Posted inNews & Politics

Knitting Lessons & More

Stitching Salon Chicago Tourism Center 72 E. Randolph 312-744-2400 or winterdelights.com/stitchingsalon/ Now that it finally feels like winter’s here, what better time to learn to make your own, warm and cozy woolens? Stitching Salon, part of the city’s annual Winter Delights initiative, is a two-month series that includes informal knitting circles along with weekly workshops […]

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Free Shit

Public Transportation Chicago’s Free Trolleys cityofchicago.org Despite having lived in Chicago for nearly a decade, I find myself engaging in decidedly non-native activities during the holidays, like venturing downtown on Sundays, waiting in line for Garrett’s caramel corn, and riding the trolley. It’ll take you to Navy Pier all year, but between Thanksgiving and New […]

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Green Ed

Chicago Center for Green Technology 445 N. Sacramento cityofchicago.org/environment/greentech or 312-746-9642 When my local Target began touting the steps it was taking to become environmentally friendly, I knew I should do more than just reuse old grocery bags–but installing my own rain barrel seemed like a pretty big leap. The Chicago Center for Green Technology […]

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Ice Cream

Ice Cream What’s a birthday without ice cream? Luckily, you won’t have to find out: once a year you can get free ice cream all over town if you jump through a few simple hoops. Log onto the Web sites of Baskin-Robbins and Cold Stone Creamery to register for their birthday clubs; you’ll be sent […]

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Meditation

2135 W. Roscoe 773-248-8500 The cheerful staff and decor at Victory’s Banner, the vegetarian breakfast and lunch place that devotees of guru Sri Chinmoy run in Roscoe Village, make a meal there a uniquely peaceful experience. To cultivate those good vibes later in the day, the restaurant offers a free meditation series; the goal of […]

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Chow at Kitsch’n

Kitsch’n River North 600 W. Chicago 312-644-1500 From 4:30 to 6:30 PM every Friday, Kitsch’n River North, a campy bar and restaurant inside the former Montgomery Ward building on the Chicago River, serves a free happy hour buffet with just enough fatty food to soak up the dollar PBRs. The night I was there the […]

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Aikido

Chicago Aikikai 3652 N. Lincoln, second floor 773-935-2334 or chicagoaikikai.org The goal of aikido is nonviolent conflict resolution–students are schooled in mental and physical techniques that can turn a would-be assault into a harmless encounter. It takes most practitioners years to master the craft, of course, but if you’re even vaguely interested, this freebie’s for […]

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Trees

312-747-2101 or cityofchicago.org around September 1 and April 1 each year the city’s Bureau of Forestry begins seasonal tree planting. With an annual budget of $3 million, the bureau estimates that it’ll plant about 6,000 trees a season–and if you’re a property owner you can request one or several for your parkway. The number of […]

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Late-Night Eats

Cleo’s 1935 W. Chicago 312-243-5600 One of my aunts once told me–in an attempt to keep me out of mischief–that nothing good ever happened after midnight. Clearly she’d never been to the Saturday-night buffet at Cleo’s. The grub gets wheeled out at 11 PM, but it’s best to let the vultures get the first couple […]

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Aphrodisiacs

La Mora 2132 W. Roscoe 773-404-4555 Saturday nights the Roscoe Village restaurant La Mora serves a free appetizer of caviar and oysters as a prelude to your meal. Other perks are offered throughout the week: Tuesdays the creamy tiramisu is free and Wednesdays wine is a penny a glass with dinner. La Mora also has […]