Things to do in Chicago

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  1. My grandparents and I are planning a quick trip to Chicago next spring/ early summer (3-4 days at the most) and I'm looking for suggestions on what to do and any other helpful advice you have! I've been to Chicago before but only briefly and with my dad, so what we do on this trip will be considerably different. We'll most likely be staying in the Magnificent Mile area (leaning towards the Peninsula but open to suggestions). Shopping, of course, for me- I'm totally psyched about the Jil Sander boutique! But other than the Sears tower I don't know of anything else to do :P A museum or two would be fine but not all of them as my grandparents can only stand so much culture at a time lol.

  2. bump!
  3. we have a lot of great museums (art, science, field) to check out. there's also the adler planetarium and shedd aquarium. if you haven't already seen them, wicked should still be playing. i'm not sure what else you like to do but there's plenty of things to do/see in chicago.

    the W is also a great place to stay in chicago. good location and beautiful hotel.
  4. The shedd aquarium is great.

    Also, The Second City is a very quintessential Chicago experience. It is where many SNL actors have gotten their start. They do live sketch comedy shows. It's a lot of fun.

    Of course, Michigan Ave and then Oak Street, just off Michigan, is where the super-frou frou places are (Hermes, Barney's).

    Also for shopping, there are lots of edgier boutiques on Damen. I'd check out citysearch for more specific recommendations.

    You should definitely eat some deep dish pizza -- preferably Lou Malnati's. Also, Cafe Spiaggia is an excellent upscale italian restaurant right on the corner of Michigan and Oak if you want to have a nice dinner after your Mich Ave shopping day.
  5. YOu could take a ride down to Navy Pier...lots more shopping/boutiques down there....if you stay at the Pennisula, have "high tea" there w/ you's so elegant and the view is TDF. It's usually served int he late afternoon. I love that hotel and highly recommend it!!!

  6. IMO, The Peninsula is the best hotel in town. My personal second favorite is the Park Hyatt, right by the Water Tower. But there are hotels within a block of North Michigan Ave. in every block.

    Check the calendar when you go--there are festivals all summer. Second weekend in June there is the Old Town Art Fair--juried and a wonderful variety of art. The Field Museum and Art Institute are world-class; the Shedd is worth a visit, too. Millenium Park is becoming a new landmark--If you can, take a cab or bus (if your grandparents are up to it) down there and enjoy it.
    If you end up going even later (late June-early July) there is Taste of Chicago--unbelievable. Do-able with grandparents if you go on a weekday. It can get very crowded. Lincoln Park Zoo is fun, too.

    I'll think of more, but there's more than you can possibly do in a few days.
  7. I haven't been in awhile but when I went we did Shedd's Aquariun, The Field Museum, the Joffrey Ballet, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Muesum of Contemporary Art, and all the shopping.
  8. The Peninsula is a good location b/c it's so close to Michigan Ave if shopping is a priority. Keep in mind most of the stores on Michigan Ave. are the same stores you have nationwide, but only bigger. You really need to go into the neighborhoods like Wicker Park, Bucktown, and Lincoln Park for the boutiques, and if you have the dough, then Oak St has a lot of high end retailers.

    Seeing Wicked is a good idea if you haven't seen it yet. Jersey Boys will also be running still if that is up your alley. I have heard it is good. Millenium Park is nice. They will have an evolving ice art exhibit in Feb. I really think that Navy Pier is a tourist trap selling mostly touristy souvenirs. There's not much to see, buy, eat or do there unless you want to see an IMAX show or go to the Children's museum. In addition to Second City, there are lots of improv comedy theaters. If you stay at the Peninsula, getting a drink at the 95th Signature Room in the Hancock is a nice alternative to the Sears Tower. I really like Pizanos (within walking distance of Peninsula) or the original Pizzeria Uno for Chicago deep dish. Chicago really excels in authentic Thai (TAC Quick, Silver Spoon Thai) and authentic Mexican (Rick Bayless in the Loop or Pilsen neighborhood) if either of those appeal to you. Hope this helps.

    Are you going to walk, take cabs or take the el?
  9. I haven't been to Chicago in a couple of years but SHOPPING was the greatest. We also went to the Shedd aquarium and we enjoyed it. I know there were several museums in the area, but we didn't visit them. We did ride around the city to see some of the buildings and history, which was interesting. Navy Pier is a nice place to visit also!
  10. Just remembered something that the hotel concierges say they get asked about more than anything else--the architectural boat tours on the Chicago River. I took one several years ago and more than one co. does them, but there's one that's supposed to be the best. Chicago is known for it's architecture history and seeing it from the river is very interesting. A google search should turn up the info if this interests you. You get on the boats where Michigan Ave crosses the river, across the river from the Wrigley Building.
  11. I can do a fair amount of walking, but if it's over a couple blocks with my grandparents it'll definitely be a cab.

    Thanks for all the tips so far everyone- it's really helpful!