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Chicago suggestions this weekend w/ a 5 yr old

Northern Michigan
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for Petoskey, Michigan
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Chicago suggestions this weekend w/ a 5 yr old

Hi all,

My wife and daughter (5 1/2 yrs) and I are visiting friends in Chicago this weekend and I thought I'd post for some suggestions on what to do. We're fairly familiar with Chicago, so I don't need the full rundown just any suggestions on what's going on this weekend and/or interesting stuff we haven't seen yet.

We'll arrive Friday early-afternoon and leave Monday morning. I think Friday we'll prettu much just bum around, do some shopping, eating and drinking, etc. I know Saturday's the Smithsonian Museum day, so we're going to take advantage of that...there wasn't a lot available that I thought would appeal to a 5 yr old so I figured we'd check out Adler Planetarium...good idea? What about either the Field Museum or the Museum of Science & Industry...probably the Field would be more interesting to a 5 yr old? I've also been wanting to check out the old Chess Recording Studios on Michigan Ave (now Willie Dixon Blues Heaven Foundation) has anyone done this and how was it? Mom and daughter have to hit the American Girl store for shopping and lunch while the guys have a beer or two...any suggestions in the area? My wife would really like to go see Rock of Ages at Lasalle, but we're wondering if it's 5 yr old friendly (she's been to several musicals so I'm not worried about her...more concerned with weather or not the subject matter is appropriate). Thought if the weather's nice we'll hit Navy Pier, any specific suggestions there?

Anything else I should think about, keep in mind or look for? Any cool, funky, unique restaurants we should check out? We'll definitely hit Gino's East for a pie, Hot Doug's for the DF fries, Gino & Georgetti's for a nice steak...would like a good sushi joint, maybe tapas and something totally unique...any "cook it yourself" type restaurants? What about a big sunday breakfast...Bongo Room?

wow, long post...thanks for your input!!

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1. Re: Chicago suggestions this weekend w/ a 5 yr old

1) I think that the Alder Plantrium would be boring for a 5.5 year old. I'd go for either the Field Museum or the MSI. Field Museum is closer so that would get the edge time wise. Have not been to the Chess Recording Studio

2) Pippin's Tavern on Rush - by the Water Tower Place/AG store is divey and has a great atmosphere if you want to just have a couple of beers and watch some games.

3) Haven't seen R.O.A. Navy Pier is tourist trappy but has a great Children's Museum that would be right up your daughter's alley. Plus a couple of outdoor beer gardens and great views.

4) Hot Dougs - great food/fries. But how will you get there? Do you have a car? Are you prepared to wait more than an hour in line? You should check out some of the Rick Bayless places. XOCO for "street food" would be a great lunch option. Mercat La Plaxa for tapas. Publican for amazing food.

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2. Re: Chicago suggestions this weekend w/ a 5 yr old

You'll need to allow at least a 1/2 day for the MSI. It's huge. Adler would be good on Saturday.

Check www.explorechicago.org to see what's going on here this weekend.

At Navy Pier - www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org

Grill your own food:

Ron of Japan

230 E. Ontario St.


Check the dining listings at www.chicagoreader.com and www.chicagomag.com

Blues Heaven is great. Note the limited tour hours.

Chicago, IL
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3. Re: Chicago suggestions this weekend w/ a 5 yr old

Shedd Aquarium is good for kids - it's not too large, with a lot of bright, lively fish.

I agree with suggestion for the Chicago Children's Museum on Navy Pier.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Chicago suggestions this weekend w/ a 5 yr old

Since you are visiting friends who live in Chicago you might consider getting a babysitter for your little girl and having an adults night out. Ask your hosts about this. The Planetarium and the Museum of Science & Industry may be over a 5 yr olds head but the Shedd Aquarium would be fun. Perhaps the Lincoln Park Zoo if it's a nice day. The Zoo is also free which is a plus. I'd second Pippin's Pub on Rush while the girls are at the American Girl Store. It's a neighborhood hangout behind the Park Hyatt hotel only three blocks from the American Girl Store. Chicago Dogs' is next door for a good Chicago style hot dog without going out to Hot Doug's. There is a Hershey's and a Ghirardeli chocolate and ice cream store at Water Tower Park. That is if you can handle an ice cream Sundae chaser. As for age appropriate "Rock of Ages", You might want to take the show's web site advice: "Running time: 2 hours and 26 minutes, including intermission. Rock of Ages advises that some of the show's costumes, dancing and language may not be appropriate for children under the age of 14." That might be babysitter night.

For Tapas try 1492 on Superior. http://www.1492tapasbar.com/

For Sushi there is Kamahachi kamehachi.com/locations/locations_streetervi…

or Ai http://www.aichicago.us/home.html both on Ontario

Rensselaer, Indiana
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5. Re: Chicago suggestions this weekend w/ a 5 yr old

Everybody and their brother (plus all their kids) will be at the major museums on Smithsonian Museum Day. If you want that atmosphere, go for it. If not, I'd suggest another day for those types.

However, I think your daughter would be just the right age for the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. It's just north of the Lincoln Park Zoo and Lincoln Park Conservatory.

Kid friendly (major museums): IMHO, the Museum of Science and Industry moreso than the Field Museum of Natural History. Perhaps just a little young yet for the Art Institute, but they have activities for children, too. The Adler sometimes gets a bum rap but I think think it's a good museum - just not in the same league as the others - perhaps you've heard we are in the running (with 20 other museums) for getting a space shuttle?

Agree that you'll have to spend a *lot* of time going to Hot Doug's from the downtown area. Oh, BTW, that hour mentioned above...that's just the possible wait in line (being conservative, too). You still have to figure the considerable travel time there and back to wherever you will be (another hour at least). Cash only, too.

Which Bongo Room - the one in the South Loop or the original?

Look at the Broadway in Chicago website about age limitations for Rock of Ages at the Bank of America Theatre.

Northern Michigan
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6. Re: Chicago suggestions this weekend w/ a 5 yr old

Thanks for your suggestions everyone, we had a great weekend!

We wound up doing a lot of stuff we hadn't planned on, and not a lot that we had! We didn't make it into town until late Friday afternoon, so we just met up at our friends house (in Wicker Park) and did a little shopping and had dinner at Moonshines (which was lackluster at best) at our friend's reco. After dinner the girls went home for bed and we headed out for a bit...went to Bull&Bear which wasn't our scene at all so we had a drink and left...made it to a house party for a while then ate some greasy late night taco's and hit the rack.

Saturday morning we met some other friends and their kids at Brookfield Zoo and had a great time...what a nice zoo! We wrapped that up around when the weather started to turn crummy around 4:00 and went home for a quick rest. Had great sushi at a joint on Division (I can't recall the name) and made it an early night.

Sunday was our shopping day, so we had a great breakfast at Bongo Room (the original) and made our way downtown...shopped for a while, did the American Girl thing (had a few beers in Pippen's) and shopped some more. We planned on a big food day, but after the Bongo Brekkie nobody could eat much...our lunch turned into linner at about 5:00 and by 7 our dinner reservations were cancelled! Girls went home to bed again and we guys went out for a few drinks...low key though as we had to be up early! In the morning, we left about 8:00 and had mercifully light traffic so we made it back to Grand Rapids in just about three hours.

Anyway, ramble, ramble...just thought I'd say thanks and let you know we had a great trip!

7. Re: Chicago suggestions this weekend w/ a 5 yr old

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