Please sign in to post.

Chicago on thanksgiving weekend

Hey everyone,
I'm going to chicago on thanksgiving. I was wondering if the tourist attractions are less crowded on black friday because everyone wants to shop? Or are they more crowded? We are planning to visit sears tower and the art institute.
Any info is appreciated I need to know to adjust my plan!

Posted by
16861 posts

Depends out what you mean by "tourist attractions". I'm checking out of my hotel in 1 hour and it is pretty quiet here. But remember, with kids out of school on Friday, things like the Shedd Aquarium are bound to be jammed.

Posted by
6872 posts

The Art Institute is huge - I would show up right when it opens and hope for the best. You can call and ask the museum what the situation is likely to be based on their prior year history and go from there - but I figure you're going to be indoors somewhere, right? So it won't be possible to avoid crowds at all costs, especially at such a top attraction.

(The Sears Tower is now called Willis Tower).

Posted by
6872 posts

Any idea about Willis tower?

No, I'm afraid not. Maybe check TripAdvisor for recent reviews to get a sense of potential crowds?

Posted by
565 posts

Chicago is usually a ghost town around the holidays because many of the residents here are from elsewhere. You might have luck at the tourist attractions, but I would probably buy tickets ahead of time if possible.
There are protests planned for Friday on the Magnificent Mile. Last year, they were big enough to shut down commerce. Expect them to be as big this year. Go to the Loop orNorth Side neighborhoods if you'd like to shop instead-Lincoln Park at Sheffield, either at North Avenue or Armitage (North and Clybourn, Red Line, Armitage, Brown Line) has many of the same shops as the Mag Mile without the ridiculous crowds. Plus, Lori's Shoes is a freaking gem of a shop.

Posted by
103 posts

I'm only reading this thread now because I was off line in a hotel on Michigan Avenue for the Thanksgiving weekend. There were indeed big protests and they were in progress as I was leaving. Traffic was bad and the place was swarming with police and news helicopters. Fortunately, I was able to avoid the craziness because the parking garage was on a side street and I was able to drive to the I-94 expressway on Huron, State, and Ontario Streets without needing to venture onto Michigan.