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Travel Planning

How to Create an Epic Summer Bucket List

Travel PlanningEveryone has things that they want to do during the summer months. The fact is, there are opportunities that are only available in the summer – things you want to do that you can’t do any other time of the year. So how do you make a summer bucket list that will help you accomplish your goals?

How to Build a Summer Bucket List

1. Brainstorm

Take a pen and paper, or open up a word processor and start writing whatever comes to mind. If there have been any things you have been thinking about doing, write them down. Don’t think too hard at this point and avoid putting too much pressure on yourself. You just want to let your thoughts flow and get ideas out there.

2. Create Some Categories

A good list is going to need some organization, so once you poured out everything in your head, try to create some categories. You may try things like:

  • Summer only – Things that are impossible to do any other time.
  • Must do – Things you want to do the most.
  • Like to do – Things that are important, but not as important as your must dos.
  • If you have time – Things that interest you but are not top priorities.

3. Talk With Your Friends and Family

Some of the things you want to do are going to be best with company, like friends and family. Talk with them about your ideas and see if you can agree on what to do together. Having a commitment with someone else will make your ideas more likely to happen.

4. Do Some Research

Most activities and ideas require a little planning. Start with your top to-dos, or the ones right around the corner, and do some research on what will be required. With the research out of the way, you will be that much closer to actually doing what you want to do.

5. Put It Where You can See It

Post a copy of your list in places where you will see it so you are reminded of your plans.

Enjoying Your Chicago Summer

We are here to help you enjoy your summer in Chicago. Please get in touch with us if you are interested in learning more about our Chicago apartments!

Home Office

7 Things Every Home Office Needs

Home OfficeConsidering how engaged people are with eCommerce, social media and the ability to work from home, having a comfortable and efficient personal office can make a world of difference. Here are seven home office needs the residents of River North Park in Chicago, Illinois, shouldn’t do without.

Comfy Desk Chair

Ergonomics excellence can make a tremendous comfort difference to any home office. While many things are fine to buy online, it’s important to test drive a desk chair at a local office supply store. Make sure the seat height falls into your sweet spot and can be easily adjusted. Consider comfortable seat width, arm rests, neck position and lumbar support. Ask yourself if you prefer the swivel or fixed style. You could spend long hours in that chair, be sure it feels right.

Alexa

Everyone’s new best friend, the little intelligent personal assistant Echo device has become a go-to information and entertainment resource. From a favorite Pandora station to instant searches or the weather, Alexa can enhance any home office.

A View

There’s a tendency to place desks and computer monitors in front of windows. This can be productive because taking a moment to enjoy the view and natural light can be uplifting. Choose a room or space with a pleasant window and let the sun shine in.

Plant Life

Office workers sometimes bemoan the stale environments of corporate cubicles. Inject some life into your home office, literally. Indoor plants can give the work space a wonderful energy and vibe.

File Cabinet

One of the best steps to keeping a personal work space tidy and organized is having a place to put paperwork. Even though we live in an age that favors electronic files, hard copy documents and backups are important. Better to be tucked away than piled on your desk or floor.

Zip Ties

This may seem like an odd office “necessity,” but computers, printers, routers and other devices come with an abundance of wires. Many of them end up tangled and strewn about the floor. Zip ties can neatly bind them and help keep everything organized.

Desktop Reading Lamp

Home offices usually have overhead lights and secondary light sources tend to seem redundant. Nothing could be further from the truth. When all is quiet and dark, you can focus a reading lamp on your keyboard. A small desktop light allows you to minimize monitor glare and reduce eye fatigue.

We hope these home office suggestions help you enhance the comfort of your space. If you or someone you know would like more information about our Chicago apartments, give us a call today.

Park With People

Our Favorite Parks in Chicago

Park With PeopleRiver North Park offers all the essentials of luxury living in Chicago. Our Chicago apartments feature spacious floor plans, ceramic tile baths and other excellent amenities. If you enjoy relaxing in front of an outdoor fireplace, cooking in an outdoor kitchen or working out in an on-site fitness center, you will love River North Park. Even better — our apartment homes are nestled next to some of the prettiest parks in the country.

River North Park Provides Easy Access to Gorgeous Parks

Lincoln Park

Located along Chicago’s North Side, Lincoln Park is tops as far as parks go. In addition to a driving range and waterfront access to Lake Michigan, this enormous green space plays host to a bird sanctuary, a pond, a paddleboat lagoon, a zoo, a conservatory and the Chicago History Museum. It’s not your local sandbox for sure.

Millennium Park

Millennium Park is a huge tourist attraction and an oasis of green nestled amidst the surrounding cityscape. Each year, hundreds of cultural activities happen in Millennium Park, including concerts, festivals, art exhibitions and more. Innovative landscaping and architecture, combined with the vibrant pulse of Chicago’s heartbeat, make this park an indescribable attraction.

Jackson Park

This green space in Woodlawn boasts its own Japanese garden, multiple harbors, beach access, tennis courts and multi-purpose fields that can be rented for local community events. Stretching for a whopping 542 miles in Woodlawn, this park houses the famous Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago). Events and activities happen in Jackson Park year-round, giving local residents a thrilling place to go.

If you’re considering a move to Chicago, make sure to place River North Park Apartments at the top of your list of places to see. You’ll love the bright, spacious floor plans, abundance of windows and endless amenities that ensure you’ll never run out of fun. And when you’re ready to venture away from your new apartment home, numerous nearby parks and green spaces are waiting to embrace you. It’s yours to be had at River North Park in Chicago, Illinois. Call or stop by today to schedule a tour of our available floor plans and community.

Hotel Hallway

Do You Know About Our Summer Rates at Waterton Hotels?

Hotel HallwayOne of the great perks of being a community member at a Waterton managed residential community, such as River North Park, is the discounts you get on Waterton hotels. With hotels all across the country, you have a number of options for your summer vacation, where you can stay at a great hotel for some of the lowest rates you will find anywhere.

Waterton Hotel Discounts

Courtyard Boston Marlborough – Marlborough, Massachusetts

You can stay at the Courtyard Boston Marlborough starting at $139 for weekdays and $99 for weekends. The hotel places you in an ideal location to explore Boston and the communities surrounding it – rich with history, plenty of great shopping and dining.

Sheraton Madison – Madison, Wisconsin

You can stay in the capital of Wisconsin starting at $99 a night. Situated between two lakes, Madison is beautiful and offers plenty to do. There are over 200 miles of hiking and biking trails, along with the University of Wisconsin, art galleries, dining and more.

Westin Columbus – Columbus, Ohio

Your rate for a room at the Westin Columbus starts at $159 for weekdays and $99 for weekends. As the capital of Ohio, there is a lot to do and see in Columbus. The Franklin Park Conservatory, German Village, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – you can easily spend days exploring and still not get to everything.

Other Waterton managed hotels include:

  • Westin San Francisco Airport in Millbrae, CA – starting from $159 weekdays, $99 weekend
  • Aloft San Francisco Airport in Millbrae, CA – starting from $159 weekdays, $99 weekend
  • Hyatt Place San Jose in San Jose, CA – 20% off of the lowest rates
  • Sheraton Framingham in Framingham, MA – starting from $159 weekdays, $99 weekend
  • Sheraton Needham in Needham, MA – starting from $99
  • DoubleTree Westborough in Westborough, MA – starting from $99
  • DoubleTree Skokie in Skokie, IL – starting from $99
  • Aloft Beachwood in Beachwood, OH – starting from $89
  • Comfort Inn Piqua in Piqua, OH – starting from $49
  • DoubleTree Pittsburgh Airport in Moon Township, PA – starting from $89

These special rates are available to all Waterton residents. Keep in mind that special pricing is only valid now until August 31, 2017 and is based on availability. In addition, prices are subject to change. When booking your stay, call the special number associated with the hotel of your choice and request the Waterton corporate rate!

Contact Us Today to Learn More

Do you want access to these great hotel discounts? Make River North Park your new home. Call us today to learn more about our Chicago apartments.

Dinosaur Fossils

Visit These Must-See Museums in Chicago This Summer

Dinosaur FossilsLocated in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, our River North Park Apartments enjoy easy proximity to restaurants and some of the best museums in the city. Chicago apartments like those at River North Park offer a combination of great location plus amenities like an enclosed parking garage, 24-hour door attendant, private landscaped courtyard, fitness center with lap pool and more.

Residents of the River North Park Apartments are minutes from the Kennedy Expressway and within walking distance of several diverse restaurants including local favorites like Lou Malnati’s Pizza and 3 Greens Market. On a day off, it’s easy to take in some of the city’s best attractions including four of the top museums.

Museum of Science and Industry

Just about 10 miles from the River North Park Apartments, the Museum of Science and Industry on South Lake Shore Drive has something for all ages. Since 1933, the museum has been home to immersive exhibits that entertain and educate. Discover energy exhibits, the Mirror Maze, step aboard an actual submarine, and journey down into the museum’s famous Coal Mine.

Field Museum of Natural History

The spectacular Sue the t-rex greets visitors to the Field Museum of Natural History also located on South Lake Shore Drive, less than five miles from River North Park. From dinosaurs to mummies, the Field Museum has it all. Spend a few hours or the whole day exploring the numerous rooms filled with artifacts that include ancient masks from the Pacific Islands to stunning gemstones and intricately carved jade.

Chicago History Museum

About two miles north of our River North Park Apartments is the Chicago History Museum on Clark Street. This is a must-see museum for any Chicago resident and visitors to the Windy City. Visit this museum and learn about the heritage of the city, from the Great Chicago Fire to exhibits that allow you to step back in time and climb aboard a streetcar or visit an old-time jazz club.

Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier

Located at Navy Pier about two miles from the River North neighborhood, the Chicago Children’s Museum offers interactive exhibits and fun things to do for kids and adults. There are even activities for the littlest visitors. Children will enjoy digging for dinosaur bones, creating masterpieces in the Art Studio, and exploring Kids Town. After playing at the Museum, Navy Pier has tons of things to do including great places to eat, fireworks, and the Centennial Wheel to ride.

Come home to our apartments in Chicago with spacious floor plans, many amenities, and a convenient location. Call our office today to check out which floor plans are still available and may work best for your needs.

Guy With Earphones In

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Commute

Guy With Earphones InWhat could you do with an extra hour each day? Learn a new language? Catch up with old friends? Read a book you just can’t seem to make time for? Learn something that helps you become a better you?

This extra hour may be hiding in plain sight. If you commute from River North Park Apartments in Chicago to work in downtown or around town, it’s time to reclaim that time.

Take the Train

Since River North Park is within walking distance of both the Brown and Red CTA Lines, taking the train is a cost effective, time effective and eco-friendly way to get to work.

On top of this, whether you’re standing or sitting, you’re freed up from driving so you can make the most of your morning commute.

Enjoy Audiobooks

You know that personal and professional growth are important. The time spent traveling from your apartment is the perfect time to listen to an audiobook.

You can:

  • Learn new job skills
  • Catch up on industry trends
  • Attend to personal growth
  • Listen for enjoyment

Learn a Language

If you’ve been putting off learning Spanish, German or Polish, it’s time to get serious about learning a new language.

Not only does learning a new language strengthen your brain, it can give you a leg up in the workplace, allow you to talk to someone at the market in their language or help you better communicate with a neighbor.

Find a Friend

No friends that take the same train or drive to work at the same time? You still don’t have to travel alone. Make note of those around you. Maybe someone would be a great person to talk with to pass the time.

Indulge in Motivational Music

If you have a stressful job, get pumped up or maybe relax before work. Everything changes when you listen to either meditative or motivating music. Start your day right with your favorite songs and by the time you arrive, you’ll wish the commute was longer.

Apartments in Chicago

Try one of these ways to make the most out of your commute! If you’re searching for the perfect apartment in Chicago, contact our office today.

Coffee Beans and Cup

Tips for Brewing the Perfect Cup of Joe at Home

Coffee Beans and CupDon’t you just love a delicious cup of hot coffee to kick start your day? Unfortunately, grabbing your morning coffee from that corner café can quickly become expensive. The good news is that you can brew your own amazing cup of coffee right at home at just a fraction of the price!

Grind Your Own Coffee Beans

Sure, it will take a little more time and effort than buying pre-ground coffee, but you’ll notice the difference. You see, coffee grounds may be convenient, but they’re typically not very fresh (it’s not uncommon for them to sit on the store shelf for months). By grinding your own quality coffee beans, you can enjoy fresh coffee every single time. Plus, you’ll likely find that buying fresh coffee beans is cheaper than buying containers of coffee grounds.

Use Filtered Water

If your coffee tends to taste bitter, there’s a good chance your water is to blame. Generally, you should avoid using water straight from the tap, especially if you live in an area with a hard water supply. Instead, brew your coffee with filtered water, which will have fewer impurities and result in a better brew. You can buy filtered water in bottled form or even invest in a large water pitcher with a filter built in for added convenience.

Don’t Use Cheap Filters

Aren’t all coffee filters made equally? Actually, you might be surprised. Paper coffee filters don’t always do the greatest job and can often let through grounds that are too large, thus resulting in coffee that tastes bitter. If you’re serious about brewing your own coffee at home on a regular basis, consider investing in a quality, reusable filter. You might be surprised at what a difference these filters can make; plus, they’re better for the environment since you don’t throw them away after use. Simply rinse gently with water and your filter is ready for another brew!

Brewing your own coffee at home can save you money and taste even better than that expensive coffee from the shop. Of course, if you ever find that you’re short on time, you can always grab a free cup of hot coffee at River North Park’s Internet Café! Contact us today to inquire about available apartments in Chicago!

Cleaning Products

5 Things People Forget to Clean

Cleaning ProductsThe season of cleaning is upon us! After all, they do not call it spring cleaning for nothing. While you are doing some cleaning around your home, there are likely a few spots that you miss or completely forget about. In fact, there are areas that a lot of people do not clean because they simply do not think about the areas very often. To help make sure you clean everywhere, make sure you do not miss these five things that people forget to clean.

5 Things People Forget to Clean

1. Baseboards

You probably take the time to clean your floors but do you ever look at your baseboards? A lot of dust can accumulate there and you should think about running a vacuum or a damp cloth over them. Think about all of the dirt and dust that gets there from foot traffic and other things. You do not want that in your home.

2. Trash Cans

Even if you use a trash bag every time, your trash can may get gross and smelly too. It can be dirty on the inside and outside so you should run some soapy water through it at least once every six weeks.

3. Under Kitchen Appliances

How often have you cleaned the kitchen counters only to ignore what is under the appliances? A lot of food particles can get stuck there so it is worth moving those around and cleaning every part of the counter.

4. Door Handles

This is something that you touch every day. Think about all the germs that can be on it! It is recommended that you clean these once per week with antibacterial wipes.

5. Under Furniture and Your Bed

You likely sweep or vacuum the areas in your home but you probably never get underneath your bed or your furniture. You don’t have to move these things, just get an extender for your vacuum so you can get to those hard-to-reach places.

If you need a place of your own to clean, you should stop by and view our apartments in Chicago. We have lots of different options available and you should stop by for a tour. Call us today or stop by our office to get started.

Taco Plate

Where to Find the Best Tacos in Chicago

Taco Plate

Tacos are the ultimate handheld meal. Crispy or chewy, hot or mild and filled with beef, chicken or fish; any way you like to eat them, it is difficult not to love this tasty food. If you’re a taco lover looking for some of the top taquerias in Chicago, try out these places.

Velvet Taco

This eatery is more than the typical taco chain. Velvet Taco offers all the standard taco fare, but their menu goes far beyond the ordinary. Customers can choose from a huge selection featuring such unique options like Cuban pig, a taco with all the ingredients you love from a Cuban sandwich to a raw Ahi poke “taco” which replaces the traditional tortilla with a lettuce wrap. This place has a nice selection of vegetarian options.

Tuco and Blondie

This place may be a little more “upscale” for a taco spot, but that does not mean the food is any less authentic. Besides a large selection of Mexican and Southwest favorites, Tuco and Blondie offers platters of classic tacos which are good enough to earn the restaurant a spot on the Eater’s “Ten Hottest Taco Spots in Chicago.”

Primo Chuki’s

This restaurant has all the style of a school cafeteria, but once you try the food, you will come back time after time. The food is cheap, plentiful and so good you won’t believe it costs less than two bucks. This authentic Mexican restaurant offers common varieties of tacos including pork, beef and chicken, but more adventurous taco lovers will opt for an order of tongue or tripe tacos. Besides tacos, the menu offers other Mexican classics.

There are many apartments in Chicago, but none like our River North Park Apartments. Our community offers residents hotel-like amenities including a fitness center with a heated indoor lap pool, an internet cafe with complimentary coffee, an enclosed parking garage, a sundeck with gas grills and a private 1/2-acre, richly landscaped courtyard for relaxing. Residents can choose from our studio, one- or two-bedroom floor plans to fit their needs. Call 866-489-7207 to speak with our office to learn more about our available floor plans and community.

Small Dog and Cat

How to Prepare Your Apartment for a New Pet

Small Dog and CatWhen searching for apartments in Chicago that are pet-friendly, our community may offer just what you’re looking for. Our spacious studio, convertible, two-bedroom townhome, or one or two-bedroom apartments may be the perfect match for you and your pet companion.

Getting Your Apartment Pet Ready

No matter how cool, calm, and collected your canine or feline friend may be, moving to a new home can cause a level of stress and anxiety. With these two things in mind, it’s to your pet’s benefit, and yours, to prepare a place for your furry friend before they arrive.

  • “Quiet, please!” This is what your pet would say if they could speak. New noises along with new smells can be disruptive and scary. Select a quiet zone for your pet. This can be in the spare bedroom, bathroom, or a closet. Anyplace where there is no traffic, it’s relatively quiet, and you can close the door. This pet zone gives them a chance to walk around, undisturbed and safe while checking out the nooks and crannies.
  • For kitties, place their litter pan, food and water, and something they like to sleep on in the zone. If they’re comfortable in their carrier, place it in the room with them as a hiding spot. For dogs, along with food and water, place their favorite toys in the area with them to provide added comfort. Shut the blinds or close the curtains to create a cozy inner sanctum.
  • Safety is at the top of the list for your pet. This means securing all electrical cords so they can’t be chewed. Nervousness can cause different behaviors, and electrical cord chewing is definitely one you don’t want your pet to engage in.
  • Front doors and open windows are intriguing to pets who will not realize the dangers outside should they have access to these areas. All windows and doors need to be secure to prevent your pet from being harmed due to their desire to investigate outside the home.

When you’re ready to make the move to our community, contact our office for information on available floor plans. Whether you’re moving with one or two pet pals, we’ll help you find the apartment that fits your needs.

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