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May 16th, 2012

Chicago is a great destination for a conference—and bring the family, too

Published on May 16th, 2012 | By: Eileen De Guire
[flash http://ceramictechweekly.org/wp-content/video/faberChicago3.flv mode=1 f={image=http://ceramictechweekly.org/wp-content/video/faberChicago3.jpg}]
Don’t let the conference distract you from exploring Chicago! In this video, Kathy Faber, ICC4 president, shows us a small sampling of the attractions the city of Chicago offers for the conference after-hours. Credit: ACerS.


My colleague and pal, Megan Bricker, who is ACerS director of marketing and membership, looked up a few things to do while in Chicago. We’ll know where to look if we cannot find her!:

It’s time to make travel arrangements to Chicago for the 4th International Congress on Ceramics with the 3rd Ceramic Leadership Summit Track. Not only is this conference providing first-class speakers on ceramic and glass issues that are shaping the future of ceramics, but it also is being held in one of the United States’ most popular cities—Chicago.

With its world-renowned museums, parks, shopping, architecture, music and food, Chicago is one destination city you won’t want to miss. Set on the beautiful waters of Lake Michigan, this city offers visitors of all ages plenty to see and do.

And, no one knows Chicago better than those who live there. ACerS member Jorge Ayala of Superior Graphite, Co. lives and works in Chicago. He says it’s simply an amazing city:

“One of my favorite things to do is to take a walk in Millennium Park. The view of the lake is spectacular. And, if you are in Millennium Park, you will be close to the Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum. Both are fabulous for visitors of all ages,” said Ayala.

In fact, the ICC4 conference’s closing banquet will be held in the stunning, new modern wing of the Art Institute of Chicago for all attendees and companion registrants.

If you are in the mood for shopping, look no further than Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue, otherwise known as the “Magnificent Mile.” Chicago is home to more than 400 fashion designers and Michigan Avenue is lined with name brand shops and small whimsical boutiques.

While you are out shopping, take a good look around. You will see why visitors from all over the world come to see the birthplace of modern buildings and are in awe of Chicago’s cityscapes and architectural marvels.

If traveling with children, (and for “kids” of all ages”) I would personally recommend a stop at the Navy Pier to go to Chicago’s Children’s Museum where kids can explore three floors of fun and interactive learning. While there, I also wouldn’t miss the Smith Museum of Stained Glass, which is FREE to all visitors. A perfect night for me would end with delicious Chicago style deep-dish pizza and a drink at one of the amazing blues or jazz clubs.

If discovering the city on your own isn’t for you, then sign-up for one of the conference’s optional tours, one of which is to nearby Argonne National Laboratory.

There is so much to see and do in Chicago, you just might want to pack some extra clothes and stay a few more days. You’ll be glad you did.

As a native Chicagoan myself (even though it’s been a few … decades), here are a few of my favorite destinations not mentioned above:

  • The Mueum of Science and Industry, with featured special exhibition, “MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition.
  • Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs (faith endures—maybe this is their year!).
  • Berghoff’s, a downtown Chicago lunchtime institution and a uniquely Chicago experience.
  • Willis Tower, test your faith in the strength glass in the “birdcage” observation decks.

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