142. Don Your Derby Hat for Barrington Children’s Charities

Courtesy of Barrington Children's Charities

Dust off your derby hats and spruce up your seersucker suits, Barrington Children’s Charities’ second annual Run for the Roses Kentucky Derby party is coming up this Saturday and we’re all invited. Barrington Hills resident and Children’s Charities founder, Darby Hills (seen here on left), says there are fun new details in store for this year’s festivities, thanks, in part, to Kathleen McLaughlin, the local event planner behind the party.

Courtesy of Laura Pavin

Kentucky Derby-style hats in all shapes and sizes will be a big part of the entertainment at this Saturday’s event, held to benefit Barrington Children’s Charities and the national Blessings in a Backpack campaign. All proceeds from this weekend’s party will directly benefit Barrington School District 220 families who are part of the free and reduced lunches program…

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27. Meet & Encourage Barrington’s Youngest Artists

Children's Activities at the Barrington Art Festival

The people in charge of this weekend’s Barrington Art Festival are shining a spotlight on the area’s youngest artists this year. For the first time, they’re devoting a section of the festival to youth artists who will be displaying their works for sale and there will also be a children’s art activity area where kids of all ages can slip on a smock, roll up their sleeves and create their own masterpieces.

Children's Activities at the Barrington Art Festival

The family fun is totally FREE and it will definitely be a highlight of this year’s festival!

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24. Meet the Green Grocer in South Barrington

Open Air Produce Market at the Arboretum of South Barrington

A Chicago neighborhood hot spot is opening for business in Barrington TODAY to offer a new place for us to find fresh local produce while shopping outdoors.  The Green Grocer is debuting a seasonal open air market this morning at the Arboretum of South Barrington and their colorful fruits and veggies are just waiting to come home to your table.

Open Air Produce Market at the Arboretum of South Barrington

Courtesy of Dan Wendt

The new Produce Market will be a great place to pop in and pick up essential grocery items, lunch to go, the ingredients for a fresh and delicious dinner, fresh flowers or a gift for a friend who loves unique and hard-to-find food items.

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337. "Hot Happenings" in Barrington for March 3-6

Mardi Gras Package at L'Eiffel Bistrot in South Barrington

Because there are so many things planned for weekends in Barrington, today we’re debuting a weekly list of “Hot Happenings” for Thursdays through Sundays in Barrington. Our first event is a cool party that’s going on TONIGHT at L’Eiffel Bistrot and Creperie in South Barrington.

Mardi Gras Package at L'Eiffel Bistrot in South Barrington

It’s a Mardi Gras celebration with Carnival Brazilian Dancers and a special Cajun 3-course dinner…

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318. 50 Ways to Woo Your Lover (In Barrington) Part I

Valentine's Ideas in Barrington, Illinois

Valentine’s Day is just two days away and, if you haven’t found something for your Valentine yet, never fear. We’ve compiled a list of 50 ways to score some big points with your significant other, without leaving Barrington.

Valentine's Ideas in Barrington, Illinois

Please feel free to add your two cents by offering some romantic ideas of your own. Anyone can leave a comment on this blog, just by clicking HERE or by filling out the comments box at the very bottom of this post. In the meantime, here we go. Get ready for loads of ideas that will keep your main squeeze longing for your love…

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306. Be Crowned the South Barrington Chili Champ

2011 Chili Champion at the South Barrington Arboretum

The results are in after Saturday’s “Chilly Challenge” Chili Cook-off in South Barrington. About 300 chili fans from in and around Barrington met at the South Barrington Arboretum Saturday afternoon to sample and vote for chili prepared by seven local restaurants.

2011 Chili Champion at the South Barrington Arboretum

I was one of the guest judges and snapped a few photos on the chili tour, which started at Pinstripes Bowling, Bocce & Bistro. A shuttle whisked the chili tasters off to all seven restaurants, which included Pinstripes, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Nozuzmi Asian & Japanese Cuisine, Gold Class Cinemas, L’Eiffel Bistrot & Creperie, Panera Bread and defending 2010 Chili Champion, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. That’s a lot of chili for only $10 and it was so much fun! Almost all of the participants cast ballots for their favorites at the very end and it was a very close vote. But the 2011 South Barrington Arboretum Chili Champion is…

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281. "Dralion" Cirque Du Soleil VIP Package Giveaway

Barrington Giveaway for Dralion Cirque Du Soleil at the Sears Center

The South Barrington Arboretum is giving away a VIP suite for ten people to see the latest touring Cirque Du Soleil show, Dralion,  at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.  It’s easy.  All you have to do is sign up online to be entered into the drawing.

Barrington Giveaway for Dralion Cirque Du Soleil at the Sears Center

The estimated value of the VIP package is over $750. No purchase is necessary to enter the drawing, but you have to be 18 years or older. The deadline to enter is January 25th and the drawing will take place that same day.  You can learn more about the show at CirqueDuSoleil.com/Dralion and here is an excerpt from that website:

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258. Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides in South Barrington

Sleigh Rides at the South Barrington Arboretum

I always love the beginning of new traditions and the South Barrington Arboretum is adding complimentary horse-drawn sleigh rides to their list of things you can do when you visit their brand new outdoor skating plaza this year.

Sleigh Rides at the South Barrington Arboretum

Every Saturday and Sunday, they’re offering complimentary horse-drawn sleigh rides from 11AM until 3PM on Saturdays and Sundays. The rides start at the brand new Alexian Brothers Skating Plaza. Have you checked out the new open air ice rink yet?

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233. New Skating Plaza Opening in South Barrington!

Skates the Chicago Wolves Mascot

I have a bad habit of overusing exclamation points, but today, I simply HAD to put one in our title! Because, one week from today, the area’s only Open-Air Skating Rink will be opening for business in South Barrington. They’re busy setting it up at the South Barrington Arboretum and there are two big events tied to the outdoor “Skating Plaza’s” grand opening next weekend. The first is an appearance by “Skates”, the Chicago Wolves Mascot.

Skates the Chicago Wolves Mascot

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228. Sign Up for the South Barrington Gobbler Gallop

Gobbler Gallop in South Barrington

South Barrington is continuing a brand new tradition by hosting the second annual “Gobbler Gallop” one week from today on Sunday, November 21st. The 5K run and 1 mile walk is a great way to kick off the Thanksgiving season because you’ll be helping two important causes AND get a great workout at the same time.

Gobbler Gallop in South Barrington

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