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Chicago,Il

chexchy

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we have to use all of our point before 12/31. So we are going to Chicago for the first time this Christmas week. Do we need a rental car? Is there anything we shouldn’t miss while in Chicago. We are there with two teenager girls.
Thanks
 

Luanne

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I wouldn't get a rental car.
 

geist1223

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You might PM Cornell. She lives in Chicago.
 

scootr5

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we have to use all of our point before 12/31. So we are going to Chicago for the first time this Christmas week. Do we need a rental car? Is there anything we shouldn’t miss while in Chicago. We are there with two teenager girls.
Thanks
What do you like?

Public transit is readily available throughout the city, combined with Uber/Lyft, so it's unlikely you would need a rental (plus, parking in the loop area is expensive).

The Christkindl market at Daley Plaza is fun, but gets very crowded on weekends. The Walnut room at Macy's is OK, but overpriced for what you get IMHO. Steppenwolf Theater will be running Lindiwie with Ladysmith Black Mambazo at that time, and that's been the show I've most been looking forward to this season. If you want to rent a car for a day, you can go out west to Morton Arboretum for the Illumination Festival. Brookfield Zoo always does their Zoo Lights holiday Fest. You have all of the downtown museums; depending on the teenager girls interests the Science & Industry museum or Shedd Aquarium would be my choice with kids.
 

rapmarks

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Museums are wonderful but the museum of science and industry is very far from the loop. Field museum, she’d aquarium and art institute are nearby.
 

chexchy

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Thanks very much for all your advice. It’s my first time in Chicago. My girls don’t like just walking around the city. They could do zoo and museum but they like more involved more physical activities kinda. If I don’t have a rental car, how do we get to Wyndham Chicago grand riverfront from ohare airport? How much is parking at the Wyndham resort?
Thanks
 

chexchy

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Thanks very much for all your advice. It’s my first time in Chicago. My girls don’t like just walking around the city. They could do zoo and museum but they like more involved more physical activities kinda. If I don’t have a rental car, how do we get to Wyndham Chicago grand riverfront from ohare airport? How much is parking at the Wyndham resort?
Thanks
 

louisianab

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Thanks very much for all your advice. It’s my first time in Chicago. My girls don’t like just walking around the city. They could do zoo and museum but they like more involved more physical activities kinda. If I don’t have a rental car, how do we get to Wyndham Chicago grand riverfront from ohare airport? How much is parking at the Wyndham resort?
Thanks
A taxi from the airport ran about $40 last I knew. Someone probably has a current price. Also the L has a direct line if you don't mind slower and don't have a ton of luggage.
If you are dead set on having a car in downtown Chicago, an app like Parkwhiz or Spothero will save you $100s. Hotel parking runs between $35-$60 a night. I typically find app parking at $15-20 a night.

There aren't going to be many physical activities in Chicago in the winter that are outside.
You could also check Groupon for many activities that are neat.
Some tourist ideas that are walkable from Wyndham
360 Chicago (Hancock tower)
Maggie Daley Park skating ribbon
Navy Pier - Chicago Shakespeare theater and other activities
(uber, L, ext) to the Willis Tower
Christkindl Market
Watertower shopping mall/original Chicago water tower
Pedway Tours
Hottix.org for cheap theater tickets - many comedy shows, Broadway shows - Second City and Broadway in Chicago

Food is phenomenal in Chicago as well
Girl and Goat
Any Rick Bayless restaurant
Food halls
tons of food happy hours
There is a Whole Foods around the corner from the Wyndham that has a huge hot bar/real bar plus groceries
 

PigsDad

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My wife and I were just there over Labor Day weekend. We stayed downtown and we were so glad we didn't have a car. Parking is very expensive and navigating through traffic can be very challenging. We used Lyft for all our rides (I find it to be slightly cheaper than Uber most of the time) and had a great time. Easy peasy.

Kurt
 

Cornell

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You are staying in a really great part of the city - -it will be beautiful .

I am from Chicago and have a teenager myself. There are some really great ice rinks in Chicago in the winter. One is the "ribbon" which has been mentioned above. There is a rink at Wrigley Field (google Gallagher Way). Another rink I HIGHLY recommend, as it's pretty different is down in Hyde Park by University of Chicago (Midway Plaisance Ice Rink).

I am hard-pressed to think of "physical activity" type things besides ice skating in Chicago in winter .

If you can tell me more about what your teenagers enjoy, I can probably recommend more specifics.

A fun , different place to shop and eat is the "French Market" underneath Ogilvie Train Station. Really awesome "food hall" restaurants and there will probably be vendors selling some craft items there, too, at the holidays.

If they like to thrift shop , I can recommend areas of the city for that, too.

My favorite museums are the Art Institute and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The Shedd Aquarium and Museum of Sci & Industry will be OVERRUN with families w/young kids at Christmas.

My favorite theater is the "Lookingglass Theater" in the water tower. Small theater, cool shows, great area of the city. I would look to see which productions are playing at that time.

I am NOT someone who likes typical tourist attractions when I travel, so if you are like that, too, I can give you suggestions on what to avoid.

If you like professional sports, get tix to a Blackhawks game. Forewarning -- they are the most expensive sports tix in the Chicago market.

I suggest you do not get a rental car. Take a taxi from ORD to your hotel..

One of my favorite holiday activities , which is previously mentioned, is the lights at the Morton Arboretum. You will need a car for this -- in a suburban location. I would suggest perhaps getting a zip car for the day.

If your teenage girls enjoy afternoon tea, there is a wonderful one at the Peninsula Hotel. A real holiday treat.


I will add one more practical detail -- you all need BOOTS. If we get snow, your feet will be miserable without them.
 

DebBrown

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I'm also in Chicago (well suburban Oak Park) and think Cornell's advice is right on. Ice skating is great and stick to the downtown museums. You will have plenty to do close by without venturing to the far suburban areas.
 

JohnPaul

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You can take the Green Line to Oak Park and see Frank Lloyd Wright's home and the church he designed.
 

pianodinosaur

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I lived in Chicago for many years. Cornell is right on target. I would like to reiterate that boots are essential. Heavy leather gloves are also a must. You do not need to get frostbite. Make sure your head is also covered. Chicago is a very multiethnic city. This makes Chicago one of the best places to dine out in the country. I happen to love Greek food, Indian food, and Polish food. I also love the classical music in Chicago. My personal favorite place to stay is The Palmer House, but that is a Hilton property. However, you will be very pleased with the location and quality of The Wyndham. Have a great time. Be safe in the cold weather.
 
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