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Blessings in a Backpack is a non-profit organization that brings communities, individuals and resources together to provide food for school aged children who might otherwise go hungry on weekends.

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Children can be taught to appreciate life’s little things

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Pre or post game, tailgating is a great way to show off your team spirit by packing the parking lot with fellow sports fans in the shadow of the stadium. Just like on the field, tailgating requires plenty of planning and strategy, from gathering game day essentials to setting up your spread …

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Labor Day, created by the labor movement and designated as a federal holiday in 1895, has come to represent the unofficial end to summer and start of the back-to-school season. The national holiday celebrates the contributions and achievements of the American worker, and its placement on the…

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Ask a second-grader to tell you their favorite things about school and chances are they’ll say their friends, of course. When students go back to school this fall, they’ll crave a classroom reminiscent of pre-pandemic times. Most of all, they will want to see friends, sit next to friends and…

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The Museum of Ice Cream Chicago opened its doors on July 16 in the historic Tribune building. Chicagoans have plenty of choice when it comes to sweet spots for a cool treat.

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Lollapalooza, the Windy City's popular four-day musical festival, kicked off Thursday in downtown Chicago. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pass through Grant Park over the next few days to get their fill of music, food, fun and entertainment.

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Few Chicagoans claim February as their favorite month, yet, these four weeks can be filled with fun for the whole family if you just know where to look.

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The Ryerson family of Chicago had their four young children enrolled in Chicago Public Schools when the pandemic hit nearly two years ago. They had to abruptly adapt to remote learning while parents Mark and Rebecca tried to keep up with their full-time work schedules.

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’Tis the season to volunteer. Giving back spreads goodwill and cheer and can be a fun and meaningful way to spend your time this holiday season. In Chicago, there is no shortage of opportunities to lend a helping hand.

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Once a teacher, always a teacher. Years ago, I landed my dream job in education, where I enjoyed a solid decade as an elementary school teacher before leaving the workforce to raise a family. During that time out of the classroom, I joined Chicago Star, back when it was a small, local public…

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Several days before she was set to board a plane for the U.K. to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime study abroad opportunity through Oxbridge Academic Programs, Alessandra Zurini learned her program had been cancelled. Pandemic travel restrictions were to blame for the sudden cancellation at the…

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Nightclubs have long provided a place for people to come together and celebrate music, dance, fashion, art and culture. Following the long dry spell of nightclub closures, identical twins Jonathan and Andrew Landan, regulars on the party scene, have kept a close eye on Chicago’s big reopenin…

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Thousands of giddy festival goers flocked to Grant Park Thursday for Lollapalooza’s opening day. The four-day long music festival, now in its 30th year, is back at full capacity after its cancellation last year. 

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The social media influencers of Chicago are complex and perpetually evolving. Their desire to connect, inspire and engage with others is a common thread—especially when making waves in the local food scene, fashion or hot hangouts in the city. 

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As Chicago slides into the winter months, the cold, gray weather and the ongoing pandemic can make for a particularly hazardous duo. It’s more important than ever to prioritize health and wellness.

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“We have so many needs right now,” said Jacqueline Hayes, founder and president of The Chicago Help Initiative (CHI), a local organization whose mission it is to provide food and social services to homeless and underprivileged Chicagoans. “Many are suffering every which way right now. Some m…

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Creating custom cookies for neighbors, a booming business

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The 2020 Chicago Marathon is officially canceled, but runners are finding ways to participate during what would have been the 43rd annual edition.

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The coronavirus pandemic has teenagers getting set for Zoom classes while facing a variety of challenges such as cancelled summer plans and uncertainty about the upcoming school year.

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When there’s a birthday, there’s cake. And candles, topped with tiny triangles of fiery plumes. There’s also the song, followed by the customary display of the celebrant making a wish and blowing out the candles.

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by Angela Gagnon Maintaining a gluten free lifestyle is challenging,  and especially import- ant for those with celiac  disease, an autoimmune condition where ingestion of gluten leads to damage of the small intestine.  Two community members living with celiac  disease shared tips on how to …

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By Angela Gagnon Staff Writer PureCircle, the leading producer of stevia sweeteners for the global food and beverage industry, is distributing its new gourmet ice cream in Lakeshore East Park.  Food trucks will be parked near The Tides from 2-4 p.m. and by The Streeter Apartments in Streeter…

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By Angela Gagnon, Staff Writer Graceland Cemetery, 4001 N. Clark St., is an active park-like Victorian era burial ground and arboretum featuring architectural masterpieces and a lush local history. Established in1860, Graceland was part of a movement toward garden or rural cemetery design, w…

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By Angela Gagnon, Staff Writer Starting a garden in a high-rise building might seem a little daunting, but it doesn’t take much to enjoy the fruits of the labor, literally or aesthetically. Plants are also a natural air purifier, adding the benefit of cleaner air inside your home.  Even a ve…

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By Angela Gagnon – Staff Writer New York’s popular edible cookie dough has come to Chicago. Cookie DŌ Confections set up a small stand at the base of the Navy Pier Ferris wheel so Chicagoans and visitors can enjoy edible cookie dough treats through Labor Day. Ryan Manley, a filmmaker from A…

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(Published June 30, 2019) By Angela Gagnon Electric scooters arrived in Chicago June 15 as part of a pilot program that will run through Oct. 15. After the trial period, the city intends to assess feedback before making decisions regarding the program.  The scooters are provided from 10 diff…

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By Angela Gagnon, Staff Writer Girl Scouts are busy selling their famous cookies all over downtown Chicago while partnering with local businesses that provide warm spaces where scouts can sell extra boxes through the end of March. Troop 20461, from South Loop Elementary, recently sold cookie…

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By Angela Gagnon | Staff Writer Along Wabash Avenue, between East Washington and East Monroe, sit 350 jewelers. This two-block stretch of downtown is Jewelers Row, Chicago’s historic diamond district, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices. Still, Kailee Swift’s Hamilton Jewel…

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By Angela Gagnon, Staff Writer During the cold, dark winter months, it can be easy to stay sedentary. Getting motivated to move outdoors requires lots of clothes and a tolerance for low temperatures. Never fear—plenty of businesses specialize in indoor activities, offering a variety of oppor…

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By Angela Gagnon, Staff Writer Children in downtown Chicago have an opportunity to channel their artistic, creative energy while learning from a fashion professional. New Eastside resident Michelle Kim, a fashion designer, has been offering design classes to kids since July 2018. Kim is the …

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By Angela Gagnon | Staff Writer   What’s it like to dine in the Walnut Room during the holidays? Whether it’s your first time setting foot in the elegant 17,000 square-foot dining room located on the seventh floor of Macy’s Department Store on State Street, or you’re a seasoned veteran, a vi…

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By Angela Gagnon | Staff Writer Published September 4, 2018 After complaints of graffiti, vandalism and general wear and tear at Lakeshore East Park, repairs are finally coming. According to a letter from the Office of Alderman Brendan Reilly, Magellan Development Group, the park’s developer…