Helmut Jahn-designed building at LaSalle and Randolph streets in the Loop.
The desk is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm.
INFORMATION BY TELEPHONE The Mayor's Office of Special Events
operates a recorded hot line ( & 312/744-3370; www.cityofchicago.org) listing
current special events, festivals, and parades occurring throughout the city. The
city of Chicago also maintains a 24-hour information line for those with hear-
ing impairments; call & 312/744-2964.
PUBLICATIONS Pick up a free copy of Chicago Parent magazine at any
bookstore, public library, park district building, or children's specialty shop. You
will also find copies in newspaper vending boxes on Michigan Avenue. Each
issue includes a daily calendar of events and a museum page that keeps readers
abreast of new openings of interest to kids. Each June, the magazine publishes
its annual Going Places guide. Call the magazine's offices in Oak Park at & 708/
386-5555 to order one.
Chicago's major daily newspapers are the Tribune and the Sun-Times. Both
have cultural listings, including movies, theaters, and live music, not to mention
reviews of the very latest restaurants that are sure to have appeared in the city
since this guidebook went to press. The Friday editions of both papers contain
special pullout sections with more detailed, up-to-date information on special
events happening over the weekend. Both papers have also launched weekday
tabloids aimed at younger readers: The Tribune publishes Red Eye , while the Sun-
Times puts out Red Streak. Both carry a similar mix of “lite” news items, enter-
tainment news, and quirky features, making them pretty much interchangeable.
Chicago magazine is an upscale monthly with good restaurant listings. For a
look at the city's beautiful people, pick up CS (formerly Chicago Social ), a glossy
monthly magazine filled with photos from charity galas and ads for high-priced
In a class by itself is the Chicago Reader, a free weekly that is an invaluable
source of entertainment listings, classifieds, and well-written articles on contem-
porary issues of interest in Chicago. Published every Thursday (except the last
Insider Tours—for Free!
Want your kids to see the city from a native's point of view? A new pro-
gram, Chicago Greeter, run by the Chicago Office of Tourism, matches
tourists with local Chicagoans who serve as volunteer guides. Visitors can
request a specific neighborhood or theme (everything from Polish her-
itage sites to Chicago movie locations), and a greeter gives a free 2- to 4-
hour tour. (Greeters won't escort groups of more than six people). Kids of
all ages are welcome (bringing newborns on the tours, however, is dis-
couraged). When you call, please specify that you will be using a stroller
so that your guide can plan accordingly for accessing public transporta-
tion. Chicago Greeter offers a special “Kids Activities” tour that includes
Navy Pier. Other popular family tours include Lincoln Park Zoo and the
Shedd Aquarium (see the website or call for details). Specific requests for
these kid-friendly tours should be made at least a week in advance, but
“InstaGreeters” are also available on a first-come, first-served basis at the
Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St., Friday through Sunday. For
details, call & 312/744-8000 or visit www.chicagogreeter.com.