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Chicago Chapter Special Interest Groups

TTN Members can join Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that connect you with other members for fun, relevant social and learning opportunities.

SIGs are topic- or activity-focused and bring together members who share similar interests. They are member-driven and member-led. SIGs are as varied as the members who think them up. Examples include book clubs, travel groups, theatre and dining groups, mahjong, cooking or crafting.

  • Our Chapter allows non-members to attend two meetings/events before we request they become TTN members. If you are a TTN member and are interested in organizing and leading a new Special Interest Group or wish to join any of the Special Interest Groups below, please email Ann Marie Downing.
  • To join an Active SIG with Openings, contact the SIG Lead listed in the SIG description.  The Lead will give you details on the group – how, when, where – and you are ready to go.  If the group does not have a facilitator listed, please contact Ann-Marie Downing and she will assist you in joining the interest group.

New and prospective members are always welcome!  IMPORTANT: If you have not yet renewed your membership, please renew online by clicking: Membership Renewal here.  

Scroll down to see information on all our Chicago Special Interest Groups- List alphabetically by area of interest and name of group!

Active Aging 

Why shouldn’t all our years be alive with purpose and brimming with healthful activity? That’s what The International Council on Active Aging asked in 2000, launching worldwide interest and action around policies and programs for aging adults.  Active aging promotes the vision of all individuals fully engaging in life within all 7 dimensions of wellness: Emotional, Environmental, Intellectual/cognitive, Physical, Professional/vocational, Social, Spiritual

TTN member Viki Ryan will lead this SIG using an interactive approach to Journey through Dimensions of Wellness.  From January through May, Viki will lead participants through themes including, setting your intentions for 2020, developing a growth mindset, and changing the way we age from the inside out!  RSVP to Viki:   
Viki Ryan, Wellness Coach, Positive Aging Specialist and Certified Fitness Professional, will facilitate each open discussion-circle using respectful inclusive and confidential conversation practices. Each Conversation Cohort will run for 8 weeks and continue moving forward with renewal commitment from existing members at the 5 week mark to allow new members to join in when space permits.  2 Spots Available!
Date: ,March 5, April 2, May 7
Time: 6-8P.M.
Place: Member's House in Streeterville 


Explore Chicago 

Explore Chicago Special Interest Group invites members who are interested in trying out new or interesting events within Chicago to join this group! Chicago is a diverse city with many exciting events and we want to experience as many as possible in the setting of a small group format.  We plan an event every other month.  The events can range from museum tours to exploring neighborhoods to a comedy show or any other special event. Our events have included  - A guided tour of the Museum of Contemporary Art, an evening at the Chicago Magic Lounge, A boat ride to China town for lunch  and a Summer afternoon at Pilsen Fest.

Sujatha Kailas runs this group with the help from many other members who help organize the events.
She can be contacted at for information about upcoming events.

Ever wonder what the underground of Chicago looks like? The Chicago Architecture Center will take us on a fascinating guided tour of Chicago’s underground on the infamous Pedway 
Date and time - February 29th at 1 PM
Meeting Point -
Chicago Architecture Center - 111 E. Wacker Drive
Ending Point - Chicago Cultural Center at 2:30 PM
Coffee/drinks - About Last Knife at 168 N. Michigan Avenue

After our tour, we’ll grab tea, coffee or drinks before heading home. Please let us know if you can make it on February 29th.  Hope you are all staying warm and safe.  

RSVP: or or

Knitting & Textile Group - A Close Knit Group!

Do you have an interest in knitting? Whether you are a beginner, want to improve your skills or just love knitting, we're starting a knitting and textile Special Interest Group.  We will meet once a month at a variety of locations, suggested by the members who have attended.  All handiwork projects are welcomed and no experience in knitting is required. One of our members is happy to work on a project for beginner knitters.

Date:  February 20 (Thursday)
Time: 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Place:  Le Pain Quotidien, 1000 W. Armitage

Please RSVP to Ann-Marie Downing  We are looking for a member to lead/facilitate this group!

If you know someone in the TTN group who is interested please let them know. Also, if you would like to bring a friend and introduce them to TTN that would be wonderful.

Meet Me at the Movies -  Downtown Chicago Group

Date:   Monday, February 17
 Place: Landmark Century Center
            2828 N. Clark
 Validated reduced parking´╗┐ rate     
Animated Shorts 2:00 PM, 1 hour, 25 minutes

Don't miss this rare opportunity to see all Academy Award nominees in the category of Best Animated Short…and more! Program includes: Daughter (Czech Republic), about a daughter who recalls a childhood moment when as a little girl she tried to share her experience with an injured bird with her father; the Oscar winner Hair Love (USA), a heartfelt story centering around the relationship between an African-American father, his young daughter, and the most daunting task a father could ever come across—doing his daughter’s hair for the first time; Kitbull (USA), revealing the unlikely connection that sparks between two creatures: a fiercely independent stray kitten and a pit bull; Mémorable (France), about a painter who begins experiencing strange events—slowly, furniture, objects and people lose their realism, sometimes disintegrating; and Sister (China/USA), in which a man thinks back to his childhood memories of growing up with an annoying little sister in China in the 1990s. What would his life have been like if things had gone differently? This program will be rounded out with additional animated shorts.

Live Action Shorts 4:20 PM, 1 hour, 44 minutes

Don't miss this rare opportunity to see all five Academy Award nominees in the category of Best Live Action Short! Program includes: Brotherhood (Canada/Tunisia/Qatar/Sweden), about a hardened shepherd living in rural Tunisia who is deeply shaken when his oldest son returns home after a long journey with a mysterious new wife; Nefta Football Club (France/Tunisia), in which two young brothers come across a donkey in the desert—wearing headphones over its ears; the Oscar winner The Neighbors’ Window (USA), the story of a frustrated wife and mother whose life is shaken up when two free-spirited twenty-somethings move in across the street and she discovers that she can see into their apartment; Saria (USA), the tale of two inseparable orphaned sisters as they fight against daily abuse and unimaginable hardship at Virgen de La Asuncion Safe Home in Guatemala; and A Sister (Belgium), about a woman in trouble who must make the most important call of her life.

RSVP: Ellen Rissman

Theater Goers Group - A great way enjoy Chicago Theater!

The theater scene in Chicago is awesome! Our theater going special interest group attends performances by exceptional small theater companies in Chicago and sometimes nearby suburbs at least once a month. We attend Sunday matinee and also Thursday evening performances, whichever is most convenient for the group in a given month.
TTN's Theater Group has 2 events coming up in March. The details, including how to purchase a ticket, are below. 

After you purchase a ticket, please indicate whether you are interested in joining the group for dinner after the show by emailing Mary at Restaurants are TBA. 

Mrs. Warren's Profession

Price: $25/30
Date: Sunday, March 15, 2:30 pm
PRESENTED BY: Promethian Theater Ensemble 
LOCATION: Otherworld Theater , 3914 N Clark Street Chicago

George Bernard Shaw's satirical take on the limited opportunities for women in late 19th Century British society. One of Shaw's earliest plays, it is representative of Shaw's gift for delivering biting social criticism with humor. Promethean's production will be performed in a brand-new world premiere adaptation by Melanie Spewock that streamlines Shaw's text and makes it more woman-centric, focusing on the mother-daughter relationship between Mrs. Warren and her daughter Vivie.

To purchase a ticket, go to:

Dhaba on Devon Avenue

Price: $29
Date: Sunday, March 29, 3:00 pm
PRESENTED BY: Victory Gardens Theater, 3:00pm
LOCATION: The Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave Chicago

Dhaba Canteen has been a Devon Avenue institution since the 60s, with their delicious Sindhi food transporting you back to the halcyon days of undivided India. Now, the Chicago restaurant is on the verge of foreclosure. And the family that owns it is ready to go to war over its fate. Written by Madhuri Shekar (Queen) and staged by Victory Gardens Artistic Director Chay Yew, it’s King Lear meets The Cherry Orchard in this heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, legacy, and survival at all costs.
To purchase a ticket, go to:

Victory Gardens has assigned seating. If you want to sit with the group, get a Bronze seat on the right side in row C or D. 

The group will catch dinner before the show, details TBA. Email Mary Fontaine ( if you have purchased a ticket and/or are interested in joining the group for dinner.  


City Book Group 

The City Book Group meets once a month, every month in the evening at a member's home at 7 pm.  The group selects from both fiction and non-fiction and we try to choose books for which there are not long wait lists at the area public libraries.

Novel: An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny a memoir by Laura Shroff and Alex Tresniowski. 
Date: February 25
Time: 7 P.M.
Place: At a Member's House
RSVP: to Kathleen

Novel :This inspirational New York Times bestseller chronicles the lifelong friendship between a busy sales executive and a disadvantaged young boy, and how both of their lives were changed by what began as one small gesture of kindness. “A straightforward tale of kindness and paying it forward in 1980s New York….an uplifting reminder that small gestures matter” (Kirku)

North Shore Book Group

This groups meets on the first Tuesday every other month at 6:30 pm at members' homes from Evanston to Highland Park. Members suggest and vote on selections of either fiction or non-fiction. 

Book: Tuesday evening, March 10,  at 6:30 in Northbrook to discuss “An Invisible Thread” a memoir by Laura Shroff and Alex Tresniowski. Finding our book is a little challenging, so be sure to look for the one that has Alex Tresniowski’s name in addition to Laura Shroff’s.
Laura, an advertising executive in NYC meets Maurice, an 11-year-old panhandler on the street.  Is there an invisible thread that connects two people destined to meet and influence each other’s lives? ( An old Chinese proverb seems to suggest so. )
Please contact Dahlia at to respond and get directions. 
Date: Tuesday, March 10
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: At a Member's House, in Northbrook

Facilitator:   Rachel Stempel


Lunch Bunch - North Short and Near North Suburbs

Our "lunch bunch" group meets on the third Friday of the month at 1 p.m. We explore different ethnic restaurants mostly in the Northern and Near North suburbs and occasionally in the city. 

Date: February 21
Location:  TAVA: Fresh Taste Of India,  7172 Dempster Street, Morton Grove

RSVP: Emma Kalaidjian

Meet and Eat - Downtown Lunch Group 

Bring yourself, your appetite (and a friend if you’d like) to a monthly lunch with other amazing women 50 and forward who want to experience a variety of restaurants in downtown Chicago.
Monthly, we’ll have lunch at a moderately priced restaurant that is accessible to public transportation. This is a terrific way for current TTN members to get to know one another in a casual setting; it’s a way for non-members to meet some of the dynamic women who are part of TTN Chicago.  All active members and guests are welcome, even if all you want is a cup of soup or a cup of coffee! We’ll ask for separate checks and most restaurants will be able to accommodate our request.
Prospective members and guests of members are always included and can attend up to 2 TTN events as a way to get to know our organization before joining.  For further details or to RSVP, please email Laura Winters

Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2020 (Note the change to Wednesday for February) Time11:30am

Place: Pacific Standard Time 141 W Erie St, Chicago, IL
This restaurant’s dishes come straight out of two hearth ovens. The food reminds us of the authenticity and relaxed energy of California cooking, with dishes ranging from whole-grain flatbread pizzas to coal-roasted vegetables, and a beverage program inspired by the same west-coast vibes. 
RSVP: This restaurant requires us to hold spaces with our credit card. To ensure we only pay for attendees, we will be unable to accept reservations after Feb 16Also, please RSVP only if you are sure you can attendRSVP to Nani


Lady Golfers!

Are you interested in golfing weekly with other TTN members in the Sydney Marovitz Women’s 9 Hole Golf League?  We will create foursomes and need a minimum of 8 golfers.  All levels invited, however, some experience is preferred.

When:  Tuesday mornings beginning the end of May through the beginning of September  (Tee times start between 8:30-10:30 A.M.)
*Cost: (2019 prices)  $450 per person/$355 for Seniors (62+)

Included in the cost: League green fees, Weekly prizes, End of Season Banquet, Players Advantage Card (discounts on driving range, etc.)
   -Weekly prizes

This is a very popular league so we will need to register as soon as the registration opens during the first week of March.  (More details to follow!) Please email Deb Farrell by Feb. 1 if you are interested.  Feel free to call with any questions.  Email:  Phone: 708-525-7206

For more information about Sydney Marovitz Golf Course:

Mahjong Anyone?

American mahjong is played with four players using tiles stamped with Chinese symbols. The goal of the game is to be the first, by picking and discarding, to match one's tiles to a specific hand from the annually distributed scorecard published by the National Mah Jongg League (NMJL) and American Mah-Jongg Association (AMJA). Scoring is done by matching the points assigned to each pre-determined hand on the annually distributed NMJL card & AMJA card.

Date: Friday, February 14, 2020
: 1:30-3:30 P.M.
Placee: Nookies Wells, 1746 North Wells St., Chicago  60614

RSVP:  Debra Chandler
New to the game, no worries, no experience necessary. Once you RSVP we will send you the name of our mahjong teacher so you can sign up for classes before you come and play. We can use more players so do not delay in reaching out to us. The more players the better!


Let's Travel!

Love to travel? Our "Let's Travel" Special Interest Group (SIG) will support your passion. Our goal is to bring members together to share fun travel ideas, experiences and even connect you with others who want to plan a trip together. "Let's Travel" will also organize two weekend trips per year. Our meetings will typically be held in the evening, on the third Wednesday of each month (check the meeting dates for exceptions). If you enjoy travel, please come and join us. We have had a great response so far and believe this is going to be a really fun group! 

Meeting Date: Our next meeting will be February 19th 
Where:The Shops at 900 North Michigan, Aster Hall,  6th floor Food Court - in the bar area
Time: 6:00 to 8:00pm
RSVP: Please email Sandy and Nani at our Let's Travel gmail


Career Transitions Group

This group is for members contemplating or experiencing a Career Transition. Facilitated monthly by TTN member Kimberly Mulcahy, (soon to be) certified professional coach through iPEC and HR/Talent leader. We'll be joined occassionally by TTN member Megan Walls, who is an expert in career coaching and has successfully coached scores of women over 50+ who are experiencing some type of career transition.  

Based on input from interested members, we created a program series in which the first few sessions were designed to build on the previous one.  We are now meeting monthly on various career transition topics. Next session in February 10, 2020 - Exploring 2nd Act Possibilities!

Watch for a new Saturday Workshop including:

  • Strength-Finders 5 Strengths, How to confidently talk about your experience and strengths
  • Developing Your Personal Brand Statement
  • Update and Modernize Your Resume, LinkedIn Profiles, Networking Round-Robin Practice
  • Job Search Strategy, Goal Setting
  • Ageism - 10 Biases of recruiters and hiring managers about candidates over 50
RSVP: Kimberly Mulcahy

Mindful Practices and Mindful Living Group (This Group is Presently Filled)

Dates : Sunday (March 29)
Time:  3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Place:  Member's Homes (February Session will be in Lincoln Park

The intention of this special interest group is to explore learn and practice ways to live more mindfully, experience more awareness, compassion, and live with more ease and peace in our minds and bodies.  The group would include discussion, practice, readings and meditations as well as accountability and support from the group in sticking with the practices. Can Accommodate up to 10 people. Must be committed to all four sessions

TTN Member Jaci McCarty, a certified mindfulness and meditation teacher and coach for a dozen years, will lead the group. 

Solo Together Group

Our recent TTN survey of members revealed that more than 50% of Chicago members were interested in learning more about aging solo. This group includes women who are single, divorced or widowed; and those who are child-free or have limited family connections. And that’s not surprising given that an estimated 25% of all Americans will be solo agers in the years to come. This no doubt will have a major impact on the way we live, how we travel, where we live, how we have fun and how we take care of ourselves.
We are looking for a TTN member(s) to facilitate a Special Interest Group on aging solo. With the support of the Steering Committee and other TTN members with expertise on the topic, the facilitator(s) will be responsible for developing the special interest group, scheduling meetings, developing discussion topics and facilitating discussions. We envision topics as diverse as health, housing, finance, career, overcoming stereotypes and biases, finding purpose, travel, new friendships, staying connected and dating.  The Special Interest Group name,"Solo Together" reinforces the value and importance of friendships and connections for those aging solo.
If you have a passion for facilitating small groups and are a solo ager yourself, we would love to talk with you. Please contact Ann-Marie Downing for more information.

The Write Project

Memoir? Novel? Scrapbook? Video? Poem? Do you keep saying you want to write it but never quite get around to it? Our group will take the eight months from October to May to bring the writing project of your choice to life. We will not only learn about the writing craft, but also hold each other accountable to THE END of your writing project. And guess what? We'll have fun! Please note that you will have to commit to attending at least seven of the eight sessions in order to keep your project on track—serious writers only—but no writing experience needed! Everybody has a story. Taught by TTN member Karen Doornebos, author of Definitely Not Mr. Darcy and Undressing Mr. Darcy, published by Penguin Random House. 

The group will meet the last Monday of the monthNo writing experience needed.

Dates:   2/24
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Place: At A Member's House

RSVP:  Karen Doornebos

Questions about Special Interest Groups?  Email us at  Check out our events page for other TTN Chicago gatherings.