The village of Rosemont is a pretty busy place of late, and during the summer months, things are heating up on the west side of I-294. Anchoring the expansion of the entertainment district to the other side of the Tri-State Tollway is Impact Field, which opened in 2018 for the inaugural season of Chicagoland's newest professional baseball team — The Chicago Dogs.
Until recently, we'd only driven by the park — happening to catch the post-game fireworks on a few occasions as we clipped by at a brisk pace. The modern ballpark benefits from its visibility, including the double-sided digital scoreboard that's absolutely unmissable for the millions of drivers who pass by annually.
During a recent media night (which also happened to be superhero night), we finally had a chance to check out everything that this new ball club — part of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball — has to offer, and for families, it's a lot. It's not only tremendous fun, but it's affordable, with single game tickets starting at just $9 for bleachers, and topping off at $25 for the Wintrust Home Plate Club.
On a beautiful Friday night, The Chicago Dogs clobbered the Sioux City Explorers 9-2, but the game was just a piece of the overall experience. Fan engagement was high, and the laid-back vibe of the ballpark was evident from the get-go. From the moment you enter the main gates on the park's right field corner, it's apparent that this is a different type of ballpark. It's very open, with a 360-degree concourse that offers a great view that's free of obstructions.
For kids, there's activities in left field — inflatables that include are set up to give little ballplayers a taste of the action with pitching and batting. One of the most popular activities is one that really gets kids moving — a running contest that clocks kids' speed as they run from "third base" to home plate.
Throughout the park, families will find plenty of great food options — and for grownups, there's quite a few fine beverage options as well. Keep an eye out and you'll spot The Dogs' mascot, Squeeze, and his nefarious counterpart, Ketchup. A reminder, especially for those not in Chicago: #NoKetchup. Never, ever put ketchup on a hot dog — NEVER!
On Friday nights, kids run the bases post-game, and there's special events throughout the season, which runs through August. Check out the official site for schedule and tickets!
Bonus: The Chicago Dogs have a great merch store. Now, the merch isn't cheap, but it's completely worth it. We bought The Rock Daughters™ plush versions of Ketchup and Squeeze, while I couldn't resist the New Era fitted Chicago Dogs on-field cap.
Following an inaugural season that brought magic to families from coast-to-coast, HGTV presents Santa HQ again this year! Back for 2018 at The Fashion Outlets of Chicago and a total of 15 Macerich Shopping Centers nationwide, a new tradition continues as an all-new experience aimed at bringing holiday magic to kids and grownups alike with some flourishes that have been upgraded and expanded for the social media age. Santa HQ welcomes families for the traditional photo with Santa (online reservations available, but not required), upping the game with the Elf Academy in which kids can experience the latest in Elf fashion; take an Elfie Selfie; of check out the latest in Elf-Ray Vision - an AR experience in which families can see just what the Elves are up to. Of course, Santa HQ still serves-up an incredible light show with over 10,000 individual lights synchronized to the "Carol of the Bells."
The holiday season brings with it a host of magical experiences and opportunities to make family memories that will last a lifetime. At the pinnacle comes the annual visit with Santa Claus, and this year the folks at HGTV and Macerich Shopping Centers have teamed-up for an all-new experience aimed at bringing holiday magic to kids and grownups alike with some flourishes that have been upgraded for the social media age. HGTV presents Santa HQ - open now at 15 different locations, including the Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont, Illinois - not far from Rock Father™ HQ! My wife and I recently took The Rock Daughters™ to visit Santa HQ first-hand, and you're going to want to schedule a visit, too!
Earlier this year, the folks behind Joe's Pub on Weed St in Chicago planted a flag in the suburbs by opening Joe's Live at the MB Financial Park in Rosemont, Illinois. An immediate hit with a mix of pop, country and party bands, this Fall finds the venue entering completely new territory, albeit a realm that I personally have been covering here on the site for the past six years: the Kindie Scene. Kids Shows at Joe's will take place on select Saturday mornings at 11am, beginning September 24th with an appearance by Randy Kaplan. Future dates have been booked into December with what should be some familiar names to readers of THE ROCK FATHER Magazine, including Poochamungus and Miss Jamie From the Farm. Check out the initial lineup below...
For my local friends here in the Chicagoland area, the stars of some pretty popular preschool series' are headed for Rosemont. The folks at Feld Entertainment will bring Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure to the Rosemont Theatre from March 14-17, with characters from SOFIA THE FIRST and JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES bound to rock the house for your little ones. Tickets are selling fast (they've already added additional performances), but I have a discount code for you, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...