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Museum of SI or Shedd Aquarium for 3 hours?

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Museum of SI or Shedd Aquarium for 3 hours?

Here's the scoop. Loved the Museum of SI when we visited 8 years years ago, but never been to the Shedd Aquariun. Our girls are 10, 13 and 17. We are getting a one day Chicago Go card and have other things planned for the rest of the day (bus tour, boat ride, navy pier, John Hancock, etc..). Which would you recommend? We were planning on spending 3-4 hours there at one of these two attractions.

Thank you!!

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for Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Museum of SI or Shedd Aquarium for 3 hours?

If you only have 3-4 hours, go to the Shedd. Get there early as the lines can get long. You need at least a 1/2day at the MSI.

Midland, MI
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2. Re: Museum of SI or Shedd Aquarium for 3 hours?

Aquarium -- it will take you an hour in commuting to get to the Museum of SI and back.

How about the Art Museum?

Rensselaer, Indiana
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3. Re: Museum of SI or Shedd Aquarium for 3 hours?

muyfamily, this post will be like the "Good Cop/Bad Cop" scenario:

The Bad Cop:

This illustrates one of the major issues with a GoChicago card. Individuals filling up their schedule so full to get their money's worth that they are not really enjoying most of it because of the rush.

But let's say that you are still set on getting that GoChicago card. That's quite a full schedule you have there. Are you sure that you will be able to do all of this between 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.? It will be rather difficult if you are spending 1/2 of a day at a museum.

If you check the disclaimers shown on each of the attractions on the website, you'll see that the GoChicago card only gives free access to the John Hancock before 5:30 p.m.; the hop-on-hop-off tour between 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Navy Pier before 5:30 p.m.; either of the boat tours until 5:30 p.m.; etc. Of course, you are limited to the museums' hours, whichever you choose, as well.

The Good Cop:

You will be spending around $290 for the five of you with a GoChicago Card, isn't that correct?

For that money you could do this: Family membership at the Shedd Aquarium is $125 ($115 if you join online) - or if you get the Daily Pass, it would add up to about $118 (for 4 adults/1 child under 11). Keep in mind that the Family Membership gives you more than just general admission and access to the exhibits. And you don't have to wait in line like all the others, if you purchase the membership in advance and go to the "Will Call" window.

You could take your family to the Signature Lounge for some drinks for somewhat less than $75 since your girls would be getting soft drinks. Same view, just a little lower. But if you wanted to go up in the Observatory, then the general admission price would be less than $70 (again 4 adults @ $15/1 child at $9). By the way, the best time to go to the Observatory is about 1/2 hour before sunset - you see the daylight - then dusk - then night within a shorter period of time. And, if you are going on a Wednesday or Saturday, you can go at a time to see the fireworks, unless that's why you are going to Navy Pier (see below).

But, wait! There's more! If you go to the John Hancock website, you'll see that you can get a combo ticket for general admission to the Observatory and a 90-minute lake boat tour with Mercury. The cost would be $133 for the 5 of you.

Under the Special Values card, Mercury has 2-for-1 admission (up to 4 people), Monday-Thursday (excluding holidays), 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. only, subject to availability.

Under that same card, Wendella also has 2-for-1 boat tours, but you have to go Monday-Thursday (non-holidays) and it doesn't include sunset cruises, etc., subject to availability. SeaDog also has 2-for-1 boat admission, Monday-Friday. And the Windy (our 4-masted schooner) has 2-for-1 admission 90-minute sail, Monday-Friday, excluding fireworks and specialty cruises.

Each of these four above options, you must have the appropriate number of coupons.

Navy Pier is free entry and has free entertainment on the midway, you just have to pay for the rides, food and so forth and for the entertainment on certain stages. For example, the Ferris Wheel is $6 pp but if you are interested in the rides, there is a Family-Combo ticket for $30 (10 rides). Thing is, you can do this any time, not just before 5:30 p.m.

Do you want the bus tour? If you forego the narrative, you can do the same with the CTA bus system ($5 visitor 1-day pass pp allows unlimited rides for 24-hours/$25 for 5 of you). In addition, there is the free trolley system, but I would not bank on using that as your primary mode of transportation, as it gets packed during the busiest times. Use it if it comes along and there are empty seats - otherwise, use the visitor passes.

So, let's add up our cost (using the JH combo option, and not including the Special Values coupon options because there are so many to choose from and you don't indicate which day you will be here - may not even be available):

$303.00 for what you wanted - but the thing is: you are not limited by time, which would probably mean you'd have to lose one - or more - of your desired options.

This is just an example where you really have to do your math with these cards, see what's available when and make your choices. Hope it helps you a bit in deciding.

4. Re: Museum of SI or Shedd Aquarium for 3 hours?

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