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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
Hyde Park, home to the University of Chicago some seven miles south of downtown, prizes itself for its diversity and its academic wonkiness. The neighborhood is now also known for its most famous resident: President Obama, whose family home (not open to the public) is on South Greenwood Avenue.
The Museum of Science and Industry (57th Street and Lake Shore Drive, 773-684-1414, msichicago.org) is located in the only major building left from the World’s Fair of 1893. The museum’s collection is so extensive that it would take days to see it all. For a short tour, hit highlights like Science Storms, You: the Experience, and the U-505, the only German submarine in the United States.
For lunch, pack a sandwich and eat it at the Museum of Science and Industry, or head to Medici on 57th (1327 E. 57th St., 773-667-7394, medici57.com), a favorite Hyde Park hangout. The Medici has compiled a book that lists the ingredients of all its dishes, highlighting major allergens. It does not have a separate gluten-free menu but does offer gluten-free bread.
Architecture buffs will appreciate touring the Robie House (5757 S. Woodlawn Ave., 312-994-4000, gowright.org), one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most significant residential buildings and a masterpiece of the Prairie style. The DuSable Museum of African American History (740 E. 56th Place, 773-947-0600, dusablemuseum.org) has a rich and diverse collection, including an exhibit about Harold Washington, Chicago’s first African American mayor.