View Full Version : Sunday day trip in Chicago with my dad and DD age 4 1/2
10-16-2007, 09:22 PM
Hello Chicago moms- does this sound doable, any suggestions???
I'm heading up to Chicago in a few weeks with my dad who's visiting from Canada and my 4 1/2 year old DD. I was thinking of a visit to Shedd first thing in the morning, lunch at Navy Pier and then maybe a trip up to the Hancock Observatory (and dinner at Giordano's). The Bears are playing that day so I won't be able to park near the Aquarium, was thinking of parking in a garage and maybe doing cabs/trolley's/buses??? I know there are a couple of garages that have Trolley service to Navy Pier....We really only have a day to visit as my dad's visit is pretty short. We live in Bloomington and will plan to arrive in the city by about 10am. DD has great stamina and can go all day without worries of getting tired, we'll tire before her! Any other suggestions, I'm not totally sure Navy Pier is necessary, but have never been there, while the Hancock Observatory is on my dad's to do list (and I love it too).
Thanks for any suggestions.
10-20-2007, 11:03 PM
Well, my first instinct is always to stay away from crowds, so I probably wouldn't go to the Shedd that day unless somebody absolutely wanted to go there.
Navy Pier is ok, but I don't think I would go there just for lunch. If the weather is not that great, eating at the pier could be more of a pain than anything. Parking is so expensive there and public transit access is so-so. It is a bit isolated from everything else, IMO.
You might consider Lou Mitchell's for lunch, it's just a coffee shop but can be a unique experience:
You sit at big tables with other people right next to you. A bit out of the way, but near the Sears Tower if you decide to do that instead of the Hancock.
I like the skating rink at Daley Bicentennial Plaza on Randolph east of Michigan:
It is neat to skate with the skyline right there. It is very close to the new Millennium Park rink, but not nearly as crowded. The building is connected to the East Monroe Garage.
HTH. I wish I could tell you more about what to do but I have never been very much of a tourist in my own town.
DD - 3 YO
10-24-2007, 10:08 AM
Ok, here are my thougths:
If there's a Bears home game that day, you're in for traffic. Check what time, if it's a noon kickoff, you'll have more headaches than a 3pm kick-off. Check what time the Shedd opens and get there right when it opens. The Shedd is WONDERFUL and worth the trip in, no question. However, let me recommend an alternative that removes you from the museum campus, which is Bears territory and will have the parking lots taken, and that's the Museum of Science & Industry (MSI). It's about 10 minutes farther south on Lake Shore Drive, and I don't think there's Trolly there, you have to drive. But it's outstanding. I can't say enough about it. I used to work there, but I'm not biased, it's truly the finest science museum in the US, as far as I'm concerned. You can spend all day there, easy. But you can also pack alot into a few morning hours, and if you want to know what I'd recommend there in the time frame you're looking at, PM me, and I"ll be happy to share. They have a great cafeteria, too. Then in the afternoon, you can head to the observatory deck.
Now, if you really want to do Shedd instead, then my recommendation is you bag the idea of parking on the museum campus and park elsewhere and take cabs. It's more expensive, but you'll save headaches. This is only cuz Bears have a home game. However, if you get there early enough, you should be able to get a spot and use the Trollys. Park at the museum campus parking lot first hting in the AM to do this, or you can do Millennium Park / Grant Park parking.
For lunch, forget Navy pier. I don't get the allure of Navy Pier. There's not alot there, especialy in the fall. Honestly, it's like, all this hubbub for WHAT?! I dunno. Tourist trap. Instead, I'd head to the Hancock Building for lunch and do Cheesecake Factory, which is at the bottom of the Hancock inside the building, then head up to the observatory afterward. Water Tower is right there, so you can shop there or the mag mile afterward.
So, if you do this and do bag Navy Pier, then for parking, I suggest you actually park somewhere closer to the Mag Mile and then cab it or bus it to the Shedd and back; that would make the most sense.
I'm DT (downtown) all the time, so I know it well. Thems're my suggestions. PM me if you want more!
-- Hil :-)
10-24-2007, 04:23 PM
Shedd has horrendous lines on weekends; plan on getting there BEFORE they open (9 or 9:30 am on weekends, I think) or plan to wait in line a while (possibly outside). ITA that the Museum of Science and Industry is much better - my kids just love that place, and there is plenty of parking (and no Bears traffic).
Navy Pier, yuck. Tourist trap and not much else (okay, not quite true, my boys love the fountain in the summer). Food options are so-so and more like chains than real Chicago fare. I'd suggest eating at MSI if you go there, or consider Grand Luxe Cafe (on the Mag Mile) though there will be a good long wait there if you arrive around 12-1pm on a Sunday. But it's fairly close to the Hancock building.
10-30-2007, 01:29 PM
Bears lost. Hope your day was better. Let us know :-)
10-30-2007, 02:42 PM
The day was great, we parked in a garage at St.Clair/Ohio, 24 dollars and we were there until 7:30pm, I always park there and I like the owners...cab to Shedd, only 7 bucks....Shedd wasn't busy at all....loved it....cab to the Boat Cruise (it was a little challenging as we left Shedd as the Bears fans left, but not too difficult except that we had to walk out to the street as they closed off the campus (it was open for drop off). We went on a 90 min Architectural Cruise with Chicago Line Cruises, all three of us enjoyed it, DD loved watching the other boats, looking at the buildings, and price included Starbucks, cookies, muffins, etc and my dad and I loved it too, a great way to see the city and the docent was awesome! There was a lot of room for her to roam and she also played with another little girl.A quick walk over to Giordano's at Rush/Superior and hot yummy pizza and "bsghetti". Only wish I didn't have to drive home but with it being a Sunday, 2 hours and we were home.
Can't wait to go back! And boy were the Bears fans subdued on their way out...
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