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ktyson May 10th, 2004 08:25 AM

Chicago with older teens
I will be in Chicago with my daughters, who are 16 and 17. We are going to be there for the weekend and will be spending our days shopping, but are wondering how to spend our nights. One of the nights we are going to a second city show.
For the other night I was wondering what you think of the Fireside Bowl at 2646 W Fullerton or Frankie J's/Methadome Theater at 4437 N Broadway.
I've been to the Michigan Ave area of Chicago several times and feel safe there, but am wondering if the areas of the Fireside and Frankie J's are safe.
I am also wondering if this is somewhere my daughters would like, or do you have any other suggestions for girls that age.

Thanks for your help.

dgruzew May 10th, 2004 08:49 AM

Lots of things to do in chicago, Second city is a very good choice, very funny shows.

I am very surprised you brought up Fireside Bowl. this is a place that tends to have more punk rock shows than bowling. Not sure if that is your cup of tea. I used to live near there and many goth/punk teens would drive in from the burbs to head to that place, but I honestly can't say I have been there myself - so it may be somthing that your daughters may like very much?? I doubt there will be many(or any) adults though.
Also - you may not feel that comfortable in this neighboorhood (nothing like michigan ave)
Frankies on broadway is new - and I have heard some good things, but the neighboorhood is sketchy(I don't feel comforable in this hood and I have lived in chicago for 6 years).

a couple of other things If you are into the comedy shows - chicago is king.
-Improv olympic near wrigley field is great.
- Stage left Theater (also near Wrigley ) is very good also (but skip the free/cheap improv show - not that good)
-Noble fool theater downtown has some good shows,
- Go to Wrigley Field - see if you can see a night game!!! You will have a great time, even if you don't like baseball that much.
-Steppenwolf theather has some fantastic plays (mostly drama)
-Blue man group is always a good choice if you have never been
-Navy pier is pretty fun for all ages in the summer they have a beer garden with bands and I think it is all ages, boat cruises,ferris wheel,IMAX etc (but if they want something more "alternative" like fireside bowl, they will not get it here- very mainstream and touristy)
- EAT OUT Chicago has some of the countries best resturants

- Have Fun !!!

ktyson May 10th, 2004 09:44 AM

Thanks dgruzew, your information was really helpful.

From what I read about the Fireside I thought it was a bowling alley with live bands. After what you told me it is definitely out of the question. My daughters are not goth girls.

We probably won't go to Frankie's either. If you have lived in the city for 6 years and think this neighborhood is sketchy it will probably scare the pants off of me.

We were already planning on Navy Pier (depending on the weather). when does the beer garden and live bands start. May, June?

I will also check out Improv olympic, Stage left Theater, and Noble fool theater.

Thank you, and if anyone else has anything to add that would be great.

Kristi May 11th, 2004 07:54 PM

Noble Fool ceased operations at the end of April, just weren't making enough money. I think Flanagan's Wake is still running but I would wait until the day of the performance and get at Hot Tix if that interests you.

Improv Olympics is a lot of fun

Laurie May 11th, 2004 09:08 PM

Hi, We will also be visiting Chicago this summer. Our group includes a senior citizen, an adult [me], and a 16 year old girl. I was also thinking about going to the 2nd City Comedy show, but I am worried about it being inappropriate for my mom and my daughter.

Is there alot of foul language or sexual references? I think we would enjoy the show, but I don't want to feel uncomfortable with my mom and daughter there.
Thanks for your help! Laurie

enjoylife May 11th, 2004 11:39 PM

Head over to the visitor's center across from the Hancock Tower. They have discount show tickets and that may give you some good ideas of things to do (and at a discount.) You can get tickets for Second City there, as well as tickets to whatever is playing at the Steppanwolf Theatre.

Have a wonderful time!

bri19sp May 12th, 2004 01:07 AM

2nd City is intended for mature audiences but I don't think your daughter will learn anything new in terms of sexuality.

Its been awhile since I've been to their shows, but I wouldn't be worried.

cmeyer54 May 12th, 2004 07:34 AM

Another idea might be "tony and tina's wedding". supposedly a very funny interactive dinner show in Lincoln Park area. I'd second Blue Man Group as well.

patg May 12th, 2004 09:40 AM

Second City's last show had a good twenty uses of the F-word, but it's more in the course of swearing at some disastrous happening than in a sexual connotation. Most of their humor is political or observational. They don't stoop to cheap sexual references or gross-out humor.

patg May 12th, 2004 09:43 AM

Also, check out Theatre on the Lake performances. They are short summer runs of the best of Chicago theatre productions held in a covered performance space on the lakefront at Fullerton. Tickets are usually very reasonable.

Kristi May 12th, 2004 11:09 AM

Another option might be Romeo and Juliet, the Musical playing at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. It's a joint production between them and Second City

It hasn't opened yet so I have not seen reviews but their Hamlet! The Musical was good.

Laurie May 12th, 2004 08:32 PM

Thank you all for the information about 2nd City. I really appreciate the tip about the information center across from the Hancock Center. We are planning to go to the Hancock Center on our first day, so we will plan a visit to the info center also.

I also appreciate hearing about all the alternative activities in Chicago. A trip to the Navy Pier sounds like fun. We plan to take an architectural cruise.

My daughter has been reading Romeo and Juliet in her English class, so it might be fun to go to the musical. Thanks for the suggestion!

I really appreciate all your great ideas! We are really looking forward to our trip to Chicago! Laurie

defconsult May 12th, 2004 08:58 PM

I live in the Chicago suburbs -- If it's a hot day and you go to Navy Pier, don't miss a ride on the Sea Dog. It's a half hour ride on a fast boat where you see some key Chicago sites from the water. Great fun!

While Wrigley Field is a unique experience, all the games are sold out. You might be able to scalp tickets a few blocks away from the ballpark, though. Suggest you ride the L to get there -- traffic can be horrendous. have fun.

Kristi May 13th, 2004 06:47 AM

There's another tourist info center at the Cultural Center on the corner of Randolph and Michigan. The Cultural Center is a fabulous building with a Tiffany glass ceiling on the 3rd floor. I think the original poster was thinking about staying at the Hard Rock Hotel, the Cultural Center is just a couple of blocks away and is a block away from Marshall Field's on State and close to Nordstrom's Rack and H&M.

Also, if you or your kids have a thing for popcorn, there's a Garrett's on Randolph across from Marshall Field's, the line is a fraction of the line at the Mich. Ave. location. But bring handiwipes to get all of the cheese and caramel off your fingers :-)

Laurie, the Architectural cruise is great and is very popular so you might want to get advance tickets. See the website below, if you choose Ticketmaster or Hot Tix they tack on an annoying "convenience" charge.

The website below has a nice summary of the boat trips in Chicago, personally I thought the Spirit of Chicago's dinner cruise was overpriced and the food just average, friends have enoyed Windy, the schooner, but there are no refreshments

Laurie May 13th, 2004 09:14 PM

Thanks for the advice and the websites, Kristi. We are planning to take the Wendella 90 min. history and architecture cruise. Can we get advance tickets for this cruise? We plan to go on a Saturday evening so it may be popular. Thanks! Laurie

Kristi May 14th, 2004 06:53 AM

Laurie, I have not done the Wendella tour, their website does not mention anything about buying tickets in advance. We are signed up for a tour with them next weekend, part of a free weekend Chicago has every year (Great Places and Spaces) but our tour is 3 hours long so it is not the same tour you would get.

Kristi May 14th, 2004 03:22 PM

Since the CAF tour is 90 minutes and Wendella's river only tour is 60 minutes, I assume that Wendella misses some stuff or gives less detail than the CAF tour. I doubt that it would go further north than the CAF tour, Metromix says it goes as far south as the Sears Tower, a bit shorter than the CAF that goes to River City.

The 90 minute Wendella cruise that Laurie is talking about goes on the lake and the river.

edeevee Jun 24th, 2004 07:58 PM

Hahahaha, the Fireside Bowl, lol. My kids aren't goths, they're punk rock lovers. We had a weekend trip to the city planned and tried to get tickets for a big name punk show but they were sold out. My daughter poked around on the internet and found out about a show at the Fireside -- five bands, $9. Sounded good.

The Fireside is ... charming ... in a falling down dump kind of way. My kids and their friends loved it, loved the bands, and I had a great time in the bar where I met a music journalist and a dj. As far removed from North Michigan Avenue as you can get but definitely worth the trip ;^)

A word of caution -- Taxis in this area of town, at 11 PM, are scarce. If you're not driving, you should probably make arrangements for your return trip ahead of time.

We visited on the coldest day of the year. It was several degrees below zero. I don't even want to think about wind chill. We nearly froze to death trying to catch a cab.

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