Nowadays, we hear the word “quarantine” and automatically picture a long list of things we’re not allowed to do.  No lake. No coffee with friends. No 606. No restaurant date nights. The restrictions seem overwhelming.   But perhaps we need to shift our mindset and think of all the opportunities this slower lifestyle offers? Instead of sitting around worrying about what we cannot control, why not use downtime to learn new skills, embrace this rare family time, and reconnect with what makes you happy?

It’s called downtime for a reason and we’d like to help you enjoy, escape or experience something awesome.  From free online fitness and foreign language classes – to virtual museum tours and Michelin-rated take out – there are literally hundreds of online experiences available at your fingertips, and most of them are free.

We’ve compiled the list below of our favorites, categorized with links and information so you can enjoy them immediately.  Every one of us at Chicago Home Partner are facing similar challenges in this current environment.  With that in mind, we know that taking care of yourself, both mentally and physically, should be your top priority right now. 


  • Duolingo: Not only is Duolingo useful when learning a new language, it’s fun and addictive. This service takes a game-like approach to learning and offers apps for iOS, Windows Phone and Android.


  • “Psychology and the Good Life,” the most popular class in the history of Yale is now available online, along with over 20 other classes taught by Yale faculty.


  • First we have to keep it close to home and recommend our Mayor’s series at #STAYHOMEHITPLAY where last week she toured the Shedd Aquarium escorted by penguins. In upcoming weeks she plans to visit the MSI, Field and the Art Institute.
  • Or if you’re looking for something that’s kiddo-approved and NOT Tiger King – CBS compiled a great list of zoos and aquariums across the country that are streaming virtual visits.


  • Just because we have to stay home, doesn’t mean we can’t experience the world. Kayak has created virtual city guides and travel content to celebrate some of the cities they love. Spend a day in these incredible destinations without leaving the house.


  • Working up a sweat and staying healthy while stuck at home can be difficult — but not impossible. Fitness including Orangetheory, Peloton, Gold’s Gym and CorePower Yoga have come up with a creative solution to keep you moving: live-streamed and recorded digital classes you can join from anywhere for FREE.


  •  Khan Academy has self-paced, interactive content–exercises, videos and articles–for students in every grade and in most major subject areas. It is all free and non-commercial and is made possible by philanthropic support from people like you.
  • Hundreds of homeschool sites have opened their doors to the parents of elementary school age kids. Their content range from worksheets and lesson plans to arts and crafts and even science experiments.


  • More and more restaurants across Chicago are offering takeout and delivery options as of way of keeping their staff employed and their neighborhood fed. Thrillist has an amazing list of MUST TRY takeout restaurants here that should definitely be viewed.
  • Local staples like Gene and Georgetti are offering up their menu for take out and are even offering family-style as one of their ordering options.
  • Even 3-star Michelin restaurant Alinea has adapted to the closure of dining rooms. A dinner there typically costs around $300 per person, but recently the restaurant announced that it would offer to-go meals for $35 a piece. The first batch of dinners, featuring beef Wellington, sold out within five hours, so put in your order or get on the waitlist here.


2020 Chicago Home Partner March Madness

by Amanda on March 11, 2020

What does March mean to you?

March is always a great month for me.  It means longer days, the heat of the Spring Real Estate Market, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and for many of us… the anticipation of March Madness!

This year, we are proud to announce the 12th Annual Chicago Home Partner March Madness Pool!  I would like to invite you, your friends and family to participate in this fun online competition. The more the merrier… or at least the more competitive!

Best of all… the winner walks away with a $50 AMEX gift card!

If you have participated before:

  • Enter the password “chicago” (if prompted) to start making picks!

If you are new to the pool this year:

  • Go to TourneyTime.com
  • Click “Register Now” in the upper right hand corner and create your free account.
  • After logging in, select the ‘Join NCAA Pool’ option.
  • In the search box, enter the pool name, Chicago Home Partner and click ‘Search for Pool’.
  • Select the correct pool and click the ‘Select Pool’ button.
  • Enter the pool password, chicago (lower case) and click the ‘Join Pool’ button.
  • Once you join the pool, you will see your username and an option to MAKE PICKS.
  • On this page it will show you who’s playing who and their record.  Pick your winners and you’re done!

How to sign up as a new user for the CHP March Madness Pool:

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE SUBMITTED BY TIP-OFF ON THURSDAY, MARCH 19th and don’t forget to “talk some trash” over on our Facebook page!

The website will automatically update with your progress, the winners, the losers and who’s leading.  We have even added “Bonus Points” this year for biggest upsets, most correct picks and more. 

Whether you live in Lincoln Park, Wicker Park or Hyde Park… everyone enjoys a little competition.  Good luck to everyone and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have!


The Chicago Home Partner 2019/20 Real Estate Forecast

February 28, 2020

As Chicago real estate market experts, we take immense pride in releasing our annual “Chicago Real Estate Roundup” each year.  Our 2019 predictions proved accurate, with home pricing relatively “flat” overall, an uptick in inventory and low interest rates throughout the year. However, near the end of 2019 we noticed some anomalies that gave us […]

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16th Annual Lurie Children’s Hospital Toy Drive – Chicago Home Partner

December 9, 2019

It’s that time of year again… people are full of cheer, the streets are glistening with festive lights and we are – for a short time – eager for the arrival of snow!  Yes, the holidays are officially among us. For the past 16 years, we at Chicago Home Partner have celebrated the holidays through […]

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Home Partner’s Top 5 Chicago Holiday Light Displays 2019

November 20, 2019

As temperatures and leaves continue to drop, it’s a tell-tale sign that the season is upon us!  That’s right ladies and gentlemen… ‘Tis the season for LIGHTS!!! Whether Griswold or Scrooge, there’s something magical about seeing thousands, (and sometimes hundreds of thousands!), of lights glowing, blinking and twinkling in the crisp Chicago air.  The way […]

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The 13th Annual Chicago Home Partner Pumpkin Carving Contest

October 7, 2019

As the temperatures begin to tumble like the leaves outside, it’s time to begin thinking about winter, the holidays and most importantly HALLOWEEN! This is one of our favorite holidays here at Chicago Home Partner, and we are pleased to announce that this month will mark the 13th Annual Chicago Home Partner Pumpkin Carving Contest.  This is […]

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Introducing the Chicago Home Partner Concierge Program

October 2, 2019

The Chicago Home Partner Concierge Program is a complimentary approach to providing you with service providers and insight surrounding the world of real estate and homes in general.

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Get What’s Yours With the Illinois iCash Program

July 29, 2019

Remember playing the game Monopoly?  Of the two cards offered in the game, Community Chest was almost always the better.  With rewards such as “Advance to Go – Collect $200.”, “Income tax refund. Collect $20”, and my personal favorite, “You have won second prize in a beauty contest. Collect $10.”  Unfortunately not many of us […]

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2019 Chicago Neighborhood Festivals Schedule

June 25, 2019

The summer months in Chicago are some of the greatest anywhere.  Our city bustles with activity as urban dwellers and tourists alike take to the lakefront, sidewalk cafes and parks.  South Side, North Side and every neighborhood in between, come alive with people, activities, and celebration. That’s why we’re excited to provide you with this […]

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The 2019 Chicago Neighborhood Farmers Market Schedule

May 15, 2019

We think that we’ve seen the last of the Chicago snowstorms, so it’s time we all look forward to during warmer midwestern months. Each summer the Chicago area plays host to an amazing number of farmers markets.  These markets bring in the best locally grown fruits, vegetables and other wonderful foods from farmers around the […]

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