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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 12-14-2010
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Strictly Sail Chicago

I am thinking about taking the family to Strictly Sail in Chicago this winter. We've never been to one of these shows before and wondered if any of you could give us any tips, must see's, must do's and don'ts?

It will be my wife and I, and our 8 year old daughter. We plan to go for several days so we can take it in stages to keep the kid from getting too bored, but she loves crowds and commotion so who knows.

Thanks all.
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Old 12-14-2010
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The Chicago Strictly Sail show is a good one for adults, and, if you've never been there before, you could easily spend a day looking at boats and equipment, and another day or two attending the mostly free seminars that interest you, but you'd be pressing your luck to try to keep a youngster interested more than one day. Most children would find it difficult to sit through a full day or two of seminars.

I especially look forward to listening to Capt. Jack Klang's discussions of docking and boat handling techniques.

My suggestion would be to spend one day at the boat show, and one day at the Field Museum of Natural History, which is very close to the Navy Pier, where the boat show takes place. Your entire family will enjoy the museum.
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Old 12-14-2010
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I usually go for 2 days. One day for just me to look at all the stuff I'm interested in, and the following day with my wife and kids. The kids always like to go on the boats but have little interest in the gear at the booths. My wife likes the highlight version where I can spare her from looking at boats that I found not worth looking at the day before. I agree with Sailormon- keeping the kids interested for 2 days could be tough.
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Old 12-14-2010
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Thanks for the advice.

I was hoping to split it up to keep the youngster happy. We will definitely add the museum to the list of things to do. Though we saw quite a few seminars we were thinking we would split that up and just hit two or three, where I hit one and leave the wife and kid to browse then meet up and look at boats we can't afford.

My daughter is very much looking forward to our future upgrade in boat, and I think she will enjoy looking at them. The wife wants to see what features are available.

Thanks again for the info.
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Old 12-14-2010
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You also have the option of staying right on the pier. I am sure your 8 year old daughter would love the Chicago Children's Museum. As I say, it is located on the pier just a short walk away from the boat exhibits. Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier
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Old 12-14-2010
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I've taken kids in past

My son and I usually meet up with my friend and his son.

We make it a day trip since we live just over 1 hour from downtown.

Last winter, my son was 6 1/2 years old. He has a good attention span and liked exploring the boats. BUT, the gear booths were a yawner for him (except the ShamWow booth--he thought that was cool).

The suggestion to spend a day exploring museums / downtown is excellent. It's a wonderful city.
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Old 12-15-2010
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sail chicago

The suggestions to visit museums is an excellent one. The Field museum is not the most dynamic museum, especialy for an 8 year old. Other suggestions would include the Shed Aquarium - the reef exhibit is special. The Adler Planaterium is deadly dull, unless there is a dynamic lecture going on that month. Both of those are close to the Field museum. The IC train will take you down to the Museum of Science and Industry which is a mind boggler. If the Art Institute still has the Thorne Miniature Rooms, an 8 y/o girl might enjoy the "doll houses". The Art Institute cafeteria used to have the best curry in the city.
Chicago is a friendly city. On the first day at the show, ask exhibitors who are Chicago based what to do. They will have lots of useful suggestions.
Used to go to the Red Onion, where we ate hamburgers, and threw peanut shells on the floor. What fun for an 8 y/o
Don't forget that Uno's and Dues are ont he near northe side.
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Old 12-15-2010
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I will be there again this year. I actually live in Chicago currently, close to downtown. If anyone needs advice of where to go with Family or what to do after the show please send me an IM. I can give directions and hints of places close by that might fit your interests.

There is actually a Sailor's bar in the city not that far away that a lot of people used to venture to after the show. I havent been there for 3 years but its a nice place with great food and about as close as you are going to get to a salt bar during a January in Chicago.
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Old 01-27-2011
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me and my wife will be heading up there for the first time this year on saturday, we cant wait to get to see all the new fancy things that will inspire us on our upcomming boat purchase
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Old 01-28-2011
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I havent dont strickly sail, but have done this (if you make two trips dont know how far away you are) and lived downtown for a decade so will give you some ideas for activities...

Pepsi Tall Ships Chicago 2010 | Choose Chicago

plenty of diversions for an 8 y/o at navy pier, but i will say it is on the touristy side--kind of like a giant mall. the giant ferris wheel is cool and they do have an imax and stage preformers.

the art institute is world class, but may not interest the little one. field museum is neat, if you go check sue (you cant miss her) and the lions of tsavo.

for a very 'hands on' experience the museum of science and industry has a lot of interactive exhibits and is cool

the sears tower is pretty awesome and only about 5 blocks form downtown. or the 95th floor, they do a great sunday brunch w/piano, but it is on the pricey side.
, or for a real nice dinner with a comparable view to the tower :
Signature Room at the 95th - When the Sky is the Limit...




the lincoln park zoo is fun.

the shed really is neat with the main pool kinda looking like an endless pool against the backdrop of the lake.

gene and georgettis is a pretty storid steak house. if you want seafood go to joes stone crab--flown in from miami daily

the drake is a bit expensive and rooms a bit dated, but they did do an upgrade. the hilton towers has easy downtown access, the congress has better deals.

overall the city is friendly and generally safe, big but with a neighborhood feel, public transit is cheap and easy.
oh and ed dvebics is a pretty famous place, kid friendly too:
Ed Debevic's
the waiters are rude and dance on the counter. its like an old old school burger joint

any specific questions just pm me
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Last edited by QuickMick; 01-28-2011 at 12:33 PM.
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