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Tomorrow I am bringing my DD and her friends to Chicago on the train to go to American Girl Place. I'm wondering if anyone knows if the route from the Randolf St. train station to American Girl Place (on E. Chicago Ave) is walkable. We were planning on walking along Michigan Ave. It's only about a mile walk, so I'm not really concerned about the distance, just making sure the route is do-able.
I don't know how old your girls are, but I think it's probably too far. I would walk out to Michigan Ave and take a bus to Chicago Ave and walk the few blocks from there. It's quite a hike up Michigan and if it's windy it can be really bad. My son just thought the bus was the greatest. Hope you have fun. I grew up in Chicago and really miss it!
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Where are you coming from because you can get off at an earlier stop if you are taking the El which will put you closer to the store. If your girls are over 7 or 8 they can make the walk, especially if the weather is deent because there is so much to see on Michigan Ave.!
I've been thinking of taking a train trip to Chicago with my son. He wants to go to the Museum and Shedd Aquarium. I figure it's probably a 2 day trip to do both, so we might have to choose one or the other.
I did the train thing once (while I was pregnant and sick most of the way), so I don't have fond memories of taking the train!
I spent a vacation this past July about an hour from Chicago with my 12 and 5 yo. We took the Aurora train to Union Station and had a great time. I got lots of help when I called the general number for transit. We took the subway, bus and one harrowing cab ride. We had such a great time that we are going back next year. We bought a City Pass and did things we wouldn't have done otherwise and then gave someone else the coupons we didn't have time to use, so made someone else's day. Something we would not have done without the pass was the Hancock center--it was so much neater than I expected it to be. The younger kids would like that too. At the Art Institute they have a section of miniature rooms that the young girls might like too. (that's also on the City Pass).
It would be a bit of a hike (also ever so slightly "uphill"). It would be a pretty walk with the windows and such, but only you would know how much of a "trooper" your kids are. I don't think I would attempt that with my 7yo. (She is many things, but trooper isn't one of them ) and she LOVES AG Place. We were just there last weekend. It also depends on the weather. I think it's supposed to be a little colder and still rainy tomorrow (it's very warm here right now for Nov.) It's very easy to get a cab there though.
If you do walk, it's very easy - just stay on Michigan Avenue up to Chicago Avenue and turn left - it's right next to Ralph Lauren (which is on the corner of Michigan and Chicago.)
One caveat - I think tomorrow is the festival of lights on Michigan Avenue (where they light the trees that line Michigan Avenue as the official kick-off to the shopping season - as if it needed one.) They also have a parade with the Disney characters. It's a lot of fun, but Michigan Avenue will just be NUTS and very crowded.
If you aren't eating in the AG Place cafe (adorable but very expensive), across the water tower plaza is the Ghiradelli Store - great place to grab a wonderful sundae or a hot cocoa-type drink.
Stampcrazygirl, I would think you could do the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium in one day but the Museum of Science and Industry is cooler for a young boy and that's on the far south side of the city (the Field Musuem does have the exhibit of Jackie Kennedy dresses right now but your son probably isn't into that. )
Well...I live only 10 miles from the city and my three girls and I have walked it almost every time we go. This summer my niece and her daughter came and we walked from the train station to The American Girl Place with no problem. Her daughter is seven. We took our time and looked in windows and took snapshots of each other...it was fun and we all had a good time. You can do it. Just plan on taking your time.
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Here's the scoop on the Festival of Lights from today's paper: "Mickey Mouse leads a street-lighting procession along North Michigan Avenue at 6pm Saturday, followed by a fireworks display over the Chicago River (at Michigan Avenue) at 6:55 pm. Entertainment begins at 11am at Pioneer Court - 401 Michigan Avenue." (This is a plaza right by the river, across the street from where you would probably be walking.)
This means that people will be lining up starting early in the day to get a good spot to watch the parade so Michigan Avenue will be very crowded - just something to keep in mind. The parade is supposed to be tons of fun (we've never been brave enough to fight the crowds) but your girls will be tired by then.
Kendra - Just wanted you to know the Festival of Lights is tomorrow. Make sure the kids get to watch the parade. I had fun with my hubby a few years ago. I was getting my picture by a fire truck and a fireman told me to get into the fire truck and blow the horn - that was so much fun!!! Firemen are nice.
Thanks everyone -- great information. I think we are going to walk on the way there and see how it goes. The girls are all pretty good about walking (they are all used to it) & I think Michigan Ave. will be pretty. The train arrives at 1:00 and we don't have the Birthday party tea until 4:00pm. That should last about an hour and then we need to go back to the train station for the 6:00pm train. I just called AG Place and she suggested that we make sure we are out the door at 5:00 pm and take a cab to the train station to make the 6:00pm train. I sure hope this all works.
Yep, you're cutting it close on the back end. Make sure the girls do any AG shopping before the tea party (and they won't seat you until exactly 4:00 either). The store is three levels and somewhat overwhelming for the girls.
Definitely take a cab back and hope the street is still clear before the parade. The parade will be heading in the same direction as you will be back to the train station.
Well fortunately, 3 of the 4 girls have been there before & know what to expect. We are due to arrive at AG Place between 1:30 & 2:00 and then checkin for the tea at 3:45. So we will plan on doing our shopping between those time. I'm a little nervous about the return trip, so I think we will just plan on going out and catching 2 cabs back to the train station.
I was just thinking, maybe I can purchase our return tickets when we arrive at the Randolf st. station earlier that day, that way we don't have to worry about it when we come back.
When we lived in Chicago we went to the American Girl Doll place one time, it was snowing like crazy and there was no place to park! My husband had my daughter and I run in and get what she wanted. We were in there 10 minutes and spend $300!!!!! (and then NEVER played with the doll! )
Navy Pier is an awesome place to go also!
Have a wonderful time! I am soooooo jealous!
Blessed are the flexible, for they shall never be bent out of shape!
Kendra.....you never mentioned you were in South Bend...yesterday I posted a roll call for our area!! Silly girl!
Can I say that if you have extra time YOU MUST go to Garrett's and try their caramel corn....oh so awesome! I believe it was on the Mag Mile.
Just a suggestion!
As long as you know you need to high-tail back to the train station you should be okay. Buying tickets ahead is probably good. Cabs should be easy to catch. There is a fancy hotel right across the street so they're sure to have cabs. If you're running late, Chicago cab drivers LOVE a challenge
Have fun and be sure to let us know how it went!