Illinoisans off school or work Monday owe thanks to Casimir Pulaski, the Polish military commander-turned-American Revolutionary War hero honored annually in Chicago on the first Monday in March.
A statewide holiday since 1977, Casimir Pulaski Day honors the man himself, but also commemorates the heritage of Polish-Americans citywide. Chicago has the largest Polish population outside of Warsaw.
Since public schools, Cook County courts and government offices citywide will be closed Monday, the holiday provides a perfect opportunity for adventuring in the city, whether in the festive spirit of Casimir Pulaski day, or not.
- The Polish Museum of America, located at 984 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago, is open Monday and will host a social, complete with Polish food. Admission is free.
- St. Hyacinth Basilica, a Catholic church at 3640 W. Wolfram St. serving a largely Polish neighborhood in the city, conducts services in Polish if you can catch them, but is worth a visit any time to take in its breathtaking architecture.
- Got kids out of school in need of energy-expending activities? Spark Energy is sponsoring free hour-long visits to Xtreme Trampoline for families of up to four at the Carol Stream location.
- Interested in festivities after a full work day? Test your letter-smithing at The Ace Bar's Drinking Spelling Bee, and pray they don't hit you with anything in Pulaski's native tongue. Located at 1505 West Fullerton Ave.