« Welcome Winter and Goodbye Winter Whiners! | Main | Sun Spots Preview: Got To-Do It Early!!! »

Sun Spots: Holiday To-Dos!

Santa Baby . . .

Here we are again nearing the end of another year!  The snow has fallen and the stage is set for a lovely holiday and we once again face the eternal question:  My family is driving me nuts - what am I going To-Do with them?!?!  Not to worry - Soleil's has solutions for ya!

On our Holiday & Seasonal page you'll find listings that include ice skating, outdoor family adventures, flower and train exhibits and other holiday delights.  And many of these events are free! 

This past weekend, I visited Garfield Park Conservatory for their Holiday Flower Show and eased right up into a free parking space right in front with spaces to spare.  (It's funny how many low-income commercial neighborhoods hold no interest for the parking meter bandits - may we forwever remain off their radar!)  This park is located on the Westside and doesn't get much traffic, but it is lush!  When you step into the conservatory, you'll feel like you're in the tropics and you will quickly begin to disrobe - but don't get carried away!  While it's a great place for a meandering, romantic, cheap (free!) date, it's also family-friendly.  Take your kids and take advantage of frequent, fun and informational activities for the kids. 


Garfield Park ConservatoryAs far as the Flower Show itself, the space was surprisingly small.  At first I was disappointed, but as I began to focus on the foliage, I realized that there's a surprising variety of poinsettias!  So, I paid more attention to the signs and descriptions and really enjoyed the display!  I think it would also be really cool to go on a Wednesday night (with extended hours - open to 8pm) as some of the areas are decorated with holiday lights.


The Holiday Flower & Train Show at the Lincoln Park Conservatory is also open until 8pm on Wednesday, however, I hear that it pales in comparison.  What won't be pale is Zoolights at the Lincoln Park Zoo.  I was there during the day, so I could only see how decadently drenched in light it must be at night.  My suggestion:  go around 4pm, check out the Conservatory, then Zoolights on your way back to your car.  More than likely, you'll need to pass through the Zoo to get to the Conservatory, because you'll find that the parking situation also pales in comparison to Garfield.  It's Lincoln Park.  And it will. Be. Packed.  Think about that before you leave home in stilettos.  And be prepared to pay about $17-26 for parking.  It ain't nice.  It is Lincoln Park.  But, everything to this point has been free(!), so, (wo-)man-up - and fill up the car with people, too!


garfieldThe Holiday & Seasonal page also includes ice skating in various city locations; theater - including The Nativity (f/k/a "Black Nativity" - hmmmm . . .) and The Nutcracker; live music performances - including the 20th Annual Winter Solstice Concert, the Cyrus Chestnut Trio and Roy Ayers; the 16th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration; holiday parties and so much more!!!


Well, I intend to get my mother and sister out of the house and hit up as many of these Holiday & Seasonal To-Dos as I can!  Follow this post as I update it with my latest adventures!  While you're here, please be sure to give your feedback on any of the seasonal To-Dos that you attend. 



Soleil's To-Dos



Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn


Reader Comments (1)

From Hannah:

I enjoyed your Garfield Park Conservatory report. I have been going to this place all my life (I am 70). I used to live on the West Side as a teenager so could almost walk to it. I have seen it and its field house go full circle as far as renovation. When I first started going to it - it was Divine, then it declined and now its back, and better, than before.

The Field House is brought back to its original golden glory. Did you know that one of the most expensive plants in the world is housed at Garfield: That is the (ass looking seed) coconut plant on the South side of the main gallery. It is priceless and I believe Garfield is one of few places something like this can be seen. Even in its original habitat you won't find one as old or 'seasoned' as ours.

I like to visit Garfield when the weather outside is frightful (is that a line from a song:) because it transports you to a warmer climate and atmosphere. The Fern Garden is one of my favorites, I have had to let turtles cross my path in this arena - such fun!! The Lorado Taft sculptures remind me of what a great artist he was and then I take a visit to his Time Fountain on the Midway Plaisance to further my appreciation.

I could go on and on about Chicago - ----

Thanks so much for your column, it helps me tremendously in deciding what to do in wonderful Chicago Land.

December 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSoleil!

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>