O’Hare Airport

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.

St. Patrick’s Day events at Chicago Airports

ORD ST PAT

Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports are joining the citywide celebration of St. Patrick’s Day with Irish dancing, green beer, live Celtic music and… roaming leprechauns.

Festivities at both O’Hare and Midway include the famous Trinity Irish Dancers on Friday, March 13, with performances from 5-7 p.m. in Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 5 at O’Hare and from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in Concourse A at Midway.

Live Celtic music from Sean Sullivan and his band One of The Girls will take place on Monday, March 16 from 4:30-7 p.m. at Chicago O’Hare Terminal 5 on the post-security side of the terminal.

And on St. Patrick’s Day, Monday, March 17, concessions throughout both airports will offer dozens of “Shamrock Specials” ranging from green beer, green popcorn and a wide variety of green merchandise. Leprechauns will also be popping up at both O’Hare and Midway and anyone who snaps a selfie with the Irish fairy can post the photo on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook (use hashtag #IrishatORD or #IrishatMDW) and share treats from, you guessed it, a pot of gold.

Airport food: think you can do better?

CHEF

Courtesy SMU Central University Libraries, via Flickr Commons

Think you can do better than the people who cook the food served up at airport?

O’Hare International Airport is inviting you to strut your culinary stuff in a cooking contest called Channel Your Inner Chef.

Open to both travelers and employees of the airport (who eat on-site far more often than any of us do) the contest ask contestants to shoot and submit a five-minute video of themselves preparing a favorite original recipe.

Three to five finalists will be chosen to compete in a cook-off that will be performed in front of a live audience and a panel of judges at O’Hare. The contest winner will receive two round-trip airline tickets to Chicago and VIP admissions to the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala on May 4, 2015 at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Even better: the winning dish will be featured on the menu of an HMSHost-operated restaurant at O’Hare.

You have until February 28, 2015 to enter. Find more details here.

Restaurant Week at O’Hare & Midway Int’l Airports

OHare restaurant week

Here’s hoping you have a good long layover at O’Hare or Midway International Airports coming up – and that you’re hungry when you land.

Both airports are participating in Chicago Restaurant Week with a special Airport Restaurant Week event running from January 30 – February 12, 2015.

50 restaurant at O’Hare and 20 at Midway will highlight their house specialties and feature dishes that are not regularly offered on the menu – such as Deep Dish CheeseCorn from Garrett Popcorn Shops (only at O’Hare!) and Chicken Kebobs at Midway’s Pegasus on the Fly.

In many spots there will also be discounts offered on certain menu items as well.

Want to plan ahead? Here’s a link to the pamphlet listing all the participating restaurants.