Things to do in chicago in December
December 15, 2007 1:43 AM   Subscribe

What should I do in Chicago this weekend?

I got here today, bought a beanie and gloves, went to the AI and walked around the theatre district. I'd like to see another neighborhood or two, listen to a few blues/jazz sets, maybe see an improv comedy show and eat a few slices of pizza. Where should I go? What should I see? Thanks!
posted by mrunderhill to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The Sears Tower skydeck? I've never been there, but I have been to the Empire State building's and it was amazing. And the Sears Tower is even taller, so...
posted by hjo3 at 3:14 AM on December 15, 2007

Don't go to the Sears (sorry hjo3). If you want to do the tall building thing go to the Hancock and go to the Signature Room rather than the observation deck. The Signature Room is a really nice bar, so instead of your $$ going to an entry fee on an observation deck it goes to some swanky drinks while you look at the view.

Neighborhoods that are fairly close to downtown and decently walkable:
  • Ukrainian Village (take the blue line north to Division, get off and walk west).
  • Bucktown / Wicker Park (take the blue line north to Damen, get off and walk Southeast on Milwaukee or really anywhere.
  • Parts of west loop (walk west from the loop on Randolph).
  • Parts of south loop (south of the loop on wabash, although I don't know it very well)
  • Lincoln park and Lakeview - Red/Brown line to Armitage, Fullerton, Diversey, Belmont, or Addison
For general things to do (including all you mention) go to Metromix - you can search for pretty much anything.
posted by true at 4:29 AM on December 15, 2007

The sears tower skydeck is a waste of time. If you want a nice view, just head to the signature lounge on the top floor of the Hancock. You don't have to pay, the view is imo (and in lots of guidebooks opinions) better, and you can eat a tasty dessert/drink something.

Other than that ... its cold out now! Do in door things. The Chicago Art Institute is always nice. For pizza, check out Unos or Giordanos I'm sure other people can recommend some other less mainstream pizza places if you'd like. Head up to wrigleyville and wander from bar to bar.

For music ... I'd say check out The Underground Wonderbar There's always something fun going on.
posted by Arbac at 4:34 AM on December 15, 2007

Regarding true's comment, Ukrainian Village is not off the Division Blue Line stop. That's Wicker Park. For Ukrainian Village, you'd take the Blue Line to Chicago Avenue and go west. Ashland and Chicago Avenues is where Ukrainian Village begins.
posted by smich at 6:26 AM on December 15, 2007

Gaper's Block

Both list activities for the weekend.
posted by santojulieta at 6:45 AM on December 15, 2007

As for neighborhoods check out Andersonville (red line to Berwyn and walk a few blocks west - or take the 22 Clark bus north to Foster), or Lincoln Square (brown line to Western). Bucktown/Wicker Park and Lakeview are also always fun.

If you're up north in the evening you might want to check out the The Green Mill. It's an old jazz club that Al Capone used to hang at and always has fantastic music and a quirky mix of people.

If you're into Christmas take a walk around the Christkindlmarket -- I've never actually been there myself, but I keep meaning to go and it looks fun! :)
posted by gleea at 7:55 AM on December 15, 2007

Seconding the Green Mill, and Kingston Mines for some blues. Looks like they've got Magic Slim & The Teardrops, and Linsey Alexander tonight. Second City is the most obvious suggestion for comedy (was never much of a comedy show fan, so it's also the only suggestion I can come up with).

There are a lot of good past AskMe's with Chicago suggestions (as such, I won't regurgitate my comments) ... but if you're looking for something else specific, by all means pipe up. Coffee/teahouse culture? Book or music stores? Quirky neighborhoods? [Insert subculture here]-friendly? Nerdly pursuits? Architecture? Bueller?
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 8:57 AM on December 15, 2007

If you're looking for weird, you're not terribly far from the Museum of Surgical Science.
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 9:00 AM on December 15, 2007

For improv, I'd recommend Whirled News Tonight at the IO Theater, formerly known as Improv Olympic: it's improv inspired by current events that audience members cut out of newspapers before the show. Much, much better than Second City (which comes off as too polished, in my opinion). It's at 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and you should probably call to reserve tickets, as it tends to sell out.

There's also Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind -- 30 plays in 60 minutes, and always a great time. 11:30 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday.
posted by adrian_h at 10:02 AM on December 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh, and for deep-dish pizza, you absolutely cannot beat Lou Malnati's.
posted by adrian_h at 10:03 AM on December 15, 2007

I think Navy Pier has their Christmas thing going on right now.

If we're going to talk pizza, we'd better talk Giordano's. :P

The Sears Tower skydeck is overrated. If it's cloudy up there (they'll let you know before you pay) it's worthless, and the "exhibits" are pretty boring. The elevator ride up was more exciting. (You watch a video while ascending.)
posted by IndigoRain at 5:14 PM on December 15, 2007

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