Free Concerts at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park

I am sure that when you were visiting "The Bean", officially known as Cloud Gate at Millennium Park, the huge heap of metal in the background caught your eye.  You might have even walked back there to look at it.  You might have even walked around it.  But did you make a point of coming back in the evening to the Pritzker Pavilion for a free concert?

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For those of you that have battled Ravinia, this happened to be much easier.  I know that the concert didn't have the BIG name performers, but it was the same idea.  Open air, picnic lawn seats, music in the background, and your friends that you dragged along.

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With the hot summer that we have been experiencing, we just happened to luck out and have a cool night.  It actually couldn't have been nicer.  There was no problem finding "the perfect picnic spot".

The crowd was pleasant and not too bothered that the grounds crew had aerified the lawn recently making the tootsie roll-sized clumps of dirt a little lumpy to sit on.

Being married to a golf pro, I know that it is essential to aerify for a healthy lawn...it just seems like it could be done in the fall after the concert season...is this too much to ask?  If we had been lucky enough to have had rain quench the drought that we are experiencing, the tootsie rolls would have been a little squishy.

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There are seats closer to the stage if you are not a ground squatter and they are also FREE.  The opening act this evening was James Vincent McMorrow who you have heard me recommend recently.  A combination of the Irish brogue and the great company and the wine...

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...made for a great way to toast our favorite newly engaged couple. We had such a relaxed, enjoyable night and may or may not have been one of the last blankets to fold up shop after being asked to finally leave.  (ahem, cough, that wasn't us)

If you don't really like schlepping picnic things, there are drinks for sale outside of the grassy area and food is available at the cafe at Millennium Park or any restaurant along the way.  My friend, Debbie, works at a Michigan winery so only the best for us that night.  I was responsible for food which is always okay with me.  My husband was in charge of the blanket and Debbie's husband was in charge of his chair, which was promptly confiscated by my husband who is not a fan of sitting on the ground.  He needs yoga.  (We have now ordered our own chair.)

ImageThe longer you sit, the more beautiful the Pritzker Pavilion gets.  It changes from red...

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to blue...

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and have you ever been lucky enough to see "The Bean" at night?  It is simply beautiful.  The normally sparkling silver is transformed to black and mysterious at night.  With the beautifully lit white neoclassic buildings in the background, this actually made me pause for a breath when I saw it.  The photo does not do it justice.  (My hands were too full of picnic gear to whip out my good camera so this is with my phone.)

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Since the days are so hot, enjoy a night event.  A Millennium Park concert is just "cool" enough.

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    Maureen Keegan

    Spotting things to do along the UP West Metra Line. Helping to fill your headphones with great tunes for your commute. Making your dinnertime easier with a few recipes. (All while straddling sanity by living in two cities at once. One foot in Morris and one foot in Wheaton with 2 Houses, 2 Grownups, 2 Kids and a dog.)

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