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    Chicago Vacation

    Taking the wife and 2 kids (6 and 5) to Chicago in June for a little vacation. Staying downtown and going to the usual, Navy Pier, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, etc.

    Any suggestions on what else we absolutely need to do while in Chicago? Restaurants the kids would enjoy besides ESPN Zone and Hard Rock?

    Thanks.


    King James

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    Re: Chicago Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfnb View Post
    Taking the wife and 2 kids (6 and 5) to Chicago in June for a little vacation. Staying downtown and going to the usual, Navy Pier, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, etc.

    Any suggestions on what else we absolutely need to do while in Chicago? Restaurants the kids would enjoy besides ESPN Zone and Hard Rock?

    Thanks.
    I say do the "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" tour of Chicago:

    1. Fake illness
    2. Get the Ferrari
    3. Get your family
    4. Park it in a downtown garage
    5. Go to the top of the Sears Tower
    6. Go to the stock market
    7. Eat lunch at a high-end restaurant
    8. Go to a Cubs game (for the sake of the plot...)
    9. Go to the museum of art
    10. Ditch the family and serenade them in the middle of a parade
    11. Get the Ferrari, go to a park
    12. Jump in pool
    13. Send the Ferrari thru the back of the garage
    14. Get back home in time to keep the gig going...


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    Re: Chicago Vacation

    If you are going by way of I-80 east, stop at the last rest area near Davenport. They used to have lots of deals for Chicago, we got 2 for 1 dinners at some really nice restaraunts, free tickets to go up to the top of the Hancock building. Alot of other brochures and things there also.



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    Re: Chicago Vacation

    The Museum of Science and Industry is a good family place and no trip to Chicago is complete without some deep-dish pizza.

    Speaking of Ferris Bueller, does anyone know of Von Steuben Day festivities in any Iowa cities? (Chicago has a big festival; the parade is shown in the movie.) It's basically the biggest German-American holiday not called Oktoberfest and it has more meaning for us Americans. Don't 99.9% (rough estimate) of Iowans have some German in them?


    Yeah well, ya know, that's just, like uh, your opinion, man.

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    Re: Chicago Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by Stelrs1995 View Post
    If you are going by way of I-80 east, stop at the last rest area near Davenport. They used to have lots of deals for Chicago, we got 2 for 1 dinners at some really nice restaraunts, free tickets to go up to the top of the Hancock building. Alot of other brochures and things there also.
    You talking about Iowa 80 truckstop? That's quite a place. Largest truck stop in the world, and it's got some pretty sweet stuff there.

    Reminds me a little of Pedro's South of the Border on I-95 on the North/South Carolina border


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    Re: Chicago Vacation

    I suggest you eat at Catch 35, if you like seafood and steaks.



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    Re: Chicago Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    You talking about Iowa 80 truckstop? That's quite a place. Largest truck stop in the world, and it's got some pretty sweet stuff there.
    Actually I think he is talking about the Mississippi Valley Welcome Center near LeClaire.



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    Re: Chicago Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by C.John View Post
    Actually I think he is talking about the Mississippi Valley Welcome Center near LeClaire.
    That's not actually the rest stop (being that I live in Davenport). The rest stop is just north of town on the Davenport/Bettendorf border. The Welcome Center is actually in LeClaire, the other side of Davenport. If that's the place you want to go, take the U.S. 67 exit (Bettendorf/LeClaire/Clinton exit) and hang a left. Go up the hill and it's on the left hand side. However, I'm pretty sure the Iowa 80 truckstop's got info on Chicago as well (it's a trucker's landmark - ask any trucker anywhere in the country and they can pinpoint it)


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    Re: Chicago Vacation

    You have to go to Wrigley. Even if you are a die-hard Sox or Cards fan.



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    Re: Chicago Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    That's not actually the rest stop (being that I live in Davenport).
    This I know, however based on the 'deals' that Stelrs mentioned, they sounded like something that you would find at the Welcome Center and not the rest stop. Plus, to many people, Bettendorf and LeClaire are just lumped into an all consuming "Davenport". For example, when we drove down to get our taco fix at Rudy's Tacos, we may have been heading to either the one in Bettendorf or the one in the Village, but we always just said we were heading to the Rudy's in Davenport.



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    Re: Chicago Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfnb View Post
    Taking the wife and 2 kids (6 and 5) to Chicago in June for a little vacation. Staying downtown and going to the usual, Navy Pier, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, etc.

    Any suggestions on what else we absolutely need to do while in Chicago? Restaurants the kids would enjoy besides ESPN Zone and Hard Rock?

    Thanks.
    I lived in the River North area in '97-'98 and my wife and I love downtown Chicago. We are taking our 7-year-old daughter there in mid-July. We are doing about the same things you are. They are going to American Girl Place while I'm at Wrigley drinking Old Style and watching the Cubs.

    Here's something your wife will love and your kids will really enjoy. Go see Blue Man Group at the Briar Street Theatre. They recommend kids be at least five years old so your kids should be good to go. It's half theater and half music played on kettle drums and huge instruments made of PCV pipe. You have to see it to appreciate it. Go to www.bluemangroup.com for more info.

    You might also be there for Taste of Chicago, which is awesome. A lot of good ideas from other posts. Have a great time!!!



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    Re: Chicago Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by C.John View Post
    This I know, however based on the 'deals' that Stelrs mentioned, they sounded like something that you would find at the Welcome Center and not the rest stop. Plus, to many people, Bettendorf and LeClaire are just lumped into an all consuming "Davenport". For example, when we drove down to get our taco fix at Rudy's Tacos, we may have been heading to either the one in Bettendorf or the one in the Village, but we always just said we were heading to the Rudy's in Davenport.
    That's fine, I just wanted to make sure they got off at LeClaire and not at the rest area...


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    Re: Chicago Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by Tulsa Cyclone View Post

    You might also be there for Taste of Chicago, which is awesome. A lot of good ideas from other posts. Have a great time!!!
    Taste of Chicago was awesome when I was there two years ago, but with my brother being 6 at the time, it wasn't a good spot to be lugging him around with all the people, it was kind of a pain....maybe that was just me, but i wouldn't want to do it again with young kids...



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    Re: Chicago Vacation

    last year i took my wife to chicago for her first time. she wanted to see the tourist stuff so i found a card that gives you discounts to all of the siteseeing places. go to Go Chicago Card, Chicago Illinois Tourism, Chicago City Tours, Chicago Sightseeing Pass. they make it seem like an awesome deal, but we found that we broke even. the best thing was it came with a free pass to a trolley that took you around the loop and the magnificent mile sites and you could get on and off anytime. it saved us on cab rides and having to find everything.

    if you like pizza, i would recomend pizzeria uno or deux. they are owned by the same company and their pizza is awesome.

    the field museum, planetarium and aquarium might interest your kids if they like the sciences. they are all in the same location and could take up an afternoon or full day if you want.

    there are some great shows around chicago too. i dont know what is there right now, but there are always some great ones. if you are interested in a good evening, the blueman group preforms at the briar street theater. it can be expensive, but it was by far the best live performance i have ever seen.

    check out millennium park. some cool things to see there. as well as grant park which is right across the street. there you can see the large fountain that is in the begining of married with children. the night show is rather awesome.

    hope your vacation is good. i wish i could go with you.


    Last edited by dno96; 05-23-2007 at 11:48 PM.
    If Cyclone Fanatic was a drug…consider me a junkie.

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    Re: Chicago Vacation

    Personally, I think Navy Pier is very overrated unless you're going to something specific there. It's cooler when you're old enough just to appreciate the very nice ambiance out there, but for a kid it's got a ferris wheel and an ice cream place, and if you're not doing either then it's just a hellishly long walk out into the middle of a big lake. Go back there with the wife some summer evening, and I'm sure you'll have a more enjoyable time.

    I don't know how long you'll be in the city, but Shedd and the Field Museum (both fantastic visits) will be a pretty full day. There's a lot there. The Museum of Science and Industry is one of the best things in that entire city (all four of you will have a blast, I promise), and it's HUGE- you need to either plan to spend almost the whole day there, or accept the fact that you won't get to see everything. Time well-spent.

    Again, this would probably bore the kids, but sometime you need to go to the Art Institute downtown. Even for someone who knows nothing whatsoever about art, it's an awesome place. They have every kind of art imaginable, with plenty of very recognizable works and plenty of new but cool ones. Gorgeous building, great exhibits, very knowledgeable museum staff that will answer questions (if you can track one of them down).

    If you want to spend some time outdoors, go to Millennium Park and Grant Park. They're right next to each other, in between Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue, on the east border of the Loop. Grant Park is like NYC's Central Park- a big old-fashioned trees-and-grass-and-benches park. Millennium Park is much more modern, with lots of huge modern art sculptures (you NEED to go see "the Bean"- the kids will love it to death). The skating rink might even still be in operation; not sure about that, though. There's a huge outdoor theater that often has free concerts or movies or plays. The whole thing is on top of two big underground parking garages, which makes it very convenient to get to all the downtown stuff.

    Restaurants: two of my favorite places are both in Chicago. Ed DeBevic's is pretty famous. The waitstaff are known for basically verbally abusing the customers throughout the visit. They're rude and it's hilarious. I know it doesn't sound all that great when it's written out, but go there; I promise you'll have a good time. It's an American diner; expect to wait for a while if you go during peak dinner times. Food's worth the wait, though.

    The other place I *love* to eat is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Italian Village is right in the Loop, near the Ford Theatre. It's an upscale Italian restaurant- don't expect Olive Garden, this is the real thing. You don't have to be wearing a tux and ballgown to eat there, but you and the wife should probably be dressed one notch above t-shirts and blue jeans. If you're dressed up a bit, they won't care about the kids. The atmosphere is amazing (the whole restaurant looks like a replica of an Italian village- you eat inside buildings, and at night the lighting comes from the stars in the ceiling and streetlamps on the walls) and the food will allow you to die happy.

    If you're up for an adventure, hop onto the Red Line and take it to Chinatown. Lots of shopping there, and every other business is a restaurant. If you go there for a meal, I recommend The Emperor's Choice. (As you come down the train station stairs, turn right towards Chinatown, and turn left down the street that's obviously the other main drag of the area. The restaurant is about two blocks down on the right side.) The Seven Wives is also very good. That's just a few doors away.


    True and Valiant

    I also remember a game with Kansas when Cy (wore a huge suit then) went out to center field, squatted, and "pooped" a couple of chickens that had been dyed blue then chased them around.
    Quote Originally Posted by DJK15

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