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Old 08-08-2012, 05:27 PM   #1
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Need some suggestions for planning a Chicago trip ...

Our family of 6 - DH, me, 7 yr old boy, 5 yr old girl, 3 yr old girl and infant ... We are wanting to go to LegoLand (Chicago), stay in a hotel suite for 3 nights, and need some 'insight' from someone leaving in the area

DH & I despise driving in Chicago - we ALWAYS take a cab when we're there, and it's probably been 8 years since we've been to Chicago. So, we are wondering what the best transportation to/around downtown would be. If we drive our van to Schaumburg (where Legoland is) and stay in a suite in the area, how would you suggest we get to downtown? Trying to flag 2 cabs seems like a pain, but we have 6 bodies ... and some of the bodies are little people who need to be in car seats/boosters.

So, does that leave the bus? subway? ??? how feasible is it to take 4 young children on the bus or subway?

And, in addition to Legoland - what other attractions/activities would you recommend, considering the ages of our children? Dh wants to do Shedd Aquarium ... any thoughts?

TIA
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:27 PM   #2
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Re: Need some suggestions for planning a Chicago trip ...

anyone?
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:21 PM   #3
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Re: Need some suggestions for planning a Chicago trip ...

I would recommend looking into the Metra (http://metrarail.com/metra/en/home.html) to get from Schaumburg to downtown. Commuter train will drop you off on the northwest corner of the Loop, and then you can take the El or buses to pretty much anything. The Shedd would be great! Here are some other things to look at:

Navy Pier, especially the Children's Museum: http://www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org/

The Peggy Notebart Nature Museum: http://www.chias.org/

The Lincoln Park Zoo (even better - it's free!!): http://www.lpzoo.org/

Millenium Park has some great water features the kids can play in. Depending on when you'll be in town, there will likely be some type of event or concert going on there, too.


Hope this helps!!
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:00 PM   #4
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Re: Need some suggestions for planning a Chicago trip ...

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Originally Posted by BCsMom View Post
I would recommend looking into the Metra (http://metrarail.com/metra/en/home.html) to get from Schaumburg to downtown. Commuter train will drop you off on the northwest corner of the Loop, and then you can take the El or buses to pretty much anything. The Shedd would be great! Here are some other things to look at:

Navy Pier, especially the Children's Museum: http://www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org/

The Peggy Notebart Nature Museum: http://www.chias.org/

The Lincoln Park Zoo (even better - it's free!!): http://www.lpzoo.org/

Millenium Park has some great water features the kids can play in. Depending on when you'll be in town, there will likely be some type of event or concert going on there, too.


Hope this helps!!
Thank you!

I have a question about Shedd. I see that general admission is very cheap - i think only $6 for kids and $8 for adults, but it only allows exploration in 3 parts of the Shedd. For access to the entire place, a Shedd Pass is around $20 for kids and $30 for adults, plus another $4 each for the aquatic show. Realistically speaking, if we only purchased the general admission, will our kids be disappointed to not have access to the entire place? Will they even notice? Having never been there ourselves, we aren't sure of the set up or expectations ...
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:17 AM   #5
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Re: Need some suggestions for planning a Chicago trip ...

I think it depends on how much you're doing in what amount of time. I would say you only need the general admission pass if it's going to be part of a couple different things you're doing in one day. If you want to make the Shedd the focal point or the only thing you do that day, then getting the full pass would be good.

It's been a few years since I've been to the Shedd, but it's a large place! And they'll get to see a lot regardless.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:17 AM   #6
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Re: Need some suggestions for planning a Chicago trip ...

I think it depends on how much you're doing in what amount of time. I would say you only need the general admission pass if it's going to be part of a couple different things you're doing in one day. If you want to make the Shedd the focal point or the only thing you do that day, then getting the full pass would be good.

It's been a few years since I've been to the Shedd, but it's a large place! And they'll get to see a lot regardless.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:08 PM   #7
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We just went to Legoland this week- my boys (6 and 3) loved it. We stayed at the Comfort Suites in Schaumburg and it was very family friendly. Fyi- Subway and Burger King have Legoland coupons. Also, at the hotel I found a $5.00 off admission coupon. Comfort Suites also has a Legoland package which includes hotel room, 4 tickets and a large pizza for $169.00.
When I go downtown I park my car at the Cumberland ramp and take the El from there. Cumberland is 2 stops from O'hare and easy to get to, that seems to be where the car traffic gets heavier too.
I have taken my boys to the Shedd, the Science and Industry Musuem, and the Field Museum. They did well at all of them. The Science and Industry Museum is further down Lake Shore than the other ones, and we drove to that one.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:49 PM   #8
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Re: Need some suggestions for planning a Chicago trip ...

do you need to be able to get on and off the metra and/or el fairly quickly? would we be able to do this with a 7yo, 5yo, 3yo and baby? what's the chance of us missing our stop?
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:01 PM   #9
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I think you would be fine- wear the baby, push the 3 year old in a stroller(preferrably umbrella stroller sized). You could stand near the doors or find a seat close to them. There is a "map" thing by each door on the wall that tells all the stops the trains makes, and just watch for when you get close to let the older kids know that you will be getting off in one more stop, etc and to be ready. There are plenty of people that take the train with children (though obviously they are used to it if they live there Advice- bring hand sanitizer wipes or gel to wipe the kiddos hands off after riding the train- maybe I am a germiphobe, but they arent the cleanest trains I have been in, and kids love to touch everything- lol!
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:23 PM   #10
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Re: Need some suggestions for planning a Chicago trip ...

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Originally Posted by libbyl View Post
I think you would be fine- wear the baby, push the 3 year old in a stroller(preferrably umbrella stroller sized). You could stand near the doors or find a seat close to them. There is a "map" thing by each door on the wall that tells all the stops the trains makes, and just watch for when you get close to let the older kids know that you will be getting off in one more stop, etc and to be ready. There are plenty of people that take the train with children (though obviously they are used to it if they live there Advice- bring hand sanitizer wipes or gel to wipe the kiddos hands off after riding the train- maybe I am a germiphobe, but they arent the cleanest trains I have been in, and kids love to touch everything- lol!
thank you for the heads up!
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