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Old 09-09-2012, 05:32 AM   #16
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there is a chrismas market in downtown, not sure if it will still be running have not found the dates for this year. Of course the Chicago Disney Store is a must. I like the Navy Pier area, but since you are talking Dec it may have to wait.
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:20 PM   #17
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We've been to Chicago only once and we loved it! My most important tip is to eat at Coco Pazzo...one of the best restaurants we've ever been to! Also, Giordanos has great pizza (and this is coming from a New Yorker...lol!)
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:30 PM   #18
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Make sure to go on the subway website and get a visitors pass online before you go. They will mail it to you.

Chicago has outstanding rates for subway rides for visitors if you order them online. Unlimited trips, really makes life great.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:10 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by emmababy View Post
Thanks everyone!! My kids are 2,4, 6. We are staying at Hampton Inn and Suites. Is that convenient to everything? We hope to take in the parade, how insanely early do we need to get there to get a spot?

We plan on doing Shedd and shopping, but after that mostly taking in the holiday events! Thanks for all your tips.

Question- if we want to do the oceanrium- can we just pay for that option or do we have to upgrade to the $30 tickets?

What is the Walnut Room?

I would love to go for Christmas but my luck it would be a blizzard, so guess we should stick with November!
With a family of your size, it might be cheaper to buy the annual pass. Be sure to compare prices. I live in Chicago, so feel free to PM me with any questions.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:13 AM   #20
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I am a native Bostonian transplanted to Chicago from New Hampshire 8 years ago. I have not attended these two holiday events, but they are on my bucket list. They sound like they would be great for kids too.

First Navy Pier's Winter Wonderland http://chicago.about.com/od/holidays...Wonderfest.htm

Also, outside of the downtown Chicago area, but accessible via car or train from Union Station is Brookfield Zoo's Holiday Magic http://gochicago.about.com/od/events...field_xmas.htm

Please note, these links are from last winter, but I have seen these events advertised each year, so they should be happening this winter as well.

As far as weather, there can be snowstorms, but they do not match NH's mammoth storms IMHO. I have more problem with the ferocious winds that rip thru and chill to the bone. Wear lots and lots of layers and mittens with those little hand warmer packets inside, and hats too!
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:44 PM   #21
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A couple of comments on what I've read in here so far:

1) my personal suggestion would be to go to The Goodman Theatre's production of The Christmas Carol over Nutcracker. Christmas Carol is a tradition of ours for nearly 30 years. We weren't going to go last year because of the age of my kids (high school and college juniors), but they complained we weren't so that says that!
2) love the Christkindlmarkt in Daley Plaza. Very authentic and very Christmassy.
3) believe it or not, the Macy's windows were not decorated last year in the way that was the old, dare I say, Marshall Field's tradition. We were there, and we were shocked! Not sure why, but they weren't last year
4) don't miss Millenium Plaza and the bean (Cloudscape)
5) great earlier suggestion about zoo, but go to Lincoln Park Zoo Lights rather than try to go all the way out to Brookfield. It's close (lakefront, cab ride from downtown), free and very nice. Then go to Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder a block away on Clark Street. Pizza pot pie, different than any style you've probably ever seen.
6) last point, I think the Disney parade is the weekend before the Thanksgiving, Black Friday weekend. Yep, just googled it ... Saturday, November 17.

Actually, one more last point ... you'll have a blast, no matter what! It's a great time of year to goof around downtown Chicago. My family and I will most likely be doing some/most/all of these on Thanksgiving weekend as well.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:32 PM   #22
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I cannot add to the comments, they are all great.

But I want to say how impressed I am at how much everyone loves Chicago. I know it's a great city, but I appreciate how much you "tourists" like it.

Yes, it is expensive. That's why we are not overwhelmed by (food) prices at Disney.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:34 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by CarolAnnC View Post
First Navy Pier's Winter Wonderland http://chicago.about.com/od/holidays...Wonderfest.htm
Forgot about this since my kids are so much older. Definately a good time, we took the kids about 3 times when they were younger. It is nothing over the top, but it is exactly what kids love. Lines can be very long and best to get there as soon as it opens!

Originally Posted by dvcbrad View Post
1) my personal suggestion would be to go to The Goodman Theatre's production of The Christmas Carol over Nutcracker. Christmas Carol is a tradition of ours for nearly 30 years. Then go to Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder a block away on Clark Street. Pizza pot pie, different than any style you've probably ever seen..
Although I mentioned the Christmas Carol previously as well, since it was mentioned here I thought I would give it another thumbs up . It one of our most cherished family traditions, this play will put you in the spirit of Christmas like nothing else!

Also forgot about Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder, yes totallly do this is you have the chance. I agree mostly like different that any style of pizza you have seen before!!

All Who Come To This Happy Place Welcome,
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:29 PM   #24
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Red face Brookfield zoo


We love the xmas decorations at Brookfield zoo
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:17 PM   #25
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Chicago does get snow, but over the past couple of decades significant accumulations seem to have been pushed back later and later into the winter. We seem to get "hit" badly between mid January and the end of February. That isn't to say you won't see snow around Christmas, but the green Christmas theme has been more likely than white for years now...
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