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Old 06-08-2008, 06:04 PM   #11
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Parking is bad, when I took DW downtown to get her sworn in as a citizen I dropped $12 and we were there just over two hours. Not a good deal. The best I have seen lately is $20 if you get in before 9am and don't leave until 5pm, otherwise the rates shoot up for short term parking.
Do yourself a favor and collect maps for the L and for the buses...
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:54 PM   #12
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From Skokie there are no L's (only Metra) so you can either drive and park downtown - 23 dollars for a day which may be pricey but not if you are a family of 5. If you take Metra which I take to work (I work downtown Chicago) you will be dropping atleast 4-5 dollars roundtrip for each person plus you have to pay for parking at the train station so in my opinion it's better to park downtown.

As others suggested go to Navy Pier. My kids (8 and 10) love it there. There are lots of eateries and the Children's Museum if you are interested in taking them there.

I would also suggest going to Greek Town and enjoying a Gyro at Greektown Gyros. I used to go there as a student at UIC and it's not an upscale place but the Gyros can't be beat.

If you are in Chicago you should try one of the deep dish pizzas. There are many chains around - Unos, Edwardos, Lou Malinatis (my favorite) and Gioradanos.

Hotdogs are good and available widely but the one place I like is Jimmy's which is a hole in the wall. There is another good place close to Nagle Avenue called Superdawg. You can ask the hotel to guide you. It's not that far from Skokie.

China Town near Cicero Avenue is also a lot of fun and has a lot of hole in the wall type of places. The kids may have fun walking and exploring shops.

If your kids are adventurous and you are as well, try Rezas which serves delicious lebanese food. It's on N. Clark Street (again not terribly far from Skokie). Right accross from Rezas is one of our favorite bakeries called Swedish Bakery. Nothing comes close to Swedish it's heaven for kids. Your kids will love it and there is always free stuff to sample.

Museums are good but you need lots of time. If you have to make one go to the Field Museum.

Try to walk around State Street and Michigan Avenue to get a feel for the shopping and hustle and bustle of downtown.

Try to take the kids up the skydeck of Sears Tower or John Hancock. I prefer Hancock and the view from up there. You can grab a bite to eat at one of the eateries on the lower level of Water Tower (mall right next to John Hancock)

Also try to take a doubledecker tour if you can. It's a great way to see the city and it's sights. A river boat tour is also highly recommended.

Enjoy your time.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:57 PM   #13
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Parking fees for downtown Chicago are expensive. Avoid it if you can and use the buses and subway when possible. If you get the chance try out Home Run Inn pizza. In my opinion they have the best thin crust pizza around.
I was was in Darian? for a ten day cake deorating class {Wilton} a few years ago. I tried many, many pizzas that claimed to be the best and was quite dissapointed but it was Home Run that I liked the best I went to their all you can eat lunch buffet right next to the school and was in pizza heaven.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:25 PM   #14
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From Skokie there are no L's (only Metra)
That's not true, DW used to take the Yellow Line from Skokie all the time, it is at the Greyhound Bus station near Dempster and LeClaire. You take it to the Red Line which takes you right into downtown.

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China Town near Cicero Avenue is also a lot of fun and has a lot of hole in the wall type of places. The kids may have fun walking and exploring shops.
Chinatown is not near Cicero Ave, it is near I-55 North and Halstead. If you are coming down 90/94 southbound turn onto I-55 North toward Lake Shore Dr. and you will see the exit about a mile to two miles down. Cicero Ave is the other way about 6 miles, going toward St. Louis on I-55 South.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:34 PM   #15
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Maverick, I was not aware of the Yellow line, now I am so I stand corrected.

For China town I meant to say close to Cermak but typed Cicero instead (not sure where that came from I think I am growing senile ) so again I stand corrected.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:47 PM   #16
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Maverick, I was not aware of the Yellow line, now I am so I stand corrected.

For China town I meant to say close to Cermak but typed Cicero instead (not sure where that came from I think I am growing senile ) so again I stand corrected.
No problems as DW supplies me with most of my info (she is like a walking almanac for Chicago LOL), and yea Cermak goes right thru Chinatown. I also recommend it, as you did, for all the cool shops and bakeries there. My kids love it and I am sure hers will as well.

Here is a link for the OP for the Yellow Line (also called the Skokie Swift). If they take it they have to be aware of the hours of operation. DW also says there is this great deli right next door to it called Kaufmann's that has great deli sandwiches. It is about a block or two away from the station. Sandwiches, fresh bagels, macaroons, things like that.

Chicago ''L''.org: Operations - Lines -> Yellow Line

Soo much to see and do in Chicago maybe they should spend a couple of weeks here, LOL.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:45 AM   #17
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No problems as DW supplies me with most of my info (she is like a walking almanac for Chicago LOL), and yea Cermak goes right thru Chinatown. I also recommend it, as you did, for all the cool shops and bakeries there. My kids love it and I am sure hers will as well.

Here is a link for the OP for the Yellow Line (also called the Skokie Swift). If they take it they have to be aware of the hours of operation. DW also says there is this great deli right next door to it called Kaufmann's that has great deli sandwiches. It is about a block or two away from the station. Sandwiches, fresh bagels, macaroons, things like that.

Chicago ''L''.org: Operations - Lines -> Yellow Line

Soo much to see and do in Chicago maybe they should spend a couple of weeks here, LOL.
Thank you Mav. Yes, I would LOVE to spend more than 5 days in Chicago if I had the extra money for it. I am so glad to have so many suggestions from you all here. I'm making an agenda of all the places to go and eat. I'm sure DH will try driving downtown the first day but if we have a hard time with parking, we WILL take the Yellow Line.

I was searching to see if I could get tickets for Oprah but sadly, the phone lines are not available during the summer until August. I'm really sad about this.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:48 PM   #18
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If he does try to go downtown, best bet is Lake Shore Dr. as long as it is not right during peak rush hour.
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:39 PM   #19
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a friend of mine lives there and swears that if you come to Chicago and don't have breakfast here, you've not really been to Chicago
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:42 PM   #20
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That's a good one to eat at, another is Omega on Dempster West of Skokie near Des Plaines. Their German pancake is awesome!
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