Talk of The Town: November 2022


This is the time of year when many people’s thoughts turn to giving… Whether that’s gift giving or giving back, we have ideas for both. We even have suggestions when you need a little self-care and want a unique gift to give yourself!


here are many reasons to gift an experience rather than a present. For one, it gives the recipient something to anticipate and provides treasured memories that can last a lifetime. Group experiences also offer the chance to build new bonds and deepen relationships. Finally, research suggests that experiences lead to greater and longer lasting happiness than material things. Here are some special experiences to consider for friends, family and associates.

With locations in Naperville, Rosemont and Lincoln Park, iFly ( offers an exciting and exhilarating indoor skydiving experience. It’s a great gift that a family can enjoy together, and they offer a variety of experience vouchers as well as prepaid gift cards.

Know anyone passionate about perfumes? Let them create their own perfume, cologne, or bath and body product at the Aroma Workshop ( in Lincoln Park. With dozens of fragrances and essential oils to choose from, like vetiver, geranium, sandalwood and tea rose, they’ll sit down with an experienced perfumer and learn how to create compatible combinations for their own signature scent!

Most everyone has a craft beer enthusiast in their life, so how about giving them a gift certificate to Gnome Brew ( in Lincoln Square? Their 2-hour introductory class is perfect for those who want to try brewing their own beer without committing too much time or acquiring lots of brewing equipment.

A piece of jewelry or art glass can make a wonderful gift… Even better, give your loved one the opportunity to create their own fused, painted or stained glass object. Baltic Art Studio ( on Chicago’s North Side offers private instruction as well as small-group classes where students can create specific pieces like a suncatcher, fused glass earrings, nightlight, or 4-piece sushi dish set.

The Chicago School of Woodworking ( has been educating and training hobbyists since 2007. For the serious beginner, they offer a variety of 9-week introductory classes in furniture making, woodturning, marquetry and more. They also have 1 and 2-day seminars where you can complete a single project such as a lovely turned bowl or a spindle-handled pizza cutter made on a lathe.


Amidst the bustle and excitement of the season, be sure to take time for yourself! Alone-time with a good read or a long soak in the tub are popular ways to self-care. Here are other ideas when you need a gift for one of the most important people in your life—YOU!

Why should out-of-town visitors have all the fun of discovering Chicago? With Tour By Locals (, you can explore the city like a tourist—and maybe even learn something new about your hometown. Specialty tours include a look into the city’s two World’s Fairs and an exploration of Chicago’s Polish history.
How about hiring a personal chef? Trained at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Chef Aram Reed ( offers in-home services including a 6-course meal for two or four full meals delivered ready to heat and eat, so you don’t have to cook for the rest of the week!

When out-of-town relatives come over for a celebratory meal, consider take-out from your favorite local restaurant. Not only does it spare you the shopping and cooking, you’ll also have more time to spend with your guests—and it’s a terrific way for them to get a taste of your daily life in Chicago.


For many, this season is a time to reflect, take stock, and express gratitude. It’s also a wonderful time to share your blessings with those who are less fortunate and may be struggling, especially as the holidays approach. Neighborhood food pantries and local toy drives will certainly welcome your support. Here are a couple of other ideas for giving back.

Throughout the year, Little Brothers—Friends of the Elderly strives to alleviate loneliness and isolation among our most vulnerable elders, many of whom have no visitors and nowhere to go during the holidays. So in the weeks ahead, Little Brothers will throw three holiday parties including a Thanksgiving celebration with music, dancing and a traditional turkey dinner. They’ll also deliver holiday meals with all the trimmings during their regular volunteer visits with homebound elders. Whether you volunteer your time or make a donation, your gift will be genuinely appreciated. Learn more at

Or consider Lurie Children’s Hospital. You can brighten a child’s day by donating a new, unopened toy or simply shop online with the Hospital’s Amazon Wish List. Gift cards are also gratefully accepted and used to purchase specific toys and gifts to meet the unique needs of their patients, including Lurie’s adolescent population. Learn more and access the wish list at

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