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Starbucks unveils epic 35,000-square-foot Reserve Roastery in Chicago.

Chicago — Thanksgiving break is not nearly as long as winter break, so it can be harder to take long trips away from DeKalb. Luckily, Chicago is not far and there are always plenty of events downtown for those who can't plan lengthy trips.

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery, 646 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, has its grand opening Friday. It's the world's largest Starbucks, and is sure to be an attraction with its intricate, classic architecture.

The front of the building is not plastered with the iconic green Starbucks logo; instead, there are small, black letters to spell out "Starbucks Reserve Roastery." There's even a spiral escalator inside — the first of its kind in the Midwest. 

The Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, also has an exhibit, called The Universe: A Walk through Space and Time. Admission costs $19 for adults and $8 for children.

The first part of the exhibit walk through features the history of the universe. High resolution images from the world's best telescopes are shown. Because the planetarium is for all ages, there are interactive stations for children too — they can look like an astronaut on the moon and can send electronic postcards to themselves that travel at the speed of light.

The Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce, 3138 N Broadway, Chicago, is hosting its 23rd annual Giver's Gift. Participants will collect $300 in receipts from at least three Lakeview East neighborhood stores. They will then bring their receipts to the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce or 3208 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago, until Dec. 20 at 2 p.m. or while supplies last.

There is a minimum purchase of $25 per receipt, and a maximum purchase of $100 for groceries or liquor. Only local gift cards are accepted as a purchase, no contracts, prescriptions, CTA/Ventra cards or monthly membership fees are accepted. 

Participants receive a $50 Lakeview East gift card to spend in participating Lakeview East stores. They must redeem in person and show ID. The prizes will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

Another kid-friendly event for students with younger siblings, close relatives, or children of their own is the Lionel Train Adventure at the Lincoln Park Zoo, 2101 N. Lincoln Park W., Chicago, on Wednesday. It costs $3.

The Lionel Train Adventure is a new, electric-powered locomotive that seats 28 children with a coal car, passenger cars, and a caboose courtesy of Lionel. 

The adventure begins at a red brick train station at Lincoln Park Zoo and embarks through an evergreen forest. The train crosses over a country bridge before continuing on through a craggy canyon. The train will pass through a birch forest before returning to the station.


Editor's Note: The story has been updated as of Nov. 14 to correct that the Alder Planetarium's "The Universe: A Walk through Space and Time" is not a new exhibit.

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