O’Hare Airport

Food fest at Chicago’s airports

O’Hare International Airport’s second-annual Ticket to Taste takes place next week – on January 24, 2017 – and free tickets are available now.

The event takes place post-security in Terminal 5, but is open to anyone who nabs one of the tickets and show up between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m for entertainment, cooking demonstrations and discounted meals.

There’s even free parking

Participating restaurants include Hub 51, R.J. Grunts Burgers & Fries and The Goddess and Grocer along with Tortas Frontera by Rick Bayless and Tocco.

Details on getting tickets O’Hare’s Ticket to Taste are available here.

Can’t make it on the 24th? Don’t worry.

Ticket to Taste is the kick-off event for the Chicago Department of Aviation’s Airport Restaurant Week, which runs from January 27 through February 9 at both O’Hare and Midway airports and coincides with Chicago Restaurant Week.

Airport Restaurant Week includes live cooking demonstrations from airport chefs, celebrity guest chefs, and college student chefs as well as free samplings and discounts on special selections at 150 airport food establishments.

For schedules and more details about sampling schedules and specially-discounted meals during Restaurant Week at O’Hare and Midway click here.

Yum!

Air Carnival at O’Hare & Midway Airports

ORD air carnival

Send in the clowns – well, at least the stilt walkers and the balloon-animal makers…

This summer Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports are bringing back the Air Carnival – a program designed for children but certainly entertaining for all.

Air Carnival will feature face painting, balloon sculpting and stilt walkers at various spots in the terminals each week, as well as music, free food samples (including cheesecake and cotton candy) and appearances by Ronald McDonald, Mr. Potato Head and Anna, Elsa and Olaf from Disney’s popular movie, “Frozen”.

MIDWAY BALLOON SCULPTING

The Air Carnival will take place each Thursday in Midway Airport and each Friday in O’Hare from June 16th through August 12th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Air Carnival kicks off today (Wednesday, June 15) at Midway with The Chicago Blues All Stars playing in the Midway Boulevard food court starting at 12:30 p.m.

You can see the full schedule for Air Carnival activities scheduled at O’Hare here and at Midway here.

O’Hare honey gets a blue ribbon at the fair

ORD BEES

Congrats to Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Sweet Beginnings for winning an Illinois State Fair Blue Ribbon “First Premium” award for the honeycomb produced at the airport.

For the past four years, Sweet Beginnings has maintained beehives on O’Hare property and, with two million resident bees, the apiary is one of the largest at any airport in the world.

The airport’s 75 beehives produce over 2,500 pounds of honey per year and the project creates 30-40 jobs for men and women who need work experience or who have been formerly incarcerated.

In a great field-to-airport program, O’Hare’s honey is used in Sweet Beginnings’ Beelove honey and honey-based skin care products, which include moisturizers, exfoliators, shower gels, soaps, and lip balm that for sale at O’Hare and Midway Airports in the Hudson News stores and at the O’Hare Farmer’s Market kiosk.

Beelove honey is also a featured ingredient at celebrity chef Rick Bayless’s Tortas Frontera restaurants in O’Hare.

Chicago O’Hare Airport now has special breastfeeding room

ORD NURSING ROOM

An ADA-compliant Mother’s Room at O’Hare International Airport opened late last week on the mezzanine level of the Rotunda Area, in Terminal 3 near the Yoga Room and O’Hare’s urban garden.

Terminals 1, 2 and 5 at ORD are also scheduled to get Mother’s Rooms before the end of the year.

Chicago’s Midway Airport opened a room for nursing moms with comfortable seating, a sink, wash area and wall-mounted TV in September 2014 (on Concourse C, next the Yoga Room) and a new law signed over the weekend by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner will require all airports in the state to eventually offer this amenity.

Lactation facilities are becoming a popular amenity at airports, with special rooms for this purpose now at Dallas Love Field, Phoenix Sky Harbor, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Nashville International Airport and elsewhere.

Vermont’s Burlington International Airport, Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport, and New York’s JFK and LaGuardia airports and Liberty Newark International Airport have stand-alone lactation pods by Mamava.

mamava at NY Airports

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois is promoting the Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act, which would require large and medium airports nationwide to provide lactation rooms.

The legislation would require all large and medium hub airports in the U.S. to provide a private space in each terminal, accessible to people with disabilities, where mothers could go to express breast milk. FAM would give airports two years to comply with the legislation and allow them to use Airport Improvement Program funds for the purpose of complying with the new requirement.

Iron Chef-style cook-off at O’Hare Airport

CHEF

If you’re traveling through Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on Tuesday, March 31, head over to Terminal 2 (across from Wicker Park Seafood & Sushi) at 11 a.m. for the live, Iron Chef-style cooking competition.

Organized by HMSHost, which operates food and beverage outlets at many airports (and along highways), the cook-off will feature the winners of a contest held earlier this year. (See the winning videos here.)

During the “Channel Your Inner Chef” cook-off at O’Hare contestants will have 30 minutes to prepare a dish using three “surprise” ingredients – a protein, a starch and vegetable –plus one additional ingredient plucked from the herbs and vegetables growing in the airport’s aeroponic garden.

The winner of the cook-off will have their specialty dish added to the menu at one of the airport’s HMSHost-operated restaurants and they’ll get a trip back to Chicago on May 4 to attend the 25th anniversary of the James Beard Foundation awards, being held outside of New York City for the first time.