Chicago during Spring break?

Old Mar 11th, 2004, 03:59 PM
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Chicago during Spring break?

Last minute decision to go *somewhere* besides the beach over spring break. I've thought of Chicago -- but won't the weather be bad?It seems like everything fun is outdoors -- Navy Pier, shopping on Michigan Ave. , boat tours of the Lake, etc.

Am I wrong? Any fun indoor activity in Chi-Town?
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Old Mar 11th, 2004, 05:00 PM
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When we were in college, my husband and I spent three spring breaks (and ours were in February!) visiting his brother in Chicago because we could drive there and had a free place to stay.

Yes, there's a very good chance Chicago will be cold in March/April. It could also be sunny and warm - the beauty of midwest weather.

That said, Chicago out of doors can be fun even when it's cold, as long as you have warm clothing.

I personally think Navy Pier is a waste of space. I walked through it once and don't intend to ever go back. It has a very "carnival" or "theme-park" atmosphere to it, and is just not Chicago.

When you shop Michigan Ave (though I prefer State Street, but they're both good) you are in and out of shops - and you can always stop for a hot chocolate or coffee if it's too cold. If it's cold, a boat tour may just not work, but that's OK.

What about:

Museum of Science and Industry
Chicago Institute of Art
El Tour of the Loop
Lincoln Park Zoo (yes, it's outdoors, but you can still pop indoors for a warm drink if needed)
Aquarium
Museum of Natural History
Theater

There's so much to do in Chicago - I would go any day of the year, no matter what the weather!!!
 
Old Mar 11th, 2004, 07:15 PM
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When my husband and I were in college 35 years ago, we spent three days of our semester break (January) seeing every exhibit in the Museum of Science and Industry.

The Art Institute is also wonderful, as is the Field Museum, which has an exhibition March 12-September 12 of the largest collection of artifacts from the Imperial Palace in China ever shown outside the Forbidden City.
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Old Mar 11th, 2004, 07:38 PM
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there are also a ton of broadway type shows, musical performances, etc to see as either matinees or at night. Hot Tix will be selling half price tickets the day of the show. Have you seen Blue Man Group? Plenty of good restaurants, jazz clubs, etc as well. Take a horse drawn carriage ride on Michigan avenue which is fun no matter what the weather.
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Old Mar 11th, 2004, 07:47 PM
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I agree with the people above. I live relatively close to Chicago and go there for long weekends all year round-even in the dead of winter! I would suggest getting a hotel on Michigan Avenue-that's where most of the museums and shops are. Hotwire usually has good prices I've found. Bring a coat and earmuffs!
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Old Mar 12th, 2004, 03:15 AM
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And for the nightlife don't forget to hit a blues club or anywhere that has live music. There's a lot of spots on or near Belmont. I would pick up a copy of the weekly free newspaper called "the Reader" (comes out on Thursday nights and is deposited at restaurants and shops throughout the city.) Check to see who/what is playing where.
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Old Mar 12th, 2004, 06:46 AM
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Some other thoughts. Go to a Bulls game (even though they are bad); check out the Wrigleyville bar scene. Walk through Lincoln Park Zoo.
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Old Mar 12th, 2004, 08:32 AM
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I'm travelling w/ teens, so the whole bar thing is out. But Blue Man Group sure sounds fun -- I didn't realize they were performing!

thanks for all of the suggestions!
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Old Mar 12th, 2004, 08:55 AM
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Girl or boy teens? If boys, the chicago wolves hockey or chicago rush (arena football) would be options. If you go to Blueman - I'd recommend a little pizza place a few blocks away (take a cab) called the Chicago Oven Grinder. Most unusual and excellent pizza you'll ever have...and the building is supposedly where capone's lookouts were for the St Valentine's Day massacre. Obviously, Hard Rock Cafe would be good, Ed Debivics, DB Kaplan's Deli in Water Tower Place, Harry Caray's Restaurant near the river, etc.
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 04:32 AM
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See www.metromix.com for travel planning info on the Windy City.
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 06:01 AM
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The Museum of Science and Industry is very good, best one my kids have ever been to per their vote (and we live in D.C. area so they've done all the Smithsonian museums.) The exhibit where you get in a shaft elevator and go down to a coal mine is just great, it is narrated by a "miner" and is very educational but fun. Also, don't forget the Field Museum, another good one, w/"Sue" the dinosaur found in the Badlands of Dakota, and lots of great American Indian exhibits (full size replica of a teepee living environment, complete w/all the accessories.) We took the bus around to those museums which was a fun experience, we met locals on the bus.
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 07:53 AM
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Here's a note of cheer for you, eltrain - the weather is supposed to be warmer than average for the next week or so. Highs in the 50s! (We paid the price for this with a deep freeze in February.) Also, if you are excited about Blue Man Group, don't wait to get tickets. I was just on the site, and the next two weekends don't have many tickets left. If you can see the show during the week, you'll do better.

A few other suggestions, off the top of my head: Jazz Showcase has a special show on Sunday afternoons at about 4 p.m. Young people are discounted or free, a great opportunity to see top talent, if your guys are interested. Hubbard Street Dance is also performing that week - a fun, jazzy troupe. My teens like eating lunch at the Signature Room, 95th floor of the John Hancock. Go a little early or late to get the best seating. Dave and Buster's (I think there is one on Clark Street) is a huge game-playing center. There are usually free concerts every week at the Harold Washington Library, Cultural Center, and Jazz Center in downtown Chicago. Ice skating may still be a possibility at the rink on Michigan and Randolph Street, and they rent skates. Both Navy Pier and the Museum of Science and Industry have Omnimax theatres. Navy Pier has a big flower show the next two weekends, so be aware of this.
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Old Mar 17th, 2004, 09:32 AM
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I was there earlier this month and if you decide to visit all the museums (and I enjoyed all of them), there is a City Pass which can be purchased at any of the museums and includes a ticket to each of the Art Institute, the Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, the Adler Planetarium, the aquarium and the Hancock Tower for about $50 total. At the Art Institute, there is a special Rembrandt exhibit (which would be a separate ticket from the main admission ticket). A special exhibit on China was going to be opening in a few weeks at the Field Museum; there was a preview when I was there. I was able to find plenty to do and look forward to going back.
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