Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Ice Castles said it will open on at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22 at the Geneva National Resort & Club. Tickets are available for purchase starting Tuesday.

Ice Castles, the seasonal entertainment company based in Utah, is known to create elaborate castles built entirely from ice in several cities across North America. Last winter, Ice Castles at Lake Geneva drew in thousands of people.

COVID-19 protocols will be in place, including mandatory masks, limited capacity, increased sanitation of high touch surfaces, and one-way markings on tunnels and crawl spaces, according to Ice Castles.Professional ice artisans grow, harvest and hand-place up to 10,000 icicles each day to create the outdoor attraction. The experience features ice-carved tunnels, fountains, slides, crawl spaces and slot canyons, which are illuminated at night with color-changing LED lights.

This year, Ice Castles partner Destination Geneva National will have new features including a sledding hill, ice skating, a lantern-lit snowshoeing trail, igloo dining, and an Ice Princess Brunch.


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St. Charles Township neighbors Jackie Vrchota, left, and Christa Stevens put a Santa hat on a horse named Friday during their Hug a Horse event at Stevens’ stable. The women launched the idea in September to share their love of horses. (Brian Hill | Staff Photographer)

As the warm afternoon sun stretched across a small fenced pasture in St. Charles Township, 6-year-old Beau Stevens stretched out her arms, reached up and gave a giant hug to a horse wearing a blazing red Santa hat named Friday.

Jackie Vrchota and her neighbor Christa Stevens launched Hug a Horse in September to share their love of horses and give people a chance to get out of the house during quarantine and stretch their legs a bit.

For 45 minutes, people have the opportunity to spend time getting to know, groom, pet, ride and yes, hug some of the horses at Stevens’ stable at 6N655 Palomino Drive.

The Hug a Horse experience runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday and costs $100. The event continues through Christmas.

Read more here.

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Willow Creek Community Church’s main campus in South Barrington will host its inaugural Winter Wonderland Walk starting Tuesday.

Willow Creek Community Church’s main South Barrington campus will be transformed into an outdoor light extravaganza for the public to enjoy — at a distance from one another — beginning Tuesday.

The church’s first Winter Wonderland Walk is a half-mile paved walking path with 80 wrapped trees, 55 lighted structures and more than 10 miles of lights. Church leaders say it’s their way to bring some Christmas cheer to the community, as a number of holiday gatherings have already been curtailed across the region.

The light spectacle is free to attend, but requires timed tickets available on the church website at willowcreek.org/wonderland. Attendees ages 2 and above will be required to wear face masks along the walk.

The decorated walkway will feature interactive elements that tell the Christmas story and give pause for reflection, organizers say. It will be open nightly, except for Mondays, starting Dec. 1. The event runs through Christmas Eve.

Read more here.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker addresses the proletariat during a video news conference from his well stocked bunker in Chicago

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is responding to a report that another Illinois county will not enforce the latest COVID-19 restrictions.

The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office says that it will not enforce an executive order by Pritzker shutting down indoor dining amid rising coronavirus numbers, citing questions about the legitimacy of the governor’s actions.

In a news release, the office said it “cannot in good conscience” enforce the rules on indoor dining, which Pritzker implemented as part of a statewide set of mitigations he said is aimed at curbing the rising numbers of coronavirus infections.

“Surprising that a state’s attorney doesn’t want to follow the law,” Pritzker said. “These are the laws of the state of Illinois and other jurisdictions are following the law and prosecuting.”

Illinois courts have largely sided with the governor in lawsuits filed over various restrictions, with courts in McHenry, Cook and DuPage counties denying requests for temporary restraining orders when establishments files suit over the governor’s plan to prohibit indoor dining in October.

Pritzker has warned of the potential consequences for businesses that choose to stay open in defiance of state mandates, saying that licenses could be pulled in those cases.

Read more here.

Related:McHenry County state’s attorney’s office won’t enforce governor’s indoor dining ban

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The McHenry County state’s attorney’s office will not enforce the governor’s ban on indoor dining, State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally announced Wednesday.

The office will, however, enforce related orders requiring employees and customers to wear masks, maintain social distancing and adhere to capacity limitations.

Kenneally’s decision not to enforce the indoor dining ban rested on two main considerations.

First, no provision in the executive orders or the Illinois Emergency Management Act requires or authorizes the state’s attorney’s office to enforce Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive orders, Kenneally said.

“Second, there is the legitimate question, currently being litigated, as to whether the executive orders, which require the Governor to exercise ’emergency powers,’ are authorized under Illinois law or otherwise constitutional,” Kenneally said in the release.

As restaurants throughout the county continue to defy the governor’s indoor dining ban in an effort to stay afloat, enforcement of masks and social distancing remains paramount, McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks said.

“We have to deal in the real world and be practical,” Franks said in an interview Tuesday, ahead of Kenneally’s announcement. “So we understand that there’s not going to be enforcement of the indoor dining, OK … but knowing that, we need to try to reduce the harm and how do you do that? By enforcing the other things — the social distancing and the masking. That’s how you handle this.”

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In this unprecedented year, Thanksgiving is going to look quite different for many. But suburban restaurants are trying to make the best of the situation by offering a variety of Thanksgiving dinner options to-go.

Here are some local offerings:

Chessie’s Restaurant

200 Applebee St., Barrington, (847) 382-5020, chessies-restaurant.com/. This Thanksgiving, there are three plated entrees to choose from, including turkey for $22.95, prime rib for $31.95 or salmon for $25.95. Each meal includes trimmings and dessert. Kids’ meals are $10.95. Order ahead for pickup between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Cooper’s Hawk

Locations in Arlington Heights, Burr Ridge, Chicago, Downers Grove, Naperville, Oak Park, South Barrington, St. Charles and Wheeling; chwinery.com/thanksgiving. Nosh on a heat-and-serve Thanksgiving meal for six featuring butternut squash soup, house salad, pretzel bread, slow-roasted turkey slices with pan gravy, homemade cranberry sauce, stuffing, Mary’s Potatoes, roasted green beans and carrots and Eli’s Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake. Order the dinner, which costs $169.99, by Thursday, Nov. 19, for pickup from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25.


Locations in Arlington Heights, Barrington, Bolingbrook, Chicago, Elmhurst, Forest Park, Frankfort, Lake Forest, Naperville, Northbrook and Palos Park; miafrancesca.com/thanksgiving-pre-orders/. Dinner for four to five includes one turkey breast and two legs, mashed potatoes, string beans, sage stuffing, cranberries and gravy for $124. Dinner for two runs $65. Order by noon Tuesday, Nov. 24, for pickup between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving.


Locations in Barrington, Bartlett, Edison Park, Fox Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake in the Hills, Mount Prospect, Morton Grove, Rosemont and Schaumburg. morettisrestaurants.com/thanksgiving.php. Moretti’s is cooking up a feast this year. An individual meal includes sliced turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, harvest vegetables and housemade cranberries for $19.99. A four-pack of meals is $21.99 per person and includes a pumpkin pie. Orders are due Friday, Nov. 20, with pickup from 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 26.


1150 Willow Road, Northbrook, (847) 480-2323; 7 Oakbrook Center Mall, Oak Brook, (630) 575-8700; 100 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington, (847) 844-9300; and 435 E. Illinois St., Chicago, (312) 527-3010; pinstripes.com/. Now through Sunday, Nov. 29, Pinstripes is offering a $12 turkey dinner featuring roasted turkey, housemade stuffing, peppercorn cream sauce, Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce. Add on a whole pumpkin pie for $14 or a single slice for $3. It’s available for curbside pickup or delivery. Up for a challenge? Pinstripes is offering Bowl a Turkey, Get A Turkey, meaning guests who bowl a “turkey” (three strikes in a row) win a turkey dinner for two. Available Nov. 23 to 29 only.

Port Edward

20 W. Algonquin Road, Algonquin, (847) 658-5441, portedward.com/. Available for carryout or delivery, Port Edward’s Thanksgiving meal features roasted turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, crab legs, garlic mashed potatoes and cheesecake for $54 per person. Order ahead for pickup from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

The Daily Herald has more restaurants to chose from here.

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Long Grove’s Vintage Holidays 2020 kicks off November 12th and runs to the weekend before Christmas. Businesses in Historic downtown will be open Thursday night from 5:00 – 8:00 PM.

Participating businesses include:

Participating businesses will have specials, discounts, giveaways, and more planned for those who attend. Those who register in advance or at the event will be entered to win prizes donated by our merchants throughout the night.

For more information, click here.

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It has been forty-five years since we could all savor the prospect of a “Christie for Christmas.” Alas, that time is passed, so I propose a new tradition: a “Byrnside for Boo-time!” The classic-style impossible crime mysteries penned by modern-day scribe James Scott Byrnside are, by turns, mystifying, sometimes fear-inducing, and most of the time very, very funny. He has managed one a year for the past three years, so why not get a rhythm going, Mr. B., and start a new tradition. You can even tell them I inspired you . . . just like I did with Chapter Ten! (We’ll get to that in a bit . . . )

No trappings, however elegant, can mask such a devious mind . . .

As a rule, nobody likes to include spoilers in a review of a new book for fear of spoiling the mystery. Here, I find myself doubly flummoxed by the fact that I also don’t want to spoil any of the jokes. I will admit that once in a while Byrnside irritates me, once (in Book Two) he infuriated me, and occasionally he merely grosses me out. But most of all, I admire a man who, while plotting his mysteries, dives into the tropes of the Golden Age and wades deep.

The Strange Case of the Barrington Hills Vampire is the third chronicled case for Chicago-based Rowan Manory, that stocky, prickly, flawed but brilliant (or is that brilliant-but-flawed) private eye who with his associate, the unlikely babe magnet Walter Williams (my favorite Watson since Archie Goodwin) gravitates toward baffling puzzles involving truly terrible people. However, the events described in Vampire occur at the earliest point in Manory’s career yet. Why, after only two other books (Goodnight Irene was set in 1927, and The Opening Night Murders in 1935) does Byrnside jump backwards to 1920 and the height of Prohibition? Trust me, after that major infuriation in the second book to which I alluded above, just be glad he did this – and continues to do so for a while! 

Read on here.

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The Barrington High School Fine Arts Department invites you to its fall play, “An evening of Edgar Allan Poe” playing beginning tomorrow night at BHS.

Community members can attend the drive-in performance to view it on screen from the BHS parking lot on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 7pm. In addition, the performance will be streaming online on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31.

Click here to purchase tickets.

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‘It’s been on our wish list for a long time.’

Southwest Airlines plans to begin flying out of O’Hare International Airport by the middle of next year, the airline announced Monday.

The Dallas-based airline has served Midway Airport since 1985 but has never operated flights from O’Hare.

Before the pandemic, O’Hare didn’t have capacity to let Southwest move in, said Andrew Watterson, Southwest’s chief commercial officer.

Southwest does not intend to reduce service at Midway, which will remain its primary Chicago airport. All destinations Southwest offers at O’Hare will be cities the airline already serves at Midway, which is typically among its four busiest airports.

Watterson declined to comment further on the number of flights or destinations it intends to offer at O’Hare, saying it is still working on those plans with the city’s Aviation Department.

Read on here.

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