Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Do-it-yourself Sightseeing
There comes a time in every parent's life when you decide that trying
to force your kids on a guided tour (and trying to enforce good behav-
ior while on that tour) is simply not worth it. If that's the case, an inex-
pensive and low-pressure way to tour the city is by hopping aboard
one of Chicago's El trains or buses. And what kid doesn't love a train
or bus ride? Do-it-yourselfers can take their own tour for the cost of
subway or bus fare—$1.75, plus 25¢ for a transfer (good for a return
trip if you use it within two hours). Here are some of the city's best
sightseeing routes:
Brown line (trip duration 20 min.; daily). Ride from the Loop to Bel-
mont Station. You get a bird's-eye view of downtown, gentrified loft
districts, and a number of historic neighborhoods. Start at the big El
station at Clark and Lake streets and get on the northbound train.
No. 151 Sheridan bus (trip duration 30 min.; daily). Pick up the
151 downtown on Michigan Avenue (the bus stops every two blocks
on the avenue) and ride it north to Belmont. You cover Lake Shore
Drive and Lincoln Park. If you take the bus south, you travel State
Street and wind up at Union Station.
No. 146 Marine-Michigan bus (trip duration 20 min.; daily). This
express bus allows you to take in North Michigan Avenue, State
Street, and the Museum Campus. Pick up the bus on Sheridan and
Diversey going south. (You can also pick up the 146 along Michigan
Avenue, although it has fewer stops than the 151.) You see the
Harold Washington Library, the Art Institute of Chicago, the
Chicago Cultural Center, and the landmark Water Tower.
No. 10 Museum of Science and Industry bus (trip duration 35
min.; weekends year-round, daily in summer and winter holiday sea-
son). From North Michigan Avenue at the Water Tower (the stop is
in front of Borders Books & Music on Michigan Ave. across from
Water Tower Place), ride south to the Museum Campus. You see
Grant Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Chicago,
and Chinatown.
First Ave. and 31st St., Brookfield. & 708/485-0263. Admission to Play Zoo, $3
adults, $2 seniors and children 3-11 (in addition to paying the general Brookfield Zoo admission of $8 adults,
$4 seniors and children 3-11). Parking $8. Free admission Tues and Thurs Oct-Mar. Memorial Day to Labor
Day daily 9:30am-6pm; fall-spring daily 10am-5pm. To reach the zoo from downtown, take I-290 W. and exit
at First Ave. Turn left onto First Ave. and drive 2 miles to the zoo entrance. Subway/El: Blue Line to North River-
side; transfer to bus 304.
John G. Shedd Aquarium All ages. What do kids love best about the
Shedd? The dolphin show! But there's plenty more to see and do here. Thou-
sands of denizens of river, lake, and sea populate the standard aquarium tanks
and elaborate new habitats at this marble octagon building. Opened in 1930,
the Shedd debuted in auspicious fashion: It boasted the greatest variety of sea life
ever exhibited at one institution and was the first inland aquarium to maintain
permanent exhibits of both saltwater and freshwater animals.
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