Things to do in Chicago on a Friday evening
May 8, 2018 12:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm heading to Chicago for a meeting on Thursday and Friday, and flying back home early on Saturday. What should I do on Friday evening? Can I get some birthday shopping done, and if so, where? Or is there a "don't miss" thing I can fit in between 5 PM and 10 PM?

I'm staying on the Magnificent Mile for my meeting, but my flight on Saturday is ridiculously early (I didn't know flights could leave ORD at 5AM!) so I'm spending the night at an airport hotel - that's where I need to end up eventually. I'll have minimal luggage - a single backpack - but I'll have to carry it the whole time. And given how early my flight is, I probably don't want to do a very late night. I'm not particularly familiar with Chicago, but happy to deal with public transit, Lyft, etc.

What do you suggest?
posted by RedOrGreen to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If you're staying on the Magnificent Mile, you'll have a bunch of shopping options all around you for birthday gifts.

For a not-too-late thing to do, the Second City has an all-women show right now that's running at 8 PM on Friday. My fiancee and I just went last week and it was spectacular. Spacca Napoli and the Roost are good restaurants relatively close to the theater; you could get a semi-early dinner at either, catch a show, and be at the ORD Hilton by 11:30 at the latest.
posted by protocoach at 12:58 PM on May 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you're any kind of architecture fan -- or just like looking at city skylines -- I'd heartily endorse the Architecture Foundation's river tour, which is a great way to take in the city.

The Mag Mile has basically any kind of chain shopping you may be interested in, especially the giant (vertical) malls like Water Tower Place and 900 N Michigan. If you're looking for something more boutique-y, the really high end stuff is in Gold Coast (e.g. Oak Street, which I ... do not frequent, let's just say), and neighborhoods like Wicker Park or Andersonville will have more in the vein of quirky indie shops.

Chicago is also a great town to eat and drink. Personally I'd skip the deep dish or Italian beef unless I wanted to slide into a food coma, but there are plenty of contenders for both along the Mag Mile. Personally, if I were gonna grab a good solo meal on a Friday evening, I'd probably head to Xoco, which is Rick Bayless's torta place in River North with lots of counter seating (but potentially still a wait at peak hours).

Happy to offer more detailed recs if there's anything in particular you're hoping for.
posted by theoddball at 2:10 PM on May 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Along with the two excellent responses here, an anon Mefite invited me to the Kiss Kiss Cabaret performing at the Uptown Underground. Fun!
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:44 AM on May 16, 2018

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