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-   -   Whirlwind Chicago trip - "Hamilton" and ??? (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/whirlwind-chicago-trip-hamilton-and-1653908/)

scdreamer May 28th, 2018 06:23 PM

Whirlwind Chicago trip - "Hamilton" and ???
 
I am taking my daughter to Chicago (we both live in California) for a Tuesday-to-Thursday get-away trip to celebrate her 36th birthday in July. She hasn't been away from her family since her first of three children was born more than ten years ago, and we are both very excited to have this mother-daughter adventure. The last time we had this kind of time together was when I took her apartment hunting in San Diego - for college - about 18 years ago.

I have visited Chicago; last time was about 12 years ago - but my daughter has never been there.

We will arrive at Midway the very late afternoon on Tuesday - I splurged for very good "Hamilton" seats at CIBC Theater on Wednesday night - and we are thinking of doing an architectural boat tour Thursday morning, as our flight doesn't go out of Midway until late afternoon.

Looking for suggestions for a nice hotel in the downtown area - also a special restaurant for before the show starts Wednesday (7:30 p.m.).

Any suggestions for the full day on Wednesday are welcome - we enjoy walking, history, cultural offerings, and seeing the local sights.

5alive May 29th, 2018 01:04 AM

The Palmer House is an icon. Might be too pricy, but at least check.

iowamom May 29th, 2018 05:00 AM

Hamilton is wonderful - you will love it! Same for the Architectural boat tour.

If you are at all into shopping, I would just spend the open day wandering up and down Michigan avenue. There is a Restoration Hardware in a gorgeous old building: https://www.restorationhardware.com/...jsp?id=chicago ... worth it just to check out the building!

Another favorite for lingering is Eataly!

We usually pick a hotel based on price... no favorites to suggest. There are a million great restaurants as well... preferences for price / cuisine?

starrs May 29th, 2018 05:39 AM

It sounds like a great trip. Enjoy Hamilton!
I stayed at the Palmer House recently and really enjoyed it. I agree with 5alive.
If either of you have interest in Frank Lloyd Wright, his home and studio is nearby. I took a tour and really enjoyed it and plan to return to see more of his homes. I only had time to drive around the neighborhood but loved having lunch in Oak Park also. Charming.
https://flwright.org/visit/homeandstudio

Bitter May 29th, 2018 06:59 AM

I wouldn't go out to Oak Park on that short of a visit. I respectfully suggest that you go to Fodor's city guide (on the website) and get some ideas there, then come back and pose some more specific questions.

gardendiva May 29th, 2018 12:21 PM

I personally enjoy The River Hotel on Wacker Drive just east of Michigan Ave. Being just off the corner of Michigan Ave and the river, it is very centrally located. The rooms are on the small side but sufficient.

Don't miss the Tiffany Ceiling at the Cultural Center. Just walk in, no admission.

I second Eataly for lunch. My favorite Italian restaurant is Volare on St Clair.

TDudette May 29th, 2018 12:32 PM

How wonderful of you to treat your DD so well, scdreamer!

Here's my TR for what it's worth:

chicagotrio2017.blogspot.com/

I had a lovely lunch at the Terza Piano in the Art Institute. There is a ramp (Plano Bridge) on that level to Millenium Park.

Have a super time.

TDudette May 29th, 2018 12:46 PM

Try this:

https://chicagotrio2017.blogspot.com/

starrs May 31st, 2018 08:27 PM


Originally Posted by Bitter (Post 16737457)
I wouldn't go out to Oak Park on that short of a visit..

Then don't.
I did because I enjoy visiting FLW's homes and buildings. Even to the point of taking trips JUST to see them.
Hence the preface, "If either of you have interest in Frank Lloyd Wright, his home and studio is nearby."

dfrostnh Jun 1st, 2018 03:13 AM

I've enjoyed two free walking tours with Chicago City Greeters. You have to register several weeks in advance so they can match you up with a volunteer. Go to the website for a list of suggestions. Oops, their website has changed so the list of suggested neighborhoods isn't easily found. Tours are 2-4 hours and it will just be you and your daughter on the tour.

HappyTrvlr Jun 1st, 2018 07:28 AM

For a nice hotel, look at the well located Sofitel. For your early pre theater dinner near the hotel, we enjoy B istronomic and Le Colonial( Colonial French-Vietnamese) . You are going to love Hamilton!

sf7307 Jun 1st, 2018 08:39 AM

Just wanted to say we saw Hamilton in Chicago last summer and it was great (long story, but we also snagged great face-value tickets - center orchestra, row F).

I highly recommend downloading the libretto and reading it from beginning to end. The words are [obviously] so important and they're not always that easy to follow (in any musical).

https://mic.com/articles/125851/hami...cal#.OznQpwNAS

iowamom Jun 1st, 2018 03:03 PM

We actually read the Hamilton synopsis on wikipedia the night before we saw it - it helped immensely! DD had been listening to the soundtrack non-stop but without knowing which character was singing, it didn't make a whole lot of sense.

scdreamer Jun 3rd, 2018 09:45 AM

Thanks for all the info on Hamilton and the best ways to enjoy it. I know I will love it - because this will not be my first time to see it ;) My husband and I did a faux jet-setter one-day trip to Salt Lake City about a month ago to see the Broadway On Tour show there. I loved it, and am excited to share it with my daughter. I got us first row seats in the Dress Circle - splurged here, because I understand that some of the seats in the CIBC theater are not the greatest, especially if one is seated under an overhang. I do have the libretto - as I bought the soundtrack CD, and have been reading along. Yes, the actual lyrics are important to following the storyline - not to mention amazing!

So far - I've chosen La Quinta Inn and Suites Downtown - not the fanciest, but good location for us, and it's been recently remodeled, so it's clean. I've found that sometimes the older more traditional hotels in big cities can end up being a little ... well, shabby, and the rooms on the small side. We're going to have a pre-theater dinner at Trattoria No. 10 - we both like Italian food, and it's within walking distance to CIBC. Has pretty good reviews, too.

I've taken the Greeters tours before in Chicago and also in NYC - I really enjoyed them, but since we're hoping to be a little more unscheduled, I signed us up for a free walking tour (Free Tours By Foot) for Wednesday morning. We can easily cancel if our plans change.

I'd like to make it to Driehaus Museum Driehaus Museum later that afternoon, if time permits. When I was last in Chicago about 12 years ago, the Tiffany glass museum was open on Navy Pier, but I see it's no longer there. Driehaus would be a good alternate, I think. If the weather is unsettled, this might be a good thing, too.

Planning to do an architectural boat tour Thursday morning before we head back to the airport for our late afternoon flight. Does anyone have a favorite company for this? The best time for us would probably be 10 or 10:30 a.m. - there appear to be a number of choices for this tour.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and information!

sf7307 Jun 3rd, 2018 09:58 AM

We stayed at the Residence Inn Loop last visit and it was perfect (only a block from the LaQuinta you've chosen -- they're both an easy walk to the theater and lots else!)

andrews98682 Jun 15th, 2018 12:57 AM

For for the boat tour, I would recommend the Chicago Architecture Foundation tour. For Wednesday, I would go to the Art Institute and see Millenium Park and Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain. The Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium are great, and there’s a great view of the city along the waterfront behind the Shedd.



Originally Posted by scdreamer (Post 16740348)
Thanks for all the info on Hamilton and the best ways to enjoy it. I know I will love it - because this will not be my first time to see it ;) My husband and I did a faux jet-setter one-day trip to Salt Lake City about a month ago to see the Broadway On Tour show there. I loved it, and am excited to share it with my daughter. I got us first row seats in the Dress Circle - splurged here, because I understand that some of the seats in the CIBC theater are not the greatest, especially if one is seated under an overhang. I do have the libretto - as I bought the soundtrack CD, and have been reading along. Yes, the actual lyrics are important to following the storyline - not to mention amazing!

So far - I've chosen La Quinta Inn and Suites Downtown - not the fanciest, but good location for us, and it's been recently remodeled, so it's clean. I've found that sometimes the older more traditional hotels in big cities can end up being a little ... well, shabby, and the rooms on the small side. We're going to have a pre-theater dinner at Trattoria No. 10 - we both like Italian food, and it's within walking distance to CIBC. Has pretty good reviews, too.

I've taken the Greeters tours before in Chicago and also in NYC - I really enjoyed them, but since we're hoping to be a little more unscheduled, I signed us up for a free walking tour (Free Tours By Foot) for Wednesday morning. We can easily cancel if our plans change.

I'd like to make it to Driehaus Museum Driehaus Museum later that afternoon, if time permits. When I was last in Chicago about 12 years ago, the Tiffany glass museum was open on Navy Pier, but I see it's no longer there. Driehaus would be a good alternate, I think. If the weather is unsettled, this might be a good thing, too.

Planning to do an architectural boat tour Thursday morning before we head back to the airport for our late afternoon flight. Does anyone have a favorite company for this? The best time for us would probably be 10 or 10:30 a.m. - there appear to be a number of choices for this tour.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and information!


Marija Jun 16th, 2018 02:18 PM

I highly recommend the tour that is sponsored and staffed by the Chicago Architectural Foundation. The commentary on the imitation tours is just not as good.
https://www.cruisechicago.com/archit...SAAEgLDz_D_BwE

scdreamer Jun 16th, 2018 07:25 PM

I am definitely going to book the Chicago Architectural Foundation tour - planning for Thursday morning, but waiting until we're closer to the trip to determine if the weather is better on Wed or Thurs, as we can do either. The website shows when tickets are getting close to sold out for a particular time, so I'll also keep an eye on that.


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