Saturday, October 15, 2016

Annual Event: Open House Chicago

Embarrassed to admit, after living in Chicago for over 1.5 decades, this is the first year I learned of the Chicago Architectural Foundation's ("CAF") Open House Chicago.

It is an annual event in the city, taking place over 2 days with 200 buildings participating.  No matter what neighborhood you are in, or if you want to see a new one - there are options for you:  The buildings this year were as far North as Northwestern University (Evanston), West for Frank Lloyd Wright Homes (Oak Park), and South for WGN Flag & Decorating (South Shore).

The CAF event website is spectacular, giving a map of all the locations and the neighboring Divvy stations if you prefer to bike around in order to squeeze in more sites.

With the kids in tow, we focused on locations more with their attention span in mind:

  • Jay Pritzker Pavilion - cool photo op
  • Chicago Architectural Foundation - mini Chicago replica in the main lobby 
  • LondonHouse - rooftop with views of the river and lake
  • Marquee at Block 37 - nice rooftop views 
  • Chicago Cultural Museum and Chic-fil-A - both not on the official tour, but hey, we love em. 
Tomorrow we are targeting McCormick Place Rooftop Farm, GEMS World Academy, and Zap Props

  • A few locations are incredibly popular, so the long lines were a deterrent (AON is an example). Though we skipped those, you can purchase a CAF membership to gain priority access and skip the lines.  Most locations were no issue.
  • Some locations have docents or activities
  • The kids loved the rooftops and the mini city replication

Cost Savings:

Something in essentially every neighborhood!  Get out there!!

Kid's Jury: 5 stars
The kids' attention span is a little short, so we have to pace ourselves.  I am already counting the days until this comes around again next year!

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