Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vacationing in Chicago

In keeping with my mini-vacation week, I thought I would share a few things to do around Chicago. This is no way going to be an all-encompassing list of things to do. Simply a few suggestions based on things we did with friends a few weekends ago.

Go out to brunch. Restaurants all over Chicago serve brunch and it's pretty hard to mess up breakfast. Everyone has their favorite spot and our go-to place is Ann Sather. The cinnamon rolls are a good enough reason to go. All egg entrees come with two sides and you should always pick the cinnamon rolls (yes, plural!) as one of your sides. Everything is already reasonably priced, but feel free to split your order. Your waistline and wallet will thank you.

Have a drink at the Signature Lounge. Why pay $15 dollars for a ticket to the observation deck on the 94th floor of the Hancock Building when you can have drinks on the 96th? Go at night when the city is all lit up. Keep in mind that there is a one item minimum (drink, dessert, appetizer, etc.) and there may be a line to get a table. But the views (of the city and the people) is definitely worth it! And don't forget to check out the city from the women's restroom.

See an improv show. From The Second City to the iO Theater, there are all sorts of theaters around the city to enjoy a few laughs. Two actors from The Second City were recently called up to Saturday Night Live. Though you should get your tickets early, especially if there are more than two of you going. We tried to get tickets for two different shows about 10 minutes before show time and they had already sold out.

Go to the Lincoln Park Zoo. It's free! And if you plan your trip right, you could go to the Green City Market on Saturday morning and then hit up the zoo later in the day. My favorite animals are the penguins, but if you're lucky, they might be feeding the bears.

Eat at your favorite BYOB restaurant. As I said before, there are all sorts of restaurants that let you bring your own drinks.

And if you're planning your trip to Chicago in advance, sign up Chicago Groupons. They've posted offers for rental cars, architectural boat tours, museum passes, restaurants, and hotels.

What else would you recommend? Do you have favorite places to eat or take visitors?
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