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5 Best Museums in Chicago

5 Best Museums in Chicago

Chicago is one of the best places for anyone who enjoys visiting all different types of museums. The city’s museum scene is perfect for tourists and locals looking for something fun to do on any given day. The museums in Chicago offer a wide range of a multitude of museums depending on what your interests are. We are going to take a look at five of the best museums in Chicago where there’s a collection for all types of interests.

Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art houses works from many large touring exhibits. They also create a weekly series featuring work of local Chicago artists that include different workshops and discussions. The museum is also equipped with a new in house restaurant called Lul Cafe with Chef Jason Hammel.

Adler Planetarium
The Adler Planetarium is all about astronomy and astrophysics with exhibits such as Mission Moon and The Universe: A Walk Through Time. The Moon Mission exhibit shows the actual mission to the moon and the US exploration through space. The University: A Walk Through Time explains different theories of how the galaxy began. The Grainger Sky Theatre is one of the spots you can’t miss. The museum projects movies all over the dome about trips to space, the stars, and the planets.

DuSable Museum of African American History
The DuSable Museum is home to some of the most beautiful and stimulating collections of African- American Art. Built in 1961, it serves as one of the oldest focal points of African-American history. If you’re a fan of Chance the Rapper, you can see one of his Grammy’s displayed in the museum as well.

The Field Museum
The Field Museum was built to house collections from the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. There are over 30 biological and anthropology exhibits where you can see dinosaur bones, check out the Fossil Prep Lab, and check out a 3D movie.

Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the most well-known buildings in the city. There are two bronze lion sculptures that guard the outside of the museum, while over 300,000 works of art reside on the inside. Although there are many famous pieces of art in the museum, one that is always worth seeing is A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat.

A large number of museums that reside in Chicago make it a sizable cultural destination for tourists and locals looking to expand their minds and learn about science, art, nature, and different cultures.

Originally published at DeeThompson.co on February 7, 2019. 

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Creating Success for Women in Male Dominated Industries

CreatingSuccessForWomen

Over the years, women have started to take over male-dominated industries, making them a little more even when it comes to employee diversity. Even with the constant strides, women continue to face many challenges within the workplace and need to understand there are ways to create success and excel within these male-dominated industries such as technology, law, and politics.

Studies have shown that it’s essential to create more opportunities for women in the workplace because they increase problem-solving skills and profitability, are more innovative and expand both mentorship and sponsorship opportunities. Women can bring a higher level of success within a company, and there are certain ways to create that success within a male-dominated business.

When trying to make a good impression at work, you may have the mentality of volunteering for a large number of projects. This can have a negative impact on both yourself and the company you work for. It’s best to volunteer when you have the time, and on projects, you want the opportunity to work on. Men within your office most likely do not offer up their services at every opportunity and will say “no.” If you are someone who always says “yes” and finds yourself in the weeds because of it, look over each opportunity to see how it fits in with your schedule and aspirations before volunteering.

Women are great leaders but often fall victim to the stereotypes and biases society has placed on them. To create your success, it’s important not to let these get in the way of your leadership skills and be confident in your passion and drive. Finding other women within male-dominated industries creates a circle of women who are there to lift you up and support one another.

Playing to your particular strengths whether they are female personality strengths or different skill sets lets you show off your leadership skills.  Some of these skills would include listening, empathy, and being able to socialize well. Success often comes with not being afraid to fail and pushing forward by using failure as a learning experience. If you feel you’ve earned a promotion or a raise, don’t be scared to ask your boss and let them know you are interested in new opportunities.

Women who work in heavily male-dominated industries have many opportunities to prove themselves and become very successful. When you use your skills and stay confident, you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

Originally published at DeeThompson.co on January 20, 2019. 

The Driehaus Museum

The Gold Coast is a gold mine (no pun intended) for history lovers, with countless museums and historical buildings to explore. One of the best places to walk through is the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, located in the former Nickerson family residence, otherwise known as Gilded Age Chicago’s “Marble Palace.”

 

Even before Richard Driehaus took over the Nickerson Mansion, the Chicago home had been known for its connection to the arts. The original owners, Samuel and Matilda Nickerson, had obtained an impressive art collection throughout their lives, and enjoyed showcasing the pieces at their residence. They were also interested in helping preserve the Chicago art scene at large, especially in the years following the Great Chicago Fire.

 

After the Nickersons moved back East, the mansion went through a series of owners until 1919, when a collective of Chicago residents decided to pitch in to purchase the building to save it from potential destruction. These residents then donated it to the American College of Surgeons for their headquarters, where they remained until 1963. In 1976, the former Nickerson residence was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places. Finally in 2003, a Chicago businessman by the name of Richard H. Driehaus acquired the property and promptly set about to restore the mansion to its former glory.

 

The museum was originally founded as a place to host Richard Driehaus’ decorative arts collection, namely his set of Tiffany glasswares. Today, there are exhibits that offer a glimpse into the late 19th and early 20th century-life in Chicago. The museum also offers educational and cultural programs to help visitors envision more fully what life used to be like during that time. It has been open to the public since June 2008 and features art and surviving furnishings of that era to truly look the part of a Gilded Age mansion. One of the most popular exhibits that the museum hosted was the Dressing Downton: Changing Fashions for Changing Times exhibit, which closed on May 29, 2016. The exhibition featured real costumes from the television drama, Downton Abbey.

 

Currently, the museum is hosting Beauty’s Legacy: Gilded Age Portraits in America and Gilded Chicago: Portraits of an Era, which both take a look into the resurgence of interest in portraiture throughout the Gilded Age. Treasures from the White City: The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 is also on display, which brings in items and memorabilia about the World’s Fair in celebration of the fair’s 125th anniversary this past year.

One of the best places to walk through is the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, located in the former Nickerson family residence, otherwise known as Gilded Age Chicago’s “Marble Palace.”

Even before Richard Driehaus took over the Nickerson Mansion, the Chicago home had been known for its connection to the arts. The original owners, Samuel and Matilda Nickerson, had obtained an impressive art collection throughout their lives, and enjoyed showcasing the pieces at their residence. They were also interested in helping preserve the Chicago art scene at large, especially in the years following the Great Chicago Fire.

After the Nickersons moved back East, the mansion went through a series of owners until 1919, when a collective of Chicago residents decided to pitch in to purchase the building to save it from potential destruction. These residents then donated it to the American College of Surgeons for their headquarters, where they remained until 1963. In 1976, the former Nickerson residence was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places. Finally in 2003, a Chicago businessman by the name of Richard H. Driehaus acquired the property and promptly set about to restore the mansion to its former glory.

The museum was originally founded as a place to host Richard Driehaus’ decorative arts collection, namely his set of Tiffany glasswares. Today, there are exhibits that offer a glimpse into the late 19th and early 20th century-life in Chicago. The museum also offers educational and cultural programs to help visitors envision more fully what life used to be like during that time. It has been open to the public since June 2008 and features art and surviving furnishings of that era to truly look the part of a Gilded Age mansion. One of the most popular exhibits that the museum hosted was the Dressing Downton: Changing Fashions for Changing Times exhibit, which closed on May 29, 2016. The exhibition featured real costumes from the television drama, Downton Abbey.

Currently, the museum is hosting Beauty’s Legacy: Gilded Age Portraits in America and Gilded Chicago: Portraits of an Era, which both take a look into the resurgence of interest in portraiture throughout the Gilded Age. Treasures from the White City: The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 is also on display, which brings in items and memorabilia about the World’s Fair in celebration of the fair’s 125th anniversary this past year.

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Originally posted at DeeThompson.co

The Three Arts Club Building

Chicago’s Three Arts Club building, once a clubhouse for young women pursuing an education in the arts, is no longer a sitting shell of its former glory. About three years ago, RH (then known as Restoration Hardware) saw the potential this Chicago landmark possessed, successfully resuscitating the Three Arts Club building on the forefront of the Gold Coast scene.

With chairman and CEO Gary Friedman at the helms, the Three Arts Club building was transformed from an empty historic building into the RH Chicago flagship store and gallery. Restoring and repurposing historic buildings has become a passion for Friedman over the years, so maintaining its charm and history was a key part of the restoration process. Rather than create something entirely new, RH’s goal was to breathe new life into the building, as they had done with other new RH locations, such as the former main post office in Greenwich, Connecticut, and the former Museum of Natural History in Boston, Massachusetts.

In addition to the new retail segments like the RH Modern Collection, RH Teen, RH Baby & Child, and the Ben Soleimani Rug Showroom, the RH Chicago Gallery at the Historic Three Arts Club also offers spaces for art exhibitions. By integrating both hospitality and showmanship together, RH Chicago offers a unique gathering place and breathtaking experience.

As you walk into the building you can’t miss the breathtaking Grand Courtyard, which seats the 3 Arts Club Cafe, a culinary collaboration between Gary Friedman and Chicago Foodies’ beloved Brendan Sodikoff. Guests can enjoy the delicious seasonal menu in a bright, indoor oasis of Heritage olive trees, plush RH sofas, and candle lanterns, all smartly placed around the beautifully restored historic fountain. As you explore the showrooms along the perimeter of the courtyard, you will also find the 3 Arts Club Pantry & Espresso Bar, as well as the 3 Arts Club Wine Vault, which offer a house coffee blend and premium wines, respectively, among elegantly curated furniture and finishes.

Make sure to check out the roof level of the RH Gallery, as well, which showcases stunning views of the city. Whether you are exploring the space, catching up over a cup of coffee, enjoying a glass of wine, waiting for a table at the 3 Arts Club Cafe, or all of the above, the rooftop park and conservatory is a functional vignette of RH outdoor furnishings, surrounded by elegantly organized banana palms and shrubbery.

The building restoration has already proven to be a charming addition to the Gold Coast neighborhood, brilliantly reintroducing the Three Arts Club building in a way that connects the past to the present. Whether you’re in the market for new statement pieces for your home, in search of an inspirational activity to pass the time, or craving a deliciously-crafted doughnut from the Doughnut Vault, the RH Chicago Gallery at the Historic Three Arts Club has become a prime destination for both residents and visitors of Chicago, alike.

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Originally posted at DeeThompson.co

New Year’s Eve in Chicago

As 2018 draws rapidly to a close, the festivities across Chicago shift gears into ringing in the new year. While there are plenty of events to choose from, Lincoln Park, in particular, offers a wide variety of activities for all ages to attend. Make sure to get your tickets in advance, if needed!

 

Zoo Year’s Eve

Held at the Lincoln Park Zoo, Zoo Year’s Eve celebrates the evening amidst the light displays courtesy of ComEd and Invesco QQQ. The event will feature ice sculpting, carousel rides, a live DJ, lots of carnival games to enjoy, as well as cash bars scattered around the zoo. What’s even more special is that the animal houses will also be open to event guests — a perfect opportunity for you to snap some selfies and spend quality time with the animals who call the Lincoln Park Zoo their home.

 

Keep in mind that only those who are 21 or older may attend. The zoo will reopen on New Year’s Day for general admittance, however.

 

New Year’s Eve 5K

Hosted by the Chicago Sport and Social Club, the New Year’s Eve 5K is excited for all of the proceeds of this year’s race to go towards the Special Olympics Chicago. Anyone is welcome to participate, so grab the whole family and start the day (and year!) off by getting your heart rate up while supporting a great cause. Check-in opens at 7:30 a.m. and the post-race celebration lasts until noon for participants and their supporting family and friends.

 

Theater on the Lake

Also hosted by the Chicago Sports and Social Club is the Theater on the Lake event that same night! The upscale evening will include an all-inclusive drink package, gourmet buffets, a midnight champagne toast, a hopping dance floor, and party favors. There are also options to purchase a table for five or ten people, each of which come with complimentary drinks and a semi-dedicated server.

 

The Theater on the Lake, which was built in 1920, also has the perfect view of Lake Michigan and Navy Pier’s fireworks display across the Chicago skyline.

 

New Year’s Eve at Noon

And, of course, if you have little ones, check out the New Year’s Eve at Noon Party in Lincoln Park, which  will be filled with balloons, music, and plenty of activities. You can countdown to the “noon year” with the whole family at this event!

 

Originally posted at DeeThompson.co

Butch McGuire’s Christmas Tradition

If there’s one thing Chicago does right—although, of course, there are many—it is getting properly decked out to celebrate the holiday season. From the Magnificent Mile’s Light Festival to Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights, to the Holiday Flower Show and Holiday Market, it can be difficult to pick and choose what to do, but we’d be remiss to not mention the bar scene, as well.

 

Butch McGuire’s, a Chicago institution for decades, has become well-known for its Christmas decorations since Butch McGuire himself purchased Goldblatt’s Department Store’s old window display. That purchase was made the late 1960s, and the tradition continues today!

 

When the idea to decorate the bar first started, the staff themselves began hanging up the decorations around the bar, but the tradition really took off after a group of Chicago firefighters volunteered to help.Thanks to their additional help, Butch McGuire’s started hanging the decorations from the ceiling rather than using up space around the surface of the bar.

 

While the original artificial garland Butch bought has since deteriorated, the bar transitioned into using lights and a running model train, which they still use today. Since 2017, the bar has displayed 45,000 lights, in addition to the double decker trains and spinning mobiles of well-loved Disney characters and other winter staples. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that their light display during the Christmas season is what Butch McGuire’s has become known for!

 

Thanks to the notoriety the decorations brought, Butch McGuire’s has been able to turn the festivities into a way to help those who are less fortunate. Butch originally helped start Santa Claus Anonymous, and was able to pass that same sense of giving back to his son, Bobby. If you visit, you can buy one of the ornaments that decorate the bar, and all the proceeds will be donated to the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. Train sponsors – local businesses whose company logos appear on the toy trains throughout the bar – eagerly take part in the tradition by making a donation to Mercy Home, as well.

 

That’s not all, though—this year will be the ninth annual toiletry drive for the residents of Mercy Home and, of course, Butch McGuire’s is leading the charge. During the entire month of December, the bar will be accepting donations of toiletries to give to the home, as well.

 

Checking out Butch McGuire’s for the season has become a time-honored tradition for many Chicago families. It’s the perfect union of having a good time while simultaneously helping the community.

 

Originally posted at DeeThompson.co

Thanksgiving in Chicago

Before you tuck in for dinner, join Chicagoans from all over the city at the 41st Annual Art Van Turkey Trot! Presented by Byline Bank, the Turkey Trot will feature a 5k and 8k, and a Plymouth Rock Ramble for the kids, and all of its proceeds support the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

It’s a great cause, and the event kicks off right in one of our favorite neighborhoods, Lincoln Park. The races are centered around the event’s Turkey Day Tailgate, which hosts plenty of activities like corn hole, a football toss, and turkey bowling, and, of course, warm apple cider.

The event will be rain-or-shine, and it’s a great way to start off the holiday season on the right foot.

If running isn’t your thing, you will find plenty of other things to do, too! The city of Chicago hosts its annual Uncle Dan’s Thanksgiving Parade on State Street from Congress to Randolph. With the best marching bands from all over the country, to giant balloon presentations and live performances, you can either grab a seat along the parade route or hang out in your pajamas to watch it live at home.

For those who are just looking forward to dinner but don’t want to cook, plenty of options abound!  The Chicago Tribune and OpenTable have both put together helpful lists of restaurants that offer special menus just for the occasion. For something even a little more special, Odyssey Cruises is offering a two-hour Thanksgiving Day cruise, starting at Navy Pier. The event will include a holiday lunch or dinner, depending on your time of departure.

Starting on Black Friday, the Lincoln Park Zoo goes all out with their beloved ZooLights event, which has festive decorations like ice carvings and holiday lights. There’s also music, carousel and train rides, food, and shopping opportunities at the nearby pop-up Holiday Market.

Lincoln Park will also be hosting a Holiday Flower Show at the Lincoln Conservatory, from November 23 through January 26. Within the flower show, model trains will weave through the miniature village among the poinsettias. Second City will be performing “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Sweater” at Up Comedy Club, both before and after Thanksgiving Day, too, if you are in the mood for some good laughs.For any magic lovers out there, the historic Palmer House Hilton Hotel will be showcasing performances by an award-winning magician on Friday nights at 7:30 and 9:30, and Saturday nights at 4:30, 7:30, and 9:30. Performances begin in November, and will last through January 2019. Getting the chance to walk through the stunning hotel is merely an added bonus to being a part of this highly anticipated intimate magic show.

Whether you have the entire holiday season to spend in Chicago, or just a few days to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving, there are plenty of options to accommodate everyone’s tastes.

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Originally posted at DeeThompson.co