Last weekend, my friend Jenny came to visit me in Chicago and I wrote about the Coloring Book she got me. This past week flew by and it is the beginning of the week again! How did that happen?
Scrolling through my photos, I was faced with the issue of having too many choices (see Choice Overload). We did so much last weekend that I don’t know which activity to write about! In hindsight, it seems almost stressful that we packed so many activities one after another, but in the moment it was just a series of spontaneous decisions that all turned out to be amazing memories.
I’ll recap a few activities here even though it doesn’t do the weekend justice. Here are some ideas on what you can do in Chicago, whether you’re visiting town or a local –
- Goose Island Brewery Tour
Goose Island is a local beer company conveniently located in Goose Island, where it got its name from. It is the proud owner of the famous craft beer 312 Urban Wheat Ale where we see so often around Chicago (312 is the area code). I have to confess that I’m not a huge beer fan, though I’ve become more tolerant in recent months. Beer also goes well with spicy SzeChuan food, one of my favorite cuisines. But overall, I don’t know much about beer besides occasionally drinking it. So, Jenny and I decided to check out the craft beer brewery when she visited.
For $12, you can get a tour of the brewery located on 1800 W Fulton Street, West Loop. You put on safety goggles and rubber boots, and off you go! Get a beer on one hand and leave the other hand free for the many samples they give you along the tour. It’s a great way to learn about the beer-making process and the history of the company.
2) Fulton Market Kitchen
After the brewery tour and too many beer samples later, Jenny and I Yelped for restaurants nearby. It wasn’t until then that I realized we were close to the West Loop, a foodie area in Chicago. We made a reservation at Fulton Market Kitchen and started our 25-minute walk to it. Along the way were factories that have been refurbished into offices, usually with a restaurant on the ground level. I love these set-ups for their combination of the old and the new. It reminds us of the past as we continue to move forward into the future.
Fulton Market Kitchen is a restaurant located in one of these refurbished factories. The interior design is filled with art on the walls. In the center next to the cocktail bar, a featured artist is painting his/her piece, creating new art right in front of your eyes.
The food is served in tapas portion and presented decoratively on white marble plates. The dishes were a little too flavorful for me, but I still thoroughly enjoyed everything. Extra points for the real candle on the table. I definitely want to be back again!
3) Night at the Art Institute
Ending our Friday night with a more cultural twist, we went for a night out at The Art Institute of Chicago, rated the best museum in the world by TripAdvisor. There are a few other “night at the museum” events around the city, such as Adler After Dark at the planetarium (read my post here) and Jazzin at the Shedd at the aquarium. The Art Institute doesn’t hold night events usually but this was a private event. We walked around Charles Ray: Sculpture 1997-2014 exhibition, which is the special exhibition this month at the museum. There was also a cash bar and some really spicy popcorn which I avoided, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to stop after eating one (see my post on Stale Popcorn Experiment).
These were just our Friday afternoon/night activities! We explored even more places and did more activities on Saturday and Sunday, all of which were new experiences for me. Jenny will cover off on more next week.
Have a great week, Steph