Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Shopping with Your Kids
W hen I talked to other Chicago par-
ents about shopping with their kids,
they often joked, “The best shopping
experience is no shopping experience!”
True, shopping with kids can be a
strain, and maybe this chapter is better
titled “Shopping for Your Kids.” To
keep kids interested during your shop-
ping expeditions, I've included some
stores that wouldn't necessarily be
considered children's stores but which
kids find fascinating—stores that sell
thousands of different buttons, for
For more on shopping for adults in
Chicago, pick up a copy of Frommer's
Chicago. This chapter concentrates on
the Magnificent Mile, State Street,
and several trendy neighborhoods,
where you'll find one-of-a-kind shops
and boutiques that make shopping
such an adventure. It also includes a
sampling of retailers organized by
merchandise category.
1 The Shopping Scene
As a general rule, stores are open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6 or
7pm, and Sunday from noon to 6pm. Neighborhood stores tend to keep later
hours, with some remaining open until 8pm Monday through Saturday and
until 6pm on Sunday. Many stores are open later on Thursday, and almost all
have extended hours during the holiday season. Nearly all the stores in the Loop
are open for daytime shopping only, generally Monday through Saturday from
9 or 10am to no later than 6pm. (The few remaining big downtown department
stores have some evening hours; see below.) Many Loop stores not on State
Street are closed Saturday; on Sunday the Loop—except for a few restaurants,
theaters, and cultural attractions—is shut down pretty tight.
You might do a double take after checking the total on your purchase: At
8.75%, the state and local sales taxes on nonfood items is one of the steepest in
the country.
The nickname “Magnificent Mile” refers to the roughly mile-long stretch of
North Michigan Avenue between Oak Street and the Chicago River. As
Chicago's top shopping destination, the Magnificent Mile is magnificent not
because of the sightseeing or the architecture: The stores are the thing. The den-
sity of first-rate shopping is, quite simply, unmatched anywhere. Even jaded
shoppers from other worldly capitals are delighted at the ease and convenience
of the stores concentrated here. Taking into account that tony Oak Street is just
around a corner (again, if you want to hit Hermès and Prada, I must refer you
to Frommer's Chicago ), the overall area is a little like New York's Fifth Avenue
and Beverly Hills's Rodeo Drive rolled into one. Whether your passion is Bul-
gari jewelry, Prada suits, or Ferragamo footwear, you'll find it on this stretch of
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