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One live music venue missing

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puerto rico
Level Contributor
107 posts
1 review
One live music venue missing

Lovely wife surprised me with plane tickets to Chicago (and a concert) to celebrate my 58th birthday from Dec 6 -9, 2013.

We both like to travel in winter (weather is not a problem to us, we like "bundling up") plus we like Christmas lights, live music and craft beers.

Staying at the Homewood Suites by Hilton at East Grand Avenue.

Our plans includes:

Live music:

Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2013 (saxofon) Dec 7 at The Chicago Theatre

Hot Tuna blues concert at City Winery on Dec. 8

Friday night Dec 6 opened up because our Don McLean and Judy Collins folk concert turned out being too far away at the Arcada Theater in St. Charles; so we are looking into other venues (this time smaller and intimate):

Andy's Jazz Club? B.L.U.E.S.? Underground Wonder Bar? Kingston Mines? Blue Chicago?Joe's on Weed Street?


Geja's Cafe (fondue)

Shaw's Crab House

Joe's Seafood

Toro Sushi

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria

Frontera Grill (Mexican)

Sapori Trattoria

Also we hope we have time to see and do:

ZooLights (starts at 5:00pm) how much time we need?

Christkindlmarket (German-market) in Daley Plaza

Museum of Science and Industry (Christmas around the world)

Hancock Building (Winter Wonderland)

Millennium Park (ice skating & the Bean)

Willis Tower (the Skydeck)

Magnificent mile shopping


Rock Bottom

Goose Island at Lincoln Park

Haymarket Pub & Brewery

Clark Street Ale House

Fado Irish Pub

Thanks for your suggestions and comments,


Level Contributor
6,867 posts
57 reviews
1. Re: One live music venue missing

All of your music venues are good--you just have to decide do you want blues or jazz? And if it is jazz, also consider Jazz Showcase. One of my favorite jazz places is also the Green Mill...lots of character and history too. You'll have to see what artists are at the venues and pick one. As far as food, again, what ever you want--I'm not a fan of fondue myself (just commented in a thread that I don't like going to a restaurant to cook my own food), but all the other choices are fine. Zoolights is fun and great--it's basically a lighted up zoo though so as long as it takes you, it takes you. I would say between an hour and two hours. ChrisK market in Daley Center is also great but it's a place to walk around and shop and maybe have a bratwurst. Again, as long as you want to stay, you stay.

Destination Expert
for Chicago
Level Contributor
7,000 posts
17 reviews
2. Re: One live music venue missing

The only major time-consuming item on your list is the Museum of Science and Industry. It's eight miles south of your hotel (20 minutes by cab, 45 by bus). It is also huge; allow 4-6 hours to see it. If you do decide to go, it's best to get there as early as possible and to spend time on the website beforehand planning your visit. The museum has a central core and a number of long halls extending from it; if you don't plan, you'll be backtracking a great deal.

puerto rico
Level Contributor
107 posts
1 review
3. Re: One live music venue missing

Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions.

Looking forward having a great time at Chicago!

I forgot to state that I am giving away for free my 2 concert tickets for Don Mclean & Judy Collins

in case someone likes their folk music and can handle the distance to the show ( I think its like an hour drive from Chicago). Contact me because they are easily transferable.

Thanks again for your replies

Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
40,825 posts
66 reviews
4. Re: One live music venue missing

Check the schedule for www.maynestage.com - right off the red line.

Level Contributor
7,824 posts
23 reviews
5. Re: One live music venue missing

replace either joes or shaws with gt fish and oyster

id also skip fondue

zoo lights 1-2 hours, xmas market is very fun

replace rock bottom with paramount room

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
13,940 posts
109 reviews
6. Re: One live music venue missing

That's a great line-up. You really must have done some homework. If you like fondue, you've chosen well (we also have The Melting Pot which is atrocious!) but Geja's and fondue as a cuisine choice have seen better days. Joe's Stone Crab is excellent but msmejkal's suggestin of GT Oyster is a good substitute a step up. Plan on 3/4 day for MSI just because it is so big and so far from downtown. MsTs suggestion of the Green Mill is wonderful and a piece of Chicago history still gong strong. You can take the red line to Lawrence Ave for a taste of city life. Don't be afraid of changing your plans at a moments notice or on a whim.

Edited: 5:07 pm, November 17, 2013
puerto rico
Level Contributor
107 posts
1 review
7. Re: One live music venue missing

Again thank you all for all of your replies.

Thanks for GT Oyster suggestion.

And I thought cause of my readings that Green Mile was too far away; but checking on Google map, its just 20 min ride on the el Red Line, so will check on it; also they have an early show at 5:00 pm on my open Friday. I am also checking on Jazz Showcase, along with the others I listed. I'll try also to squeze an additional bar after the shows I bought; because I like to go bar hoppin. Lets see if I can do also 2 on my free night.

We wont do the fondue place (Geya's) as a dinner but to try the cheese and chocolate fondue with some of their wine. We thought it might be a romantic place sort of like the "Bourgeois Pig" in the East Village of NYC. For a change since we do not have those in PR, plus we try to stay away of chain places like Melting Pot.

I also red about "spinach fondue" at La Madia (thin crust pizza wood oven)?.

Thanks again for your comments and suggestions,


Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Chicago
Level Contributor
2,220 posts
25 reviews
8. Re: One live music venue missing

Don't forget to leave some unplanned time, we want to enjoy, not exhaust yourselves.

I agree about Gt as well. (Aside from the fact I fail to see the fascination with mediocre Joe's)

I also tend to stay away from Geja's. Don't like coming out of a restaurant smelling as I worked the fry machine at McDonald's.

Haymarket can be fun .

No need for Winter Woderland at Hancock, just go the lounge for drinks

Destination Expert
for Illinois, Chicago
Level Contributor
5,996 posts
243 reviews
9. Re: One live music venue missing

if you still wanna see some folk:


and, to further investigate more music and other entertainment:


puerto rico
Level Contributor
107 posts
1 review
10. Re: One live music venue missing

Thanks a lot to you all!

This forum has been very helpful!

Nothing better than receiving locals insiders points of view.

Thanks again for all your replies!