2018 Compass Accomplishments

Posted by Laine Smith on 12/31/18 11:29 AM

Check out our accomplishments from 2018! Click on the different sections to learn more! 

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Focus Friday: K. Hollis Jewelers

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/9/18 2:16 PM

Today for Focus Friday we talked to K. Hollis Jewelers!  What began as a hobby has grown into a thriving business with an emphasis on creating meaningful jewelry pieces while fostering a sense of community with their customers.  Take a look at their story and plan your visit before Valentine’s Day!

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The Tea Tree - Focus Friday Ep. 28

Posted by Laine Smith on 1/25/18 11:21 AM

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Jester Park

Posted by Emma Johnson on 5/25/17 11:00 AM

Spring and summer are for exploring and enjoying the outdoors, especially in the Midwest since a good part of the year is cold and snowy. This summer, plan a visit to Jester Park, a 675-acre park with lots for your family to see and do!

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Out and About with Compass: Wahoo Woods

Posted by Emma Johnson on 5/25/17 9:30 AM

We ask a lot of our kids each day. From standing patiently in line while running errands, to sitting for extended periods while focusing on school work. Finding appropriate ways for them to expend all their build up energy can be tricky for parents.

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Out and About with Compass: Shoreline Architecture Tours

Posted by Emma Johnson on 5/18/17 9:30 AM

It’s a good time of year to be a Chicagoan! The warm weather is here to stay and the city is coming alive again. We’ve earned the nice weather, so as you’re making your spring and summer to-do list, put an architecture tour from Shoreline Sightseeing on your list!

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Out and About with Compass: Smart Museum of Art

Posted by Emma Johnson on 5/11/17 9:30 AM

Looking for somewhere to hang with mom this weekend that she’ll enjoy just as much as the rest of the family? Celebrate Mother’s Day at the Smart Museum of Art on the University of Chicago campus. The museum is one of the best in the city, and even better—it’s always free!

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Out and About with Compass: Main Street Market

Posted by Emma Johnson on 5/4/17 9:30 AM

Shopping locally is socially responsible, provides a high-quality product, and allows for opportunities to delve deeper into the community in which you live. This is definitely the case at the Main Street Market, held in Rockford twice each year! Plan to attend this open air market, on May 20th, for an opportunity to buy handmade and vintage goods from over 150 vendors! Cute, quaint, unique and fun don't even begin to cover it!

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Out and About with Compass: Klehm Arboretum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/27/17 9:30 AM

While the city of Chicago holds some amazing things, sometimes heading West for a couple hours, out of the city, can be a refreshing change of pace. This spring, head over to Klehm Arboretum in Rockford for a beautiful escape!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Grundy County Barn Quilts

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/20/17 10:00 AM

Nothing is quite as relaxing as taking a leisurely drive on a country road. Pretty scenery, windows down, and good music on the radio makes for a special afternoon. This spring, when you need to unwind a bit, take a trip to Grundy County to see their unique Barn Quilt Project that’s been in the works since 2003!

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Out and About with Compass: Maxwell Street Market

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/20/17 9:30 AM

Everyone loves a good deal, and when you combine a unique and inexpensive find with the art of bargaining, it deepens the appreciation because you really had to work for it! Chicago combines this experience while celebrating its culture and tradition at the weekly Maxwell Street Market!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Tulip Time Celebration

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/18/17 10:00 AM

Central Iowa has a deeply rooted Dutch heritage which means you don’t have to travel far if you live anywhere in the midwest to get a clear idea of the traditions and customs held by Dutch people. This spring, on May 4-6, plan to attend the 82nd annual Tulip Time Celebration, in Pella!

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Out and About with Compass: Deep Dish Pizza-Making Class

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/18/17 9:30 AM

Nothing is as synonymous with Chicago as pizza! Deep dish, to be more specific! The history of the tasty pizza pie creation dates back more than 70 years, and it’s since become an essential part of Chicago’s culture. Today, most Chicagoans have enjoyed their fair share of cheesy and saucy slices, but very few of us have ever tried our hand at buidling this epic pizza creation ourselves! This spring, plan an outing to Pizzeria Uno in River North, an historic Chicago eatery specializing in deep dish, for a tasty and educational DIY experience you won’t forget!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Jump 'n' Easter Egg Hunt

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/13/17 10:00 AM

Spring time often leaves us with inconsistent weather, making outdoor fun hard to plan for during this time of year! Easter is this weekeknd, and if you’d rather not cover up the kids’ Easter garb with a big coat during the egg finding festivities, plan a visit to Pump It Up, in Urbandale, for their Jump ‘n’ Easter Egg Hunt!

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Out and About with Compass: Easter Brunch at the Morton Arboretum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/13/17 9:30 AM

Brunch is always a good idea, but it’s an especially appropriate way to celebrate a special event or holiday with your friends and family. This weekend, save yourself the stress of cooking and hosting Easter, and visit the Morton Arboretum for some beautiful scenery and a delicious brunch!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Bass Pro Shop's Easter Event

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/11/17 10:00 AM

If you haven’t properly celebrated Easter yet, it’s not too late! You still have a few days to plan your springtime fun, and Bass Pro Shops, in multiple locations around Iowa, has you covered! Visit this weekend for an unforgettable Easter celebration!

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Out and About with Compass: Lincoln Park Zoo Easter Egg-Stravaganza

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/11/17 9:30 AM

Spring is in full swing in Chicagoland! We’ve enjoyed some nice weather, the rain has brought flowers and green grass, and Easter is approaching fast! If you haven't planned an Easter outing yet, come celebrate the holiday this weekend at the Lincoln Park Zoo's Easter Egg-Stravaganza!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Living History Farms

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/6/17 10:00 AM

Sometimes we need a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of modern life. When you want to escape a bit, and gain some education too, visit Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa!

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Out and About with Compass: Hippo Campus

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/6/17 9:30 AM

April showers bring...lots of time cooped up indoors! While we wait for the sunshine to make its appearance again in Chicagoland, bring your kids to Hippo Campus, in Volo, for some fun as they use their brains and bodies to explore and learn!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/4/17 10:00 AM

If you have an interest in trains or locomotive history, or if it excites the younger members of your family, a visit to the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad is a must-do! Put a trip here on your spring/summer bucket list!

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Out and About with Compass: Bike and Roll Chicago

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/4/17 9:30 AM

Chicago has world famous architecture, five star restaurants, and some amazing opportunities for recreation and entertainment.  If you're looking to see the sights of the city, or have an out-of-town guest who wants a peek at all that Chicago has to offer, plan an active biking adventure with Bike and Roll Chicago!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Blank Park Zoo

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/30/17 10:00 AM

After a long winter spent indoors, we’re craving outdoor time! If you’re looking for a place to explore this spring, plan a trip to Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines! You’ll encounter some amazing animals, interactive exhibits, and you’ll learn something new while you and your family have fun! Blank Park’s mission is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world. They accomplish this through education, conservation efforts, and through periodic recreational activities held at the zoo.

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Out and About with Compass: North Pond Nature Sanctuary

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/30/17 9:30 AM

Sometimes, in the middle of a busy urban area like Chicago, you find a natural wonderland where the cars, skyscrapers, and hustle and bustle of city life feels far away. This is exactly what you’ll discover when you visit North Pond Nature Sanctuary in Lincoln Park.

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: King's Pointe Waterpark Resort

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/28/17 10:00 AM

If you’re staying put for spring break, but still want to experience a getaway, plan a trip to King’s Pointe Waterpark Resort, in Storm Lake, Iowa, making it just a short drive from most of Iowa’s major metropolitan areas. Here, you’ll get all the fun without the long drive!

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Out and About with Compass: Bronzeville Children's Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/28/17 9:30 AM

Looking for a way to entertain and educate the kids while they’re off on spring break? Look no further than the Bronzeville Children’s Museum in Chicago, which offers unique exhibits and programming for kids of all ages, with a special focus on African American history and culture.

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: State Historical Museum of Iowa

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/23/17 10:00 AM

Each state in America has a unique history and offers a unique contribution to the country as a whole.  If you call Iowa home, or if you'd like to learn more about the state while you're passing the heartland sometime, make a visit to the State Historical Museum of Iowa!

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Out and About with Compass: The Lakefront Trail

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/23/17 9:30 AM

Lake Michigan, with it’s beautiful water, waves and wildlife, and expansive shoreline is arguably Chicago’s finest asset! It provides our city with many necessities, but also hours of recreation and stunning views. This spring, take a trip down the Lakefront Trail, stretching 18 miles along Lake Michigan’s coast, for a state-of-the-art tour of the city of Chicago.

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/21/17 10:00 AM

With spring break on the horizon, you may be looking at hours in the car as you travel to your final vacation destination. Why not make the most of the road trip, and plan some interesting stops along the way? If you’re travelling though Iowa on I-80, make a pit stop at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum for a unique peek at trucking history!

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Out and About with Compass: Wrigley Field Tours

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/21/17 9:30 AM

Spring time is synonymous with baseball! It’s America’s favorite pastime, and it’s a good time to be a fan in Chicago right now! Both teams are fun to watch, but the World Champion Chicago Cubs have recently hit their stride, and even if you don’t typically cheer for the northsiders, you can still find things to appreciate about this historic team--namely their iconic stadium, Wrigley Field!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Des Moines Art Center

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/16/17 10:00 AM

Whether you have a vast knowledge of art or find yourself seeking some more education in the area, a trip to the Des Moines Art Center will not leave you disappointed! The Des Moines Art Center is a contemporary art museum that offers visitors a look at some amazing works of contemporary art through permanent collections and rotating exhibitions featuring work from both emerging and well-known artists alike. Even the architectural design of the building was carefully planned!

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Out and About with Compass: Chicago Botanic Garden

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/16/17 9:30 AM

It’s March, which means we’re craving spring! While it’s not quite nice enough yet to see the springtime blooms popping up through the soil, that doesn’t mean you can’t get your greenery fix! Take a trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden this month to refresh yourself, mind, body and spirit!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Maple Syrup Festival

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/14/17 10:00 AM

Everyone enjoys a tall stack of pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast, but very few of us understand exactly what it takes to get that delicious drizzle from the tree to our plates! It's currently sugaring season, which makes it the perfect time to learn! Head over to the Indian Creek Nature Center this weekend for their Maple Syrup Festival!

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Out and About with Compass: Elk Grove Historical Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/14/17 9:30 AM

Those of us who call Chicago home are well versed in the history of the city. From the Great Chicago Fire and The World’s Fair, to Al Capone’s influence and the growth of industry, we have a wealth of knowledge about our great city! However, we often can’t say the same about the surrounding suburbs! Many cities have their own regional history museums, and today we’re featuring the Elk Grove Historical Museum!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Iowa Cubs

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/9/17 10:00 AM

Professional baseball isn’t just for the biggest cities in America anymore! In Des Moines, you can get a taste of the big leagues without leaving the state! This spring, make a trip to Principal Park for a AAA baseball experience that’s family-friendly and features both former and soon-to-be big league talent, making for a competitive game that everyone in the family can enjoy. Opening day is less than a month away!

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Out and About with Compass: Maple Syrup Festival

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/9/17 9:30 AM

Everyone enjoys a tall stack of pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast, but very few of us understand exactly what it takes to get that delicious drizzle from the tree to our plates! It's currently sugaring season, which makes it the perfect time to learn! Head over to the North Park Village Nature Center on March 25th for their FREE Maple Syrup Festival!

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Compass Mortgage Grands for Grads Scholarship Giveaway

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/8/17 12:00 PM

At Compass Mortgage, we recognize the invaluable role a quality education can play in a person’s life. Education opens up opportunities, both personally and professionally, it establishes a framework for lifelong learning, and provides access to information and resources that would otherwise be hard to come by.

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/7/17 10:00 AM

Among the many wonderful things that springtime brings with it are flowers and greenery! After a dreary winter, this pop of color brings a welcome change to the landscape! Now, you don’t need to wait for the ground to thaw to get your fill of beautiful plant life! Plan a trip to the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden this spring!

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Out and About with Compass: Funtopia

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/7/17 9:30 AM

In the coming months, the weather is hit and miss. On days when you want to get out of the house but it’s more reminiscent of winter than spring, put a trip to Funtopia, located in Glenview, on your list! It will provide a day of fun and adventure for the kids in your life!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Leprechaun Chase 10K

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/2/17 10:00 AM

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy celebrating St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re still working on plans for the big day, keep the Leprechaun Chase 10K, at Principal Park in Des Moines, in mind this year! You’ll have a great time AND get a workout in!

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Out and About with Compass: St. Patrick's Day Lunch Cruise

Posted by Emma Johnson on 3/2/17 9:30 AM

A Chicago river cruise is a great way to see the city for visitors and natives alike! But if you’re looking for an extra special experience, plan a trip on the green-dyed river during the St. Patrick’s Day festivities on the Shoreline Sightseeing St. Patrick’s Day Lunch Cruise! You'll get up close and personal to the famous green water, and have a great time learning more about our city in a fun and festive environment.

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Escape Rooms

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/28/17 10:00 AM

There’s a new trend making everything from kids’ birthday parties and date nights, to corporate team events more exciting and suspenseful…an escape room! An escape room is a physical adventure game where you and other participants are locked in a room and use clues and props within the space to solve a puzzle within a set time limit. In order to be successful you need strong time management, teamwork, and persistence! Even if you don’t make it in time, you’ll still have a blast, and you’ll have stories to share during dinner afterwards! Check out any of the escape rooms below, located all over the state of Iowa, for an energizing activity that’s out of the ordinary and unique! Good luck!

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Out and About with Compass: Chicagoland Escape Rooms

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/28/17 9:30 AM

There’s a new trend making everything from kids’ birthday parties and date nights, to corporate team events more exciting and suspenseful…an escape room! An escape room is a physical adventure game where you and other participants are locked in a room and use clues and props within the space to solve a puzzle within a set time limit. In order to be successful you need strong time management, teamwork, and persistence! Even if you don’t make it in time, you’ll still have a blast, and you’ll have stories to share during dinner afterwards! Check out any of the escape rooms below, located all over Chicagoland, for an energizing activity that’s out of the ordinary and unique! Gather up a group, and good luck!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Field of Dreams

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/23/17 10:00 AM

Springtime brings a lot of wonderful things we’ve missed over the long winter. Flowers, fresh air, sunshine, and of course, baseball! That’s why a trip to The Field of Dreams baseball field, from the film favorite 1989 best picture winner is the perfect way to spend the day this spring or summer!

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Out and About with Compass: TILT!

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/23/17 9:30 AM

There are lots of ways to see the city of Chicago! From a river cruise through the heart of downtown, to walking food tours through the neighborhoods, Chicago is amazing no matter how you view it. But if you’re a thrill seeker, looking for a one-of-a-kind vantage point, check out The TILT Experience, at the top of the Hancock building, for a spectacular and heart-pounding view!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Pappajohn Sculpture Park

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/21/17 10:00 AM

We've been experiencing an unseasonably warm month, which offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy some outdoor fun!  The next time you're looking for a way to enjoy being outside, check out the Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines!

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Out and About with Compass: Pottawatomie Park

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/21/17 9:30 AM

We've been lucky enought to get a break from those harsh winter temperatures that are typically around this time of year.  As you plan for ways to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather begin to brainstorm springtime activities, remember Pottawatomie Park, located in downtown St. Charles!   The park has so much to offer--it’s fun for the entire family!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: American Gothic House Center

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/16/17 10:00 AM

You don’t need a degree in art to know and instantly recognize the famous painting, American Gothic, currently displayed at the Art Institute of Chicago, which portrays a farming couple in front of a white farmhouse. The artist, Grant Wood, painted it in 1930, and his inspiration came from what is now known as thein Eldon, Iowa. Wood drew his inspiration for the characters in the portrait from his sister and his dentist, and he said he sought to paint the house along with "the kind of people I fancied should live in it.

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Out and About with Compass: Wildwood Nature Center

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/16/17 9:30 AM

Even though the calendar tells us we're still in the heart of winter, mother nature tells us something different! We've been spoiled with some fantastic weather lately!  If you'd like to take advantage of the mild temperatures before things return to normal, head on over to Wildwood Nature Center, in Park Ridge, for some outdoor fun that you've been craving after being cooped up indoors for so long. 

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: DIY Art Studios

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/14/17 10:00 AM

Valentine's Day often brings with it a pressure to plan a stellar date.  If you’re still looking for inspiration for tonight, look no further! We’ve got you covered! There is something special about being creative alongside your date, and when you can combine an imaginative activity with music and wine, it becomes super fun and romantic!

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Out and About with Compass: DIY Art Studios

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/14/17 9:30 AM

If you’re still trying to plan a date for Valentine’s Day tonight, we’ve got you covered! There is something special about being creative alongside your date, and when you can combine an imaginative activity with music and wine, it becomes super fun and romantic!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: The Science Center of Iowa

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/9/17 10:00 AM

Even with spring on the horizon, the weather outside can still be frightful! When the days are cold and blustery, but you feel in the mood for an adventure, bundle up your crew and head to the Science Center of Iowa for some awe inspiring entertainment and lots of learning!

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Out and About with Compass: Discovery Center Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/9/17 9:30 AM

While we look forward to weekends for the rest and relaxation they bring, kids don’t always feel the same way! They enjoy action and energy, and sometimes that best takes place out of the house in a new and exciting environment. If you’re looking for somewhere new and inspiring for your kids to explore, check out the Discovery Center Children’s Museum in Rockford!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: High Trestle Trail

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/7/17 10:00 AM

While spring hasn't officially sprung just yet, we still get the occasional mild day from time to time which is refreshing and energizing!  If you and your family are looking for a way to burn off steam after a long winter spent indoors, put a visit to High Trestle Trail on your list of places to explore!

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Out and About with Compass: Ignite Glass Studios

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/7/17 9:30 AM

Ignite Glass Studios, located in Chicago’s West Loop, is a beautiful facility focused on the craft of making art with glass. This stunning medium is unique and precise, and something that most people are less familiar with, making a visit here particularly interesting. The studio offers everything from team building activities, to a viewing gallery, and community outreach to a gorgeous event space!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/2/17 10:00 AM

They say everything’s better with bacon, and if that’s true, that means the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival is the best event around! On February 18th, head to Des Moines for a festival dedicated to the most delicious cut of meat there is!

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Out and About with Compass: Little Beans Café

Posted by Emma Johnson on 2/2/17 9:30 AM

As adults, we love starting the day with a warm cup of coffee. It’s even more enjoyable when we can leisurely sip it in the comfort of our favorite cozy coffee shop. Now, it’s possible for you to enjoy that relaxing experience even when your children are in tow! Visit Little Beans Café this winter when you’re needing some relaxation and the kids are seeking fun!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Maquoketa Caves State Park

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/31/17 10:00 AM

Our lives are stressful and busy, and sometimes the best way to rejuvenate can be to get outside and surround yourself with the natural world. If you’re feeling like you need an escape that’s not too far from home, plan a visit to Maquoketa Caves State Park! You’ll get the chance to learn, explore, and refresh!

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Out and About with Compass: Cooking Classes

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/31/17 9:30 AM

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and if you’re looking for a date-night activity that’s out-of-the-box and creative, with an added perk of being delicious, check out some local establishments offering cooking classes! These classes offer the opportunity to learn a new skill and practice some creativity in the kitchen! Cooking together will bond you and your date, and you’ll finish the evening feeling accomplished and full from all the yummy food you made! Ready, set, COOK!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/26/17 10:00 AM

Aviation is something that fascinates men and women of all ages. No matter how familiar it has become, there's still something magical and mysterious about the way an aircraft lifts off the ground and soars through the air above us! There is a rich history in the field, from the first flight, to commercial airlines, to military use. If you’re a plane enthusiast, or if you’re just looking to learn more, take a trip to the Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum, located at the Ankeny Regional airport!

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Out and About with Compass: Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/26/17 9:30 AM

All of us enjoy an escape from everyday life from time to time, and there’s nowhere that will transport you quite like Medieval Times, located in Schaumburg. They’ll treat you to a one-of-a-kind show and an extraordinary dinner, filled with imagination, history and competition!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/24/17 10:00 AM

In American tradition, beginning in 1933, former presidents are honored with a presidential library and museum which seeks to inform the public about the highlights of their presidency and provides public access to materials, books, and artifacts. The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum sits on the grounds of the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in West Branch, Iowa, and is a significant draw for the region.

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Out and About with Compass: Steel Beam Theater

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/24/17 9:30 AM

Supporting local art, in all forms, helps to build community and it honors the craft which the artists have poured their lives into. The Steel Beam Theater is a local, non-for-profit organization located in St. Charles, which is “dedicated to delivering high-quality theatrical entertainment, training and arts awareness.” They truly love theater, and the Fox Valley has benefitted from their entertainment offerings since their beginning in 2001.

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/19/17 10:00 AM

There's nothing that evokes memories of childhood quite like candy! Picking up your old favorite treat in the grocery store check-out line is fine, but it's even more fun and nostalgic when you can peruse your old, lesser known, favorites in a quaint candy store, brimming with sugar and delicious treats! Yum!

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Out and About with Compass: The Lincoln Park Conservatory

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/19/17 9:30 AM

While snowy, cold days bring charm during the holidays, during the months that follow the chilly temps can leave us feeling blue. Since spring time is still a far way off, when you’re feeling like you need an escape from all the gray, pay a visit to The Lincoln Park Conservatory, located directly adjacent to the zoo in Lincoln Park!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Iowa Baseball Museum of Norway

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/17/17 10:00 AM

Baseball is America’s favorite pastime, and no matter where you go in the country, you can find a little piece of baseball history.  While it may not feel like it outside, spring training is just around the corner, which means soon, baseball is back!

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Out and About with Compass: Aurora Regional Fire Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/17/17 9:30 AM

The Aurora Regional Fire Museum is a non-profit, educational center which focuses on sharing the history of fire-fighting, from a local and national level, through artifacts, exhibits, hands-on activities, and special events. If you have a history enthusiast, or a child who’s interested in fire trucks or firefighting, a visit to this museum is a must!

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/12/17 10:00 AM

The Mighty Mississippi, which runs almost directly through the middle of our nation, was, and still is, a critical part of American commerce and agriculture. As one of America’s longest rivers, it’s been an important part of people’s lives, since before the land was even settled. Today, we still recognize the importance of this resource, and as a way to honor the history and educate about the future, the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium exists!

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Out and About with Compass:  The Art Institute of Chicago Chinese New Year Celebration

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/12/17 9:30 AM

The Art Institute, located right in the heart of downtown Chicago, is a showcase for some of the most brilliant masterpieces in the world! For four years in a row, it’s been voted one of the top museums in all the world! It’s a fantastic place to browse as a relaxing weekend activity, and as a place to learn if you want to delve into the world of art history.

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Out and About with Compass, Iowa Edition: Amana Colonies

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/10/17 10:00 AM

The Amana Colonies, located just off of 1-80 are a treasured collection of seven villages, sitting on 26,000 acres of prairie land, offering visitors a step back in time! Originally, the villages were built and settled by German Pietists, who were persecuted for their faith, but since, they’ve been maintained as a way to educate visitors about German history, culture and tradition, and celebrate with friends and family!

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Out and About with Compass: Chicago Elevated Sightseeing Tours

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/10/17 9:30 AM

Most people keep their eyes out for indoor fun during the cold Chicago months, but if you’re feeling really adventurous, check out Chicago Elevated’s Winter Sightseeing Tours! This is for the hardcore adventurers among us, because it will be cold—but it’s an experience not many people get, so it’s unique and special! You’ll see Chicago in a new way, and if you’re a true Chicagoan, or looking for an authentic experience, you can totally hack it!

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Out and About with Compass: Pilot Pete's

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/5/17 9:30 AM

There is still something both magical and mysterious about the way an aircraft lifts off the ground and soars through the air above us! If you have an interest in aviation, or if you have a young one who does, you need to plan a visit to Pilot Pete’s, in Schaumburg, for dinner! You’ll get a first-class meal and an unrivaled view!

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Out and About with Compass: Adler After Dark

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/3/17 9:30 AM

The Adler Planetarium, located on the lakefront on Chicago’s museum campus, is a world-class planetarium which offers visitors an in-depth look at the world beyond our planet. Anytime you visit you’ll feel intrigued by everything that exists far beyond us. The exhibits are well-designed, thoughtfully researched, and executed at a level that is unmatched by similar institutions.  It's a must-see in Chicago!

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Out and About with Compass: Chi-Town Rising

Posted by Emma Johnson on 12/29/16 9:30 AM

For the second year in a row, celebrate New Year's Eve in Chicago in an outdoor party that rivals New York's festivities in Time's Square! Head downtown this year to watch the star RISE at midnight during Chi-Town Rising! It's the Midwest's biggest and best New Year's Eve celebration.

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Out and About with Compass: Comedy Clubs in the Chicago Suburbs

Posted by Emma Johnson on 12/27/16 9:30 AM

With Christmas in our rearview, it's time to set our sights on celebrating New Year's Eve! It's a time when we can reflect on 2016 and ring in 2017 with friends and family.  The night is even more fun when you can get out of the house and ring in the new year in a festive environment!

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Out and About with Compass: Old Fashioned Candy Shops

Posted by Emma Johnson on 12/22/16 9:30 AM

There's nothing that evokes memories of childhood quite like candy! Picking up your old favorite treat in the grocery store check out line is fine, but it's even more fun and nostalgic when you can peruse your old, lesser known, favorites in a quaint candy store, brimming with sugar and delicious treats! Yum!

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Out and About with Compass: Naper Lights

Posted by Emma Johnson on 12/20/16 9:30 AM

For the fourth year in a row, Naper Settlement in downtown Naperville, in partnership with the Naperville Sunrise Notary, is bringing holiday cheer to the community with their festive holiday light festival!

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Out and About with Compass: The Chicago Children's Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 12/15/16 9:30 AM

In Chicagoland, we have access to some amazing museums where we, as adults, can learn, explore and engage with the world around us.  Lucky for us, our children have that same opportunity! The Chicago Children's Museum, located downtown at Navy Pier, can be added to the list of exceptional children's museums in our area which celebrate the interests and developmental needs of children. 

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Out and About with Compass: Mooseheart Holiday Light Festival

Posted by Emma Johnson on 12/13/16 9:30 AM

Mooseheart is a100-acre residential facility and school for children in need, whose parents, for one reason or another, are unable to care for them.  This organization has a mission to provide quality education and a loving, nurturing home enviroment for the children they care for. 

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Out and About with Compass: Cosley Zoo Festival of Lights

Posted by Emma Johnson on 12/8/16 9:30 AM

Year round, Cosley Zoo in Wheaton offers visitors a small-scale farm zoo experience that is perfect for the little ones in your life. But at Christmastime, the zoo transforms into a colorful winter wonderland during their Festival of Lights, and the entire family will find the experience magical!

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Out and About with Compass: St. James Farm Sleigh Rides

Posted by Emma Johnson on 12/6/16 9:30 AM

St. James Farm, located in Warrenville, is a 612-acre forest preserve containing native plant and animal species, agricultural fields, barns and horse stables. It’s a scenic place to visit year-round for a leisurely picnic, or a hike through the woods on the various paths. The preserve offers exciting opportunities to explore all year round, like nature photography excursions and geocaching, but during Christmas St. James Farm becomes especially festive!

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Out and About with Compass: Christmas Around the World

Posted by Emma Johnson on 12/1/16 9:30 AM

Christmas is a time to celebrate family traditions.  These customs we share with our loved ones remind us of what's important, and they allow us to reflect on our past while looking hopefully to the future.  This year, start a new tradition of your own with your family while you observe and learn about the traditions of other cultures around the world by visiting the Museum of Science and Industry's Christmas Around the World exhibit! 

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Out and About with Compass: Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 11/29/16 9:30 AM

Each fall, hundreds of Chicagoans flock to the Morton Arboretum to enjoy the season and see the beautiful trees change their colors. But the colorful spectacle doesn't end once the last leaf has dropped! In the winter, the Arboretum strings thousands of colorful lights for a one-of-a-kind Holiday experience you shouldn't miss!

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Out and About with Compass: Happy ThanksGIVING

Posted by Emma Johnson on 11/24/16 9:30 AM

Thanksgiving is a time for food, friends, football and family! But most importantly, it’s a time set aside to reflect on all that we’re thankful for. Out of that thankful spirit often comes a desire to serve those less fortunate, right in our own communities. While the holidays hold fond memories for many, it can also be a time where those around us feel lonely and burdened. Below you’ll find just a few organizations that work to lend a helping hand to those in Chicagoland. This holiday season, get out and about and serve!

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Out and About with Compass: Ice Skating at Millennium Park

Posted by Emma Johnson on 11/22/16 9:30 AM

The holidays are in full swing in the city, and things are about to get even more festive!  On the tails of the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony downtown, the ice skating rink at Millennium Park has opened, and it's a season must-do in Chicago!

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Out and About with Compass: Zoolights at The Lincoln Park Zoo

Posted by Emma Johnson on 11/17/16 9:30 AM

There is nothing more festive than getting bundled up and heading outside during the holiday season to view the bright and cheery decorations adorning the trees and structures. It’s even more fun though when you can take in all the sights and sounds of Christmas at one of Chicago’s favorite locations for family fun…the Lincoln Park Zoo!

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Out and About with Compass: Winter Wonderfest

Posted by Emma Johnson on 11/15/16 9:30 AM

There is something so charming and special about the holiday season! The snow, the lights, the music, the family time! It’s something that should be celebrated in style, especially since it only lasts for a few weeks each year. The 15th annual Winter Wonderfest, held at Navy Pier in Chicago, makes finding seasonal fun easy, and it's a must-see in Chicago this season!

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Out and About with Compass: Chicago's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Posted by Emma Johnson on 11/10/16 9:30 AM

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and lots of food! It’s also traditionally the time for an awesome parade! Thanksgiving Day Parades around the country began in the 1930s as a way to brighten the lives of people suffering through the Great Depression, and since it has turned into a long-held tradition that helps to usher in the holiday season.

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Out and About with Compass: Lincoln Marsh Natural Area

Posted by Emma Johnson on 11/8/16 9:30 AM

Chicago is a large, busy city, and so are its suburbs, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for a retreat to nature! The Lincoln Marsh Natural Area, in Wheaton, offers one hundred and fifty acres of wetlands and prairie land to explore when you need some time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

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Out and About with Compass: Key Lime Cove

Posted by Emma Johnson on 11/3/16 9:30 AM

As the weather cools off in fall, we find ourselves inside more often, missing the excitement of outdoor play. But summertime fun doesn’t have to end just because it’s November! This winter, when you’re looking for break from the cold, visit Key Lime Cove, in Gurnee, for some swimming, splashing, and family fun that happens no matter what mother nature decides to throw our way!

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Out and About with Compass: Christkindlmarket

Posted by Emma Johnson on 11/1/16 9:30 AM

Today we welcome the month of November! This month brings a big holiday of its own, but the most fun comes from all the opportunities for Chirstmas prep that will take place in the coming weeks!  Thankfully our city offers lots of unique opportunities to get in the festive spirit. This month, visit the Christkindlmarket, a holiday market which began in Neumburg, Germany in the 16th century, but is celebrated here each year. It’s Chicago’s largest open air holiday market, and it’s not to be missed!

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Out and About with Compass: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Race

Posted by Emma Johnson on 10/27/16 9:30 AM

The thrill of a competitive race is invigorating, and it can excite even the novice runner. But, if you’re the kind of athlete who needs a little extra motivation to get yourself moving, the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K, happening this Sunday, October 30 in Grant Park in Chicago, is the race for you!

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Out and About with Compass: Boo at the Zoo

Posted by Emma Johnson on 10/25/16 9:30 AM

A family outing to the zoo is always a fun adventure, but this weekend Brookfield Zoo is stepping it up and making the zoo even more exciting! In celebration of Halloween, head over for Boo at the Zoo! A not-so-scary event to excite the little pumpkins in your life.

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Out and About with Compass: Mac and Cheese Fest

Posted by Emma Johnson on 10/20/16 9:30 AM

As the weather cools down, things begin to heat up in the kitchen! We crave hearty comfort food during this time of year, and while we can cook it ourselves, nothing beats leaving the hard work of preparing it to someone else.

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Out and About with Compass: Santa's Village Azoosment Park

Posted by Emma Johnson on 10/18/16 9:30 AM

Santa’s Village Azoosment Park, located in East Dundee, is a theme park for children which focuses on fun rides and attractions, as well as exotic and interesting animals! This one-stop-shop holds all sorts of fun to entertain all the children in your family, no matter their age or interest.

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Out and About with Compass: Brick-or-Treat

Posted by Emma Johnson on 10/13/16 9:30 AM

Legos are a classic childhood toy that offer the chance to build, play and be creative.  Over the years, they have become more innovative and diverse, offering a wide variety of experiences to children of all ages!  Legoland Discovery Center, in Schaumburg, offers the young and the young-at-heart, the opportunity to engage with Legos in amazing ways! While there are special exhibits and events happening all throughout the year, a great time to visit is this month for their Halloween event appropriately titled “Brick-or-Treat.”

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Out and About with Compass: Open House Chicago

Posted by Emma Johnson on 10/11/16 9:30 AM

Chicago is a first-class city with an abundance of things to do! Some of that fun, however, can come with a hefty price tag. But don’t fret! If you’re searching for a budget-friendly outing, check out The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago, held this weekend, October 15-16! It's can't miss event and it's completely free.

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Start or Further Your Career in the Mortgage Industry: Get the Compass Mortgage Experience Here

Posted by Laine Smith on 10/7/16 11:06 AM

The mortgage industry continually changes, but at Compass, several things remain constant: growth, development and transparency. Our newly launched mortgage banker website highlights how we not only provide a better mortgage experience for our clients but also provide continual growth opportunities and an unmatched work culture for our mortgage bankers.

 

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Out and About with Compass: Anderson Japanese Gardens

Posted by Emma Johnson on 10/6/16 9:30 AM

Traditional Japanese gardens contain three vital elements: Stone, water, and plants. Though these elements in themselves are not unique, it’s the way the gardens are structured that makes them truly special. The landscape works in harmony with the other features to create gardens meant for reflection and renewal. The beauty is not to be missed, and now you don’t need to make a trip across the ocean to enjoy them! Visit Anderson Japanese Gardens, in Rockford, for a one-of-a-kind experience you won’t soon forget!

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Out and About with Compass: Chicago Museum Week

Posted by Emma Johnson on 10/4/16 9:30 AM

Chicago is well known for its rich museum culture. From the museum campus on the lakefront, housing the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, and others, to the museums tucked away in various pockets of the city, many celebrating the heritage and traditions of Chicago residents, like the DuSable Museum and the National Museum of Mexican Art. These institutions make our city vibrant and relevant, and there’s no better time to plan a visit than during Chicago’s Museum Week!

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Out and About with Compass: Wheaton Drama

Posted by Emma Johnson on 9/29/16 9:30 AM

Everyone should experience the magic of live theater, and now it’s easier than you think to access this special form of entertainment! Wheaton Drama, based out of a small theater in downtown Wheaton, is celebrating its 80th year of production this year, and it’s not to be missed!

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Out and About with Compass: Elmhurst Art Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 9/27/16 9:30 AM

This fall, head to the Elmhurst Art Museum, a suburban gem that provides visitors with a wide scope of art exhibits, events, and even classes, that don’t require a trip into the city. With convenient access from two major interstates, Elmhurst is easily accessible no matter where you’re traveling from.

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Out and About with Compass: Autumn Drive

Posted by Emma Johnson on 9/22/16 10:00 AM

The hustle and bustle of Chicago is exciting and energizing, but when you’re in the mood for something a little more low-key, you don’t have to travel far to feel like you’re in a completely different environment. Travel a short distance from the city to McHenry County in the northwest suburbs and you’ll find yourself in farm country! Autumn Drive, held this year on October 14-16, is a 29-year tradition offering a unique collection of experiences which unite different farms and local businesses around the county, allowing visitors to enjoy all things local and all things fall!

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Out and About with Compass: Stade's Farm and Market

Posted by Emma Johnson on 9/20/16 9:45 AM

Stade’s Farm and Market is a family owned and operated farm which offers a sought after u-pick experience, along with a market, and a must-see Shades of Autumn festival, all in nearby McHenry, Illinois.

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Out and About with Compass: Long Grove Apple Festival

Posted by Emma Johnson on 9/15/16 9:30 AM

The quaint and cozy suburb of Long Grove is tucked away just north of Chicago, and each fall they celebrate the quintessential fruit of the season…the apple! This fall visit the Long Grove Apple Festival!

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Out and About with Compass: Pullman Neighborhood House Tour

Posted by Emma Johnson on 9/13/16 9:30 AM

The town of Pullman, on Chicago’s far south side, has a unique and rich history. Founder Charles Pullman purchased 4,000 acres of land to develop the first American model industrial town, where factory employees could live and work together in one place.  Once dubbed as “the world’s most perfect town”, it met the needs of its residents and cultivated a spirit of community that is still present today.

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Out and About with Compass: Sonny Acres

Posted by Emma Johnson on 9/8/16 9:32 AM

Sonny Acres in West Chicago is open year-round for customers to purchase anything from fresh produce in the summer, to a Christmas tree in December. But, they’re perhaps most well-known for all the fun they offer in the fall! Sonny Acres is a family owned farm, and they put on a fall festival to rival any other in the area!

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Back-To-School Giveaway: Win $1,000 in Classroom Supplies for Your Favorite Teacher

Posted by Laine Smith on 9/7/16 10:23 AM

School is back in session! In honor of those who dedicate their lives to education, Compass Mortgage is giving you the chance to give back to your favorite teacher in a big way.

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Out and About with Compass: Goebbert's Farms

Posted by Emma Johnson on 9/6/16 9:30 AM

Goebbert’s is a one-stop-shop for festive fall fun! This family owned farm, with two convenient locations, is celebrating its 68th year in business, and they know how to celebrate the season right! Goebbert’s is open to the public during the summer for fresh produce which they grow themselves on their 200 acres of land in Hampshire, but the action really picks up once the leaves start to change.

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Out and About with Compass: Royal Oak Farm Orchard

Posted by Emma Johnson on 9/1/16 10:00 AM

The calendar has rolled into September, which means it's time to celebrate many midwesterners' favorite season! This fall, make a trip to Royal Oak Farm Orchard! Royal Oak is a u-pick apple orchard located in northern Illinois near the Wisconsin border in Harvard, Illinois. This property is expansive and lovely, making it the perfect place to bring the family for some seasonal fun. This orchard is special because even on their busiest days, the vastness creates a sense of solitude so you can enjoy the company of your family.

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Out and About with Compass: Renegade Craft Fair

Posted by Emma Johnson on 8/30/16 10:30 AM

Believe it or not, the holiday season is just around the corner, and sometimes finding something that’s special and unique can be a challenge. Whether you’re looking to get some early shopping done, or if you’re simply in the mood to browse some handmade items you won’t see anywhere else, don’t miss the highly-anticipated and aptly named, Renegade Craft Fair, happening on September 10th and 11th in Wicker Park in Chicago.

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Out and About with Compass: Jaynesway Farms

Posted by Emma Johnson on 8/25/16 10:00 AM

Jaynesway Farms is an equestian center that sits on 30 acres of picturesque land in nearby Bartlett. At Jaynesway, they provide access to beautiful, well-trained horses, through self-guided trail rides and riding lessons. The animal lover in your life will love it here!

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Out and About with Compass: Midnight Circus

Posted by Emma Johnson on 8/23/16 9:57 AM

Nothing is more exciting or more nostalgic than attending a circus. The bright colors, the impressive acrobats, cheerful music, and the larger than life animals are all trademarks of the long-running circus tradition.

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Out and About with Compass: Primrose Farm

Posted by Emma Johnson on 8/18/16 9:50 AM

Before the kids head back to school, check out Primrose Farm in St. Charles where fun and learning meet!

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Out and About with Compass: Sunday at Sandwich Antiques Show

Posted by Emma Johnson on 8/16/16 9:30 AM

Do you love to hunt for unique home goods? Do you enjoy items that tell a story and have a history? Then you’ll love Sunday at Sandwich Antiques Show! This festival, started by a group of friends with a love of antiques back in 2012, celebrates antiques and collectables, and has something for you, no matter your interest!

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Out and About with Compass: Pirates' Cove Children's Theme Park

Posted by Emma Johnson on 8/11/16 9:30 AM

It wouldn’t be summer without a visit to a theme park! And while there are lots of choices for adults, finding something that’s suitable for your youngest family members can sometimes pose a challenge. That’s why Pirates' Cove Children’s Theme Park needs to make its way onto your summer “must-do” list!  

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Out and About with Compass: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 8/4/16 9:30 AM

Chicago has some amazing choices when it comes to museums. Visiting the museum campus downtown is always a good idea, but there are also some lesser known museums in Chicago and the surrounding area that are just as amazing!

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Out and About with Compass: Blackberry Farm

Posted by Laine Smith on 8/2/16 9:30 AM

School is out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean the learning has to end! If you want to take a step back in time, visit Blackberry Farm in Aurora, where learning and fun meet!

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Out and About with Compass: Lord's Park and Zoo and Elgin Public Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 7/28/16 9:30 AM

Lord’s Park is 108 acres of municipal wooded land that is located in the heart of Elgin. The park itself has several playgrounds which are spread throughout the property, most within walking distance to one another, and each containing their own unique equipment to keep children entertained. You’ll find stepping stones, slides, balance beams and more.

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Out and About with Compass: Volo Auto Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 7/26/16 9:30 AM

Volo Auto Museum, in Volo, Illinois, is an absolute dream for car lovers of all ages! Whether you’re an automobile expert or haven’t yet driven a car, there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy in the vast collection. If you are knowledgeable about cars, you’ll enjoy getting an up close peek at all the amazing vehicles, and if you don’t know much, there’s lots of opportunity to learn!

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Out and About with Compass: Donley's Wild West Town

Posted by Emma Johnson on 7/21/16 9:30 AM

Yee-haw! This summer, mosey on over to Donley’s Wild West Town, in Union, for exciting adventure that’s anything but ordinary!

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Out and About with Compass: DuPage Children's Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 7/19/16 9:30 AM

Sometimes the hot and humid summer days call for a quality and enjoyable indoor family activity as much as the Chicago winters. Even when the weather is nice though, a place like the DuPage Children's Museum has enough activities to satisfy everyone in your crew!

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Out and About with Compass: Summer Concert at Millennium Park

Posted by Emma Johnson on 7/14/16 9:31 AM

Millennium Park is one of the best features of our city, providing lots of recreational opportunities year-round! Millennium Park has one of the best outdoor concert venues in the country, and each year there’s a one-night-only, can’t-miss event: The FREE Broadway in Chicago Summer Concert! For many, this is the best event of the summer, and it's always much anticipated!

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Out and About with Compass: Warren Dunes State Park

Posted by Emma Johnson on 7/12/16 11:18 AM

Living in the Midwest, we can sometimes forget that our region has many interesting geographical features besides the mostly flat farm land! This summer, make a day trip over to Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, Michigan!

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Out and About with Compass: Three Oaks Recreation Area

Posted by Emma Johnson on 7/7/16 8:01 AM

Three Oaks Recreation Area, located in Crystal Lake, is the perfect place to enjoy a summer day. Anything that you can imagine doing outdoors, you can do here at Three Oaks!

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Out and About with Compass: Leone Beach

Posted by Emma Johnson on 7/5/16 9:30 AM

When you conjure up images of the Midwest, a sandy beach probably does not come to mind first. However, in Chicago, we’re blessed with some of the most beautiful, fresh-water beaches in the country. Lake Michigan is one of our most treasured resources, and it certainly provides its fair share of summertime fun.

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Out and About with Compass: Chicagoland Splash Pads

Posted by Emma Johnson on 6/30/16 9:30 AM

One of the joys of summertime as a child is water play! Splash pads are a great alternative to the community pool when you feel like your children need a change of pace, or if they’re not quite old enough to be comfortable in the water alone.

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Out and About with Compass: Eyes to the Skies Hot Air Balloon Festival

Posted by Emma Johnson on 6/28/16 9:30 AM

Good music, yummy food, family-friendly exhibits, and awe-inspiring hot air balloons; Lisle’s Eyes to the Skies Festival is a treasured tradition! Coming up on its 34th year, it’s a fun festival that truly has it all.

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Out and About with Compass: Reed's Canoe Trips

Posted by Emma Johnson on 6/23/16 10:50 AM

Summer time, while fun, can also be draining because so much is going on. When you feel like you need a break from the hustle and bustle of regular life, make a visit to Reed’s Canoe Trips. Being outdoors in the sunshine on the water will refresh you fast!

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Out and About with Compass: Maggie Daley Park

Posted by Emma Johnson on 6/21/16 9:44 AM

Maggie Daley Park, located in the northeast corner of Grant Park in Chicago, just east of the beautiful Millennium Park, is a downtown spot that’s not to be missed! Occupying a prominent piece of lakefront land, the park, designed by a world-renowned team of architects, with the valuable input of the community, has some amazing and unique features you’ll only find here.

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Out and About with Compass: The Morton Arboretum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 6/16/16 10:14 AM

The Morton Arboretum celebrates all things outdoors! The mission of The Morton Arboretum is to “collect and study trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world.” Since 1922, they have maintained living collections for visitors to enjoy.

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Out and About with Compass: Long Grove Summer Fest

Posted by Emma Johnson on 6/14/16 9:30 AM

Nothing says summer like a festival! Come out and enjoy the delicious tastes of summer with seasonal foods, music and family fun in the quaint downtown of Long Grove June 24-26 this year! 

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Out and About with Compass: The Kane County Cougars

Posted by Emma Johnson on 6/9/16 9:29 AM

Nothing says summer more than baseball! Chicago is a city known for its sports, and with two professional baseball teams, we have plenty of options! However, sometimes taking in a major league game can be expensive and time consuming, and it may prove to be too much for your youngest baseball enthusiasts. That’s when you need to remember the Kane County Cougars!

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Out and About with Compass: Lindy's Landing

Posted by Emma Johnson on 6/7/16 9:30 AM

The suburbs have a lot of off the radar gems, and Lindy's Landing in Wauconda is a fine example. Up in the lakes of the northwest suburbs, Lindy's will probably have you thinking that you're on a beach in a place far away from Chicagoland. It's perfect for both the high energy nights with live outdoor bands and the quiet family outings with all the kids. There's a spacious indoor area so you can enjoy Lindy's year round, but during the warm days, the outdoor seating is a must. With both a covered patio and beach seating, you can find a spot that suits whatever you're after. Best of all, the beach has a swimming area for the kids while they wait for their food! The menu ranges from award winning burgers to memorable fish tacos, and there's a generous tap list to wash it down.

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Out and About with Compass: Cantigny Park

Posted by Emma Johnson on 6/2/16 9:30 AM

Whether you’re up for a leisurely stroll through some beautiful gardens, or would prefer 18 holes of golf. If you have extensive knowledge of military history, or would like to know more about Chicagoland history, Cantigny Park has something for you!

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Out and About with Compass: Frank Lloyd Wright Architectural Tours

Posted by Emma Johnson on 5/31/16 9:00 AM

World renowned architect and designer, Frank Lloyd Wright, has left his stamp on Chicago. Famous for his “organic architecture” style and philosophy, he always worked to seamlessly meld the man-made structures he designed with the surrounding natural elements. He spent the first twenty years of his career in Oak Park, designing offices, homes, skyscrapers, hotels- even furniture and stained glass elements, and as a result we now have the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, which serves to preserve his work and educate the public on his contributions to architecture, specifically his work in the Chicago area. 

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Out and About with Compass: Haymarket Pub and Brewery Drinking and Writing Theater

Posted by Emma Johnson on 5/26/16 9:33 AM

If you like craft beer and quirky humor, the Drinking and Writing Theater, located in a back room of Haymarket Pub and Brewery in the West Loop, is sure to show you a good time! Haymarket is an established microbrewery and pub with a rich history. The pub itself offers fun events like brewery tours, live music, holiday themed events, and even story slams throughout the year, in addition to great food and drinks.

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Out and About with Compass: Peck Farm Interpretive Center

Posted by Emma Johnson on 5/24/16 9:33 AM

Spring time, in all its beauty, beckons us outside. So when you hear the sunshine calling, head over to Peck Farm Interpretive Center to play, explore and learn! A part of the Geneva Park District, Peck Farm is a 385-acre nature retreat, which is close to home. There’s plenty of exploring to be done on the 19 acres of untouched wetlands. Bring a net and try to catch some frogs, or see how many kinds of birds you spot flying overhead.

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Out and About with Compass: Metropolis Performing Arts Centre

Posted by Emma Johnson on 5/19/16 9:28 AM

You don’t have to visit New York City to experience great live theater! And now, you don’t even have to go downtown! There are many local theater companies in Chicago’s surrounding suburbs which are easily accessible, affordable and impressive. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, located in downtown Arlington Heights, is one of those places!

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Out and About with Compass: Kane County Flea Market

Posted by Emma Johnson on 5/17/16 9:47 AM

The Kane County Flea Market is one of the largest flea markets in the area, and there’s something for everyone! It operates from the Kane County Fair Grounds in St. Charles, and is held the first full weekend of each month. The flea market takes a winter break, but they’re back now through late into the fall, and it’s a great time to explore. There are vendors of all kinds, so whether you’re on the hunt for household décor and furniture or searching for a rare collectible, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste and needs.

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Out and About with Compass: Cave of the Mounds

Posted by Emma Johnson on 5/12/16 9:43 AM

You’ll have to travel outside of Chicagoland for this one, but not very far, and it will definitely be worth it! Cave of the Mounds is a National Natural Landmark, all limestone cave, located near Madison, Wisconsin. When you visit you can take a guided tour through the cave, which is 50 degrees year round, and learn about the geological and geographical history of the cave and surrounding land. You’ll learn about how this rare find was discovered, and steps that are being taken to preserve this natural treasure. You’ll be guided on a paved, well lit, path through the cave, so it’s perfect for people of all ages and abilities.   You’ll see colorful stalactites and stalagmites, columns, and even something called "cave bacon!" Whether you’re a cave enthusiast, or have never explored the land beneath your feet before, you’ll enjoy this experience immensely.

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Out and About with Compass: Kohl Children's Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 5/10/16 9:55 AM

While springtime provides us the opportunity to get back outdoors, we all know the weather can be unpredictable. For those days when it’s rainy and chilly, take your children to Kohl Children’s Museum, in Glenview, to get their energy out! This children’s museum is top notch and there’s something for children of all ages.

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Out and About with Compass: Farmer's Markets

Posted by Emma Johnson on 5/5/16 10:13 AM

One of the best things about springtime is the abundance of fresh, seasonal produce that’s available to us again. Thankfully, there are many farmer’s markets in the area so we can get our hands on delicious fruits and vegetables at an affordable price. Woodstock, Downer’s Grove and Palatine all have well established markets that are held consistently throughout the spring and summer.

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Out and About with Compass: Run for the Stars 5K Giveaway

Posted by Emma Johnson on 5/3/16 11:30 AM

Run for the Stars 5K allows you to make a difference and have fun all at once. This race is one of the largest in the Chicagoland area, with over 800 people participating last year, and the course winds you through the scenic neighborhood surrounding Wheaton College. The whole family can get involved in this race as the course has been designed with runners of all abilities in mind. Most importantly, the proceeds from the race benefit individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. On race day, these people are treated with dignity and honor so they truly feel like STARS. The proceeds fund recreational and training opportunities for these individuals, benefiting them and their families. Put your race shoes on and run for the cause, and stay for even more fun after the race. Visit the website for more details!

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Out and About with Compass: Arlington International Racecourse

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/28/16 9:30 AM

You may not have the time or money to make it to The Bluegrass State for the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness, but you can definitely get yourself to Arlington International Racecourse, in Arlington Heights. Arlington boasts an expansive, and beautiful, facility where you can get a taste of horseracing culture and work your competitive spirit as you place bets on the horses you like best. If you’re a racing novice, there’s plenty of opportunity to learn about the horses and betting strategy. Just be sure to grab a race book and listen to the commentary which is broadcast on the many televisions you can find around the park. You can even place your bet on a nearby computer kiosk so you don’t have to go far when it’s race time!

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Out and About with Compass: Illinois Railway Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/26/16 10:30 AM

All aboard! Diesel trains, trolleys, steam trains, and more! If it rides along a track, the Illinois Railway Museum has it! This museum is located on a large piece of property in the small city of Union. This museum is preserved by a dedicated group of volunteers who are all deeply invested in educating museum visitors about the rich history of railways in the United States. If you’re a train enthusiast, you will enjoy seeing history come to life here as you explore the old train cars, tracks and equipment.  If you don’t know much about railway history, fear not! You will certainly find something that intrigues and interests you as you walk around the property. You can view trains being restored in the large barns, ride on the operating diesel, electric, and steam trains on particular days, and wander through the various barns talking to the volunteers who are experts in locomotive history.  Viewing the old trains up close will incite a new curiosity about the railway's role in United States history.

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Out and About with Compass: Crabtree Nature Center

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/21/16 10:00 AM

Crabtree Nature Center is over 1,000 acres of beautiful woodlands, located in Northwest Cook County, in Barrington. As part of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, this area is a great place to explore in any season, but especially in spring and summer, because there so much happening in outdoors.

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Out and About with Compass: Cosley Zoo and Phillips Park Zoo

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/19/16 9:30 AM

Brookfield Zoo is a world-class zoo, but sometimes children (and perhaps their parents), don’t have the stamina for such a large-scale facility. So, for days when you don’t think you’ll make it on an all-day zoo adventure, there are some smaller zoos in the area which offer the same kind of fun, with less commitment. Both Phillips Park Zoo, in Aurora, and Cosley Zoo, located in Wheaton, are home to animals of all kinds: Peacocks, llamas, cows, ducks, horses, hawks, owls, a bobcat, cougars and wolves! Collectively, these zoos house over 300 different animals! There is so much to observe, and at zoos this size, your children can get a better view of these creatures. Phillips has an indoor reptile house, and Cosley has a sand area to play in as well.

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Out and About with Compass: Deicke Park and Discovery Zone

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/14/16 12:00 PM

Deicke Discovery Zone is more than just a standard playground. This park is ADA certified which means it’s completely wheelchair accessible and has been designed with special needs children in mind. This park seeks to include children of all abilities, especially children ages 1-5. The unique design of this park, and the interactive play elements, make it fun and engaging for everyone. The actual Discovery Zone is a gated area that offers a “mud-free” play area, with soft rubber flooring in most areas, so it’s particularly great for springtime play! The playground is fully interactive and includes a music area, a fire truck and a train crossing, all which play various sound effects. There is a basketball court with hoops of different heights, a replica of the buildings and businesses found in downtown Huntley, as well as swings and slides. There’s a large sand and water area too, so be sure to bring along a towel and a change of clothes for your little ones for when they’re done playing here.

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Out and About with Compass: Kline Creek Farm

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/12/16 10:30 AM

Kline Creek Farm, located in West Chicago and a part of the DuPage County Forest Preserve District, provides visitors with a hands-on peek into the past. This farm provides a glance back at what farm life looked like in the Midwest in the 1890’s. You’ll find a lot to do year-round at Kline Creek, but spring time on the farm is especially interesting. March is lambing season, so be sure to visit the lamb’s barn where you will hear from staff, all dressed in traditional clothing, about how the newest additions to the farm are cared for. You’ll also find that all the maple trees around the farm are tapped as they collect the sap to make maple syrup. A large cast iron kettle sits in the center of the farm over a low fire, as they boil the sap to create the sweet syrup we all love. You can learn from experts about the sugaring process, and you can even taste the sap directly from the trees.

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Out and About with Compass: Garfield Park Conservatory

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/7/16 9:30 AM

Garfield Park Conservatory is located in the neighborhood of Garfield Park in Chicago. This conservatory houses lovely plants of all kinds, and whether you enjoy botany and gardening as a hobby, or have a black-thumb, there is something to be enjoyed by everyone! It’s perfect for those spring days when you want to be outside and in nature, but can’t due to the weather.  Best of all, it's an affordable activity for a family! Entry is advertised as free, but they suggest a donation to help keep the facility beautiful.

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Out and About with Compass: Brookfield Zoo Giveaway

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/5/16 11:30 AM

For our first feature in our “Out and About with Compass” series, we’re highlighting Brookfield Zoo! This zoo is one of the best in the country, and lucky for us, it’s close which means we can visit often. At Brookfield, there are more than 216 acres to explore, and it’s home to thousands of different animals from all over the world.

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Out and About with Compass!

Posted by Emma Johnson on 4/4/16 5:30 PM

Spring has officially sprung in Chicagoland, and after a long winter spent indoors, we couldn’t be more excited to get back outside. Some cities are gifted nice weather all year round, but here in Chicago, we earn the sunshine! Luckily for us, there’s plenty to do in and around the city this time of year. So whether you’re visiting our city for the first time, or a tried-and-true Chicagoan, we hope this new blog series, “Out and About with Compass”, gives you and your family some fresh ideas to get you outside, enjoying all our city and its suburbs, has to offer.

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Thanksgiving Traditions, Memories & Reasons to Be Thankful: Compass Style

Posted by Laine Smith on 11/26/15 10:25 AM

This year, the Compass Mortgage family is sharing our favorite Thanksgiving traditions and memories and what we're thankful for. Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family this year!

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Warrenville Homebuying Seminar

Posted by Laine Smith on 5/6/15 10:28 AM

If you or anyone you know is looking to buy a home in the near future, our Warrenville office will be hosting a free homebuying seminar. Come for dinner and a short presentation, including topics such as:

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Arbor Day 2015 - Planting and Caring for New Trees

Posted by Laine Smith on 4/24/15 12:54 PM

Arbor Day first took place over 140 years ago on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska. The holiday was created by Nebraska journalist J. Sterling Morton who believed the rolling plains of Nebraska would benefit greatly from the wide-scale planting of trees. On that first Arbor Day in 1872, more than one million trees were planted in accordance with Morton's vision. 

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Best Family Spring Break Destinations

Posted by Laine Smith on 3/22/15 8:00 AM

School’s out for the week! Whether you’re looking to treat your family to some fun in the sun or gearing up for some outdoor winter activities, here are the some of the best places to travel for a memorable, family-friendly spring break.

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