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Old 06-02-2011, 01:08 AM
 
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I will be visiting family in Algonquin, Illinois and will be making several trips into downtown Chicago (via car) to check out the attractions. (Willis Tower, Navy Pier, Field Museum. Does anybody have advice as to where I can park, how much it will cost, and what I can expect?

I was thinking of driving my car to Ohare, leaving it at the park and ride, and hoping on a train into the city. Would that be possible? If so how much can I expect to pay, how long would the commute be? and would it be safe for the wife and three kids? Or would I be better of driving into Downtown?

Any detailed help and informaton would be greatly appeciated.

Any better suggestions?

Thank You
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsb2107 View Post
I will be visiting family in Algonquin, Illinois and will be making several trips into downtown Chicago (via car) to check out the attractions. (Willis Tower, Navy Pier, Field Museum. Does anybody have advice as to where I can park, how much it will cost, and what I can expect?

I was thinking of driving my car to O'hare leaving it at the park and ride, and hoping on a train into the city. Would that be possible? If so how much can I expect to pay, how long would the commute be? and would it be safe for the wife and three kids? Or would I be better of driving into Downtown?

Any detailed help and informaton would be greatly appeciated.

Any better suggestions?

Thank You
What ever you do don't drive into downtown that can be expensive because of parking. Think like $25 plus a day plus a 45-60 min drive(non rush) worse if it is rush hour. Parking can varry a bit as you can get a lot that charges $30 for the day or several lots that charge by the hour.

The O'hare idea (the station(s) you want are Harlem,Cumberland, or Rosemont not O'hare they are the ones with parking), can work another idea would be to use Metra our commuter rail. It will save you the drive to Ohare but is going to be a bit more costly. Unlike the blue line it does not run 24 hours a day and only runs at set times. It would put you off at Ogilvie downtown. The only issuse is that depending on when you travel it could be 1,2, or 3 hours between trains. Most days are reasonable (i.e. next train in an hour but sunday there are few trains). Check the scedule to see if makes sense. Also there is a extra fee if you buy your ticket on the train and an agent was available at the station.

The Metra line you want is the North west line. The fare you would pay would depend on when you travel and the age of your children and which station you depart from. You can park at the station it will likely be cheaper than parking downtown and cheaper gas wise than driving that far. There is a 7 dollar weekend fair that is only good saterday and sunday and the kids under 11 would ride free.

There is also a ten ride pass that will run like about $48 or $51(depending on which station you depart from) if you want to go on the weekdays. The ten ride can cover both you and your wife and each person in your party until you run out of rides.(i.e. it can pay up to ten people one way, 5 people round trip). This option is better if you have children over 11 as they count as adults.

There are also one way fares. Children under 7 ride free. 7-11 50% discount. They are like 6.00 or 6.50 per adult. No round trips tickets are available so you need to double that to return.

Here is the Metra information

Metra Home

note Metra fares are seperate from CTA fares and Metra tickets are good for a year after purchase. The Metra trip is nice clean fast and confortable and could be fun to do with smaller children.

Last edited by chirack; 06-02-2011 at 02:34 AM..
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:08 AM
 
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Here is the CTA information. You can get 1,3, and 7 day passes which allow unlimited rides on the CTA for that time period. i.e. First time you use it it starts the clock. You can purchase them online(or at certian stations).

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The blue line is reasonably safe but do keep aware of your situation. This is a large city.

Metra is safer and more confortable but the blue line is frequent and might get you closer to your destination. Metra will also likely be faster to downtown as it makes much fewer stops but I don't know how fast you would be able to drive to the Rosemont station.

Last edited by chirack; 06-02-2011 at 02:21 AM..
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:25 AM
 
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I would try to minimize driving. Alquonquin is still a heckuva drive to the O'Hare Park'n Ride. Use Metra. Overall time and cost is worth it.

The Baerington station has many good express trains and there are places to park that will work. Kids fare are 2.75 each way, adults double that. Weekends families can get kids free. Service is MUCH BETTER than CTA, and you save a TON of time avoiding the O'Hare area!!!!
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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www.metrarail.com

easier, faster, nicer.
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:18 PM
 
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Anyway the general idea is to take Metra into downtown and use the CTA(busses and el lines) or cab it from there.

The 1,3,7 day passes can be bought in union station which is across the street from ogilvie downtown. The CTA passes are cheaper if you plan to ride more than 2 times a day(which is very likely for tourists). You can use the trip planner on the CTA site to get you to where you want to go from Ogiviele.

Children 7-11 pay reduce fare($1.00). Children under 7 ride free with fare paying adult. Each adult in your party would need their own passes(unlike the Metra ten ride you can not share them). Also if you get the chance go to the Museum of science and industry that is a lot of fun esp. with kids. North avenue beach is another spot you might want to go if you like the beach.

Last edited by chirack; 06-02-2011 at 02:54 PM..
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:15 PM
 
9,395 posts, read 11,528,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsb2107 View Post
I will be visiting family in Algonquin, Illinois and will be making several trips into downtown Chicago (via car) to check out the attractions. (Willis Tower, Navy Pier, Field Museum. Does anybody have advice as to where I can park, how much it will cost, and what I can expect?

I was thinking of driving my car to Ohare, leaving it at the park and ride, and hoping on a train into the city. Would that be possible? If so how much can I expect to pay, how long would the commute be? and would it be safe for the wife and three kids? Or would I be better of driving into Downtown?
I live in that area and I don't completely agree with the answers given.

First, I would NEVER recommend driving into the downtown area as parking is very costly.

You have two choices. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. If you take Metra, park at the downtown Crystal Lake station where the parking is free on the weekends and $1.25 during the week. On the weekends, you can buy a $7 pass for the entire weekend. HOWEVER, during the week, you will pay closer to $6 EACH WAY into the city. You will get some relief as kids ride free during the summer months. When you get to town, it is a good walk from Oglivie Station to the various attractions.

The problem with Metra, especially on Sundays, is that the trains run two hours apart. In other words, miss the train, and you are stuck for a while.
On Saturdays, the trains are generally one hour apart. Also, if you miss the 12:30 am train, get a room as you will be there all night.

The other option is to drive down to the Cumberland Park and Ride where the parking is $3. The advantage of taking the Blue Line is that it gets you further into the Loop, it runs 24/7 and the wait is generally never longer than 20 minute. This is a lot better if you are heading to a night game if that is in your plans.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:23 PM
 
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All the museums close MANY HOURS before the trains stop. If they are taking in a night game with kids they should plan on driving unless ALL the kids are old enough not to be carried / fall asleep.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
I live in that area and I don't completely agree with the answers given.

HOWEVER, during the week, you will pay closer to $6 EACH WAY into the city. You will get some relief as kids ride free during the summer months. When you get to town, it is a good walk from Oglivie Station to the various attractions.
Agree with much of what you have said but if you plan to go into the city on more than one occassion you can get the ten ride pass. Depending on statation(Barrington is the cheapest) at 43.80. 48.05 is the one that corresponds to the $6.00 one way ticket.

With a ten ride that is 4.80 a trip. Now if they can use a ten ride or not is the question. Since it would be $12.00 a day for two adults they would only need 4 trips to break even, and 2 trips if one child counts as an adult.

The cheapest deal(not counting gas) is the blue line but that drive would get old soon esp. on a weekday.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:28 AM
 
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Also he can get busses to the Feild Museum, Navy Peir, and Willis tower and many other attraction from ogilvie.
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