Short trip to Chicago

Old Nov 22nd, 2006, 03:03 PM
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Short trip to Chicago

We are a group of friends (guys and gals in mid twenties, 8 in number) planning to drive to Chicago from Bloomington, IL this Saturday (11/25). This is our first time to Chicago and are interested in seeing places like Sears tower, Millenium park etc. We are arriving in Chicago on Saturday noon and staying that night and starting back on Sunday afternoon. Any suggestions on the places that we could see that Chicago is known for? We are not much into museums or historical places. Please suggest something that we can do together and have fun. Yes, as you can see this is an impromptu trip and all your suggestions are valuable.

Thanks much!
Dexplorer is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2006, 03:45 AM
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Too bad you don't like museums, because that's one of the best reasons to visit Chicago. Where are you staying in Chicago? If you park downtown, you'll pay a hefty price for it. With the little time you have, your plan to visit the Sears tower and Millenium Park should just about do it. If you have additional time, the shopping on Michigan Ave. is great. The restaurants are great too - we like Weber's Grill at State and Grand. For fun, go to Ed Debevics at 640 N Wells.
Have a good time.
WanderWoman is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2006, 03:56 AM
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As my own kids in their thirties, I hesitate to make recommendations other than to send you to this website for reference. It's organized by categories and will give you locations and distances from other sites too.
Retired_teacher is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2006, 04:10 AM
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Well, first expect very large crowds on State Street and on the Magnificient Mile during the main part of the days that weekend - probably somewhat lesser on Sunday mornings.

So, my first suggestion is that if you wish to see the Macy's Christmas windows on State, go very early on Sunday or very late on Saturday night (after 9-9:30 pm). Ditto with walking the Magnificient Mile. And for the great tree in Macy's, there is an observation area the floor above it - get there earlier than 10 am or after 5 pm for lesser crowds.

Secondly, with that out of the way, I'd suggest taking advantage of seeing Millennium Park both during the day (for photo ops) and at night.

So what to do during the day, since you'll be hiding out from the crowds? Well, you can still go shopping, but just stay off Michigan Avenue and State Street as much as possible. For example, Macy's has doors on Wabash (and you'll be walking right under the El tracks in that area). And if you walk Rush (or State Street) north from, say, Ohio - where the Harley Davidson, ESPNZone, Heaven on Seven restaurant, etc. are, you'll see quite a few interesting shops on those streets - then can pop over to N. Michigan Avenue briefly for the bigger ones.

The things that I would recommend for your first time in Chicago are these: The Art Institute (do go even though you don't have any interest in the museums, please);

Having drinks in the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Building;

Going to the Green Mill for jazz (take the Red Line to Lawrence - 1 block away) and Marigold Indian Restaurant in the very near vicinity is one of the hotter restaurants to go to in town now;

You might like to go to Blue Man Group at the Briar Street Theatre (in Lakeview) - take the Red Line to the Belmont station - couple blocks away. If you do decide to go, try going to the Lincoln Park Conservatory for the Winter Flower Show (with miniature trains winding among 100s of poinsettas and other flowers - closes at 5pm - free) and the Lincoln Park Zoo Zoolights (starts at 5pm - free). In fact, what I'd do is take the Red Line north from downtown to Addison and get off there first - it's right at Wrigley Field - take some photos, maybe do a little shopping or barhopping - then jump on the Red Line and go south to Belmont (next stop) to do the above stuff.

Downtown: the Christkindl Market is at Daley Plaza - 2 blocks west of State Street.

Walk along the lakefront. Best place would be to go north from the Drake (on N. Michigan Avenue) - cross Oak Street and head up the lakefront from there.

Places to forego with such a short period of time: Sears Tower (unless you do it late, late in the evening) - sorry, you'll be waiting in LONG lines and wasting precious time. Navy Pier - geared for families - unless you want to go to the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre or the Stained Glass Window Museum.

For your Sunday Brunch: If you are downtown and looking for something more casual, I'd go to Orange on Harrison.

If you wanted something more special downtown, Bistro 110 (just west from the Borders on N. Michigan) has a nice jazz brunch.

If you wanted something more upscale, the loveliest spot in the city for that is North Pond, which is in Lincoln Park (the neighborhood and the park) on the north end of the lagoon. If the weather is decent (and it may be on Sunday), take a short stroll along the lagoon - on the east side. Go south and you'll end up at the Peggy Nortbaert Nature Museum - just north on Fullerton from the Lincoln Park Conservatory (mentioned above).

In brief, you won't have any problems finding things to do around town. Just try to avoid those crowds and use that short amount of time you are here wisely. Have Fun!!
exiledprincess is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2006, 07:20 AM
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Thanks for the info, exiledprincess, as I am also looking for things to do on a short trip to Chicago.
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