Questions about tourist spots in Chicago…

Dec 15th, 2001, 06:46 AM
  #1  
S.
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Questions about tourist spots in Chicago…

I am visiting Chicago next week with my husband and 3 year old daughter. We’re staying at the Knickerbocker which is on Walton Place. We have many things planned to do. We want to go the Art Institute, Children’s Museum, MSI, Christmas Market/Daley Plaza, Sears Tower and Shedd Aquarium. We also want to go to the American Girl Store, see the store windows of Marshal Fields and take a Hansom Cab ride. Can anyone give me their input on what on this list should definitely stay or go? I was thinking about not doing the Sears Tower or is it a "must see?" Any suggestions for places that I haven’t thought of would also be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your advice!!!
 
Dec 15th, 2001, 06:58 AM
  #2  
Mrs. O'L.
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Pass up the Sears Tower, perhaps in favor of the Hancock Tower. I prefer the vantage point and view from the Hancock, you don't have to put up with some of the Sears tower brou-haha PR stuff, and there's even a moderately decent restaurant up there, although not nec. great for a 3-yr. old.

Also, the view back to the skyline from the Planetarium/Aquarium is spectacular, esp. at dusk, and there might be a few things in the Planetarium to interest your daughter, although I wouldn't recommend the show, she's too young.

In any case, don't miss the Shedd Aquarium, but get there early or consider buying a membership -- the lines can be long.

 
Dec 15th, 2001, 11:34 AM
  #3  
patg
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Mrs. O'L gave great advice - Sears Tower is NOT a must-see, it's out of the way and it is boring to young kids. The Hancock observatory can be squeezed in when you have a chance - it's right around the corner from your hotel. Or, if your daughter will nap in her stroller, slip up to the Signature Room on the 95th for a drink. The restaurant does have a kids menu, but you may have to wait and it isn't a great place for young ones.
Children's Museum would be my number one recommendation for this age. You can easily spend all day there. Navy Pier has added a bunch of winter playground attractions that also sound good for a 3 year old.
Art Institute has a kids center, called the Kraft, downstairs in the part of the building that fronts Michigan Avenue. The Corner Bakery across the street is good for kids.
Museum of Science and Industry is a great museum, very large, and not pitched toward preschoolers. I would save it for when she's older. The Field Museum (natural history) is usually a hit with younger kids, and takes less time. It's also more convenient to downtown. The other recommendation I would add is our Lincoln Park Zoo, which is small enough that you can dash from house to house to see the animals. Nearby is the new Peggy Notebaert Museum, a very good choice for young children.
 
Dec 15th, 2001, 12:39 PM
  #4  
SMH
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Skip the Tower. Just a warning, American Girl Place is great, but plan to wait. It will be packed (especially just before xmas!) Same with Fields and Watertower. The Kindlemart at Daley Plaza is an authentic German outdoor market, kind of cool to see, but not necessarily a Chicago icon (new in the last 6 years to us). Shedd will be fun for kids. Same with Navy Pier as someone mentioned. Also, the Lincoln Park Zoo usually has a Zoo Lights festival at night which is fun with some hot chocolate. Have fun.
 
Dec 15th, 2001, 01:02 PM
  #5  
Dottie
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Does your daughter have an American Girl doll? If so bring her. We took our granddaughter to American Girl but did not make reservations at the restaurant and she looked longingly at the people dining there. They put the dolls in a highchair at your table. It is a Mom and daughter or grandmom and daughter thing. If you can make afternoon reservations for lunch and think your daughter is old enough to enjoy it, by all means do so.
 
Dec 15th, 2001, 02:39 PM
  #6  
S.
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The Sears Tower is now scratched from the list. We may or may not go to the American Girl Store; It’s on the “B” list. My daughter loves dolls, but is not particularly into the American Girl dolls and if it is as crowded as the above poster described I suspect it won’t be worth the effort. We also may wait to go to MSI (which looks like a wonderful museum) until she is a little older. This is our first trip to Chicago, but we plan to visit again next summer or fall.

Do you think I will have any trouble finding a Hansom cab? I’m guessing that they will be all over the place, but wanted to make sure. I think that will be the highlight of the visit for my little girl.

Thanks for everyone’s help.

 
Dec 15th, 2001, 03:10 PM
  #7  
Dottie
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If you like Greek food, one of our favorite places in Greek town (any cab driver can take you there) is the Parthanon. It is noisey but fun and your 3yr old can go with you. Order the flaming cheese an when they deliver and light it, yell....UMPAH!! We love Chicago and walking Michigan Blvd. On Michigan Blvd right by the river,check out the building across the street from the Wrigley Building...it has stones in it's walls from all over the world.
 
Dec 15th, 2001, 05:10 PM
  #8  
patg
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Hansom cabs are available at several places along Michigan Avenue. Check this site
http://www.ci.chi.il.us/Tourism/ThingsToDo/Tours.html
the company names and locations are almost at the bottom of the page. I would call the company to ask about their hours and if you can reserve in advance.
As another poster mentioned, North Michigan Avenue is a crush of people on the week before Christmas. Get past the bottleneck at Michigan between Chicago and Pearson by going out the back door of Water Tower Place (on the east side) and down the walkway through the children's playground. The Museum of Contemporary Art is there, also.
 
Dec 16th, 2001, 08:29 AM
  #9  
S.
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Thank you everyone for your very helpful responses... I can hardly wait to visit Chicago!!!
 
Dec 16th, 2001, 03:35 PM
  #10  
Debbie
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I would definitely recommend the Shedd Aquarium for a visit.I would also encourage you to have lunch there. There are actually 2 levels of dining that have the most magnificent views of the Chicago skyline: the upper level is cloth tablecloth type place that is catered by Marriott (great food and has a waitstaff) and the bottom level is a food court(pizza,sandwiches,desserts,hot entrees,etc.)that you serve yourself. Either way,it is a treat and I think that your daughter would love it.I would encourage you to go to the Shedd when you can see the Oceanarium shows(dolphin,otters,etc. each have a different time for show presentations although you can see them in their area at anytime).There is a new exhibit that opened last year called Amazon Rising that is wonderful for all ages.The big coral reef in the center of the aquarium is terrific and when the divers go in to feed the fish,turtles,sharks,etc.-everybody cannot take their eyes off the reef.It is definitely kid-friendy but appeals to all ages. It is not your usual aquarium! Enjoy.........
 
Dec 17th, 2001, 05:27 AM
  #11  
Rachel
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Your'e getting great ideas. Here's a fun place for lunch or dinner. Ed Debevics (I believe it's on Ohio Street). It's a 50s style diner with very entertaining waiters and waitresses, who will gently tease you (it used to be much worse, but our most recent waitress told us they have to tone it down because some people didn't see the humor), and sing and dance on the lunch counter. we were there on a Tuesday and it turned out the prices on mnay dishes were rolled back to 1984 prices. Also, be sure to get the world's smallest sundae for dessert. It really is the perfect size dessert after a big dinner. wear a poodle skirt if you have it.
 
Dec 17th, 2001, 07:00 AM
  #12  
TrojanHorse
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Dottie: Just an FTI - it's opah- not umpah.
 
Dec 17th, 2001, 08:07 AM
  #13  
xxx
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Funny, I always thought they were saying, "Oprah!"
 
Dec 17th, 2001, 11:05 AM
  #14  
gobstopper
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Oprah! Oprah! Oprah-dee-doo!
I've got another puzzle for you!
 
Dec 17th, 2001, 01:49 PM
  #15  
pj
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Try metromix.com it will tell you everything going on in Chi-town!! Navy Pier is a must-they also have free plays in center court which are verry fun and how about ice skating it is right there too! We will be there 12/23/ and it is always the best way to get in the Christmas spirit!!
 
Dec 17th, 2001, 01:54 PM
  #16  
pj
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1 more thing the Goodman theater is doing Christmas plays written by children for little ones might be something to look into!
 
Dec 17th, 2001, 04:45 PM
  #17  
Chicagoan
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You're both wrong. Its opaa!
 
Dec 17th, 2001, 05:17 PM
  #18  
S.
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Thanks PJ, I will look into that... I looked at their website and they had a perfomance called "The Christmas that Almost Wasn't" that they say is appropriate for 3 year olds and up, but they didn't have a scheduale. We leave in the morning so I think I will just give them a call when we get into town tomorrow. Thanks again to everybody for their helpful responses.
 

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