Chicago - Substitute for ESPN Zone

Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 05:08 PM
  #1  
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Chicago - Substitute for ESPN Zone

Starting to plan a summer trip to Chicago (purchased our Cubs vs. Cardinals tickets today). Trying to find something for my husband and 11 year old son to do while our daughter and I enjoy lunch or tea at the American Girl Doll store. We were originally thinking of ESPN Zone, but realize there isn't one in Chicago anymore. What do you suggest for a substitute?

I'm sure I'll be back with more questions as we get further into our planning
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 06:38 AM
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Too funny. We went one year, and then returned a year or to later and couldn't find the Zone, only to realize we were standing in front of its shell (closed).

There is a Dave and Busters a bit farther north. There is a bowling alley adjacent? to the Embassy Suites Lakefront (don't know if it also has some video games), but it has a minimum age at some point during the evening. The Lego store (near American Girl) was always a hit with my kids when younger.

There was a ferris wheel on Navy Pier. He may be a bit old for it, but there used to be a children's museum at NP. (Haven't been since my kids aged out). I think there is a maze and/or arcade at NP but google that.

"FTW" appears to be an arcade. Have no familiarity with it.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 07:53 AM
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For something educational try the Field Museum and or the Shedd Aquarium.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 07:57 AM
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Oh yes, if the "big ones" are not on the list, go to one of those instead. I was thinking the op was looking for a more frivolous diversion.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 11:37 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Was just looking for something for them to do that the girls wouldn't mind missing out on. We already have the Shedd Aquarium and the Museum of Science and Industry in our plans.

Dave and Busters might be a good thought. I know my hubby would be happy just hanging out in the bar at Harry Carey's to watch the Cubs game that afternoon - anyone know if kids are welcome in their bar mid-afternoon?
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 11:50 AM
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The new Ferris Wheel on Navy Pier is supposed to be open by summer, however the entire pier is under construction, so it still may be a hassle navigating depending on when you're visiting.

There are two bowling alleys in River North: 10 Pin, in the Marina City complex, at 330 N State; and Lucky Strike, in River Center East at 322 E Illinois.

Other options may be the Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park or the (free) Lincoln Park Zoo. The nature museum has a free-fly butterfly gallery and lots of crawling, slithering and jumping displays that are usually interesting to 11-year-old boys.

(The only two remaining ESPN Zones are in Los Angeles.)
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 12:45 PM
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Wow - you purchased the tickets at a surcharged price. Regularly priced single ticket sales start this Friday. You must have really wanted them for a particular date.

There's the Chicago Sports Museum attached to Harry Caray's on N. Michigan Avenue. Not making a rec, just saying it's there.

No way of knowing what else might be available then, since you didn't mention the dates of your visit.
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 07:54 AM
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We'll be there from August 10-14. Planning to stop at Brookfield Zoo on our way into the city the 10th, so I'm not sure that the Lincoln Park Zoo will also be of interest during the same visit. I'll look into the Chicago Sports Museum. That might be something they would enjoy that the girls wouldn't mind missing.
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 09:17 AM
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They could always go on Bobby's Bike Hike, if the weather cooperates and it isn't too hot and humid.
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