Category Archives: Morrison Home Team News

Summertime in Chicago

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The weather is warming up, school is coming to an end, and everyone is finally coming out of hibernation. We have rounded up a few ideas of what to do with your family and your significant other to fully enjoy everything the city has to offer this summer:

Family Activities:

Bike the Drive

Cycle down Lake Shore Drive for five hours of car-free riding from Bryn Mawr Ave all the way down to the Museum of Science and Industry! Proceeds benefit the Active Transportation Alliance who work to improve biking, walking, and transit infrastructure throughout the city. Learn more and sign up here: http://bikethedrive.org/

Movie Nights at Gallagher Way

The best way to watch a movie in our opinion, outside, at night, next to Wrigley Field! You can catch these free movies every Wednesday from May 15- September 25. Enjoy classics like Wayne’s World and Sixteen Candles this month. To see the entire line up, visit this site: https://www.gallagherway.com/events/movie-night/2019-05-15

Go to the Beach

One of the most fun ways to enjoy the city on a hot summer day? The beaches of course! Swimming season officially starts Memorial Day Weekend, all other details you can find here: https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks-facilities/beaches

See a Concert at Ravinia

While it’s not exactly in the city, Ravinia is one of our favorite ways to spend a summer evening. Pack a picnic and a blanket, and enjoy live music under the stars. For tickets and the concert schedule, click here: https://www.ravinia.org/

Adult Activities:

Chicago Craft Beer Week: May 10-May 17

Starts off with a kick-off event at the Garfield Park Conservatory on May 10 followed by several activities including a dodgeball tournament, tap takeovers at various venues throughout the city, and even fundraisers! Learn more at this link: https://www.illinoisbeer.org/icbw/

Lincoln Park Wine Festival: May 17-May 19

Attendees receive 12 tasting tickets to use. Enjoy live music, food to pair with your wine, and the zoo animals! Learn more at this link: https://www.lpzoo.org/summer-wine-fest

 

You can find more weekly recommendations in our Weekend Roundup, sent every Thursday! 

 

 

What to do This Spring (While Your House is Being Shown!)

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Trying to figure out what to do while your house is being shown during the busy Spring Market? While here at Morrison Home Team, we won’t leave you hanging! Here are a few of our favorite Spring events coming up, perfect to allow you to enjoy the time spent out of your house while it is being shown! (Disclosure: if your house isn’t on the market, you can still enjoy these activities).

Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show, until March 24.

Photo courtesy of: Chicago Botanic Garden

This yearly event is best enjoyed while it is cold and dreary outside so you can better relish in the warm temperatures of the green house and the brilliant colors of 10,000+ orchids in bloom! Don’t have time to go during the day? Stop by for Orchids After Hours on Thursdays and enjoy tropical drinks and light bites while you explore the show. More information about the event here: https://www.chicagobotanic.org/orchid

Ice Skating in Millenium Park and Maggie Daley Park, until March 10.

Because sometimes during March in Chicago, it’s not warm enough to run around in the parks…For another week, the ice skating rink at Millenium Park and ice skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park are still open! If you’re looking for a beautiful view of the city, something to do with the kids, and hot chocolate nearby, stop by these venues before the weather warms up.

Wndr Museum

Photo courtesy of: Time Out Chicago

This science and art themed, innovative pop up museum exhibition has completely enraptured the city (you have probably seen some photos on Instagram). The idea is to get you to interact with everything and you will have fun doing it! We recommend purchasing tickets ahead of time, which you can find here: https://wndrmuseum.com/https://wndrmuseum.com/

Barrington Celtic Fest, March 15-17  

If you are in the Northwest Suburbs, take the weekend of St. Paddy’s Day to enjoy Barrington’s Celtic Fest just outside of McGonigal’s Pup in downtown Barrington. For the free admission you can expect live music, Irish goods being sold, Irish dancers, bag pipers, and plenty of food and drinks! See more information here: https://365barrington.com/events/barrington-celtic-fest-march-15-17/

If you are interested in learning about events going on every weekend, contact claire@morrisonhometeam.com to receive our Weekend Roundup every Thursday in your inbox!

MHT’s Favorite Weekend Getaways

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Here at Morrison Home Team of @Properties, we love Chicago and we love the Chicago suburbs, but sometimes you just need to get out of the hustle and bustle for a bit.

We polled around for our favorite weekend getaways from Chicago and are excited to share them with you! Looking for the perfect place to relax or bring kids? Read on!

John: Our favorite place to go with the family is Lake Geneva, WI. The town is quaint, quiet, and beautiful and as much fun for my daughters as it is for my wife and I. In the winter, we go up for Winterfest and make sure to check out the Ice Castles. You can look up the dates that they are open online! In the summer, our favorite thing is to rent a boat in Williams Bay and drive the lake for a little while before stopping at Pier 290 for dinner.

Liz: Both of our kids attended Iowa State University for college, so my husband and I have become HUGE Cyclone fans because of it! Even though they have both graduated, we still make time every fall and winter to go back and watch a football and basketball game at their alma mater. It’s a fun family getaway, and we all get to pretend like we are back in college!

Huge win for Iowa State this past season resulted in a field storming!

Lisa: We are also big Lake Geneva fans! It’s less than an hour from Barrington, so it makes for the perfect place to spend some time–even if it’s just a day. My daughter and I love the year round activities like skiing, boating, and kayaking. If we are looking for a more relaxed visit, we head to the annual art festivals and the Oktoberfest celebrations!

Crystal: My family and I often visit Union Pier, Michigan. It’s a really easy drive at just 60 miles from Chicago. Right next door, New Buffalo has awesome shops and restaurants! We rent a house along the beach (in the summer especially) and enjoy a relaxing weekend to recharge.

Hopefully these have inspired you to get out and around this year!

If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell their house, please contact John Morrison at 847.409.0297.

MHT’s Holiday To-Do List

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While the weather outside might be frightful…it’s still the most wonderful time of the year! ‘Tis the season for ice skating, hot chocolate, bright lights, and spending time with friends and family! We love all of the excitement that the holidays bring, so we are sharing some of our favorite things to do this time of the year:

 

John

Our favorite thing to do as a family is go downtown to Michigan Avenue to see the Christmas Tree and the lights. My daughters are always mesmerized by all of the lights and I love the memory that they will have of all of us seeing it together as a family. They also love walking past the window displays at Macy’s on State Street and going inside to see the Christmas tree in the Walnut Room.

Liz

Ok I have two things. The first is going to Chessie’s Restaurant in Barrington for dinner during the holidays—the decorations are incredible in the bar area! It really puts me in the holiday spirit. The second is driving to 8 Wescott Drive in South Barrington, and parking out front to watch their Christmas light show! This family decorates their home with over 85,000 lights every other year (it’s on this year!) and puts on a 15-minute show synced up to music. It is so much fun to dress in pajamas, make some hot chocolate, and go watch from the warmth of the car. Just make sure to tell the guard at the gate that you are coming to see the Kazmier Family, you don’t want to miss this!

Lisa

We head into the city too! It’s most magical when we are window shopping on Michigan Ave or State Street and the snow starts lightly falling. When we get tired of the cold, we head over to Fado for an Irish Coffee to warm ourselves up again!

Crystal

My family and I always make it a point to grab dinner in the basement at Kelsey Road House during the holiday season. They go to such great lengths for their incredible festive décor, it is crazy!

Other Fun Holiday Activities:

Winter Wonderfest:

Until January 6 at Navy Pier. Festivities include: indoor ice skating, rides, giant slides, holiday decor, climbing walls, mini golf, and cookie decorating! This is a ticketed festival, but you can buy them online for $20!

Christkindlmarket:

Until December 24 in Daley Plaza. Shop handcrafted goods, enjoy traditional German food, and don’t forget you mug of spiced wine!

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights:

Until January 6 at Lincoln Park Zoo. Watch the zoo transform into a winter wonderland with thousands of lights and displays, and even a light show set to music!

Ice Skating in Chicago:

Skate at Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, and Wrigley Field (also known as Gallagher Way).

Long Grove Vintage Holidays:

Saturdays and Sundays until December 22 in Downtown Long Grove. Festivities include: Horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, Mr. and Mrs. Claus visits.

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!

-The Morrison Home Team

MHT Favorites: Books We Love

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With the weather turning cooler, here are Morrison Home Team, we like taking some time to ourselves to cozy up with a good book after a day of work. Looking for a few recommendations? Here are our favorites:

John: Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle, Glenn Murray, and Audrey Colman

Photo courtesy of: target.com

Now this might not be the beach read you are looking for, but the story behind this book makes it a favorite for sure:

As you may be able to tell by now, if I am not working, I am spending time with my 6 and 3 year old daughters. I had agreed to surprise my oldest daughter’s class and be the “Secret Reader” one day and that morning I realized I hadn’t picked out a book to read. Luckily, my wife, Priscilla, came to the rescue and said she had already put a book in the car for me. I didn’t realize it was Walter the Farting Dog until I had arrived at the school…

 Needless to say, the class was rolling on the floor, the teacher was a bit perturbed, and I was about 10 shades of red. The girls ask us to read this to them all the time before bed now, and it always has us all cracking up.”

Liz: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Photo courtesy of: barnesandnoble.com

“I love this book! My daughter, Claire, recommended it and it has been a story that has stuck with me ever since. It’s the true story about a young man who ran in the 1936 Olympics, even met Adolf Hitler, and then joined the U.S. Airforce in WWII. His plane was shot down at sea, and he floated on a life raft for 47 days until he was rescued…by Japanese forces and was kept as a Prisoner of War for 3 years. It is the most unbelievable story of survival, courage, and strength. My favorite line from the book is “Sometimes a moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory.” Everyone should read this story!

Lisa: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen

Photo courtesy of: barnesandnoble.com

“This non-fiction novel is a fascinating read for someone who lives in Chicago! It spans the years surrounding the building of the famous White City for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, and follows the true story of a malicious doctor who murdered hundreds of women in the midst of all of the festivities. Mystery, magic, and murder…you can’t get much more intriguing than that!

Crystal: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Photo courtesy of: barnesandnoble.com

“This story is told from the fascinating perspective of Ernest Hemingway’s wife, set in Paris during the roaring 1920’s. Everyone has heard of Ernest Hemingway and we are familiar with his work, but the life of his wife will have you consistently turning the page. I decided that if I could live in another time period, I would choose 1920’s Paris after reading this book!

Are you looking for a new house to read your favorite book in? Contact John Morrison at the Morrison Home Team at 847.409.0297.

 

MHT’s Favorites: Local Haunts to Visit Before Halloween

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Spooky season is upon us, and here at MHT, we love a good fall festival and even a little scare every now and then. Here are our picks for some great festivals, haunted houses, and other Halloween activities to do in the Northwest Suburbs and in Chicago!

Family Friendly Fall Festivals

Barrington: Scarecrow Festival 2018

Saturday, October 13: 11:00am-2:00pm

Held at Memorial Park in the Village every year, this is a great free festival for some family fun over the weekend! Expect pumpkin decorating, cookie decorating (yum!), scarecrow building, pony rides, face painting, and food!

Long Grove: DIY Scarecrow Day

Saturday, October 13: 11:00am-4:00pm

Located next to the Country House (430 Robert Parker Coffin Road), this festival is all about making your own scarecrow. Bring your own tools, scarecrow accessories, and builders and you will be able to make your own masterpiece! After they are built, the scarecrows get displayed around the village until the end of the month!

Chicago: Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up

Goose Island, Chicago

Here is a great opportunity throughout the month of October for families and couples in the city to experience some fall fun! This event hosts Chicago’s largest corn maze (with a bar in the middle of the maze), carnival rides for the family, and food and entertainment! Check out the schedule online and buy your tickets for the new coolest Halloween event in Chicago!

Top Haunted Houses in the Chicagoland Area

While this isn’t exactly our cup of tea, we thought to include it to get everyone into the scary Halloween spirit!

Basement of the Dead

Aurora

This is ranked as one of the top haunted houses in Illinois. Also know for it’s very real looking/acting killer clowns, bloody nuns (who doesn’t love a good bloody nun), and claustrophobic halls (yes please sign me up). And if you get through all of the rooms? You can play some carnival games!

HellsGate Haunted House

Lockport

This house is so secret that you have to park in the Metra parking lot and get shuttled to the location of this haunted house. Then you get 45 minutes to get through the multi-level mansion and if you find the skeleton key during your scream session, you will get your ticket for free!

Best Chicago Urban Legends:

For some reason these all seem to be about young girls who died and haunt everything…but here are a few of the city’s top Urban legends.

The Italian Bride

Mt. Carmel Cemetery is best known for being the resting place of many gangsters, including a one Al Capone, one of the most famous residents in Julia Petta, also known as the Italian Bride. Legend has it that this poor girl died in childbirth, but for years after her death, her mother would have dreams of Julia telling her she was still alive and needed help getting out of her grave. Six years after she died, her family exhumed her grave and found her body still perfectly in tact as it had been when she was alive. Many visitors to the cemetery have reported seeing a ghostly white women near Julia’s grave.

Resurrection Mary

One of the more famous ghost stories, Mary, who loved to dance, was killed in a car accident while walking home from a dance hall in 1934. But that doesn’t stop her from continuing to go out in the city. She has been said to still go to the dance halls (maybe the night clubs now, but she would look out of place in her 1930’s attire) and dance with a young man all night. Then when she asks him for a ride home, she says she lives at Resurrection Cemetery because her dad is the care taker. When he drops her off there, she disappears before his eyes. Can you image that poor uber driver nowadays? Give that guy 5 stars.

We hoped you enjoyed our Halloween edition of this blog post! And we also hope you weren’t too spooked out to stay for more!

If you know of anyone looking to buy or sell in the area, please pass this post on to them along with our referral!

 

 

 

Get to Know MHT: Our Favorite Restaurants

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Here at Morrison Home Team, we consider ourselves to be experts in the Northwest Suburbs. Whether that means experts in the housing market, buying and selling locations, or the food scene, we know our stuff.

Our clients often ask us for recommendations if they are looking for a place to eat so we have compiled a list of our favorite restaurants in the Northwest Suburbs, and what to order below. Bon appétit!

John’s Favorites: My wife and I love Italian food and fresh sushi, so those are our go-to options in the area.

Agio: Located in Palatine, this Italian spot has an intimate feel as if you were in a little hole in the wall in Italy! John recommends the baked clams as an appetizer!

DiBenedetto Trattoria: Another Italian choice, this one in Hoffman Estates. John recommends the stuffed artichoke, but you can’t go wrong with the chicken parmesan or pasta alla vodka!

Bistro Wasabi: A sushi restaurant in Hoffman Estates where you can either choose a table, or sit and watch your sushi rolls be prepared by the masters at the sushi bar. Apart from the sushi, John recommends the Maguri Salad with chips, it’s his favorite!

Liz’s Favorites: I am Italian, so when I find an Italian restaurant that has food that tastes as good as my own, then it becomes my favorite!

 Spunky Dunkers: This awesome donut stop is perfect to fulfill your sweet tooth, or bring a lot of joy to your coworkers! These donuts are handmade all day, and did we mention they are open 24 hours? Don’t miss the red velvet donut…it’s one of our favorites! There are locations in Palatine and Arlington Heights.

Asahi: Sushi sushi sushi! This awesome, casual spot is perfect at delivering fresh, handmade rolls quickly with friendly service and delicious dessert as well! Try the Sexy Roll and the Sato Roll, you can thank us later!

Francesca’s Famiglia: A classic Barrington Italian establishment, and for good reason! The simple, delicious dishes, lengthy wine list, happy staff, and the perfect place to throw a party! We love the Linguine Fagatarro in the warmer months and the Pollo alla Romana in the chillier months!

Ciao Baby: And now for a more modern take on Italian in Barrington! We love Ciao Baby for an easy, but delicious, lunch stop! Try the “Mini Me” which is their famous dipped Italian beef, just a smaller portion! And don’t forget the French fries!

Lisa’s Favorite: I prefer the freshest ingredients when I go out to eat, and Mexican food usually hits the spot!

Bien Trucha: craving Mexican food? This Geneva joint is the perfect place! Lisa says that her favorites include homemade guacamole and shrimp tacos, all made from scratch with fresh ingredients! Pair it with a margarita and it’s even better!

Crystal’s Favorite: When I eat here, I feel like I have been transported to Spain!

Tapas Calpé: Looking for small plates and a killer wine list? Look no further than this Spanish tapas place in Cary! Crystal recommends the smoked salmon or white fish and a charcuterie board. If you’re looking for more classic Spanish dishes, try some patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), jamón ibérico (Iberico ham), and some gambas de ajo (shrimp in oil).

Now…we are officially hungry. Photo from: Tripadvisor

Hopefully these recommendations satisfy your taste buds!

Are you looking to buy or sell your house in the Chicago Northwest Suburbs? Contact John at the Morrison Home Team at 847.409.0297.

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