Whether you're looking to get out of the Taste with your summer
diet plan intact or just trying to keep the kids at normal
"festival crazy" instead of "festival plus mountains of sugar
crazy," you might want to consider some healthier options at the
Taste of Chicago.
Since 2007, Taste sponsor Humana has offered its Humana
Healthier Choices promotion, which helps navigate the food options
and raises awareness of healthier foods and activities. This year,
20 items from 17 restaurants have made the cut, including
Lemon-Lime Ice from Tutto Italian and a crawfish boil from
Lagniappe Creole Cajun Joynt.
Get the complete list and booth guide here.
Humana could also be your ticket hook-up. "Like" Humana
at Taste of Chicago on Facebook for chances to win free
Taste tickets throughout the festival.
Taste of Chicago has always been a great place to
introduce kids to new foods and flavors, and this year, fest
organizers have made it even more family-friendly.
At this summer's fest, in addition to the Family Village,
which has been a part of the Taste for years, there will also be
The Playground-a kids' area complete with a giant sandbox and
activities just for kids. Best of all, both sites are
[The Taste is one of our 10 Best
Summer Fests. Check out the other
"The Playground is an area at Balbo and Columbus where
there's going to be family-focused activities and different sports
activities like fitness, tumbling, dance, and art and culture
demonstrations and displays," says Mary Slowik, Taste of Chicago
When you go further north through the event, you'll come
to the Family Village at Columbus and Jackson, which is a perennial
family favorite, Slowik says.
"It has activities from museums and different vendors do
If you're caught short and need an emergency diaper
change, Family Village has free diaper supplies.
New this year also will be a big top where Midnight Circus
will perform four 45-minute shows throughout the day. There may be
an additional fee.
Of course, it wouldn't be the Taste without sampling some
"Keep in mind, every restaurant has two taste portions,
which are just made for children," Slowik says. "They are two
smaller servings and nothing is more than four tickets, which is
[Bored kids? We've got
100 things to do this summer]
This year there will be 60 restaurants serving food at the
Taste, with everything from ethnic food to classic American
"This is a great opportunity to sample your family's
favorite items, as well as explore all the different cuisine that
Chicago has to offer," Slowik says.
If you're visiting the Taste with kids and don't want to
try to navigate strollers through large crowds or wait in line for
food, Slowik recommends coming at 11 a.m. when the event first
opens and is less crowded. This year there will also be
reduced-price parking at lots near Soldier Field, with free
To save money, visit a Dominick's grocery store from June
16-23 where you can buy food and beverage tickets for $6 for a
strip of 12 50-cent tickets (limit of four strips). Tickets at the
Taste are $8 a strip.
Liz DeCarlo is the former senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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