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Things to do in Chicago

AmyDare

Member
May 8, 2009
227
0
I'd love to read suggestions for things to do in Chicago during the down time--preferrable things that won't break the bank.
:thumbsup:
 

Melissa78

Veteran Member
Gold Member
May 10, 2009
1,121
5
There were discount tickets for things on expedia when i was checking out airfare. There's an aquarium, architecture boat tour, sky deck, museum, planetarium, million dollar mile (shopping), Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), art galleries, Navy Pier etc.
 

Intrepid_Chef

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Nov 6, 2007
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Navy Pier, Navy Pier and OH YEAH Navy Pier!!! Every Saturday and (I think) Thursday they have fireworks. Last time there we saw Cirque!

There's a BEACH you can visit if you want ... just walk the mile and you're there!
 

esavvymom

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Sep 8, 2008
7,895
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Navy Pier, Navy Pier and OH YEAH Navy Pier!!! Every Saturday and (I think) Thursday they have fireworks. Last time there we saw Cirque!

There's a BEACH you can visit if you want ... just walk the mile and you're there!

It's Wednesday, not Thursdays on the Fireworks...I know that Wednesday that we are there- they have fireworks on the calendar. (@9:30) Navy Pier

I like this website:
Travel to Chicago Illinois - Traveler Directory, Convention Guide to Hotels, Restaurants, Dining, Nightlife, Sightseeing Attractions, Events, Tourism

Most of the museums will be closed by the time we are done- they close around 5 or 6pm each night.
Navy Pier is a great place to walk, site-see, etc. There is also Millennium Park; any window shopping along Michigan Ave is fun; the Hancock Building has some shopping and I think the Cheesecake Factory is in the lower level (looks like the designer was on LSD!). The Sears Tower/Willis Tower Skydeck of course is always a winner.

OH, and around the corner from the Sheraton- over on Michigan Ave, you'll find the Tribune Building (435 N. Michigan Ave). It's really neat to walk around that and see all of the blocks from the buildings around the world. The base of the building is studded with over 120 stones from famed sites and structures in all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries. They range from the Parthenon (Greece) and Taj Mahal (India) to Bunker Hill (Massachusetts) and Mark Twain's "Injun Joe Cave" (Missouri). There is even a piece of the Twin Towers from NYC.

Chicago is a pretty enough town you can walk/site see without having to spend alot of money too.
 

pampered1224

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Apr 13, 2004
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If you are going to be in a room with a lot of people and you are an early riser. Do yourself a favor. Grab a cup of joe and park your self outside. 1st, the sun coming up over the lake is awesome and 2nd is watching the way Chicago wakes up. First you see maybe one or two people, then 10 to 15 then a ton more! I love people watching and I gotta admit, in front of the Hilton is fun to watch people. Especially all those crazy tourist with the Pampered Chef Name tag thingies!
 

raebates

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Dec 6, 2005
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I enjoy people watching, too. One of my teammates said it must be really easy to get dressed in Chicago. It doesn't seem to matter what you wear. It doesn't have to match. It doesn't have to look good. It doesn't even have to fit. LOL!
 

DebbieJ

Legend Member
Oct 6, 2005
10,895
2
There is tons to do and see in Chicago--just depends what your interests are.

If you've never been here before, I'd recommend an architectual tour on the river. To me, Navy Pier is one big tourist trap. :)

There are TONS of yummy restaurants--just matters what you like and how much you want to spend. Do me a favor and stay away from chain restaurants, especially the ones you have in your own city. Doesn't make sense to travel all this way and then eat at Applebees. LOL

Metromix | Your Restaurants, Nightlife & Events Guide is a good place to start.
 

raebates

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Dec 6, 2005
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Good point, Deb. I do my best not to eat anyplace I could easily eat elsewhere.
 

pampered1224

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Apr 13, 2004
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I KNOW RAE! That is SO FUNNY! Makes you wonder where they are going, if they work, where and if they even care! Last year a couple of us saw a guy, maybe early to mid 20s around 5:30 a.m.. He was wearing a wife beater and speedos! Thank goodness he was cute!
 

pampchefsarah

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Gold Member
Mar 24, 2008
2,203
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  • #10
Note to self: Get up early and hang out with John to people watch (one of my favorite activities), and plan to have dinner with Debbie at least once.
 

pampered1224

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Apr 13, 2004
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  • #11
I have to change my favorite thing to do! It is not people watching! It is pointing and laughing! Glad to have you aboard Sarah!
 
Apr 26, 2010
24
0
  • #12
You have to go see the BEAN!!! Do a google search and you will understand. It's one of the most awesome things I have seen!
 

mailgirl1978

Member
Feb 19, 2010
98
1
  • #13
Doesn't make sense to travel all this way and then eat at Applebees. LOL

I sooo agree...went with some friends to NYC last year and they wanted to eat at Olive Garden!!! Dont get me wrong I love Olive Garden but in New York City??? I wanted something authentic!!! (So I took them to Little Italy...it was awesome...) Anyway, back to Chicago...ha ....Anyone know of some awesome restaurants in Chicago? Maybe Italian? I'm dying for a canoli! ha

I'm also up for the people watching and the coffee drinking...:D
 

raebates

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Dec 6, 2005
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  • #15
The BEAN is cool.
 

angel7581

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Feb 4, 2009
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  • #16
I am so looking forward to Giordano's.
 

esavvymom

Legend Member
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Sep 8, 2008
7,895
146
  • #17
What comes to mind when I hear "CHICAGOAN" food would be (1) Deep Dish Pizza) and (2) Chicago-style Hot Dogs ....we're so bad, that when we travel up there, we will be stocking up on the true Chi- dog fixins and bringing them back to NC in a cooler with dry-ice! (I KID YOU NOT! We can't get the right stuff here!) I'm sure there are several other things, but those are probably the easiest to find and most popular. (My DH grew up outside of the city, and we lived near there a year before moving back to NC.)

My DH and boys are looking forward to REAL Deep Dish Pizzas. They usually hit Lou Malnati's I think. But I'd try that one or Gino's East. They are the "originals".

I don't know if I'll make it with them, but when we go hang out around Navy Pier- we hit Bubba Gump's. Not necessarily "chicagoan", but definitely not a "normal" chain. I've only seen them in Chicago and in Maui.
 

mailgirl1978

Member
Feb 19, 2010
98
1
  • #18
So, do we have a night planned to all hang out?
 

DebbieJ

Legend Member
Oct 6, 2005
10,895
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  • #19
What comes to mind when I hear "CHICAGOAN" food would be (1) Deep Dish Pizza) and (2) Chicago-style Hot Dogs ....we're so bad, that when we travel up there, we will be stocking up on the true Chi- dog fixins and bringing them back to NC in a cooler with dry-ice! (I KID YOU NOT! We can't get the right stuff here!) I'm sure there are several other things, but those are probably the easiest to find and most popular. (My DH grew up outside of the city, and we lived near there a year before moving back to NC.)

My DH and boys are looking forward to REAL Deep Dish Pizzas. They usually hit Lou Malnati's I think. But I'd try that one or Gino's East. They are the "originals".

I don't know if I'll make it with them, but when we go hang out around Navy Pier- we hit Bubba Gump's. Not necessarily "chicagoan", but definitely not a "normal" chain. I've only seen them in Chicago and in Maui.

Most of the fixins you would need to buy here are sold in jars. No need for the dry ice. Chicago style relish and sport peppers are probably the only 2 things you can't get at home. Otherwise onions, pickles, tomatoes, celery salt, and mustard are pretty normal ingredients. OH, but you'll need to stock up on poppyseed buns!!!!

http://www.hotdogchicagostyle.com/makeyourown.php


For pizza, my favorite is Giordanos. I really do not like Gino's East, but that's a personal preference. Their crust has a lot of cornmeal and I just don't like the texture.
 

esavvymom

Legend Member
Staff member
Sep 8, 2008
7,895
146
  • #20
Most of the fixins you would need to buy here are sold in jars. No need for the dry ice. Chicago style relish and sport peppers are probably the only 2 things you can't get at home. Otherwise onions, pickles, tomatoes, celery salt, and mustard are pretty normal ingredients. OH, but you'll need to stock up on poppyseed buns!!!!

Make Your Own - Hot Dog Chicago Style - The Search for the Perfect Dog


For pizza, my favorite is Giordanos. I really do not like Gino's East, but that's a personal preference. Their crust has a lot of cornmeal and I just don't like the texture.

We get the dogs (the brand my husband likes that are "True Chicago Dogs" in his opinion- I can't remember which brand, but I know we can't find them here) and definitely the Buns. Those we can't get anywhere else. The sport peppers- I'm set. My SIL gave me a Industrial size jar of them last year as a joke! I just put them into small 4oz canning jars and canned them so they last us forever :). The rest, yes- basic stuff...but even when we put that stuff on a regular hot-dog- It's just NOT the same. :)

Thanks for the weblink.
 

straitfan

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Gold Member
Jul 31, 2006
1,459
7
  • #21
Anyone seen the musical Billy Elliott, or maybe Shrek (in another city?) We've seen Wicked and Jersey Boys the past 2 years and want to go to another. Recommendations? (Shrek opens while we are there, don't know if we'd be able to get tix or not.) Ticketmaster says something about a McDonald's coupon code....any locals know about that?
 

gaddischef

Member
Gold Member
Dec 2, 2005
381
0
  • #22
Are you coming in Sunday or Monday? Monday, The Field Museum is FREE, Lincoln Park Zoo and Chicago Botanical Garden are also FREE anytime -- just need to check the hours. I LOVE the boat tours. This year, I'm thinking of doing a city tour HopOn/Hop Off on the double decker bus. Last year one of my favorite things was going to the Lounge on top of The John Hancock building and watching the fireworks (best view was actually the women's bathroom LOL)...window shopping is a blast! You can check things out on chicago.com as well!
 

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