Cold Feb weekend in Chicago?

Old Jan 24th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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Cold Feb weekend in Chicago?

I'm not sure why this did not post under Chicago so here it is again.
Hi all you helpful Fodorites, I know there have been many posts about winter activities in Chicago & I have spent hours reading them but still need help. We are trying to decide if a weekend trip to Chicago (Feb16th-18th) is worth it. We will have from Friday late afternoon through Sunday afternoon. I am not very comfortable with walking or any outdoor activities in the cold. We will be with 2 teenage kids so art museums etc are not high on our list. I cannot tell which activities are available in the winter. Is the Millenium Park open? What about any architectural tours, we were quite struck with the diverse Chicago architecture when we were there a few years ago. I think my daughter would like the build my own handbag option mentioned in another post, does anyone know how expensive that is? Are there any home related things to see, different art galleries, furniture stores etc? I did consider Wicked but am not sure if the two guys would enjoy it & that'a a lot of money wasted if they don't.
Another problem is that I wanted to book our hotel on Priceline so I'm not sure how convenient the location will be. Some hotels seem to be connected to shopping etc.Checking on bidding for travel, seems like the Intercontinental (NMA)& the Hyatt (MP area) are the most likely 4 star hotels. They are both in different zones so which one should I try first? Or if anyone knows of any moderately priced hotels with very convenient locations please jump in. We do enjoy the indoor pool & a health cluIn case of inclement weather) Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Help, if I cannot make a good enough case, the guys are going to veto the trip! Thanks.
excited_confused is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2007, 07:45 PM
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Wow -- you do have the questions. First, a warm weekend in Feb is a real gamble. It could be cold if the wind is off the lake. Most of the big, downtown hotels have very good weekend rates. We often have stayed for less than a $100. Call directly to the hotels. Millenium Park is open 'cause it is a park. The architecture tours are available BUT they will be outside. Wicked, IMO, is a great show and everyone should enjoy it.

If you stay our of the loop area, the brown line is under remodeling and is often shut down or follows a limited schedule on the weekend. Sometimes the red line is also affected especially the stations that serve both the red and brown lines.

Good luck, Frank
fmpden is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2007, 09:18 PM
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From your post, I would say you should wait until at least April to plan a weekend trip to Chicago. Walking around Chicago is a must on any trip to Chicago and since you don't like cold weather and it most likely can't be avoided in February, it really doesn't sound like the time to go for you and your family.
isabellasu is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2007, 11:57 PM
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exited_confused, to answer some of your questions:

Basically, you are here only for Friday night and all day Saturday. You'll only have enough time Sunday (probably) to eat breakfast/brunch and then get ready for your departure.

Millennium Park is open all year round. In addition, if your group wanted to ice skate, you can rent skates and do so at the McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink. (It sounds as if you aren't interested in that, but thought I'd mention it just in case.)

If you think that the guys wouldn't enjoy Wicked, the Musical, the Chicago Auto Show will be going on at that time as well. Maybe some of your group can take in the musical on a matinee performance and some go to the Auto Show.

That being said, have you thought about going to see Blue Man Group? Has an open run at the Briar Street Theatre.

There are many home-related stores around Chicago - in many different areas. For what exactly are you searching?

The Chicago Architecture Foundation has walking and bus tours available. Look at their website for the options. In addition, several of the downtown theatres have their own tours (the Auditorium, the Ford Center for the Performing Arts aka Oriental, the LaSalle Bank Theatre, etc.), although they may not be available during the time you are here.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 05:54 PM
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Thanks all for your reples, isabellasu, that's what DH has been telling me all along but I am trying to make a case for this trip coz I will get to see our son who goes to school in the area.
I did find an Architectural tour at 1 pm on Sat that would work. Is there any thing to see/do at the Millenium Park?
exiledprincess, we are decorating our house so anything a little modern/out of the ordinary as far as art, sculptures, furniture accessories etc. that I would not find in more colonial Boston.
fmpden, any particular hotels I can start with? Sorry, yes I do know I have a lot of questions, we would like to stay downtown near/on Michigan Avenue.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 08:51 PM
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All the major chains are on or within a block of Michigan ave. We have stayed in the Hilton, Marroit in that area plus a couple of others. Just hit their web sites. Or go to the Fodor's site and it will map the hotels in Chicago. Some people prefer to stay north of the river because it more in the heart of Michigan ave. Your call. You can get an all day bus/train pass for $5 or a bit more if the price has gone up since last summer and ride the Michigan Ave bus. South of the river you are within walking distance of the old State St area --- the original Marshall Fields -- now, unfortunately call Macys

Good luck ---.
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Old Jan 29th, 2007, 05:30 PM
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OK, I guess I gave in & decided against the trip at this time, will plan a trip in Aug to drop my son off to college. I will be checking the temperatures in Feb & kicking myself (and DH)if they are not too bad. In any case, just wanted to thank everyone for their suggestions which I will save for the summer & will probably ask for a lot more then!
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Old Jan 29th, 2007, 06:35 PM
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But August is not a whole lot better --- hot and humid. Actually I would have gone in Feb and taken my chances.
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Old Jan 29th, 2007, 07:11 PM
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Or go in May or June, which ever month your son gets out of college...ya gotta bring him home, right?
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Old Feb 4th, 2007, 10:20 AM
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May does not work since my daughter is not out from high school yet. I keep getting tempted to stay with February since she has a week off.. Was trying the weekend of Feb 23rd but hotel rates seem very high for that period, is there something going on? If I can get a hotel under $150, maybe I will revive the trip & will be looking for answers to my prior questions again!
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Old Feb 4th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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e_c, when you do revive the post/trip, Jayson Home & Garden is a really great home store in Lincoln Park that seems like it may be what you are looking for. They have a web site if you want to check it out. The store is in a neighborhood that is nice for shopping in general if you want to get away from Mich Ave.

Sprout Home is another home store that is highly regarded.
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Old Feb 4th, 2007, 07:47 PM
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Thanks, I will check it out. When we were there a few years ago, I believe I had like a store called Moda Furniture? Had some interesting contemporary stuff. But I am still not able to find reasonable prices for hotels for 2/23-2/25.
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 06:15 PM
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There's a 30,000 delegate dental convention 2/23-25. Still I was able to find a 3* and 4* in the area you'd want to stay on Hotwire for under $150.
Kristi is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2007, 06:50 PM
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going to chicago this fri 2/09 thru sunday 2/11. did priceline, $82.00 a night for the 4* knickerbocker hotel. bringing long johns for the cold. plan to do dinner, a show and museums.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 05:19 PM
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Not sure if this is still an issue, but wanted to comment on the price of visiting 1154 Lill to design your own bag. Most of the bags started around $60 and went up to about $120. There were less expensive options, but they were smaller - makeup bags and such. You can check out their site to preview the bags and see the price for each. I'd highly recommend it - I had a blast.
short_eliz is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2007, 07:12 PM
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Geez... a Feb weekend in Chicago is likely to be very tolerable. Unless they have the cold spell of the decade, you'd be just fine!!! Bring a warm coat and gloves, and I don't see what the big deal is. Consider that every Chicagoite goes to school, work, shopping, activities on a typical February day. It isn't going to put you at risk of hypothermia or anything, unless you happen to wander into the open waters of Lake Michigan (if you do, you have bigger issues to deal with).

You'll probably only be outside for 2-3 minutes at a time. Budget an extra $40 so you can take taxi's where you normally might walk. Big deal.

A sunny winter day in Chicago feels warmer than one of those dreary 50 degree days in San Francisco.

Me, I would rather visit in February than run the risk of a heat wave in August, which is much more likely than a sub-zero cold snap.

By the way, I've stayed at the Intercontinental. Nice, large rooms and a very good location.
Hazelmn is offline  
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