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Philadelphia or Chicago

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Oct 29th, 2013, 09:21 AM
  #1
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Philadelphia or Chicago

We take each of our grandchildren on a short trip when they are teens---usually to a place that has some historical significance as well as some fun things to do. Spring 2014 we are taking our 14 year old granddaughter. We are considering Chicago or Philadelphia....will be there for 3-4 days. Which would you recommend and why---also what to see and do in each place.
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Oct 29th, 2013, 10:21 AM
  #2
 
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Where are you coming from? Flying, driving or taking a train?
Philadelphia has much more early American history than Chicago.
Which type of history do you want to show your granddaughter?
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Oct 29th, 2013, 11:46 AM
  #3
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We are flying in from Atlanta---type of history really doesn't matter--mainly looking for something a little educational. We've done early American history, museums, battleships, current events, landmark sites, etc with the others. But nothing too heavy...we want her to enjoy it and get some educational benefit from it.
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Oct 29th, 2013, 11:47 AM
  #4
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Also like theater and music...
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Oct 29th, 2013, 12:18 PM
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Philadelphia obviously has many early American historical sites, very worthwhile. Chicago is known for it's architecture. The Chicago fire occurred as the skyscrapper was being developed, thus Chicago is a city filled with memorable architecture. You really can't go wrong. My grandkids have enjoyed both but they all really love Chicago.
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Oct 29th, 2013, 12:20 PM
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We took our kids (aged 13.5 and 16.5 at the time) to Chicago and they really enjoyed it. There are some great museums and attractions there. Our favorites were the Shedd Aquarium, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Field Museum. If she enjoys art, the Art Institute is a must. (I loved it!) We also had a fun afternoon at the Lincoln Park Zoo and an evening at the Navy Pier. We aren't shoppers, but if your granddaughter is, then the Magnificient Mile would be fun. Take a look at getting a City Pass before you go. We found it saved us some money and a lot of time (that would have been spent standing in line.)

Chicago is a big theatre town, so you should find some good plays to see there. We actually took our kids to see "The Best of Second City" one evening and it was a blast! I think their FAQ's recommend the shows for age 16 or older, but there wasn't anything in the show we saw that my 13 year old hadn't already seen and heard at school!
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Oct 29th, 2013, 12:50 PM
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I like both cities, but would go with Philadelphia for your specific purpose of US history. Society Hill, Independence Hall, some of the streets in Center City ooze 13-colonies history so much you can almost imagine Ben Franklin walking in them. The art museum is incredible.
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Oct 29th, 2013, 01:27 PM
  #8
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Spring can be really beautiful in Philadelphia. And, while it is indeed saturated with colonial/Revolutionary era history, there is also the later history of the Underground Railroad, industrialization, the Gilded Age (just check out City Hall!) and so forth. Of course, there are a lot of fun things, too; shopping, theaters, farmers' markets, unique museums, the Magic Garden...

Check out www.visitphilly.com

(and perhaps take a peek at http://missalg.tumblr.com/ )
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Oct 29th, 2013, 04:14 PM
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Philadelphia Mayor Nutter's slogan is "Love where you live," and I most definitely do. However, you won't go wrong with either city. Depending on your interests, I'll be more than glad to answer questions on visiting Philly, if that's what you decide.
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Oct 30th, 2013, 09:33 PM
  #10
 
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Have you considered asking your granddaughter which city she would prefer? At 14 she is old enough to google information and have input as to which place would interest her more. IMO you can't go wrong with either city.
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Oct 30th, 2013, 09:33 PM
  #11
 
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Have you considered asking your granddaughter which city she would prefer? At 14 she is old enough to google information and have input as to which place would interest her more. IMO you can't go wrong with either city.
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Oct 30th, 2013, 10:01 PM
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If you go with Chicago, there is the whole Frank Lloyd Wright aspect with Oak Park. In some ways that is early 20th Century history.
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Oct 31st, 2013, 06:04 AM
  #13
 
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I like both, but I give the edge to Phila, based on diversity and historical attractions.
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Oct 31st, 2013, 08:56 AM
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The weather tends to be milder in Philadelphia in that season.

If Philadelphia, don't miss the Barnes Collection (reservations required).
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Oct 31st, 2013, 07:27 PM
  #15
 
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And if you choose Philly, be sure to see the wonderful thread here on Fodors about best food experiences in Philly. Amy's better than I am at posting links to other Fodors threads...Amy, or somebody?

I think Philly's fun for that age group, it's such a manageable city. And you can take the Philly Phlash bus from the many historical places in Old City all the way up to where the art museum is, with the lovely Fairmount Park behind it. There are a lot of small offbeat museums to choose from, as well as the traditional Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall, etc.

Of course, I grew up in Philly and after 28 years away am back in the area, whereas I've only been to Chicago once, so I'm completely biased. Maybe read some trip reports here on Fodors from both cities, and have your granddaughter do so as well, and see what tickles your fancies most! (did I really just use that old expression, lol)
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Oct 31st, 2013, 07:56 PM
  #16
Amy
 
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Shazam!

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...iladelphia.cfm

(Alas, Naked Chocolate is no more. Major Alas, actually. But there are still a plethora of wonderful food experiences, for sure.)
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Nov 4th, 2013, 05:33 PM
  #17
 
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Historical Significance: Philadelphia wins
Fun things to do: Chicago wins

I think a 14-year old girl would love The Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park, a segway tour along the lake (my 70+ year old mother enjoyed it too), walking along Astor street (mansions) at night, etc. I think it has a younger, edgier feel to it than Philly.
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Nov 4th, 2013, 06:08 PM
  #18
Amy
 
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I see your fun and raise you a Segway Cheesesteak Tour, South Street, the Magic Gardens, Reading Terminal, the Italian Market, a haunted Penitentiary, Shofuso, Chinatown, and the Hyrtl skulls (you can adopt one!) at the Mutter Museum. Plus hiking or biking in Fairmount Park, mini golf through a mini-Philadelphia in Franklin Square, Ride the Ducks, afternoon tea at Four Seasons...Yeah, I think there's a lot of fun stuff for a 14 year old!
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Nov 5th, 2013, 07:12 AM
  #19
 
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I want to go mini golfing in a mini-Philadelphia! I'd never even heard of that, that's so cool!
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Nov 5th, 2013, 10:28 AM
  #20
 
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Love both but my vote goes to Chicago. I think a 14 year old girl would really love it.
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