Chicago O’Hare International Airport

More holiday cheer – and dances – from airports and airlines

If we were traveling around this month, we’d certainly be spending a lot of time in airport gift shops buying Christmas chocolates and other treats.

Some of that chocolate would even make it home and into nicely-wrapped gift boxes.

Instead, we’re home and keeping an eye on what airports and airlines are doing to be festive and still keep us safe during an unusual travel season.

SFO Airport is charming us with lights, music, and dancing

We love the giant light switch in this holiday message from SFO and we’re ordering one installed in our home office.

We also love this ‘put your mask on’ music video starring and produced by some incredibly talented people who work at SFO airport.

SFO’s mask video is a good pairing with the safety dance video Alaska Airlines put together that we featured here yesterday. That video also stars in-house talent.

Wreath-decorating contest at O’Hare Airport

It looks like they had so much fun with the pumpkin decorating contest at Halloween that now 13 shops at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport are competing in a wreath-decorating contest.

The public is invited to weigh in on which is best.

Voting is open through December 25, 2020.

O’Hare Airport also has some great themed holiday trees.

More to come..

ORD: 5 Things We Love About Chicago O’Hare International Airport

We’re back with another installment of our “5 Things We Love About…” series and today we’re landing at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Please keep in mind that due to health concerns, some features and amenities at ORD may be temporarily unavailable. But we’re confident they’ll be back.

Here’s a link to the airports that have been profiled in the “5 Things We Love About…” series so far. Feel free to nominate an airport you’d like to see included in the series.

And if we missed a feature or amenity you love at any of the profiled airports, le us know in the comments section.

5 Things We Love About Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is located about 14 miles from downtown Chicago. Originally named Orchard Field Airport, the airport was renamed in O’Hare International Airport in 1949 to honor Lieutenant Commander Edward H. “Butch” O’Hare, a Chicagoan killed during WWII.  

1. ORD’s Aeroponic Garden

O’Hare International Airport’s aeroponic garden grows herbs and vegetables, including basil, lettuce, beans and edible flowers – all without soil. Many restaurants in the airport use ingredients harvested from this garden.

2. The Brachiosaurus at ORD

The Field Museum has been kind enough to loan ORD a skeleton model of a Brachiosaurus excavated in 1900 by one of the museum’s paleontologists. The model is 4 stories tall and 72 feet long and hard to miss in Terminal 1, Concourse B, near the entrance to the tunnel to Concourse C.

3. The ORD Shoe Hospital

The Shoe Hospital at ORD not only offers shoe shining services, they can fix broken heels, sell you shoelaces, put another hole in your leather belt and, in a pinch, fix a suitcase or a strap on your carry-on bag.

4. Art at ORD

Entertaining and iconic, “The Sky’s the Limit,” by Michael Hayden is a 745-foot-long kinetic light sculpture in the tunnel connecting Concourses B&C in Terminal 1.

5. The Fighter Plane

ORD displays a replica of the WWII F4F-3 fighter plane flown by the airport’s namesake, Lt. Commander Edward “Butch” O’Hare. Find it on the north end of Terminal 2, near gate E1.

Did we miss any of your favorite features or amenities at ORD? The yoga rooms? The day passes you can get to use the well-equipped gym at the O’Hare Hilton? Or perhaps the Farmer’s Fridge vending machines that dispense fresh salads and snacks in returnable jars?

Let us know?

Nintendo’s pop-up airport lounges

Nintendo pop-up lounge at Dallas Love Field

Calling all Nintendo fans. Or anyone wanting some entertainment while they’re stuck at the airport.

Nintendo has rolled out a cluster of pop-up game lounges at four airports just in time for the spring break travel season,

The Nintendo Switch On The Go pop-up airport lounges are at Washington Dulles (IAD), Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA), O’Hare International (ORD) and Dallas Love Field (DAL) airports.

Each lounge gives travelers hands-on time with game demos using Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite.

According to Nintendo, anyone who visits one of these Switch On The Go lounges can order Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite systems and receive a free carrying case with their order.

Another promised bonus for anyone who stops by is a free Nintendo Switch branded luggage handle wrap and a $10 coupon from Target to use on any Nintendo purchase of $75 or more – “available while supplies last.”

Nintendo pop-up lounge at SEA airport

But: We stopped by the SEA pop-up lounge on Monday, the first day Nintendo’s pop-up lounge was opened. Although the attendants were friendly and chatty and offered to take our photo, no luggage handle wraps or coupons were offered. So, if you’re interested in that, be sure to speak up.  

Look for the pop-up lounges through March 29, 2020 at these airports:

Help upgrade the food at O’Hare International Airport

Have you ever complained about the food at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD)?

If so, here’s your chance to make a difference.

The airport is partnering once again with HMSHost and inviting chefs of all abilities from across the country to enter the Channel Your Inner Chef competition.

Entrants may be “aspiring, connoisseur, or otherwise.”

The event takes place at O’Hare on March 24, 2020. And while you don’t need to be a master chef to enter this live cooking competition, you do need to get busy.

Entrants need to make an up-to-five-minute video of themselves preparing a favorite original recipe. The video entries need to be submitted by February 17 at the Channel Your Inner Chef website.

Five finalists will be selected from the video entries. Those finalists will be flown to Chicago to compete in a live cook-off in front of an audience and a panel of judges at O’Hare on March 24, 2020.

During the 30-minute cook-off, finalists will be challenged to create an original recipe using some of the food ingredients laid out before them.

The winning dish will be featured on the menu of an O’Hare restaurant.

The grand prize winner will win a VIP experience for two to the James Beard Awards Gala being held on May 4, 2020, in Chicago. The winner will also get two roundtrip airline tickets for a flight anywhere within the continental U.S.

Sound like something for you or someone you know? Find more details at Channel Your Inner Chef.

Below is a video from last year’s event.

StuckatTheAirport.com was on-site for last year’s competition. We got a kick out the fact that, after competing against each other, the contestants got together to cook themselves a feast with some of the fresh fish, meats and other unused ingredients that had been fanned out for them.

“We’re cooks,” one contestant told us, “We not going to let good food go to waste.”

Airport amenity of the week: free snacks at O’Hare and Midway Airports

Free food at the airport? Yes, thank-you.

The Taste of Chicago music and food festival takes place in Chicago’s Grant Park July 10 to 14, 2019, but there are also free tastings and special discounts being offering for travelers passing through O’Hare International and Midway Airports this week.

And although it is only Wednesday, we’re declaring this StuckatTheAirport.com’s Airport Amenity of the Week.