Find The Perfect Gift for Your Grad on Oak Street

Graduating from high school or university is a momentous occasion and a major milestone.

The walk across that stage is a symbolic one that often represents the transition from one stage of life to another. Not to mention the fact that finishing school is an important achievement worthy of recognition.

Put simply, graduates deserve big, hearty pats on the back. And fabulous gifts don’t hurt.

But what to get the accomplished academic who has everything? We’ve got a few ideas…


High SchoolHigh School

If your high school grad is off to university, think about getting them something that will be either very useful or very fun in their new lives as college freshmen.

A Timepiece for Him and Jewelry for Her – When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a beautiful watch or piece of jewelry that your graduate can enjoy for many years to come as both a useful accessory and a tangible reminder of the occasion.

Choose pieces that are high-quality but not too fancy. Remember that most college students spend the majority of their time in pretty casual environments, and you want your gift to be one they can enjoy using on a regular basis.

Cool Clothes – If there’s one thing that all college freshmen-to-be have in common it’s their desire to make a good impression on new friends and crushes. Help the cause by visiting a hip store and enlisting the advice of a cool, young salesperson who can steer you in the right direction. But if you want to err on the side of caution, go for a gift certificate so your grad can choose his or her own looks.

Coffee – Remember college? Probably only vaguely amidst the haze of all-night study sessions and all-night parties. Either way, there was a lot of coffee involved. Show your support by gifting a Starbucks card or supplies for making their own java in the dorms.


The best thing you can offer a freshly minted college grad is something that will help launch them into adult life as a successful, prepared and responsible grownup.

Home Stuff – Help your favorite new college degree holder graduate from the ragtag college apartment to more elegantly-appointed digs by gifting both useful and beautiful items they’ll love but probably not think to buy for themselves.

Work Wear – The required wardrobe for college lectures is dramatically different from that of most offices. Get your grad ready for interviews and jobs by giving the gift of professional clothes. And don’t forget classy extras like cardholders and bags.

A New Look – Speaking of presenting a professional appearance, a new hair style or makeup look is an important Graduatepart of any grownup makeover. A gift card to a high-end salon or the makeup counter at Barneys will come in handy for a big boost of confidence before setting off on an important interview.

Graduate Degree

By the time most people earn a master’s degree or doctorate, they have most of the stuff they need. What they probably need more than anything is a little fun now that the hard work is over. Show your love by giving them a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant (such as Del Frisco’s, Gibson’s or Spiaggia) gorgeous hotel (like The Drake, Four Seasons or Waldorf Astoria) or luxurious spa (try Cadella Med Spa or NoMI Spa at The Park Hyatt).

A Pet for Every Style at the Oak Street PAWS Adoption Event

One of our very favorite annual events is just around the corner and we could not be more excited!Chance

The Oak Street Council is proud to host the PAWS pet adoption event, Angels with Tails, on Sunday, May 22 along Oak Street, Rush Street and Delaware Place. Come by anytime between noon and 4pm to meet more than 100 puppies, dogs, kittens and cats who all need forever homes.

This is a wonderful opportunity to find a new furry friend and to support a local organization that saves the lives of thousands of animals each year by caring for them and facilitating their adoptions.

PAWS has several adoption requirements, but they make the process easy. The only difficult thing will be choosing which pet to take home, so we thought we’d give you a little guidance…

You: A meat & potatoes type of guy or girl who loves a steak at Del Frisco’s and an oversized watch from Geneva Seal. You have a classic, timeless style and enjoy an active lifestyle.

Your Pet: Chance is a 4-year-old shepherd mix male whose favorite pastimes include playing fetch with a tennis ball and being on the receiving end of endless belly rubs. He’s been dealt a tough hand because his first owner Champagnebecame ill and could no longer care for him, so he’s eager to get back into a loving home.

You: A social single who loves meeting up with friends for happy hour on the patio at Tavern on Rush, going on long walks in the city and staying in shape with the latest fitness craze, like the Bar Method.

Your Pet: Champagne is 2-year-old Pekinese mix male that offers a big personality in a small package. He is playful, affectionate and absolutely Lucy & Ryanadores people. He’s crate trained and a star in obedience class, but he’d prefer to be your only pet. Oh and he likes long walks too – can go for miles in fact!

You: A fun couple who epitomize the phrase, “opposites attract.” You like to be out on the town and your partner is a homebody, but you make it work by bringing out the best in each other. Your shared passions include luxurious spa treatments at the Four Seasons Spa and comfy, buttery soft leather shoes from Tod’s.

Your Pet: Lucy and Ryan come as a pair, just like you and your sweetie. Lucy is 2 years old and Ryan is 3, so you won’t have to deal with crazy kitten chaos, and both are litter box trained already as well. Ryan is the outgoing one and Lucy is a bit shyer at first, but once they feel at home, they both enjoy human cuddles.

SisterYou: A sophisticated urbanite who enjoys the finer things in life, like a perfect handmade pasta with imported parmigiano from Spiaggia or a sumptuously silky Hermès scarf. You may not be a social butterfly but you hold your close circle near and dear.

Your Pet: Sister is a beautiful 2-year-old tabby who can be a little shy when you first meet her, but opens right up when she learns she can trust you. She would love to be in a one-cat home without any kids, who can be loud and scary. You’ll have to be patient at first, but once she feels at home you can bet on seeing Sister’s playful and affectionate side.

These are just a few of the wonderful pets who are up for adoption at PAWS now. But rest assured that if you visit our Angels with Tails event, you’ll find the one that’s just right for you.

Spring’s in the Air… What Should You Wear?

Although Mother Nature seems determined to remind us that we live in Chicago, a place where it can and does snow in April, it is officially springtime in the city.

You may still want to keep your boots and scarves handy, but you should also be contemplating your spring wardrobe and choosing a couple of this season’s hottest trends to try.

Here we present 8 of our favorites along with a couple of gorgeous, hand-picked pieces from Oak Street shops to give you a little inspiration.Spring Fashion 1

  • Shoulder Spotlight

    Many of the top designers’ spring collections feature fashions that put the shoulder in the spotlight. Embrace this trend with X-neckline dresses and sexy tops with shoulder cutouts.


> Diana Dress from Tory Burch

> Givenchy Flutter-Sleeve Camisole from Barneys

  • Pleats Please

There’s just something about pleats that feels very feminine and classic, so we’re happy to see this style getting fair play this spring.


> Marc Jacobs Tieneck Pleated Peasant Blouse and Accordion Pleated Skirt from Barneys

> Loya Pleated Top from Maje

  • Sweet Sparkles

The holidays tend to be high on the shine and sparkle factor, so we’re delighted to see spring fashion get an infusion of glittery glamour.


> Paco Rabanne Lace Up Chain-Mail Tank Dress from Barneys

> Cotton Lamé Shorts from Lanvin

  • Cast a NetSpring Fashion 2

You’ve got to love a look that both covers and reveals at the same time, walking a fine line between modesty and sex appeal. And this season’s net and mash fabric trend does just that.


> Reve Dress with Mesh Yoke from Maje

> Rag & BoneTaryn Mesh Knit Tank from Intermix

  • Slip Away

Lingerie style is not just for the bedroom this spring. But before you start worrying that the trend may prove too revealing and risqué, rest assured that many designers offer styles thathave all the luxury and seduction of lingerie without baring all.


> Charles Youssef Organza Wrap Dress from Barneys

> Darcia Short Slip from Agent Provocateur

  • Orange is the New Black

Enjoy the season with a bright, cheery color trend inspired by the blossoming of spring. For the more daring, pick bold shades of bright orange or go more subtle with muted, pastel hues.


> Dion LeeCut Out One Knit Dress from Intermix

> Cedar Street Maise Handbag from Kate Spade

  • Flamenco FeverSpring Fashion 3

Spring 2016’s runways saw a lot of Latin spice, so feel free to embrace your inner Flamenco dancer with pieces that abound in lace and ruffles.

> Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini Ruffle-Trimmed Lace Dress from Barneys

> Embroidered Wraparound Skirt from Giorgio Armani

  • To Dye For

With 90s and 70s style coming back in a serious way, it’s no surprise that old school tie dye textiles are experiencing a comeback in high fashion. We’re just glad they’re getting a modern, high-end upgrade.


> Valentino Compact Knit A-Line Dress from Barneys

> Cloud-Dye Tee from Madewell

Why Oak Street Should Be On Every Chicago Visitor’s List

There’s only one terrible thing about visiting Chicago…

The city has so much to offer that it can be truly challenging to figure out what to do and see if you only have a limited time to spend here.

As dyed-in-the-wool Chicago lovers, we could write a whole book on what visitors should do, but one thing that all of us at the Oak Street Council agree on is that this part of the city is not to be missed.

The History

The Gold Coast is one of Chicago’s oldest and most historically notable neighborhoods in the whole city and, in fact, much of the area is even protected as a historical landmark since it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The Gold Coast’s architecture and place in history is what makes it so special.

In addition to being home to landmarks like the original Playboy mansion and the Drake Hotel, it’s interesting to note that this neighborhood was home to the city’s richest residents in the early 20th century. A stroll around the area will leave visitors in awe of the stunning homes that the Second City’s original elite built for themselves here.

The Shopping

Perhaps what Oak Street is most famous for is the fact that it is the undisputed epicenter of upscale shopping in the city. There’s no shortage of great shopping opportunities on the nearby Magnificent Mile, but Oak Street offers something special. Unlike Michigan Avenue, Oak Street is quiet, intimate and feels exclusive.

That’s no surprise considering that it’s home to designer boutiques like Hermès, Jimmy Choo, Prada, Giorgio Armani and many, many more. After all, Oak Street is known as Chicago’s Rodeo Drive. Visitors love the fact that they can walk into any of the gorgeous shops and know they’ll get the very best in personal customer care while they browse everything from luxurious leather handbags to bespoke Italian suits – it’s a special experience you don’t find just anywhere.

The Dining

There’s no question that Chicago is one of the preeminent food cities in the world, so we don’t blame you if you have a hard time narrowing down your choices when you’re here. There are only so many meals in a day, right? But just make sure that your itinerary includes at least one meal at one of the many acclaimed fine dining establishments on Oak Street.

If you want a classic Chicago steakhouse experience, there’s nothing better than Gibson’s or Del Frisco’s; for delicioso Italian fare, there’s Carmine’s and Spiaggia; and if you like contemporary American cuisine, LUXBAR and Tavern on Rush are sure to impress. And those are just a few of the many great restaurants in the area to choose from.

We might be a little biased but we sincerely believe that no visit to Chicago is complete without a day spent on Oak Street, where history, style and luxury come together to offer a unique experience you won ‘t soon forget.

6 Great Reasons to Be Excited About Spring in Chicago

Spring is in the air here in the Windy City.

In fact, it’s been in the air for quite some time now due to our unusually warm winter. But it’s almost to the point where we can put our snow boots away and stop fearfully checking the weather forecast for sub-zero temperatures.

Although that’s reason enough to be excited, there’s a lot more to look forward to besides sunny days…

6 Reasons 21.  Eating Out…side!

No matter how frightful the weather is, Chicago residents and visitors love going out to eat. With the bounty of amazing restaurants here, who can blame us? Yet dining out takes on a whole new joy when we have the option to do so alfresco. Soak up the nice days and nights as much as you can by opting for a table outside at top notch restaurants like Carmine’s, Gibson’s and Fig & Olive among many more.

2.  Shopping Alfresco

One of the nicest parts of the return of warm weather is the ability to truly enjoy our city’s gorgeous shopping districts like the Mag Mile and Oak Street. Instead of rushing from store to store just to get what you need, spring days allow you to stroll the streets, window shop and leisurely explore the fabulous boutiques you may have missed when your main concern was frostbite.

3.  Baseball Season

There’s no denying that Chicago is a baseball town – with two professional teams and millions of die-hard loyal fans, Opening Day is always a much anticipated occasion around here. Whether you take in the games from behind home plate at The Cell, in the bleachers of the Friendly Confines or at the bar of Tavern on Rush, you’ll be glad to see the return of America’s past time.

4.  Happy Hour with a View

Enjoying a local beer or craft cocktail after work (or anytime) is always made better by stunning surroundings. And Chicago isn’t short on those. As soon as spring hits, it’s time to take happy hour to new heights… literally. On the first truly warm day, we suggest heading to a rooftop to enjoy a drink or two to toast the return of spring – one of our favorites is the NoMI Lounge at the Park Hyatt.

5.  Street Festivals

If there’s one thing all Chicagoans look forward to as winter winds down, it’s the city’s packed calendar of neighborhood street festivals. Major thoroughfares are transformed into outdoor playgrounds full of great food, unique artisan goods and live music. Celebrate the start of street fest season with Lakeview’s Mayfest on May 20-22.

6.  It Means Summer is Coming!

And, of course, one of the very best reasons to be excited about spring in Chicago is that it means that summer in Chicago is not far behind. Visit us often to stay up to date with all the exciting events happening on and around Oak Street this summer, like our annual Ferraris on Oak event, which is on Sunday, July 10, 2016 – more details to come!

The days may still be a bit chilly, but warmer weather is waiting in the wings. So, be sure to make time to enjoy it by taking advantage of all the city has to offer.



12 Perfect Presents for Housewarmings & Hosts

Adult friends don’t always get one another birthday gifts, but bringing someone a lovely present to celebrate a new home or thank them for throwing a lovely dinner party is absolutely de rigueur.  It doesn’t have to be anything
Fancy Foodsextravagant, but it ought to be something special that shows you put in a little thought.

It’s always best to pick out something distinctive for each individual, but it’s not a bad idea to keep a few of these thoughtful gifts on hand for those last minute invitations or hectic times when you don’t have time to shop.

Fancy Foods

You can never really go wrong bringing your host a delicious treat that they can enjoy themselves and share with guests.  Try your hand at putting together a personalized collection of gourmet olive oils, vinegars and spreads offered by the Mediterranean cuisine masters at Fig & Olive.  Or pick up a beautiful tea set from Dammann  (2 & 4) and indulgent and exotic Vosges chocolate bar gift set (3), which are all are available at Barneys.

Pleasure to Serve

If there’s one thing that every party host will almost certainly adore getting, it’s stylish serving ware.  A successful party often means running out of food, drinks and dishes, but you can make sure your friends are covered by giving them a gorgeous piece like the Mackenzie-Childs Courtly Check serving bowl (5) or an elegant, Simon Pearce hand-blown glass pitcher (6) from The Perfect Setting.  You may also want to opt for this pretty Malmo rose gold 4-piece serving set from Kate Spade (7) or whimsical lettuce-inspired serving dish from Tory Burch (8).

A Special TouchTouch

If you don’t know your hosts very well or you’re just not quite sure what their home’s style is, you may be best off choosing a classic gift that you can be sure will please anyone.  What does that mean exactly?  Well, they’re those things you can never have too many of like candles, picture frames and cozy throws, for example.  A few of our favorite picks include this virgin wool Ibiza throw from Barneys New York (9), a Tory Burch Cedarwood candle (10), leather picture frame from Barneys New York (11) and Andy Warhol Polaroids coffee table book.

The shops on Oak Street are so full of amazing gifts that we had trouble choosing just 12.  These are only a very few of the many treasures you can find on Chicago’s premiere shopping street.

And if you’re still stumped about what to get your favorite hostess with the mostess, we advise browsing around until the right thing calls out to you.  But if you need an expert’s eye, don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be happy to provide some hand-picked recommendations just for you.

The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

With Valentine’s Day coming so soon after the holidays, it can be a challenge to think of what to give that special someone on the day that celebrates your love.  You gave them the absolute perfect Christmas gift but now you’re Valentine's 1completely out of ideas.

Don’t fear, the gifting experts of Oak Street are here!  We’ve searched our amazing shops to come up with this curated list of perfect presents for guys and gals and we’re sure you’ll find something here that fits the bill.

Wants Over Needs

On other occasions it may be OK to give the one you love something useful and practical but Valentine’s Day is not that occasion.  The best gift is something special that they don’t need at all but that they’ll surely want the moment they lay eyes on it.

For the Girls

  • Nothing says love like a timelessly stylish Hermes scarf that she’ll treasure forever.
  • Valentine's 2A beautiful fragrance is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift – try Portrait of a Lady if her style is classic and romantic or Gypsy Water if she’s more modern and independent.
  • You can never go wrong with a stylish handbag from the Italian fashion masters at Prada and either of these two lovely pieces would make her eyes light up.

For the Guys

  • When your man smells great it’s really a gift for you both, so this luxuriously presented fragrance and shower gel set is a win-win.
  • Even the most modern of men rely on old-school style touches and no stylish man can do without a Hermes pocket square that gives the perfect pop of color to the right suit.
  • If your special guy loves a hand of poker with his mates, he’ll adore you for giving him this classy leather playing card kit from Prada that includes a buttery-soft leather case and 3 sets of cards.

Make it Personal

While an intimate gift might not always be the right thing, you better believe that it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day.  On this day, your better half will certainly be happy to receive a gorgeous gift that could only come from the one you love.

For the Girls

  • You can never go wrong with a pretty package that contains something sexy and sumptuous that you’ll both enjoy from La Perla.
  • There’s a reason that sparkling jewels are such a popular choice for Valentine’s Day gifts – they’re the ideal way to show that she’s special to you. But unless you’re proposing, we suggest going for pieces like these Harry Valentine's 4Winston earrings or Lester Lampert and Buccellati bracelets instead of a ring­.

For the Guys

  • The manliest of men enjoy luxurious underthings every once in a while but they may not buy them for themselves, so your man will definitely appreciate something indulgent like this satin robe from Paul Stuart
  • Guys may not shout about their love of bling like the ladies but no stylish man could deny the draw of a sleek Dolce & Gabbana watch or a pair of cool, meteorite cufflinks from David Yurman.

This Valentine’s Day we suggest starting with a candlelit dinner and ending by sliding one of these exquisite presents across the table as tell them how in words and tokens just how much they mean to you.

Chicago Restaurant Week 2016 on Oak Street

The most magical time of the year is here… no, not the holidays nor wedding season…

Restaurant Week!

Chicago is a foodie’s paradise 365 days of the year and is quickly becoming one of the top culinary destinations in the world, but the annual Restaurant Week celebration is truly a special time to enjoy the best cuisine that the city has to offer.

It’s actually a 2-week long food-fueled fête (January 22 – February 4, 2016) that includes over 350 amazing restaurants offering special prix fixe menus ranging from $22 to $44. And the best part is that a few of our very own Oak Street restaurants are participating.  So mark your calendars, make your reservations and get ready to chow down!

Fig & Olive

This seasonal Mediterranean gem is offering special Restaurant Week menus for both lunch ($22) and dinner ($44).  Here are a few highlights to get your mouth watering…

  • Butternut Squash & Chestnut Soup – Roasted butternut squash, shaved chestnut, onion, toasted squash seed with Arbequina Olive Oil
  • Penne Funghi Tartufo – Cremini and truffle mushroom, parmesan, parsley, scallion, White Truffle Olive Oil
  • Chestnut Mousse with Amarena Cherry – Served with walnut meringue, cherry sorbet and Amarena cherry coulis


It should be no surprise that the iconic Chicago steakhouse is getting in on the citywide culinary event.  They’ll be featuring a special 3- course dinner menu for $44 a person which includes:

  • Mini crabmeat avocado appetizer
  • House salad or soup of the day
  • Bone-in filet medallions with king crab Béarnaise with truffle whipped potatoes and roasted baby carrots


This acclaimed modern American pub and restaurant will be showing off with a dinner menu ($44 per person) that was created especially for Chicago Restaurant Week.

  • Gotham Greens Lyonnaise Salad with fresh, local greens, soft-boiled egg, pork belly and toasted brioche croutons
  • Braised short rib with sweet potato puree, winter root vegetables and braising jus
  • Parisian hot chocolate with shortbread cookies

Allium at The Four Seasons

For a taste of classic American fare with a locally-sourced spin, be sure to make dinner reservations at The Four Seasons so you can enjoy their $44 special menu.

  • Charcuterie plate with spicy mustard, kohlrabi, kale, aged goat cheese and Marcona almond
  • Ora King Salmon with maitake mushroom, salsify and red wine
  • Chocolate Sorbet with crème Chantilly and fresh raspberries

Café Spiaggia

If you’ve never been to this much-admired Italian star among Chicago restaurants, then now is the perfect time to stop in for their $22 Restaurant Week lunch menu or $44 dinner menu so you can try a few of these delicious dishes…

  • Roasted and raw beets with shaved fennel, whipped ricotta, chestnut honey
  • Campanelle with confit duck, hen of the woods mushroom, leeks, Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Slagel Farm pork shoulder with roasted peppers, polenta, Miele Thun chestnut honey and radish
  • Panna cotta with vanilla-poached apricots

Pump Room at Public Chicago

Tell your special someone that you’re taking them somewhere swanky for date night and reserve your spot for the delectable dinner menu ($44) Pump Room has thoughtfully put together.

  • Roasted carrot and avocado salad with crunchy seeds, sour cream and citrus vinaigrette
  • Fresh linguine, caramelized brussel sprouts and basil-pistachio pesto
  • Salted caramel ice cream sundae with candied peanuts, popcorn, whipped cream, chocolate sauce

Coq D’or at The Drake

Drop by this classic old Chicago haunt for a 1930s bar feel and perfectly-done, upscale bar food with a modern twist.  Their Restaurant Week lunch menu is just $22 a person.

  • Seasonal soup
  • Roasted leg of lamb sandwich
  • Shrimp and fried clam po’ boy

Del Frisco’s

Do something nice for yourself (and someone you love) and visit this dining institution during Restaurant Week for a real culinary treat.  Their lunch menu is $22 and the dinner menu is $44.

  • Classic Caesar salad
  • Filet medallions with thin green beans, chateau potatoes and Bordelaise sauce
  • Pan-roasted chicken with chateau potatoes and chicken jus
  • Warm banana bread pudding with caramel sauce and fresh whipped cream

Le Colonial

Don’t miss this opportunity to try the very best of Chicago’s best French-Vietnamese fusion experience at lunchtime ($22) or the dinner hour ($44).

  • Cha Gio – Crisp, fried spring rolls with shrimp, pork, & Asian mushrooms with chili lime dipping sauce
  • Tom Xao Sate – Sautéed jumbo shrimp, asparagus, onions & scallions in a light sauce of sate spice, chili & garlic
  • Chocolate Mousse Cake – Layers of chocolate cake & mousse, with crème Anglaise & Swiss raspberry sauce

Nico Osteria at The Thompson

Schedule a lunch at this authentic Italian seafood restaurant that calls The Thompson home to try some of these plates…

  • Roman friend artichokes
  • Trofie pasta with guanciale, oven-roasted tomato and parmesan
  • Anise and almond gelato

NoMi Kitchen

Voted one of the “Best Hotel Restaurants in the World”, NoMi Kitchen has a delicious lunch offer for $22, including:

  • Lobster bisque with mango, pak choi, rouille
  • Beet gnocchi with goat cheese crumbles, winter baby vegetables and caramelized walnuts
  • Huckleberry Mousse Bombe – Meyer lemon puree, coriander financier, coconut gel candied coconut and caramelized pear


This old school Italian restaurant is as Chicago as it gets, so of course they’re participating in Restaurant Week with some of their most loved specialties for lunch and dinner.

  • Italian Wedding soup
  • Homemade pappardelle
  • Veal Milanese
  • Sea salt caramel gelato

Tavern on Rush

And last, but certainly not least, is the ever popular hotspot that serves up contemporary American dishes with an upscale touch, serving both lunch and dinner price fixe menus during Restaurant Week.

  • Pear & Gorgonzola Steak Salad with endive, baby frisée, grilled hanger steak and hazelnut dressing
  • Tavern Mixed Grill with Filet Mignon & Scottish Salmon – Spinach & feta mashed potatoes with caramelized sweet onion demi-glace
  • Gold Coast Organic Carrot Cake – Cream cheese frosting and walnuts.

7 Unique Oak Street Experiences to Brighten Your Winter Days

With the holidays over and the unseasonably warm temperatures nowhere to be found, it can be easy to fall into a winter slump here in Chicago.  Between the slushy streets and the rare appearance of sun, you may well feel like you just want to crawl under the duvet and stay there until May.

But we urge you to keep in mind that just because the weather leaves something to be desired doesn’t mean that the city stops being fun and exciting!  In fact, we’ve got 7 fabulous suggestions for things to do right here on Oak Street that will help you keep your winter woes away.

1.  Make Memories at SpeedPro Imaging

You’ve surely got a ton of great photos from the holiday season and what better way to use them than to turn them into gorgeous wall murals?  Our friends at SpeedPro Imaging are geniuses at making any image into beautiful art that you can put up without the hassle of hooks and nails.

2.  Learn to Knit at We’ll Keep You in Stitches

You might think that knitting is just for grannies in rocking chairs but this age-old craft is experiencing a renaissance among people of all ages.  The best thing about knitting is that it both relives stress and tension and results in handmade accessories you’ll be proud to wear or give as gifts.  Visit this hidden gem to pick up some beautiful yarn and get tips on how to start your very first project.

3.  Lash Out at Salon Lashe

A little beauty pick-me-up is always a good idea when you need to add some pep to your step. And while we always love a great spa treatment or new hair style, it’s fun to try something different.  Visit this unique salon to get an eyelash makeover in the form of lash extensions, perming or tinting.

4.  Start Your Art Collection at KM Fine Arts

You’ve finally reached the stage in your life when you’re ready to own original art and there’s no better place to start building your own collection than at KM Fine Arts.  This acclaimed gallery is always showing several talented contemporary artists’ work, so you’re sure to find something that speaks to you.

5.  Find Your Flower at Fragrant Design

Sometimes the very best thing to perk you up in the dead of winter is an eye and nose full of stunning fresh flowers.  Whether you’re looking for floral décor for an upcoming party or just a bouquet to bring to a dinner, the flower pros at Fragrant design have got you covered.

6.  Style Makeover with a Personal Shopper at Barneys

We know you’re probably a pro shopper all on your own, but we also know you love anything that can make the experience even better.  So, we suggest treating yourself to a session with a professional Barney’s shopping expert who will make sure that you walk out with a look that’s just perfect for you.

7.  Cook & Eat with Top Chefs at Spiaggia

Give yourself and 25 of your closest friends the ultimate cooking experience when you book a cooking class party at Spiaggia.  For $125 or $150 per person, you get a scrumptious meal as well as tableside cooking demonstrations of the very dishes you’re enjoying so you can recreate them at home.

There’s no reason to be down in the dumps this winter when so many fun opportunities abound in this great city.  Try one of these unique experiences on Oak Street or just come down for a bit of shopping and lunch any time you’re feeling a touch of cabin fever.

6 Oak Street Approved New Year’s Resolutions

You may still be getting used to writing “2015” on your checks but, believe it or not, this year is almost over and we’re about to usher in another.

And as we do, your mind inevitably turns to reflecting on what’s been and what will be.  Has it been the kind of year you imagined?  How would you like 2016 to be different?Bar Method

You’ve probably already started pondering your New Year’s resolutions, but we’d like to offer our suggestions for what you should resolve to do to make the upcoming year your best one yet.

1.  Get in Shape

Getting in shape is on almost everyone’s list of resolutions because nearly all of us could stand to make a little more time to staying healthy.  But working out doesn’t have to be a chore or a bore – visit The Bar Method to take part in this hot new approach to exercise that focuses on stretching, strength-building and sculpting a lean, strong body.

2.  Eat Healthy

It can be pretty challenging to commit to healthy eating during the holidays, but come January 1st, it’s time to get back to your salads, juices and balanced meals.  Stop in at Le Colonial or Hendrickx Bakery for healthy salads 4 Seasons Spathat are just as delicious as they are nutritious.

3.  Take Care of You

This time of year is all about thinking of others, which is a wonderful thing.  Taking care of yourself is important too though.  If you tend to neglect your own needs, you should add this resolution to your list and start meeting it by pampering yourself occasionally – if you’re not sure how, let the folks at The Four Seasons spa take over.  You might be surprised at just how much good one massage can do.

4.  Commit to Date Night

Although we may see the ones we love very often, many of us are so busy that we don’t spend much quality time together.  That’s why it’s so important to set aside some time every week or at least every month.  Whether that person is your significant other or a best friend, you should resolve to get together to do something fun on a regular basis.  We suggest catching up over a nice dinner Spiaggia or Gibson’s.

5.  Enjoy Your City

ThompsonWe’re lucky enough to live in one of the greatest cities in the whole world, but it’s common for Chicagoans to stay in their own little neighborhood or suburb most of the time, all the while saying that they’ve got to enjoy the city more often.  Well, now is the time!  If you don’t live near the heart of town, consider playing tourist and taking a mini staycation – book a boutique hotel room at The Talbott Hotel or Thompson Chicago for the weekend and spend a couple of days getting reacquainted with this great city.

6.  Goals & Rewards

One great motivation to sticking to your resolutions is setting up a system of goals and rewards for yourself.  So, for example, if you want to commit to taking a class at The Bar Method twice a week and you stick to it for 3 months, then you earn that gorgeous pair of David Yurman earrings you’ve had your eye on.

As you deck the halls and make merry in the coming weeks, keep in mind that a new year is coming and with it comes an opportunity to better yourself.  And Oak Street is just the place to help you meet many of your goals for 2016 – explore our directory to get inspired!