Posts tagged: Chicago

Summer in Chi Town: Don’t Miss Out on These Experiences!

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By , June 3, 2015 11:00 am

With brutally cold winters that seem to last a little longer each year, Chicago is a city that lives for its beautiful summer season. So now that summer is here (finally!) why not try something new to soak up the sun and make the most of it?

Chicago Jet Boat Experience

One of the best ways to see Chicago is from the water, so kick back and feel the wind in your hair on a Chicago Jet Boat Experience. This is a half-hour tour that combines an adventurous ride with the beautiful view of Lake Michigan and the sprawling Chicago skyline. The boat leaves from Navy Pier, and the captain will tell you all about the city’s landmarks, architecture, and hot spots. Jet boats run daily between 11 am and 7 pm, May through October.

Photo credit: acuestareig via Flickr

Photo credit: acuestareig via Flickr

Introduction to Kayaking

To get a little more active on the water, take our Introduction to Kayaking class with the experienced guides of Kayak Chicago. This is a beginner-friendly class that’ll teach you everything you need to know about paddling, boat types, proper gear, safety techniques, and rescue strategies. This expereince lasts about four hours and runs on Saturdays and Sundays from June through September.

Sailing 101 Chicago

Another great water activity to try in Chicago is sailing! Our Sailing 101 Chicago class is beginner-friendly, yet challenging and comprehensive. To complete the course, you’ll need to take four sessions, and each lesson last four hours. So this is a great experience for locals living in the city! Sessions run daily between April and September.

Chicago Shopping Tour: Bucktown and Wicker Park

If you’re more in the mood for a little retail therapy, why not let a shopping expert help you focus and guide you through the city’s trendiest shopping district? Our Chicago Shopping Tour: Bucktown and Wicker Park experience will take you to unique boutiques and introduce you to fashion trends and the creations of top designers. You’ll meet your guide and fellow shoppers at a cafe and then head out to receive VIP treatment and the guidance of a personal shopping stylist. The experience lasts about two hours and starts at 1:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Devil’s Lake Day Rock Climb

If you’re willing to venture outside of the city to explore the surrounding area a bit, check out our Devil’s Lake Day Rock Climb experience in southern Wisconsin. This is an ideal climbing destination for beginner climbers, and experienced guides will provide you with all the gear you need. The day begins around 9:00 am and runs until about 4:00 pm. There are more than 2,000 climbing routes here along the picturesque cliffs that overlook Devil’s Lake – perfect for taking a summertime dip after a day of climbing!

Photo credit: stewie811 via Flickr

Photo credit: stewie811 via Flickr

These are a few of the other summer-centric attractions that are must-dos in the city of Chicago:

  • Lollapalooza
  • Cubs game at Wrigley Field
  • Sox game at US Cellular Field
  • North Avenue Beach
  • Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Chicago Air & Water Show
  • Navy Pier Fireworks

For a list of Chicago’s exciting 2015 festivals, take a look at TimeOut’s 2015 Summer Festival Guide and browse through FunSherpa’s Chicago experiences to find one that’ll make your summer unforgettable!

Best Places to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in 2015

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By , March 11, 2015 10:23 am

For some people, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish heritage, and for others it’s a religious holiday or simply a reason to party. But regardless of what the day means to you, there are lots of amazing ways to celebrate in cities across America.

So if you’re tired of the same old Irish pub routine in your hometown year after year, why not take a trip to see how other cities “go green” with parades, shamrocks, and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? At FunSherpa, we can hook you up with unique adventures in these cities and many others that love celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

Savannah, Georgia

Would you believe that Savannah, Georgia hosts the third largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the world? Savannah’s celebration involves much more than just green beer and pub crawls. For four days, March 14-17, you can watch and listen to Irish musicians, storytellers, and children’s performers. The city dyes the water in some fountains green and there’s a parade on the 17th.

Photo credit: Sébastien Barré via Flickr

Photo credit: Sébastien Barré via Flickr

New York City, New York

Not surprisingly, New York City hosts a huge St. Patrick’s Day celebration that’s worth checking out. The New York City parade begins on 44th Street at 11 am and marches up 5th Avenue up to 79th Street. This is one of the longest parades you can participate in, since it only finishes up around 5 pm. Some of the best Irish pubs to sip a pint in after the parade include The Dead Rabbit in the Financial District, Donovan’s Pub in Woodside, and McSorley’s Old Ale House in the East Village.

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio hosts the Harp & Shamrock Society of Texas Annual South Texas Alamo Festival, which is where you can watch the Texas League Gaelic Football Tournament. This is a great way to kick off a traditional and authentic St. Patrick’s Day. Then you can head over to the River Walk to watch the Murphy’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and see the green river.

Washington, DC

Washington, DC’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration is centered on a huge parade that takes place on the 15th and has over 100 marching bands and military groups. If you can stay around town for a few extra days, you can attend the Shamrock Fest, which is a music festival that features traditional Celtic and alternative rock artists.

Photo credit: LenDog64 via Flickr

Photo credit: LenDog64 via Flickr

Las Vegas, Nevada

There’s always a reason to celebrate something in Vegas, and Sin City has plenty of parties and events to keep you entertained. The parade steps off at the Henderson Events Plaza at 200 Water Street at 10 am and features around 100 groups and floats marching from Ocean Avenue down Water Street. Many casinos, such as New York-New York and Mandalay Bay, host themed events and there’s even a Men in Kilts Contest involving local and national firefighters for charity.

Chicago, Illinois

With a strong and proud Irish culture, Chicago remains one of the greatest places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the world. The city dumps 45 pounds of vegetable dye into the Chicago River to turn it green and the local parade marches up Columbus drive with floats, flags, and bagpipes. The best place to see the parade is in Grant Park around Columbus and Balbo, although you’ll need to arrive early to snag a spot along the route. Some great Irish pubs in Chicago are Emmit’s Irish Pub, Lady Gregory’s, Shinnick’s Pub, and Cork & Kerry.

Being Frugal in Chicago with Lisa Koivu

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By , March 15, 2010 11:42 am

Lisa celebrating a life of frugality

Lisa celebrating a life of frugality

With the tough economy still all over everyone’s mind, we’ve decided to feature Chicago’s very own frugal tip celebrity, Lisa Koivu. Lisa is the blogger behind Fantabulously Frugal, a blog dedicated to sharing how to live a life ‘On-Sale’!

F: What inspired you to start the Fantabulously Frugal blog? It must have been good timing with the recent recession when you decided to start it.
LK: I started Fantabulously Frugal when I was reaching the end of grad school and was in a bit of a panic about what I was going to do with all of my free time. I was still working full time but was worried about all of the hours I’d have free in the evenings. (I guess I’m a little crazy.) I spent a weekend just thinking about things that I might be good at, but had to rule most of them out. I mean, I love reading gossip magazines but with no access to anything Hollywood-related, couldn’t really parlay that into anything substantial. I also love eating cupcakes, but I abhor making them. It came to me literally in the middle of the night that one thing I’m quite good at is finding bargains on the internet. And thus Fantabulously Frugal was born.

F: How did you get so good at finding deals and steals?
LV: I think it goes back to have a very thrifty childhood. When I was growing up we didn’t buy anything unless we had a coupon or it was on sale. I remember standing in line at the grocery store with my dad once and complaining about how we never bought Lucky Charms and I told him it was stupid that we needed a coupon in order to buy something. I remember him asking me why I thought it was stupid to want to save money on something, and that has always stuck with me. Why would you want to pay full price for something when you can so easily get it for less? And now that I clip coupons I realize that there were probably many coupons for Lucky Charms and my parents were just ignoring them.

Their sense of frugality has always stuck with me and there are very few things for which I’ve ever paid full price. I’m a Mac gal and I even spent time trying to figure out how to get the best discount on my Mac before purchasing. I feel good when I don’t pay full price for something, and I enjoy helping others feel the same way.

F: Any particular post on FF that got the most attention ?
LK: One of my favorite posts to compile and one that people seem to find over and over again is a post I did on everything I was able to get for free on my birthday. I’d had that post in mind ever since the early days of Fantabulously Frugal and I spent those months trying to get myself onto every mailing list possible, and especially ones that asked for your birth date. I have to say – my haul was pretty good, though I have high hopes that my tally of freebies will be much higher this year! I received multiple free meals, cosmetics, and many other items – it was awesome!

F: What neighborhood do you live in? And what do you like about it?
LK: I live on the edge of Lincoln Square and on the edge of Old Irving and so I’ll cover them both. What I like about the Old Irving Part of town is that I’m just a half mile walk from the Target on Addison. I make a trip to Target every single weekend so this location has been great for that. I can combine walking with shopping! In terms of Lincoln Square, I love how walkable the neighborhood is and the large number of outstanding restaurants. We used to live in River North and so we were able to walk to all of downtown Chicago’s finest establishments. I’m not kidding, however, when I saw I prefer the atmosphere and the restaurants more in Lincoln Square. Bistro Campagne is a particular favorite of mine.

F: What are your favorite places to bargain hunt in Chicago?
LK: Target, Target, Target! Seriously, I cannot get enough of that place! One Chicago-based store that I write about on my site is AKIRA Chicago. The fashions are fun and also remarkably affordable. (And they always have a killer sale section!)
Another of my favorites is Craigslist. I know that sounds kind of silly but Craigslist has been a life saver since I moved to Chicago 6 years ago. I’ve found so much inexpensive furniture through the site and even sold some myself. You never know what you’ll find and I try to check the listings at least once per week.

F: Tell us what things that you’re not frugal with and love to splurge on
LK: For the most part, almost nothing is off limits to my frugality. This is kind of embarrassing, but two months ago my boyfriend and I bought a puppy. We picked the puppy we now have because he was on sale! However, there are really only two exceptions to my frugal ways. Like I already said, I’m a Mac gal. (The computer, not the make-up.) I was lucky when I bought my latest MacBook that I was able to figure out a way to buy it with a little bit of a discount. However, even if I hadn’t, I still would have bought the computer. Buying a much cheaper PC is just not an option. Also, I’m not frugal about restaurants. I will never choose to eat at a restaurant because it will cost less than another restaurant. Dining choices are based strictly on quality.

F: When not updating FF, what else keeps you busy in the city?
LK: I enjoy taking my new sale puppy, Bacon, out for walks in Chicago’s many parks. In the summer I enjoy hitting up different farmer’s markets around the city. I just discovered the new French Market in Ogilvie and plan on heading down there on a regular basis to do the bulk of my grocery shopping. That market is amazing and has everything from meats to cheeses to freshly baked breads to Belgian french fries! Delicious! If you haven’t guessed, my favorite thing to do in the city when it comes right down to it is eat. I’m constantly trying new restaurants and trying to find new markets!

Chicago Christmas Gift Ideas from Funsherpa

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By , November 24, 2009 1:45 pm

With Black Friday just around the corner, we thought we’d share some gift ideas with you and save you from this week’s rough weather.  This Christmas, give a unique Chicago gift Here are some holiday experiences available on funsherpa – a list to help you give something thoughtful and meaningful this year, instead of another boring AmEx gift card!

10. Gourmet Cooking Classes at a French Cafe

Gourmet French Cooking Classes

Gourmet French Cooking Classes

9. Private Wine Tasting with a Sommelier

8. Day at the Aveda Spa in Lincoln Park

7. Unlimited Workout Classes in the Loop

6. Go-karting in Chicago

5. Dog Sledding Adventure

4. Horseback Camping in Southern Illinois

3. Flight on an Aerobatic Plane

2. Private Tennis Classes

1. Ice Climbing in Illinois

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