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How much time needed at each popular attraction??

Hannibal, Missouri
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How much time needed at each popular attraction??

We've purchased the Chicago CityPass and are wondering how much time to plan to spend at each attraction. We have a 2.5 and a 6 year old. The attractions we are planning on are:

Field Museum

Adler Planetarium


Museum of Science and Industry

Shedd aquarium

Things Not in the CityPass but hope to do:

Navy Pier

Childrens Museum

What about a list of must do things/must see things at each attraction?? So much to see in so little time!

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: How much time needed at each popular attraction??

How many weeks are you allowing yourselves? You've got a lot planned and none on the City Pass attractions are going to cater to the 2 yr old. The 6 yr old maybe. The Shedd, The Field are enough for one day with the kids. The Children's Museum and Navy Pier are a 1/2 day. Why not consider the Lincoln Park Zoo: it's free and will entertain the kids. The Museum of Science and Industry and the Planetarium may interest you, but will your kids be interested in tornadoes, coal mines and Jupiter or Mars? The skydeck will interest you and your 6 year old but you need to be flexible going to the top of a tall building for a view. Weather will dictate when and even if you do that.

I see that this is your first use of TA. Welcome. It's too bad that you've already purchased the City Passes. You should have come here first to ask about them. There are numerous parents of children around the age of yours and they have great insight into how much a child and/or parent can do.

Edited: 12:10 am, October 09, 2012
Hannibal, Missouri
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2. Re: How much time needed at each popular attraction??

Thanks for your welcome. I received a discount through work so the pass was even cheaper.

I have a science nerd for a 6 year old so Adler is on the top on his list. I don't think he would forgive me if someone didn't take him. Our daughter just wants to hang out with her brother....anything he is interested in, she's interested in as well.

I'll gladly take suggestions on places to eat that have a relaxed atmosphere for the kids. Sometimes I have difficultly deciding where to eat and settle on a chain that we have at home just b/c everyone is hungry! I've been told that Gino's Pizza is good. Any opinions on Bubba Gump Shrimp company?

Chicago's North...
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3. Re: How much time needed at each popular attraction??

not to throw a wet blanket on things........................

if it were me alone, i could easily spend an entire day (from opening to closing time) at each of the major museums on your list.... but since you'll have small kids, shallow pretty much hit the nail on the head..... you might have to blow thru the museums to keep the kids engaged, but you might be disappointed because you didn't get to see everything you wanted to see........

navy pier/children's museum is very age appropriate for your kids and i would consider it a must-do for your trip.... regarding the museum of science and industry---your 6 year old (boy or girl?) should find plenty of interest, especially if you have a boy----plenty of buttons to push and gadgets to watch..... huge train lay-out as well.... but how do you plan to get there? it's several miles south of downtown, which requires either driving, taking the CTA thru some rather unsavory areas, or taking a cab (fares can add up)..... of all the museums on your list (besides children's), this is the one you should plan to spend the most time in....

if it's possible to get a refund, i'd go for it, especially if you have limited time for this trip... you can substitute the skydeck with the signature lounge in the john hancock building, which is FREE (and a better view, IMO).... the lincoln park zoo is pretty much a must-see for your type of trip, and it's FREE.... if you have a membership to a children's museum in your hometown, this children's museum with be FREE for your family.... just to walk around navy pier is FREE.... so, unless you have a week to do this trip, i suggest try to get a refund, cuz you ain't gonna get a chance to take full advantage of it....


PS- i just saw your post as i posted mine, so it's good news your 6 YO is a boy, he'll love the MSI.... by all means, take him to adler... but, again, if your trip is limited time, i think you could skip the field and aquarium and save it for another trip... also, good news you got the pass for a discount, but if it's cost effective to get a refund, i think it's worth doing it....

Edited: 1:16 am, October 09, 2012
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4. Re: How much time needed at each popular attraction??

Field Adler shedd children's- half day to full day each

Msi- full day

Skydeck- hour

How many days do you have? This is way too many museums for little kids unless you have ten days

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5. Re: How much time needed at each popular attraction??

I would spend a half day in each place as a starting point. As you know, some of these places are not going to work for your two year old, but of course, two year olds are happy anywhere as long as they can run a bit. And of course, they tire and nap. One thing I do for my son is rent strollers instead of bringing his. This makes him very excited to sit in the stroller and experience his "new ride". Call ahead to make sure they have strollers though if you decide to do this. Bubba Gump Shrimp is at Navy Pier so sure, go there when you go to your Navy PIer/Children's Museum day. I would never recommend eating there in any other circumstance as there are much better places in Chicago, but for Navy Pier visits with children, this is fine as well as a half dozen other places on the pier that cater to families.

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6. Re: How much time needed at each popular attraction??

Since you got the pass at a discount on the pass - there's less guilt if you don't see everything on your bucket list.

You know your kids better than we do. How is their tolerance for museums and running around from place to place?

Check your dates on the calendar at - http://www.choosechicago.com/ - you might find some unexpected and fun things to do with your kids that don't involve the City Pass.

A CTA Fun Pass might be a good option for getting around town for your visit -http://www.transitchicago.com/travel_information/fares/unlimitedridecards.aspx

Also type Kid Friendly Restaurants in the search box above. You'll find numerous posts on the subject.

Chicago Suburbs
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7. Re: How much time needed at each popular attraction??

Public transportation to MSI is safe. Take a Metra Electric commuter train or a CTA bus down Lake Shore Drive. With a 6 year old boy who likes science, MSI is a must. They have decent cafeteria food, or you can pack a lunch. In my experience, kids like thin crust pizza more than Chicago style deep dish like Gino's East. Tell us where you are staying for specific restaurant recommendations.

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8. Re: How much time needed at each popular attraction??

You can also check out here for museum free days


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9. Re: How much time needed at each popular attraction??

Keep in mind that the MSI closes at 4 PM, the Adler at 4 (4:30 on weekends), the Field at 5 PM, and the Shedd at 5 on weekdays in fall/winter (6 PM on weekends). That's why two in a day is pretty much the limit, and seeing the MSI fully takes an entire day. Since it is so large, you might want to skip it this trip, or, if you are driving, stop for a shorter visit on the way out of town.

My kids loved the Field when they were young, and the Adler has a new area for children 3-8, so keep those on the list. Spend some time on the museum websites to guide you in the best shows and exhibits for young kids. The zoo is a great alternative for young families, and the neighborhood is a fun one to explore.

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10. Re: How much time needed at each popular attraction??

My 5 year old grandson enjoys Portillo's and Potbelly's. Many locations

See their web sites for more info.