Whether you’re new in town or just need some alone-time, Chicago is the ideal place to entertain yourself. Especially during those harsh Chiberian winters, you’ll need an excuse to get out of the apartment. Here’s a half-day of suggestions to treat yourself right.
Take an afternoon to explore Four Finches up in Evanston. This independent flower-and-gift shop is so beautiful inside you’ll want to move in, and there are indeed some adorable finches fluttering around in there. Their well-curated selection includes greeting cards, delicate glassware, egg white soaps, floral perfumes, dark chocolates, and many household antiques. The lovely owner, Sarah, is a very experienced florist—stop buying those doomed orchids at Trader Joe’s and let Sarah teach you about helping your plants to flourish. Then she’ll craft a more stunning bouquet than you ever got from your ex.
Have an early dinner at petite Chilam Balam in Lakeview, whose super fresh, brightly flavored Mexican food is sure to take the edge off winter. Their plates are small, so plan to have a couple. Don’t waste your time with guacamole when you could have mahi mahi ceviche, corn masa memelas, and tender short rib. And since we’re treating ourselves, their flan is delicious.
Then head downtown for an evening performance at the Lyric Opera, which is truly one of the finest companies in the world, celebrating its 60th anniversary this season. The opera is a fantastic excuse to dress up, though finery is certainly not required, and there are supertitles to take the pressure off your foreign language skills. Puccini’s passionate and dramatic Tosca is coming up soon, and if you plan ahead, you might be able to get rush tickets at 50% off.
Where do you take yourself out in Chicago?