Help planning Chicago trip

Sep 1st, 2009, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Gracie, Clark/Lake would be the best stop for Swissotel. The station has elevators/escalators and you can catch a cab to your hotel for only a few dollars. If you're feeling particularly hardy you can walk, just head north one block to Wacker Drive and turn right. The hotel is about a mile up Wacker.

To reach Cellular Field, walk from your hotel to State/Lake and catch the Red Line Subway toward 95th Street. Exit at 35th and follow the crowd to the stadium, it's only a couple blocks.
Citylghts is offline  
Sep 8th, 2009, 08:09 AM
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We are back and had a fantastic trip. Thank you for all your suggestions. I will post a trip report shortly. BTW, my husband fell in love with Chicago. He even mentioned retiring there!! This is from a man who has never lived north of Albany, Georgia, and who currently lives in Northwest Florida. The weather was great this weekend, but I don't think he could stand the colder months.
gracie is offline  
Sep 8th, 2009, 06:27 PM
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Glad you had a great trip. Its too bad you saw the White Sox win (just kidding but being a Red Sox fan, it wasn't a good weekend)
tchoiniere is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 07:41 PM
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Hi All!! Wow...What GREAT help this has been! My sister and I are planning a short trip(she has a business conference)the 27th-30th of this month. A couple things I was wondering...What is the weather like? Are river/lake cruises still available at that time? Where is the best hot dog stand? Where is the best place for "Chicago" pizza? Sears Tower or Hancock for the best photo op? Anything "BIG" happening at that time of year? We are staying at the Hyatt there things to do within walking distance? Thanx in advance for any help!
tinksgma is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 07:58 PM
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Lists of best Chicago area hot dog places usually include Hot Doug's, Superdawg, and Wiener's Circle (haven't been) as well as Gold Coast Dogs and Portillo's (have been to both and liked them).

Lists of best Chicago deep dish pizza spots usually include Gino's East, Lou Malnatti's, Giordano's (stuffed style), Pizzeria Uno, and Pizzeria Due. It's tough to get a bad pie at any of them, though I liked Gino's East best.
bachslunch is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 05:00 AM
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Thanx so much bachslunch...I have the list written down!
tinksgma is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 11:55 AM
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Hello all! This has been great - planning a trip to Chicago over Columbus Day to see grandson play hockey with the Chicago Steel. Am from Boston and want to show him highpoints of Chicago while there - and find some great restaurants! Is driving downtown/parking an issue? Will be staying at the Marriott at the airport.Thanks!!
emnc is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 12:49 PM
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emnc, which airport are you staying at? Are you driving or flying to Chicago? If your hotel plans are flexible and you mostly plan to be near downtown, I would *strongly* suggest trying to get a hotel downtown instead. Hotwire or Priceline would be great for this. Though it's easy to get into town on the El from either O'Hare or Midway, it takes a long time and makes it very inconvenient to return to your hotel during the day. If you stay downtown there's no need to use a car, at least not for most tourist destinations (not sure about the hockey part).

However, if you need a car to get to the hockey location, that may change things.
jent103 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 12:51 PM
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("Long time" being about 35-40 minutes one way from Midway; I think O'Hare is a little closer to an hour, but I haven't done it.)
jent103 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 01:49 PM
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All your info is great. We are going to Chicago nest week-end, Friday to Monday (9th to 12th), and taking our 3 grandsons,13 and 14.

We plan to go to the Art Institute on Fri night and the Architectural cruise on Saturday morning.
The Shedd Aquarium is on our list as is Millennium Park, Navy Pier etc.
Now we want to focus on kid friendly restaurants (for teens).
Can you help?
We are staying at the Residence Inn on Michigan Avenue.
lovemykids is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 03:47 PM
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Ed Debevick's is a diner with singing wait staff that make it a lot of fun. Ben Pao is teen friendly Chinese. The restaurant at the Shedd is a good one. The Hard Rock Cafe is cool for teens. Ditka's and Harry Caray's for sports fans (but pricey). ESPN Zone for sports fanatics. Heaven on Seven if you have soul food fans. Plus, pizza, Italian Beef, Hot Dogs, etc. Very cool McDonalds on Ontario (you should see it).

It is a great food town. No one will leave hungry.
ChiDad is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 08:15 PM
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Do any of these need reservations?
lovemykids is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 04:13 AM
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jdent103 thanks for the info - hotel at O Hare is set - to be near the rink! So will be traveling downtown from there.
emnc is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 04:32 AM
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If the boys are up to dimsum, try Three Happiness on 2130 S. Wentworth Ave, across the Chinatown gate. It's right in front of the huge parking lot at the entrance to Chinatown. As you enter the restaurant, look for the stairs and go up the second floor which is where dimsum is served.

While it has zero ambiance, my kids think it's a load of fun and they eat as many dumplings as they can. My husband and I are the more adventurous eaters and will try anything on the carts, as long as it doesn't look like chicken feet!!!
gelatolover is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 05:17 AM
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Reservations would be necessary at Ben Pao, Ditka's and Harry Carray's for dinner. I think Ed's and Hard Rock are more like sign up when you get there.

For pizza, I'd recommend Giordano's but any Chicago pizza is fine with me.

For teen boys, the armor and battle gear on the first floor of the Art Institute are great. Don't miss them. There is also some great shopping on Michigan Ave. for guys. The Apple store and the Garmin store are right next to each other and the Nike store is very close. If weather isn't great, Navy Pier could be swithed to water Tower Place shopping and the food court there.

Have fun,

ChiDad is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 10:04 AM
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I'm really surprised that no one mentioned taking them up to the Signature Room for the luncheon buffet, too. (Weekdays are cheaper than weekends, BTW.) That's something that is suggested to most first-timers.

IMHO, your teens might want something a little - or a lot - different. (My bet is on the latter.) Keeping in mind that guys have different tastes than young ladies, as well.

My suggestions:

Andy's Jazz Club (River North) - Please see the information here on age restrictions on the FAQs page:

The Chicago Cultural Center (which is directly across the street from the north end of Millennium Park and 3 blocks south of the boarding area for the Chicago Architectural Cruise (Michigan/Wacker). Not only does it have *tons* of free concerts, special events, exhibits, programs, but there is a cafe there as well. See for information. You can even take a tour of the building to see the Tiffany domes and mosaics.

You've probably seen - or heard - that Rick Bayless won the Top Master Chefs competition. He has just opened a third restaurant featuring his take on Mexican street food (located next to Topolobampo and Frontera Grill) called Xoco. I really hesitate to mention this option since they've just opened and there can be issues with nonconsistency in restaurants which have just opened - and this was an anticipated new opening so there may be lines when you go - but think about it.

India House on Grand has a *huge* luncheon buffet, as well as a la carte. Just take a look at their menu (which features nearly 150 items).

Russian Tea Time is 1/2 block west of the Art Institute on Adams Street. Suggest you consider getting a combination platter to start and go from there.

Oysy serves both sushi and izagaya. There are a couple of locations - one in River North and one in the South Loop. You might wish to go to the South Loop if you are at the Art Institute.

Out of the "downtown area":

For lunch: Go to Argyle Street (from Sheridan to Broadway) for Vietnamese, French Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, or Chinese cuisine in the Uptown neighborhood. There are quite a number of restaurants and bakeries there. You can check Metromix, Chowhound, LTHforum or any number of websites to get more information. - or -

Go to the Lincoln Square neighborhood, for lunch or dinner. Lincoln Square has restaurants of many different cuisines, as well as shops - and the Old Town School of Folk Music.

If you don't feel comfortable going to these unknown neighborhoods by yourselves, you might consider getting the free Chicago Greeter service I've mentioned above for either area.
exiledprincess is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 10:18 AM
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Oops! That should be "Top Chef Masters" above. Moral of the story: Don't try to out-think your typing.
exiledprincess is offline  
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