Friday, December 26, 2014

~New Years Eve in Chicago~

Head over to the New Year's Beach Party at the Whistler. There will be dancing, DJs, a live surf rock band, food, and an open bar. It's located in nearby Logan Square, starts at 9pm, and costs $99 (which includes tax and tip).
 Buy tickets --> here 

Fish Bar is one of Chicago's favorite seafood bars, and this year they are hosting a New Year's Taco Cocktail Party. The all-you-can-eat menu includes upscale passed bites, cocktails, draft beer, and sparkling wine. Located at 2956 N. Sheffield, the party starts at 10pm, and costs $80.

 Buy Tickets --> Here
To start the New year off with a real explosion, head to the Voyager 2015 party. The entire venue will be transformed into an otherworldly planet with glowing ice, jellyfish, strange creatures, and a time warp portal. Included in admission is food, drinks, and talented music performers. It's located at the Chop Shop, and doors open at 9pm.
Watch a promo video --> Here
Buy Tickets --> Here

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Chicago: A Comedy Town

The Second City is a top-notch place that puts sketch and improvised comedy on the map. 
1616 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL

IO Cabaret is an improv house that was founded in 1981. It has changed the face of improvisational comedy.
1501 N. Kingsbury St.
Chicago, IL

The Laugh Factory offers lineups of local comics a few times a week, with an occasional touring headliner.
3175 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL

The Public House Theater has a boozy sketch show right now called "Bye Bye Liver", and it is filled with hilarious sketches, and interactive games surrounding the topic of alcohol.
Friday- Saturday, $20
3914 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Skating Outside In Chicago
Nearby Parson's Chicken & Fish wants you to eat chicken while you skate! They now have a skating rink that is big enough for up to 30 skaters, and it is located right behind the restaurant. The rink also offers hot and cold beverages for young and old patrons alike. 
$5, and skate rental available as well
2952 W. Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
Located right next to the famous Chicago "Bean", Millenium Park's Ice rink is free, and open to the public. It is open every day, and even offers some free skating lessons on the weekends. Snacks and hot drinks are available at the Park Grill Cafe next door
Skate rental is $12
201 E. Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Air from the slipping polar vortex is sidling our way! 
Here are tips on how to stay warm this icy Chicago winter.

First of all cover up! Your neck is full of blood vessels that are close to your skin, and you'll lose just as much heat from an uncovered neck as an uncovered head. Also, when your hands are cold it signifies that your entire body needs more warmth. Wear good silk glove liners under a wool insulation layer for the best protection.

Next you should layer up! Each layer that you wear traps its own layer of air, which then provides insulation. The Base layer keeps you dry so that your sweat doesn't reduce your ability to hold warmth. Merino has some nice wool base layers. Mid layers are your bulky wool, down, or felt insulation. Insulation maintains your temperature, so it would be wise to warm up before putting all your layers on. Last of all is the shell. This layer keeps off rain, wind, and snow. L.L. Bean makes a nice 3 in 1 jacket, with a combination of all the layers. 

The staff at Ray's hopes that you are keeping warm out there!  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

~ Date Night at Artango Bistro ~
A great place to take your special someone, this Argentinean Bistro has meals that are made from scratch, and with locally sourced, healthy ingredients. When you arrive, head to the dance floor for a 30 minute tango lesson that covers the basics of walking, posture, connection and embrace.

4217 N. Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60613
$30 a person
Every Tuesday @7:30, Wednesday @8:00 & Thursday @8:30.
Register by emailing:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

~ Feminism and Art  ~
220 E Chicago Ave
(312) 280-2660

In her exhibit Annie Collier examines how females are empowered by picking up a camera and reversing the “male gaze”. Annie deconstructs commercial photography, and sheds light on how rampant sexism is in a lot of pop culture.  
November 22nd-March 8 

In 1978, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presented Frida Kahlo's first solo museum exhibition in the United States. Now "Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo" will be using 2 of Frida's original works, and bringing her work into dialogue with some similarly rebellious contemporary artists. Frida challenged patriarchy and mainstream America with her unabashed portrayal of her physical and psychological experiences.  

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bee Basics

Just down the street from Ray's there is an amazing place called the "Rebuilding Exchange". The place strives to educate on sustainable deconstruction practices and reuse. They offer over 100 hands on public workshops a year to empower and educate on the many ways to reuse materials.  

On November 23 an intriguing workshop will be led there by Jana Kinsman, a Chicago beekeeper, who will be talking about a  honeybee's life, and what it is like to be a beekeeper.  She will educate about native pollinators in the Chicago region, how integral they are, and ways in which you can help them. Finally, you will be able to build your own takeaway bee house with reclaimed scrap wood!

November 23, 2:30-4:30pm
1740 W. Webster Ave

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

 Fall DIY Ideas at the Sprout Home
745 N. Damen Ave

Terrarium Workshop
Learn the steps for building and caring for your own mini greenery. Terrariums are perfect for busy urban farmers, and they look great in your home or at work. The fee includes a glass terrarium, and all the necessary planting materials and accessories.          
November 12

Autumn Wreaths
Create beautiful pieces for your home, or even for a loved one! The Sprout home has a bright and airy workspace where you can work your creativity into branches, seed pods and greens to make a sensational piece.

November 19

Here at Ray's we are having so much fun watching the leaves change color, and celebrating Ray's and Heather's birthdays!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ray's Favorite Halloween Picks:

There is a midnight screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Music Box Theatre. Live actors act along with the film, and the audience all dress up as well. For $3 you can buy a kit with everything you will need for the real RHPS experience!
October 24th-November 1st 
$15 (or $18 at the door)
3733 N. Southport Ave

The Northalsted Halloween Parade is now in its 18th year. It attracts thousands of diverse costumers that watch or participate in the parade. There is also a costume contest for humans and pets! This years theme is "The Freakshow" and there will be bearded ladies, clowns, and more, with live acts and music all along Halsted street.
October 31 starting at 8pm
Registration for parade 5:30-7pm
3656 North Halsted

Emporium Arcade Bar in nearby Wicker park is hosting a "Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Marathon". They also have 37 vintage arcade games you can play if for instance, you decide that you are in the mood to blow up a ninja turtle.
October 26 starting at 6:00pm
1366 N. Milwaukee 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Quaint Shopping around Chicago:

Boutique Shopping in a 1976 RV. The mobile shop travels around the city with great vintage fashion aboard. The stock features high quality and affordable novelty prints, denim, leather, cowboy boots and more. You need to check their website to find the truck!
click-> Here

The Humboldt House is a vintage modern home shop that has amazing textiles, ceramics, oddities, house ware, barware, taxidermy and vintage modern furniture. The inventory showcases local furniture makers, metal workers, jewelry designers and ceramic artists. Lady Bird the house pitbull helps with shopping adventures, and spends a lot of time snoozing on the sofa.The house offers interesting art workshops that you can check out -> here
 Located at 1045 N. California Avenue Chicago, IL 60622.

This is a gem of a place to go to if you're looking for a unique gift. It is a lifestyle boutique that has a distinctive and down-to-earth feel. There is home decor, books, stationary, cards, and a whole bunch of goodies. It is super close to Ray's at 2650 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chicago's 50th Film Festival
October 9-23, 2014

The festival is North America's oldest competitive international film festival. It works to foster a better understanding between cultures, and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The films featured are ones that would generally be unavailable in Chicago, and filmgoers have the change to meet producers, directors, writers and cast members. There are also introductions to the films, and discussion sessions after the screenings.

Tickets start at $5, and you can buy passes over the phone, online, or in person:
AMC River East 21
322 E. Illinois St.

* For the full schedule click --> Here. Or if you are staying at Rays we have a hard copy of the schedule available (just ask!).

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Family Fun In October

Midnight Circus in the Parks is touring 8 of Chicago's parks. It has been voted "Best Annual Family Event" by TimeOut Chicago. Midnight Circus has an old time European traveling circus feel, with acrobats, jugglers, hula hoop artists and aerialists. They engage, inspire, and empower the audience, while raising funds to rebuild the parks. For a list of the upcoming shows click --> here

Also coming up is the Andersonville Arts and Design Weekend from October 10-12. For twelve years now Andersonville has been celebrating the artists and designers in the neighborhood. On Friday there is the night of 100 parties where dozens of stores come alive with fabulous parties. Saturday and Sunday there is a self-guided art walk, where there is loads of amazing art on display. There are a variety of performances and other events going on as well. It's important to note that there is free admission to the Swedish American Museum all weekend!
Finally, the 10th Annual Bucktown Apple Pie Contest is at Holstein Park on October 19th. There are activities such as a crafts tent for kids, carnival games, and inflatable pony racing! Non-bakers can buy slices of pie, and all the proceeds for the event benefit the park.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tell Us About Breweries Near Rays! 
- only if you insist :)

Piece Brewery and Pizzeria has a New Haven style thin crust pizza, and 7 different house brews in a sports bar setting. They have live band karaoke every Saturday. Piece is located in Wicker Park at 1927 W. North Ave.  

Revolution Brewery is located just West of Rays in Logan Square. Revolution opened just a few years ago, and they produce over 50 amazing beers every year. They offer tours throughout the week that last 45 minutes and include a tasting. Walk over to 2323 N. Milwaukee Ave for the Revolution experience.

          Pipeworks microbrewery was voted Best New Brewery in the World its first year. They are known for their acclaimed collaboration beers like the Ninja vs. Unicorn double IPA, and Koval Whiskey Barrel-Aged Smoked Porter. Beer enthusiasts can find out more if they head over to 1675 N. Western Ave.

Fatpour Tap Works has a selection of over 200 beers. You will  be amazed to find that you can watch the tap system stream over 2 miles of beer overhead to the bar. They also have table taps that allow you to pour your own beer. Fatpour also serves food, and offers a patio during warmer weather. They are located just south of Rays at 2005 W. Division St. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Webster Street

Webster Street: The street that only runs from Lincoln Park Zoo to Rays doorstop! 

On a fine sunny day I suggest that you rent a Divvy bike and cruise down Webster Street.

On the way you will find the Oz Park- A Wizard of Oz themed playground and park. The park has basketball and tennis courts, a jogging path, and three baseball diamonds. There are numerous picnic tables and gardens. It's a great place to take the kids for a picnic. It's located at the Webster and Larrabee St intersection.

If you are tired and want to relax and watch a movie, check out the Regal Webster Place 11 theatre. It has seats rumored to be the best in town, with plenty of legroom,food trays and footrests.It's located at 1471 W. Webster Ave., Chicago, IL 60614 Located between Clybourn Ave and Dominick St.

At the end of the road is Lincoln Park Zoo. Founded in 1868, it is one of the oldest zoos in the U.S. It has free admission, and the exhibits include big cats, polar bears, penguins, gorillas, reptiles, and monkeys.
Kids can get a chance to experience a bit of country life with the farm exhibit. Visitors can pet goats, feed cows and roam vegetable gardens. The cows are milked at certain times, and there is always staff around to explain elements of farm life. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dead Trees Turned Alive

Sick and dying trees around Chicago are getting a second chance at life this summer thanks to the Chicago Tree Project. 10 Sculptors are working to draw attention to the large amounts of trees that are dying of invasive species, urban stress and disease. They are integrating art and nature by transforming the trees into vibrant public art. Tree's are important for cleaning the city air, and the dead trees also help the environment by harboring birds, animals, and insects that feed the birds. 
This tree was designed by Karl and Indira Johnson. The  overlapping Morse code and outstretched hands remind us of our reciprocal role in caring for the earth.
In nearby Humboldt Park, Mia Capodilupo made a "Honey Locust tree" to symbolize the linking of human and natural creation together.
Margot McMahon worked on an Elm tree, and she adorned it with a hand made flock of birds.

*To watch a brief video about the project click -->  here

*For a map of the trees in Chicago click --> here

Thursday, August 28, 2014

We Love You Guys!
Thanks so much for your words of kindness, 
because Ray's would not be the same without the support of our amazing guests from around the world. Ten years of awesome people!
Rays Bucktown B & B Reviews 2005-2014

We are also grateful to Kelly Macdowell from Groupon for including us in her article about cool hotels that aren't in the Loop. 
Click --> here to read the article. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

 5 Upcoming Attractions Near Rays:

The Chicago Jazz festival runs from August 28-August 31. It's a free event with quality live musical performances, and talent coming in from around the world! It's located in Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60602.  There is convenient parking in the Millennium Park garage

The Bucktown 5k is a race that runs entirely on closed city streets. This family event celebrates the neighborhood, and it is held on Sunday, September 14 at 8am. The race starts off at 1621 West Wabansia (Wabansia and Marshfield).

Riot fest is a punk and rock festival in nearby Humboldt Park. It runs for three days, from September  12-14, and it is open to all ages (admission is actually free for kids 5 and under when accompanied by an adult). There are Carnival rides, wrestling, and bands such as Jane’s Addiction, The Flaming Lips, Weezer, and The Offspring (this year). You can find the full lineup here: 
Keep an eye out for Leah in the Dropkick Murphy's moshpit, and Monika at Gogol Bordello's show!

The Wicker park Bucktown Farmers Market goes on every Sunday from 8am – 2pm at 1425 N. Damen Avenue. You'll find meats, cheeses, baked goods, locally grown produce, flowers and more.

The Renegade Craft Fair is on September 7th + 8th. It is a DIY extravaganza with artists from across the U.S. selling their handmade wares. It’s Free, and there are workshops, DJs, good food, and installations. Be there, or be sad you aren't there!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Are you staying at Rays for the weekend? Yes? Well the staff want to share some of their favorite nightime haunts!

If you like whirling, twirling, and stomping your feet to loud music, Danny’s is the way to go! Danny’s is a converted Bucktown house with all the fun of a raging house party, but the place actually has a large selection of beer that tastes good. It’s super dark in there so no need to worry about feeling self conscious. There are quiet candlelit nooks and crannies all through the place where you can canoodle and rest your feet. Come before 11pm if you don’t want to wait in a line. It is located right off the Damen blue line stop at 1951 W Dickens Ave Chicago, IL 60647, and it is unmarked besides for a Schlitz sign.

"Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind" by the Neo Futurists is a late-night show that serves a "menu" of 30 rapid-fire plays in 60 minutes. The plays and performers are always changing, and the content of the plays range from serious, to sad, to gleeful. Also, the performers are not afraid to get up close and personal with the audience, so be prepared for some real life human interaction! When you arrive you will wait in line, and then the throw of a die will determine how much you pay.  Showings: Friday 11:30pm, Saturday 11:30pm, Sunday 7:00pm. It is located at 5153 N Ashland                               Ave, Chicago, IL 60640, and the theatre is on the second floor.

Innertown Pub is a scruffy, dark place with eclectic decor that has been around a hundred years, and yes even during Prohibition. There's a jukebox, you can play pool for free, and the bartender is sure to give you attitude, deals or/and jokes. If you go on a Thursday or Sunday there is a great open mic at 10:00pm that features folk, blues, punk, honky tonk, and all that jazz. It is located at 1935 W Thomas St ChicagoIL 60622 in Ukranian Village.