Chicago @ Christmas

Nov 3rd, 2001, 09:14 AM
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Chicago @ Christmas

We are a family of four - 2 college age daughters who are arriving in Chicago on Christmas day. Besides after Christmas shopping are there any recommendations for special things to do?
Nov 3rd, 2001, 10:06 AM
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Susie, if you and your family are into museums, Chicago has several great ones - the Museum of Science and Industry and the Museum of Natural History, as well as the Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planatarium. Although I've never been, several people highly recommend the Art Institute.

You've mentioned shopping and you'll no doubt find lots of after-Christmas bargains. Enjoy Michigan Aveneue!

Two "musts" for a visit to Chicago, in my humble opinion, are - going to the observation deck of the Sears Tower (I prefer the views at night) and pizza at Pizzeria Uno, altough many people think there are better restaurants in which to experience a Chicago-style pizza.

Enjoy your stay in Chicago. It's a wonderful city. I grew up not far from there and miss it a lot!
Nov 3rd, 2001, 12:28 PM
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I highly recommend the Art Institute and its special exhibit on Gauguin and Van Gogh. The presentation is fascinating, from a psychological perspective as well as an artistic one. Tickets are $20, plus admission. If you decide to go, get tickets in advance for a much shorter wait in line; investigate the membership deals at Your student daughters can get a year's membership and two free tickets for $40.

I also recommend the Chicago Architecture Foundation if the weather is nice enough for an outdoor tour. Lincoln Park Zoo has a "Zoolights" festival after dark that you may enjoy. Bring boots and warm clothes!
Nov 4th, 2001, 07:22 AM
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Susie, there is also a Cleopatra exhibit at the Field Museum which sounds very interesting which I think your daughters would enjoy. You might also want to get tickets for this ahead of time. As far as skydecks, I really like the one at John Hancock better than the Sears Tower. Plus, it is right on Michigan Avenue and you already plan to be in that area. There is a Cheesecake Factory in the Hancock Building, too. It isn't what Chicago is known for but I think your daughters would like it if they haven't been to one before. You might want to take them to see Blue Man Group or to some other production. You should check out to see what shows will be here at Christmas.
Nov 4th, 2001, 09:07 AM
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I am somewhat bias as I volunteer there with my daughter but I would highly recommend going to the Shedd Aquarium and having lunch upstairs at "the Soundings" restaurant.The food is from Marriott and quite good.(There is also a food court right below for less money with same view). The panoramic view of Chicago and Lake Michigan(especially on a cold day with the steam rising off of it is unbelievable!).The aquarium is celebrating the Oceanarium's 10th birthday. The Shedd Aquarium is the world's largest aquarium with the only living coral reef inside. Even if you are not interested in marine life-it is a magical place.The oceanarium presentation with the dolphins and beluga whales is great.The Field museum right next door is terrific and the Cleopatra exhibit is done very nicely.
I would also hit the State Street Marshall Fields store and go see the big Christmas Tree in the Walnut Room(even if you decide not to have lunch there with the crowds).Its a long standing Christmas tradition to see the Marshall Fields windows and Carson Pirie Scott windows on State Street.Chicago has so many things to do no matter what time of the year. Go to the website and see what plays are on,acitivites planned etc. There is something for everyone and every price range. Enjoy one of the world's best cities!
Nov 5th, 2001, 07:41 AM
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Thanks to you all for the suggestions. We had some of the places on the list already and are very excited to go! The lunch at the Shedd aquarium sounds wonderful and we have been to the Cheesecake Factory there before - yummy! If you think of any more places that are a must please write back. Thanks, Susie
Nov 5th, 2001, 09:07 AM
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Tea at the Drake is a Christmastime tradition that would seem to hold its charm a few days past Christmas itself. I've always enjoyed going with my mother and sister, dressing up for some high-class people watching! Plus it's a great place to warm up after shopping on Michigan Avenue.
Nov 5th, 2001, 11:04 AM
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Tea at the Drake is good as is tea at the Ritz Carlton in the Water Tower. See if you can get tickets to A Christmas Carol at the Goodman or to the Nutcracker Ballet. I think lunch in the Walnut room at the original Marshall Field's on State is a Christmas "must do" for Chicago. They take reservations and it's not so crowded if you go two or three days after Christmas. I always return to Uno's or Due's for Chicago pizza---lived there for 22 years, but still can't get enough!
Nov 6th, 2001, 05:54 PM
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We have always gone to Giordanos for "Chicago" pizza. Is Unos that much different?
Nov 6th, 2001, 06:27 PM
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If its great Chicago Style Pizza you want go to Lou Malnati's
Nov 6th, 2001, 07:11 PM
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Susie -

Uno is different from Giordano's in that it is jammed with tourists and residents of distant suburbs (i.e., Schaumburg, Naperville and beyond).
Nov 18th, 2001, 04:16 PM
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Susie, If you want a good deal on hotel rooms you should check out Or call 877-chi-cago and they have a ton of deals to increase tourism. Blue man group is alot of fun and college age girls could handle it easily. It is up on the North side of town. Good luck.
Dec 17th, 2001, 10:11 PM
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money saving tips
go to the art museum on tuesdays or thursdays, (call to be sure of the day)and admission is free
but dont eat in the cafe in the art museum. really expensive
check out the restaurants up and down michigan ave, right across the street from the west entrance to the museum
good food, great prices
plus you can wander up and down the side streets checking out great chicago architecture, and really get a feel for the city
stop one of the many specialty shops where you can pick up a book all about chicago
you can pick out some destinations to visit
sometimes its fun to just jump in a cab and run all over the city. to see the out of the way treasures the city has to offer
be sure to stop by the sears tower at night to get a breathtaking view of the skyline
enjoy your trip to the city!!

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