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Things to do outside of chicago

(11 Posts)
roomonthatbroomforme Mon 07-Nov-16 18:46:44

We're off to Chicago next year. Hoping to spend 5 days there then do a bit of travelling round. Anyone have any recommendations of things to see/do?

iwanttoridemybicycle Fri 18-Nov-16 23:38:21

We spent 2 nights there this summer. Hired bikes and cycled up the lakefront. That was great. Went to a baseball match. Saw the coffee bean. It's a great city, would go back in a heartbeat.

RusholmeRuffian Sat 19-Nov-16 20:15:23

Catch a baseball game at Wrigley field, take a river boat trip, go to Navy Pier and the lakeshore. The Field Museum is excellent. Eat proper Chicago pizza at Pizza Uno or Gino's. Shop for bargains at Nordstrom Rack on State Street. Visit Millennium Park and the giant bean. Have a drink and enjoy the view from the Top of the Rock. Go shopping on the Magnificent Mile. Eat wings at Jake Melnick's Corner Tap. Check out the Vintage Stores and Record shops in Wicker Park. I love Chicago!

RusholmeRuffian Sat 19-Nov-16 20:19:57

Wisconsin's lake shore is not far, you could hear to Madison, Racine or even Milwaukee. Indiana has Amish country which may be of interest. Have a look at for some inspiration. It will tell you driving distances and also give you ideas for attractions etc near your route.

CotswoldStrife Sat 19-Nov-16 20:20:51

In Chicago, the Architectural Boat Tour is nice (leaves opposite the Wrigley Building). Marshall Fields is the store with the clock, and the tourist hop-on-hop-off bus is handy to get around on. There's an aquarium near the park too. Might not want to go in some parts of the loop!

Outside Chicago - we have driven to Indianapolis, along a bit of Route 66 to St Louis, there's a shopping mall (outlet, I think) on the way from Chicago to Indy. Are you hiring a car?

lalalonglegs Sat 19-Nov-16 21:14:33

To be honest, I think there is loads to do in Chicago for five days (try one of the free walking tours - you tip at the end - to get a feel for the downtown): art gallery, Millennium park, river, great shops, aquarium, lots of beaches on the lake if you are there in summer, get drinks on the 96th floor of what was the John Hancock building (can't remember what it's called now but you can't miss it). Just outside of Chicago, there is a really nice botanical garden to the north but I don't think you will run out of things to do in the city itself.

I have to say, Rusholme, I really wouldn't recommend Chicago pizza, I thought it was closes to inedible sad.

lalalonglegs Sat 19-Nov-16 21:18:34

Oh and visit the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the Oak Park suburb west of the city (be warned, the El takes you out there and you pass through a virtual slum to get there, it's horrifying that places like that exist in the States).

We were in Chicago this summer and I love it there but I have to admit that there is a massive homelessness/begging problem in the downtown, it's really noticeable. I don't remember it from the last time we were there a few years ago and certainly there isnothing like it in New York, for example.

FrickOnAStick Sat 19-Nov-16 21:29:50

Not outside of Chicago a and possibly a leeetle niche but visit the International Museum Of Surgical Science. Beautiful building, great exhibits and hardly anyone there so you have the place to yourself. Perfect for medical science nerds me.

I visited Chicago last summer with my (non medic or science nerd) DH and our science nerd DD. All of us loved it.

Food tours (Godess & the Baker - OMG).

We loved the amount of public art in Chicago - Sculpture everywhere. Plus, the gorgeous greenery. The enormous and beautiful planters on the pavement/sidewalks throughout the city made the world of difference. The architecture is beautiful too, like a mini NYC.

FrickOnAStick Sat 19-Nov-16 21:32:21

*Goddess & the Baker

FrickOnAStick Sat 19-Nov-16 21:33:20

I didn't like Chicago pizza either, lala. I'm a thin crust NY style girl.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sat 19-Nov-16 21:43:57

Oh Chicago is amazing. So much to do. Do you have DCs? The museum of science and industry is brilliant. There are great parks with splashpads so basically never go out without a towel if you're going in summer. The Chicago Children's Museum on Navy pier isn't a museum, it's a cool play place with all sorts of different rooms, for role play, water play etc. We found it very useful on day 2 when jet lag kicked in a bit for ds and it was incredibly hot - just a nice few hours where he could play in just sort his head out a bit.

Outside Chicago we went to Lake Geneva for a couple of days, very pretty. We stayed in a motel which wasn't luxurious but had a great water park. Was a nice change of pace.

The Art Institute's modern collection is absolutely world class, I had an utterly joyful day there on my own.

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