The National Museum of Mexican Art features more than 7,000 artworks that span a timeline from ancient Mexico to modern-day masterpieces. As the country’s only Latino museum accredited by the American Association of Museums, it aims to provide a view into the richness of Mexican culture through programs and exhibitions that explore issues of social justice in local communities. Twenty of its exhibitions have toured the country, and its resumé includes The African Presence in Mexico and Frida’s Contemporaries: Women Artists of Modern Mexico. In addition to visual art, the museum’s cultural programs also display a range of other art forms including music, dance, and theater, and its annual Sor Juana Festival honors the accomplishments of Mexican women.
In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their children's development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
Located in the West Loop, Whitney Young Aquatics is a private indoor swim cub offering classes, lessons, and competitive swim team opportunties for children and adults. Teams are coached by former Division I swimmers and certified personal trainers, and lessons are led by certified lifeguards and Red Cross instructors. Members can drop by the pool to practice their strokes or to simply reap the benefits of a challenging, low-impact aerobic exercise that doesn’t require space travel or an investment in a packing peanut factory.
Décollage adorns human mannequins with an intricate collection of new and vintage clothing, accessories, and jewelry. Recently featured in several publications, including Time Out Chicago and Chicago magazine, the spacious boutique hosts a bouquet of vintage items, hand-selected by owner, Kelsey Tanner-O'Connor. Customers can seduce mirrors with new French lingerie pieces by Maison Close ($25.80+) before donning a red Tatyana pencil skirt ($64) or a gray Parisian dress ($109), hearkening back to an era when there was a clutch for every occasion and a big band in every living room. In addition to selections from Pucci and Chanel, items from the vintage collection include a '50s-inspired cocktail dress ($59) and a '60s green lace dress ($48), which can be paired with the many shoes and jewelry items that beautify Décollage’s racks and shelves.
The planners behind Signature Media Group Speakers masterfully select fascinating people, so that they can share their insights on a stage. For them, keynote speeches are an art form that can engage and inspire audiences on all manner of topics. Most notable are the wide variety of speakers they work with, some of which are corporate CEOs, political strategists, book publishers, and civil rights activists, to name a few. The staff works with its speakers to help curate poignant addresses.
When entrepreneur Harold Pierce opened the first Harold’s Chicken Shack on Chicago’s South Side in 1950, his chefs fried chicken as it was ordered, filling customers' empty hands with baskets of fresh, piping-hot chicken in 12–15 minutes. Today, the chain of 62 restaurants peppered across the Midwest and Southwest continues the old tradition of rewarding patience with astonishingly delicious chicken. The long-standing shop specializes in a simple order—breaded chicken fried in a rich mix of vegetable oil and beef tallow for a home-cooked flavor. Chefs prep the chicken Chicago style by pouring a dash of sauce over the basket, which soaks into the white bread and crinkle fries that come with every order. Marked with the famed emblem of a cook chasing a chicken with a hatchet, the restaurant has saturated the city’s consciousness, earning a mention in Tucker Max’s I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, an appearance in Kanye West’s music video Through the Wire, and its own chicken hologram projected over the skyline. Serious Eats sums up citywide sentiment for the chain: "When the words 'fried chicken' are uttered in Chicago, it’s a fair bet that the name Harold’s Chicken Shack will usually follow."