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Old 01-31-2010, 10:04 AM  
BigRedChief BigRedChief is offline
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Going to Chicago. What do I need to do? Avoid?

Going to Chicago for a little 4 day vacation(Thrusday - Sunday) on spring break. Going to the Bulls vs. Cleveland NBA game and see Lebron, Derrick Rose, Shaq etc on Friday night. What is the can't miss "stuff" in Chicago? Avoid? opinions welcome...

Staying downtown at the Allerton hotel.

Any Planeteers want to get together?
--------------------------------------------------------------------
03/22/2010 edit to pay it forward for future chicago visitors:
Transportation:
Definitely take the trains and bus’s if you are planning to spend a lot of time downtown. We saved a fortune in cabs. Get the CTA pass and you can get on how ever many buses, trains, transfers etc that you want for how many days you purchase. http://faremedia.chicago-card.com/store/main.aspx?DepartmentId=34 Check the schedule and plan your route out:
http://www.transitchicago.com/travel_information/maps/default.aspxhttp://www.transitchicago.com/riding_cta/populardestinations.aspx

We arrived at 8:00 at the O’Hara airport and not taking the train would have been a disaster. They highways are parking lots that time of the day. We flew out of Midway on the way out and took a cab out there to the airport.
We really enjoyed riding the bus’s and talking to the locals. They gave us great tips on where to eat etc.

You don’t need a car. If you are driving, there is no where to park and where there is parking is very expensive and driving downtown is dangerous trying to navigate all those cabs and buses? Not for the weak of heart.

Attractions:
Get the Go Chicago card: Saved us a ton of money on admission fees but more importantly we avoided the lines at the attractions to get tickets. It was snowing and the line to get into the Field museum was over an hour and a half to just get tickets to get into the museum. The lines to get tickets are long. Get your tickets in advance.
http://www.smartdestinations.com/chicago-attractions-and-tours/_d_Chi-p1.html?pass=Chi_Prod_Go

Sears Tower: Was cool but if you have to wait an hour or two? Question the value. The ledge is really cool. Nothing between you and the street 103 stories up but some Plexiglas. It’s an experience you can’t get anywhere else in the world.

John Hancock observatory: We actually liked it better than the Sears tower because of the better ocean and beach views. They have something cool there, a skywalk 93 stories up that you can walk along that is exposed to the wind, temperatures etc 93 floors up. Just some mesh screen between you and the sky.

Science and Industry museum: We all felt that this was the best of all the museums. You have to see the U-Boat. It’s another one of those you can only experience in Chicago things.

Millennium Park: The silver bean was really cool. Seems like a real simple thing but once you get there and see it up close you understand the draw the bean has for people. Make sure you go underneath the bean and check it out. Looks like a wonderful place to watch a concert.

Shedd Aquarium: We were disappointed in this one. Maybe we are just spoiled but we thought the Aquarium in Omaha was much better.

The Field museum: Another disappointment. Sue the T-Rex was really cool but the rest of the museum left us flat. Seemed really educational for kids but for us adults we would like to have seen more exhibits than some pottery.

Chicago Bulls game: We decided to take the bus out there. Straight shot to and from downtown. Not really a bad seat in the house. The mascot seems to be pretty athletic and entertaining. Highly recommend getting one of the monster dogs.

Navy Pier: We went there and it was cold. Looks like a great place to visit in the warm weather.

Second City: We saw “Rush Limbaugh, the musical”. Barney Frank, Hillary, Dancing Ronald Reagan’s…Very funny stuff. Had a bit in there when Rush with the Royals and George Brett on a toilet with hemorrhoids. Highly recommend checking out a show there.

The Art Institute: A wonderful place to see art. So many Picasso’s, Monet’s and Van Gough’s you can’t really appreciate them fully like if some were here in KC just because of the sheer volume of masterpieces in one place. Very impressive collection. We also enjoyed seeing the American Gothic and some American art.
http://www.artic.edu/aic/

Eats:
Ginos East: Great pizza. Love the crust. We went to the one on Shapiro and it has all the walls filled with customer graffiti. Not living off its past reputation. My son thought it was the best pizza ever.

Giordanos: on Shapiro, Excellent deep dish pizza here also. Better than anything you can get in KC. Try sprinkling a little Italian herb seasoning on the pizza here.
http://www.giordanos.com/locations.html

West Egg: Breakfast by the doubletree. Reasonable prices and great food. Everything we had was good.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/west-egg-cafe-chicago-2

Yokes: Breakfast on Lake Shore drive. Best crepes we have ever had. Very good food.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/yolk-chicago-2

Quaritinos: Best meal in Chicago. Very trendy and hip place but don’t let that push you away. You order 5-6 things and share them. Ravioli, Brusheta and the Bananas foster desert were our favorites but everything we had was real flavorful and well prepared. http://www.quartinochicago.com/


Lodging:
We stayed at the Allerton hotel downtown. I would highly recommend if you are coming to Chicago and you are going to do these things listed above to stay downtown. This was a great hotel. If you can’t afford the downtown rates just take the train into the city and go from there.

Last edited by BigRedChief; 03-22-2010 at 10:07 AM..
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:46 AM   #106
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Last edited by BigRedChief; 02-01-2010 at 10:41 AM..
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:50 AM   #107
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Lived there 2 years. Go back once a summer. Love it. Must go to:
Giordanos Pizza
Museum of science and industry
XOCO (sandwich place)
Als #1 beef sandwiches
Carmines
ESPN sportzone is kinda fun. Nothing to really "avoid"
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:00 AM   #108
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I also like the Weber Grill restaurant in downtown Chicago. I don't think that has been mentioned in this thread.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:12 AM   #109
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Navy Pier - biggest waste of time ever.

I went there and rode the ferris wheel when it first opened and i was younger.

Hated it then. Still hate it now.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:40 AM   #110
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Thinking of getting one of these pass's to avoid ticket lines and save some bucks.

http://www.smartdestinations.com/chicago-attractions-and-tours/_d_Chi-p1.html?pass=Chi_Prod_Go


Adler Planetarium
Located on Lake Michigan and voted 'Best View of Chicago's Skyline,' the Adler features the fully-restored Gemini 12 spacecraft flown by NASA astronauts Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin. The capsule is the more...
Arlington Park
Internationally acclaimed as one of racing's most beautiful settings, Arlington Park hosted its inaugural meet in 1927 and re-opened its doors in 1989 after a devastating fire engulfed the clubhouse f more...
Chicago Architecture Foundation
The Chicago Architecture Foundation is your gateway to discovering Chicago's world-renowned architecture. Start your visit at the orientation center which features a large scale model of downtown Chic more...
Chicago Childrens Museum
Chicago Children's Museum is the place where play and learning connect! Only at CCM can you scale a towering schooner, build a tall skyscraper to add to the Skyline, dig for bones in a Dinosaur Expedi more...
Chicago History Museum
The Chicago History Museum is a visitor's first stop in discovering the rich and vibrant history of Chicago. Showcasing items from a 22 million-piece collection, the Museum is also home to a world-ren more...
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Tour
This unusual complex served as Wright's private residence and studio for the first 20 years of his career, 1889-1909. Wright used his home as an architectural laboratory, trying out design concepts be more...
Gray Line Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour
Enjoy a scenic tour of Chicago's lakefront and downtown area aboard new Upper Deckers and Trolley busses, similar to cable cars in San Francisco. Have the freedom to get on and off all day for two ful more...
Gray Line: North Side Tour
Experience the vitality and excitement of America's 'Second City' on this two-hour North Side tour. Discover the hustle and bustle of one of the world's most prestigious financial centers on State Str more...
Gray Line: South Shore Tour
Historic cultural Chicago is on full display on the two-hour Gray Line South Shore Tour. Travel through Grant Park, the front lawn of the city and site of Soldier Field, where you might hear some musi more...
Gray Line: The Grand Tour
See the North Side and South Shore business and residential districts on this four-hour tour of America's 'Windy City.' Travel through Grant Park, the front lawn of the city and site of Soldier Field. more...
Kohl Childrens Museum of Greater Chicago
Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago is the only museum in the Chicago area that exclusively provides exhibits and programming for ages birth to 8. All 17 permanent exhibits are hands-on and inte more...
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, a giant indoor LEGO world designed for families with children aged 2 to 12, opened its first location in the US in Schaumburg's Streets of Woodfield shopping center. The att more...
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago to see the most thought-provoking art created since 1945. One of the nation's largest facilities devoted to the work of living artists, the MCA, Chicago i more...
Museum of Science and Industry
Spark your imagination and indulge your curiosity at the Museum of Science and Industry! You've invited to explore hands-on exhibitions like the U-505 Submarine, Earth Revealed, ToyMaker 3000, the bel more...
Navy Pier
Go a little overboard at Navy Pier's Pier Park, an outdoor landscaped area which features attractions such as a permanent 150-foot-high Ferris Wheel presented by McDonald's, a Musical Carousel, an Old more...
Navy Pier Adventure Golf
Putt, putt, putt your way around Pier Park on the Pier's 18-hole miniature golf course. It weaves around the base of the Ferris wheel while touring Chicago-themed golf holes. Challenge yourself on the more...
Take a ride on Navy Pier's most visible attraction, the 150-foot-high Ferris wheel. The Navy Pier Ferris Wheel, presented by McDonald's, is year round fun for kids of all ages. Modeled after the world more...
Navy Pier Light House
Kids find excitement on the Light House. The attraction takes riders slowly up to the top and then bounces gently downward. more...
Shedd Aquarium
On the shores of Lake Michigan lies a gateway to an underwater world unlike anything you've ever seen, heard, or touched. Sharks patrol, jellies pulse, and fishes from around the world school together more...
Skydeck Chicago
No trip to Chicago is complete without experiencing what Chicago Tribune readers voted one of the "7 Wonders of Chicago"! Treat yourself to unparalleled, 360-degree views of up to four st more...

The Art Institute of Chicago
No trip to Chicago is complete without a visit to the world-renowned Art Institute. With beautifully renovated galleries throughout the museum, one of Chicago's oldest museums is now the newest! Treas more...
The Field Museum
The Field Museum is home to Sue, the world's largest, most famous T. rex, plus more than 35 world-renowned exhibitions. In 'Underground Adventure', visitors magically 'shrink' to explore a subterranea more...
The Hancock Observatory
Take your trip to great heights at The Hancock Observatory. The adventure beings with a 140-second thrill ride up 1,000 feet in the world's fastest elevator. Even before you catch your breath, you'll more...
The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Experience nature right at your fingertips in the heart of Lincoln Park. Thought-provoking, hands-on exhibits examine midwestern ecosystems and bring the natural world up close in extraordinary ways. more...
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:47 AM   #111
mikeyis4dcats. mikeyis4dcats. is offline
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The CityPass can be a good deal if you plan your schedule and make sure you will recoup the costs.


Also, be aware that each museum has a free day every week. If you are tight on funds, you can brave it, but it's best to avoid usually.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:09 AM   #112
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Navy Pier
Sears Tower
All of the different museums along Lakeshore Drive
Ed Debevic's
Giordano's Pizza
Wrigley Field tour
Ditto ... lots to do and see, great place to visit!
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:21 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by mikeyis4dcats. View Post
The CityPass can be a good deal if you plan your schedule and make sure you will recoup the costs.


Also, be aware that each museum has a free day every week. If you are tight on funds, you can brave it, but it's best to avoid usually.
Most of the museums are going to be free the Monday my wife and I are there (a week from today). We were planning on going in the morning, then fly out that afternoon. I assumed that since it's a Monday and the cold as hell weather, they wouldn't be all that busy. Am I wrong?
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:32 AM   #114
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Sears Tower
Ed Debevic's
Giordano's Pizza
Yes. Or Gino's East Pizza.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:46 AM   #115
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Most of the museums are going to be free the Monday my wife and I are there (a week from today). We were planning on going in the morning, then fly out that afternoon. I assumed that since it's a Monday and the cold as hell weather, they wouldn't be all that busy. Am I wrong?
It will probably help school is in session and it's cold. We did free day at MOSI one year in June and it was a nightmare. Plan accordingly though, each of the museums will take you a couple of hours minimum just to breeze through. If I had to choose one thing at MOSI it would be the U-boat tour.

Field museum was a bit underwhelming to me, but the Art Museums are great.

Last edited by mikeyis4dcats.; 02-01-2010 at 11:55 AM..
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:44 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevB View Post
Most of the museums are going to be free the Monday my wife and I are there (a week from today). We were planning on going in the morning, then fly out that afternoon. I assumed that since it's a Monday and the cold as hell weather, they wouldn't be all that busy. Am I wrong?
We are flying in through Ohara and out through Midway.
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:10 PM   #117
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Most of the museums are going to be free the Monday my wife and I are there (a week from today). We were planning on going in the morning, then fly out that afternoon. I assumed that since it's a Monday and the cold as hell weather, they wouldn't be all that busy. Am I wrong?
Didn't read the whole thread, but if you are flying into Midway airport, check out the Battle of Midway exhibit in concourse A. Takes 5 min, and there's a fully-restored Dauntless hanging from the ceiling.
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:19 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by BigRedChief View Post
Thinking of getting one of these pass's to avoid ticket lines and save some bucks.

http://www.smartdestinations.com/chicago-attractions-and-tours/_d_Chi-p1.html?pass=Chi_Prod_Go


Adler Planetarium
Located on Lake Michigan and voted 'Best View of Chicago's Skyline,' the Adler features the fully-restored Gemini 12 spacecraft flown by NASA astronauts Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin. The capsule is the more...
Arlington Park
Internationally acclaimed as one of racing's most beautiful settings, Arlington Park hosted its inaugural meet in 1927 and re-opened its doors in 1989 after a devastating fire engulfed the clubhouse f more...
Chicago Architecture Foundation
The Chicago Architecture Foundation is your gateway to discovering Chicago's world-renowned architecture. Start your visit at the orientation center which features a large scale model of downtown Chic more...
Chicago Childrens Museum
Chicago Children's Museum is the place where play and learning connect! Only at CCM can you scale a towering schooner, build a tall skyscraper to add to the Skyline, dig for bones in a Dinosaur Expedi more...
Chicago History Museum
The Chicago History Museum is a visitor's first stop in discovering the rich and vibrant history of Chicago. Showcasing items from a 22 million-piece collection, the Museum is also home to a world-ren more...
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Tour
This unusual complex served as Wright's private residence and studio for the first 20 years of his career, 1889-1909. Wright used his home as an architectural laboratory, trying out design concepts be more...
Gray Line Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour
Enjoy a scenic tour of Chicago's lakefront and downtown area aboard new Upper Deckers and Trolley busses, similar to cable cars in San Francisco. Have the freedom to get on and off all day for two ful more...
Gray Line: North Side Tour
Experience the vitality and excitement of America's 'Second City' on this two-hour North Side tour. Discover the hustle and bustle of one of the world's most prestigious financial centers on State Str more...
Gray Line: South Shore Tour
Historic cultural Chicago is on full display on the two-hour Gray Line South Shore Tour. Travel through Grant Park, the front lawn of the city and site of Soldier Field, where you might hear some musi more...
Gray Line: The Grand Tour
See the North Side and South Shore business and residential districts on this four-hour tour of America's 'Windy City.' Travel through Grant Park, the front lawn of the city and site of Soldier Field. more...
Kohl Childrens Museum of Greater Chicago
Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago is the only museum in the Chicago area that exclusively provides exhibits and programming for ages birth to 8. All 17 permanent exhibits are hands-on and inte more...
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, a giant indoor LEGO world designed for families with children aged 2 to 12, opened its first location in the US in Schaumburg's Streets of Woodfield shopping center. The att more...
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago to see the most thought-provoking art created since 1945. One of the nation's largest facilities devoted to the work of living artists, the MCA, Chicago i more...
Museum of Science and Industry
Spark your imagination and indulge your curiosity at the Museum of Science and Industry! You've invited to explore hands-on exhibitions like the U-505 Submarine, Earth Revealed, ToyMaker 3000, the bel more...
Navy Pier
Go a little overboard at Navy Pier's Pier Park, an outdoor landscaped area which features attractions such as a permanent 150-foot-high Ferris Wheel presented by McDonald's, a Musical Carousel, an Old more...
Navy Pier Adventure Golf
Putt, putt, putt your way around Pier Park on the Pier's 18-hole miniature golf course. It weaves around the base of the Ferris wheel while touring Chicago-themed golf holes. Challenge yourself on the more...
Take a ride on Navy Pier's most visible attraction, the 150-foot-high Ferris wheel. The Navy Pier Ferris Wheel, presented by McDonald's, is year round fun for kids of all ages. Modeled after the world more...
Navy Pier Light House
Kids find excitement on the Light House. The attraction takes riders slowly up to the top and then bounces gently downward. more...
Shedd Aquarium
On the shores of Lake Michigan lies a gateway to an underwater world unlike anything you've ever seen, heard, or touched. Sharks patrol, jellies pulse, and fishes from around the world school together more...
Skydeck Chicago
No trip to Chicago is complete without experiencing what Chicago Tribune readers voted one of the "7 Wonders of Chicago"! Treat yourself to unparalleled, 360-degree views of up to four st more...

The Art Institute of Chicago
No trip to Chicago is complete without a visit to the world-renowned Art Institute. With beautifully renovated galleries throughout the museum, one of Chicago's oldest museums is now the newest! Treas more...
The Field Museum
The Field Museum is home to Sue, the world's largest, most famous T. rex, plus more than 35 world-renowned exhibitions. In 'Underground Adventure', visitors magically 'shrink' to explore a subterranea more...
The Hancock Observatory
Take your trip to great heights at The Hancock Observatory. The adventure beings with a 140-second thrill ride up 1,000 feet in the world's fastest elevator. Even before you catch your breath, you'll more...
The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Experience nature right at your fingertips in the heart of Lincoln Park. Thought-provoking, hands-on exhibits examine midwestern ecosystems and bring the natural world up close in extraordinary ways. more...
That Frank Lloyd Wright home would be pretty stinkin cool.

I dont know a whole lot of Chicago...I do know that the ESPNzone is We todd ed. All the games are pre 2004. Even the Madden big screen game. It's like Madden 03. Weird.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:40 PM   #119
thurman merman thurman merman is offline
You don't faze me, Gobble.
 
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Oh, you should get some Portillo's too. Portillo's is delicious.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:11 AM   #120
CoMoChief CoMoChief is offline
The Revolution Has Begun
 
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Originally Posted by BigRedChief View Post
We are flying in through Ohara and out through Midway.
Christ I ****ing hate that airport. You'd almost think you're in a different country. I fly into Midway everytime, and it's closer to downtown.
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