Chicago May 29-31 - discounted Theater, Meals

Old May 24th, 2009, 05:00 AM
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Chicago May 29-31 - discounted Theater, Meals

My husband will be attending a conference and am looking for daytime activities as well as theater at night and inexpensive nonchain dining. We spent a week in Chicago a year ago and got a city pass and did the Architectural Cruise, many of the museums, the Shedd, Science and Industry,and Art Institute, etc. Any new exhibits that we should do? Other tours? Discounted Theater?
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Old May 24th, 2009, 07:30 AM
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http://www.hottix.org/
www.metromix.com
www.http://www.chicagoreader.com/
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Old May 24th, 2009, 10:19 AM
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Here's the thing: It's really much cheaper to attend the theatre outside of the downtown Loop Theatre District and on the Mag. Mile. Chicago has dozens of theatre troupes and venues so it just depends on what you want to see - and there are musicals and non-musical offerings, alike. It's also usually much cheaper to dine outside of the downtown. (Caveat: many of the premier restaurants in the city are located outside of the downtown area - so you'll pay big bucks for those, of course.)

The Art Institute just opened its new Modern Wing on May 16, which has expanded the museum to be the 2nd largest in the nation. Go. The Art Institute just increased their entrance fee from $12 to $18 - but keep in mind that there is no charge now for special exhibits - included in that $18. Also, check their website about the free hours - although you can imagine the mob that will be there during those hours.

You can't get any cheaper than free. Set up visiting one of the neighborhoods with a Chicago Greeter. (I think you might need to get an InstaGreeter now because of the time frame being so near.)

You might wish to rent bikes and explore. There are some companies, such as Bobby's Bike Hike, which give guided tours.

If you go to the Chicago Loop Alliance's website, you will find three, free downloadable (to a MP3 device or your computer) "Loop the Loop" tours. One is for Loop landmarks; one is for the artwork in the Loop; and one is for theatres.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation's main location, the ArchiCentre, is located in the historic Santa Fe (aka Transportation) building

Maybe you'll be interested going to a free concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park on May 31 when you are here. Suggest taking a picnic (if the weather cooperates, that is - they are predicting a cooler, wetter week ahead). If you were interested in getting something nice, suggest that you stop in at Pastoral: Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, in the Loop. See www.pastoralartisan.com for information on their various options. Note: You need to order this in advance - the website tells you the requested time frame.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 07:35 AM
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Thanks! Love the websites and will be making theater decisions soon, and thanks for the tip about the expense.
We will definitely go to the Art Institute and I love the Chicago Greeter and/or instagreeter idea as well as downloading the tour.
Any other local, reasonable restaurants that you would suggest?
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Old May 25th, 2009, 10:07 AM
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It's hard to recommend anything if we don't know what part of the city you will be in. Please advise your price range as well.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 09:52 PM
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Many theaters offer last-minute tickets, call ahead to find out. I know for sure that Steppenwolf often has $20 seats the day of performance. Also check out www.hottix.org for same-day theater tickets. They offer seats at everything from downtown to suburban theaters.

For discount restaurants, go to restaurant.com. Sign up as a member and receive additional discounts. I was initially skeptical, but it's legit. For example, tonight I bought a $25 coupon for $2 for The Landmark, a wonderful contemporary restaurant across the street from Steppenwolf and next door to The Royal George theatre complex.

In addition, there are a million different ethnic options in the city that are often startlingly cheap. Depending on where you're from, you can sample a cuisine you've never tried before. Some ideas?: Greek, Korean, Polish, Indian, Vietnamese, and Chicago style pizza and hot dogs of course.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 02:47 PM
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thanks for all the advice. We are staying at the Hampton Inn in downtown Chicago.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 05:03 PM
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Go to the Fields Museum for the Pirate exhibit going on now.
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