Secret Chicago

See An Exciting First Look At The TEDxChicago 2022 Lineup

TEDxTalks is coming to Chicago. The series, which has risen in popularity over the years, focuses on highlighting industry leaders, authors, and emerging ideas by showcasing thought-provoking presentations.  The unique platform will be held on September 10th at ​​Harris Theater for Music and Dance, offering audience members a chance to engage in a series of one-of-a-kind unique shows, where every element tells Chicago’s expansive story.  TED was first started by Richard Saul Wurman, who co-founded it with Harry Marks in February 1984 as an informative conference. Since then, it has been held annually since 1990, moving into a viral YouTube series, and bringing information to the masses. 
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Chicago Signed A $422 Million Deal To Start Shifting City Operations To Renewable Energy By 2025

Clean energy is coming to Chicago courtesy of a new downstate solar energy plant as the city just finalized an agreement to start using clean, renewable energy by 2025. The goal is to run all city operations on 100% renewable energy by 2035. The contract is with Constellation New Energy LLC. in collaboration with Swift Current Energy and is valued at $422 million with the initial five-year contract starting in January. If plans go into effect, clean energy will be used to power O’Hare and Midway airports, the Harold Washington Library, and the Jardine Water Purification Plant. The Double Black Diamond solar farm, which will be owned by Swift Current Energy, will have the capacity to generate 593 megawatts.  The overall deal will go into place in 2025, with the city planning to use renewable energy from a new solar power farm in Sangamon and Morgan counties. It will be used to partially power its largest energy sources in the Chicago area. The city also plans to buy renewable energy credits from other sources to fund its other power uses, like the small and medium-sized buildings and streetlights throughout the area. 
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Small Cheval Brings Its Famous Burgers, Beer, And Shakes To A New Hyde Park Location

A locally loved hamburger chain Small Cheval is opening a brand new spin-off of its popular West Loop Diner. Located on 53rd Street, the Hyde Park location brings diners a simply stripped-back menu complete with delicious cocktails and a beautiful outdoor patio to enjoy.  The new location, located at 1307 E. 53rd St. sells hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries, and milkshakes along with plant-based burgers, draft beer, wine, and a fun selection of cocktails. Condiments are by Sir Kensington’s and made with all-natural ingredients!  A big draw to the new restaurant has to be its spacious dog-friendly outdoor patio and cozy indoor seating that’s stationed alongside the neighboring Nichols Park. The restaurant chain has additional locations in Gold Coast, Old Town, Riverside, and Wicker Park as well.

Celebrate Greek Culture With Delicious Food And Live Music At The Free Taste Of Greektown Festival This Month

Hosted by Greektown Chicago, and presented by the Greektown Chamber of Commerce,  the annual event returns for its 32nd year, bringing authentic food and drinks, live music, dancing, a gyro-eating contest, and so much more. Known to all as the city’s largest celebration of Hellenic cuisine and culture, the weekend event brings crowds together along Halstead Street for a celebration of acclaimed Greek food, live music, dancing, and local vendors. The festival is proud to host several acclaimed Greek restaurants in the area like 9 Muses Bar & Grill, Artopolis Bakery, Cafe and Agora, Athena Restaurant, Mr. Greek Gyros, and Spectrum Bar...

Hundreds Will Float Down The Chicago River This Weekend For An Inaugural Summer Float Party

Summer is always a glorious time in Chicagoland. Our calendars are marked with an array of our favorite annual events and it feels like every weekend something special is taking place. From exhilarating events like the Chicago Air and Water Show and festivals like Lollapalooza to charitable traditions like the Chicago Ducky Derby, the summer months are packed with all kinds of occasions. This weekend, a new event hopes to inaugurate itself into Chicago folklore. Instead of ducks, on Sunday people of Chicago will take to the Chicago River and float downstream themselves rain or shine from River Park in...

An Exciting New Indoor Water Park With A Rooftop Pool Is Coming To Calumet City

It’s time to make a splash! A Roaring Rivers Water Park is the latest addition to come to River Oaks Mall. The space, which was formerly a Sears, will feature a rooftop pool, lazy river, and multiple slides along with an entertainment venue filled with arcade games and rock climbing.   The Jackson Nuckolls Group, comprised of brother duo Syreeta Nuckolls and Gavin R. Jackson, recently announced the Calumet City Roaring Rivers Water Park. They own the private-owned real estate property and development company in Chicago and will lead the development of the water park. The company also plans to hire local construction crews and staff to manage the new space. The company said the new water park will bring over 100 permanent jobs and about 200 seasonal jobs to the area.  Locals of the area say this new park will be a great economic solution that will help foster solid growth in Calumet City. An adjacent hotel and conference center are also expected to break ground in the area as well. 

This TikTok Viral Cannabis Bakery Offers Delicious THC Infused Pastries and Coffee

Introducing Chicago’s original cannabis-infused bakery and coffee shop in Wicker Park: Wake-N-Bakery, which is located on Division St, has gone viral on TikTok thanks to its delicious treats, large drink menu, and oh yeah, the fact that it’s infused with THC or CBD. The popular cannabis bakery is a 21+ shop and offers a bevy of fun treats, coffees, and lemonades, too.  Recreational consumption, possession, and sales of cannabis products, which first became legal in the State of Illinois in January 2020. Since then, the TikTok famous bakery has become more popular than ever. Wake-N-Bakery has a large menu that includes bakery items like cinnamon coffee cake, s’mores bars, and chocolate chip cookies. There are tinctures, CBD dog treats, and so much more available as well.

An Essential List Of Chicago’s 32 Best Summer Patios, Terraces & Beer Gardens

Summer’s here and that means it’s time for some top-notch al-fresco dining! Chicago doesn’t play around when it comes to patio season. Come rain or shine, if a patio is open somewhere in the Windy City, guaranteed Chicagoans are out there clinking drinks. There are so many amazing options in our city, from kicking back on a riverside oasis in the center to taking in views of the Chicago skyline from a multi-tiered patio on the outskirts. We’ve rounded up our favorite patios all over the city to give you the ultimate patio list so have a scroll through and check our map at the bottom to see which patio, terrace, or beer garden is closest to you! There are few restaurant patios in Chicago as stylish as what’s offered at Beatnik. Inspired by writers and artists of the 1950s and 60s Beat Generation, Beatnik’s two equally elegant locations are consequently defined by dazzling international decor with bright tiles, hundreds of plants, and a lively bohemian vibe.

Keanu Reeves Is Set To Play Daniel Burnham In A New Series About Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair

Beloved actor Keanu Reeves is starring in a TV adaptation of  “The Devil in the White City” a nonfiction book by Erik Larson that was first published in 2003 about Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair.  Keanu Reeves has signed on to play Daniel Burnham— one of the most famous architects and designers in U.S. history. As the author of ‘Plan of Chicago’, and the source of the phrase “make no little plans,” Burnham is known as the co-conspirator of the World’s Columbian Exposition which was held in Chicago in 1893. Reeves will play Burnham, who is thought of as the father...

Learn To Skate From Roller Derby Pros At These Exhilarating New Roller-Skate Classes

For any skating novices in the Chicago area, the Windy City Rollers are hosting a skating clinic. The group is known as the premiere roller derby league in the area. Now, they’re giving you a chance to learn how to skate from some of the best in the business.  Participants can learn basic skating skills, new fitness techniques, and ways to stop on wheels. The classes, which cost $25 per person, will be held at the Willye B. White Park (1610 W. Howard St.)  from 10 AM to 12:30 PM on Saturday, Aug. 27th. No previous skating experience is necessary at the clinic, and don’t worry about bringing skates– there will also be equipment available to borrow thanks to Triple 8 NYC, and 187 Killer Pads. Find updates on the Windy City Rollers official Facebook page. 

Chicago Has Been Named One Of The Best Cities For Dating In The U.S.

Romance is abloom, in Chicago– or at least it is according to a recent poll conducted on From Mars,  a digital health platform for men. According to the poll, Chicago is one of the best dating spots in the U.S, ranking high on the list of ‘best cities to go on a date in’. The poll factored in the following variables in order to determine the likelihood of dating in the city, including the number of restaurants, nightlife venues, and romantic activities per square mile. This is in conjunction with popular Google searches for date ideas placed between May 2021 to April 2022.  Whether you head to a rooftop bar, a cozy restaurant or take a walk around the Riverwalk, there are endless date-ready options at your disposal. The poll agree’s, as Chicago scored highly among the cities listed, with over 40 restaurants and two nightlife venues in the city per square mile. There were also 42,000 Google searches for date ideas in Chicago during the above time period. 

​​See Lady Gaga At Her Wrigley Field Tour Date On August 15th

Lady Gaga is heading to Wrigley Field for her previously scheduled Chicago tour stop. Initially planned for August 27, 2021, she’s finally made her way over to perform her latest album, Chromatica. The Chromatica Ball was initially planned for 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Now, she’s back on her first world tour in four years, with a stacked setlist including hits like Born This Way, Bad Romance, Telephone, and news songs like Chromatica I. Tickets for the show fall in the $200 range depending on where you’re sitting, with pit tickets going for over $1,000.  It was also announced that Lady Gaga’s Born This Way foundation donated $75,000 to 22 organizations around the country, a few of which are Chicago-based. Gaga’s foundation is working with the Kindness In Community Fund, offering grants to the Chicago-local Midwest Asian Health Association, AKA MAHA, which helps underserved immigrants of the Chinatown neighborhood and surrounding areas, along with Erika’s Lighthouse, a program designed to help teens dealing with mental health struggles. They are to receive a $25,000 donation to the Teen Empowerment Program..

These Are The Best Places To Watch The Chicago Air And Water Show

The Chicago Air and Water Show returns to Chicago on August 20th and 21st. Take in the show-stopping view as jets fly overhead in gravity-defying stunts. The annual show, which has been held on the shores of Lake Michigan since 1995, is back this month. Keep scrolling to find out the full schedule and the best spots to view this incredible event. Admission is free for any beach-goers and considering the show itself is half in the sky, and half in the water, you can’t go wrong with a prime beach view. The show itself is centered around the beaches on...

Viral Tik-Tok Sensation Korean Cheese Dogs Opens In Lincoln Park

With one location in Chinatown, and more throughout the U.S., Kong Dog has decided to expand its offerings into the Lincoln Park area, bringing delicious Korean cheese dogs to the masses. With unique coatings including Hot Cheetos, sweet fruit pebbles, and Doritos, these corn dogs are truly unlike any other.  The deep-fried corn dogs are going viral on Tik-Tok, with everyone raving about the quirky combo options like a sweet potato coating, churro flavoring, or ramen. The spot is already popular with diners, with a full list of drink options from bubble tea with boba, to flavored lemonades, and more.    The menu also features a classic corn dog amongst a spaghetti dog, and an injeolmi dog made with yellow bean powder and filled with half meat, and half mozzarella cheese. As for the fillings, customers can choose between a traditional hotdog, full cheese options, or a plant-based sausage. 

A Family-Run Independent Bookstore Is Opening This Fall In West Lakeview

Three Avenues Bookshop is opening on Southport Avenue this fall after years of residents asking for a local bookstore in the area. Southport, AKA West Lakeview, is known for its calm streets, independent stores, and sweet coffee spots. Luckily, Three Avenues Bookshop will fit right in, as residents are sure to embrace the new spot with open arms. While the space is still under construction, owners Tim and Jordan are excited to bring their vision to life.  The bookstore is expected to open in either September or October with construction underway now. It will be located at 3003 N. Southport Avenue at the intersection of Southport, Lincoln, and Wellington. According to the official website, the new store aims to promote literacy, connection, and engagement within the community and beyond, writing, “We believe in independent bookstores and the power that stories have to open our minds and bring people together.”

Over 60 Acres Of Sunflowers Are Officially Blooming In Matthiessen State Park

Head to Oglesby, IL for a glimpse of endless, gorgeous sunflower fields at Matthiessen State Park. The park covers a total of 1,629 acres with over 60 dedicated exclusively to towering sunflower fields. It’s a sight to behold, filled to the brim with yellow blooms. The flowers ​first begin to bloom in mid-to-late July, and start to wilt around Labor Day, so head on over soon for a look at the field in all its glory.  

A Gorgeous New Rooftop Patio Just Open In Ravenswood Serving American Classics And Craft Beer

When the much-loved Fountainhead closed during the pandemic, nobody knew what was going to replace it. After sitting empty for two years, LM Restaurant Group has swooped in to open its third Land & Lake location. The rooftop has been renovated, adding a covered bar, ceiling fans, and large umbrellas, but still keeping with the cozy neighborhood-centric feel. Seating 80+ people, the new patio is sure to be a hit with al-fresco summer diners. The indoor space features a mural by Jason Brammer, depicting historically significant buildings in the area. The menu stays true to the Land & Lakes two other locations in The Loop and Andersonville, serving up classic American dishes, and a bevy of local spirits. The new location also hopes to bring in drinks from the nearby Malt Row, an industrial location teeming with breweries. They also plan to expand to daily service and weekend brunch– featuring bottomless mimosas. Land & Lake is currently open for dinner Thursday through Saturday from 4-11 PM and Sunday from 4-9 PM. Address: 1970 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

Harry Potter™: Magic At Play To Make Worldwide Debut In Chicago This Fall

The highly-anticipated Harry Potter™: Magic at Play experience, created by Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment and Superfly X, will be unveiled in downtown Chicago on November 11, taking over 30,000 square feet at the Water Tower Place at 835 Michigan Avenue—and tickets are going fast! “When we set out to create Harry Potter™: Magic At Play with our partners at Superfly X, we knew we wanted to bring Harry Potter’s world to fans in a hands-on and tactile way that gives all ages but especially our younger guests the ability to experience and play with the wizarding world like never before,”...

Celebrate Latinx Culture With Vibrant Art and Performances At The Free LatiNxt Festival This Weekend

This Saturday and Sunday, head to the Navy Pier to celebrate Latinx culture at the ​​fifth annual celebration of modern Latin music and arts! The LatiNxt Festival is all about connecting traditional Latin music with contemporary sounds.  The event is free for all to enjoy, with cutting-edge performances, engaging art vendors, and music that calls on the Latin American diaspora. The festival is all about exploring new ways of connecting to traditional Latin cultural traditions that involve live music, sound, and art. Featuring local, national, and international artists, expect a host of music performances at the Navy Pier’s Lake Stage, Beer Garden, and Wave Wall.  Performances include Silvana Estrada, a young Jazz vocalist, the Meridian Brothers, a contemporary neo-tropicalista group, Guatemalan native, Rebeca Lane, along with Reyna Tropical who boasts the tagline “Queer Love & Afro-Mexico” and many others. Vendors are curated by the Pilsen Community Market.

The Winner Of The $1.34B Lottery Is From The Chicago Suburbs But They Still Remain A Mystery

An Illinois resident took home the $1.34B lottery ticket. The jackpot-winning ticket, which was drawn this past Friday night, was purchased at a Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, IL.  The winning numbers for the biggest prize in state history were 13-36-45-57-67, with a Mega Ball of 14. Residents of the area say it’s crazy that the gas station at 885 E. Touhy Ave. was the one to print and sell the winning ticket. The store that sold the ticket also wins pretty big too, at least according to the Illinois Lottery. The Speedway will receive half a million dollars just for selling the ticket! This is now the second largest jackpot in over 20 years of the Mega Millions game, which only is topped by the $1.537 billion prize won in October 2018. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302.5 million. Who knows, you could have passed the winner in the city at one point or another. There’s a chance we could never know who won, as they are not required to come forward in the state of Illinois.