Im going to Chicago on the 21st - 28th December.
I will be by myself until the day before Christmas or maybe even Christmas when my friend turns up.
Where should I stay? Ive heard that parts of Chicago arent safe so am attempting to stay away from them! Im assuming somewhere in Lincoln Park or Downtown - but not really sure. And im also looking for somewhere fairly cheap. Arlington house was recommended to me...
What should I see/do? Ill have just finished finals so will need something to do to unwind & celebrate!
Christmas in Chicago, theres nothing better! I used to live in Chicago and let me tell you its one of the coolest cities in the world. Any how, the first thing I recommend is booking a place to stay, fast! Holidays are crazy busy. I unfortunately don't have any recommendations on places to stay. If your dead set on staying in the city be prepared to spend a decent amount of money. There is always the option of staying in a suburb that has a train station in it. The trains are great and take you right into the city. As for things to do there are so many to choose from. One must see attraction is the Marshall Field's window displays. They are some of the best in the USA. Horse drawn carriages are a great way to see the city and are so much fun. Navy Pier, the Nike store and FAO Schwarz are really cool. If you like museums and such the planetarium, natural history museum, art museum and the aquarium are all wonderful. You can go ice skating in Millennium Park. There is honestly so much to do. Here are a couple of tips. Make sure you know what the regulated cab fare is don't get ripped off! Chicago is just like any other big city, watch your belongings, make sure not to walk through any dark alleys, alone, at night, that sort of thing. I would have a general idea of what your planning to do and check to make sure things are open. Also, I remember it being about the same amount of money to take a cab into the city from the airport as taking a limousine. I would check, its always kinda cool to feel like a rock star so depending on which airport your flying into it might be worth it. If you have any questions, let me know. Have a safe trip!
Hey Jade - accommodations in Chicago over Christmas will depend on your budget. We have family still living in the city and we're only 2 hours away. We spend every Christmas there and book hotel rooms for our stay. Actually more people leave the city than visit at that time of year and most of the hotels have Christmas deals. We choose to stay in the loop area because it's within walking distance of our family. We usually find prices right around $69-$109/night for places like the Hyatt Regency, Fairmont Hotel, etc. Right now, the Congress Plaza Hotel is running $89/night and they may go even lower closer to Christmas. The Seneca Hotel on Chestnut (just off Michigan Ave north of the river) is at $79/night. Start checking Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and other search engines for your dates and see what you find. I can tell you that the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Wacker Drive (loop area) does have the Moslem Convention there over Christmas every year. We've still been able to get good rates even with the all of the convention attendees.
The FAO Schwartz in Chicago closed it's doors in 2003. Marshall Field's has be bought out by Macy's (though the Fields signs still remain in place). Also, the Carson Pirie Scott store will be closing after the 2006 Christmas season.
Check out Lincoln Park Zoo too. It's great and it's free. They are open all year round and they have Christmas caroling to the animals close to Christmas. They're website has not been updated (as of yet) with those dates.
[ Edit: Edited at Nov 14, 2006 4:27 AM by Isadora ]