We had a pleasant mental respite from the Chicago winter by attending the Provence in the City wine tasting at the Public Hotel. Some reds and whites, but primarily roses from sunny, seductive Provence were featured. The dry, aromatic, pale roses make up 89% of the total regional production - not the sweet, bright pink roses most Americans think of. Unfortunately we were a little pressed for time so didn't have a chance to taste all the wines, but every one we did taste, we enjoyed. So for your next barbecue or afternoon at the beach - or just for a taste of summer, grab a rose from Provence - you won't be disappointed!
We've been keeping busy with the kids this winter. One of the kid's favorite things to do is go to the zoo. Luckily we have two great zoos within an hour of our house - Brookfield Zoo and Lincoln Park Zoo.
Little A and the giraffes at Brookfield Zoo
Little A and I planned a trip to Brookfield Zoo on a chilly windy day. It was a free admission day, so we decided to go anyways -- turned out to be one of our best visits. The animals were active and curious and there were more zoo workers there than visitors :). Some of the animals were off-exhibit due to the cold, but we spent plenty of time inside the Tropic World, Fragile Desert and Africa and also caught a dolphin show.
Treetop Canopy Climbing Adventure at Lincoln Park Zoo
A couple days later we headed into Chicago to Lincoln Park Zoo. Lincoln Park Zoo is always open and free so it's a great place to pop in if you have a little time to spare in the city. Once again, most of the animals were inside, but that's where we wanted to be anyways. Little A wanted to see a lion (which we didn't see at Brookfield), and we were able to see a lioness inside the Kovler Lion House. We also spent time in the Small Mammal and Reptile house, the Helen Brach Primate House and finished up at the Pritzker Family Children's Zoo. We spent a good 45 minutes at the children's zoo watching all 4 kiddos climb up and through the Treetop Canopy Climbing Adventure, an indoor, netted climbing area.
Some tips for visiting the zoos in winter:
Pack snacks and/or lunch.
Know what exhibits you want to see and plan your route.
Depending on weather, consider taking the shuttle through Brookfield Zoo - one ticket lets you ride all day.
Check out free admission days at Brookfield.