Optometry's Meeting is a week away, which means its officially time to start getting excited for the fun filled days ahead of us! While there are many fun activities planned out at Optometry's Meeting itself (we'll get to a few of these fun things later!), Chicago is home to an endless list of fun things to do, places to see, and delicious places to eat! The great thing about Optometry's Meeting is you have quite a bit of time in between, before, and after the different events to explore the great city of Chicago!
If you are lucky enough to attend the meeting this year, you are in for a treat. We have put together a guide of fun things to do in Chicago while your not at the meeting, just for you!
Things to Eat (Food and Culinary Events)
- The Wiener's Circle: If you have ever seen their show on truTV, you will know you are in for an interesting experience at this famous hot dog stand. While they do serve up a tasty hot dog, you may want to prepare yourself for the entertaining verbal abuse that accompanies your order!
- Twin Anchors: Being from Texas, we'd like to think we have pretty high standards for finger-lickin-good barbeque. As one of the oldest restaurants in Chicago, Twin Anchors is known for their ribs - we'd like to see just how Chicago's famous BBQ compares to that of good ole' Texas!
- Lou Malnati's Pizzeria: What would a trip to Chicago be without indulging in a deep dish pizza? With multiple locations around Chicago, Lou Malnati's is the perfect place to get your Chicago style pizza fix!
- Topolobampo: Known simply as "Topolo", this Top Chef Master owned resaurant services up a rotating menu of regional Mexican dishes, wild game, and festival foods.
- Green City Market: Enjoy the summer weather at Chicago's own year-round farmer's market in Lincoln Park. You will find local, sustainable farmers and chefs serving up fresh fruits, vegetables, as well as cooking demonstrations.
In addition to these restaurants, you can explore hundreds of other Chicago restaurants at Explore Chicago!
Things to Do (Music, Nightlife, Sports)
- Navy Pier Summer Fireworks: Enjoy the warm summer night by watching fireworks over Lake Michigan at the Navy Pier. Shows occur every Wednesday at 9:30pm and Saturday at 10:15pm. Navy Pier also is home to many other daytime activities including museums, boat rides, and the infamous 150 foot ferris wheel.
- The 2012 Independent Chicago Songwriter Festival: Celebrate some of the most diverse and creative musical voices in Chicago at this entertaining music festival.
- Millennium Park Concerts: Listen to free summertime concerts in Millennium park while digging your toes in the grass. This is a Chicago must-do!
- Wrigley Field: Head over to the Wrigley Field to watch The Cubs play with a cold drink in hand, or explore the 90 year old legendary park on one of the park's daily tours.
- Luckily, you have 4 chances to catch a game. Check the schedule here!
Things to See (Culture, History, Sports)
- Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool: Admire to beauty of Lincoln Park's nature garden and lily pool. This serene garden was designed originally in 1889 to cultivate tropical water lillies and redesigned in the 1930's by well-known landscape architect Alfred Caldwell.
- Northerly Island: Explore Chicago's 91 acre man-made peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan. Here you will find walking paths, a beautiful landscape, and the perfect place to take a picture of the Chicago skyline.
- Wright's Roots: Using original artifacts and early illustrations of well-known Chicago architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, this exhibit tells the story of Wright's earliest work and the start to his long lived career.
- Millennium Park: Home of Chicago's infamous "bean", this park is a perfect place to stroll in the summer. Walk along the Lurie Garden foot bridge or watch the illuminating Crown Fountain.
- Museum's: Chicago is FULL of renowned museums, from The Shedd Acquarium to the Art Institute of Chicago. There is a museum for everyone in Chicago, so check out the list to find one that interests you!
In addition to all the fun things to do in Chicago, don't miss out on these fun events at Optometry's Meeting:
- Optometry's Meeting Welcome Hour: mix and mingle with friends over drinks and small bites!
- Opening General Session: see the latest in 3D technology before they are released to the general public.
- Valirux Optometry Student Bowl XXI: This is the event everyone always looks forward to! Watch as students battle it out by answering optometry-related questions in this fierce competition.
- A Celebration of Optometry (Presidential Celebration): Explore the Field Museum, enjoy a Taste of Chicago inspired foods, and listen to dueling Pianos in this fun night recognizing the AOA and AOSA Board of Trustees! End Optometry's Meeting in style!
Find a full schedule of events here.
Have a GREAT time exploring all the fun things to do in Chicago! Please let us know if you have any other fun ideas by leaving us a comment!
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We always look forward to attending Optometry's Meeting and this year was no exception! This show in particular gives us a great opportunity to interact with our users and colleagues. We work closely with the team at the AOA leading up to the show and it's so much fun to see it all come together.
This year was especially exciting because together with the AOA Member Advantage Program, we announced that VisionWeb is now an AOA Member Advantage partner. We're the only electronic claim filing service in the program; and by participating, we're making our insurance service more accessible to AOA members. We know how much more efficient a practice can be when using our services so we're so excited to partner with the AOA to bring this service to a wider audience of independent optometry practices. AOA members are highly encouraged to learn about the program and take advantage of the special offers.
Optometry's Meeting also marks the time that we get to make our annual AOA Royalty Payment announcement in VisionWeb's AOA Royalty Program! We were thrilled when we did the calculations this year and discovered that we would be making our biggest payment in the program's history, $53,494 in total! State Affiliates receive those royalties and will use them to offset membership fees and support programs that add value to the State Affiliate membership.
Check out our video recap of the show here and see a few photos from the show below:
We look forward to many more great Optometry's Meetings in the future!
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