Things to do in Chicago

After IRI, I’m planning to drive to Chicago, and spend a few days there (two and a half days, total).

Since I’m interested in science, and natural history, I want to go to the Science & Technology Museum as well as the Field Museum. Since I like baseball, I’m planning to go to a White Sox game, and am curious if the tour of Wrigley field is worth $25 (too bad the Cubs aren’t in town).

On the other hand, we have good science and natural history museums in Los Angeles, so I’d like some suggestions for things that are uniquely Chicago (things like the Sears Tower, best place to get chicago style pizza, etc). Anyone have any good tips?

At the same time, I’m interested in suggestions on places to look for hotels that are in decent areas of town.

We went there about a month now i guess two months ago and saw the Blue Man group. The Could Gate Sculpture and the park there too is kind of neat. Ed Debevics is a fun place to go eat, where the waiters are all sassy. Gino’s Pizza place or whatever(right across the street) Has good pizza. That is just some of the places we went and ate at.

Seeing as I grew up in Chicago (about 10 minutes from Wrigley Field), I should I say I’m a little bias but oh well. If your going to be downtown seeing Millennium Park is worth it, its very nice to walk around during the day and close to some great places to eat (I’m interning about 3 blocks from it this summer). If your a big baseball fan the tour of Wrigley might be worth it, but in my opinion its just another stadium. Since your already going to the Museum of Science and Industry, you might also want to check out the Planetarium, its a pretty fun place to visit.

If your looking for someplace a little less touristy, send me a pm.

Our family has always enjoyed the Shedd Aquarium, across from the Field Museum.

Are you planning on flying out of Chicago or is this a driving vacation? Do you want cheaper hotels or do you want to stay downtown? The Museum of Science and Industry is on the south side but easily reachable by car from anywhere. Plan on a whole day and include the Coal Mine, and Omnimax movies. I think there is good price break if you buy all on one ticket.
White Sox park is right next to the expressway across from IIT campus. Not as far south as the Museum. The Field Musuem is also a good one day but is on what we call “Museum Campus” in that the Aqaurium and Planetarium are within walking distance and can give you a great view of the skyline. The Skydeck at Sears is currently under renovation but might be finished by that time. It is good when the weather is clear but is pricey. Gino’s, Lou Malnotti’s and several other places have good deep dish pizza and have outlets all over the place.

Make up a list of things you want to see or would be interested in. Then find me at IRI and we can talk it over. You can cut the museums down to half a day and miss some stuff if you need to. The Omnimax and coal mine could easily take a few hours out of the day but don’t miss the U505 submarine exhibit. It is newly renovated and well worth the hour you will spend there. At the Field Museum if you don’t walk through the “dead zoo” you can spend more time in the Egyptian Exhibits and dinosaurs.

a few blocks north of the millennium park is billy goat’s tavern on lower michigan, north of the river. the address is 430 N Michigan Ave

great place for some old cubs superstitions :wink:

btw, snl used to do quite a few skits based on the diner

There are also Segway tours around downtown.

I’m still figuring out transportation and where I want to stay. I’ve found some great hotel deals for downtown, so that would be nice, but I’m certainly open to suggestions for cheaper places close to the L.

I’m flying into/out of Indy. It was $150 cheaper to have Indy as the destination, with a layover in Chicago, then to fly to Chicago directly.

I will have a car in Indy, with unlimited miles, but I’m trying to decide if I need it for Chicago. It’s looking like everything I want to do in Chicago is close to the L or a bus. It looks like I can take Amtrak/Greyhound between Indy and Chicago and save on both car and especially parking. Is there any reason I wouldn’t want to do that?

The parking will be very high although some hotels give breaks on parking. The Amtrack station is just west of the loop but a short cab ride to any downtown hotel. There are some specialty bus routes that go directly to museums, just check the CTA at or Metra at for commuter rail around the fringe of town.
If you like to walk, downtown is easy to get around and a north loop or Michigan Avenue hotel will get you easy access to shopping on north Michigan Avenue. Chicago is pretty well laid out for travelers. A handy map will make things easy. Try checking out as well. If you are coming directly to Chicago after IRI, you might be able to hitch a ride with someone coming here or through here on the way north.

If the Sears tower is closed then go to the John Hancock Tower it’s just as cool.

Walking Michigan Ave is a must and if you can head over to the Navy Pier.

Also some of the norther Indiana folks could get you to the South Shore trains that will take you right downtown.

the Shedd Aquarium is nice, also some museums
there’s the Six Flags Great America amusement park also not too far from Chicago
and of course there is great shopping there and the gorgeous lake! the water tower and gurnee mills are great shopping areas, and the water tower is right by downtown chicago… i think

and how could i forget that there’s a LEGO Land if you want to head over to schaumburg? :smiley:

The tours of Wrigley Field are actually better when the team is not in town.
When the team is gone you get to go through the Cubs clubhouse.

New Sears Tower observation deck

You can take the megabus to and from Indy at about $40 round trip. Likewise there are some nice cheaper hotels off of grant park in the south loop. The Travelodge on Harrison is located close to transit, and the Best Western on 11th street is located close to the museum campus, public transit, and Grant Park.

If you are going to a show and are a college student/are taking a college student there are many discounts (Blue Man Group tickets are around $20 to $30.

I would go to the John Hancock Skydeck, its nicer than the Sears and you get a better view. Also there are sometimes Fireworks at Navy Pier so I would check on those.

I personally like the Lincoln Park Zoo.

If you’re interested in things like Segway Tours they run a bit of cash but they are a lot of fun, however be warned, it’s more about riding a segway than learning about Chicago.

Best place to get chicago style pizza would be…
Pizzeria Uno - they are SO VERY GOOD.
Neighborhood: Near North Side
29 E. Ohio Street
(between State St & Wabash Ave)
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 321-1000

Its close to a good shopping area too …

I had been looking at the Travelodge. Thanks for confirming I was looking in the right place.

That’s good to know. I was worried with the new platforms on the Sears tower skydeck that it might be crowded.

If you have any questions about the area let me know, I work in the building next door, it’s in the center of Columbia’s campus so there are students all over the place and it’s a safe area (there used to be a mission a block away that has since been moved west so security concerns from 2008 and previous should be disregarded). The price of parking next door isn’t to bad.

If you are into gangster history, you can go to the Green Mill Lounge where Al Capone frequented, or to the Biograph Theater where Dillinger (and the movie Public Enemies) was shot.