Chicago Friends need help planning trip

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by scottmel, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. scottmel

    scottmel <font color=darkorchid>Does my logic in my origina

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    Hi hope you can help! We are taking my DD19 to Chicago for a few days over her Spring Break in late March to see Hamilton. We are flying in from East Coast and staying 2 nights but there for three FULL days.

    We are staying at KINZIE HOTEL on 20 West Kinzie Street Chicago, IL 60654

    My DD is very interested in Natural History Museum. We like a LITTLE shopping, deep dish pizza to try and hotdog of course!

    Open to any ideas! We are from Pittsburgh to give you a point of reference. I am sure the weather is as iffy in Chicago in late March as it is in Pittsburgh. We always enjoy a whirlwind tour of the city so any suggestions there would be great.

    I am also looking for things to do on our arrival day - arriving to our hotel around 11 AM. ENTIRE DAY IS FREE! Natural History Museum and ????????

    Our second day is a matinee of Hamilton so evening dinner somewhere close would be nice.

    Our third and final day is open until 6 pm. PRivate tour? Guided Tour? Thoughts for seeing city?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  2. Sepo

    Sepo 11-3-2016 12:47 a.m.

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    Try looking through this site: https://www.citypass.com/chicago

    It’s for one of those Go Cards. It’s a nice list of popular spots for travelers. Even if you don’t buy the card it’s a decent starting point for ideas. Hope the weather cooperates.
     
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  4. katyjeka

    katyjeka DIS Veteran

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    We visited last December and fell in love with Chicago. It was a first for our family but not our last. We only had a couple days and the weather was cold. Our girls loved Willis Tower and our stop at the "bean". We spent a lot of time at the Navy Pier. We live in Latrobe so Pittsburgh will always be our "favorite" city but Chicago came pretty close.
     
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  5. Disney mac

    Disney mac Mouseketeer

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    Hi, I’m from Chicago. How tied are you to that hotel? It’s on the other side of the river, which is great if you want to go to the Magnifcent mile shopping area, but it’s not real close to the Natural History museum or hamilton (CIBC theatre, it’s just called the hamilton theater now, but original name is the Shubert). There are hotels way closer that have some good rates.
    Anyways, depends what your daughter likes. At that time if year, the weather is so unpredictable. But if you are into the museum scene, Chicago is truly world class. My personal favorite is the Art Institute which is a few blocks from the Hamilton Theater. If you’ve ever seen Ferris Bueller, that’s the one. Just was there last week and it’s still great. Second, out by the Natural History Museum is the Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium. The other museum which would be a cab ride is the Museum of Science and Industry.
    I saw someone suggested the Gopass, which is a good option. Any chance you are a teacher? Many of them are free for teachers and discounted for students.
    Other “tourist” things are the Sears Tower (no one calls it the Willis still), however I would tell you that dinner on the 95th at the Hancock building is better than the Sears tower, but I don’t know you budget. If the weather is nice, do the boat tour on the river, it’s awesome.

    Another idea is to check out the Tickets for tonight and see if there’s a half price show of another broadway type show (there’s the Oriental, Cadillac Palace, and Goodman Theaters a few blocks away from Hamilton). Good luck and enjoy the food. So many great restaurants.
     
  6. katyjeka

    katyjeka DIS Veteran

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    We stayed at Hyatt place the Loop, walked to the tower(I called it Sears Tower at dinner and was corrected)and used Uber for everything else. It was a great hotel.
     
  7. scottmel

    scottmel <font color=darkorchid>Does my logic in my origina

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  8. scottmel

    scottmel <font color=darkorchid>Does my logic in my origina

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    THanks! I will look at the Hyatt as well.I too plan to UBer everything as well....
     
  9. Owlpost23

    Owlpost23 DIS Veteran

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    You'll love Chicago! It's a gorgeous,clean city.If you're a popcorn fan,Garrett's is a must!Get the Chicago mix-caramel and cheese corn together.Millenium Park is stunning,although the weather might be dicey.Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium are wonderful.If you can,plan for a steak dinner-we've got too many wonderful steakhouses that are worth trying.Enjoy,and come back to tell us how you liked it!
     
  10. brittanidp

    brittanidp Mouseketeer

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    Portillo’s for hot dogs! Giordanos and Gino’s east are the norm for deep dish pizza, but Lou Malnatis is great too! There’s a Garrett’s popcorn at ohare in terminal 1 if the lines are too long downtown
     
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  11. vacamom4

    vacamom4 Earning My Ears

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    We were in Chicago last week-end. Very cold, didn't go outside too much, but fortunately, there are a lot of places you can get too while staying inside. Chicago is a wonderful city. Love Garrett popcorn (caramel with cashews is my favorite), came home with three different varieties. We ate at the Italian Village Restaurants, which is very close to the CIBC (Hamilton) theater. Very reasonable, very nice atmosphere. It's actually three different restaurants in one building. I also made a stop at the Disney Store! Enjoy! I envy you for having Hamilton tickets!
     
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  12. disneymagicgirl

    disneymagicgirl Been there, Done that, Going back!

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    We took our kids last summer and we all really enjoyed the architectural boat tour of the city. We didn't buy ahead...just walked up and bought tickets. My hubs is from Chicago and he is all about Giordano's pizza, so we ate there. Have fun!
     
  13. therapistalexandra

    therapistalexandra Earning My Ears

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    Chicago gal here, born and raised.....desperately wanting to get out lol!

    1) hot dogs can only come from Portillos. Based on where you're staying, you'll have to cab or uber this trip.
    2) If you want a fun time and burgers, go to Billy Goats (Be warned, it's faced paced and packed with locals, check out the menu beforehand so you don't hold up the line)
    3) If you plan on hitting a lot of different spots while in town, get a Chicago City Pass
    4) DO NOT go to the West or South sides (DO NOT go west of Halsted and south of Roosevelt Rd.)
    5) Get a picture at Buckingham Fountain
    6) Take the L just once....just to say you did it.
    7) Take a picture outside Wrigley Field
    8) Michigan Ave and/or Water Tower Place will take care of your shopping needs (but be warned we have one of the highest, if not THE highest sales tax in the country)
    9) Take the Chicago architecture tour by boat (if it is open by then. Just google)
    10) Navy Pier is a big draw and has some fun stuff for tourists
    11) DO NOT walk down alleys as shortcuts. Sometimes they are not heavily monitored by police
    12) Try to limit walking around with your cell phones out. iPhones are a hot commodity currently among the local thieves/muggers.
     
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  14. dosekies

    dosekies DIS Veteran

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    Agree with everything said above, including the wanting to get out! But seriously, I could eat Portillos every day of my life, please stop there and get cheese fries and a hot dog and a shake and a chocolate cake and a strawberry shortcake. Or just everything on the menu :lovestruc
     
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  15. Farro

    Farro It's a pasta! It's a grain! What?

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    I'm also chicago born and raised.

    Portillo's is okay but try Devil Dawgs on State for more of a hot dog "joint" feel. Even better ones outside of downtown.

    Billy Goat is overrated - at least don't go there "just" for a cheeseburger.

    If you want deep dish - Lou Malnati's or if you want a good Napletana pizza, you can uber to West Loop (not far) and go to Forno Rosso Pizzeria Napoletana West Loop. It's on Randolph Street. A safe area. In fact google Randolph street restaurants and you will get quite a few really good restaurants. You will need reservations for some. I think it's an area a 19 year would really like! There's better pizza even further out.
    You probably don't have time this trip, but honestly the best restaurants are not downtown.

    The "L" is perfectly safe. I take it everyday and have been for 20 something years. Our transit system is fantastic and easy to use. The brownline around downtown is iconic - the blueline will get you to some great neighborhoods. As will the redline. Just use the train maps - educate yourself before you leave. From downtown you'd be taking the redline towards Howard and the blueline towards O'hare to see great neighborhoods/restaurants. Take the blueline during the day to Damen/Milwaukee stop. You'll be in Wicker Park, I lived there years ago, before it was safe ;) - hipster(ish), again may be fun for your 19 year old to see shops and such. Trendier clothing, has basic stores as downtown, but then more stand alone boutique type shops too. Take the redline to Addison, get off right by Wrigley. More fraternity/sorority type crowd. Lots of shops there too.

    If you are using Uber, any hotel downtown will be within an easy distance to where ever you are going.

    Have fun, it's a great city. Just have your wits about you, as you would in any big city. And I don't want to get out. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
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  16. Farro

    Farro It's a pasta! It's a grain! What?

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  17. OrangeBirdGirl

    OrangeBirdGirl DIS Veteran

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    Everyone has summed up the good things to do. But for food, I'd recommend Italian Beef Sandwich, delicious! I do not know the hot spots in the city to get, so hopefully someone else can chime in.
     
  18. Disney mac

    Disney mac Mouseketeer

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    Portillo’s
     
  19. stazmatic

    stazmatic DIS Veteran

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    What is the Tickets for Tonight? Is it an app or website? I tried googling but came up with nothing
     
  20. Disney mac

    Disney mac Mouseketeer

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    Tickets for tonight (may be hot tics) has two locations in Chicago and where you can find last minute tickets to shows at a discount. My wife and I got tickets last minute to see An American in Paris l floor seats for $35 each
     
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  21. kid-at-heart

    kid-at-heart DIS Veteran

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    Years ago I went to a conference in Chicago and while "conferencing" my husband and daughter hit up the museums, ie., Natural History, etc. Our membership to our local children's museum allowed us free entry at a few of the Chicago museums, (ie., The Field Museum of Natural History). I am not sure that is still the case but is certainly worth checking out if you have a local membership.
     

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