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Thread: Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

  1. #1
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

    I'm going to be in Chicago this weekend with daughter and wife.
    Would like suggestions. Apparently the weather will be good.
    I was thinking a city tour for one day. Maybe one of those hop on hop off things.
    And something with the water on the other day. Be it beach (are there beaches?) or taking a cruise/sail or something on the Lake.

    Good plan? Bad plan? Better stuff to do? Specific suggestions.

    I know there are several Chicago dwellers on the board. I'm counting on you guys.

    PS. Leaving then Chicago for St. Louis. Its a 5 hour drive (ugh). Anything on the way worth stopping for? (could even make a whole day out of it, if warranted).
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

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  3. #2
    I'm gettin paper Homer Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

    My suggestions:

    Do the Chicago Architectural tour. I've done it twice, and it's pretty awesome. Just a nice hour cruise down the Chicago River, with some pretty spectacular views.

    There is a beach. There is North Avenue beach, which is absolutely packed with 20 somethings for as far as the eye can see, but there is also Oak Street beach, which is just a few blocks further south, and is much more quiet.

    Food:

    For pizza, my favorite deep dishes are Lou Malnahti's and Gino's East, with Giordano's holding up the rear. They are all pretty good.

    For a steakhouse, gotta go to Gibson's. Must make a reservation if you go. There is another one I love called Gene and Georghetti's (sp?).

    Chicago style hot dog - There are tons of places for these, but my favorite is Portillo's.

    I've actually not branched out to too many eateries since I've lived here, so I'm not that much of a help there.

    Touristy activities:

    Top of the Hancock building - It's free to ride to the top, and there is a bar and a restaraunt up there with an outstanding brunch. Drinks are pretty expensive up there, but it beats paying to go to the top of the Willis (Sears) Tower.

    Shedd Aquarium - I've actually never been, and wouldn't actually suggest doing too many indoors things, but I've heard this place is awesome. I think it's kind of pricy though.

    Chicago Art Museum - Pretty famous museum. I've been once. Art isn't really my thing, but if you're into that kind of thing, you'd enjoy it.

    Festivals:

    Here's a link to several festivals that will be going on this weekend. I will be going to Old St. Pat's.

    That's all I can think of for now. Shoot me a PM if you have any questions or need any further advice. Enjoy!

  4. #3
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    Re: Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

    I think Homer hit on pretty much everything I was going to suggest.

    For the boat tours, they also have lake and river tours that go out on the lake as well as down the river rather than just staying on the river. I think it's an hour and half compared to the hour river tour. If you book in advance, get the sunset cruise, the skyline from the lake is quite a site at sunset. I recommend Wendella Boats but I'm a bit biased having worked for them one summer.

    Depending on how old your daughter is, Lincoln Park Zoo is a nice attraction--and it's free. Just have to pay for parking as is the case anywhere you go in the city.

  5. #4
    La Dolce Vita
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    Re: Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

    my daughter and her family live there. we go all the time.

    an architectural tour for sure, art institute (there's a new modern wing), field museum, museum of science and industry, millinium park w/ the bean, 2nd city improv is a must for comedy (although, i don't know how old your daughter is), billy goat tavern, smoque on pulaski ave. for bbq, one of rick bayless' restaurants (frontera), visit frank lloyd wright and hemingway homes in oak park, green mill jazz club where al capone used to hang out, navy pier ferris wheel, lincoln park zoo, hike the lakefront, shopping on michigan avenue ..these are some highlights. lots of great theater in chicago also.
    teach tolerance.

  6. #5
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

    My Daughter is 17. We're actually going to visit the University of Chicago, since she is thinking of applying there.

    (Thanks everyone for the tips). Anything between Chicago and St. Louis? Or is that barren Wasteland haunted by the ghosts of Cub and Card fans?
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

    http://dalmady.blogspot.com

  7. #6
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    Re: Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

    Chicago to St. Louis is the first leg of the old Route 66 trip if you'd care to try that out. I know Route 66 doesn't really exist in it's entirety anymore but you can always pretend and hit the spots along the way.

  8. #7
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

    I'm now looking at Wildlife Prairie State Park as an on-the route option.
    Is it any good? Anyone been?
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

    http://dalmady.blogspot.com

  9. #8
    Member Reds Fanatic's Avatar
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    Re: Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

    I agree with the suggestions that Homer and Sweetstop made. The aquarium, museums, hancock center and the architectural tour, milenium park are all good places to visit. You also may want to visit the Navy Pier.

    One thing I wanted to mention is if you are planning on visiting several of these attractions you may want to consider buying a Chicago city pass:

    http://www.citypass.com/chicago

    It basically gets you into several of these attractions at a discounted rate and if you have a city pass you can skip the lines to buy tickets in most of the locations.

  10. #9
    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

    Portillo's is overrated as hell. I expected better from Homer. If you want a real Chicago hot dog, just find a vendor on the street or go to one of the neighborhood places in Wrigleyville.

    I will ignore the rest of his post which was right on the money lol

  11. #10
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

    I'd second the architecture cruise, as well as a Millenium Park tour. The Chicago Architectural Foundation also does a bunch of other tours as well (http://caf.architecture.org/page.asp...=7%2f16%2f2011)
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  12. #11
    I'm gettin paper Homer Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    Portillo's is overrated as hell. I expected better from Homer. If you want a real Chicago hot dog, just find a vendor on the street or go to one of the neighborhood places in Wrigleyville.

    I will ignore the rest of his post which was right on the money lol
    So you've never had the chocolate cake shake.

  13. #12
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

    As for getting around. I have a car and we will be staying in the Suburbs (Elmhust/Oakland) and driving in as needed (or not).
    Was thinking of driving in, parking for the day and just getting around somehow.
    Is that a good idea? or should we...
    Take a train in? Get around by bus? The hop-on hop off trolley? Walk?
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

    http://dalmady.blogspot.com

  14. #13
    I'm gettin paper Homer Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    As for getting around. I have a car and we will be staying in the Suburbs (Elmhust/Oakland) and driving in as needed (or not).
    Was thinking of driving in, parking for the day and just getting around somehow.
    Is that a good idea? or should we...
    Take a train in? Get around by bus? The hop-on hop off trolley? Walk?
    Be prepared to battle weekend traffic. I would suggest taking the train in if possible. Once you're downtown you should be able to get around via walking to most places (could even take a water taxi on the river for like $2 a person).

  15. #14
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

    I third (fourth?) the architecture boat tour, plus museums, restaurants, etc etc. Chicago is a great town.

    Taking the El around isn't bad at all.

    And there always is the Cubs or the Sox if you want to take in a ballgame.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  16. #15
    La Dolce Vita
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    Re: Weekend in Chicago. What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Bailey View Post
    Be prepared to battle weekend traffic. I would suggest taking the train in if possible. Once you're downtown you should be able to get around via walking to most places (could even take a water taxi on the river for like $2 a person).
    i agree taking the train in from the western suburbs will be the least hassle, although, on saturday and sunday the traffic isn't as bad, relatively speaking, as it will be on friday evening. if you do drive in, there is good parking under michigan ave..entering in the middle of the street near the art institute.

    definitely agree about the walking downtown..with maybe a quick cab over to the shedd aquarium and/or field museum.

    hopefully, there will be parking on campus or the street if you drive to the university of chicago.
    teach tolerance.


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