Tips for Trip to Chicago?

Updated on March 24, 2008
D.Y. asks from Kearney, MO
7 answers

Hello all - has anyone been to Chicago? My husband and I are planning a trip in late April and are hoping to hit some of the "hot spots". We are hoping for a bit of romance as we will be leaving the kids behind for the first time in quite a while. In addition we plan to see the Shedd Aquarium and Navy Pier. Any tips on places to eat, see, stay would be appreciated.


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answers from Kansas City on

I loved the museum of science and industry it is so educational and interesting. They have excellent exhibits.



answers from Kansas City on

Try the downtown area...IF you love to shop & plan to get some in this is the spot! You create your own romance. Go to Victoria's Secret or some novelty store & pick you out some naughty but nice outfit, some candles, rubbing oils, bubble bath & what ever else you can dream of & go for it! A time w/o the kids mean fun, romance & relax! You could also go on that dinner & cruise,they have at the pier. Good luck, have fun & God Bless!



answers from Kansas City on

my husband and i went in january, the best restraunt i have ever eaten at in my life was at schaumberg right outside chicago, weber grill although i think they have one in chicago. also a GREAT mall. the pier was my favorite. i liked the hancock building more than the sears tower. the natural history museum was great. oh and use the public transportation system, dont rent a car. parking is ridiculous! we spent more a day to park then we did on our rental car.



answers from Kansas City on

D. ~
I'm jealous! My husband and I love Chicago, we've been there 4 times and will go back. It's a great city with wonderful, friendly people. If you are looking for a nice restaraunt try Smith & Wollensky. It's a steakhouse that is just great! We sat downstairs so it was a little cozier and the prices are a little cheaper. I will warn you however that everything is ordered ala carte. Split all of your side items, it's more cost effective and the portions sizes are huge! The baked potato was about the size of my's a good thing we shared it! This restaraunt is also walking distance from The House of Blues.

My husband and I like to just walk and decide from there. We have found so many great places by just walking past and deciding to go in. That's how we found Dugan's...the only Irish bar in Greek Town. We met some great people and they even took us to dinner at this great little Italian place in Little Italy. Now we never visit Chicago without a stop at Dugan's! Chicagoians are very friendly and more than willing to recomend a good place or a hot spot that is only known to the locals.

It's more expensive, but I recommend staying downtown. You won't need a car because everything is walking distance. Plus you can catch a cab pretty cheap if the walk is too far. You are so busy checking everything out that you don't realize how much walking you are actually doing. Just make sure to take some good walking shoes! Twice while in Chicago I've stopped at Nike Town and bought new shoes because we walked so much.

Have fun, enjoy the town and each other!!!



answers from Kansas City on

We absolutely love Chicago as well and have been there several times...hope to relocate in a few years. I am jealous though we've never hit the hot spots there as our little one has always been with us.

We have done Navy Pier (bear with commas broken) Shedd Aquarium Field Museum...Ate at the Weber Grill last time-delicious! I recommend staying downtown as is more expensive but well worth it.

We are actually going in May for my daughter's birthday to the American Girl store. Can't wait!



answers from Kansas City on

Get a "Fodor's" book on Chicago. They have every place to visit and list and reccomend hotels and restaurants and show price ranges so you won't be unpleasantly surprised. We have found them very reliable for our vacations and you have a wide variety to chose from with simple explanations for each site. Enjoy your trip.



answers from Kansas City on

Hi D.!

We just went to Chicago last summer. Our kids are older though but the things we did would probably appeal to your girls also. Navy Pier is a must. It is just an all around fun place. There are shops inside and a lot of times shows and things going on. We thought Shedd Aquarium was just so-so but, we had been to other aquariums we liked better so that might be the reason. It can be difficult to see much there as it can get pretty crowded. Try to find out "off times" to go, otherwise your girls will be frustrated trying to see stuff. Oh and eat BEFORE you go there. The food court is EXPENSIVE, NOT tasty at all, crowded, and super LOUD!!! I am not kidding! We spent a ridiculous amount of money at that food court and the food was barely edible. I strongly discourage going there unless you bring your own lunch which I am not sure if you can do that or not you'd have to check.

Make sure you go to the parks there in Chicago. Millinneum Park has a lot of cool things to look at. It has the "bean" in it - a neat mirrored sculpture to play in. It was a neat park and big and open with lots of space to run and play. It might be too cool yet to do some of the cool water things at that park but they will have fun looking at it.

We went to see the Blue Man group in Chicago. I am not sure what ages that would be best for. I do remember seeing at least one 3 or 4 year old there the night we went. It is a cool music and lights show. That was a favorite of ours - it was very cool! As long as they are okay with the dark and drumming they would probably enjoy it.

Also, The American Doll Store in Chicago is cool. It has a restaurant where lots of girls are eating with there dolls. Not sure what it costs to eat there but that could be fun! Expensive to buy dolls at but my daughter liked walking through the store and we got her a backpack that said the name on it and it was not expensive. She was content to just look as there is lots to look at. We went there when she was like 7.

Chicago has tons to do. We went on the boat ride through downtown too. It was okay but very LONG! I only recommend that if your girls are very fond of boat rides and content to sit a very long time!
Be sure to walk through downtown. There were a lot of neat street performers.

One highlight of my kids trip was riding the Go figure. Pack extra hand sanitizer lol. Have tons of fun and have safe, happy travels! :)

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