Woodfield mall generalVisitors to Illinois hit an all-time high in 2017. It marked the seventh consecutive year of record-breaking tourism in the state, according to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Tourism.

In the last year, the amount of money people spent in the name of travel and fun across Illinois increased by 3.3 percent. That’s an increase of $1.1 billion from 2016.

The suburbs, in particular, are thriving. Cook County saw a 3.1 percent jump in tourism spending, while in Will County, spending was up by 5 percent, according to the U.S. Travel Association’s Economic Impact of Domestic Travel on Illinois Counties.

A new dining pavilion at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, a renovated golf course in Addison, the additional of Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee, a slew microbreweries popping up in the Northwest suburbs and new hotels and restaurants being built are facilitating the increase in tourism in the area. 

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Chicago Model at Chicago Architecture FoundationThe Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) opened on Aug. 31 at their new location at the heart of the city – near the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive – featuring everything architecture in Chicago through tours, programs and exhibitions.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also proclaimed the date as Chicago Architecture Date as a part of the center’s weekend-long grand opening celebration.

The new center, made possible through $12 million in private funding, boasts a lecture hall, hands-on design workshops, classrooms and a gift shop stocked with a wide array of design books and home décor.

Formerly known as the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the center moved from its previous home at the Railway Exchange Building. Its new home is at the base of Mies can der Rohe’s 1970 Illinois Center office complex.

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display homechef Chicago Style Spinach Deep Dish Pizza 8 of 9 Chicago is known for its signature deep-dish pizza. Now, the city is home to the pop-up U.S. Pizza Museum.

The museum opened last week at the Roosevelt Collection, the mixed-use development in Chicago’s South Loop, and is scheduled through the end of October. If there is enough interest, organizers say they will consider extending the engagement.

It’s open on Fridays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free to all ages, but an online reservation is required for timed entry. The first wave of tickets is available now.

Founded by Kendall Bruns, the museum showcases pizza art, pizza-themed clothing, pizzeria menus, pizza ads, pizza toys, pizza-themed magnets and pizza books.

Throughout the summer, the U.S. Pizza Museum and the Roosevelt Collection will partner to offer events and activities such as dough-making demonstrations, pizza parties and book signings.

Visitors can make online reservations for timed entry here.

Chicago’s Cloud GateCloud Gate more commonly known as “The Bean” has been named among the top 10 landmarks in the country by TripAdvisor.

The travel website said it compiled the ranking using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for landmarks worldwide.

First unveiled to the public on May 15, 2006, the elliptical sculpture is British artist Anish Kapoor’s first public outdoor work installed in the United States.

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memWhat better way to celebrate Memorial Day than spending time with your family and honoring all the brave men and women who gave their lives to make this country what it is? Below are some Memorial Day parades and ceremonies in the Chicagoland area over the weekend.  

Chicago

Chicago is starting Memorial Day Weekend with a wreath laying ceremony and parade at 11a.m. on Saturday, May 26 at the Eternal Flame on Daley Plaza. Following the ceremony, there will be a parade promptly at noon that will go south on State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren.

The Norwood Park Memorial Day parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Monday and end with a ceremony at approximately 12:15 p.m. The parade will begin at Onahan School and travel west toward Northwest Highway, ending at Taft High School where the ceremony will take place.

North/Northwest Suburbs

Lincolnshire Memorial Day Ceremony

At Lincolnshire’s ceremony, Captain Raymond C. Leung of the U.S. Navy will speak at 10 a.m. on Monday at Spring Lake Park. The Daniel Wright Middle School band and color guard will perform at the event. After the ceremony, the Sea Cadets Division 911 will retire a worn American flag. Those who plan on attending may also bring flags to retire.

Lincolnwood Memorial Day Parade

The parade will begin at 10:20 a.m. on Monday at Madeleine’s Garden. The parade will start at the corner of Cicero and Pratt Avenues and will end in Proesel Park at Madeleine’s Garden, where a ceremony will be held at 11 a.m.

Lincolnwood’s parade allows children ages eight and under to participate by riding bikes, scooters and wagons decorated in a patriotic theme. Children participating must be accompanied by an adult and all riders must wear helmets.

West Suburbs

Battle of Cantigny 100th Anniversary

In Wheaton, there will be a 100th anniversary celebration of the famous World War I battle where the U.S. Army liberated the French village of Cantigny from German occupation. The celebration will include a wreath-laying ceremony, a poppy display, World War I themed family activities, military vehicles and a World War I themed photo booth. To end the celebration, the Illinois Brass Band will perform at 3 p.m.

Naperville Memorial Day Parade

The Naperville Memorial Day Parade will include 17 different marching bands and will begin at roughly 10:30 a.m. at Jackson and West Street. It will end at the Saints Peter and Paul church parking lot.

South Suburbs

Beverly Area Memorial Day Parade

Before the parade kicks off, the Beverly Area Planning Association’s 41st annual Ridge Run will take place where more than 3,000 athletes will gather to compete. There will be entertainment, food, children’s activities and special guests at Ridge Park following the race.

The parade will begin from 110th Street and Longwood Drive at about 10 a.m., and march north to Ridge Park. After the parade, the BAPA will have a wreath-laying ceremony along with a color guard at Ridge Park.

Homewood Memorial Day Parade

The Homewood Memorial Day Parade will start at 10:30 a.m. and travel south on Dixie Highway before ending at Veterans Park for a Memorial Day ceremony. The ceremony is to remember, reflect and honor those who have served, are serving and those who have given their lives for this country.

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