’s vast jazz talent alongside national and international jazz legends and artists. In keeping with the festival’s tradition of nurturing new artists, the Roof Top Stage on the Harris Theater Rooftop Terrace is dedicated to the genre’s young artists.  The Roof Top Jazz: Young Jazz Lions, on Saturday, September 1, will feature select jazz groups from various Chicago high schools and colleges. On Sunday, September 2, the Roof Top Jazz: NextGenJazz will focus on emerging Chicago musicians. The festival is produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago.
Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) and Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

Year of Creative Youth - Call for Community Highlights 
Accepted for programs occurring in 2018
In addition to the City of Chicago events and programs, the Year of Creative Youth website highlights resources and event from across Chicago's youth arts community. Youth arts organizations are invited to submit youth performances, events or opportunities occurring in Chicago for the website and other promotions. To see the current list of offerings or to submit content for consideration, visit

Performance and Program Highlights at the Millennium Park Campus

Chicago Public Schools All- City High School Exhibition
March 22–April 12
The annual juried art exhibition highlights the diverse talent and work of Chicago Public School students in the professional platform of a gallery setting.
Expo 72 (72 E. Randolph St.)

Paint the Town Red with Chicago Children’s Choir
Thursday, May 24
More than 4,800 Chicago Children’s Choir singers from our In-School, Neighborhood, DiMension and Voice of Chicago choirs present our annual Paint the Town Red concert at Jay Pritzker Pavilion. This event is free and open to the public.
Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

Grant Park Music Festival Young Artists Showcase
June 13—August 18
Every Friday at 5:30 p.m. before the Grant Park Orchestra takes the stage, audiences are treated to concerts by students from local music schools and summer music programs at the front of the Great Lawn at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

After School Matters Summer Program
Mondays through Fridays, June 25–August 10 
After School Matters will showcase Chicago teens discovering their potential all summer long— including programs in furniture painting, hat design, mural creation and more (under the tent at Chase Promenade North)—and After School Matters Jazz Band rehearsals and performances (Wrigley Square). After School Matters provides 13,000 opportunities throughout the city for Chicago teens to develop their talents in the arts, communication and leadership, sports and STEM, while gaining critical skills for college, careers and beyond. For details, visit
Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

DCASE is collaborating with the Chicago Park District Teens in the Park program and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Night Out in the Parks, for which the “Year of Creative Youth” will be a featured theme for 2018. Night Out in the Parks is an initiative featuring more than 2,000 cultural activities annually in Chicago Park District locations citywide in support of the City of Chicago’s Cultural Plan.

The Year of Creative Youth is presented by Allstate Insurance Company and aligned with “Art Design Chicago,” a citywide initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art—featuring over 25 exhibitions and hundreds of public programs in 2018. Arts education and youth engagement will be important components of the overall program, including art making workshops and field trips.

For more information about the Year of Creative Youth, visit—and join the conversation on Facebook (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), Twitter @ChicagoDCASE and Instagram @ChicagoDCASE #2018isYOCY #ChiCreativeYouth #BornCreative.

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.

Friday, March 23, 2018

REVIEW: NEW Spring Drinks and Daily Fun at 360 Chicago and TILT at The John Hancock Center Sky Series

All photos by Chris Meza, guest photographer

Review of 360 Chicago Sky Series Launch
by Catherine Hellmann, guest reviewer

So, your sister is visiting you in Chicago soon, and you have done the museum thing before, the Cubs are out of town, and you want to impress her with something fun and different. 360 Chicago is impressive. 

Even if you have taken her to the Hancock Building before, this scene is updated with so much more to offer. 360 Chicago, in the renovated observation deck space, still has the incredible views that spoil us Chicagoans. But it now also includes Bar 94 (360 Chicago is located on the 94th floor) with specialty drinks made by local favorites Revolution Brewing and KOVAL Distillery.

Enjoy the awesome view with a Mag Mile Mule made with KOVAL Bourbon, Top Note Ginger Beer, fresh lime juice, and garnish or sip a liquid sunset named Lakeview Sunset created from KOVAL Vodka, Top Note Ginger Beer, prosecco, and orange juice garnished with a lime wedge.  

would recommend you hit the bar after checking out TILT, which holds visitors outward at an angle 1,030 feet above Magnificent Mile. It’s pretty freaky. I am not afraid of heights, but my heart was pounding. TILT safely holds eight visitors at a time and is advertised as “the first of its kind in the world.” One leans up against the glass wall and waits for that wall to extend out, suspended way above the street. Look straight down if you dare; I preferred to admire the view ahead, and push the thought that I was suspended 94 floors over the cement
 sidewalk out of my mind...

The marketing folks at 360 Chicago are clever to try and make this a continual destination, rather than a one-time visit and then you’re done until the next time your out-of-state cousins visit. Most Chicagoans ignore the Hancock as a destination except for its aerial views. 

Every day of the week is a fun, unusual event happening at 360 Chicago, beginning with Tripod Mondays. Photographers are invited to capture amazing shots of the city from all angles  and submit their best pictures to a year-long contest. Winners are announced in November.

Tuesday nights are the Sky Guide with tours from the 94th tour and all your burning trivial Chicago questions answered. On Wednesdays, tap into your inner artist and paint to your heart’s desire; set up an easel and re-create the stunning views on your canvas. 

One of the best deals is the 360 Chicago Bottle and Botegga painting party, 360 Sky Art. $45 gets you admission to the 360 Chicago Observation Deck, a canvas, use of paints and aprons, a beverage from Bar 94, a ride on TILT, and advice from an experienced artist. What a great girls’ night or really fun date! I have done these wine and canvas parties before---near the same price, without the hot location or TILT ride. Trust me. Bargain. Do this.

Thursdays are Hoppy Hour, which we all need to get us to the weekend, featuring live DJs, bar games, and drink specials. Fridays are Sky Trivia. Compete with friends for prizes with the best views around Chicago. Questions range from “pop culture to academia,” according to their ad. Sounds like lots of fun with friends. 

Saturdays at 10:00 A.M., drag your butt out of bed for Sky Yoga. For $15, find your inner balance over 1,000 feet above Mag Mile. Talk about a meditative place to stretch! This class has become popular, so be sure to register in advance.

from 1-3, enjoy Sunday Funday with music and Myster AJ doing slight-of-hand magic. This is a family-friendly event to lure the kids into something that will definitely give them a new perspective of the city.

360 Chicago has something for everyone. You don’t need to have out-of-town relatives visiting. Natives can be reminded why they stayed in this great city as well.