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The summer season isn’t technically over after this weekend, but Labor Day Weekend marks the end of summer to many—the school year begins, the beaches become less crowded and many summer festivals come to an end.

This year, the long weekend ranges from Friday, August 31 until Monday, September 3. So end your summer 2012 in Chicago with some fun! Check out some of the activities going on in the city this weekend:

San Francisco Giants at Chicago Cubs
Friday, August 31 – 1:20 p.m. & Saturday, September 1 – 3:05 p.m.

Summer is winding down, and so is baseball. So celebrate America’s favorite past time while you still can! Head on over to Wrigley Field and watch the Cubs host the San Francisco Giants!

Navy Pier Fireworks
Saturday, September 1 – 10:15 p.m.

Enjoy the last night of this summer fireworks series! Enjoy spectacular fireworks, perfectly synchronized to music, overlooking the lakefront from historic Navy Pier, which is home to 50 acres of parks, promenades, gardens, shops, eateries and other attractions.

North Coast Music Festival
Friday, August 31 – Sunday, September 2

Also known as “Summer’s Last Stand,” the North Coast Music Festival returns to the Labor Day Weekend event scene for its second year. This outdoor festival takes place in Union Park, and brings a variety of top names in electronic music, jam bands and hip-hop (like Girl Talk and Big Boi to name a few). The North Coast Music Festival benefits the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago.

Chicago’s Lakefront Beaches
Monday, September 3 – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The beach season has come to an end! With 26 miles of sand and lakefront, locals and visitors alike can enjoy a multitude of fun outdoor activities—jogging, volleyball, rollerblading, swimming, sunning etc.—all while taking in that gorgeous Chicago skyline. The cold Chicago winters will be here before you know it, so head to the beach while you still can!

Visiting Chicago for the long weekend? Book a room with Broughton Hotels of Chicago – City Suites Hotel, The Majestic Hotel or The Willows Hotel!

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As much as we don’t want to admit it, summer is coming to an end. But we’re not facing Chicago’s brutal winters yet! Celebrate the end of summer with a bang—or a roar, croak, whinny or cheep—at the final concert of Lincoln Park Zoo’s summer music series, Jammin’ at the Zoo.

Held on the zoo’s main mall, the annual concert series features bands once a month in June, July and August. Jammin’ at the Zoo gives both Chicago locals and tourists alike a chance to have fun and enjoy great music—all while the animals are just steps away!

This summer’s last concert will feature pop rock bands, Hot Chelle Rae and Allstar Weekend on August 24. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone (312-742-2283) and at Gateway Pavilion. Guests are encouraged to bring a small blanket and chair for comfort.

So get “wild,” and celebrate the end of summer at Jammin’ at the Zoo! And since you’ll be in the neighborhood, don’t forget to book a room with us, Broughton Hotels of Chicago – City Suites Hotel, The Majestic Hotel or The Willows Hotel!

 

Have television shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance turned you into a dance fan? Well, if you are in Chicago, you have a chance to witness amazing choreography live…and for free!

During the week of August 20-25, the Chicago Dancing Festival will return to Millennium Park for its sixth season of dance performances and events. Each showcase will feature the greatest dance companies from Chicago and across the country, in works that range from ballet to hip-hop and everything in between. And on Saturday evening, the grand finale titled Celebration of Dance, will take place under the stars at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion for a breathtaking evening of dance.

According to its website, the Chicago Dancing Festival “was founded by internationally renowned choreographer and Chicago native, Lar Lubovitch, and highly esteemed Chicago dancer, Jay Franke, to produce and promise the finest of dance to Chicago. It was founded to heighten awareness of dance in Chicago, increase accessibility to the art form and provide aspiration for local artists.”

Check out Choose Chicago for the Chicago Dancing Festival’s 2012 schedule and don’t forget to book your stay with Broughton Hotels of ChicagoCity Suites Hotel, The Majestic Hotel or The Willows Hotel – today!

 

Looking for something fun for the family to do at the end of the summer? Come to the 54th Chicago Air and Water show!  The Air and Water show will be taking place at North Ave. Beach. Chicago’s second most popular festival began in 1959 and has been held every year since.  Approximately two million people attend each year, making it the largest free admission air and water exhibition of its kind in the United States.

ImageThis year the Chicago Air and Water show will take place on August 18 and 19. The 54th show will be headlining the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and the U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs.

Chicago has plenty of other events taking place nearby North Ave. Beach to keep the crowds busy. As long as the crowds don’t become overwhelming, there are multiple volleyball courts on the beach where family and friends can play. Not interested in being upfront and center to the show? Millennium Park is home to the Crown Fountain, and home to the Pritzker Pavilion, which is showing Dvorak: The Spectre’s Bride. Families can also go biking through Chicago’s famous World Fair, the Midway or go to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Find details about the 2012 Chicago Air and Water Show at http://airandwater.cbslocal.com/ and book your stay with Broughton Hotels of Chicago today!

lollapalooza: an extraordinary or unusual thing, person or event; an exceptional example or instance

Over the last 20 years, Lollapalooza has come a long way, but one thing stays constant: the festival is for the fans.

This weekend (August 3-August 5), Chicago will play stage to music legends from around the globe. What once started as a traveling punk-rock road show (put together in 1991 by Jane’s Addiction frontman, Perry Farrell), Lollapalooza, or Lolla, has made its home on the 115 acres of open green space in Chicago’s Grant Park and has evolved into a larger-than-life music festival.

Today, thousands of fans from around the world come to partake in this three-day festival of endless performances. Lolla’s multiple stages feature 130+ artists in a variety of genres from hip-hop, electronica, reggae, indie, rock, modern roots and more! This year’s headliners include: the Red Hot Chili Peppers; Jack White; The Shins; The Weeknd; Bloc Party; and more.

Yes, Lolla is primarily a music festival, but there is plenty more to do in between sets. Your pass will get you into a host of entertainment venues in Grant Park: meet your favorite band at the f.y.e. Autograph Tent; play the latest video games at the Playstation Loft; munch on some Chicago favorites, like Franks ‘N’ Dawgs, Wow Bao and Goose Island Brewpub, at Chow Town; and much more.

Check out information on Lollapalooza 2012, and book a room with Broughton Hotels of ChicagoCity Suites Hotel, The Majestic Hotel or The Willows Hotel – today!

Chicago doesn’t have shortage on its summer street festivals, but the Taste of Lincoln Avenue (July 28-29) is one you do not want to miss.

This event takes place in the heart of the Lincoln Park neighborhood—home to many of Chicago’s oldest and most favored restaurants.

What once began as a small neighborhood fund raiser, the Taste of Lincoln Avenue is celebrating its 29th year and is one of the largest neighborhood festivals in the city. Six city blocks are covered with 300 food vendors, arts & crafts vendors, kids activities and 40-plus music acts that showcase a wide spectrum of genres including pop/rock, local tribute bands, down home blues, country and more!

The Taste of Lincoln Avenue is family fun for all. When your start to feel full, take a short break from the food and check out the festival’s other features:

– Kids’ Carnival: It’s very popular and free! From noon-6:00 p.m. each day, kids can enjoy kid-friendly entertainment acts, inflatables, art & craft activities, a petting zoo, pony rides and more!
– Lill Street Craft Fair: Taking place on, where else, Lill Street, this stand-alone craft fair showcases handmade and DIY art from noon to dusk each day.

And since all of our hotels in the neighborhood, or really close by, book a room with Broughton Hotels of ChicagoCity Suites Hotel, The Majestic Hotel or The Willows Hotel – today!

Experience the most exciting Chicago event on the lake—The 104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac!

The Race to Mackinac, or “The Mac,” is the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world. Starting at the Chicago Lighthouse, just off Navy Pier, hundreds of boats will sail 333 statute miles (289.4 nautical miles) from Chicago to Mackinac Island, Michigan, where the boats will cross the finish line between the lighthouse on Round Island and the race committee trailer.

Just because sailing participation is by invitation from the Chicago Yacht Club, it doesn’t mean you can’t partake on the fun! Watch from the sidelines and cheer on your favorite yachtsmen on to victory as they cross the finish line in Michigan!

So on Saturday, July 21, put on your favorite pair of boat shoes and sailor shirts, grab your Skipper and head to Navy Pier!

Calling all foodies! Your favorite Chicago summer event is here again—the annual Taste of Chicago!

Every summer since 1980, Chicago’s beautiful Grant Park has been host to the world’s largest outdoor food festival, with upwards of 3 million visitors attending the event every year!

From July 11-15, visitors and locals alike can choose from a wide variety of the Windy City’s most popular cuisines, featuring 70-plus local restaurants and more than 300 menu items. Each vendor will be serving six items, two of which are special “Taste of” sample-size portions, so there will be something to please everyone—even the pickiest eater.

Need to take a breather in between sampling dishes? There will be live music (featuring headliners: Jennifer Hudson, Death Cab for Cutie, Roshon Fegan, Chaka Khan and Dierks Bentley), and fun family activities, too!

While admission is free, food and drinks are purchased through tickets sold at the Taste of Chicago (strips of 12 for $8).

This is an event not to miss! With tons of food and great music in the country’s most beautiful city, how could you not have a great time?

There are many ways to enjoy a concert in the city, but listening to the beautiful sounds of classical music and sitting under the stars and Chicago skyline at The Grant Park Music Festival makes your summer concert experience a unique and unforgettable one.

In its 78th season, The Grant Park Music Festival is the nation’s only free outdoor classical music series. Each summer, the Festival provides beautiful classical tunes to all of Chicago in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

And this weekend, June 29 and 30, The Grant Park Chorus will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a special performance of Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Whitacre’s Cloudburst, Tormis’ Raua Needmine and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Conductors Carlos Kalmar and Christopher Bell will share the podium for an unforgettable program.

You can sit in the comfortable Seating Bowl or lounge on the gorgeous Great Lawn—with the gorgeous Chicago skyline backdrop and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion’s supreme acoustic system, every spot in Millennium Park makes “the best seat in the house.”

Find out more information on the Golden Anniversary Choral Spectacular today.

If you can’t make it to Europe this summer, wouldn’t you at least want to stay at a hotel with European flair? Inspired by 19th century French Victorian décor, The Willows Hotel in Chicago is the epitome of a modern day European boutique hotel elegance.

Located in the heart of the exclusive Lincoln Park/Lakeview area, this Historical Landmark building is less than two blocks away from the scenic shores of Lake Michigan and just minutes away from everything else Chicago has to offer.

The Willows hosts a perfect stay for anyone needing a quiet and cozy retreat. The beautiful fireplace and overstuffed couches in the lobby, along with an extremely friendly staff, provide a warm welcome. Each of the hotel’s 55 rooms have a welcoming, French Country décor that is both rustic and relaxing—keeping in touch with a traditional European old-world inn, while featuring new-world amenities: complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access; luxury robes; and spacious workstations. The hotel also serves an elegant complimentary continental breakfast; coffee and tea service; afternoon cookies; and access to a nearby gym. Evening social hours are hosted daily, as well.

Built in 1923, The Willows Hotel is also rumored to rest atop underground tunnels used by for guest, Al Capone.

Whether it’s an upcoming leisure visit or a business trip, experience the charm of The Willows Hotel, and book a room today.