Festivals in West Loop

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Sound Excursions describes their carefully curated group experiences as "field trips for adults." It's easy to see why: every outing takes groups to a new realm of Washington, whether it's the frothy shores of Puget Sound, inland forests and mountains, or tables at Seattle's thriving restaurants. The events held at these diverse locations range from culinary workshops on topics such as sushi-making and moonshine-tasting, to adventurous excursions with whitewater rafting or kayaking, to laid-back themed party cruises. For many outings, luxury transportation is provided.

450 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago,
IL
US

Discovering new wines from around the world is only half the fun at the tastings GrapestoBottles schedules. Each event also serves as an opportunity mingle and socialize in a casual, cocktail-party-like atmosphere. Tastings explore several different themes throughout the year, presenting an opportunity to learn about unfamiliar varietals. One event might focus on the stylistic differences between Old-World and New-World producers. Another may stick with a particular region, country, or subterranean kingdom. Regardless of the focus, every GrapestoBottles tasting provides a chance for attendees to hone palates and sample new wines while meeting like-minded enophiles in an unpretentious setting.

211 S Clark St, Ste 989
Chicago,
IL
US

Founded in 2011, the Chicago-based American Chamber Opera features an ensemble committed to singing full-length oratorios in English. Its productions resemble concerts more than traditional opera performances: the music takes center stage as the singers belt and emote in settings that evoke the world of the story with just a few well-placed details.

77 West Washington Street
Chicago,
IL
US

Ranked one of Five Podcasts that Will Change the Way You Think by Forbes Magazine, Intelligence Squared Debates has opened the floor on timely, politically-charged issues during more than 60 interactive Oxford-style debates—typically broadcast live from New York on more than 220 NPR stations, on PBS, and on Wall Street Journal's WSJLIve. In past debates, Arianna Huffington and P.J. O'Rourke have dueled over whether the two-party political system makes it impossible to govern. Malcolm Gladwell has advocated banning college football amid rebuttals from sports broadcaster Tim Green.

Whether the topic is Palestine's UN admission as a full member state, the pros and cons of religion, or the Internet's effect on our ability to stay open-minded, audience members get to question luminaries who have included Paul Krugman, Alan Dershowitz, and Karl Rove and throw tomatoes at them when they're deemed out of order. Each attendee is also afforded the final vote––for, against, or undecided––to crown the debate's winner.

170 N Dearborn St.
Chicago,
Illinois
US

On Tuesday, September 30, independent distillers set up shop at the Hilton hotel to display and sample their small-batch, artisanal wares for the third annual Independent Spirits Expo. The exhibitors come from all over the world, and include Grappa Candolini of Italy alongside Indiana's Redemption Rye bourbon. Meanwhile, Uncouth Vermouth will show off its Brooklyn-based martini companions as Traverse City Whiskey Company struts its stuff with its eponymous spirit.

1052 West Monroe Street
Chicago,
IL
US

In addition to the sense of perseverance and accomplishment that comes with finishing a 5K, the organizers of the Bacon Chase have added another incentive: bacon. During their two races?the 5K Piggy Pilgrimage, which is a traditional 5K, and the 0.05K Blitz to Bacon, which is a 164-foot sprint?runners can munch on unlimited bacon bits before feasting on unlimited amounts of bacon at the finish line. Runners 21 and older can wash down the savory strips of bacon with a bloody mary, and all runners get a Bacon Chase T-shirt and a signature bacon-scented bib. The festival opens at 8 a.m. and features many bacon-themed activities, plus music.

The festive day serves a greater purpose, too. Attendees will be able to register to become a St. Jude Hero, raise money for St. Jude Children?s Research Hospital, or both.

320 W Ohio St
Chicago,
IL
US

Groupon Guide