Loving Summer in Chicago: Upcoming Fun, Food and Fitness Events

Ok so our weather still isn’t too summery but the events in Chicago are in full swing!  We wanted to share all the summer goodness with ya’ll instead of keeping it for ourselves.  Here’s just a few fun, free events to keep you fit and entertained this summer.

Bikini Blast Time

Looking to get your muscles tight for your new polka dot bikini (or speedo)?  Join the Old Town Purre Barre team for a grand opening party on Thursday, June 19th from 6-8 p.m.  Pure Barre gives clients a chance to sculpt and lengthen their muscles by alternating tiny shake inducing muscle movements with stretching sequences.  Believe us, you will tighten your problem areas and wonder why such little movements can be so sweat provoking.  The grand opening party will feature drinks, light snacks, raffles as well as retail and class specials so this would be a perfect opportunity to snag a deal and step to the barre.  See the Purre Barre website for class information and more details.

Pure Barre Old Town

1350 N. Wells Street, Suite 4

Chicago, IL 60610

oldtown@purebarre.com

312.642.2922

Free Parking in the Self Park lot behind Cobbler Square is available.

 

Getting in Touch with Nature

Are you a city kid with country dreams?  The North Face, the well known outdoor clothing brand, and our beloved Chicago Park District are doing outreach to help us urbanites learn to camp in under our unforgettable Chicago skyline.  Events may feature camping basics, fishing skills and  nature hikes, or even spooky campfire tales lead by Chicago Park District staff.  Visit the website to register and more information.  Registration is mandatory to attend.

There are several spots to learn and set your gear down throughout the summer:

  • July 26-27: Northerly Island
  • August 9-10: Garfield Park Conservatory
  • August 16-17: Calumet Park
  • September 13-14: Gompers Park
  • September 20-21: CCFP Bullfrog Lake
  • September 27-28: Northerly Island
  • October 11: Family Adventure Day

Activity Guides from North Face are also available to give you the low down on other fun park events.

http://exploreyourparks.com/pdf/Chicago_EYP_Download.pdf

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Relax and Recharge in the Burbs

Grab some mini massages, snacks, and behind the scenes tours (OH MY!)  of the brand new Massage Envy Spa Mount Prospect, at their Grand Opening event on Tuesday, June 17 from 5-6:30 p.m.  Email massageenvy@heronpr.com to RSVP to the event.  (Text modified from Heron PR)

Movies and More under the Stars

Chicago Park District continues to bring free Movies in the Parks until early fall and that includes our beloved Millennium Park every Tuesday evenings and one bonus movie on Sunday, June 29th.  Click here to search the nearest park in Chicago.  This year Chicago Park District will also showcase the first Chicago on Screen which will feature locally-produced independent, documentary and short films around Chicago.
Wanna snuggle with a Lion during your show?  Ok that might be dangerous, but you can get up close and personal with the animals of Lincoln Park zoo and then catch a flick afterwards with Zoovies!  General admission is free but you can upgrade to VIP package for snacks, drinks and surprises.
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Photo Credit: MLK Photographs

Summer Bites

Chicago’s most romantic restaurant Geja’s Café will celebrate its 49th Anniversary Sunday, June 29 through Friday, July 4.  Guests will receive 49% off all food bills and can take part in Geja’s 5th annual recipe contest and 4th annual poetry challenge during the 6-day anniversary celebration. Guests are encouraged to compose original poetry about their experiences at Geja’s over the years.  Aspiring fondue foodies are invited to submit an original dipping sauce to accompany Geja’s signature meats and seafood entrée.  The winners from each contest will win a dinner for 6 with selected premium wines.  For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.gejascafe.com.  (Text provided by Heron PR) 

 

 

One Salad to Rule them All (AKA Fiesta Quinoa)

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Did we ever admit sometimes we are terribly lazy? When it came time to prepare for the opening credits of our “Lord of the Rings” Ravinia park movie picnic, Kat, predictably, was poking about. With a nudge and some coaxing, she whipped up the easy peasy quinoa even Gollum would approve of…

Fiesta Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups Quinoa
  • Vegetarian broth
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 cup of fire roasted salsa
  • 3/4 cup red bell peppers
  • Scallions (green onions), chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp, chopped jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp, chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp grounded cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Lime

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Instructions

Cook quinoa in vegetarian broth as per instruction on quinoa package.  Rinse and drain black beans and corn and mix together with quinoa and bell peppers.  Add the mixture of fire roasted salsa, chopped scallions, cilantro and jalapeño pepper with cumin, salt, black pepper, olive oil and lime juice.

Modified recipe from savvyvegetarian.

Mmmm our precioussss quinoa was a success. We are sure it will make a return for the Return of the King movie next summer at Ravinia. Maybe you will brave the fires of Mordor and join us next time. Enjoy!

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Zucchini Picnic Nachos

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After the opening credits, the scene begins with the Chi Organic Girls running around trying to figure out what to bring to the outdoor movie in the park. A cartoon light bulb pops over Mon’s head. “I have 20 Godzilla sized Zucchinis from my garden. What to make?”

Grilled Zucchini Nachos

modified from here.

  • 1 medium zucchini or 2 small zucchini sliced about 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • Olive oil
  • pinch of Black pepper and salt
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 3/4 can of black beans, rinsed and drain
  • 1 large avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • handful cilantro, chopped
  • Garlic, sea salt, black pepper
  • Tajin spice (Mexican spice found at any Mexican grocery store)
  • 1/2 fresh lime
  • shredded sharp cheddar, optional garnish

Slice zucchini into a bowl.  Add olive oil to coat the zucchini and sprinkle salt and black pepper.  Arrange zucchini on a grill pan over medium heat.  Grill until zucchini is tender as seen in picture.

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Remove zucchini from grill and place two layers on a platter or flat container to take for a picnic.  Top with black beans, tomatoes, red onions, avocado, green onion, cilantro, sprinkle garlic, sea salt, black pepper and squeeze fresh lime juice. Recipe will feed about 6 people.

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Wondering what other picnic goodies the gals will bring to the blanket? Coming after the intermission: Fiesta Quinoa!