As promised here is a big list of things we've gathered from email lists, blogs, and websites in no particular order.
Art Institute Art museum that is a short walk from the hotel. Huge selection of art from different periods. Something for every art lover.
Shedd Aquarium A long-ish walk from the hotel.
Adler Planetarium A long-ish walk from the hotel.
Museum of Science and Industry Bus or cab ride needed.
Field Museum of Natural History. A long-ish walk from the hotel.
Chicago Children's Museum Bus or cab ride needed.
Terra Foundation for American Art
Museum of Contemporary Art
DuSable Museum of African American History
Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum
Spertus Museum exploring Jewish learning and culture. Short walk from the hotel.
Lincoln Park Zoo Bus or cab ride needed.
Brookfield Zoo Train or cab ride needed.
Tourism and Transit
Chicago Transit Authority This link provides lots of information about traveling via public transportation in the Chicago area, including a trip planner that will help you plan your trip to the hotel from airport, train station or other location. Whether you travel by subway (we call it the "El" in Chicago), bus or train, this is the place to find information. The hotel is accessible by El from both Midway and OHare airports.
Borders Books & Music 150 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60601, (312) 606-0750 For those interested in the new Harry Potter or other books not available in the Conference bookstore.
Chicago Office of Tourism
Chicago Park District Provides information about park activities and facilities available in the Chicago area.
Top Chicago Attractions An overview.
All Day Weekend Family Metra PassUnlimited Travel$5.00All day Saturday & Sunday*Not applicable on the Chicago South Shore & South Bend 3 children free per fare paying adult. CTA Visitor Pass The CTA 1-day Visitor Pass is just $5.00, and allows unlimited rides on all CTA buses and trains from time of first use. Additional savings on 2, 3 and 5 day passes. Passes can be purchased online at www.transitchicago.com Union Station (Amtrak ticket counter), Sears Tower, RTA office at 11 S. Wells (weekdays), Navy Pier, Hot Tix booths and other locations.
When taking public transportation from Midway Airport to the Hilton Chicago Take CTA ORANGE LINE TRAIN (ORANGE LINE - CLOCKWISE)to STATE/VAN BUREN CTA (BRN/ORNG/PRPL). Take CTA BUS # 62 ARCHER SOUTHBOUND from VAN BUREN & STATE. Arrive: BALBO & STATE. Walk 0.2 mile E to 720 S MICHIGAN AVE.
Stuff to Do
Hilton Chicago on Michigan Avenue you can walk easily to the Lake front. It's a bit too far for an easy walk to Museum Row or to Navy Pier or to Water Tower Place.
DANCE IN THE PARKcommunity event, dancing under the stars, during summer only a few blocks south of the Hilton Congress & MichiganJust south of Congress hotel on Lake side of Michigan Ave.Every Thursday, Fri. & Saturday evenings during summer and Sunday afternoons too.
Millennuim Park is walking distance (just go north) of the hotel and has great free music all summer. The lineup during the Conference:
First I'll mention for all you getting there early, that a band my son is in (the Friday, July 20, 6:30 pm and Saturday, July 21, 7:30 pm -- Bernstein's Broadway--the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus celebrate the music of Leonard Bernstein
Check out www.millenniumpark.org and www.grantparkmusicfestivalcom for more info. SEE below for free “Wait Wait Don’t tell me” show.
For the concerts, there is some seating and then there is a huge lawn area where people bring blankets and picnic while listening to the concert. You can come and bring food and the kids can run around.
The family fun festival is actually a summer long event. The show I mentioned on the 17th is about an hour. But there are performances every day at 2:00 pm—mostly music but storytelling on Thursday. On Wed., Fri., and Sat. there are repeat shows at 4:00 pm. And every day there is Wiggleworms at 10 am –a local music school leads activities for babies and toddlers,including songs, finger games and circle dances.
Quest Days – New! •July 21, 11 am - 1 pm •Northerly Island - on the Museum Campus, 1400 S. Lynn White Drive •Free Is your family ready for a challenge? If so, we recommend the 2007 Park Quest. The Park Quest is a little Treasure Hunt, a little Amazing Race, and a lot of fun! During these programs you will find clues, solve problems and discover what is unique about the nature in your local park. You may have to read a map, use a compass and solve riddles about the natural areas in the parks listed below. Complete more that two Quests this year and receive a Nature Oasis patch. Families are encouraged to pack lunches and enjoy a picnic in the park. No registration is required.
For those arriving early - NPR's news quiz show "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" is taping at Millennium Park in Chicago on Thursday evening, July 19. The show is free. I don't know any other details yet, but my family and I plan to go! See http://www.npr.org/programs/waitwait and look under "other live appearances."
Giordano's Pizza. You're about 1/2 mile from either 135 E. Lake or 225 W. Jackson. The walk to the Lake St. location is very pleasant. Just stroll North on Michigan Avenue, turn right (east) on Lake and go about 1 block and you will see our location. The other location is in the West loop, right by the Sears Tower if you want to go see that. Head north on Michigan again, turn left (west) on Jackson and go about 6 blocks.
They both open at 7 am:
Printer's Row Farmer's MarketLocation: Dearborn and Polk (36 W – 800 S)Saturdays-------this is by far the closest to the hotel, less than half a mile
Federal Plaza Farmer's MarketAdams & Dearborn (230 S - 50 W)
Tuesdays------------a little over half a mile