Sunday, September 10, 2017

Chicago

Chicago is one of my very favorite cities and holds a special place in my heart, partly because it is "home" to me. I first visited Chicago in junior high, fell in love, and then headed to one of the northern suburbs for 5 years of college! I've walked miles across the city, taken a boat tour through Chicago, eaten at almost every Giordano's Pizza location, celebrated St. Patrick's Day by the (dyed) green river, visited museums, been to festivals downtown, and so much more! Sometimes a friend and I would drive down and through the city on school nights just to get away and clear our heads. It's such a beautiful place!

I spent lots of weekends walking through the city, and once I started dating my future hubby (Manny), I showed him all around the city too. Then in 2006 my family moved to a northern suburb  and we've kept on exploring Chicago ever since. We try to visit my parents at least once a year and during that time make a trip into the city.

Here is a little disclaimer. Chicago is full of so many great places to visit and eat. We haven't even touched many of them. So below are some of the places we have been, things we have done, and places we have eaten (and loved!).

Some of my favorite places in Chicago
Navy Pier. I love walking through Navy Pier. We have ridden the ferris wheel, visited the Chicago Children's Museum (p.s Thursday nights are FREE admission), and of course, eaten at Giordano's Pizza.  There are a few theatres, many restaurants, art exhibitions, a boat tour, and more there. Navy Pier is such a fun place to visit and a must see when in Chicago.

Millenium Park. So out of all the times Manny had been downtown Chicago, he had never visited Millenium Park or the famous Bean. Ummm...WHAT?! Major fail! So our next trip to Chicago you bet we made sure to visit Millenium Park :) I love walking through the park during all seasons and seeing all the beautiful architecture. Plus, depending on what time of year, there are fun activities going on in the park like summer movies or concerts and in the winter, ice skating!

Shedd Aquarium. I first visited the Shedd Aquarium with my family during college and loved it. There is so much to see and one of my favorites is the dolphin show. I hadn't been to Shedd in years, but this past April, we took our kids, and they had a blast! Out of all the cool things we saw, their favorite... being splashed when the seals would jump in the water. Shedd Aquarium is in a beautiful location and has gorgeous views of the city.

Museums: I have been to the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Children's Museum. It has been years since I have been to some of them, but I recommend checking them out if you have a chance. My kids had a blast at the Children's Museum!

Water Tower: This area is my favorite part of the city. The water tower is in a cute little square surrounded by shops and places like Ghirardelli Ice Cream, and the Water Tower Place (a mall) across the street.

Favorite Food Places:
Girodano's Pizza
Gino's East Pizza
Lou Malnati's Pizza
Portillo's
Shake Shack
Garrett Popcorn (get the Chicago Mix!)
Sprinkles Cupcakes

Favorite Summer Activities: 
exploring Navy Pier, shopping along State Street and the Magnificent Mile, a boat tour through the city

Favorite Winter Activities: 
Christkindlmarket (a German and European Christmas festival), watching ice skaters in Millenium Park, driving through the city at night and seeing all the Christmas lights (especially along Michigan Ave.)

There is so much more to do and see and other great places to eat in this beautiful city! So if you've been to Chicago or live there and have suggestions please leave them in the comments or email me because I am ALWAYS looking for new things to do/see/places to eat!

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