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Long layover- time to do anything?

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Texas
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Long layover- time to do anything?

On New Year's Day, I have a long (6 hour) layover at Chicago O'Hare. Since I've never been to Chicago, I'm wondering if that's enough time to get out of the airport and go see a bit of the city. What are your thoughts? I arrive around 2:00 and would need to be back at the airport at 8:30. Since it's New Year's Day, I'm also not sure what would be open.

Illinois
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1. Re: Long layover- time to do anything?

You've got time for a visit. Let the weather be your guide.

http://www.choosechicago.com/ for ideas of what to see/do here.

It's about a 45-60 minute ride each way on the blue line - http://www.transitchicago.com/airports/

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Long layover- time to do anything?

Very little will be open. The stores are closed. A few restaurants are open (they're still recovering from the late night celebrations) and movie theatres are open around 11am for matinees. It takes an hour to get downtown on the subway and another hour to get back to O'Hare. You have to be back at the airport at 6:30 to recheck-in and go through TSA again. There is also no place to leave your carry-ons so you'll be toting them. You should probably stay at the airport with a good book. The airport shops and restaurants will be open.

pgo
Chicago
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3. Re: Long layover- time to do anything?

You certainly have time to take the train downtown, but not much will be open. The Art Institue and Cultural Center are closed. The Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium are open, but it will take an extra cab or bus ride to reach them.

The Blue Line train drops you on Dearborn Street in the heart of downtown. I suggest exiting at Washington and walking east. Macy's flagship store, at State and Washington, will be open, and you can duck in and out to keep warm. They have a nice food area on the 7th floor. Millennium Park is a short walk east of Macy's; it's interesting in all sorts of weather, and the skating rink will be open. From there, head up Michigan Avenue for more views and shopping, then return to Dearborn Street by walking west on Wacker Drive (the street that follows the river). Be prepared for temperatures below freezing.

Chicago
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4. Re: Long layover- time to do anything?

Another option is to take the blue line to the Damen stop and get off there and have lunch and walk around a "neighborhood". It's about 30 minutes to get there from the airport so you won't feel as rushed as if you went all the way downtown. Again, not sure what will be open, but at least you can get out of the airport for a bit.

Texas
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5. Re: Long layover- time to do anything?

Thank you for this option. Since my flight doesn't leave until 9:45, I could leave to go back to the airport at 7:00, getting me there by 8:00-- all depending on the weather, of course! Looking forward to seeing the city and perhaps trying a famous piece of pizza!

chicago
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6. Re: Long layover- time to do anything?

what time does your flight leave? is it domestic?

id take a taxi if its in your budget

Texas
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7. Re: Long layover- time to do anything?

Thank you for your ideas! My flight is at 9:45, so I may have time to do some looking around downtown. I'd just like to see the city and grab a bite to eat. I do know it all depends upon the weather, though.

Texas
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8. Re: Long layover- time to do anything?

I'm flying domestically, and my flight is at 9:45 p.m. So I figure I need to be at the airport at 8:00, so I'd need to leave downtown at 6:45/7:00.

Thanks for your help!

chicago
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9. Re: Long layover- time to do anything?

If you are on the blue line by 730 assuming you have boarding pass and bags checked you will be fine

Edited: 1:34 pm, December 07, 2012
chicago
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10. Re: Long layover- time to do anything?

If you are on the blue line by 730 assuming you can boarding pass and bags checked you will be fine

So you will have 4.5 hours of free time

What about ice skating at millennium park? Piece pizza and beer in wicker park?

Zoo lights at Lincoln park zoo?