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Wrigleyville's Gallagher Way continues to be a growing destination for families in Chicago, and this holiday season, the festive activities are bigger and more plentiful than ever.

Winterland programs at Wrigleyville hot spot begin on Nov. 22, and run through Feb. 16, 2020.

This year, Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville returns alongside an 8,000-square-foot ice rink, curling and skating lessons, Santa’s Workshop, wreath making classes, oversized decorative winter characters, holiday movies and more. The holiday transformation will also include a 30-foot holiday tree underneath the Wrigley Field Marquee, a tree lot at Big Star Wrigleyville, holiday programming at Hotel Zachary, Hush Money, Lucky Dorr, Smoke Daddy Wrigleyville and other restaurants around Gallagher Way, plus a dazzling display of decorative lights around Gallagher Way.

The village of Rosemont is a pretty busy place of late, and during the summer months, things are heating up on the west side of I-294. Anchoring the expansion of the entertainment district to the other side of the Tri-State Tollway is Impact Field, which opened in 2018 for the inaugural season of Chicagoland's newest professional baseball team — The Chicago Dogs.

Until recently, we'd only driven by the park — happening to catch the post-game fireworks on a few occasions as we clipped by at a brisk pace. The modern ballpark benefits from its visibility, including the double-sided digital scoreboard that's absolutely unmissable for the millions of drivers who pass by annually.

During a recent media night (which also happened to be superhero night), we finally had a chance to check out everything that this new ball club — part of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball — has to offer, and for families, it's a lot. It's not only tremendous fun, but it's affordable, with single game tickets starting at just $9 for bleachers, and topping off at $25 for the Wintrust Home Plate Club.

Chicago Dogs Tickets

On a beautiful Friday night, The Chicago Dogs clobbered the Sioux City Explorers 9-2, but the game was just a piece of the overall experience. Fan engagement was high, and the laid-back vibe of the ballpark was evident from the get-go. From the moment you enter the main gates on the park's right field corner, it's apparent that this is a different type of ballpark. It's very open, with a 360-degree concourse that offers a great view that's free of obstructions.

dogs batting

For kids, there's activities in left field — inflatables that include are set up to give little ballplayers a taste of the action with pitching and batting. One of the most popular activities is one that really gets kids moving — a running contest that clocks kids' speed as they run from "third base" to home plate. 

Chicago Dogs

Throughout the park, families will find plenty of great food options — and for grownups, there's quite a few fine beverage options as well. Keep an eye out and you'll spot The Dogs' mascot, Squeeze, and his nefarious counterpart, Ketchup. A reminder, especially for those not in Chicago: #NoKetchup. Never, ever put ketchup on a hot dog — NEVER!

dogs ketchub

On Friday nights, kids run the bases post-game, and there's special events throughout the season, which runs through August. Check out the official site for schedule and tickets!

Chicago Dogs New Era cap

Bonus: The Chicago Dogs have a great merch store. Now, the merch isn't cheap, but it's completely worth it. We bought The Rock Daughters™ plush versions of Ketchup and Squeeze, while I couldn't resist the New Era fitted Chicago Dogs on-field cap. 

Published in Sports Entertainment

Orangetheory Fitness is the new official fitness partner of the Chicago Cubs, one of the most historic franchises in Major League Baseball. As part of the partnership, Orangetheory Fitness will host the World’s Largest HIIT (high-intensity interval training) Workout at Wrigley Field, 1060 W. Addison St., Saturday, May 18, inviting thousands of participants to raise funds for the ALS Association and the chance to beat the World Record for World’s Largest HIIT Workout.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Chicago Cubs,” said Brad Ehrlich, Owner and Chief Executive Officer, Orangetheory Fitness Illinois. “With now more than 50 Illinois locations, serving individuals from Wrigleyville to Springfield, we feel that our partnership will elevate the Orangetheory Fitness Illinois experience for our more than 40,000 members across the state. We are excited to work hand in hand with the Cubs to create engaging, experiential fitness events for Cubs fans everywhere and meet our goal to raise more than $500,000 for ALS.”

Planned activations and events for Orangetheory Fitness and the Chicago Cubs will include:

World’s Largest HIIT Workout at Wrigley Field – Saturday, May 18

On Saturday, May 18, Orangetheory Fitness and the Chicago Cubs will host the World’s Largest High-Intensity Interval Training Workout, with thousands of participants, comprised of Orangetheory Fitness members and coaches and members of the community at Wrigley Field. In an effort to raise funds for the ALS Association and break the World Record, guests will be invited to participate in a complimentary workout by providing a donation of their choosing.

ALS Awareness Night Presented by Orangetheory Fitness – Sunday, May 5

On Sunday, May 5, the Cubs and Orangetheory Fitness are teaming up to join the fight against ALS by offering fans a Special Ticket Offer for the Cubs-Cardinals game at Wrigley Field. In addition to a ticket to the game, fans who purchase a ticket through this offer will receive a Cubs and Orangetheory Fitness water bottle. A portion of net proceeds from the ALS Awareness ticket offer also will be donated to Augie's Quest, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for ALS.

Orangetheory Fitness-Style HIIT Classes at Gallagher Way

As the exclusive programming partner for HIIT workouts at Gallagher Way, Orangetheory Fitness will host outdoor classes at 7 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday, beginning May 13 and running through September 25. Guests of the classes will be able to get a full-body strength and cardiovascular workout with coaches in the heart of Wrigleyville.

Orangetheory Fitness to Team Up with Cubs Charities

Beginning in summer 2019, Orangetheory Fitness will partner with Cubs Charities in support of the Cubs Jr. All-Star program, which is designed to encourage kids be active and healthy while having fun playing baseball and softball.

Top Photo: Orangetheory Fitness Illinois via Instagram

Published in Health & Fitness

After months of preparation, the Mills Entertainment production of American Girl Live had its World Premiere at The North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, Illinois - just outside of Chicago. Our family was in attendance for the debut performance of the all-new musical, which whisks audiences away to join a group of girls for an adventure at summer camp.

Published in Chicagoland

This Santa HQ feature is brought to you by HGTV & Macerich Shopping Centers in collaboration with The Rock Father™

Following an inaugural season that brought magic to families from coast-to-coast, HGTV presents Santa HQ again this year! Back for 2018 at The Fashion Outlets of Chicago and a total of 15 Macerich Shopping Centers nationwide, a new tradition continues as an all-new experience aimed at bringing holiday magic to kids and grownups alike with some flourishes that have been upgraded and expanded for the social media age. Santa HQ welcomes families for the traditional photo with Santa (online reservations available, but not required), upping the game with the Elf Academy in which kids can experience the latest in Elf fashion; take an Elfie Selfie; of check out the latest in Elf-Ray Vision - an AR experience in which families can see just what the Elves are up to. Of course, Santa HQ still serves-up an incredible light show with over 10,000 individual lights synchronized to the "Carol of the Bells."

A familiar green villain is currently back in theaters, reimagined in Universal and Illumination's animated picture, THE GRINCH. But that's not the only place to see the tale come to life as Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical brings magic to the stage in select cities for 2018. Madison Square Garden's touring production is the big one, featuring Tony-nominated Gavin Lee (SpongeBob Squarepants: The Musical, Mary Poppins) in the lead role as The Grinch. Kicking off at The Chicago Theatre (November 16-25) before heading off to Boston and New York, my family and I were guests at the opening night performance in Chicago as holiday cheer took hold to a sold-out crowd.

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