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Old 05-10-2012, 10:12 AM
 
21,768 posts, read 37,293,575 times
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The relative hassle of having a car are in the downtown area is a function of how comfortable one is with walking and relying on buses. If you have no friends in the area where you could leave the car the other alternative is the 'remote parking" at O'Hare. You could relatively easily leave the car out there for 3 or 4 nights and the savings would be worth it.

I still recommend staying at a hotel in the downtown/ River North/ Grant Park area -- in my mind that is PART of the point of choosing a trip to Chicago. You won't find hotels like the Palmer House along side some random interstate in Ohio. Budget for a nice hotel. The kids will remember the experience and maybe down the road choose to go to college in a more urban setting / move to a real city...
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Chicago - near NW
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I don't think Legoland and American Girl Store are worth it if you're trying to save money. Especially the latter, for I know you're trying to entertain your kids, but if you have any boys in that group of three, they will be bored to tears for hours in that place. I know this because I had this experience when I was much younger.

What I recall being really awesome when I was a kid were street fairs. They have them all over the city on summer weekends; see which ones will be open when you're here. They're free but they ask for a small donation at the entrance.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:16 AM
 
Location: NYC and Chicago
11,156 posts, read 7,610,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
The relative hassle of having a car are in the downtown area is a function of how comfortable one is with walking and relying on buses. If you have no friends in the area where you could leave the car the other alternative is the 'remote parking" at O'Hare. You could relatively easily leave the car out there for 3 or 4 nights and the savings would be worth it.

I still recommend staying at a hotel in the downtown/ River North/ Grant Park area -- in my mind that is PART of the point of choosing a trip to Chicago. You won't find hotels like the Palmer House along side some random interstate in Ohio. Budget for a nice hotel. The kids will remember the experience and maybe down the road choose to go to college in a more urban setting / move to a real city...
I agree with this. I didn't think of the remote parking part of it. One problem though is still with 5 people, trying to get one room. Yeah 3 of the people are children, but it's not like they aren't going to charge you extra for 3 kids...

If you possibly can, I'd say to raise your budget for what Chet says, but if you can't then you'll have to make do with not staying downtown.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
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I second the hotwire/priceline recommendation for finding rooms. As far parking, take your time and drive around the streets in the area of the hotel comparing parking garage rates. Anything you find will be expensive, but the hotel garages will be the most expensive, so if you're willing to schlep your bags a block or two you can save some coin.

The price different between downtown hotels and O'Hare hotels is insane, isn't it? Taking the blue line in and out every day will cut in to your tourist time and energy, though. If staying (and parking) downtown every night is too expensive, maybe you can do at least one or two nights downtown and the rest at O'Hare?
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
I didn't think of the remote parking part of it.
I didn't, either. It's a good idea. Maybe the OP could stay the first and last nights near O'Hare, leave the car parked out there, and stay downtown a couple of nights in the middle of the trip?
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:32 AM
 
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Appreciate everyone's suggestions!

Forgot to mention that we are driving, so I am worried about the additional parking cost on top of the hotel room cost, which is another reason I was looking away from downtown, since the parking rate takes a ~150/night room up to ~180 - 200/night, which would kill our budget.

Will look into the discount sites, as well as the CityPass and other items.

Please keep adding replies, everything's of assistance!!
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:39 AM
 
Location: NYC and Chicago
11,156 posts, read 7,610,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldweasel View Post
Appreciate everyone's suggestions!

Forgot to mention that we are driving, so I am worried about the additional parking cost on top of the hotel room cost, which is another reason I was looking away from downtown, since the parking rate takes a ~150/night room up to ~180 - 200/night, which would kill our budget.

Will look into the discount sites, as well as the CityPass and other items.

Please keep adding replies, everything's of assistance!!
Even staying one night downtown...good stuff really. As others have said, and as someone who lives right downtown in the area you're looking in....i will say that nothing compares to staying downtown and it would be a great experience for your kids I think. It's expensive, but if you can get a great deal, then I'd definitely take it.

Anyway, if you DO find an amazing rate downtown (I have seen special deals sometimes go for $99/night at like the Sheraton before)...I would suggest doing the park your car near O'hare and take the blue line into town to your hotel. It will save you money and it'll basically be like flying into O'hare and coming downtown anyway.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,463 posts, read 6,390,820 times
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There are hotels in Rosemont walking distance to the Blue line.
There is a Comfort Inn near Old Orchard Shopping Center that is quick drive to Yellow line or maybe the hotel offers shuttle service.
There is a brand new Hampton Inn at Randhurst in Mt. Prospect which is close to 2 Metra lines that will have parking available.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:45 AM
 
Location: IL
2,305 posts, read 2,173,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plzeň View Post
I didn't, either. It's a good idea. Maybe the OP could stay the first and last nights near O'Hare, leave the car parked out there, and stay downtown a couple of nights in the middle of the trip?
This is a great idea. Save money a couple of nights and be in the city a couple of other nights. While I would rather be downtown every night, this could be a budget saver and offer teh big city experience.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
2,186 posts, read 1,196,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldweasel View Post
the parking rate takes a ~150/night room up to ~180 - 200/night, which would kill our budget.
For what it's worth, I've stayed at a half dozen or more downtown hotels, most of them pretty nice, always booking through discount sites, and have never paid $150 for a room. That's crazy. I'd expect to pay $100 for a downtown room and $50-60 for an O'Hare area room.

For example, for tonight hotwire has several 4 star hotels in the Mag Mile area for $84-$94 and a 3 star for $72. Taxes will add a good chunk to that, and rates will be higher on weekends and/or when major conferences are in town, but should still never be $150.

Last edited by Plzeň; 05-10-2012 at 11:21 AM..
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