Lewis Takes Chicago Part 2

Lewis Garden
Standard

Flower ShowOur trusty mascot, Lewis the Duck, came back to Chicago recently to take part in the Macy’s Flower Show. He had a great time with the kids & parents and even got to enjoy the show himself!
Lewis at MacysHomewood Suites by Hilton was a sponsor of the Macy’s Flower Show this year, held March 22-April 4. As a representative Lewis made scheduled appearances to hand out goodies, take photos, & dance with all the kids.
Lewis at Macy'sLewis at Macy's

 

 

 

 

 

 

While at the show, Lewis had the opportunity to explore Macy’s & have a little fun and relaxation time in the Home section.
Lewis at Macy's Lewis at Macy's

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, Lewis discovered his very own reading garden! Complete with life-size replicas of books from the Lewis the Duck book series!
Lewis GardenHopefully next year Lewis will have the opportunity to stop back by Chicago & visit our friends at Macy’s again.

St. Patty’s Fun in Chicago

Standard

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, in a mere 9 days, it’s time to plan accordingly. However we all know the real celebrations take place on Saturday. Chicago celebrates hard when it comes to this holiday. From dying the river bright green, to parades, to dancing & bar crawls, there’s no shortage of fun in the windy city this weekend.

The most popular thing to do on Saturday the 14th is watch the river being dyed green. Boats hit the water at 9:15am (courtesy of the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers) & the fun begins. This is a family friendly activity too! The best views are along Wacker Drive, between Columbus & Lake Shore Drive. Don’t forget, the crowds line up early so make sure you get there before 9:15am if you want a good spot!

Green River

Green River

Once you’re done enjoying the electric green river, you can start your bar crawl fun! Many bars (especially those near the river) open the doors between 9-11am so you can start the party at any time. Early timers include Fado, Chief O’Neill’s, Galway Arms, & the Chicago Shamrock Crawl.

Don’t want to start bar hopping so early? Looking for more family friendly activities? No worries! Starting at noon, the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off at the corner of Balbo & Columbus.
ParadeWhen you’re done with the green river & the parade, check out the celebrations at the Irish American Heritage Center. From 1pm-midnight their St. Patrick’s Festival will be underway including traditional Irish dancing, food, entertainment, children’s activities, & an Arts & Crafts Fair. For more information including parking instructions, visit the IAHC website.
IAHCWe hope everyone enjoys this St. Patrick’s Day! Stay safe, have fun, & enjoy all Chicago puts on for this holiday. Cheers!

Group Savings in Chicago

Standard

Everyone knows that buying in bulk saves money right? Well the same holds true with hotel needs! Did you know that when you need 10 or more rooms at once, you can receive a group discounted rate? And did you know that right now we are offering even more savings for your group needs? Well now you do!

Fully Loaded

For any of our groups who also need to host meetings onsite, we’ve got the right option for you! With our Fully Loaded package you will automatically receive 3 VIP amenities plus you can choose from the following perks to add on:
Actualize $2,500 or more in guest room revenue & choose 2 perks
Actualize $3,500 or more in guest room revenue & choose 3 perks
-3x Hilton HHonors points
-1 per 30 complimentary room policy
-One AM or PM Break (valued at $250.00)
-60% attrition
-One hour beer & wine reception
-20% off A/V equipment
With a minimum of 10 rooms in your block, you can book and host your event now through March 31, 2015 to take advantage of these deals!
Business Meetin

#BeSocialAtHome

Wanna get away but hate having to leave home? Come Be Social at the Homewood Suites! Book your next social group block with us & take advantage of these great add-ons:
-Rates up to triple occupancy per king suite
-Additional 25% discount on the group planner’s room rate
-1 hour welcome reception*
-Private dining space for your group to enjoy breakfast each morning*
-21-day cutoff date
-1 per 30 complimentary room policy
*Based on availability
Minimum of 10 rooms to qualify. Book now through March 31, 2015 and #BeSocialAtHome!
Group Fun

Bright Lights, Big City

Traveling by bus with your group this time around? Let us help you take care of your motor coach needs! Book your group of 10 or more rooms now through March 31, 2015 & receive:
-Rates including up to triple occupancy per king suite
-Up to two double suites at the group discounted rate*
-1 per 20 complimentary room policy
-Complimentary 1 hour welcome reception*
-Triple Hilton Hhonors points
-Complimentary motor coach parking at a sister property with bus driver’s overnight stay*
*Based on availability
Minimum of 10 rooms to qualify.
Chicago Skyline

Cool Months, Hot Dates

Let us take the work out of the work space & allow us to attend to your meeting needs. Host your next meeting during any of the hot dates below & choose two perks:
-$5 Grab and Go breakfast brown bags
-$5 Box Lunches
-$12 Wrap Lunches
-Outside audio/visual usage
-10% off standard audio/visual services
-15% off guest room rates up to 9 rooms
-3x Hhonors Points for meeting planners & facilitators
Hot Dates: February 12-28, March 1, March 14-31
Comiskey RoomCall us to book your next group or meeting & take advantage of these great deals!
Phone: 312-644-2222
Website: www.homewoodsuiteschicago.com

Will You Be My Valentine?

Standard

Love is in the air, the red roses are out for sale, “will you be my valentine” is stamped on everything. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, are you ready? Whether you celebrate this holiday with a significant other, help your child prep all those valentine cards for his/her class exchange, or just enjoy all the chocolates out at the stores, Valentine’s means something special to each one of us.

snow heart

We asked around the team here at the Homewood Suites to see what everyone loves about this sweet holiday:
Kirstan Lewis–I love Valentine’s Day because it’s my parents’ wedding anniversary. For me, it’s about celebrating them. Plus, without them, I wouldn’t be here.
Erin Hosch–My favorite part about Valentine’s Day is all the delicious candy (especially when it goes on the sale the next day!)
Greg Presnol–Valentine’s Day is special to the hotel as everyone should be a Homewood “Suite Heart.”
Starr Stovall–My favorite thing about this holiday is watching all the reactions as people receive their sweetheart’s gift.
Andrea Angellotti–I love making heart-shaped pizzas & cookies with my significant other.

But enough about us, let’s talk about you!

Vtablealentine’s Day also coincides with the very end of Chicago Restaurant Week and luckily, although the official last day for these delicious deals is February 12, some restaurants extend their meal deals for a few more days. Which means you & yours can save while you celebrate this holiday. Check out a list of Restaurant Week extensions here.

But if you’re looking for something unique or different to do this holiday we’ve got a few suggestions:
Vino van Gogh–paint, drink, & be merry!
Chopping Block Cooking School–take a cooking class and best part is, enjoy the fruits of your labor when you’re done
Love on the Ledge–enjoy breakfast this morning on the Ledge of the Willis Tower from the 99th floor
Medieval Times–dinner & a tournament anyone?

candiesLooking to go the traditional route? Okay, fine. You won’t find any shortage of great & romantic restaurants in the River North neighborhood in Chicago. Don’t forget to grab some chocolates and candy across the street at Candyality (and see what your candy choices say about your personality). And while you’re at, go ahead & book that couples massage or spa day for her nearby at Civello. If a quiet night in is more your style, find everything you need for a romantic evening at nearby Eataly.

Whatever you choose to do this Valentine’s Day in Chicago, we hope you enjoy it! And remember, love is always in the air. Happy Valentine’s Day from our family to yours!
Happy Valentine's Day

Chicago Restaurant Week

Standard

Restaurant Week

It’s finally here–one of the yummiest weeks of the year in Chicago! Even better, it’s actually longer than a week! Today–Friday, January 30– officially kicks off Chicago Restaurant Week. During these 14 days of culinary celebration you can visit one of over 250 participating restaurants to take advantage of special prix fixe menus. Lunch menus start at $22 with dinner menus priced at $33 or $44 (excluding taxes & gratuity). There’s several wonderful restaurants within easy walking distance of our hotel which we want to recommend.

Season's 52Season’s 52 is located across the street from the Homewood Suites & will be offering both lunch and dinner menus featuring favorites such as flatbreads & Minis.

We would also highly recommend Beatrix, located approximately 4 blocks from the hotel. Serving American fare for both lunch & dinner, this restaurant’s menus feature butternut squash & apple soup, pot roast ragu, & tall, dark, & handsome chocolate cake!

EatalyAnother great option located in the same building as the hotel would be Eataly! This new Mario Batali venture is offering prix fixe menus for both lunch & dinner. Enjoy some authentic Italian cuisine without having to travel far!

A River North favorite, serving up Mexican dishes & making a splash in the Chicago culinary scene, is Frontera Grill. They too will be serving up lunch & dinner specials which include ceviche, pork in mole poblano, & tres leches cake.

No matter what restaurant you choose–Joe’s for seafood, Benny’s Chop House for a steak, or Nacional 27 for Latin cuisine–you’re sure to walk away full & satisfied! Don’t forget to make your reservations now & take advantage of these deals while you can!

Chicago Winter Wonderland

Standard

Well winter is in full swing here in Chicago but just because it’s cold & occasionally snowing outside doesn’t mean you can’t have a blast in the Windy City! There’s plenty to do indoors, outside, & nearby us at the Homewood Suites. Here’s a few of our favorite wintertime activities. 

Ice Skating

skating ribon

There’s several options when it comes to ice skating in Chicago. Guests can take advantage of the brand new ice skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park, located approximately 1.3 miles from the hotel. This new outdoor activity weaves around the park & offers a new way to ice skate, rather than in the traditional circuit.  If the traditional oval rink is more to your liking, then there’s always the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park. This rink is only 1.1 miles from the hotel. The best part is, if you have your own ice skates, admission is free! Otherwise skates can be rented for $12 at either rink. For more information on other ice skating options, visit the Park District page

Indoor Shopping

There’s an abundance of great shopping in downtown Chicago, especially right off Michigan Avenue. But when it’s cold outside, we can’t blame you for heading indoors! Luckily, there are plenty of indoor shopping options nearby. The closest is the Shops at North Bridge, located just across the street from the Homewood Suites. There you’ll find an array of stores including Nordstrom, Armani Exchange, Charming Charlie, Le Creuset, and more. You can even save at this location with our Shopping Package! Even better is the shopping shuttle available from these shops. For just $39 round-trip you can leave the Shops at North Bridge and head to the Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont, next on our list of indoor shopping locations. These upscale outlets feature designer & name brand stores such as Tory Burch, Coach, Michael Kors, and Burberry. Another great indoor shopping option is the Water Tower Place. This indoor mall is located only 8 blocks from the hotel and is home to a kid favorite: American Girl Place! Other stores include Macy’s, Nine West, Akira, Sephora, and Adidas. 

Museums

Lewis at Museum Campus 4

There’s definitely no shortage of museums in Chicago! In fact, the museums here are so popular, even Lewis the Duck has visited! The hardest part is deciding where to go. Here’s a list of several museum options that will keep you warm this winter as well as their distance from the Homewood Suites:


Museum of Science & Industry
- 8.5 miles
Field Museum - 2.3 miles
Shedd Aquarium - 2.3 miles (maybe not officially labeled a museum, but it’s indoors nonetheless!)
Chicago History Museum – 1.8 miles
Art Institute of Chicago – 1.1 miles
Chicago Children’s Museum - 1.1 miles

Sporting Events

Ever heard of the Chicago Bulls? Chicago Blackhawks? Both these winter sporting teams play at the United Center all winter long. And with so many games in the season, at least one of them is sure to be playing at home while you’re in town! Check out their schedules & purchase ticks here.
bullsbh

 

 

 

TheArts

There’s never a dull moment in the Chicago arts world with so many shows & performances going on this winter including Rapture, Blister, Burn at the Goodman Theatre & Stomp at the Bank of America Theatre. Check out these playhouses to plan your next show experience this winter:
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University – 1.6 miles
Chicago Symphony Orchestra – 1.6 miles
Lyric Opera of Chicago – 1.3 miles
Cadillac Palace Theatre – 1.2 miles
Bank of America Theatre – 1 mile
Oriental Theatre – 0.8 miles
Goodman Theatre – 0.7 miles

With so many options on events & experiences to choose from in Chicago this winter, you’re travel schedule is sure to be packed. Enjoy, take it all in, & come back soon for more! 

DIY Hot Chocolate Mason Jar Gifts

Finished Hot Choc Jar
Standard

With Thanksgiving just around the corner the holiday season is officially upon us! That means food, family, fun, & gifts. We recently created some fun hot chocolate kits in mason jars as gifts. These are easy to make! Here’s how you can create your own mason jar gifts this holiday season.

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need:

8oz mason jars, 2 1/2 cup measuring cups, 2 tablespoons, red & green raffia, miniature individually packaged candy canes, white chocolate hot chocolate mix, milk chocolate hot chocolate mix, mint chocolate chips, miniature marshmallow, 2 funnels, & scissors.

 

Step 1

Powder Mix

Using your funnel, place 1/2 cup of white chocolate mix in the mason jar. Make sure the powder is evenly distributed. Using second funnel, add 1/2 cup of milk chocolate mix to the jar, making sure the powder is evenly distributed.

 

 

 

 

Step 2Mint Choc Chips

Add 4 heaping tablespoons of mint chocolate chips. (Don’t forget to eat the chips that miss the jar opening!)

 

 

 

 

Step 3

Marshmellows

Add 4-5 heaping tablespoons of marshmallows. (Eat those stray marshmallows too!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4Finished Hot Choc Jar

Seal lid on mason jar. Tie approximately 1.5 feet of both green & red raffia around top of jar. Secure candy cane to raffia. And voila, you’re done! You’ve got an easy, cute, & cost effective gift that is perfect for the holiday season & for keeping warm this winter. Plus they store well & stay fresh for several weeks.

 

 

Thanksgiving is only days away & we all have a lot to be thankful for. At the Homewood Suites Chicago Downtown, we’re thankful for our guest loyalty & for our fans. Hope everyone has a safe & happy Thanksgiving this year!

Summer is in the Air!

Standard

It’s finally summer in Chicago & who couldn’t be more excited?? With the summer comes nice weather, sunshine, festivals, & fun.

Chicago_summer

So far this short summer, Chicago has seen some intense World Cup fan support. During the four US appearances during the 2014 World Cup, Chicago hosted viewing parties which only seemed to grow & grow & grow in attendance. During the last match against Belgium a viewing party was held at Soldier Field which almost reached maximum capacity & made national news!

World Cup viewing party

World Cup viewing party

Chicago also played host to the ITU World Triathlon Series which took place along the banks of Lake Michigan June 28 & 29. This elite sporting event pitted the world’s best triathletes against each other & also allowed amateurs to compete together. Gwen Jorgensen from the United States took home the first place finish from the Elite Women’s heat. Notably, this is only the third time the ITU World Triathlon Series has ever come to the United States so we’re honored Chicago was selected as the host for this great event!

Aside from sports, Chicago summers also mean free, fun events! Now through September 6 Summer Workouts take place at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park each Saturday morning. These free workouts include Tai Chi, yoga, Pilates, & zumba. workoutsAlso included in free, fun events is the Millennium Park Film Series. Each Tuesday evening blockbuster hits are shown at 6:30pm at the Pritzker Pavilion for free! So far this summer we’ve seen Top Gun, Brigadoon, & Ghostbusters with more exciting films to come including O Brother Where Art Thou,  Dreamgirl, Wizard of Oz, & Avatar.

While summer is only getting Craft beerstarted & so much has already happened, there’s still so much more to look forward to! Coming up there’s the Taste of Chicago July 9-13, Windy City Smokeout July 11-13, Chicago Craft Beer Festival July 19 & 20, Lollapalooza August 1-3, Chicago Air & Water Show August 16-17, North Coast Music Festival August 29-31, & so much more!

Enjoy the beautiful Chicago summer while it lasts! Fall will be here too soon & before you know it, it’ll be snowing. As they say in Game of Thrones…winter is coming!

Lewis the Duck does Chicago!

Standard

Lewis & Homewood Team

Lewis the Duck visited Chicago, IL recently! He was in town during May for a week and wasted no time in making his rounds through the Windy City.

Lewis at the Bean While in town, Lewis spent his first day being a tourist. He visited several landmarks including the Adler Planetarium, the “Bean”, the American Girl Place, Buckingham Fountain, Navy Pier, and more. People loved seeing Lewis on the streets, taking photos with him, and dancing with him as part of an upcoming music video.

Lewis in Chicago

 

LCH 2On Day 2 of his visit, Lewis spent time at Lurie Children’s Hospital with the children in the Family Life Center. He later visited the Ronald McDonald House where he did a reading & coloring activity.

 

RHM 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OLewis at Libraryn Day 3, Lewis went to the Carole Robertson Center for Learning where he had the opportunity to interact with over 5 classrooms! In the Homewood Suites Library at the Center for Learning, Lewis hosted reading circles, took pictures, & played with all the kids.

 

Lewis at Experient 1While in town Lewis the Duck also had the opportunity to meet some important hotel clients including Experient Travel & OnPeak.

 

Overall, we were honored to have Lewis the Duck with us in May. We’re looking forward to another visit later in June for some other fun activities!

Meetings with Perks

Standard

Meeting

There are many reasons for a company or group to host a meeting: training, disseminate information, brainstorming, testing, etc, etc, etc. Whatever the reason may be, we love hosting meetings here at the Homewood! And don’t you think you should be rewarded for hosting a meeting with us? We think so too. That’s why we’ve put together a couple of different packages to offer groups & other organizations some additional perks just for allowing us to host your meeting.

Meetings with Perks

If you actualize $550 in meeting room rental and/or food & beverage spend, you can receive:

  • 3,000 bonus Hhonors points
  • Complimentary hot breakfast buffet (up to $180 per day)

If you actualize $650 in meeting room rental and/or food & beverage spend, you can receive:

  • 3,000 bonus Hhonors points
  • Complimentary hot breakfast buffet (up to $240 per day)
  • $50 credit towards audio visual equipment rental per day

View Offers

Doesn’t that sound great? But it’s not all! We’re also offering special perks to groups with sleeping rooms.

Groups with 3X Points & More

If you actualize $3,500 or more in guest room revenue, you will receive:

  • Complimentary beer & wine welcome reception for 1 hour (value up to $32)
  • 3X Meeting Planner Hhonors points
  • Discounted meeting room rental to $250 per day

If you actualize $4,500 or more in guest room revenue, you will receive:

  • Complimentary beer & wine welcome reception for 1 hour (value up to $320)
  • 3X Meeting Planner Hhonors points
  • Complimentary Meeting space

View Offers

It really doesn’t get more enticing than that, folks! Plus, with over 3,000 square feet of meeting space, we’ve got you covered for your next event.

Wrigley Comiskey