Talking to any Chicagoan, one nostalgic holiday tradition everyone remembers is going to see the Marshall Fields’s holiday windows.
Marshall Fields was a local department store pioneer who created the holiday window displays that began in Chicago over a century ago. He created theatre sets within each of the seven large windows spanning State Street. Each window tells part of a story. In the past they have had themes including Pinocchio and Harry Potter. This year was ‘The Magic of Christmas’. Though a lot of people have been disappointed when Macy’s bought out independent Marshall Fields they have not done the windows justice.
Despite the local controversy, with the dreary, cold weather, it’s fun to have an outdoor, dog-accessible activity we can all enjoy:
Mr.B actually spent time looking in windows. I love how he looks with his little friend.
And Miss M….was Miss M.
We walked by Chicago’s Christkindlmarket which is normally so packed you can barely move. Being the holiday, it was fairly empty, but the pooches were able to meet a lot of people. Even better, a lot of the people we met were from out-of-town and they had never met pit bull-type dogs before. How flattering that our pups were their first!
We took the pups walking around The Loop checking out Daley Plaza, some of the theaters, and of course Miss M needed to get her photo taken in front of Garrett’s Popcorn (yes! this popcorn really is that good!).
What types of holiday walks do other people take with their pups?
I know a lot of people feel sorry for City Dogs because we don’t have backyards, but we’ve realized how this actually helps us have more quality, family walks with our pups.
After we wrote this post about safely combining dog walking and running errands, I’ve been on the lookout for more walk ups so people won’t need to resort to Dog Parking.
I’ve realized what once used to be a city of hotdog carts has become a city of bright red and yellow hot dog buildings. Many with walk-up windows and picnic tables where you can order a Chicago hot dog or Polish sausage without needing to tether your pup unattended:
What are some other walking traditions you have with your pups?
Check our Facebook Page to see what famous children’s character photobombed the pooches.
While we spent a lot of our summer doing this, our outdoor opportunities are becoming more limited with the cold weather approaching. To keep Miss M from going through ‘people withdrawl’, we’re always looking for opportunities for the pups to get out and about in the city, and our new go-to is open year-round.
Maxwell Street Market is historically important in Chicago where it was once considered the largest open air market in the country. Now it sells everything from produce to socks to tools to toys. Our favorite part is the food area, complete with: tacos, tamales, agua de frescas and chocolate filled churros.
Our other favorite part is seeing Chango’s mom. If you haven’t seen Chango on Instagram …you really are missing out. Chango has the best costumes, and he is also in BadRap’s calendar as Mr. October! You can follow them on Instagram at: Evemexicana.
What other things are you doing with your pooches as the weather is getting colder?
We are always looking for unique dog-friendly activities. While sometimes we make the stretch discovering dog-friendly dog stores and bars with dogs. little did we realize we completely under-rated one of the best dog-friendly activities: going for long walks on the lake.
Chicago has an amazing 18 mile lakefront trail stretching along the city and encompassing a diverse grouping of neighborhoods. With skyline views, boats, and beaches, it makes even the most mundane daily walk that much more exciting.
One of the best parts of living in a big city with a pup is that everything is very walkable; we have plenty of wide sidewalk spaces, crosswalks, and interesting places to visit along the way. We’ve learned first-hand how being able to walk to more destinations allows you to meet more people, creating closer communities within a huge population.
Driving does disconnect you from your immediate community (not to mention frustration with traffic, and road rage!), and we love that Chicago is working on eliminating car traffic by creating safer walking options and more protected bike lanes. Last weekend we even had the chance to stop by an Open Streets event.
This event closes a major street to car traffic encouraging people to walk and bike and create a healthier, more environmentally friendly, and vibrant community. I guess this has been going on in communities for awhile; for the past 20 years Bogata, Columbia reportedly blocks off streets each Sunday to create a car-free public space for everyone to enjoy. This has been spreading to other cities, and you can read what the Active Transportation Alliance has been doing with this concept, here.
The event encouraged walking, and biking, playing, and meeting neighbors. Wouldn’t you know it, we ran into our friend Pip:
Though we do have to drive many places just to transport our pups, we dream of one day eliminating our reliance on our car and owning a Nihola cargo bike to bike with our pups (complete with Doggles!).
Has anyone else noticed how the walkability (or lack of walkability) in your area influences your interactions with your community? Or do you have a similar open streets concept in your area?
Each year there are 2 things of great significance that fall on the same weekend: Chicago’s Renegade Craft Fair and the Chicago Bear’s Home Opener. So each year, Miss M and I have a Girls’ Day heading out to check out the half-mile long festival of indie artists while E and Mr B watch the game together (complete with jerseys!).
We had the chance to go with several of our SociaBulls buddies, including: Zoe and Miss M’s boyfriend Boomer.
We loved that they did have such a variety of artists and vendors. Miss M and I “shared” a tangerine-lavendar snowcone, we saw decorative tepees (though no pitbull hiding inside) and even a pillow that looked exactly like our Mr. B.
We also saw so many other SociaBulls friends: Little black Lily’s people, SuperLevi’s person, and even Jack and his family.
Remember when we brought a certain someone last year?
Miss M has always appreciated the other side of her heritage. and has become quite the connoisseur of Kalbi and Korean Pear-Apples when she goes to visit E’s family. So this weekend’s Chicago Korean festival was extra special for her with the scents of kalbi being grilled and E’s mom look-alikes abound.