Chicago in March

Old Feb 26th, 2006, 01:23 PM
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Chicago in March

My husband is going to Schaumburg for a class from March 7-10. I am going to fly up to meet him. We will have two evenings and one whole day to have see some parts of Chicago. This is our first time without the kids in four years, so I am asking what would be the most best way to spend our time? I am also wondering how cold it might be? I am thinking the Art Institute, Greek Town and Little Italy for sure! The Navy Pier sounds like fun, but will it be too cold? Any advice and tips for what to pack would be great. We live in the SW and it is already in the 70's where we are.
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 01:40 PM
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In March you might see 50 degree temps or snow in Chicago. You never know with Chicago. Art Institute is always very popular and there is a new outdoor park Millenium Park that is quite nice. Depending on where your hotel is Chicago is very easy to walk from the loop to Michigan Avenue. Schaumburg is a very large suburb northwest of Chicago. You can take a train out there very easily and they have a very large shopping mall Woodfield which I believe is the largest in the state.
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 08:12 PM
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Is it best for us to take the train into Chicago? I am assuming the parking it a nightmare in Chicago?
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 09:26 PM
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Driving in downtown Chicago is very easy compared to NYC or San Francisco. Downtown parking is expensive (but easy to find with many pay lots all over the place) -- at least $30 for a full day, with no in/out privileges. The weather will be very cold given what you're used to but just dress for it and it's not too bad at all. Do you have heavy wool coats or down parkas -- remember to layer, tights under jeans or instead, a pair of lined, wool pants. Definitely you'll want gloves and scarves for comfort. You'll spend a lot of time walking around if you're taking public transportation.

Navy Pier isn't that exciting -- a large shopping area with an IMAX theater on a pier, a large ferris wheel. I'd also scratch Greek town off your list, very small area of restaurants right next to my work.

Art Institute is great, all the major museums are great, Shedd Aquarium is fun, Michigan Ave for shopping, maybe a "broadway" show downtown? Great dining options. Pilsen if you're interested in Mexican culture, Chinatown has some excellent restaurants -- Lao Sze Chuan one of the most well known.

Is there anyway to convince your husband to stay in downtown Chicago and get him to take a train to Schaumburg to get to his class everyday? This would be wonderful for you... Schaumburg is a huge suburb town known for it's large malls and not much else.
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 09:55 PM
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It may very well be quite cold when you're here next month. We've had some very cold spells in December and again a week or so ago. But, for the most part, this has been a very mild winter. I've worn a fairly light coat most of this winter. (And I work as an after school crossing guard. So I'm very aware of dressing for the weather!) I'd strongly suggest that you check the weather websites just before you leave.
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 07:41 AM
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March is generally chilly and wet. My recommendation is to bring some type of boots or at least water-resistant footwear. A lined raincoat works well plus a hat and gloves. You may not need them, but it'll be nice to have them if the weather acts up. We can have anything from a 70 degree day (so rare!) to snow or ice storms in March. "Average" would be a day in the high 40s or low 50s with some rain.

Because the weather is so unpredictable, make a flexible plan for the day. The Art Institute sounds great. If it's nice outside, walk around Millennium Park or the Loop. For dinner in Greektown, I would recommend Costa's, and then a show on Second City's Mainstage or Jazz Showcase.
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 08:11 AM
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Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium are two of my favorites and they are close together. I would say FOR SURE to go to the 96th floor of the John Hancock building and have a drink at a window table in the Signature Lounge (sunset would be great) for the most wonderful views of Chicago and Lake Michigan.
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 08:28 AM
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You might want to visit www.metromix.com to see what's around your time frame.

Wicked is in town, it's late but you may score some seats. Cheap seats are not bad in that theatre- Ford Th.for the Performing Arts (used to be Oriental- restored.)

The citypass may be an option if you are going to do Art Institute and Shedd for sure. Field has Pompeii right now until the 26th. It's right there as well.
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 08:32 AM
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Also,in your time frame I would definitely spend it downtown in the LOOP, on the River or just North on Michigan Ave. or in River North area. If it nice take a walk in Milenium Park and on the lake.

Do check with the weather just before you come, because it has been very mild recently and through most of winter- you don't want to overpack either.
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 10:16 AM
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O.K. -- telling someone that we might possible get a 70 degree day in March seems a little misleading, even when qualified by comments about its rarity. Sure, anything CAN happen, theoretically, but telling someone this brings 70 degrees into the realm of possibiity that I think is too remote to consider. If we had a 70 degree day in March in Chicago, it would constitute a leading news story. I would be able to wear things in my wardrobe that I don't usually get to bring out until mid to late May.

As someone who was born and rasied in California for over 30 years, I might over-dress for the cold compared to Chicago natives, but the OP might wish to as well given that she's living in the SW. Indoors, things will be overheatd and you'll have to strip down and check your coat, gloves, scarf to be comfortable. But when you're walking around outside downtown, you may need to be relatively bundled up to be comfortable and then you'll find the city to be beautiful and charming.

I second the suggestion about going to the top floor of the John Hancock (sunset is great) for a drink in the lounge. It's amazing and a much nicer experience than Sears Tower, although that might be due to the fact that you'll have a drink in your hand. Have a great time! I love this city!
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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fishee, you are correct that she will feel the cold more and needs to layer.

But having said that, this winter I have not yet put on any of my numerous pairs of boots, dressy or non-dressy.

One day I could have, but it started out at 45 and who was to know!!!

I always suggest a long coat, regardless of thickness while downtown. In spring I wear a trench coat type thickness, in winter- wool and thick. But as long as your legs are covered and you don't wear a very short stylish open necked jacket, you'll be fine. The worst you could expect would be to have to buy something.

Actually the stores are full of swim suits already. LOL!

I haven't put on a pair of gloves since before Christmas this year and I'm out in it everyday. Double LOL!
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 12:22 PM
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Yesterday, I took the dog out for a walk and thought it would be fine if I just threw on a long down coat over my sweats, I also wore a hat and fleece gloves (no scarf). Oh god, I was freezing and had to apologize to the dog for cutting it so short. Could only do 2 blocks and ran back to the house -- checked the weather outside and it was 29 degrees. (that's cold to me!)

You're definitely a Chicago-tough resident if you haven't worn gloves since December! I still think it's freezing outside, I haven't worn heels since November, just leather boots and sometimes insulated snow boots. I must sound like a complete wimp to you...
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