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Schaumberg to Chicago

Old Aug 10th, 2006, 07:41 AM
  #1  
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Schaumberg to Chicago

Hi,
I am planning for chicago sightseeing (with wife and 3yr kid) for 1.5days.Will reach/stay in Schaumberg (radisson hotel) on sept2nd by evening and need to start back to home on sept 4th by noon.
Looking for advice/tips to explore chicago.
Gone through info on web and thank you for this. Still not very clear, how to plan the visit, what "must see", how to travel into downtown and back. Is there any metro station near to my hotel. If possible, suggest a good plan. Thanks in advance
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Old Aug 10th, 2006, 11:58 AM
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From your location in Schaumburg...

You can catch a Metra train at Arlington Park station which any local should be able to direct you to.

I would suggest a plan but I am not clear on what you are interested in? 1.5 days is not a bunch and a bit of focusing is in order.

Museums? Lakefront? Boat trips? Architecture? Sears Tower/Hancock? Art? Shopping? Dining? Amusement park? Shed, Planitarium? Zoo? etc., etc.

What are your interests and what do you believe your 3 year old can handle?
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Old Aug 10th, 2006, 01:18 PM
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Is there a reason you are staying in Schaumburg? Getting a hotel in Chicago would be easier, if you plan on spending most of your time in Chicago.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 05:28 AM
  #4  
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Thanks placeu2,isabellasu for advices.
1.I have booked a hotel, due to budget constraints and for that long w/e, everything was either booked or over priced.
2. Is Metra train at Arlington Park station is walkable from the hotel? anyway, I do have rented car, can I park on station? Is it safe?
2. Our interest would be city-seeing, sears towers/park. Not much of shopping/art/architecture/dining. It will be afamily outing to enjoy a beatiful big city.
Will it be too windy weather in sept 1st week?
Looking for guidance.Thanks in advance.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 06:03 AM
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Arlington Park is not walkable but is very safe and easy to get to. About 3 miles from your Hotel.

Metra has a unlimited weekend pass for $5.00 per adult and kids ride free. Here is a link for the Metra line that you will use: http://metrarail.com/Sched/cnw_nw/cnw_nw.shtml

When you get to Ogilvie station, go out the Canal ST. door and walk South for 3 blocks to Adams and you will be at the Sears Tower. After doing that you can walk East on Adams and you will run into Michigan Avenue/Millenium Park/Grant Park/Lakefront area OR you can catch a water taxi at the river and Adams and get a ride to Navy Pier (about $6.00 ea.).

Standard big city alertness is always advised but all these areas are safe to walk in and through.

Remember to be aware of the return times on the train schedules. there are separate schedules for weekdays and weekends. That being a holiday weekend, you should expect some crowds.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 06:11 AM
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Forgot the wind question:

Impossible to predict and it doesn't really matter, it's not that bad.

Chicago is known as the "Windy City" because of its politicians back in the late 1800's shooting off their mouths vs NYC. That term came from some combination of the NYC politicians, press and socialites.

Nothing to do with the prevailing breezes!
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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Thanks a lot for info. Very useful.
Based on this, i am thinking following plan:
1.on 3rd sept,park car at arlington and catch train, at early morning.
2. see the sears towers and go for Michigan Avenue/Millenium Park/Grant Park/Lakefront area (are these all same area??, may be a silly Q, due to my first visit.)).
3. Should I spend whole day, after sears towers in above area?
4. some sites,mention to visit sears towers after 4pm. Do you really suggest same?? If so, whats best plan for morning?
5.Should I buy sear tower tickets in advance, due to crowd?
6. Is there anything, I can do on 2nd sept evening? (I will reach hotel by 4pm)
regards.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 06:40 AM
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Two things I have done with a child that age:

Millenium Park- let her experience the water fountains etc. (Bring a quick change of outfit.)

Shedd Aquarium- they have a tidal wall that our 3 year old thought was the best toy ever invented. Also she could hands on in their "touching" pools etc.

These are LOOP. Get a good, small plastic city block grid/map you can use. Hit the Cultural Center LOOP for questions or for some more input- then take a walk down State. State/Madison is zero North/South and zero East/West-stand under the clock. If you don't want to waste time getting West to Sears Tower, you may want to walk to John Hancock for the view.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 06:44 AM
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That's the rub, bond007.

If you stay in Schaumburg, lots of your time is wasted- like that evening. I'm sure you can dine, rest, but it is NOT Chicago.

Once you do it and see the distances and numbers of choices once you get here, you will see what I mean. I so wish I could help people to use Priceline or Hotwire and get downtown placement much more cheaply.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 06:54 AM
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I do agree with you JJ5, but my search gave me hotel range of some $150 per night in similar good hotels. Called up couple of hotels, but no room was available for that weekend.So end up booking in schaumberg.
Will try to njoy the trip to max limit, with the advices of experts like you.
Do I have buy the river taxi tickets / Metra weekend ticket in advance?
thanks.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 07:25 AM
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No, at the station. The only thing I might want to get tickets for in advance would be the Architectural River Tour if that is of interest. This does NOT go out on Lake Michigan through the locks, but down the Chicago River that has had its flow "reversed". Chicago Arch. Foundation has one as do others.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 07:28 AM
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You certainly can spend the day there and JJ5 makes a good point about the Shedd. Since shopping is not on your agenda, State and Madison may not do much for you.

I would do Sears Tower, catch the water taxi which will give you a nice river view of downtown. Research Navy Pier to see if there are things that you may want to do there...do the ferris wheel. catch another boat (narrated preferably) that will go down the lakefront and drop you off at the shedd aquarium. Do the shedd and wander about the lakefront, walk to Grant Park then Millenium and you are just a few blocks from the train.

Fill in as necessary with lunch, etc.

Tickets are available on the train or the Station (if it is open) and on the water taxi as well. No need for advanced purchase.

Schaumburg has plenty of dining options that night as well as one of the biggest malls in the country if you are not tired of walking by that time (for food and entertainment purposes). Check out this link all about the Schaumburg area. If you can't find IT around here it may not exist ;-)

http://www.visitgw.com/


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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 07:49 AM
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Great information and advice.
I checked for the shedd aqu. and boat tours on net. few more Q:
1. there are some 3 types of tickets (all access, only to aqa. etc) for shedd. which one should I go for?
2. So many boat operators and tons of tours on net. Any suggestion, which one should I opt for downtown view (particualrly in evening) from boat?
3. thanks for info on mall near hotel. Definitely I will check out that on 2nd sept even and will have nice dinner out.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 07:57 AM
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If your 3 yo gets tired of walking, there are free trolleys that stop at most of the major sights.

There are 4 routes. The maps are available on the Chicago Dept of Trans website. They run about every 15-20 minutes but can get crowded.

Three of the routes stop on Canal at Madison under the pedestrian bridge outside Ogilvie Station. The red route will take you to the Hancock Building and shopping districts on State Street and Michigan Avenue. The green route heads south to the museums and the yellow route goes to Navy Pier. There are guides/monitors at all the stops to answer questions.

If shopping is going to be a part of your plan, you may want to substitute the Hancock Building for Sears. It's in the midst of the Michigan Ave shopping district and you can walk to Navy Pier or Millennium/Grant Park from there.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 11:13 AM
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I like a lot of placeU2's itinerary. Here is the link for the water taxi
http://www.shorelinesightseeing.com

One thing that concerns me is timing the visit so that your daughter gets the most out of it. Navy Pier is a must; there is a great children's museum there that will keep her entertained for hours, and the water taxi ride will be great fun. After the Sears Tower, water taxi and Children's Museum, I would guess that she'll fall asleep, so going to the Shedd may be too much. You may well have had enough of the lake at this point. You can take the trolley to Michigan Avenue and walk south, seeing the stone fragments on the Tribune Tower and the other beautiful buildings, then end in Millennium Park, where there is a lot to see and do, including free concerts. The Cultural Center, across the street from Millennium Park at Randolph, is another place for free art exhibits and music. Stop someplace downtown for dinner - maybe Italian Village on Randolph, and you'll be within walking distance of the train station.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 11:34 AM
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Thanks for suggestions. Based on your thoughts, I was searching on web for info and noted that, on 2nd and 3rd sept, there is a fireworks at navy pier. Timings are 10.15pm and 9.30pm.
Pls advice me, whether can we enjoy that and get a train back to hotel that late? is it safe?
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 11:52 AM
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Sure, and there will be a CROWD on the train.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 11:57 AM
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There is a link to the metra schedule above. There are 10:30 and 12:30 trains on Saturday.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 12:24 PM
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As long as you and the 3 year old are OK with catching the 12:30 train.

That would be a really long day in my world. I have a 20 year old son who did that last weekend.

As much as I am a suburban guy, I recognize that somewhere in there is the value of staying downtown.

Please don't worry about safety, you are a long way from bad areas.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 02:30 PM
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You want the pass to the Shedd that will admit you to all the exhibits. The aquarium itself is ok, though not terribly exciting. However, the Oceanarium and other special exhibits are awesome.

I would reccomend the Hancock vs. the Sears Tower for an observation deck. There are more exhibits and arguably better views.

Once you get downtown, you can use the free trolleys to get around. Use this link for details.

http://tinyurl.com/ls6dv

I'm suprised you haven't mentioned pizza. Giordano's is the place to go.
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