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Aug/Sep 2012 Issue
Table of Contents
What to Pack
August in Chicago can get warm, with an average high temperature of 83°. September starts to cool, with an average high of 76°. Youll be doing a lot of walking around town, so dont forget comfortable walking shoes. In August, bring a sun hat and swimsuit for the shores of Lake Michigan. Since museums and restaurants are air conditioned, pack a light sweater or shawl. In September, the weather is usually pleasant, but it can cool down, especially toward the end of the month. A light jacket is a must. Weather in Chicago can change quickly, proving the old adage, If you dont like the weather, wait a minute. If youre visiting during the colder monthsin Chicago, thats any time from November to Marchbring a warm coat, hat, gloves, scarf, thick socks and boots.
Bundled cards provide significant discounts if youre planning to visit many sites in a few days. CityPASS, citypass.com/Chicago, includes admission to five popular attractions, including the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum, for a nine-day period. The Go Chicago Card, smartdestinations.com, lets you choose from one-day to seven-day cards, adding in options like the Chicago Childrens Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Your Kind of Town
Spend most of your day at the Museum Campus, home to three world-class museums. Start at the Shedd Aquarium (1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, 312-939-2438, sheddaquarium.org), as it can get very crowded later in the day. The Aquarium is home to many interactive exhibits and the beautiful Oceanarium, which has a popular aquatic show with Pacific white-sided dolphins and beluga whales.
Next, head to the neighboring Field Museum (1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, 312-922-9410, fieldmuseum.org), a top-notch natural history museum with interesting, interactive exhibits sure to engage kids and adults alike. For lunch, pack a sandwich and eat it at the museum, or if you go to the Corner Bakery (312-588-1040, www.cornerbakerycafe.com) inside the Field Museum, ask the manager to see the Bakery’s allergen guide.
Explore space—the final frontier—at Adler Planetarium (1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, 312-922-7827, adlerplanetarium.org), which has sky shows as well as exhibits about the cosmos. The new, ultra-high-tech Deep Space Adventure show takes you aboard a starship’s observation deck with stunning graphics and special effects.
Downtown in the Loop, the Atwood Café (1 W. Washington St., 312-368-1900, atwoodcafe.com) serves contemporary versions of classic American cuisine in an historic Art Deco building. The staff easily accommodates gluten-free and other special-diet requests. Catch a play in the downtown theater district. Big-name touring productions are part of Broadway in Chicago (312-977-1700, broadwayinchicago.com), which stages shows in several grand theaters downtown. The Goodman Theatre (170 N. Dearborn St., 312-443-3800, www.goodmantheatre.org) is a standout Chicago theater with powerful performances.