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What to do in 2022: Chicago style

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_

City Cast friends, 

Things might feel grim right now with omicron, and let’s be honest, they kind of are. But there’s a lot to look forward to this year in Chicago and plenty to explore.

Plus, only six months until Summertime Chi, but who’s counting? 🙃


Get outside!
❄️ Cook County Forest Preserve winter days. Go sledding and snowshoeing at Schubert’s Woods and Caldwell Woods this month. 
🧊 Polar Plunge. Take a brisk dip at North Avenue Beach in March for the Special Olympics. C’mon, it’s for a good cause, and it’ll be, uh, refreshing. 
🌳 Morton Arboretum centennial. Get involved with the Lisle arboretum and plant 1,000 trees across the Chicago region this year. 

Eat something Chicago-style. 
🍗 Hot Chi Chicken ‘n Cones. Try this Nashville and Middle Eastern–inspired chicken at the old 87th Street Harold’s in Chatham. 
🍱 88 Marketplace. Visit each food court stall at the city’s largest Chinese supermarket between Pilsen and Chinatown. 

See one-of-a-kind sporting events. 
🤠 South Shore Rodeo. Get a glimpse of the cowboy lifestyle at the annual summer rodeo at the South Shore Cultural Center.

Be entertained. 
📺 “Golden Girls” convention. Celebrate the late, great Oak Park native Betty White and the ‘80s sitcom at the Navy Pier three-day convention in April. 
🎭 “Wicked” returns. See Elphaba, Glinda, and the rest of the Oz gang when the Broadway show returns downtown in September.
🎞️ Gene Siskel Film Center 50/50 series. The Loop film center is celebrating its 50th anniversary by playing a classic film every Monday this year.

Immerse yourself in art — literally. 
🎨 Lillstreet Art Center classes. Adults and kids can tap into their creative outlets and take painting, drawing, and ceramics at the Ravenswood studio.
🌺 “Frida Kahlo: Immersive Dream.” See the life and art of the Mexican artist at the Old Town exhibit starting in late February. 

Get involved. 
📝 Cover city meetings. Join the Chicago Documenters network.
🗳️ Be an election judge. Manage polling places and assist voters.


▪️ CPS classes are canceled for a third day as the district and teachers union continue to negotiate COVID-19 safety protocols. [Chalkbeat Chicago]

▪️ Speaking of which, is former CPS CEO Arne Duncan considering tossing his hat into next year’s mayoral race? [Chicago Sun-Times]

▪️ Uh, this TikTok homemade bomb challenge could be behind loud explosions in Rogers Park and West Ridge. [Block Club Chicago]

▪️ Tell us your Chicago hidden gems!

▪️ You all really love pizza puffs, huh? Pick one up from this West Town family biz 🤤 [WTTW]

▪️ This week’s must-read.


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