Is it even technically Summer if you haven’t been to Ravinia? I think not!

Summer could not  go by without checking out one of my favorite Suburban traditions – a trip to Ravinia Park. Plus, this is technically my last Summer in the suburbs so I had to make sure it was one for the books.

The Summer festival series has been a Chicago mainstay for decades.  Everyone from the city ventures to the suburbs with their picnic bags in tow for an evening of live music. The lineup appears to get better and better each year. Ravinia patrons are also known for their decked out picnic arrangements you have ever seen. Trust me, everyone pulls out all the stops from candles to elegant table settings. You haven’t seen a picnic until you’ve been to Ravinia.

An Evening with Leslie Odom

This year my friends and I got picnic ready for an evening with Broadway legend Leslie Odom. If that name sounds familiar to you he’s from the original New York cast of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. His performance as Aaron Burr was so stellar he took home the Tony award for best Actor in a Musical.

For our evening, our picnic spread featured decadent cheese & charcuterie, fresh fruit skewers, and a spinach and fruit Quiche for our savory offerings. For dessert, we catered to our sweet tooth and enjoyed some delectable Italian cookies. We got all the food items from a quick last-minute trip to Mariano’s. For the picnic on the good, I highly recommend them. Plus, many of the items come ready to be survived. It’s like they knew we were having a picnic.

Our decadent spread was so satisfying, we couldn’t possibly get hungry during Leslie’s performance.

A Toast to Chandon

I consider myself a showgirl so I loved hearing Broadway show tunes while I indulged in some picnic favorites. And of course, no evening is complete without the finest wine and champagne so we clinked our glasses and toasted underneath the stars with glasses of Chandon’s finest.

To celebrate Summer, the Chandon team gifted me with their limited Summer edition bottles of Rosé and Brut California.

Of course we popped open the Rosé first and easily consumed the bottle. The light and refreshing taste was the perfect complement to our picnic spread.

With all the picnic essentials in tow – ambient lighting, delectable food, and fine wine, we were destined to have a good night.

Special thanks to Ravinia and Chandon for sponsoring our evening.

P.S – We found the perfect spot in the park if you want to avoid the crowd. Just go to the back of the park and a wooded oasis awaits. It comes complete with an elegant display of festoon lighting.

Cheers to my last suburban Summer!


*Entry into the festival was provided complimentary from Ravinia. Bottles of Chandon were complimentary of Chandon. All opinions are my own