The Bears' getting in the playoffs meant we got to come back to Chi-town in January. Quite a different place than in September - but still fun!
by surfninja on May 7, 2011
We went to Legoland Discovery Center on a Friday afternoon in January. This was the only day of the week on which we could both take advantage of our online coupon (which, as I recall, was a child gets in free with paying adult or something of that nature) AND ride the free Woodfield Trolley. We followed the directions for using public transportation from downtown listed on the legoland website - http://www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/chicago/en/plan-your-visit/how-to-find-us.htm - which worked quite well, although the whole process takes about two hours each way. When you are visiting Chicago with a four-year-old boy, however, transportation is what it's all about!We had visited Legoland in Carlsbad, California, and this is not at all on the same scale - but we knew that going in. There are two rides - Dragon Quest - a ''dark'' ride (my son, for whatever reason, refused to go on this), and Technicycle, a spinning ride kind of like Dumbo, except you have to cycle to make ti go up in the air. Some of the vehicles - including the one we rode on - have one seat with pedals and one without. There is a playground area, and areas where you can play with Legos. One of these is called the Build and Test area, and you can build cars and roll them down ramps. They also seem to have hourly contests in here to build things other than cars (zoos came up, for example), although we didn't participate in these. When you were done, you could pay by the pound for the car you had built, which we did.We saw two ''4D'' movies, Bob the Builder, and a super hero one. We took a ''factory tour'' during which there were opportunities for kids to be chosen to push buttons. And we took a master builder class, for which we had to make an appointment, and we built a Sears Tower out of Legos, which we could buy, if we wanted. (I did!) It was a small scale model, 3 x 3 at the base, but much cheaper than the ones they sell in stores!We also had lunch there, which was pretty typical theme park fare.All in all, this day was a big hit with me and my four-year-old!
We got takeout from here our first night in town. They have both Thai and Chinese food, with a fresh flair. The fare was hot and tasty. They are not very well set up for people (like me) who want to get take out but did not already order it. However, if you want to do it, you can order in advance online quite easily.
I wish we had discovered this place earlier on in our trip. It, too, was right across the street from our hotel, the Sutton Place. We got takeout on our last night in town. The bartender was the kind that makes one want to hang out in bars more, and I enjoyed a beverage while waiting. I had the meat loaf, ($13,00), and my husband had the buttermilk fried half chicken ($13.50). So, the prices were reasonable for what one expects to pay for a sit-down meal while traveling in a large city. (If you want steak, though, expect to pay significantly more.)
We ate here at least three times during our stay across the street at the Sutton Place Hotel. The first couple were quite pleasant, as they were relatively early in the morning on a weekday. Each time, I had the Swedish pancakes with lingonberries, as I get a kick out of saying Lingonberry because of The Big Lebowski. Apparently, the Swedes like their pancakes big and flat - different from the normal buttermilk pancakes which they also serve. The portion of the Swedish pancake was just the right amount of food for me. The service was quite good - just attentive enough.Then, we visited again on a Saturday, and they were all uppity about us bringing a stroller (which we had done previously with no proglem) and about waiting for other guests to arrive (who never did - at no fault of the restaurant). On this day, while there was no wait when we arrived, when we left, the entire vestibule - essentially a hallway at the end of which is the door to the dining room - was full of people waiting, and indeed, difficult to push a stroller through.This place is pretty basic, not too expensive, but not laughably cheap either. If you want special, go to Ann Sather.
This is more of a boutique, limited amenity hotel, but still very elegant, and the location is great as far as having plenty of restaurants to choose from within a sort walk. We joined their club and got free internet for the duration of our stay. : ) The staff was very helpful and friendly.
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