Chicago Magic: Date Night in the City

There's a new show in town, and it is purely magic.


The Chicago Magic Lounge opened its (secret) doors on February 22nd, bringing back a legacy of "Chicago-Style Magic" that was popular as far back as the 1920s. Located in what was once a commercial laundry facility, the lounge has preserved some of the building's characteristics in a unique way. I won't spoil the secret, but just know you are in the right place when you arrive even if they ask you if you want to wash or dry.


In an era where technology has become king, a trip back in time to when a simple sleight of hand or optical illusion without the aid of a computer chip is a breath of fresh air. There are a number of options for those interested in adding a little magic to their evening:
  • Guests can drop into the front bar for cocktails and card tricks, magic and munchies. 
  • Tickets to the main show are available for purchase- this takes place in the 119-seat Blackstone Cabaret Theater.
  • After the main show, the 654 Club opens for a 20-minute up-close and personal more private show. There are 44 seats, and tickets are $10.
My husband and I arrived early and observed the front bar show while sipping on an Abracadabra and Sleight of Hand.


At the appointed hour, we were led through a secret passage way to the Cabaret. The first hour was relaxed and interactive, with roaming illusionists pausing at various tables to display their particular brand of bewichment. Close-up magic is the focus of this first 60 minutes, and allows the audience to experience the awe of seeing and yet almost not quite believing.


The next hour is stage magic, with an opening magician in addition the headliner. I was called up onstage to participate in a trick and still have no clue how they pulled it off!


Here comes the real magic, though:

My husband and I have two children- we had tickets to the Thursday night Opening Night Magic Show, and no sitter. Yet we still went to this can't miss event sans kids.

Magic? No. Magical? Yes.

We have an incredible sitter whom our children love, but she can't be available 100% of the time. I needed a back up plan because let's face it- I LOVE to get out of the house and enjoy life without my kids on a regular basis. I honestly think this is key to any relationship where kids are involved- you need time to connect with your partner on an adult level without interruption.


I received an opportunity to test out College Nannies + Sitters + Tutors, a professional resource for families that has been around since 2001. I have tried multiple sitter services, none of which lasted in the long run for one reason or another: either the sitters didn't update their availablity on a regular basis or there just weren't any sitters available in my area.


CNST ticked all of the boxes:
  • Premier Screening: Industry-Leading Background Check
  • Role Model Orientation and Training
  • Employment History and Reference Checks
  • National Criminal Record Search and Sexual Offender Registry Search
  • Driving History Available
  • Optional Drug Testing for Long-Term Nannies
  • Easy Booking and Updated Availability
When I hired our first sitter, I had no clue where to start when evaluating whether they were suitable to watch our kiddos. CNST goes above and beyond what I could accomplish, and puts my mind completely at ease as to the reliability and safety of the sitter we hire.

Our experience with CNST was nothing short of magical. I realized on Tuesday evening that we didn't have a sitter for a Thursday night show at the Magic Lounge- enter panic mode. I scanned the app and saw that there were just a couple of sitter available, so I called my local branch in Glenview. I spoke with a real, live person (YAY!) and gave her the details of date/time as well as a brief description of the type of sitter to which my kids respond well. Within a few hours, I received a notification via text that they confirmed a sitter for us.


I opened up the app, scanned her details including the Role Model Recap, and realized that they nailed it- I had no doubt our kids would love her.

They next day, I received a call from our new sitter to discuss Bryson & Charlotte, as well as our family expectations. It was a welcome conversation- she had read the profile of what my kids were interested in, and was prepared to engage them in those activities.

She arrived right on time and immediately started interacting with them- Charlotte grabbed her hand and showed her a drawing she made, and Bryson was jumping up and down with excitement when she mentioned Legos.

My husband and I were able to relax on our date night knowing that our little ones were in capable hands- she even sent text updates and photos to reassure us. Having the peace of mine that we hired a qualified and loving sitter available for those moments in life where we want to re-connect is priceless.


So, make your own magic happen and sign up for College Nannies + Sitters + Tutors- you can use the service on a regular basis or purely as back-up. They have locations throughout the US- search by zipcode here to see if they are available in your area!

Cheers to making magic happen on date night!

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to the Chicago Magic Lounge for review purposes, as well as credit towards the CNST service for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own as always. 

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