Quick Chicago help

Feb 14th, 2008, 08:19 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5
Quick Chicago help

We are taking a last minute trip to Chicago this weekend Feb15-17 for a scuba convention. Would like to know what to do on Friday evening...looks like most of the museums are closed and Second City is fully booked...any suggestions?? We are not big drinkers or dancers. Also where is the best/cheapest place to park when visiting the Shedd Aquarium or Art Institute??
Where can we get great authentic Chicago Pizza near Millennium Park?
familymaker is offline  
Feb 14th, 2008, 08:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 670
If you will have a car, I have 2 suggestions for food that were memorable (& one has its own lot): Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder near Lincoln Park (they have a website & bar scene & atmosphere); The Art of Pizza (parking lot, no atmosphere) -- they have both authentic Chicago deep dish & stuffed pizza too. We got around with public transport but would have loved to have a car for these 2 locations. Yum!
laurieb_nyny is offline  
Feb 14th, 2008, 08:56 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,248
Giordano's has a location on Randolph; looks like about 7-8 blocks from Millennium Park. I prefer Lou Malnati's, but the closest location is north of the river (on N. Wells). Some people love Giordano's, some hate it... do a search and you'll find tons of info/debates on Chicago pizza. There are probably Geno's/Uno locations in the area as well.

As far as what to do Friday night, I'd just wander, myself. (Yes. It will be cold. So that suggestion is dependent on how tolerant of cold you are!) But I love seeing the buildings and parks at night. You might be able to get theater tickets if you're into that (there are several shows playing around town). Metromix (chicago.metromix.com) probably has some other suggestions specific to this weekend.

Can't help you on parking - sorry - but I'd use public transport for both anyway, unless there's a reason you need the car. It sounds like Millennium Park might be sort of a home base for you - the Art Institute is definitely walkable from there, and the Field/Shedd campus is easily accessible via bus. I forget which one(s), but the CTA web site's trip planner (transitchicago.com) is helpful.
jent103 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2008, 09:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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While Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder is one of our favorite Chicago pizza places, dating back from when we lived down the street from it, they do not take reservations and the wait on a Friday evening will be VERY long. I also wouldn't drive a car into Lincoln Park (the neighborhood that Pizza and Oven Grinder is in) on a Friday night, because finding parking will be a hassle. Just take the 151 bus north on Michigan Ave. and get out at Armitage or the stop one north of Armitage. Or a cab.

There's parking under Millennium Park, just north of the Art Institute. It's the most convenient, but not the cheapest. The cheapest would be not having a car! Shedd Aquarium probably has its own parking - I'm guessing, I've never driven to it.

I would also suggest Giordano's; the Randolph location is the one nearest Millennium Park. Or if you want to walk up Michigan Ave. (it's beautiful at night, with the lights on the trees), then you could go to the Giordano's at 730 N. Rush.
Lexma90 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2008, 11:42 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,569
Where will you be staying? If you'll be at a suburban hotel, you'd do better to leave your car there and take public transit to the loop.

If you do drive, the Soldier Field lots are closest to the Shedd and are $15. I'm not sure how full they will be this weekend with museum patrons plus the auto show crowd.

The Millennium Park or East Monroe Garages are a bit farther and charge around $20 for up to 24 hours but they may not be as crowded. You can enter either from Columbus Drive north of Monroe.

To reach the Shedd from Millennium Park, take the Number 146 bus southbound. You can catch it at any stop on State Street, two blocks west of Millennium Park.

As for other activities, there are several musicals playing currently. For theatre options, check www.chicagoplays.com.

The auto show is open until 10 pm Friday and Saturday and 8 pm on Sunday.

As for pizza, if you'll be in the Grant Park area, there's a Giordano's on E Lake and Beaubien. It's behind the Prudential Building across from Millennium Park. If you opt for Lou Malnati's, take the Brown Line L to Merchandise Mart and head north on Wells 1 block.

Normal transit fares are $2 per trip. If you decide to go the public transit route, buy a visitor pass. A 1-day pass is $5 and allows unlimited rides on all CTA trains and buses for 24-hours. A 2-day pass is $9 and a 3-day is $12.
Citylghts is offline  
Feb 14th, 2008, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,499
Why, laurieb_nyny, I am thrilled to see you recommend the Art of Pizza! It's my favorite, too, only I always get delivery, a luxury most travelers don't enjoy, unless they are staying on the north side. You'll be proud that you recommended them, too, because the Art of Pizza was rated #1 as Time Out Chicago's Deep Dish pick - as well as being chosen in the same position by the Chicago Tribune a while back.

Getting back to you, though, familymaker: I trust you know that you'll be fighting for restaurant tables with all those Valentine's Day procrastinators. I'd highly recommend reservations, if at all possible.

Note: There will be special performances at Millennium Park this weekend: the Lantern Festival (5 p.m. Feb. 15-17). Don't know if you'll be around for it but check it out if you do.

If you can get tickets for it, I highly recommend "Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Circus Tale" at the Lookingglass Theatre in the Water Tower Water Works (on N. Michigan Ave.).

Maybe you'd like to go to the theatre? You could stop by one of the Hottix locations and see what's available. In fact, why don't you just take a look online right now? Some you can even buy now.
exiledprincess is offline  
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