Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago

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Pogo
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2006/05/29 22:18:31 (permalink)

Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago

Taking the kids to Chicago around the 4th of July. Kids are 17 and 15.

So, no S&M museums or such. LOL. We are going to go up the Hancock Building, Fields Museum of Natural History, F. Loyd Wrights Museum, China Town and maybe Greek Town. Maybe architectural tour by boat.

Any great places to go that most people dont know about? I dont care how quirky, throw it out here. NO, I'm not going to the leather museum.

Thanks in advance
#1

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    BT
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/05/29 22:37:07 (permalink)
    I recommend

    -- Navy Pier:

    -- Riding the "El" THE best way to get around town.

    -- Art Institute (peerless collection of French Impressionism -- don't miss it!)

    -- Eastern European (e.g. Polish) food. I can't give you specifics because it's been too long since I was there, but any good food guide and other folks here can. I just like to wander the old immigrant neighborhoods and find a place that looks good and/or popular.

    -- Theater: Chicago functions as a "tryout" town for shows getting themselves in shape for Broadway as well as for post-Broadway travelling companies. Last time I was there, I was staying right next to the Schubert Theater and "The Producers" was playing before it went to Broadway and became a big hit. See http://www.chicagotraveler.com/theater.htm

    -- Opera: I know, they're teens and maybe it's hopeless, but Chicago has the 3rd (hey, I'm a San Franciscan but I admit some would say 2nd) best opera company in America and if you've never seen top-flight grand opera live, you (and they) should. See http://www.lyricopera.org/

    -- Shopping on Michigan Ave. Just pretend it's a mall and spend half a day wandering.

    -- Explore Oldtown and, if you're a comedy fan, make a pilgrimage to SecondCity: http://www.oldtownchicago.org/entertainment.htm and http://cityguide.aol.com/chicago/entertainment/venue.adp?sbid=108565929

    I bet the S/M leather museums in SF are better anyway. Save the exploration of your id for when you come here.
    #2
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/05/29 23:52:38 (permalink)
    Oh...I got quirky in Chicago!

    There is the mass grave of circus performers killed back around the turn of the last century...



    There's the indian with the giant, well, ummmm.... (your kids will get a kick out of it!)



    Oh wait...this is the indian!



    And, of course, you need to make THE roadfood stop in Chicago...

    #3
    mr chips
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/05/30 00:06:31 (permalink)
    The Museum of Science and Industry has cut up strips of human skin and a German WWII U-boat.
    #4
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/05/30 09:17:39 (permalink)
    http://users.ameritech.net/chicagotunnel/tunnel1x.html
    #5
    kland01s
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/05/30 11:34:42 (permalink)
    I'm sure you can find something through the web sites below, the architectual boat tour is really cool. Have fun and enjoy a beautiful city!

    http://www.wttw.com/main.taf?p=1,18

    http://www.wendellaboats.com/chicago.htm
    #6
    kland01s
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/05/30 11:43:18 (permalink)
    I just noticed the dates you will be coming, that's during the Taste of Chicago, below is a link to last year's schedule. Even though it bings huge crowds in to the City, everything is handled very smoothly and public transportation is excellant. During the summer, the City operates free shuttles to all of the major venues, your hotel should have the routes and schedules.

    http://www.suntimes.com/special_sections/taste/
    #7
    Cosmos
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/05/30 18:10:51 (permalink)
    Do the boat tour. If you're interested in the architecture at all, its the best way to see a lot of it and the tour guides know what they are talking about.
    #8
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/05/30 18:29:44 (permalink)
    Go to the Field Museuim and check out their computer that show the movements of the contenents and what was on living on them at that time. Oh, and don't miss those lions from "ghosts in the darkness"!
    Joe
    #9
    saps
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/05/31 11:03:34 (permalink)
    For food-

    Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder- Upside down pizzas cooked in crocks and excellent salad- Make sure to mix the poppy seed and garlic dressings. Very casual, on Clark St. between Webster and Dickens

    Weiner Circle- Leave the kids in the room and go there after 1:00 a.m. The proper way to order is to use the most filthy language at the counter people, scream at them, and they give it right back to you. There is nothing that can't be said there. An absolute zoo, but hilarious. Just took a friend from England there on Saturday night. Clark and Wrightwood.

    Billy Goat Tavern- On lower Wacker, just below Michigan Avenue, and across the street from the Intercontinental Hotel. Home of the old SNL "Cheeseburger, cheeseburger" skit. The place has a lot of character-worth a stop and a burger.

    If you go to Greek Town, go to Santorini. Best seafood in Greektown.

    More later
    #10
    Pogo
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/05/31 17:52:44 (permalink)
    GREAT IDEAS!

    We know of the Taste of Chicago, I am going to go to it for lunch while we are visiting the Field Museum. The El? Definitely!

    BT, I found my sexual identification in the back of a Vega Hatchback 31 years ago.......

    Please keep these great ideas coming!!!!
    #11
    BT
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/01 04:06:57 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pogo

    GREAT IDEAS!

    BT, I found my sexual identification in the back of a Vega Hatchback 31 years ago.......



    Ah, but you can explore so much more deeply into the "Quirky, cool" side of yourself if you come visit US (and bring the kids). Here's a taste of what awaits:



    That's Madonna giving the audience what they expect in San Jose last night. And for those who don't know, our very own fpczyz is in charge of "culture" in San Jose so I'll bet he was there. Perhaps he's one of the guys on a leash? That you Frank?
    #12
    Pogo
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/02 08:37:57 (permalink)
    LOL@BT" />
    #13
    Tastytoo
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/04 16:01:01 (permalink)
    http://www.ghosttours.com

    If you can get a copy of either edition of A Cook's Guide to Chicago by Marilyn Pocius there are listings for various ethnic groceries and cooking equipment that sound interesting.

    #14
    Sourdust
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/06 22:37:15 (permalink)
    You mention a couple of museums but not the Art Institute, IMHO the best museum in the city and one of the very best art museums I've visited -- up there with the Met and the Philadelphia Museum.

    Overall I think the #1 thing to experience in Chicago is the architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright. Louis Sullivan. Daniel Burnham. Helmut Jahn. Mies van der Rohe. Very few if any American cities were called home (for a time, anyway)by more great architects. Some quick suggestions:

    -downtown walking tour guided by a docent of the Chicago Architecture Foundation (www.architecture.org)
    -Alta Vista Terrace (http://www.architecture.org/tour_view.aspx?TourID=1)
    -Wrigley Field (duh)
    -B'Hai Temple in Wilmette
    -underground pedway
    -many, many beautiful churches -- there's a modernist Ukranian one in a SW suburb that is awe-inspiring in its weirdness
    -Millenium Park
    -Prairie Avenue district including the Clarke and Glessner houses
    -Marshall Fields landmark downtown store (or will it be, sniff, Macys by the time you visit)

    check out the downtown farmers market(s). Wander around Chinatown. Visit some of the many excellent used/specialty bookstores (there are three in Hyde Park all close to each other: 57th Street/Seminary Co-Op/Powells). Wander around Lincoln Park (the zoo, of course, is a must). Walk through the old Polish, rapidly becomin Hispanic, neighborhood along Milwaukee Avenue. Drive Lake Shore Drive, and I would recommend especially to try to view downtown from the south, at night -- my favorite view of the city. Grab a beer at Goose Island (one of the oldest brewpubs in the country), Hopleaf, or the Map Room. Catch some live blues. Catch a show or at least look around the Old Town School of Folk Music. Chicago Symphony at Ravinia is a must, though the audience can be VERY annoying.

    Wow I miss it.
    #15
    6star
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/07 00:21:46 (permalink)
    If you will be there on a Wednesday thru Sunday, go to the Museum of Holography at 1134 W. Washington Blvd. and May St. (about a block from Harpo Studios - Oprah's place) Hours are 12:30 pm to 5 pm. Admission is $4.00. Website is http://holographiccenter.com/ The 3-D pictures even impress teenagers.

    Another place not mentioned yet is the Museum of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1155 E. 58th St. Hours are Tu 10-6, Wed 10-8:30, Th-Sa 10-6, Su noon-6. Admission is $5. Website is http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/Tut_Burton_Exhibit_2006.html
    #16
    sizz
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/07 01:35:37 (permalink)
    quote:
    BT Posted - 06/01/2006 : 04:06:57 That's Madonna giving the audience what they expect in San Jose last night. And for those who don't know, our very own fpczyz is in charge of "culture" in San Jose so I'll bet he was there. Perhaps he's one of the guys on a leash? That you Frank?


    BT.............................lol, not hardly. To be honest I didn't even know she was performing, if what you call what she does performing.
    Although this morning I was informed by our staff at the Office of Cultural Affairs that the majority of the audience came from San Francisco you know that much smaller town just north of San Jose. Unfortunately too many of you cats from SF do know your way to San Jose
    #17
    mr chips
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/07 02:20:50 (permalink)
    I would like to second the Art Institute. Besides one of the best Impressionist Collections I have ever seen, there is a collection of rifles, medieval armor, and weapons that might interest teen-age boys. I like Roddity's in Greektown as a place to eat.
    #18
    BT
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/07 03:12:11 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by mr chips

    I would like to second the Art Institute. Besides one of the best Impressionist Collection, I have ever seen, there is a collection of rifles, medieval armor, and weapons that might interest teen-age boys. I like Roddity's in Greektown.


    You are thirding it, dude. Read my post way at the top.
    #19
    irisarbor
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/07 12:56:45 (permalink)
    If either of your teenagers are girls, or if you want to indulge anyone, they just opened a LUSH boutique in the Marshall Fields on ground level at Water Tower place- incredibly fun bath goodies and things that smell wonderful- teenage girl and wife heaven! Also in North bridge there is a VOSGES haut chocolate store, where they absolutely re-define chcoclate as a drink and an experience- and the Virgin megastore is also a fun shopping stop for that age group as well.
    #20
    Pogo
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/10 18:06:29 (permalink)
    You guys are AWESOME!!!!

    Now we are getting to the things that would interest me and mine. Sorry I have taken so long to respond...... This week has been shrek.

    Brewpubs... How did you know? I will try to go to Goose Island if I can work it in. We were planning on seeing China Town, and hitting a restaraunt in Greek Town on the way via the El. Milwaukee Ave/Polish Culture, yep.

    Is Roddity's in Greektown a Greek restaraunt?

    Art Institute, sounds good, will try to work it in also.

    Vosges, sounds like my kinda place.

    Marshall Fields, Excellent idea.

    All great ideas, please strain a brain and keep these coming!!!!!!!!!!!
    #21
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/12 12:22:56 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pogo

    Is Roddity's in Greektown a Greek restaraunt?
    Yup; a good one, too.

    Buddy
    #22
    mr chips
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/22 00:20:22 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by BT

    quote:
    Originally posted by mr chips

    I would like to second the Art Institute. Besides one of the best Impressionist Collection, I have ever seen, there is a collection of rifles, medieval armor, and weapons that might interest teen-age boys. I like Roddity's in Greektown.


    You are thirding it, dude. Read my post way at the top.
    Oops
    #23
    danimal15
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/22 17:47:03 (permalink)
    If you're in town as early as July 2, you can try to catch a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, thought tickets are very hard to find. Sometimes you can get decent ones from scalpers outside the park, or even at the box office a few hours before gametime, when previously unavailable tickets suddenly appear.

    There's arguably no experience more uniquely Chicago than taking in a game at Wrigley. Most of the modern ballparks being built are designed to remind people of Wrigley Field, but there's only one original. Sadly, it's become rather crowded lately, and a lot of people who go seem more interested in chatting on their cell phones or drinking beer than watching the game. I remember when bleacher tickets were $1.50 and the ballpark was seldom more than half full.

    Rodity's is a good Greektown restaurant. Still, for Greek chicken, the best place in the city is Athenian Room in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, on Webster just west of Halsted. I've described this dish in numerous postings on this web site.

    Also, just take a walk along the lakefront and through Lincoln Park on the North Side of the city. That's another way to get a true feeling for Chicago, and to enjoy Lake Michigan, the city's only natural attraction. It's always about 10 degrees cooler near the lake, so it's a good place to go to cool off. Bring your bathing suits - the city has wonderful beaches and the water is quite clean (the city gets its drinking water from the lake, so it had better be)

    Your kids may also like to take a walk through the Lakeview neighborhood, which surrounds Wrigley Field. Halsted, Broadway and Clark streets all abound with ethnic restaurants, antique shops, junk clothes stores, used book and record stores, coffee shops, sandwich shops, etc. This is the neighborhood where I grew up, and it's a wonderful place for an afternoon walk. Take the red line to Belmont or Addison and walk east a couple blocks.
    #24
    danimal15
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/22 17:49:49 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by danimal15

    If you're in town as early as July 2, you can try to catch a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, thought tickets are very hard to find. Sometimes you can get decent ones from scalpers outside the park, or even at the box office a few hours before gametime, when previously unavailable tickets suddenly appear.

    There's arguably no experience more uniquely Chicago than taking in a game at Wrigley. Most of the modern ballparks being built are designed to remind people of Wrigley Field, but there's only one original. Sadly, it's become rather crowded lately, and a lot of people who go seem more interested in chatting on their cell phones or drinking beer than watching the game. I remember when bleacher tickets were $1.50 and the ballpark was seldom more than half full.

    Rodity's is a good Greektown restaurant. Still, for Greek chicken, the best place in the city is Athenian Room in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, on Webster just west of Halsted. I've described this dish in numerous postings on this web site.

    Also, just take a walk along the lakefront and through Lincoln Park on the North Side of the city. That's another way to get a true feeling for Chicago, and to enjoy Lake Michigan, the city's only natural attraction. It's always about 10 degrees cooler near the lake, so it's a good place to go to cool off. Bring your bathing suits - the city has wonderful beaches and the water is quite clean (the city gets its drinking water from the lake, so it had better be)

    Your kids may also like to take a walk through the Lakeview neighborhood, which surrounds Wrigley Field. Halsted, Broadway and Clark streets all abound with ethnic restaurants, antique shops, junk clothes stores, used book and record stores, coffee shops, sandwich shops, etc. This is the neighborhood where I grew up, and it's a wonderful place for an afternoon walk. Take the red line to Belmont or Addison and walk east a couple blocks.


    By the way, I said "as early as July 2" for a Cubs game because they go out of town on a road trip after that. You could also go to a Sox game - the team is a hell of a lot better than the Cubs. But US Cellular Field is pretty much a generic ball mall, and there's no reason to go unless you're big baseball fans.
    #25
    Pogo
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/24 23:12:45 (permalink)
    Danimal15,

    Some GREAT ideas!

    I really like the Wrigley neighborhood's description. We dont care much for baseball but those shops sound great!

    Just four more days till the trip, excitement is growing, and so is my appetite. My niece is taking me to an Italian Beef joint that I have never seen mentioned on roadfood, I ate there once before and it is sublime.

    #26
    danimal15
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/06/30 18:27:53 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pogo

    Danimal15,

    Some GREAT ideas!

    I really like the Wrigley neighborhood's description. We dont care much for baseball but those shops sound great!

    Just four more days till the trip, excitement is growing, and so is my appetite. My niece is taking me to an Italian Beef joint that I have never seen mentioned on roadfood, I ate there once before and it is sublime.




    If you have time, make sure you also get Italian Beef at Mr. Beef on Orleans (see reviews section of this site). It really is the best.
    #27
    Niagara
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/07/02 14:57:12 (permalink)
    We took the architectural boat tour 3 years ago, and loved it. Just make sure Dave Matthews Band isn't in town eating a lot of bran when you take the tour.

    We're going back top Chicago the beginning of August for a professional society conference at the Hyatt McCormick Place (apparently Chicago's version of BFE), and are going up early to see the Cubs on Saturday, 8/5 - just got my tickets.

    My wife wants to go see Oprah with some of the other wives - so far, noting on Oprah's web site as far as dates or tickets yet.
    #28
    kland01s
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/07/02 15:21:47 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Niagara


    My wife wants to go see Oprah with some of the other wives - so far, noting on Oprah's web site as far as dates or tickets yet.


    I was at an Oprah show about 10 years ago, at that time the local station that broadcasts her show would make an annoucement around 3:30 in the afternoon that the Oprah Show was looking for people and if you called in a certain time frame, you got on. As my luck goes, it was one of the most boring Oprah shows ever and Oprah pretty much ignored the audience but it was cool to see how it's all done. She tapes 3 shows a day when she is in town. I think most of the shows during the summer are tapes or reruns.
    #29
    danimal15
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    RE: Need Info: Quirky, cool things to do in Chicago 2006/07/06 23:02:41 (permalink)
    How was the trip to Chicago?
    #30
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