Elite Moving & Storage is a full-service moving company that can handle your moving and storage needs. On this blog you will find blog movng tips to help our customers navigate through the stresses of moving.
If you love Chicago Chicago, you know it’s way more than the Mag Mile, the Loop, and Wrigley Field. Once you delve deep into the culture here, you’ll find so many places to explore. And we know you’re familiar with our world-class museums, such as the Field Museum of Natural History, the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, the Museum of Natural History. But here are a few off-the-beaten-path museums within city limits you may not have visited yet – and you should.
National Museum of Mexican Art
You’ll get free admission to this museum in the Pilsen neighborhood, which showcases 3,000 years of creativity and connects visitors to Mexican culture through art. Right now the special exhibit is “Placemaking & Landmarks: The Creation of Mexican Spaces in la Dieciocho (Pilsen)” and “Luis Tapia: Sculpture as Sanctuary.”
Frederick C. Robie House
Although it’s currently offering limited access because of a major renovation, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House is a beautiful example of the type of Prairie Style architecture that Wright pioneered. Take a tour from knowledgeable interpreters who can shed light on Wright, his work, and his Chicago roots. This is a good chance to see a restoration in progress! And if you want more Wright, you can also check out The Rookery in the Loop.
DuSable Museum of African American History
The DuSable Museum is a small but exciting institution designed to inspire understanding and appreciation for the achievements and experiences of African Americans. The featured exhibits are “Clearing A Path for Democracy: Citizen Soldiers of the Eight Illinois National Guard” and “Rewriting History: paper gowns and photographs.” Museum is closed Mondays and free on Tuesdays.
International Museum of Surgical Science
Here, you’ll find more than 7,000 medical artifacts from multiple centuries. These include tools, original x-rays, skulls, and fine art. This is North America’s only museum devoted to surgery, and it features everything from mysteries to breakthroughs. Learn about history and modern healing practices and everything in between! Open daily.
Museum of Broadcast Communications
Interested in the media? This cool space narrates a history that includes radio, television, and the Internet. Right now, you can go there and check out “Saturday Night Life: The Experience,” complete with interactive sets and props, or visit “Watching TV in the 1990s.” Sounds like fun, right? The museum is closed on Mondays.
American Writer’s Museum
This little museum on the Mag Mile is the first of its kind in the country. State-of-the-art exhibitions take you into the mind of a writer, children’s literature, and more. Special exhibits right now include “Capturing Stories: Photographs of Writers by Art Shay” and “Laura Ingalls Wilder: From Prairie to Page.” The museum is closed on Mondays.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
This cool museum, across the street from Lincoln Park Zoo, is a perfect place for families to explore nature. There are places to climb and explore, both inside and outside, and the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven is the best! Try to come during a butterfly release. You’ll see plenty of other live animals as well, and the “Birds of Paradise” current exhibit. Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois residents.
Pritzker Military Museum & Library
You might miss this multi-story space because it’s a bit dwarfed by the Art Institute across this street. But if you’re at all interested in military history and the intersection of politics, international relations, and people, you might enjoy a visit. The special exhibit now is “Lest We Forget: Sailors, Sammies, and Doughboys over there in World War I.”
Over at the University of Chicago, you can explore the ancient world with art and artifacts from the ancient Near East. Right now the museum is being enhanced, so some exhibitions are temporarily closed, but the collection here is really significant and exciting. The special exhibitions right now are “The Book of the Dead: Becoming God in Ancient Egypt” and “The First 100 Years: Anatolian Studies in Chicago.” Museum is closed on Mondays.
Smart Museum of Art
Also at the University of Chicago, this art museum features 15,000 objects in collections spanning Asian art, contemporary art, European art, and more. Current exhibits are designed to show how the Museum shaes the intellectual life of the school with the public. They include “The History of Perception,” “Selections from A History of Modernism,” and “Conversation with the Collection: Building/Environments.” Museum is closed on Mondays, and is free.
Elite Moving & Storage Knows Chicago – count on us!
We’ve been here for a long time, and we’re experts not just on moving, but on the city. That’s great, when you’re maneuvering the moving process in and out of Chicago. Get an estimate today!
Identity theft is big business these days, and it’s also a giant hassle for victims trying to prove who they are. Moving is one of the times you’re most vulnerable to this crime. And it’s a stressful enough time already, don’t you think? Don’t add to your woes by leaving yourself open to having your information stolen.
Over the years, we at Elite Moving & Storage have learned a few tricks to help you navigate the details of a move, so count on us. Here are a few tips to stop identity theft before it happens.
Before Your Move
Moving often includes a lot of decluttering. You’ll be getting rid of papers and files, along with unneeded clothing and toys. Make sure any ones that include sensitive information are shredded. Also, make sure you submit a Change of Address form to the U.S. Postal Service at least a week before you move. If companies send your mail to the wrong address, personal information could end up in the wrong hands. You may also want to notify your bank, utility companies, schools, insurance companies, and other services about your new move.
If your home is being shown to potential buyers, keep your wills, passports, tax returns, birth certificates, financial statements, medical records, tax returns, and anything with sensitive information out of the house, or in a locked cabinet or drawer. Do the same when contractors come in for painting, carpeting, or other services. Are you hiring movers? Check their Better Business Bureau rating. Ours is an A+, and any movers you hire should have a similar rating. Make sure your moving company gets good reviews, is trustworthy, and can be responsible for sensitive items. This is important for your peace of mind, as well as your wallet.
During Your Move
If you’re taking documents and electronic devices that might reveal personal information with you, consider leaving them out of the hands of movers. If you can keep them in your line of sight, they’ll be safest. We recommend keeping these items with you if at all possible.
Stick around while the moving process happens. If you’re there supervising, there are fewer opportunities for anything bad to happen, whether it’s things going missing without your realizing it, or someone sneaking in and taking things. We can vouch for our drivers, but there are plenty of moving companies out there that may be more careless. If you can’t be there, find a trusted friend or family member who can.
After Your Move
If you haven’t already, once you’ve settled in a bit, change your address with every website you shop with. Make sure all the businesses you work with have your new information. Do your best to remember everyone. Doing this now can save you headaches later. Verify that your mail is now being forwarded, and check utilities to make sure they’ve been closed at the old address. Check your credit reports.
Even though your move is complete, and you think you’ve taken care of everything, stuff still happens. You may have missed a credit card company that sends your bill, complete with account information, to your old address. Savvy thieves might be able to use your old address for new accounts. Some credit card companies and other financial institutions may offer identity theft protection for a small fee; utilize this for a few months just to make sure.
For peace of mind, consider moving with Elite Moving & Storage!
Elite Moving & Storage has seen it all. With your years of experience, we don’t just move you from Point A to Point B, we also advise you on how to do it right. Are you ready to move into Chicago, or out of Chicago? Let us know how we can help! Get a free quote today.
We love shopping in Chicago – it’s a traditional retail paradise here. Winter’s a great time to shop, whether you’re engaging in downtown bustle or suburban leisure time. Looking for top brands, unique markets, or great deals? No problem! Check out some of our favorite spots for spending money.
1. The Mag Mile
There’s no topping the shops on Michigan Avenue for internationally-known brand names. Apple, Burberry, Nieman Marcus, Giorgio Armani, Tiffany & Co., Kenneth Cole, the Disney Store, the American Girl Store – it’s all here. From the Chicago River at Wacker Drive up to about Oak Street (and don’t miss turning down Oak Street), you can find countless vertical malls (Water Tower Place, 900 North Michigan Shops) boutiques, department stores, and pretty much anything you want.
2. Fashion Outlets of Chicago
Over in Rosemont near O’Hare International Airport, this giant full-service indoor mall features great food, art, and amazing deals. It’s the kind of place people drive from neighboring states just to visit, because the deals are so great and they’re on top-tier brand names like Tory Burch and Gucci and Barney’s.
3. Suburban Mall-Hopping
Still one of the largest indoor malls in the U.S., Woodfield is out in Shaumburg, about 40 minutes northwest of downtown. But there are tons of great malls in the suburbs, from Oakbrook Center in the western suburbs to Westfield Shoppingtown Old Orchard in Skokie. Movie theaters, exciting restaurants, and much more make these family-friendly places to see, do, and buy.
4. State Street and Jeweler’s Row
In the Loop area, you can find the Macy’s that used to be Marshall Field’s, a historic center of retail in Chicago. A number of discount stores line State Street here, catering to students and those of us who can’t afford the goods on the Mag Mile. And, if you turn onto Wabash Ave. about a block east of the south end, you’ll be in Jeweler’s Row.
5. Chicago Neighborhoods
From edgy retailers in Lakeview to home design stores in Andersonville, Chicago’s neighborhoods are purveyors of the unique and funky. Logan Square features indie shops you’ll love. Lincoln Square caters to the hip and new; Chinatown is perfect for gifts and Hello Kitty lovers. West Devon St. is perfect for your Bollywood craving. Love vintage clothing and cool little shops? Take a jaunt down to Wicker Park.
6. Suburban Downtowns
Suburban downtowns are a bit off the beaten path for many, yet still a great place for retail discoveries. In Naperville, for example, we’re talking a city center full of popular and high-end retailers, along with upscale entertainment options and attractions. In Wilmette, you can experience great little boutiques and unique restaurants. In Long Grove, the picturesque surroundings allow for charming excursions and a visit to a famous chocolate shop. In Oak Park, an old-style movie theater nestles among so many cool places to stop. We urge you to get out and explore, because you never know what you’ll find around the Chicago area.
Don’t limit yourself! Chicago and its suburbs are full of hidden shopping gems!
We know, because this is our home turf, and we live and shop here ourselves. We at Elite Moving & Storage love Chicago and the suburbs, and we want to help you move there (or out, or around, no judgment here). Let us know how we can help you. Get an estimate with us today!
The festival season in Chicago starts in May, with the opening of Chicago City Markets and the 20th annual Chicago Kids and Kites Festival on May 5, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do until then. This city always has something going on, even in the dead of winter!
2018 in Chicago has been designated the Year of Creative Youth, which means we’ll see city-wide programming focusing on opportunities for youth organizations throughout the year. We’ll also have great arts programming continually during 2018. Here are a few other events to look forward to during the first three months of this year.
1. Chicago Restaurant Week, January 26-February 8
Every year, 350+ Chicago (and suburban) restaurants create prix-fixe meal deals so that it’s as easy as possible to try new places for less money. From city favorites to trendy hotspots, the restaurants participating in Restaurant Week are showcasing their best! The event begins with the First Bites Bash preview party on January 25, and continues for two weeks. You might want to make reservations now for popular places. Visit the website to see who’s on the list this year.
2. Museum Free Days, through the end of February
This time of year can be relatively slow for museums, which means they’ll be offering free days for Illinois residents through the end of February. Adler Planetarium free days include January 3, 4, 7-12, 15-19, and February 2, 5-9, 19-22. Shedd Aquarium free days include January 15, 18, 19, 22-26, and February 2 and 14. The Field Museum of Natural History, which will be retiring Sue the T-Rex from the main hall in February, offers free days on January 3, 4, 15, 27, 28, and all of February. The Museum of Science and Industry is free Mondays-Thursdays through February 15, and also from February 20-22 and February 26-27. Brookfield Zoo in the suburbs is free Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays through February 28. Other museums also feature regular free days throughout the year. By the way, Chicago Museum Week takes place January 18-26, in case you’re looking for special events and tours, and deals on membership.
3. Chicago Theatre Week, February 8-18
Celebrate the world-class theatre scene in Chicago with opportunities to see more than 120 local productions at a discount. Tickets for this period of time cost $15 and $30, with discounts on sale starting January 9. Participating theaters include everyone from the Apollo Theater and the Auditorium Theatre to The Second City and Writers Theatre. See the Joffrey Ballet, experience Steppenwolf or Goodman or Chicago Shakespeare – it’s all available now! The event is being hosted by the League of Chicago Theatres.
4. Celebrate the Holidays!
Valentine’s Day, February 14, is a day when many restaurants offer special romantic meals, so check your favorite Chicago eatery to find out what it’s offering, whether it’s a heart-shaped pizza or a steak and wine dinner for two. Celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year with a parade in Chinatown on February 25. Go downtown for the Dyeing of the Chicago River on March 17, followed by the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Celebrate Easter, which this year takes place on April 1, with brunch, Easter egg hunts, and more at local parks, zoos, and attractions.
5. Public Shows
Some high-profile trade shows come to the area during this season, and this is a great time to attend them. The Chicago Auto Show takes place February 10-19 at McCormick Place, showing off the latest trends in the world of cars. Other shows you might want to look at include the Chicago Travel & Adventure Show on February 10-11 at the DES Convention Center in Rosemont, The Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden on February 10-March 25, the giant Chicago Golf Show at the DES Convention Center on February 23-25, the Chicago Flower & Garden Show at Navy Pier on March 14-18. In April, C2E2, the giant comic book convention, comes to McCormick Place. For a calendar of shows at the DES Convention Center, click here. For a calendar of shows at McCormick Place, click here.
Elite Moving Knows Chicago!
We love this city, and we understand how it works. That makes moving in and out of this place a labor of love for us – and a breeze for you. If you want to know more about our operation and how we can help you, contact us and get an estimate today.
There’s no way around it – moving is expensive. But hopefully, at the end of the road is a better situation, a higher quality of living, and a new start. Moving is also stressful, but you can reduce both your expenses and your anxiety by following some tips from the experts here at Elite Moving & Storage. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we’ve seen it all! We know how to help you reduce your expenses and get the most out of the process.
Hire reasonably-priced, dependable movers
Look, we know you’re thinking, “Ha, of course they’re going to say you should hire movers because they’re a moving company.” Okay, fine. If you feel comfortable doing that, do it. But think about it carefully, and weigh the pros and cons, and calculate the costs of renting your own trucks and getting supplies yourself. Using movers can prove cheaper in the end because of their expertise and speed. Don’t forget to factor in the potential relationship outcomes of using your family as free unskilled labor.
But, do your research – contact different companies, look at reviews, and get insurance. Try to move during slow times, such as the middle of the week or the month, or winter, to reduce costs. If you need storage, see if your moving company has a deal. Remember that the more you have the moving company do, the more it will cost. So, if you can pack things on your own, do that.
Create a timeline that will allow you to do the tasks you need to do on a schedule you set out. Set a budget that takes every element into account. Don’t forget to count costs of packing materials. You’ll need packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, and other items. This might be one of your biggest expenses, so try to get boxes free from grocery stores, big retailers, and wholesalers like Costco. Check freecycling sites, liquor stores, and mail offices. The boxes must be in good condition! Note, though, that you won’t want to pack fragile items in free boxes, since you won’t know how strong they still are. Instead, invest in double-walled china boxes or dish packs.
Know what tasks you’re going to relegate to the movers and set out what you’re going to take with you personally. Know what goes where in your new home, and whether or not everything’s going to fit. Are you going to need storage? Do you have specialty items, such as a rare and valuable piano? Keep track of your expenses; you may be able to deduct them come tax time.
Moving is always a great time to unload those things you don’t need. It’s cheaper, and less work, to move fewer things. Your movers may actually charge you based on weight if you’re moving out of state, so this can be a significant savings. This might be a good opportunity to upgrade some of your belongings!
Measure your new place to find out if anything won’t fit – and then get rid of the items that don’t. Do you really need those old appliances or that treadmill you never use? Have a yard sale. Donate to charity and get the tax deduction. Ultimately, you need to be smart about what you put into your new home and how it gets there if you want to save yourself some dough.
Get more moving tips from us!
When creating your budget, don’t forget to set aside some funds for AFTER the move. You’ll need extra to get your home running at a minimum level. You’ll need to replenish your food supplies and send in deposits for utilities, at a minimum. And if your house needs repair, you’ll need to take care of that as well. You might consider selling your boxes after you’re done, at places like boxcycle.com or on Craigslist. It won’t be too much, but every little bit helps!
Want more information and advice? That’s what we’re here for! Elite Moving & Storage offers expert advice on every part of your move. Get an estimate today, and get the benefit of our years of experience moving people in and out of the Chicago area.
It’s the last night before your move. You’re trying to make sure you have all your i’s dotted and t’s crossed. But it’s hard – how can you possibly predict all the things that might go wrong? Moving isn’t really a fun process, and last-minute issues can make it even worse. But Elite Moving can help! Here are some ways to mitigate the effects of unexpected changes.
Get as organized as you can prior to the move
Having a piece of paper (or a digital file) that shows 1) what needs to be done 2) what’s already been done and 3) what steps you need to take is helpful even when everything goes awry. You can use it as a checklist to mark off items, and you can add and subtract tasks during the process. So, if something happens, you can add it and all the various steps it affects. This helps make sure everything gets done, and allows you to look at all the progress you’ve made in one place.
Things to consider as you plan: hiring movers, placing furniture, making sure you have plenty of boxes and packaging materials, obtaining special packaging for fragile and valuable items, and taking into account any logistics for moving into a new building and getting out of the old. Don’t forget to look at parking rules in front of your new home, and take care of those change of address cards!
Utilize all the tools at your disposal
For example, don’t forget that your moving company may have options for storage! In some cases, moving boxes to a storage unit, then taking them out and unpacking them at your leisure, may reduce the chaos on moving day. If you were forced to move in a hurry, this might be a helpful way to go.
Solicit help from friends, and definitely hire movers. You may need all the assistance you can get! Having trouble getting everything boxed before the move? Movers can pack items for you. They’ll certainly make moving bulky items much easier! If you hire a dependable service that takes schedule changes and mishaps in stride, you’ll definitely feel better about any last-minute hiccups. Also, know who can help you at your new home or building – superintendents, key holders, neighbors. Keep those numbers on your phone or someplace handy.
Be flexible, and know that things will happen
Moving is one of those stressful endeavors that may not turn out as you hope, no matter how well you plan. Unforeseeable events may take place – the cargo elevator in your new building isn’t open. Your furniture doesn’t fit into the stairwell or your new living room. Your time frame is way shorter than you thought it was going to be. No one in your family shows up to help you move.
Get as ready as you can, but then remember that you will probably have to adjust based on real-time events. It’s okay – take a deep breath, and change that list again. If you’re as prepared as you can be prior to the move, making a few changes won’t be as big a deal.
Move with Elite Moving & Storage
The nice thing about hiring dependable professional movers is that they show up when they’re supposed to, do most of the work, and leave you free to handle the other stuff. Elite Moving & Storage prides itself on being able to roll with the punches, overcoming any obstacles that may come your way. If you’re worried about last-minute issues, contact us so we can help you feel better about all the moving parts you’re dealing with.
It’s officially cold here in the Chicago area. Moving seems like it’s not that fun this time of year, but actually, there are certain advantages. For one, prime moving season happens between May and September – which means that it’s easier to get movers on the times and dates that you want, and finding a place may be easier or cheaper. Of course, there are problems, too. A little caution, foresight, and flexibility will get you through! And Elite Moving’s guide to cold-weather moving will help.
Take the weather into account
As your moving day comes near, make sure to check weather reports to make sure that you’re prepared. Of course, Chicago weather is notoriously changeable and often unpredictable, so you’ll want to keep that in mind. Remember to keep your cold-weather supplies easily available. You may need your snowblower, coats, gloves, and scrapers. And lots of towels.
If there’s going to be lots of snow, plan your moving route to include main streets that are likely to be shoveled and salted. If the weather is going to be bad, avoiding busy streets might be the way to go. Clear your sidewalks and driveways so that moving your belongings is less dangerous. At your new place, make sure all the utilities are working before you move in. Do this a few days in advance so you can deal with any problems before moving day. Make sure your car is also ready.
Take care of your people and pets
Some sites recommend turning off your heat during a move; we don’t, as we think a couple of hours aren’t going to be that much of a hit on your utility bill, and Chicago is no fun in icy temps. Still, it will be colder in your house because need doors will be propped open. It might be nice to provide warming alternatives for you and your helpers – a warm bathroom with a space heater, for example, or a carafe full of hot coffee in the kitchen (don’t forget cups!).
If you have small children and pets, do your best to keep them away from the chaos of moving. This will expedite the moving process and lower your stress levels – as well as theirs. Arrange care for your pets and kids in advance. Consider boarding your pets, so they don’t get underfoot or lost during the moving process. If you wish your kids to be part of the moving experience, let them pack and move their toys at the end of the move. This lets them feel part of the crew, but keeps them away while the big stuff is being done.
Take care of your things
Take shorter days into account, and get started early. Know what kind of action is likely to be happening on your street – will trucks come out to shovel the snow while you’re moving? Are there parking restrictions in place due to snow or season?
Snow, ice, and dirt may very well get into your car, your old home, and your new home. Make sure towels are available to wipe down furniture and boxes. Put mats or tarps down on your floors to soak up snow and water. Cover your boxes and furniture with blankets or sheets as you move them outside to minimize moisture and damage due to inclement weather conditions.
Be extra careful with fragile items and electronics. Electronics don’t like the cold, so know where you’re placing them and take care to keep them with you in a warm car. Fragile items can be packed with additional cushioning to avoid breakage. Remember that moving trucks may sit out overnight, so if your items can be damaged by cold you’ll want to make alternative arrangements.
Seriously, hire movers. Professionals know how to deal with this kind of weather. Listen to them. They have plenty of experience in moving, and they know what works.
Consider Elite Moving & Storage for all your winter moving needs!
Part of our job at Elite Moving & Storage is to advise you on how to make hassle-free moves, and we’re good at it. We’ve been moving people in Chicago for 11 winters now, and we know what we’re doing. The winter move of a two-bedroom apartment that may take you all day can be done by our professionals in just five hours!
If you’re moving in the winter, you’ll have to be careful and work out as many elements in advance as possible. You’ll also have to be flexible! Elite Moving & Storage can help – get an estimate today.
The thing about moving is, the less you have to move, the easier it is. I don’t know about you, but I’m no minimalist. If you’re like me, this means that prior to any move you’ll have to go through your things and just get rid of as much junk as you can. Own clothes you are hoping will come back into fashion…someday? Do you have small kitchen appliances that seemed like a good idea when you bought them, except that you’re never going to actually grind your own coffee beans? Do you own a heap of electronics for which you’re going to get that part you need as you have the spare time (spoiler alert: you’ll never have the time)?
Then it’s time to declutter. We realize this can be a tough process for some, but the closer you are to your deadline, the harder it will be to keep things organized for your move. Fortunately, we at Elite Moving & Storage, being the best moving company around, have seen it all. We can show you exactly what to do.
Start now and start small
Even if your move is months away, don’t delay. Trust me, you’re going to have lots to do as the day arrives, and any work you can put in beforehand is good. Yes, it may seem overwhelming, but it’s easier if you can do it before the stress kicks in. The key is to do it before you’ve packed anything. Is it really worth the effort to put something into a box and move it halfway across the country, or even onto the third floor or your average Chicago walk-up, if you’re never going to use it?
Start with small spaces – a junk drawer, a cabinet. Get into your refrigerator and throw out things that are expired. Honestly, a lot of clutter happens in small spaces! You can do these quickly, and they’ll motivate you for the larger spaces as you notice that you’ve made progress. Do a little bit every day, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly the mess recedes.
Be methodical and make a plan
Decide how you’re going to attack the clutter. Have the items you will need for the process of decluttering on hand, such as trash bags or boxes for donation and storage. Know what your options are, in terms of getting rid of your stuff. Set yourself a deadline by arranging a pickup with a charity, or put an ad online for the date you’re going to have that yard sale.
Remember that initially, it’ll be pretty obvious what you need to throw away. Start with that. Then, it’ll get more difficult. Just work on decreasing the amount of stuff you have, and then focus on what’s left, one area at a time. Make goals – fill one trash bag, or set a timer for five minutes in which you just focus on getting rid of stuff. Then, set aside longer times for digging into the mess. And then just keep going!
Make it fun, and don’t stress – yet!
Invite friends over to help, and then take them out to dinner for their efforts! That way, you get a bit of assistance, and a reward to boot. Or hey, skip the helping part and just go for a reward with your friends after some of the hard work is done. That works also.
Give yourself a bit of leeway to keep things you truly love, but be strict with yourself, too. For example, if you have papers you think might be useful someday, maybe you could just scan them into your computer instead instead of taking a pile of papers with you. In the meantime, decluttering may help you unearth items you’ve forgotten about. That can be part of the fun!
Get help from Elite Moving & Storage
Depending on your personality, decluttering can be an easy process or a more difficult one, so do what you can to give yourself the advantage. And not just in decluttering – in the entire moving process! That’s what Elite is here for. We’re one of the best moving companies in the Chicagoland area, and we want to help you. Get an estimate today!
The city of Chicago offers some pretty spectacular lights, sounds, and activities during the holiday season – but the suburbs are full of snowy, seasonal, sensational excitement too. Want proof? Here are 10 amazing places and events for holiday fun with your family this year.
1. Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum
Through January 1, you can come to this beautiful site in the western suburbs for a bit of natural holiday cheer. The mile-long outdoor tour takes you through the arboretum’s tree collections to experience the melding of technology and nature. Interact with trees in ways you never imagined, and enjoy treats and warming stations along the way.
2. Wonderland Express at the Chicago Botanic Garden
Kids who love trains will adore this annual exhibit, which is a true family favorite. Model trains travel in and out of miniature Chicago landmarks made from organic materials – while it snows, indoors! The event also includes ice sculpting, a holiday market, caroling, free movies, and visits to the greenhouses.
3. Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
Now in its 36th year, the seasonal celebration at the zoo features over a million LED lights, a talking tree, performances, a model railroad, Santa and Mrs. Claus, cooking decorating, singing to the animals, and zoo chats. Animal exhibits remain open until 8 p.m. in the evening. The event is open on weekend evenings through December 17, then runs December 26-31 and ends with Zoo Year’s Eve.
4. Christkindmarket Naperville
The same Christkindlmarket that comes to Daley Plaza every year also has a suburban home. Through December 24, you can visit holiday vendors at this traditional German market. Buy gifts, food and beverages, and enjoy seasonal events. It’ll be a bit crowded, but parking is definitely better than in downtown Chicago.
5. Home for the Holidays at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio
In Oak Park, the house where famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright lived hosts a free holiday open house on Saturday, December 2. Get a tour, enjoy refreshments, participate in a holiday design project, and see the way the home has been decorated in keeping with Wright family tradition. Event is free, but registration is required.
6. Celebrate the Season at Rosemont’s MB Financial Park
The Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the park at Rosemont takes place Friday, November 24 starting at 5 p.m. Starting that day you can also enjoy free ice skating, including the Sunday Funday Characters on Ice free skate from December 3-24. Then, take advantage of one of the great restaurants and entertainment venues surrounding the park.
7. Geneva’s Christmas Walk
Geneva’s event to kick off the holidays on December 1 hearkens back to Swedish tradition. At 6 p.m., Santa Lucia and Santa Claus arrive and the lighting of the great tree takes place. Roasted chestnuts, strolling carolers and a live nativity follow. Complimentary carriage rides are offered, and you can also participate in the Holiday House Tour on December 1 and 2 (tickets are $35 for tour and tea), visiting five architecturally unique homes decorated for the holidays.
8. Elf the Musical at the Paramount Aurora
The Broadway Series at this beautiful old theater in the far western suburbs will be presenting “Elf The Musical” through January 7. Based on the 2003 Christmas movie that’s become a seasonal classic, this version is a feel-good musical extravaganza that will make your holiday season a little brighter.
9. Take a Holiday Train Ride
If your family wants to ride the Polar Express or similarly-themed holiday trains, you can find one in almost every suburb! Tickets are still available. Our favorites include the Happy Holiday Railway from Union’s Illinois Railway Museum, and the South Elgin Polar Express.
The suburbs are pretty fun here in Chicagoland, whether it’s warm or cold. Moving here? Moving out of here? Elite Moving & Storage has you covered. Get a free estimate from us, and let us know how we can help you with your moving and storage needs.
Chicago has so much going on this time of year. Enjoy the festivities, which always remind us what a great city we live in, and how lucky we are at Elite Moving & Storage to have such proximity to amazing attractions!
You may have seen this one on WGN. Every Thanksgiving morning, this exciting event along State Street includes regional high school marching bands, equestrian units, celebrities, performances, giant balloons, and floats. Expect over 5,000 participants, and hundreds of thousands of spectators lining the route.
3. Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
The city’s 104th official Christmas tree lighting takes place in Millennium Park on Friday, November 17. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. with holiday music from the Goodman Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol,” country trio Temecula Road, and the Oakdale Christian Academy Choir. This year’s tree is a 62-foot Norway Spruce with a 37-foot base!
4. Ice Skating at McCormick-Tribune Rink and Maggie Daley Park
Ice skating actually takes place all over the city during Chicago’s winters, but if you want a view of the city’s iconic skyline, you have two awesome options. The McCormick-Tribune rink is located right underneath the Bean (er, we mean Cloud Gate), which makes for some cool skating. The Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon (with treat vendors along the path) actually lets you do something other than skate in a circle. Both rinks are free, but skate rentals will cost you.
5. Chicago Trolley’s Holiday Lights Tour
Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Co. offers an evening tour during the season to show off the city’s festive light displays. The ride includes a free Sprinkles cupcake and just a couple of stops, at Chicago’s historic Christkindlmarket and ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo. Even those of us who live here learn from the company’s knowledgeable guides, so don’t miss this!
6. Fifth Third Bank Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier
Wrigley Field is an enchanted place no matter the time of year, but this season it’s upping its game with holiday festivities at the new Park at Wrigley. The Park will have its own Christkindlmarket, starting November 24, and will also open an ice skating rink ($5 admission for 13 and up, plus skate rentals). A tree lighting ceremony takes place from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 28, and then Santa’s Workshop opens. We love this new addition to Chicago holidays!
8. Visiting Chicago Museums
Museums are a no-brainer because they’re warm and fun no matter when you go. This is your last chance to see Sue the T-Rex in the main hall at the Field Museum, before she’s moved upstairs next year to make room for a new dinosaur addition. “Jurassic World: The Exhibition” and “Ancient Mediterranean Cultures in Contact” are also there right now. Also, the Museum of Science and Industry’s “Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light” exhibit is a long-time city tradition. The Art Institute will wreathe its lions for the 25th year running on November 24, starting at 10 a.m. with a presentation including “Hamilton” cast members and the Soul Children of Chicago. Also going on around Chicago during the holidays: the Museum of Contemporary Art‘s 50th anniversary exhibit “We Are Here”; the Shedd Aquarium’s “Washed Ashore,” which features life-sized animal sculptures made from ocean trash; and the Chicago History Museum’s “Race: Are We So Different?”
9. Shopping Downtown!
Locals tend to shop on State Street, and tourists tend to shop on the Mag Mile – or so we hear, although we frequent both whenever we can! Wait for a table around the giant Christmas tree in the Walnut Room in Macy’s to enjoy one of the treats of the season, or just check out the decorated windows from the outside. Whether you prefer walking into high-end stores or getting great deals on gifts, downtown Chicago has it.
As you may know, Chicago is a city that loves live performances, and around the holidays we have a few can’t-miss shows – including the Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” and the Goodman Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol.” At the Lyric Opera, “Die Walkure” of Wagner’s the Ring Cycle is playing throughout November. At the Cadillac Palace Theatre, “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” runs too! And we have tons of smaller theaters that deserve a look as well. For example, the House Theatre‘s non-ballet interpretation of the Nutcracker is always fun. For a list of holiday-themed theater events, visit TimeOut Chicago.
Chicago Holiday Style Is Here!
At Elite Moving & Storage, we are passionate about and proud of our city, and we know it well. As a local moving company, we value diversity and dependability in ourselves and others. How can we assist you with your moving and storage needs this winter? Contact us so we can help you!
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