Lots of us are headed for Chicago this Fourth of July weekend. Here's the place to post about don't-miss local attractions, avoidable road hazards, good food, great scenes, etc.
Cubbies and WhiteSox both in town that weekend.
Cubs Fri, 7/3 Marlins 1:20p Sat, 7/4 Marlins 6:15p Sun, 7/5 Marlins TBD White Sox Fri, 7/3 Orioles 7:10p Sat, 7/4 Orioles 1:10p Sun, 7/5 Orioles 1:10p
Both Sox and Cubs in town (rare) on that weekend, and there will be the usual Ind. Day fireworks thing happening just south of Soldier Field. That has been known to draw as many as 1.5 million spectators. Find a way to Soldier Field that doesn't involve driving and parking - CTA buses can take you right there, trains (Metra or CTA) will get you to within two miles. Walk, bike, use a freakin' pogo stick, but if you try to automobile it, you'll miss the first set. Just sayin'.
Although I haven't been back since Jerry was there, even walking into or out of the stadium could be a challenge. In the past, when I had seats on the west side (away from the lake) I found it faster to enter a gate on the east side because the stadium is SO close to Lake Shore Drive (LSD, yes) that there can be a significant pedestrian back up there. Hopefully, they will still let you enter a gate not necessarily near your seat location... And, for those not familiar with the "Big Puddle", even on what would seem to be a warm summer night, those chilly winds do blow there! Also anticipate intense media scrutiny and possible Blue Meanie presence--although the latter have had varying levels of tolerance for Shakedown action at Chitown venues. So, arrive early, be prepared, bring your patience and your very best attitude. This may be the end of the Final Four, but you are still representin'...
I spent an entire day in the Field Museum when in town for the Phish shows in 2013. I hardly saw half the place in 7 hours, I bet. The museum is across the street from Soldier Field. There is an aquarium and I think also a planetarium on what they call the "Museum Campus".Chicago is surprisingly pedestrian friendly. I stayed at a place several miles from the Northerly Island venue (also adjacent to Soldier Field) and ended up just walking everywhere the entire 3 days. The park that stretches north along the lakeshore is very pretty at night! There is also a small park on the campus grounds that has an actual beach you can swim at... Lake Michigan is pretty cold, though, especially if one is more accustomed to the waters of the Gulf. One note: Mid-west thunderstorms are no joke, we had 2 out of 3 Phish shows hit hard in 2013, the first night was shut down because of it. Plan for heavy cold wind and rain, it is likely. At a minimum a thin rain proof jacket will keep away the chill, which even in July can cause hypothermia, especially in smaller people, women and children.
Any one got good tips for parking at or near Soldiers Field?
Soldier Field has Candlestick weather.
If you're coming from out of the Chicago area and bringing your dog for the weekend, you might want to consider other options. There's a nasty dog-flu epidemic centered there right now (and moving around the country) for which there is currently no effective vaccine, and of course it's highly contagious. (Google away for lots of detail.) I was talking to my vet about this the other day (we're in Oakland), and she says that while it's not an issue in the Bay Area yet, she herself would not take a dog to Chicago right now. (Hey, maybe people don't tour with their dogs any more, but I think they probably do!)
Heard a rumor that The Dead will have their own fireworks show. Can anyone confirm or deny that? Also, I'm wondering if the simulcast will show the fireworks. Hubby isn't much of a Dead fan (I'm sorry, everyone) and definitely wants to see the fireworks tonight. I'd much rather go see the simulcast (Friday night's was amazing and I don't want to miss one second of any of the shows). I'm thinking maybe I can convince him to come with me to the simulcast if they'll at least show the fireworks (even if only the ones from Navy Pier). Thanks!