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2-Day or Weekend Plan

If you are visiting Chicago for a weekend or for 2 days, you will have many more options to engage in different activities and enjoy the diversity that the city has to offer.

First, do the 1-Day Plan. You can enjoy a more relaxed pace on Day 1, bearing in mind that you will have another day to enjoy shopping or a boat tour.

Other recommended things to do for the 2-Day Plan:
  • If you are here on a Sunday, you could go to Chinatown either catching the eateries for a "dim-sum" brunch before the church crowd comes out of services, or else, after your religious services. There are different places that offer dim-sum, where those who are not so familiar may enjoy the sight of the carts being rolled to you with different types of dumplings and small eats, from which you select what looks good to you! The two most popular are the Phoenix and Three Happiness (ask your concierge for directions). It's definitely an activity for a family or larger group, and not for a single visitor. After brunch, wander through the Chinatown gateway, browsing medicine shops, bakeries, even an artsy store, and a glimpse of Asia in the wares offered for sale at many of the crowded little stores.
  • Top on the list of spectacular and worthwhile things to do, even though it takes a bit of time to get to, is a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright center in Oak Park taking in also his Unity Temple. The attraction shows an important facet of Chicago as a center of Prairie-style architecture. Many volunteers serve as excellent guides, holding regular tours. You can also get a map of the Oak Park area,  and take a walk around the neighborhood to see the work of both Wright and many of his disciples. For information on tours and programs, go to http://www.wrightplus.org. After your tour, you could visit downtown Oak Park, where there are some nice restaurants.
  • If you don't wish to go so far afield, the Chicago Aquarium and Oceanarium are worth a visit. The Oceanarium is fairly new, and to see beluga whales in an expanse of water against a glass backdrop that blends with Lake Michigan is a wonderful visual treat. Check on feeding times, when there are activities for children and the professional young people there do a great job involving the visitors. The aquarium features different habitats, and you can pick and choose your categories, and certainly spend a few happy hours in there. For information, go to http://www.sheddaquarium.org
  • Do some specialty shopping in Chicago! With a 2-day or weekend schedule, you may enjoy an afternoon of leisurely shopping. The area called the Magnificent Mile on North Michigan has 900 N. Michigan, anchored by Bloomingdale's, Water Tower Place, and many other upscale stores. There is also an FAO Schwarz and a Niketown, that children and teenagers will enjoy. For the precious young girls in the family, Chicago is one of the major outlets for the amazing doll store called "American Girl," an oft-visited display store, where families emerge with packages held by excited-looking girls. Check http://www.americangirlplace.com/agp_chic_splash.php


  • For highly specialized, high-end shopping, you may enjoy browsing Chicago's highly unusual Jeweler's Row on S. Wabash right downtown, an area with a  concentration of specialty jewelry stores, many of which are one-of-a-kind store catering to individuals with special requests for unusual stones or settings. For more information, including hours of operation, check http://www.jewelerscenter.com. If you are rather more of an art collector, or simply enjoy looking at possibilities for your art collection, Chicago is home to many art galleries with original pieces for sale, in addition to its wealth of museums. A good online source of information is http://www.stylechicago.com
  • An afternoon theater show is also a possibility to rest your weary feet. Chicago is home to the wonderful Steppenwolf Theater, that has launched the likes of Gary Sinise and John Malkovich. The plays are always thought-provoking and beautifully staged, and on certain weekend afternoons and most evenings, there may even be a choice of plays to attend. After the play, you will find many wonderful restaurants within blocks of the theater, either for cocktails or for dinner, along the Halsted corridor.
  • Sports fans will find that an afternoon spent at the famous Wrigleyfield will net happy memories and bonding time with the kids. Chicago is also the proud home of the world champion Whitesox! For more information on sports events (obviously seasonal), check http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/
  • If you prefer to do something outdoorsy, check out Lincoln Park Zoo, and the lakefront park (consult your map). There is also Garfield Conservatory, which houses many different types of flora and fauna. But the walk along the lakefront from any of the entry points either below ground or over a bridge does show Chicago at its best and sometimes, most peaceful. The "promenade" area goes for miles, running north-south, and enjoyed by families for picnics, by neighborhood folks walking or running or roller-blading, or just sitting and looking out over the water.. If you re-enter the city through Belmont or Fullerton (again, consult your map), you will discover many interesting shopping experiences, coffeeshops and restaurants. Just around Fullerton and Clark, there is an enormous Tower Records that many enjoy browsing in, hardly able to resist contributing to the Chicago economy by making some fun purchases!
  • After dinner, entertainment options abound. Or do a dinner/show package! Check the metromixchicago link on the home page, or ask at your concierge. By the way, just as in other major cities, Chicago does have hottix, or half-price theater tickets that can be bought on the day of the performance. Visit http://www.hottix.org/
  • For more entertainment options, look at the 3 Days or More page on this site.

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