Arts & Entertainment in Chicago

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Historic spacecraft, fragments of far away worlds, and maps of the galaxy make outer space seem completely within reach. That's the magic of the Adler Planetarium. From the moment visitors pass through the Clark Family Welcome Gallery?a portal of aluminum tubing, fabric, and video projections?they embark on a journey through space, time, and imagination.

  • Eye Catcher: Earth's neighbors and one massive yellow Sun hang overhead in Our Solar System, which also includes a fragment of a meteorite and a replica of the Mars rover. The Adler is the only place where visitors can touch a piece of the Moon, Mars, and three different asteroids under one roof.
  • Permanent Mainstay: The Historic Atwood Sphere, Chicago's oldest planetarium, where guests can step under a steel dome to view the night sky as it appeared in 1913 thanks to 692 drilled holes.
  • Hands-On Experiments: In The Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time, you can send yourself digital postcards from across the Universe; it'll only take four hours for one to arrive from Neptune, but be prepared to wait 2.5 million years for one to arrive from the Andromeda galaxy.
  • Hidden Gem: The Space Visualization Lab introduces guests to cutting-edge research that astronomers discuss with visitors one-on-one to convey the vastness of space or the size of the castle they want to build on the Moon.
  • Don't Miss: The live planetarium show, Destination Solar System, blends a sci-fi plot with real science as it journeys to Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn's moon Titan.
  • Special Programs: Every third Thursday of the month, Adler After Dark lets amateur astronomers 21 and older spend the evening gazing at the stars with cocktails in hand.

Groupon Guide

Stargazing Tips from an Adler Astronomer

Get the most out of your stargazing gear with these tips.
The Adler?s New Show Takes You on a (Practically) Real Tour of the Solar System

How an Adler Planetarium scientist and "Lalaloopsy" TV writer propelled their audience across the solar system.
1300 S Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago,
IL
US

The creative team of framers and decorators at Foursided stocks stacks of creative greeting cards and paraphernalia. The self-described "frame nerds" do more than cultivate a collection of stationery by planting paper seeds in nearby printing presses; they also place prints and objects into frames and furnish homes with original pieces by a handful of favored artists. Staffers also buy and sell vintage flash cards, puzzle pieces, and letter tiles harvested from a variety of objects.

Owner Todd Mack has worked in framing for 20 years, and he draws on his vast experience when custom mounting a broad spectrum of pieces. Vintage and recycled frames, archival framing, and shadow boxes are a few of the options available. Mack's interest in shadow boxes makes perfect sense to visitors who take a look at his own art, which assembles found photos and objects in forms that aren't always 2-D.

On HGTV's Urban Oasis, interior designer Vern Yip ornamented a luxury apartment with prints gathered from Foursided's expansive collection. In that collection, colorful shelves of letter blocks, maps, corks, baby-doll heads, and harmonicas turn personal, nostalgic objects into stylish new decorations. Candles, jewelry, and books round out the gift selections.

5061 N Clark St
Chicago,
IL
US

Art lovers David and Stacy Sassson started OverstockArt.com to bring the beauty of famous artwork into customers' homes without the hefty art auction price tags. The company's cadre of artists recreates a variety of famous paintings by canonical artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, and Renoir, not by printing images onto paper, but by painting every brush stroke onto canvas with oil paints along with professional custom framing services. Instead of decorating their dining room with a poster of Starry Night, homeowners can commission an OverstockArt.com artist to reconstruct the vivid, deep blues and faded yellows of the iconic piece onto a 20"x24" canvas. And to find the piece that best suits their taste and decor, shoppers can peruse artwork organized by the Art Deal of the Day, subject, size, or even style, enabling them to find a piece of nautical art without swiping it from a cruise ship. All purchases are protected by a return policy and 100% satisfaction guarantee with free shipping both ways.

600 West Chicago Avenue
Chicago,
IL
US

Celebrated in Creative Child Magazine, Handstand Kids fosters a sense of global community by introducing children to the languages and cuisines of Italy, China, and Mexico. Cookbooks brim with designated cultural recipes, which also provide translated words for each ingredient and utensil so that tots can learn to speak a new language while they learn to cook in a way that doesn’t involve microwaving play-doh. Recipes are rated by difficulty, allowing kids aged 3¬–12 a chance to whip up edibles perfectly suited to their age and skill. They’ll prepare items ranging from the easy Year of the Monkey smoothie to the more difficult There's a Meatball in My Soup soup and Oh My Pizza Pie pizza. Accompanying the recipes, the illustrated Handstand Kids characters share tips that increase kids' awareness on food-related issues, such as information on special dietary needs or ideas on the various ways cooking can be used in the community.

600 W. Chicago Ave
Chicago,
IL
US

Nearly every experience in Laurel Stradford’s life led to the moment she opened her own store in 1999. As a child, she hung a map of the world on her bedroom wall and listened to the stories of Aladdin and One Thousand and One Nights, which inspired a lifelong interest in travel. She later worked as the executive director for special programs for Africa and Europe at Revlon International, which afforded her the opportunity to see the world and taught her how to speak to elephants in multiple languages. After penning a book about her overseas adventures titled What The Traveler Saw, Stradford opened a store with the same name. There she stocks internationally sourced candies, luggage, home decor, and clothing from countries including Morocco, India, Ghana, and Turkey. In many cases, proceeds from the items benefit their country of origin—bowls made in Indonesia aid in the tsunami-recovery effort, and a Haitian oil-drum sculpture benefits victims of the 2010 earthquake.

1508 E 55th St
Chicago,
IL
US

When you walk into Sifu Design Studio & Fine Yarns, you won’t find a quiet room simply housing yarns and fabrics. Instead, you’ll walk into a communal space where crafters of all ilks socialize during themed knitting circles, browse handmade crafts from local designers, or further their skills in instructional classes. Something is going on nearly every day of the week. Weeknight classes allow students to learn how to make shawls, mittens, and socks while sipping on BYOB wine, and during the studio’s sci-fi night, the staff screen a movie while guests work on their latest projects. Crafters also can refurnish their stocks of supplies and yarn from the expansive selection, which features a variety of hard-to-find specialty tools. The shop also has a range of vintage products, garnered through its trade-in program, which offers store credit for clients who trade in unused yarn, old tools, and vintage knitting patterns such as booties for claw-foot tubs.

5044 N Clark St
Chicago,
IL
US