You just can't beat the Ravinia experience. Lawn tickets for this concert were only $12/person, considerably less than we would have had to pay for a concert at Symphony Center in downtown Chicago. And you can't beat the natural setting. No need to dress up! We packed up a picnic basket of summer sausage, Italian hard salami, cheese, crackers, hummus, pita chips, carrots, grapes, apples, and brownies, plus a bottle of wine for Mom & Dad, loaded up our lawn chairs, and arrived at the park before 7:00, in plenty of time to enjoy some food and relaxation before the 8:00 performance. We were thankful that the rain that had been forecast for the evening came and went before we left home and did not at all hinder our plans, in fact cooling things off quite nicely.
It is possible to purchase reserved seating in the open air auditorium. But those tickets are much more costly. And why pay almost four times more per ticket for this . . .
. . . when you can have this?
I just love those two.
The really nice thing about a symphony concert at Ravinia is that when it is time to listen, people listen. The only distractions were the insects and the occasional train going by. (Not so the pop concerts. There's a lot of crowd noise at those. Of course, the music is much louder, so I guess it doesn't matter much.)
Once the music started, the silliness stopped, as did the conversation. But the neat thing about Ravinia is the freedom to listen in the way that suits you best. Some find it most helpful to close their eyes and let the music envelop them. Others find it enjoyable to engage in some sketching or writing while soaking in the sounds. It's possible to continue consuming your snacks or beverage of choice while you listen, or to stretch out on your blanket and look at the sky. Some (ahem) find the whole experience so relaxing that they may even doze off from time to time. (Okay, okay, I missed a little of the Symphony. I was so tired.)
If you live in the Chicago area and have never enjoyed a concert at the summer Ravinia festival, I highly recommend it. Maybe we'll see you there!