Snow and ice make everything hard. Especially everything related to automobiles. Cars and winter just don’t seem to mix. Driving, braking, and every little vehicular maneuver can feel like an Olympic challenge.
Parking is especially hard. Parking is always tricky, but winter weather can make it nearly impossible. There aren’t enough spots, the lines are hard to see, other motorists have inevitably parked themselves across multiple spaces, and vehicles are slipping and sliding around like penguins. When you’re looking for a place to park your car this winter, think about the following ways in which you can get a good spot.
Look For More Space Than Usual
When the weather is good, any spot will do, so long as you’re able to squeeze your vehicle into it. A tight fit on a sunny summer afternoon may be a little irritating, but it won’t do much damage.
Not so in winter. A small spot when it’s snowing out can be a big problem. Cars slip about easily and unpredictably in the snow, and “just big enough” could instantly change to too small and extensive vehicle damage.
When parking in the winter, leave more room between cars. This will allow for small errors and protection from big headaches.
Park in the Direction in Which You’ll Be Driving
You’ll have an easier time getting back into traffic if you park facing the direction in which you’ll be travelling. Don’t get stuck trying to make a slow, awkward u-turn in the middle of a busy street. Time-consuming maneuvers increase the likelihood that you’ll cause other cars to swerve or slam on the brakes, leading to an accident involving you or your fellow motorists.
Park Under Something
When you park under an overpass or thick tree covering, the snow won’t be able to cover your vehicle or the ground surrounding it. When you’re covered, you’ve got a small space that’s protected from the hazards of winter (save for the cold, of course). This will decrease the likelihood of slides, accidents, and other disasters.
Park Near a Well-Cleared Sidewalk
The danger doesn’t necessarily end when you step out of your car. When you’re parking, look for cleared off spots. Thick layers of even the fluffiest snow can mask incredible slick ice spots, leaving you vulnerable to hard falls and personal injury.
Park Close to Your Destination
This may seem obvious, but it gets ignored often. Park close to your destination. This will lead to shorter walks and fewer falls. It will also make things more pleasant for you. The cold itself is a hazard too, remember. By keeping yourself away from the biting wind, you’ll spare some risk of hypothermia.
When You Get Out, Walk Slowly
Even walking is hard when the winter arrives. Make sure that once you get out of your vehicle, you step carefully and slowly. Walking quickly is not that different from driving quickly. Stay at a reasonable speed. This will help prevent you from falling and hurting yourself.
It is important to remember these helpful practices in order to maintain the well-being of yourself and commuters around you while you acknowledge the risks involved with driving through winter weather.
One of Chicago’s crown jewels, Navy Pier, offers fun for the family year round, but it really shines when the suns out! Catch a show, explore the Children’s Museum, or simply take in the view of Lake Michigan; No matter your heart’s desire the pier has got something fitting for you. Take in the sun and Summer fun at Navy Pier with these highlighted events and destinations.
Savor the entrancing, fast-paced yet focused moves of the Kung Fu and Wu Shu warriors at Cirque Shanghai’s latest family friendly show. This show has all the classic Cirque staples; from flashy costumes to incredibly tight choreography and high flying stunts. Tickets range from $25-$56, but kids 3 and under enter free. You can purchase Cirque Shanghai tickets on ticketmaster.
Where: The Pepsi Skyline Stage
Celebrate Independence Day at the Chicagoland’s biggest bash with fireworks at Navy Pier. Every Fourth of July almost everyone from Chicago and neighboring suburbs comes to this event in Chicago’s Loop. Can’t wait for the Fourth to see fireworks? No problem! You can catch fireworks Wednesday’s at 9:30 PM or Saturday’s at 10:15 PM, now through August 30th.
Where: You can check the show from any beach along the shore, but it’s best viewed from the Dock Stage.
Whomp. Whomp. Whomp Whomp Whomp WhompWhompWhomp … Make the beat the drop any given Friday at Navy Pier. Party on Lake Michigan in the open night air while Chicago’s best DJ’s blow your lid off at this free event. If EDM isn’t your thing, don’t worry, LandShark Beer Garden has plenty of free shows highlighting a variety of genres throughout the summer.
Where: LandShark Beer Garden
Currently Playing: Malificent, Islands of Lemurs: Madasgascar
Coming Soon: Edge of Tomorrow (6/6)
World class theatre right on Lake Michigan. This year round theatre company has some amazing shows throughout the summer, including a non-Shakespeare musical, Suessical. Jump into the excitement of the productions at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on Chicago’s Navy Pier. You can join in the fun for $18 for 12 or under, and it’s only $28 for everyone else.
Currently Playing: Henry V ( Now – 6/15)
Coming Soon: Seussical, Midsummer Night’s Dream……
If you live in or are visiting Chicago, you have to experience Navy Pier in the Summer. Get all the fun in before Chiberia makes its return.
San Francisco has loads of exciting events happening throughout the summer. The Bay Area provides the perfect summer atmosphere to take full advantage of what the city has to offer. So grab a blanket, sunglasses, a sweet fanny pack, a ParkWhiz parking pass and head to the fest of your choice. With all the San Francisco summer festivals, you should never be bored. We have highlighted some suggestions below. No excuses.
You can catch free live music and events almost everyday in San Francisco’s Union Square. Catch a quick family friendly show at 12:30 PM or 6 PM on weekdays and Sundays at 2 PM. Hang out with friends, family, or co-workers and take in the sights and sounds of San Fran’s finest local entertainment. Take a break from working or shopping with live tunes.
Twitter:@unionSqLive #unionsqsf #unionsquarelive
A summer of sweet, sweet jazz can be all yours if you are in San Francisco in June. Quintets, Quartet’s, Octets, Big Band, Swing, Latin Bossa Nova … you name it, they’ve got it at the SF Jazz Festival. Held nightly in the SFJAZZ Center this event is, in my opinion, the one San Francisco Summer Fest not to miss.
The most fantastic Pride Celebration in the US happens in the Civic Center district of San Fran. This celebration kicks off with live music and crafts on June 28th, but the real spectacle happens the next day. Post up for the parade that will travel down Market St from Beale to 8th. Delight in the festive costumes, the smiling participants, and the fabulous floats!
Twitter: @SfPride #sfpride
Outside Lands – 8/8 – 8/10 – Golden Gate Park
This epic 3-day festival of great musicians, artists, beer, and food is the perfect back to school treat. Roll out to SF’s Golden Gate Park and groove out to headliners Kanye West, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Tiesto, Death Cab for Cutie and many, many more. The tickets are now sold out, but chances are you can find a deal on Seatgeek,
Twitter: @sfoutsidelands #ol2014 #outsidelands
Taking place at the end of Summer Harvest is a cultural celebration for all ages. The Moon Festival in San Francisco’s Chinatown district is the largest party in neighborhood all year. Get in the action with 200 arts and crafts booths, daily parades, and so much delicious food. The more food in your belly, the more fun you’ll have.
Other Summer San Francisco Treats
Fishing District doesn’t really sound all that appealing when you are in a big city. However, in San Francisco it is one of the top “to-dos”. With 100’s of shops, fresh seafood, and a variety of cruises, Fisherman’s Wharf has something for everyone. Into checking out the sights on a Segway tour? Done. Love marine life? Head into Pier 39 and laze around with the Sea Lions. Have a thing for weird celebrity wax figures? Well, Madam Tussaud does too, and she put them in a museum on Fisherman’s Wharf, just for you. Don’t miss this San Fran staple this summer.
Even cities with a less “rat race” feel, like San Francisco, can provide that overwhelming feeling. Take a breather and stroll in the beauty and calm of Yerba Buena Gardens. Every Tuesday this summer feel free to pick up some fresh-from-the-farm produce at the Farmer’s Market. The park also offers a Children’s learning garden to make sure those kids know how much work goes into making those veggies they leave on their plate. At the end of your day take some reflecting time at the MLK Jr. memorial at the largest fountain on the West Coast.
Need a night of A.C. and culture? Look no further than A.C.T., an institution committed to providing world-class theatre and theatre education. This venue features works from young, up-and-coming playwrights and travelling Broadway shows alike. There are a variety of wonderful theatres, and I suggest you catch a show at everyone of them, if you can, but A.C.T. is a great starting point.
One hot dog + one cold brew + one souvenir bat = one amazing time at the San Francisco Giant’s At&t Park. There is no better summer experience than taking in a game of baseball. Why not stop on by and take in a game? There are plenty of summer seats; depending on the game, tickets are as low as $12 on the SF Giant’s official site.
If you are in the area there are plenty of San Francisco Summer festivals and other events to make your trip that much better.
New York City, America’s largest and busiest melting pot, puts on some of the best summer festivals in the nation. No matter what you’re into there’s a festival for you. So go out this summer! Enjoy the city, enjoy the tunes, enjoy the people! Below are some fun and exciting ways to get the most out of the New York summer experience.
New York Summer Music and Arts Festivals
With the continual rise of the EDM scene, EDC makes it’s 3rd annual stop at Metlife Stadium. This festival is much more than just freaking out to insane DJ’s; EDC has full interactive art installations, carnival games, rides, and plenty of wild, costumed party goers. This event is for those 18 or older. 2-day passes are available for $250, while a single day ticket will set you back $150.
Headliners: Krewella, Hardwell, Adventure Club, Tiesto
The largest and most well known summer party in New York offering a lot of food, A Lot of activities, and A LOT of great music. When there is a lag in the bands you want to see, head over to play some lawn games, groove at the silent disco, or eat at one of the many food vendor’s tents. Follow the party from Randall’s Island to Manhattan for some epic after parties.
Headliners: Outkast, Jack White, Vampire Weekend, The Strokes, Phoenix, Skrillex
Catch a ferry back to Prohibition era NYC. Flap away with some smooth cats and some old world libations at this family friendly blast from the past on Governors Island. The Jazz Age Lawn Party is in it’s 3rd year and doesn’t look to be slowing down soon. Come out and rev up 1920’s Motorcars, cut a rug in the Charleston contest, and listen to the rousing sounds roaring twenties.
Headliner: Michael Arnella and his Dreamland Orchestra
Much more than just music, the Northside Festival celebrates innovations in film and entrepreneurship, as well. With over 400 bands, 75 films, about 100 speakers, and over 100 trade show booths, there’s literally something for everyone at the festival. Visit the site to claim your music, film, and innovation talks badges.
Headliners: Chvrches, Thee Oh Sees
Headliner: Dinosaur Jr.
SummerStage is comprised of 100’s of concerts happening daily all across Manhattan and it’s neighboring boroughs. Most of the concerts are free; 7 benefit artists will play in Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield with prices ranging from $30 – $50. There is no reason to not catch at least one of these stellar shows.
Rumsey Playfield Headliners: John Butler Trio, Counting Crows, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Beck, Neon Tress, Conor Oburst and Dawes
Other NYC Summer Happenings
Every Monday this summer gather with thousands of fellow NYCers for a quick flick in Bryant Park, courtesy of HBO. They’ve got it all, documentaries, comedies, classics, family, and horror; you name it. Lawn seating starts at 5 PM, so grab a blanket and head on down. Snacks and bevs are allowed; chairs, tables, and dogs are not.
Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene rapidly became a Saturday staple in NY and has since expanded to other areas of Brooklyn. The Flea is now servicing Williamsburg and Park Slope areas too. Check out this bazaar of found and made treasures from 100’s of vendors. While you’re at it, down some local fare from one of the many food vendors.
Delicious BBQ: I shouldn’t have to say anything else to entice you to visit Madison Square Park this summer. The celebration is free, the BBQ is not. It’s only $9 per plate for smoked, dry rubbed, sweet, tangy, smoky, vinegary, meaty goodness. There’s live music too, but we know that you’re there to dominate the ribs. Get dirty, don’t be shy. Bring a wet-nap.
Thespians, Bard-lovers, and my 9th grade Lit teacher will flip for the free Shakespeare in the Park productions offered in Central Park. If comedy is your style, be sure to catch Much Ado About Nothing June 3 – July 6. For those land-conquering, brooding fans, King Lear is more your speed; look out for the run July 22 – August 17.
We have only scratched the surface of the super fun and exciting events and festivals happening in NYC this summer. For more great info checkout NYC.com.
Winter brought some awful conditions to us Chicagoans. We were shut in much more than any other year; denied the ability to enjoy our city. We have a lot of lost time to make up for. Well, Chiberia has come and gone and the Chicago summer festivals officially kicked off this weekend! Here are the great bands, the ever-flowing brews and the cool little boutiques where you can buy the trinket you will most likely lose by the end of the summer. Ah, the memories to make. Seriously, check out these highlighted Chicago Summer to-do’s.
Large Music Festivals in Chicago
Headliners: Bettye Lavette, Aaron Neville, Dr. John
More so for the younger crowd, Spring Awakening is one of the premier EDM festivals in the nation. Whether you’re into deep house, dubstep, funktronica, jungle or acid techno, this festival has got your sound. You can get a 3-day pass for just under $300 or a single day ticket for about $110.
Headliners: Tiesto, Knife Party, Pretty Lights, Diplo, Kaskade, Big Gigantic
Pitchfork is brought to Chicago by the internet music publication of the same name. Holding true to its calling card, Pitchfork features indie music of today and years past. Ironically, when the term “indie” became more mainstream the genre and festival opened up to more musically diverse acts. 3-day passes are sold out, but single days tickets are still available at $60.
Headliners:Beck, Kendrick Lamar, Neutral Milk Hotel
Lollapalooza is back and needs no explanation as the Chicago staple since 1991 (sans 1998-2002 and 2004). Unfortunately Lolla’s completely sold out. Not to worry though, you can most likely find someone on craigslist or StubHub selling a ticket. If you want to be a baller the official website still has Platinum passes for $3,600.
Headliners: Eminem, Outkast, Kings of Leon
Chicago Jazz fest is the largest free jazz event in the world. This event brings the best in live jazz music to Chicago’s Millennium Park. Bring the family, a nice picnic basket and some lounge chairs and make a weekend of grooving under the Chicago sky.
Headliners: Blanchard Terence, Gary Burton, Cecile Mclorin Salvant
Chicago Street Festivals
Though much smaller than the large music events this summer Chicago’s street festivals are just as fun and much more rampant. Grab a group of friends and a $5 or $10 bill and gain entry to any of these great street festivals. No matter where you go in Chicago during the summer, a street fest is not far away. For a complete list check out Chitown Street Festivals.
The frigid air, the ominous smell of coffee when walking by any city corner, languages so foreign they make even a native New Yorker feel out of place – must be winter in New York! Thousands of tourists flood into the already 10th most populated city in the world each winter to experience the amazing events and atmosphere New York City has to offer. I know, I know New Yorkers, but we must co-exist! Besides, if you stay out of Manhattan there’s a 70/30 chance you won’t run into tourists this holiday season anyway, but what’s in Manhattan, right?
Winter NYC Theatre Events
For the tourist
Welcome to your theatre mecca! From Broadway to the Burroughs New York City has great theatre options for your winter visit.
Radio City Christmas Spectactular – This classic show features the iconic Rockettes line kicking their way into the New Year.
Buyer and Cellar – This one man show about being an employee in Barbara Streisand’s basement that more-so remsembles a private mall has been getting stellar reviews from all the top critics in NYC. Treat yourself to this amazing off-Broadway gem. A real treat for all the Babs fans out there.
Matilda – Roald Dohl’s book comes to life onstage at the Shubert theatre. Winner of Tony, Drama Desk, Olivier awards; this spectacle-filled, family show is the top show to see on Broadway, and it’s pretty affordable by NYC theatre standards.
For the New Yorker
You know the city theatre scene. You don’t stand in line for student rush tickets. You may venture to the TKTS booth if you really, really NEED to see a show, but most likely you are exploring theatre other than those glittering marques on Broadway.
How I learned What I Learned – You’ve seen your buddies one man show above the pizza place in Hell’s Kitchen; This is not that one man show. Take a journey with Sinagtrue Theatre’s stand on August Wilson’s work.
TOO MUCH LIGHT MAKES THE BABY GO BLIND – This truly unique, one-0f-a-kind show piars improve and script sketches in a show that the audience dictates the flow and feeling of the night. Very fun, very New York.
iLuminate – You know when you wished the future was now? It is. Just go see it.
Winter NYC Shopping
For the tourist
For the New Yorker
Brooklyn Flea – Who doesn’t love this bazaar of awesomeness? Go grab something food that smells and looks inedible, but tastes like heaven. While you’re at it how about a wheelbarrow for that hip wall art you always wanted. The toasty indoor location, 80 North 5 St. (at Wythe Ave.), is open Saturday and Sunday from 10am-7pm.
THE Winter NYC Sight to see
Tonight we will all live in complete harmony gazing upon the triumph that is the 2013 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Get down to Rockefella Center and see what all the hubbub is about.
If you are attending any of these events we strongly suggest you book your parking through ParkWhiz.com. Your parking spot is hassle-free and guaranteed when you book with the us.
Christmas is often fun and joyful, but if you’re in a pinch when it comes to cash, sometimes it can be a bummer. In this day and age, it isn’t uncommon to be short on funds, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a good holiday with your friends and family. There are plenty of gifts you can buy and fun places to visit that aren’t crazy expensive. Here at ParkWhiz, we want to help you celebrate the season, whether it be on a tight budget or no budget at all! This is a guide to help you find what you need on the cheap, with plenty of examples.
Gifts on the Cheap
There are always stores trying to sell what they want to offload, but often it still costs a pretty penny for last season’s blinking gizmo or fad toy. Two sites to keep in mind are the venerable Groupon and LivingSocial, who offer discounted deals on gifts, restaurants, vacations and more. Not everything on there makes the flashiest gift, but as long as you buy them before the offer expires, you’ll usually get a good deal or at least a novel solution to a common problem. For example, LivingSocial is offering a USB External Battery Pack for $29. What can this do for the person you want to give this to? This will allow your loved one to charge their cellphone no matter where they are. If they are always on their smartphone, constantly running out of battery or otherwise talks on it for hours, as long as it uses USB (which almost all of them do), then this could be useful when they need it most. This is especially great to have around in general, in case they’re stuck somewhere in the middle of nowhere with no access to a wall socket. When properly charged, this could give you peace of mind while giving them more time to text.
Of course, gadgets are cool and all, but what about something more practical, specifically for people who don’t use a cell phone every waking hour? In the off-chance that these people do exist, there’s a LivingSocial deal for that too, in this case the impressive-looking Big Boss Juicer, an electronic, dishwasher-safe fruit and vegetable juicer that sells for $59. The recipient of your gift can put together basically any kind of shake, mixed juice, soup or sauce with this juicin’ machine. It’s pretty effortless to use, too – plug in the cord, put whatever vegetables or fruit in the tube, it does its big boss magic, and out pops the juice. You can pretty much get away with just the machine, but a cup would be great to drain the juice into or otherwise it might spill everywhere.
Places to go on the cheap
It has been said that gifts aren’t everything, and unlike several other things that “have been said,” this one is a piece of advice that is actually true. In light of that, we’ve figured out where to take “the fam” or friends for an enjoyable holiday night out. If you happen to be in the Chicago area for the holidays, one of the places you can take people that won’t disappoint is Millennium Park, and the Harris Theater in particular. The above-ground Gehry-designed Pritzker Pavilion is a flashy aluminum whizbang, but in the winter you might get stuck if you touch it. Luckily, the Harris Theater is right next door, below ground and quite comfortable! It acts as a music or theater venue, and sells tickets to concerts at low prices. Coming up soon at the Harris is a New York import, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, which will be performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and the theater has a deal for 2 C level seats for $40. That price is pretty cool, as it means you can listen to live classical music with three guests for around $80. Bach never goes out of style, and when his work is played by a band that makes its home in the famous Lincoln Center, it can move people in the best ways possible.
Classical music isn’t everyone’s bag, and of course not everyone is going to be in Chicago. If you’re in the area of New York City and happen to like musicals, then we can hook you up too! The advantage of Broadway musicals is that not only are they entertaining, but they often play at the same theater for long periods of time! Case in point is Phantom of the Opera, which has been playing at the same theater since it began in 1986, when I was a wee lad. You can save a lot of money using TheaterMania, which offers Tuesday-Thursday evening and Wednesday matinee seating for as low as $27 a pop, which in Broadway prices is basically the cost of a happy meal. What is Phantom of the Opera? Well, it was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, who also wrote Cats, Evita, Starlight Express and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It focuses on a mysterious man who haunts a Parisian theater and his affections for a rising star, but I can’t do it justice – you have to experience it on your own!
Things to read on the cheap
Sometimes you don’t want to go out of the house, especially during a snowstorm or the occasional snowpocalypse like the one we experienced in Chicago in 2011. If you want to give the gift of reading, you can be corny and give your loved one a library card, or you can be cool and give them a print magazine subscription. LivingSocial has several magazines for both him and her, costing $6 and $22, respectively, with multiple magazines in each deal, ranging from GQ and Popular Science to Vogue and Glamour. Why would we, a website, promote print media? Sometimes you can’t take a smartphone anywhere, and sometimes giving something physical is nice.
That’s true only some of the time, of course. If you want to spend $0 on literature to give to someone who is pretty keen, you can show them Project Gutenberg, a website that lets anyone read out-of-copyright books, which in the US is prior to 1923; at the moment there are 42,000 books that you can read on your PC or smartphone. That’s right, you can read the entirety of the masterworks of the nineteenth century for $0 in the decade after the 00s. If you want to combine the above idea (the tactile “magic” of old media), you can print out a book, though it will probably eat up your printer ink.
But what about the best deal of all? No, we can’t hook you up with the Christmas Spirit for free, but we have something just as cool!
The best deal of all – the ParkWhiz app!
The greatest thing you can get your loved one, bar none is the free ParkWhiz app, available on iOS and Android, in addition to via the web on your PC. This fantastical app lets you not only book parking for concerts, sports games (including MLB, NFL and NCAA Football) and musicals in advance, but it lets you search between parking providers close to your destination, so you can choose for yourself the perfect balance between price, distance and other amenities. Not only does it do that, but you can use the ParkWhiz mobile pass, which lets you do away with a paper pass for something more science fiction-y. It makes a unique QR code (think a fancy barcode) that is scanned when you enter and when you leave. Your pass is prepaid and you don’t have to do anything other than show it to the machine or attendant, and then park. What else does this app do for you? You won’t have to worry about feeding the meter (or alternate side parking in NYC), full lots or if the spot you parked in is actually a real spot. If you could choose between all the deals above and the ParkWhiz app, I’d say that the ParkWhiz app beats all of them for the cool factor alone.
From all of us at ParkWhiz, have a safe and happy holiday!