When faced with lemons—or many other fruits—the proprietors of Oh, Olive! don't contemplate lemonade. Instead, they envision freshly pressed batches of extra-virgin olive oil, such as their tangy Eureka-lemon variant. The family-run shops specialize in this flexible condiment and stock their shelves with estate-produced Delizia oils. Their catalog covers both plain and fused types with flavors that range from the spicy notes of chipotle peppers to the sweetness of blood oranges, a fitting complement to cuts of chicken and fish. They also vend balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy. Fruits feature heavily in the imported collection, which includes pomegranate, blackberry-ginger, and cinnamon-pear vinegars in addition to a dark-chocolate infusion and the 18-year balsamic—a traditional vinegar aged in oak barrels and given a high-school diploma.
Often, the staff members don't separate the acts of purchasing and cooking with their wares. They prefer to interact with customers and host tastings, classes, and contests to encourage innovative recipes. Amid more than 60 kinds of oil and vinegar, Oh, Olive! sells meal add-ons as well. Tiesta Tea produces soothing, toasty brews, and stuffed olives contain hidden servings of jalapeños, sharp cheddar, and asparagus.
With more than 23,000 square feet of public space, Kohl Children's Museum gives its young visitors plenty of rooms in which to play. The kid-focused facility houses 16 permanent exhibits for infants and children up to 8 years of age, each filled with hands-on activities designed to encourage learning and exploration.
City on the Move helps children learn about Chicago by challenging them to build city scenes from geometric shapes or crank an electricity-generating wheel to power a pretend John Hancock Center. Kids can follow animal footprints to their source in Nature Explorers, move musical notes to create melodies in Ravinia Festival Music Makers, or explore the rotating temporary exhibits.
Artistic inspiration can strike at any moment, but the formally trained painters at Tipsy Paint believe that inspiration can be encouraged. They host social painting classes for students of all skill levels, helping them re-create an original piece of artwork one stroke at a time.
With assistance from a BYOB beverage, attendees can unleash their inner artist or simply enjoy the low-key atmosphere while picking up a few useful painting tips. The instructors also offer opportunities for visitors seeking more direct feedback, including supervised open-studio times and formal, technique-focused classes that hone painting fundamentals and give insight into topics such as color theory.
Customers can be reunited with their beloved garments the same day if they drop them off at Chicago's Discount Dry Cleaner or Kenny the Kleener in the morning on Monday–Saturday. The staff responsible for this quick turnaround has been at it since 1981, dry-cleaning delicate fabrics and laundering more resilient clothing such as knit shirts or hats that double as tea cozies. Besides cleaning clothes, they can alter garments to better fit customers' silhouettes and preserve wedding gowns.
At European Imports & Gifts, mementoes for all holidays and events march along shelves, from intricately painted animal statuettes to sparkling gilded ornaments. Collectibles, such as a butterfly-winged Precious Moments ballerina ($19.95) or a pink, multifaceted Swarovski pig ornament ($21) transform tumbleweed-ridden curio cabinets into flashy boomtowns. Be-ribbon an offering for a unique someone with themed gifts, including a music enthusiast all tuned in mouse ($19.95) or a ceramic mug, colorfully emblazoned with “Daddy Needs Coffee” ($9.95). European Imports & Gifts ensures presents suitable for the most elegant wrapping paper and frequent new arrivals, seasonal collections, and event-specific doodads for Fathers Day, graduations, or the successful end of a pet's job search.
Larger Than Life specializes in wall art that combines modern materials with state-of-the-art digital-production technologies. With today's Groupon, you'll receive one of its panoramic wall murals, 48 inches by 12 inches in size. Browse the selection of city- and landscapes and order online. Keep it local with a shot of the Museum of Art's classical architecture or the Swann Memorial Fountain, or roam far away with a sweeping shot of a dewy, cobbled Paris street at dawn. Hop in a convenient TARDIS and travel to ancient times with shots of the Pyramids at Giza, or go to the temple ruins in Machu Picchu. Tropical and mountain scenes are also available, along with fields of vividly red tulips and a diner on Route 66. Think not on frames or complicated mounting procedures; all murals are printed on fabric paper and designed to adhere to any kind of wall material, all without leaving residue or damaging the underlying surface. If a band of renegade apiarists is dangerously close to discovering the galvanized-steel hive stocked with superbees in your neighbor's backyard, and you need to leave town, simply peel the mural and go; it's safe to remove and reapply numerous times.