Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Annual Chicago Air and Water Show

By Elizabeth Buczak - Editorial Intern

It’s that time again!!!! Chicago’s oldest show, attracting millions of tourists and spectators each year, is flying into town! As the city cools off with a string of 70-degree weather, it might be the coolest Air and Water Show that North Avenue Beach has ever seen. The FREE event, presented by Shell Oil Products U.S, can be viewed at North Avenue Beach and along the lakefront from Fullerton Street to Oak Street, August 18-19, 2012. The event will begin at 10 a.m. and close off at 3 p.m., with no shortage of attractions! This years headliners are the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs, as well as performances by the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, Bill Stein Airshows Zivko Edge 540 and much more!

While most people just gaze up at the sky, why not use this time for some pleasure mixed with fun?? There are a ton of things to do in the city while watching the show. The beach has a sweet set up for those fit and active volleyball players. A jog or a bike ride could be exciting if you avoid the crowds right by the beach. For the romantics, a blanket goes hand-in-hand with a picnic basket for an eventful lunch date. For those attending with families, Lincoln Park Zoo offers a lot to keep the children entertained while you watch the aircrafts whizz by. Sightseeing at Navy Pier or Millennium Park might not obstruct the view a bit, but if you are new to the city, it could be well worth the trip! 

Finding parking in the city can be a hassle on normal days and with so many people coming into the city to attend the show, we highly discourage driving.  If you must drive, we advise you to leave extra early as to avoid a cluster of traffic. Millennium Garages are offering all-day parking for $35 with a free shuttle bus to North Avenue Beach. The Lincoln Park/ North Avenue Beach parking lot just off Lake Shore Drive is also offering a limited amount of parking. For those of you trying to save a buck or two, the CTA 151, 156, 22 or 36 busses will do the trick.  The Brown Line with a stop at Sedgewick also will get you to your destination, sans the stress. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Weekend Shakespeare in the Parks

The weather has finally cooled down and now is the time to enjoy the outdoors while you can!  Tonight, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks kicks off the weekend with a performance at Welles Park at 6:30 p.m.

The performance this season is The Taming of the Shrew and all performances are FREE!  This showing is 75-minutes long and focuses around a comic battle of the sexes.  The wildly-spirited Kate (played by Ericka Ratcliff) and the masculine-prided Petruchio (played by Matt Mueller) scream, fight and wiggle their way into each other's hearts in this mind-blowing performance.  The Taming of the Shrew is underscored with well-known rock music to keep the viewers connected with the characters throughout the whole performance.

"As Chicago's 'home for Shakespeare' for the past quarter century, CST has delighted in introducing millions of audience members to his timeless plays," says Barbara Gaines, Artistic Director of Chicago Shakespeare Theater. "We are honored by this opportunity to make Shakespeare free for all Chicagoans and to share his insight and humor in a high-energy professional production, under the summer skies.  Prepare to fall in love with Shakespeare for the first time, or all over again."
The Shakespeare in the Parks season is about to come to an end.  The following performance schedule is as follows:
Friday, August 10, 6:30 p.m. at Welles Park - 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave.
Saturday, August 11, 4:00 p.m. at Welles Park - 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave.
Sunday, August 12, 3:00 p.m. at the Garfield Park Conservatory - 300 N. Central Park Ave.
Wednesday, August 15, 6:30 p.m. at Ridge Park - 1817 W. 96th Street
Friday, August 17, 6:30 p.m. at Frank J Wilson Park - 4630 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Saturday, August 18, 4:00 p.m. at Frank J Wilson Park - 4630 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Sunday, August 19, 4:00 p.m. at Frank J Wilson Park - 4630 N. Milwaukee Ave.
**Performances will not be held in the rain.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Top 10 back-to-school items to add to your shopping list!

By Elizabeth Buczak - Editorial Intern

As the weather cools down, we are quickly reminded that fall is just around the corner. For kids K-12, going into the new semester can be either a time of excitement or anxiety.

Never fear, back-to-school shopping has always been a way to hype up the not so pumped. Many stores are offering some great deals, so it’s easy to class up your little for the fall semester without emptying your wallet.

1. For the sports maniac in your family, Target offers a variety of book covers, featuring their favorite sports teams. 

2. Keep the unorganized, organized with this cute eco-friendly planner, also available at Target stores.

3. Spice up those boring, old markers with some funky, scented ones for the artist in your family.

4. Clean up those mistakes with fun erasers of your choice. Available at Office Depot.

5. With a variety of assorted designs and colors, Pbteens makes it possible for everyone to find a backpack. Free shipping on backpacks and rolling backpacks!

6. A pencil case is a must, but put away those plain boring ones. There is a variety of cute ones available; perfect to hold pens and maybe even some lip-gloss!

7. Make using your calculator fun with this stylish limited edition calculator available at Office Max.

8. Travel the world without ever leaving your bed with this passport reversible duvet cover available at Bed, Bath and Beyond!

9. Lunch is always an adventure. Give it a lunch box to match, available at the Pottery Barn Kids.

10. Kohl’s offers huge savings on those back to school clothes, so your kids will stay stylish all year long! Check out the Princess Vera Wang collection. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lollapalooza Weekend Review

By Elizabeth Buczak - Editorial Intern

Lollapalooza took downtown Chicago by storm this year (literally!). The storm posed some minor delays and although some acts did not get to perform, officials did try to squeeze in as many artists as they could and even allowed the festival to extend an additional 45 minutes from 10:00 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. 

With acts lined up for every age group, Lolla proved that it was, and will continue to be, the best festival in Chicago. Black Sabbath reunited to play one last show for their faithful fans. The Perry’s stage seemed to be a festival of its own. Dance, House and Dubstep blasted through the field as young adults flocked to see their favorite DJ’s perform. Complimentary mudslides were even offered after Saturday’s storm for everyone's enjoyment.

The Kidzapalooza stage offered a safe and fun environment for the youngest of tikes that took on the festival this year. The coolest attraction seemed to be the hair paint that allowed children to reveal their inner rocker.

Amadou and Mariam attracted a huge crowd with their electric blues music hailing straight from Mali. Florence and the Machine delivered a breath-taking performance, which is almost expected from Florence. The Red Hot Chili Peppers entertained with songs from their newest album, as well as their classics, while Avicii started the party off with his well-known song, "Levels."

Perry Farell, creator of Lollapalooza and C3 entertainment has already announced that next year Lolla will take place from August 2-4. Mark your calendars folks; I’m sure it will be another lineup you won’t want to miss! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

ParaNorman Giveaway

Step back Ghostbusters!  Norman is here to fight off the zombies of a small town!

From Focus Features and LAIKA, the creators of the Award-Winning movie Coraline, comes the comedic thriller ParaNorman. Following Coraline, ParaNorman is the second stop-motion animated feature to be created in 3D by LAIKA. This film tells a frightfully funny, emotional and spooky story for family members of all ages.

ParaNorman takes place in the small town of Blithe Hollow where 11-year-old Norman Babcock spends most of his days studying ghosts and scary movies. Norman has the gift to see and speak with the dead, including his passed grandmother.  Norman is challenged throughout the movie to break the old witch's curse which is about to come true at any second.  Racing against time, the audience can join Norman on the hunt to stop the curse.

Pushed to his limits, Norman uses his paranormal abilities to try and become the town hero.  He is guided through his challenges by his uncle Prenderghast who reveals to him the old witch's curse.  Norman finds himself in sticky situations that will leave audience members on the edge of his or her seat.

In order to win tickets to see ParaNorman on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the AMC River East 21 Theater, tell us what your favorite advertisement or coupon in Family Time Magazine has been.  Have you treated your family for ice cream, pizza or attended an event listed in our magazine?  Let us know on this blog post for your chance to win a 4-pack of ParaNorman tickets!  Also, follow us on Twitter @familytimezine to help us give back to March of Dimes.  We are giving $1 for each Twitter follower we get this month.  Our goal is 1000 followers so please help us give back to a great cause and you also will be rewarded with a chance to win Raging Waves passes for your family!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New, Blue and Trendy

Blue Man Group has been an on-going show in Chicago since 1997, but that doesn't mean that the city of Chicago is getting tired of their shows.  With over 700 employees internationally, Blue Man Group continuously comes back stronger than ever with more tricks and laughs for audiences of all ages. Performing at the Briar Street Theater off Hasted and Belmont, is the family-based show that combines elements such as LED screens, projected animation, music made from strange objects and magical routines.

All of these elements are performed by three solo men...Blue Men.  These actors are intended to look the same, without a real identity.  These three hairless men wander around the theatre with hopes to choose their next audience victim.  They are made to embarrass you...and everyone around you.  Don't even think about entering the show late...or should you?  The connection between the blue men and the audience is an incredible and hilarious experience. 

The show itself feeds off audience participation and even throws a 90's party for everyone to participate in.  With strobe lights, giant balls falling from the ceiling and rock star dance moves, this show left audience members smiling from ear to ear.  While the actors themselves don't speak, their actions speak for them.  Chosen audience members are forced to figure out what to do next during different challenges and scenes.  Laughter fills the whole theatre about 90 percent of the show, and one can't help but wonder what is going to happen next.

Many Chicagoans have heard of Blue Man Group and have walked past the theatre to sneak a peak of what's inside.  Blue Man Group has been featured all over the world and has been a discussion on local talk shows.

The July show was flawless, powerful and clean...for the most part.  The show is a unique take on comedy, theatre, dance and acting.  It keeps the audience on their toes, literally, and offers memories to take home and never forget.  The challenges and performances change all the time, so seeing the show doesn't mean you have seen everything the group has to offer.  The show is more of an experience than just a show to watch.  There is always something for every audience member to enjoy.

Blue Man Group is a must-see event in Chicago, and a Groupon is being offered right now for a deal on tickets. For more information on Blue Man Group performances, visit www.blueman.com